Our fates intertwined at one of the finest vineyards in Italy; near the Valeggio region.
I even opened the wrong car door because of it HAHAHA.
Sian. I miss exchange already.
My exchange has finally ended. I’ve touched down in my home ground, Singapore, a few days ago but all I ever did was sleep and eat. Perhaps, I was not ready to socialize nor do anything productive- I binge watched a hong kong drama with my mother; 15 episodes straight… from 11pm till 9am the next day. What is wrong with me? Haha.
But anyway, I’m slowly adapting back to the Singapore lifestyle. As I went to the nearest coffeeshop at my house (Hola) to get some chicken rice, I felt a little strange. I don’t know if it was the fact that I woke up at 6pm (my body clock is screwed for now), but everything felt so fuzzy and… fast-paced. So many people, so many things, happening so fast, my brain couldn’t really keep up. I was happy to have bought my chicken rice, despite the lack of tofu, and was eagerly walking towards the Gong Cha shop I knew 6 months ago, only to realise that it has been replaced by Li Ho (I knew about this, but I think Gong Cha was still etched in my mind). I felt a little pang of sadness, but then I was also curious to try Li Ho’s flavors. I bought its classic milk tea with pearls, 50% sugar level. It tasted okay. I guess that’s what I learnt from exchange- to be curious about everything, and yeah, I think i will still have post-exchange withdrawals, but I know I will be integrated into the lifestyle of a Singaporean in no time. While walking back, I came across the small stall-cart that was selling ice cream, with the bread wrapping it. Was kinda happy to see it, and immediately ordered the “红豆” (red bean) heh.
I’ll write down my exchange experiences in due time, as what this blog was created for.
As I’m approaching my final year in NUS, there are lots of uncertainties. For instance, I’m no longer staying in hall so in a way, I feel a little empty. I don’t really have a group of friends that I can hang with outside, and I have yet to do or secure an internship, never mind a job. There are so many things I still wanna do, but I always don’t know if I am ever capable enough to try- and more importantly, I am always super not confident. I think there are so many more capable people in every aspect than me, and like, I’m doomed to fail if I ever try. I think this was really evident when I was in hall because honestly there are so many talented people there! But still, I think, I need to be thankful for everything that life has given me, and for my last year, I’m giving myself a challenge- to do what I really want to do. Really really want to do. Even if that means trying for something you’re not so sure of- because I know i’ll regret it if i don’t.
This post is really, just a mini reflection and a reminder to myself- and I know it won’t be easy, but nothing good ever comes easy, y’know?
Oh yeah, I watched Hidden Figures and Arrival while on the plane back to Singapore. My first time taking an Emirates plane!!! Tbh, i think the service doesn’t match up to the amount I paid LOL because 1) water was spilled on me, albeit accidentally, by the air steward 2) service was super slow and 3) i probably compared with other airlines — I know that being air stewards and stewardesses ain’t easy, a customer can ask for orange juice, you go all the way back to get the orange juice, open it up, pour it, and walk back to the customer. the person beside the customer then asks for an apple juice, and then you have to go all the way back, open the apple juice, pour it, and walk ALLLLL the way back. and this is just 1 out of the many shitty scenarios they face. but, despite all that, just felt that it didn’t match up haha (but this is just my opinion)
But yea. Go watch Hidden Figures. It’s great.
hmmm. today i thought about a lot of thoughts (thoughtception lol) and i actually am writing down some of my biggest insecurities including fear of rejection in another private post. it sounds so simple, really, and i’m sure everyone has their own set of insecurities to deal with. but to actually sit down and write it, and then come up with an action plan to overcome it is actually quite hard for me.
this link above has proven to be quite useful to me; actually never really did such an exercise before i think. not at least in the past few years. i think i have gained much more clarity in my life now, and one day i promise to actually post my list of insecurities and the process of overcoming them hehe. sounds quite lame la, but ya, not that i’m depressed about my life, just felt it to be something i think is important to do once in a while. nobody told me to do this, i just realised i am quite insecure about a lot of things and felt like i needed this. 🙂
— will really properly blog about my exchange experiences once i come back from exchange! (cause i want to properly talk about it instead of like giving half-assed posts haha) —
until then… Ciao~! (thought it was a Spanish word, but was so wrong when I realised it came from Italy; everyone in Rome was using that haha)
i’m supposed to do revision and plan for my trips today, but well, i came across a Facebook post on my newsfeed, which was a reply to Xiaxue’s latest (I think) video about how she is not a feminist. to be accurate, she is not a third-wave/modern feminist.
