If you put three girls together in the night shift in an office almost right inside a mall when year-end sales are on in Singapore, what happens?
They go to work on Monday, fresh and awake after the peace and quiet of Sunday, laden with shopping bags. People look askance at them, wondering if they have come to the right place. Open-mouthed, Mr. Goon-like expressions abound, men smirk at this supposedly girlish fetish for shopping (forget the fact that they splurged on clothes just a couple of months ago during another sale- men can do what they like), absurd questions are asked.
And the three girls? They just don’t care.
This was the scene Monday night, when my flatmates and I went shopping for three hours before going to work. To be fair, our main aim was to shop for presents for others, and we dealt with that first, before we came to us. And when it came to us, there was quite a bit of focus on me, because the girls are trying to make me get some extremely feminine clothes. They don’t like to see me in kurtas and tees, rather they’re fed up of it. Now they want to get me into pastel-coloured clothes. It has become a joke with us, as we watch girls getting onto the train in clothes that I wonder how they even manage to squirm into. For the life of me, I wouldn’t even be able to figure out how to put on some of the things they wear.
New Year’s Eve, while the rest of the world (okay, I exaggerate- let us put it as most of, or much of, Singapore) was headed towards Sentosa, I was on a train going in the same direction. The glitter of frocks and the excited, before-hangover laughter and merriment were unmistakable. Not us, though. My friends and I were to spend the night at the office, of course. I have never been too fond of New Year celebrations, but that doesn’t really matter; envy is easily aroused in susceptible human beings. Perhaps it was just as well that I was at work that night, for I was treated to a faraway display of mesmerising, psychedelic fireworks. Harbour Front is pretty decent for that sort of thing; it is connected to the largest mall in Singapore, Vivo City, and from the office window, I get some fantastic views of ships sailing into the harbour, of lights shining on heavy, rippling, green-grey waters at night, not a soul in sight, a perfect setting for an adventure (and to let your imagination go wild on a slow day).
Loser? I? Not really. I am glad I am not ensconced in a cubicle that doesn’t afford me the briefest glimpse of nature. I haven’t been to the beach since I got here, but I don’t really regret it as long as the sea is right beside me. I do miss the hills, though. Deeply. There is nothing I can do, though, than just bear it. For I am blessed in other ways.