Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Surreptitious Sedimentation.

Lastest update from the small island (a couple days late actually)..

D. has passed her IELTS with flying colours. Scored band 8 on two of the components and a 7 and a 9 on the remaining two. Band 9 is the maximum score. And you only need a 6 for demonstrating competency in English for DIMIA purposes.

package requested earlier went out and has already arrived at DIMIA. So it is back to patiently waiting. I am still not done with teasing D. about being an over-achiever and preparing too hard for the IELTS. After all, you only need a 6 (or maybe 6.5 for a small safety margin). Anything else is too much effort for a lazy person like me who values optimizing for minimum amount of work.


Looks like I am settling down here.

"whether I like it or not" - as one of the readers previously commented.

It is still tiring working two jobs but I am starting to adjust to it. From previously constantly feeling exhausted and on the verge of giving up, now am starting to take it in stride. It is amazing how the human body can adapt.

The mind, on the other hand, is a different creature.

To tell the truth, I am mentally starting to feel the boredom. The tedious, routine day-in-day-out of just working and sleeping and eating and doing the laundry (in the house - we have access to a washer and dryer!) and squeezing out whatever time is left for small luxuries.

Do not get me wrong - I am not getting bored with Perth. If anything, my feelings for Perth border on gratitude. It is not a hard life, and I have so much to be thankful for. Especially considering the improvements in my life over the last couple months. And the amazing weather. I am sure I have mentioned this before - Perth has the climate that Hollywood claims California has.

I now have a stable place to stay for the next 11 months or so. I have a nice warm comfortable place to sleep. Easy access to food and a whole refrigerator to hold cold vodka and frozen icecream in. And a washer and a dryer in the house. And a television. And a DVD player. And so on. Okay, so most of the stuff actually belong to my housemates or are leased.. but still I am thankful. And I actually have my own personal computer setup hooked up to the 12Mbps pipe. And two jobs, so I am not totally at the mercy of either employer. I reckon I can get by on either salary if I skim a little, but it would be nice to afford small luxuries (like building a financial safety buffer).

And I do not have
the housemates from hell, nor even housemates who would leave a mess. So I would say I have been unusually blessed in the housemates department. Compared to some of my ex-colleagues I have had to travel with and share hotel rooms (due to miserly corporate budgets when it comes to engineering staff), my current housemates are really easy to get along with. And I guess it also helps that we have such phase-shifted work/sleep cycles that we hardly see much of each other.

However there is this sense of growing restlessness. Perhaps a weekend roadtrip out of the city would put that to rest. Or another
tandem jump ticket. Or maybe rebuilding some semblance of a normal social circle. In any case, work schedules and financial constraints dictate that these needs must wait - for a little while.

In the meantime, I am drinking more than my usual recreational intake of Absolut. And working my way through my first bottle of Southern Comfort here. (Work-related drinking, in the past, not factored in comparison.)

And working my way through my bootleg copy of
Against All Odds. I found them in my archives from way back, and realised that I never had the patience to sit through all of them years ago. In this much quieter and peaceful place, I am already over a third through the series.


Reading the comments to
Terz's entry about wide open spaces.. I suspect it may take more than open spaces to make a gracious society. I like that place, for the record. It is one of the few places away from the city lights to see the night sky. (A sight I get to enjoy these days by simply stepping out of the main door to take out the trash.)

Some of the China cities would rival Perth when it comes to wide open spaces. In comparison, Bangkok and Manila are some of the most cramped cities to live / work in. And yet I have had the pleasure of interacting with some of the most gracious and kind strangers in those hellish living conditions.

So what factors need to be in place to make a gracious society? To tell the truth, I have no clue. Nor am I inclined to pursue this thread.

As the days go by, I try to stay more and more detached from certain aspects of that small island. There are good points and bad points about originating from that place - and I would like to err on the side of caution, so as not to bring that poison with me.

One of my housemates' unidentified friends paid me a nice compliment via relayed email about this blog saying it was it was nice that the tiny red dot could produce somebody [ insert a bunch of nice compliments ] like me. My initial cynical comment was to question if my personal positive attributes were because I grew up in that place - or in spite of growing up in that place. But in any case, if you are reading this - thank you for the compliment.

After all, I

"Intellectual freedom is the only guarantee of a scientific - democratic approach to politics, economic development, and culture."
- Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (1921-1989), winner of 1975 Nobel Peace Prize


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy your posts, but, being Singaporean, find it hard to ignore the Singapore-bashing that comes every other line. There are definitely gracious and knowledgeable persons in "this place", perhaps they just made up the minority of your social circle?

November 22, 2005 11:18 PM  
Blogger Killjoy said...


So looks like all the goings is good. Sorry been abit busy to catch up on ur blog but once i checked..i see...

"looks like I am here to stay"

Good to see that you suceeded in your goal. Your kids will thank you for it ;).

dear anonymous,

I agree with you that there are gracious and knowledgeable persons in Singapore... but they are a minority not only in "SS" social circle but actaully a minority on this tiny Island...

November 23, 2005 2:29 PM  
Blogger Amazonian said...

I am unreseverdly glad that you are not living with such mongrels as we did. Mongreller than their dog, they were! Reading your link to my own entry about them gave me the creeps all over again!

Fat Fingers - happy to read that you are gonna come home soon enough! There is nothing quite like homecooked food/ food you grew up loving. Aah... fried kangkong...

November 23, 2005 7:45 PM  
Blogger Fat Fingers said...

you are so lucky! no flatmates from hell... glad all is going well for you! :)

Amazonian, yeah! can't wait to be back! I love kang kong!

November 23, 2005 8:54 PM  

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