Sunday, 3rd June '07

Perspectives

There was something funny about returning from Italy. It's like I've been away forever, and coupled with the reunions that the summer holidays and the start of work bring, this is a blog about many meetings.

Most recent of which, work began. You're not going to see many blogs about work, I don't think, because of the highly sensitive / confidential nature of the information I work with, and the fact that blogging even about the people at work is bound to be a recipe for disaster. But I will say that a day of tea breaks and orientation lectures later, I'm pretty stoked about the place I'm at. Everyone seems so very happy working there and that kind of healthy work environment is infectious.

And here's a little tidbit. I may actually have an office to myself when I return from PLC in January. It's not like I deserve it or anything, and it's nothing fancy. BUT, it's a product of being the only pupil in this department. For now, I'm loving having a new associate and an attachee in the room with me, but both will be leaving the room shortly. It might thereafter be lonely, but I am comforted by the gorgeous waterfront view overlooking the Esplanade and the vicinity. I am, however, vaguely intimidated by the thought of having my own phone and recording a voicemail message next week. Funny huh, I'm not scared of the real work, but ask me to record a voicemail message and I totally wig.

Before that, we had the SMUB stayover that's probably going to go down in history as the most unplanned, yet most successful stayover ever. I don't know how we did it - I don't think it was because anyone was buzzed up on Fragolino or anything - but we honestly sat and talked for NINE HOURS straight. 9pm to 6am. I don't mean we enjoyed each other's company for nine hours, I mean we TALKED for nine hours. We did not watch movies (though we battled Babel and actually enjoyed John Tucker Must Die at earlier points in the day), we did not play cards, we did not play video games, we did not watch soccer; we did not even sleep. The latter is particularly impressive because we usually end up all sleeping on top of each other in a higgley-piggley mess everytime we try to pull all-nighters.

What shocked me, in a sort of hindsighted way, is that we actually had so much to talk about and that we WANTED to keep talking to each other about it. You know how with some people you find that you just run out of things to say, or sometimes you find that you don't know what to say that won't offend or that the person will find interesting. The thing I realise about SMUB is that I can tell them ANYTHING. We can reminisce about the old days in RJC, and that will lead us to Shaun dropping a nuclear bomb of a diao on the unsuspecting Ben. We can discuss out lives, our dreams, our past stupid mistakes, and make less-than-polite jokes about each others' girlfriends / boyfriends. We can speak (without fear or favour) about political figures that will not be mentioned here for fear of defamation suits, the latest fashion trends, and bouillabaisse recipes. We can learn about equity markets, commodities exchanges, deep vein thrombosis, the lack of safety in Johannesburg, international adaptors, how to deliver a baby from an AIDS patient, Napoli Men's pubic hair, Miss Universe, fear of dogs, how to turn a screwed up application into a contract job, and the Civil Law Act in a matter of hours. And at no point in time are we ever tired of each other, and not completely respectful of each other's views.

It was so simple, and yet I think I've reached the next level with these people. The sheer breadth of the discussions, the attitudes and the fact that we all really cared about hearing from each other taught me something I may have subconciously known, but I can now say very happily.

Stupid SMUB is going to be together forever. I'm stuck. It's been 7 years since we met, 5 since we somehow fell into today's form. 4 years since we tested it with a mass trip out of the country, and less than a month since some of us we put through a major strain in the friendship. We've only lost one SMUBbie in all that time, but as a group we've seen a number of serious, longterm boyfriends / girlfriends (more the latter than the former) come and go. It's got to say something to you, hasn't it, when a group stays so strong that it lasts longer than serious longterm relationships.

Funny how I've never really thought about it that way before. Funny how comparing our young, silly, idealistic selves to what we are now leaves me with little epiphanies of the sort.

And even before that were the big spontaneous moments of sneaking out to supper at ungodly hours of the night (or, morning), and the dinner with Andre that got turned into one huge party with Babs and Nora and Teddy and Beanie joining the fray. It's amazing how much the same we are, and how much we're different. We still make Limin's life rather miserable, and we still talk about useless things like giant rabbits and North Korean leaders. And then somehow we get into big serious discussions about second life and entrepreneurship.

A final yet completely unrelated thought I had on perspectives today occurred in the middle of tech class, while I was talking to Zaini, Mel and Rita about Europe. Mel just got back from Greece with the biggest, shiniest engagement ring I've ever seen. Granted I have not seen many, but this one takes the cake. It's beautiful, and it sparkled gleefully even in the dubious lighting of the Dance Studio toilet. Rita's planning a trip somewhere and I just got back from Italy, so we were sharing all kinds of stories. The odd part happened when we were discussing Turkish baths and Zaini mentioned how it was so expensive for tourists to do it, and how "silly Singaporeans just want to do it for the experience". And that struck me as something that I'd never seen that way before. All this while, many of us pride ourselves on our daring, our willingness to try something new - as if it made us cooler or more worldly in some way.

Yet, here was someone older, wiser, more experienced, and who no one could ever deny was "cool" or "worldly", telling us that there was still value in the idea of CHOICE. I can't be blogging the exact reason why this strikes me, but it occurs to me now that it's not about just having the experience, but knowing also what the experience is good for. It's something I guess I always considered intuitively, but never found a proper way to articulate, or the reassurance that this was a right sort of thought.

Hmm...

Well, alright, that's it for the thought of the day.



en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:29 am
[5 photographs developed.]


5 photographs developed.

limz:

haha u put it waaay better than i do. anyways. yesterday after dinner at bakerzinn we stayed out till 1 am at starbucks talking somemore... and gnet was like 'isnt it shiok how we can just sit and talk until so late?' haha my parents were nagging 'talktalktalk..got so much to talk meh?' the answer.. HAVE lah! big grin

Kai:

Haha i got the "got so much to talk meh" twice too. smile You expressed my sentiments exactly, and it really gives me comfort to know we're in a new stage of our lives together. It's an unexplanable kinda relief. Good luck for ur job Enz! *Hugs* And with SMUBs, u already have 9 clients u will definitely represent in IP.

limz:

in ur case. we are hoping that u never have to represent us. haha. but u get the idea.

bert:

it certainly feels like u girls have grown up lots and moving on into your next phase in life. dont leave me out! shocked

power trowel:

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