First post of 2014 – To round up 2013
You would have thought I would have rounded up 2013 yesterday huh? Well, we have to wait till 2013 really ended right?
I was telling Mr D yesterday, that 10 years ago, you would not find me anywhere else on New Year’s Eve, other than at a countdown venue. Whether it was counting down at Marina or Sentosa with large crowds spraying foam or confetti at one another, or in a pub wearing party hats and blowing party horns with smaller crowds, I was bound to be somewhere crowded and noisy, and being able to see fireworks was a must.
Yesterday, at midnight, I was at the airport waiting for my mum to come back from her overseas trip. I had not even realised we had stepped into 2014 until I saw this as I was leaving the toilet, “Good Morning, please rate the cleanliness of our toilet”. Morning? Oh, it’s 2014 already! I checked my watch, exactly midnight. I spent the last few minutes of the year in the toilet.
Last year went by pretty fast. By the end of year, I had really forgotten what had happened in the first 6 months.
It was the first year of my business in a brick and mortar premise. First time I need to pay rent and while it was challenging, it wasn’t enjoyable in some aspects to be honest. Firstly, it isn’t fun to be paying rent. I mean, who enjoys it? I would happily pay for utilities, but rent? I would want to be collecting it, not paying it. Yes it is a business cost, but I hate that feeling of working your a** off for the initial few orders just to benefit the landlord. With the ridiculous prices of properties in Singapore, I don’t even stand a chance of owning my own commercial property.
It made me realise how much, or rather how little our country encourages or provides the environment for people to be individuals. To be creative, to dream, to pursue what you like. Well, if your business can make use of automation and technology, yes the country wants such “smart money”. If you stand by the other side, sorry your “stupid money” is not encouraged. Making customised cakes, sadly, stand nearer to the side of “stupid” since manpower and time are the biggest resources needed. The coming years in our country will be extreme. Our next generations see a lot of people who want to pursue their dreams, who do not want to be trapped by the pressures of our society and being unable to do it, because the sad fact is that unless you are born with a
big huge inheritance, money does matter and it may matter more and more. There will be other group of people who will be so driven, wanting so badly to get ahead so that they do not have to be bogged down by the dollars and cents (literally) of things, they would do everything they can.
While not many people will be truthful when you ask them about their work, their careers, I think baking as a job did tire me out. Physically tired. Ironically, it was the year I baked less for people around me, my family, my friends. People can say “you have a great job, you can do what you love”. Yes I agree, I do not have to drag myself to work daily, and I count my blessings everyday for that. However, it is physically tiring. So when I am off work, I do not even want to bake for anyone, I just want to rest. I have ideas of cakes I want to make for people around me, and they stay just in my head.
Last year also saw some a big event in the last month of the year – a riot. I was on Facebook one night and saw some news feeds that a riot had broken out. I immediately switched on the TV and saw it all over the news. It was big news. A shock. Riots are not found in Singapore. The last one we had was some 40 years ago.
Needless to say, remarks and comments flew all over the place quickly and furiously. There were some racist remarks and comments. What pleasantly surprised me was that those comments were condemned by other netizens quickly. Our people kept reminding others not to judge prematurely and that racists remarks did not have a place here. That was the most warm hearted part of the whole saga. I felt proud that majority of our people had the maturity to see what was happening. I think that was the best way of showing our government that we do not need regulations on our freedom of speech in the virtual space, but whether they agree or not is an entirely different story.
I waited till the entire saga has died down to blog about it, because I wanted to see what happens. Even at the start of it, the first moments I saw the police cars being burnt, I did not think it was a planned riot. It actually wasn’t really a riot. It was an accident gone wrong, really, really wrong. Furthermore, fuelled by anger, the influence of alcohol and being in big groups, one wrong thing led to another. What I really condemned, was the burning of the ambulance.
After the riot, there were some knee-jerk reactions made. Some people even talked about housing foreign workers on offshore islands. Seriously, how many offshore islands do we have? I thought it was a ridiculous idea, not to mention the lack of humanity in the whole consideration. I am all against this idea, if it ever took place. While the main goal of foreign workers is to come here to earn money to send back home, we do not have to banish them to a corner. They are a part of our society. They are human beings, not slaves. Like it or not, everyone is. There may be some black sheep among the workers, but by and large, they do not want trouble. All they want is to earn enough money and go home. I’m sure it doesn’t feel good to go work in a foreign land (and not by choice) away from their families and friends. So by now if you ask me about the riot, I really don’t see it as a threat against our peace and I don’t think it is such a big deal like it initially suggested.
Just 2 things for the entire year? Yes (because I have forgotten what else happened!).
How about the coming year? I don’t make resolutions because I think it is a waste of time. I only wish that everyone will laugh like they really want to, have peaceful minds, healthy bodies, ears we really make use to listen, eyes we really make use to see and brains we really make use to think.
Happy 2014 everyone!