Ninja Nurse Arrives

The family joined the Perth Singaporean community about a week ago. Not without a bit of drama, receiving a distress call less than 24 hours from ETA because their car rental company let them down. In my feverish stupor, I activated good Singaporeans for help which ended up as an over-reaction because we ended up welcoming the little family with twice the car space required to receive their large suitcases, bicycles and all. At least, the family should have felt some hospitality. Always not a bad thing to help someone leap to a good start.

I wasn't in the best condition to even engage in a conversion but I had to do a little of it because I took the 2 ladies with me. The elder one was the Ninja Nurse that I met only once over a short dinner a few months back. The younger one, only 10 years of age or so, was introduced to me for the first time. She was given a lovely feminine name spelled in an unusual way  Along the way to their temporary abode, I was surprised to find the little girl knew more about me than I expected. It felt like a bit of spook. Apparently her mother took time to feed her regular stories about "Uncle Nix" during their final months in Singapore.

As one could imagine, the feelings of new migrants would be a mixed cup of excitement and anticipation with a dash of apprehensiveness. The family was no exception. With a job in the pocket though, that should calm some nerves. Within a week, I received news that the family had found their rental house. If there was any doubt she had the luck or the skill, this would be a good affirmation that ninjas are 90% skillez, 10% luck. Perhaps the next update would be the man of the family has set up a family business and we would be invited for a millionaire celebration a year later. Wish the family all the best.

I recalled asking Rei-E questions about their emigration during my groggy 30 minutes drive that day. I wanted to see how a child think about leaving such a fine country where she breathed the Singaporean culture since birth, as well as bidding the her little base of friends goodbye for good. It brought me back some vivid memories of losing a friend to Perth when we were 8 years old. We considered Charles a good friend of ours and even went over to his place to play a few times. He stayed in a point block somewhere in Dover Road just in front of a steep slope, where the group of us climbed and had great fun at. All of us were sad on Charles' emigration announcement. We even asked him to stay, without knowing how impossible it was. If Charles had been living in Perth since then, he would have already spent 27 years here. If I ever met him, I would be curious to know why Charles' family chose to leave Singapore at arguably its golden age in the late 80s, where living standards would be on a sharp incline for the next 1-2 decades. From Rei-E's cheery vibes, all being said, I believed we took Charles' departure a lot worse than himself. The painful loss of a once seemingly important friend would diminish in time as memories of the once upon a time slowly fade into insignificance.

Almost like death.

Where the Chinese believe the ghosts of hell would return every 7th month of the lunar calendar and if you meet a loved one in a spectre form, it probably wouldn't feel the same like before. I wonder if returning migrants feel the same way to old friends. Looks and smells the same, but something may not be quite right. Like meeting someone lost in a different time track.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry Nix
    You may have selective memory loss.

    For most of the 1980s, RM is still on par with S$. A$1 is worth S$3.50.

    Singapore had recession in 1984-5. Suffered stock market crash together with the rest of the world in October 1987. It is only towards 1989 when the boom time really took off. That's why LKY can let go of Singapore in 1990 when the economy is undeniably good.

    Australia's recession only came in early 1990s.

    So not surprising that anyone would immigrate in late 1980s for Australia.