Unexplored Territory

Orchard Road Sidewalk
When I first went to Singapore with my friends on a study tour, I was fascinated. Singapore is indeed small, but it is beautiful. And more importantly, the city was so. . . clean.

This unexplored territory opened up my eyes. My small mind suddenly expanded to new reality and possibilities. People there were really trying their best to obey orders. For instance, I was shocked when people were willing to wait for 90 seconds to cross the street albeit no vehicles were on sight. NONE.

And my mind went like, “Wow! These people must be either terribly stupid or amazingly obedient.” Of course, I waited for the light to turn green because I was just a tourist — it would be an embarrassment if I didn’t behave like a decent person being.

Because we only had one and a half day, we didn’t have a chance to explore this unexplored territory as we wanted. But another place that really struck my mind was Orchard Road. It’s the first place where I felt humiliated and thought that I was very poor. The place is very big, and very expensive.

So, when my friends were shopping for new clothes — of course they were girls, mostly — I just strolled along the streets, looking at things I wouldn’t be able to buy because I was so cheap with money. Even going to Singapore was a pricey trip; I felt I had no right to waste my parent’s money impulsively.

That said, it occurred to me that maybe if I worked here, I would be rich. But my sister said that with big money, comes big sacrifice. She said that the work pressure is enormous — working there is tiring and done in hard, long hours. So for now, my dream to settle down on this territory is canceled.

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