Before you read this i think i’ll be good to watch XX’s video which is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVspgkYbJl4&feature=youtu.be&a ; lol indirectly promoting her video but maybe that’s one of her goals, ha ha
to make things clear, i would like to start off with a disclaimer: i personally feel i have not read enough to be sure of my arguments and i do not claim to represent every single woman, just myself, on whatever i am about to say. i read the reply, which was pretty long, so i acknowledge that i did not internalise and might have missed certain things that the reply said. however, the reply made me curious about xiaxue’s video so i went to watch it. i kind of get what xiaxue is trying to say, and also get what the reply to her video was saying, so let me just get out my thoughts here, because i believe that writing it out makes my head clearer and also, if this at least makes ONE reader (idk if anyone reads this tbh LOL) think, then it’ll have achieved one of my goals which is to have sparked some thoughts or discussion internally or not.
#1 Definition of Feminism
Honestly, my definition of feminism kept on changing. Initially, i thought it was just about fighting women’s rights to be equal as men’s. Then someone told me it was not just women’s rights but humans rights- so why call it feminism instead of humanism then? No idea, but probably because feminism has such a strong impact and started off with caring about women’s rights instead of men’s; similar to how a word has evolved over the years but perhaps there is less impact if we suddenly start using ‘humanism’ (ok i just googled that word, it has a different meaning from what i thought it would be oops).
So what is THE definition of feminism? I think this is an issue because everyone seems to define feminism differently which is why some people identify as a feminist, and why some people do not. Feminism can include fighting for women’s rights such as abortion and gay rights, but others may think abortion and gay rights is a whole other issue that should not be inside the feminism category so isn’t this already a huge problem? What if I am a person who fights for abortion but oppose gay rights, or vice versa? Am I half a feminist then?
So here we have many different definitions of feminism, and it is hard to say who is right or wrong so it’s kind of confusing. How do we solve this issue? Perhaps coming up with a solid definition of what rights feminism consists of, and like drilling this into everyone’s heads? So that everyone has the same definition of feminism? Even if you can get everyone in the world to agree (which I think it is frankly super hard to do) on the definition, the definition of feminism has changed over the years. So I guess you could define feminism at a point of time but it would not survive the passage of time.
So how? No idea. I think feminism is really a broad term to use, so perhaps it would be better to identify individual issues instead of lumping all of them together because what if one of the issues are no longer relevant in the definition of feminism… do we awkwardly remove it? Many often say “I am a feminist!” or “I am not a feminist!” and to be honest, I have NO idea what they mean. I mean, I THINK i get it but I could be misinterpreting their words. I could ask them, what do you mean by that? “Supporting women’s rights/equal rights”- but what rights do they support in general? Then if you really wanna understand what their intentions were you’d have to ask a series of questions. So I would prefer if people just said specifically the issue that they are concerned with. But what if they support a lot of things? Are they suppose to say all 32 issues? Isn’t “I’m a feminist” easier to say? Well yeah but apparently some people have a hard time deciphering what issues. So i still don’t know if which is better- but I think if you’d were fighting for rights, it is easier to address one issue at a time? I might be wrong, but I mean, man, multitasking is kind of hard (for me, at least).
Wow, i thought i’d touch briefly about the definition of feminism but looks like i blabbered too much…
#2 Equal rights comes with equal obligations / responsibilities
I talked about this with some of my friends a while ago (very fortunate to have people to talk about such issues freely) and I will specifically talk about Singapore’s context, from what I know.
