Eve of the Eve of the Lunar New Year

Was at the Balcony at Heeren’s with the Misties. It’s a pretty good place, cheap drinks, different setting, interesting atmosphere, decent crowd. After grabbing a bite, we were on our way back. The train was packed so I alighted at Newton as usual to try to catch 170 back.

It didn’t take long before the bus came and I found myself in a seat facing te back, opposite a mother and daughter pair. Judging from the many bags of shopping on their laps, they must have been doing last minute shopping for new year clothing. Interesting. I studied them through the reflections on the windows.

The daughter was staring at her mobile phone most of the time; the mother staring blankly in front. Just as the bus passed Serene’s Center into a stretch of road I’ve come to known rather well, the daughter suddenly became animated. She started to introduce the various eateries along Bukit Timah Road, from Serene’s Center to Coronation Plaza to much further down, even sharing an interesting meal she shared with her classmates. The mother responded by — heck, the mother didn’t even respond as the daughter continued to explain how the guys ate a lot rice and took whatever the girls couldn’t finish. Was it boredom or fatigue that caused the mother to stifle a yawn. Perhaps somewhat dejected, the daughter returned to whatever fascinated her in her mobile phone.

I noted several more attempts but all most ending in noncommittal mumbles. As the bus rolled to a stop opposite Bukit Timah Plaza, the pair alighted. The daughter straightened her thigh-length skirt then followed her mother. I kinda pity the daughter. I know I would be disappointed if I’m sharing something relevant and close to me and all my mother does is do her best impersonation of a dead tree stump. Communication is a two-way process. Do parents only chose to hear what they want to hear? Or is this mother seriously fatigued from the mad pre-new year rush? If they communicated this little on a shopping trip, just for the two of them, I can hardly imagine the exciting conversations they have at home where everyone is probably busy with their own little activity. I guess I’d give the mother the benefit of doubt for I know my mom’s nerves are rather on the edge, busy with cleaning and preparations for one of the more important holidays on the calendar.

Alone of the bus, I recalled the particular incident back at the Balcony: two girls sitting behind me were apparently trying to learn to smoke, with much disastrous result. I can’t help by wonder why one would even do something that makes oneself uncomfortable. Is it to fit the social norm? Or to be outstanding? Just like some of the ladies at Arts I guess. Some people will say they’re more dressy, I’m simply confused by them.

Many of them wear what one usually reserve for night activities (decent and indecent ones), definitely not what most will wear to an education institution unless that’s a Tank Top of Knowledge with +5 to wisdom and intelligence; there is much flesh exposure, I’m in a dilemma: to let my eyes wander and just enjoy myself or save the ladies some dignity by averting my eyes and looking at the floor like an idiot. Then I start to wonder how many of these kinda clothing they have, are they gonna wear even less when they actually go clubbing, or do they simply go clubbing straight from school. Is that even a bag? With all their makeup, contact lens solution, tidbits, cardigan, condoms (hey, you never know) in it, do they actually still have space to stash away something related to work? But hey, the confusion doesn’t end here.

Since this trend only seems to be prevalent in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, I begin to attempt to draw links. Do ladies start becoming dressy only after coming to FASS due to expectations of the environment? Or is the dressy ladies’ only way of obtaining a degree in university is by going through FASS? I’m not trying to be insulting but wow, hasn’t anyone conducted a study on this odd trend yet?

Before I get voodoo’d, staked, cursed, assaulted, kicked in the balls, the next time I go to FASS for lessons, let me make it clear that not the ladies in FASS are as described above. Some of them try hard as they might but end up looking like clowns left behind when the Moscow circus went back to Russia. Some are your everyday undergraduate. Be glad I maintained the usage of the term ladies and not sluts, whores though sometimes these words do go through my head as I try to convince myself that the reason behind all these is not some major get-laid-quick conspiracy.

Oh well, in case you don’t hear from me soon: Happy Lunar New Year of the Dog. Peace-

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