The Art of Survival

The above picture was taken after dinner just outside where I resided. Bare footed. For all I needed to do was to take literally three steps from my main door, hold up my inferior brand (with equally inferior specifications of course) and snap. No filter applied, no photoshop and absolutely no photography skills whatsoever required. Needless to say, the end product didn't do the actual scenery justice. However, that is the whole point of it.

I live in a beautiful place. 

Certainly not the most beautiful place in the whole. In fact, not even close to the top 100 locations in this country, let alone the world. Nonetheless, a beautiful place. Anyone who visited cannot deny that. By now, there have been a few individuals as well as a family who bunked this place. Judy, Tucky n wife, Angie's family and they will not be the last. If any of them think, "I could be like him," I wished they tell me about it because I will need to tell them, "No, you cannot."

I hate to be blunt. However, that is the truth. Not at the kind of odds I have been playing the game so far. After 5 years of Perth, I came to realise more about how different I am to other Singaporeans. Perhaps, that was one of the key reasons why I made myself leave in the first place, one that was unknown to me until the recent realisation. All along, records of my anecdotes in this websites have been done in a "If I can do it, so can you" tone. After all, I was an averager than average Singaporean, as ordinary as can be. If I can survive 5 years in Perth, why couldn't anyone else smarter, richer, more skilled or hardworking than me do it?

Sure, they could. I still maintain the same mantra. However, I have high doubts that anyone who think they can simply walk into this country with little money as well as knowledge of the country and do reasonably well will eventually do so, unless they are humble enough to start from nothing and learn from scratch. When I mean start from nothing, I don't mean it figuratively. I mean - start from nothing. Not by imagining it but living it. Like a fucking pissed poor undergraduate with no job. And I certainly don't mean that way you spend your last $11.50 on chopsticks. Like a virgin who doesn't even know how to insert without causing excessive pain. Trust me on that, if you are a virgin acting like you aren't, early life in a strange country is going to cause a lot of pain with just one small problem - you will be on the receiving end.

Every place has a set of rules we have to follow, badass or thuglife we can be. I have walked the path far enough to note the shortcuts, long ways, detours and the dead ends. I spent 5 years observing and living the shit shit and yet I still see Singaporeans coming in buying their $10,000 car in 5 minutes. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong buying that $10,000 leaky Nissan or paying a day's wage to speeding fines, for example. It is not my money. Other people can spend their money in whichever way they want it. There is also no problem refusing to open up options of accepting just about any jobs in the area to have a starting income and a credit record so that landlords or banks will start keeping away that ten-foot pole they wouldn't touch you with otherwise. No problem at all, some of us prefer detours, since we have petrol to burn. The problem I have are with people who refuse to respect the rules of survival and return to Singapore citing everything wrong about the place except the moron in the mirror. Perhaps that isn't a bad thing really. The more like-minded Singaporeans know about these 'facts', the better. Perth can do with less, much lesser, of this species.

The art of survival is a story that will never end. 5 years on, I have never let my guard down. I am under no illusion that my much improved living conditions are guaranteed. I look no further than one year beyond the horizon. I don't count my chicks. When my toils are through, I will start setting up contingencies for every scenario I missed. I shall never rest, for the things and people I love must be protected, or risk all being lost to complacency.

Only one who plough knows the exact soil mechanics of their land and if prepared to break his back to sow, shall reap. These shall come to nought if the rules of nature are not observed, respected and handled accordingly. Conditions at two different land will never be the same. Perhaps some walls are meant to be banged with heavy heads filled with fantasies. Some things are best left to be experienced, not told.

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