Xiaxue mentions a few things in her video:
So basically all her points up there are logical, but i felt that it was quite irrelevant because she’s just saying that she had all these advantages of a female, and that females are forgetting that they have these advantages and should be grateful for it.
She is not a feminist because some of the issues such as
#3 Compensation vs Oppression
At this point she starts talking about some ‘dumbest feminist quotes’; not going to rly say anything because i think these are kind of more like opinions but i’ll just summarise it
actually, to sum it up, i think XX was just saying that
logically, and if i was thinking for just myself, and if i was XX, i wouldn’t want to change the system and fight for equal rights as well. i mean, if everything has been working out for me why do i need to bother changing the system? i don’t feel oppressed or anything, i don’t think there is anything inherently wrong enough to want to stand up to it actively. i agree, some females benefited from this system, and some adapted to it, some could not, and some simply didn’t have the option to choose.
so, should we change the system or not? probably 50 years ago, whites were more superior to blacks in a more obvious way- and if that system were still in place, whites would undoubtedly be still on top of the hierarchy and be thriving. should it have been demolished? if i were a selfish white person who thought only for myself, then i would maintain the status quo.
cliche i know but just wanted to end off with this: it is hard to change the system, but it is impossible to change it if you don’t even try.
honestly, wtf am i doing writing a post like this when i have a million other things i should be doing..
just wanna say that I’m rly having a “feeling thankful n blissed” kind of happiness now- quite sudden, but it was more after reflecting from the trips I’ve been recently. lucky to have met nice people (and learnt lessons from mean ones), and also to experience many many stuff. Not all things in exchange goes smoothly, but I think that is what makes one grow? Never had I taken so much initiative before; I am like aggressively passive usually haha.
Alright, now that I’m back in Sweden (although I’m going for a road trip in 2 days time..), I can finally reflect for a little bit. Jumping the queue a little, here’s just a few photos of my Helsinki-Tallinn-Riga trip (actually only from Helsinki for now)- was alone in Helsinki.
As I’ve said again and again, my memory sucks so I wanna write down everything before I forget it- but there just isn’t time (or isn’t my priority at this moment because I feel that there’s no time for me to properly reflect). But here’s a little update. I went into exchange thinking that it’ll “change my life forever”; but I honestly don’t think I changed? Rather, I think I learnt a lot about myself- what I actually like or don’t like (types of attractions, different travelling buddies n personalities-which I will talk about in the future) and I actually think it’s quite fulfilling and satisfying (besides the fun and excitement of exploring a new place).
Just got back from Geneva/Southern France, and before that Netherlands (I will talk about both trips in the future, I hope like by this year LOL). And it’s already the end of March! Only 2 months before my school term ends, and 3 before I fly back to Sunny Singapore 😦 at this point, I honestly don’t want to go back sg yet hahaha (maybe like dw face NUS year4 honors year+the uncertainty of life in general).
Also, I realise that while on exchange, life in Singapore continues without you (obviously). And it takes time and effort to connect with those back at home, and for me, I felt that for some people, we were drifting apart cuz we didn’t really talk for months, but for others, just texting each other once in a while made me feel grateful and appreciative of them. (I can actually dedicate a whole post to this matter, but let’s save it for next time). I hardly check social media (I use it everyday but I don’t update or look at people’s updates that often) and I feel like I can’t really catch up on people’s lives anymore. In fact, I can’t even update people that much anymore (even to my family who’s supposed to be my #1 priority) but I think it’s just me being super lazy and like overwhelmed with exchange experiences that I can’t express my thoughts and feelings into words properly (which I am trying to do in this blog HAHA).
Another thing that’s been bothering me is that I feel I’ve become more narcissistic? I didn’t feel it until I entered university, but I think from y2 onwards it became worse; I don’t know if it’s the environment or just innate. (Another issue I might talk about next time HAHAHHA long list of things waiting for me to talk about)
Anyway, I’m starting to ramble on but I need to pack for Helsinki-Estonia-Riga tomorrow (haven’t even plan itinerary yet) so, till next time!!!