40 Months of Perth


During our first year in Perth, we rented our accommodation and moved thrice. Out of those, twice was with a tiny infant in my arms. We did not rent a whole house to ourselves, so taking care of an infant was challenging. During Jenny's confinement period, my mother-in-law came over to help out. As a result, three adults and one baby squeezed in one tiny room for a month. That was a shuddering recollection that makes me wonder how I endured that. I believe I was so overwhelmed by stretching my physical and mental limit with life's demands as a labourer at work and a new father at home to notice my situation.

My drives from work in the wee hours of 3 am were always so quiet that I could hear the hums of my engine clearly. The streets were dark, especially so as I approached the final turns without street lights leading to our rental place in Huntingdale. Regardless how physically wrecked I was each night, I would look up to the sky for a good ten seconds before entering the house. The stars in the sky was illuminated by the darkness that shrouded me, showers and showers of bright blinking stars. I remember telling myself all that what it seemed was only temporary, for darkness would one day elude us. My only focus back then was to pull ourselves through it.

I couldn't help but remember hearing how some friends gushed about their overseas holiday trips, particularly about how the respective countries they visited "had stars." After getting those unprecedented amazing views of the milky way on a pitch-dark night, I could understand why. What they didn't realise though was that we too, have the same galaxy shining down at us in Singapore but we were literally blinded, by the brightness, to see it. As the aged proverb goes, "The grass is always greener on the other side," or how the Chinese say it, "The moon is always rounder overseas." suggesting that circumstances seem more desirable elsewhere but in reality are often not. The keyword though, is "often."

Hence it means "sometimes", circumstances actually are better elsewhere. The best way to know is to find out. During my first year in Perth, I was naive, frightened and defensive. I closed my mind tightly to the world around me, taking anything that came my way as it was. Still, in the darkness, I could see the stars in the skies and the tiny speck of light at the end of each tunnel if I walked hard enough. What I couldn't see here was the limit that almost choked the life out of me in Singapore. However, one man's limit is another's comfort zone. I maintain my stance that migration is not for every Singaporean. Some of us will be much happier if we stay put.

For the others, they walk in the darkness, guided by the stars not knowing where they would end up. Just like life itself, few would disagree that it is all about the journey and not the end. Just for that, I never regretted stepping out of Singapore to embark on an incredible journey so far, which by no means, have ended. Where we are at the moment is a temporary oasis we came across in our travels. In no time, we will walk on.

Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Milestone: Breaking Even
Month 4
Month 5
Month 6
Month 7
Milestone: Renting a House
Milestone: Landing a Permanent Job
Month 8
Month 9
Month 10
Month 11
End of Year 1
Month 13
Month 14
Month 15
End of Year 2
Month 27
Month 33
Month 35

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