We met after 6 months and I apologised to him for not telling him that I'd come back to Singapore so late. The last time I saw him, I to...

Meeting my lil friend again


We met after 6 months and I apologised to him for not telling him that I'd come back to Singapore so late. The last time I saw him, I told him, November. So when I told him that I just came back last week, he was surprised. He thought I'd forgotten about him! But how could I? Even the social worker thought I'd forgotten about him and called me. So when I told her I'd be visiting him on the very day that she called, she too was surprised.

Went down to the playground and he helped to construct this Santa Claus Lego figurine. The Lego pieces were given to me as a xmas present a while ago and I thought he'd be such a whiz at completing it since I was lazy to do it myself hahaha. During the entire time while I was away in Myanmar and my travels, many things had changed for him and his family. As we constructed Lego together, me as his Lego assistant passing him the pieces that he needed, he updated me on his life. 

For one, he was no longer a primary school kid. He's now secondary one. Oh it brought me back to my own times in secondary school when he told me how he was looking forward to D&T lessons where he would get to construct his own things. He'd absolutely love it! He's in normal acad so five long years ahead of him~ Second, his older sister is working now and her own children are going to school. She may be moving out in June. What troubles me is the fact that to me, she is his proper guardian. Proper in a sense that she's the only one in the household who is managing things for the family - upbringing-wise and financial-wise. Not their parents. 

And speaking of parents, their dad is finally out of prison. And he is living with them now. So the family dynamics is gonna change and he'll have to get used to his dad's presence at home again. The FYP project that my friends and I did was on the issue of his dad being in prison and his thoughts about it. So seeing his dad in person that day, after hearing him talk all about his dad last year, was a bit strange for me. I got to meet the man, which my FYP project was all about, finally. He was a friendly man. I didn't get to talk to him but I got the sense that he was ashamed to see me, for we both knew the reason as to why I was even there in the first place. But everything seemed ok with the family. I'm sure he is happy that his dad is back. The months ahead seem uncertain but we'll see how it goes. 

What was funny was that, while we were constructing Lego, many other kids were curious as to what we were doing. Shy at the beginning as they lingered around us but soon became brave enough to talk to us and join in. It was interesting for me because... I soon realised that my friend (oh I don't exactly know what to call him but after all he is my friend right? Haha) and I, were the only true-blue Singaporeans around. I mean, they could be Singaporeans too but they had parents from different nationalities. A pair of siblings appeared practically Chinese to me and I assumed that they were ordinary Singaporeans until their Mom came and spoke to them in Bahasa Indonesia. My lil friend was just as surprised as I was by the pair of Indo-Chinese siblings. Then another pair of siblings' Mom was from mainland China. And finally, another pair of siblings with faces smothered in thanaka was also there on the court. Yes, they were from Myanmar. I happily chirped "Mingalaba" to their guardian who reciprocated the greeting. Oh Singapore, you are truly a global city!!! And we can't escape the fact that the Singaporean identity is ever evolving and constantly shaped. Who is to judge and be able to truly define what a Singaporean is? And could I even apply the term "true-blue" to myself? What is a "true-blue" Singaporean anyway? 

What matters was that we left that playground feeling happy. "Hey so many people were watching you create that Lego! That's awesome!" And he replied, "yeah, never happen before". I knew he was proud that day that he had an audience. 

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