Tales from the Farmer - Beginnings

Louise is an (ex?) Singaporean daughter living in Temora, one of the outskirt suburbs of Sydney. She writes to me occasionally and her emails intrigue me to no end, often include details of her life and work with a great sense of humour. Some of her emails are too good not to share. Though most Singaporeans will not be interested in things like that, a minority like me will. This blog is catered for the minority in the first place. Apt.

Asking the lady to tell me her experiences:

Her Canola fields
Wah you flatter me lah. You will probably be the only person who reads if I blog. To be able to write is a talent; and you certainly have that talent. I often wish I have that talent like yours- to be able to reflect and to put it down in words. I struggle even just with my essays for uni. Actually, I started reading your blog when I was living with Tassie. I decided to write to you only after reading about the mothers who wrote to you for advice. I thought my experience living here with a child with autism can help your readers in giving them some directions on services and support. There is really nothing for me to write unless Singaporeans want to hear things like me sitting around in the cold waiting for the sheep or cow to give birth; or the silly gun laws in the country or the Bogans (which I will tell you a story later about one of them) in my town. Now those stories would be too frightening for Singaporeans who are planning their move to Australia.

The resounding theme in many of your readers who ask you migration questions is 'fear'. The fear of leaving and giving up Singapore grips them. What I meant by 'Singapore' includes job, family, stability, starbucks, hawker centres- you get my point. It is absolutely normal to be afraid of uprooting and going to a foreign land. It is definitely good to ask questions, get information, do calculations etc. What is not ok, and shits me the most is Procrastination- and a lot of them do! They talk about how bad Singapore is and how they want to move but 10 years later, they are still complaining. And even worst, they put up posters and captions on fb on how lucky they are to be Singaporeans, and how excellent SG50, and sing count your money Singapore! Then there is the other bunch who made their move, but live among Singaporeans, and then sit around at Singaporean gatherings and reminisce about Singapore their home etc etc etc. I lived in Indonesia for more than 10 years, and I have seen my fair share of hypocrisy filled Singaporean gatherings and attended tons of embassy functions. Please don't get me wrong. I don't hate Singapore. I just dislike the mentality and hypocrisy behaviour. And I disagree with Mr. Goh Chok Tong's statement that I am a quitter. I am not a quitter, in contrary, I chose to leave because there was no job in Singapore for me, at that time.

I really do appreciate your direct opinion in telling the readers the reality of living in Australia and the pure grit to start all over again in job search- something that doesn't appeal to many. Sometimes, I wonder if it is enough to turn them off by just telling them that the average cost of chicken rice at the nearest asian restaurant is $23 and most mee pok tastes like rubber bands. Eating out is a luxury here - even in a small country town. After rent, fuel, groceries, there isn't really much left to go out.

On the lighter side, let me tell you about something that happened to one of our town bogans, Rob. who is also a friend of ours. 

Rob broke his collarbone from a series of mishaps. While Robbie is sulking on his own, the rest of us are having a very good laugh at his expense. It all started when he brought his motor bike into the lounge room, so that he could clean it. Annie his wife told him several times not to do that; the old sod insisted so because it was cold outside. For some reason that day he decided to clean the engine, so out came the rags and the gasoline. When he finished, he decided that it would be a good idea to start the engine to make sure everything was ok (in his lounge room, for pete's sake!). So he climbed on and started the engine. Unfortunately, the bike started in gear and crashed into the glass doors to the deck, with Robbie still hanging on the the handlebars. Annie, the poor love rushed from the kitchen and found him badly cut from the broken glass and rang for the ambo. The emore people cleaned him up and he had over 50 stitches. Annie brought him home in the arvo and put him in bed, while she cleared the mess up; and dumped the gasoline down the toilet. The fat bugger woke up to have a smoke and decided to have a crap as well. And halfway through it, dumped the cigarette in the toilet bowl and promptly caused an explosion. Poor Annie ran to the bathroom, found Robbie screaming in pain, trousers blown away, burns on his buttocks. She said she almost felt embarrassed having to ring triple zero again. Coincidentally, the same ambo people from the morning were on call and arrived to attend to them. They quickly loaded Robbie onto the stretcher and began to carry him out on the street to the ambo. One of them asked Annie what had happened and she told them.The two started laughing so hard that they dropped Robbie's stretcher and broke his collarbone.

Another tale from a country town :-)


Notes for noobs:

arvo = afternoon
ambo = ambulance
bogan = australian beng

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