It’s always fun and interesting to know more about the lifestyle and social culture of other countries, with a hint of insight, either by paying a close attention to the locals daily activities or chitchat with them.
Moving on to today’s post.
Jul 22nd, On our way to Changi airport, we had a little chat with the taxi driver – an uncle, white hair, quite old, probably 60yo above.
The uncle started the conversation with us by asking where we’re heading to. Once he knew we’re Medanese, he mentioned about the 2004 Tsunami that hit Aceh and a little bit about living in Indonesia.
Enough about us, he then shared his opinion on Singapore nowadays.
He said that the family value in Singapore has decreased a lot if compared to the good old days in kampong (village).
Staying in flat/apartment isn’t good, he continued, once children come back home, they go into their own bedroom and do own activity. Less interaction among the family members. No warm, no togetherness.
Ah, it reminded me of my college time.
He also mentioned about the problem with seeing extended families/relatives. It’s hard to give a warm welcome cause it’s quite often the relatives come asking to borrow money. Don’t even mention about welcoming the relatives to one’s house, seeing them in the lift or public space, one will pretend not seeing them.
Owe $ Pay $, Ah Long, ring a bell?
He also complained about how the government kept on welcoming foreigners to work in Singapore, which doesn’t do good to the locals. I heard about this issue a lot during their recent election.
Of course, we couldn’t run away with the high-living-cost topic. The uncle said that the property price is getting higher, even for a HDB, I guess this valid for the whole world now (?). He said, with a basic salary of $2k, how can a fresh-graduate buy an apt, let alone getting married.
Uncle said his wife is working and he used to work double job to tackle the living cost. He kept on repeating how life is hard for many Singaporeans (xin jia po ren hen xin ku – imagine someone your Grandpa’s age saying this words, heartache or not >.<) Probably referring to the medium lower income class of people.
No wonder there is many aunties uncles at their 60s and above working in the foodcourt as a cleaner, cashier, etc. So old, still working.
After hearing all the above things from the uncle, I have a very familiar feeling. Those are like scenes from many Singapore’s movies (esp. Jack Neo’s film). But this time, it isn’t an acting, it’s a reality. Unless the uncle watches too much drama.
It definitely left me feeling the contrast between the local’s view (in this case, senior citizen) and the tourist’s view on Singapore. It’s a heaven for me as a tourist and shopper, but a tough place to live for the locals. Put aside the medium upper class people, of course.
Interesting insight (to me)! Makes me want to travel more #JustAnExcuse