Hey hey, I am back in the United Kingdom just at the start of my third year in college. My 2nd year was fairly good given my various commitments during school term, but otherwise still mostly study study study. I guess my year 1 made me better prepared for year 2, not only in terms of the syllabus but in-sync with the pace of study which Cambridge is notorious for. On average, you cover like 3 year’s worth of poly knowledge in under 6 months here, it’s that fast. And the size of my annual lecture note binders don’t lie either!

This year too marks the final undergraduate year, with my 4th year being a Masters program. And what other better way to begin my trip back here than to queue up 2 full hours at the UK Immigration as Heathrow T3 upon my arrival (about 7pm London time) that too blessing me with the unexpected ability to miss not only one but two national express buses out of the airport in the row.It just can’t get any much better.

My time back in Singapore was short, but otherwise fruitful. It was nearly 2 months of relaxing and getting stuffed fat with home-cooked food prepared full of love. Had my annual dental checkup as well visiting my Grans quite regularly at AMK too. There were few nice food outlets I got to try this summer, namely a nice curry crab joint by the name of Mellben Seafood. Besides that, I was more or less pounding over 76,000 words on the computer day in-and-out for my trip blog posts. That includes my travel tours to the Middle East, Europe, the West and East coast of the United States.

H&M crowds in Singapore

H&M Craze in Singapore
Looking back at some of the musing when I was back in Singapore, the H&M craze was worth mentioning. Given the amount of hoo-ha the store received with shoppers even queuing up 12 hours beforehand to get into the store (and vouchers) on opening days. Humorously, sometimes I don’t understand the mentally of our fellow country men, particularly the Kiasu mentally which plagues every Singapore I see everywhere.

I do not know how my friends in the UK will think of us Singaporeans going all gaga over the launch of a clothing retailer which is almost like “This Fashion” back in the UK. No one batters an eyelid at H&M here and in Europe. I won’t be surprised if we become pretty much a laughing stock back here whenever I get to talk to my British friends about that. As a matter of fact, I personally think the less popular Uniqlo and New Look imports in Singapore tend to be more popular here, despite considering the clothing collections in Singapore not quite matching up to that at the stores in the UK.

The horror of Halloween Horrors
Then came the big news of the cancellation Night Safari Halloween horrors. It came pretty much of a shock to many after the installation of the Wildlife Reserves new chief executive. It won’t be surprising to see a new helmed CEO flexing the power of their new position by introducing drastic (and often controversial) changes to the organization. So why not start with the cancellation of the award winning Halloween horrors for starters? I bet no one expected and hilarious repercussions brought upon the Wildlife Reserves for those actions, particularly the large public outcry it caused and the stir it had with the president of Singapore, all made worse with seemingly sweeping and unjustifiable reasons for the cancellation. Inevitably, more damage was created than it was intended to avoid. Not a good start for the new Chief Executive I reckon.

The wolf pack!

Halloween is a huge event out of the shores of Singapore notably in the US and UK. It’s personally one which I look forward to every year and the idea of dressing up in unique costumes every year keeps your creative juices following, particularly if you make your own. The streets on Halloween are packed with party goers, theme parks all transformed into fright night specials with tons of special new rides and theming to go with the festivities. Halloween is undoubtedly one of the most recognized annual events internationally and usually feature the most fun parties of the year everyone looks, unlike Deepavali.

Undeniably, Deepavali is a big event in Singapore, but having that in place of Halloween is unjustifiable, unless the lack of a global focus is what the Wildlife Reserves is gunning for now. No offense, but as much as we love Deepavali here in Singapore, believe or not, the event is completely unheard off in the western world. Focusing on the more “Family theme” for Halloween just loses the essence, it’s like having the mid-autumn festival without mooncakes. But isn’t death and scares the basic making of a Halloween theme?

So do you think the lack of external exposure for our Singaporean kids leads to the fear of Halloween itself? I think so. This too, considering that death is still largely perceived to be taboo in Asian communities. We are a by-product stereotypical mindsets crafted by the expectations of society, with no leeway to think out of the box or self-exploration, fueled by the endless noisy flinging of Angry Birds on iPads and iPhones on every bus and train throughout the country.

That is my Singapore.

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