After Orchard

When you heard the word 'Singapore', what do you associate it with? The answer will not far from Orchard Road, Merlion, shopping, clean, green, safe, and the list will go on and on with all positive things. That's Singapore in the eyes of tourists.

Never thought that Singapore could have a very different impression when it's told by Margareta Astaman. She was a student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for 4 years. Living in Singapore for 4 years and staying there for only 3 days and 2 nights (like most Indonesian used to do) can cause a big different stories. No more beautiful Singapore. Life seems so hard.

From Margareta's stories, we could learn about the education system in Singapore, the every days life there, the interaction among the people, the Singaporean values of life, and many more and at last we will realize why many young people there commit suicide, why they're afraid to dream, and how hard their lives are.

Of course, talking about Singapore is not only talking about negative things. Sure there are many great things for us to learn. Their discipline, their hard works, their honesty and the like. But, in the end I conclude that life is not only about having high grade or great career. What is the career for if you don't enjoy it? Working hard all day long, going home and feeling totally tired and lonely. This was exactly that happened to the author, after she graduated from NTU with flying colors and got a great job in Singapore just like what her dream, finally she just missed something, "...di hari ketiga bekerja, gue mulai bertanya-tanya apakah jadi ibu rumah tangga akan jadi cita-cita yang lebih masuk akal dan menyenangkan."

I quote the author's conclusion about her life in Singapore, "Gue hidup selama 4 tahun di Singapur, gue ga pernah bisa punya temen deket. Semuanya terlalu sibuk dengan kerjanya masing-masing, bahkan untuk senyum. Semua punya rencana sendiri dimana gue ga pernah jadi bagian dari rencana mereka. Gue selalu sendiri. Dan gue ga inget, kapan selama 4 tahun itu gue ngerasa seneng...."

I enjoy Margareta's stories. It makes me laughing and thinking at the same time. Imagine, her campus is surrounded by beautiful garden and completed by swimming pool but none of the college students ever sit or swim there, they're just too busy to enjoy the garden or the swimming pool. For me, it's just ironic.

In the end, we are back to the definition of life itself. Life is about choices. You're the one who decide where you want to take your life to. Either to be a career woman or just a full-time-mom. It's all about choices.


gerandis November 16, 2010 at 9:47 AM  

wew lay out baru (Baru kesempatan buka lewat laptop) gud gud gud

haduh kyaknya menarik ini, tp novel2 yg kubaca blon ada yg kelar :), buat list must read aja ini :)

riana November 16, 2010 at 6:22 PM  

@Perez: Thx...btw buku ini menarik, apalagi kalo niat mau kuliah lagi di Spore sepertinya wajib baca buku ini...:)

Indahjuli November 21, 2010 at 1:19 AM  

Arrggh, punya bukunya tapi masih terbungkus plastik :(
Jadi tertarik segera membaca, dari review mbak Riana.
Thanks sudah berbagi.

riana November 23, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

@Indah:Sama2 mbak, bukunya ringan kok tapi infonya menarik, jadi dijamin baca bukunya bisa cepet, hehe...

Anonymous December 13, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Hi!!! I typed 'after orchard' and the one that came out was your blog :) COOL, I wanna know what other people think about what she has published..I'm an Indo student in Singapore too..and all the feelings and the inflexibility and all the negativity about Singapore is no joke :) and if any of your acquaintances want to go to Singapore he/she/they better be prepared for the culture shock, coz I didn't :( but thank God I survived :)