I stayed at home the other day because I was sick. So this was how it felt cooped up indoors the whole day during a hot 37 °C afternoon. With all curtains drawn to minimise sunlight and a good big tree at the most strategic position to shield the west wall, such a hot afternoon felt surprisingly pleasant, akin the cooler Singapore afternoons. It was no wonder the wife exclaimed, "Hot!" when she got right into the 33°C outdoor heat for less than 5 minutes on another day. That was good. Then she would have the empathy towards the folks who work 8 hours a day in a non air-conditioned environment.

On every recent hot day, the office folks would scurry back into their air-conditioned haven after giving their quick instructions. Oh come on, it was just a few seconds of heat. I wonder who are the real whingers here, the ones who stay indoor most of the time, name calling the ones who don't, who just want to find an outlet to let off the real heat they endured through an entire season.

There was nothing to be grateful about in a terrible heat detrimental to health. Being grateful is feeling or showing an appreciation for something received. Thus we should be grateful for the blessings we received, such as the fortune to grow up in a safe environment like Singapore where we received education, good standard of living and skill sets to allow us to be marketable to the rest of the world. That was a good example that Miss A would not stop reminding us of. She had a good point because that was a legitimate claim. That is how it works and there should not be two ways about it.

I do not believe in the process of recognising the greater good, eliminating the evils, creating a net positive in the mind and concluding that is something to be grateful about. That was the same neurotic concept that Emeritus Goh Chok Tong once forced it on Singaporeans: To focus on net happiness. That's utter bullshit used for the weak by the weak. Tell the third world people they are luckier than the war-refugees. Tell the war-refugees they are better than the people suffering in plagued nations. Tell the plagued they are luckier than a POW. Lastly tell the POW that he is lucky to be alive to suffer their daily hell on earth. Better living than dead, bro. Isn't it? exists to call the spade a spade so as to provide visitors the most honest views possible. I would not charade it a bad day as a breezy day with rainbows. In fact, I had been questioned [link] for painting a picture too pretty too many a time. To put things into perspective, most Singaporeans who move to Australia will land themselves an office job, just like they did back home. They are protected from bush flies in their air regulated aegis. By the time they knock off from work, the sun have set and the desert will cool off rapidly due to the lack of tall buildings around. By then, bush flies will call it a day and wake their mosquitoes brothers to resume the patrol. Thus the majority of Singaporean workers would not find the Australian Summer a real bother.

But not for the brickie holding a 230 x 110 in one hand, a trowel in another, with no long tongue to swat the unrelenting bush flies mercilessly extracting protein from every crevice they can find. All under that smelting heat for hours. He shall be grateful for having the opportunity to earn an honest keep, to fulfill dreams and to have people around to share joys with. Perhaps as a bonus, the right to curse his lungs off when the conditions are harsh instead of being called a whinger. That'll be a something worthy for gratefulness.

1 comment:

  1. A brickie in Australia who knows how to work can get better pay than some professionals.

    Work during weekend? need to pay a lot extra!