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Back to the Heartlands Saturday, 29 April 2006

Posted by dragonzlad in Uncategorized.
It’s been such a long time since I updated my blog. And slowly my blog visit counter have crept up to 1222! I’ve been making trips down to the interior designer’s (ID) place and to furniture shops in anticipation of my apartment’s completion. The cost of the I.D. is so freaking expensive, shocking to know that carpentry works could be that expensive. I had to buy ready-made furnishings to lower the cost of the I.D. Not exactly custom-made to enhance the look of the place but I suppose other stuff, such as lightings and decorations, could be used to achieve that.
And I sold my car! DId I blog that down? Sold it in March (to fund my other "projects" such as the apartment) and I am beginning to understand the pains of not being in control of my transportation. I had a dinner appointment in a corner of Ang Mo Kio (AMK), an old heartland town, and I was stuck along the roadside waiting for a taxi at peak hour. It was made worse as it rained just before I got out of my friend’s car. I used to gripe when my car-less friends demanded that we meet in places that are located right smack next to a train station (called Mass Rapid Transit – MRT in SIngapore) because inevitably you run out of good places to eat and drink in very quickly. After last night’s episode of having to wait for an hour and still stuck without a transport, I decided I would demand likewise until I get a huge pay rise so as to afford a car.
So I finally decided to cancel my dinner appointment as more than half of my friends had left after having had their fill (while I am still stuck by the roadside) and my dinner (they were nice enough to set some apart for me) was probably very cold already despite the evening tropical heat.
I went to the town centre which ws within walking distance and went to my usual hawker centre. I used to go to AMK quite frequently as I stayed half an hour away (by bus). Now that I moved and and have sold my car, I rarely travelled to AMK. Boy, what a change the place had undergone. They have spruced up the town centre with clean and new floor slabs, whitewashed and renewed the buildings. And even the people there have changed.
After dinner, I continued to sit in the hawker centre, slowing drinking my coffee. The place so fascinated me that I had to take out my note book to pen my thoughts down. Was a good thing I had a note book with me. I did get strange looks though as people wondered why I was sitting alone and glancing around ever so often and then writing stuff down. There, I noted that Singapore may really have become more cosmopolitan. I saw an ang mo (Caucasian), an African and a couple of Chinese-looking people who spoke in strange languages in AMK. Never before have I seen these kinda people in the heartlands. In Orchard Road or city, yes, but never in the heartlands. Another fascinating thing was finding 2 young Japanese couple waiting in the taxi queue at Yio Chu Kang (another heartland area next to AMK) MRT.
Strangely I think I wouldn’t have seen all these changes if not for my lack of transport. That made me wonder – if kids hang out in heartland town centres after school, they probably will see all these changes. I am not sure if they get into bad company (seen some dubious characters there). I wonder if their parents know as much as their kids on how much the heartlands have changed? I doubt they will especially if they are professionals.
Despite all the interesting things I saw, I think I rather have a car – saves time and is definitely a hell lot more convenient. 😛


1. Gay banker - Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Hi DL, welcome back!

I’ve been without a car in London since 1993, and getting rid of the damm thing was one of the best decisions I ever made. I got myself a taxi account instead! But in London there is good public transport too.

BTW – do you have a finance/banking related job?

Warm regards, GB xx

2. Dragonzlad - Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Will you be offering me a finance/banking job if I do? 🙂

Actually, I am not but I am studying for an MBA now. Not quite sure what I’ll do with it although I am considering banking and finance. Any advice?

3. Gay banker - Saturday, 6 May 2006

Well I’ve enjoyed my career in banking so far. My career has been 100% related to the financial markets, working on the trading floors of the banks that have employed me, although I’ve had a variety of roles. There are many different types of job in that environment though. The more quantitative and mathematical guys will be the traders, the client focussed guys will be the salesmen. Away from the trading floor there are many other types of job too, e.g. corporate finance, compliance, risk management, mergers and acquisitions, etc. But it’s a little hard to advise you since I don’t know what your strengths are. Whatever you end up doing though, make sure you find the job enjoyable. People perform much better when they’re doing a job they like, and of course, better performing people have more successful careers.

Best wishes, GB x

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