Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ubin and Urban

Went back to Ubin again yesterday. Ok clarification: I do not originate from Ubin. Haha.. Because of the trip I kicked up a big fuss with Janice complaining whether I should go or not. You know, complaining about the disadvantages of both situations. Then in the end I declared public that I was not going. Then at 11pm I announced again that I was going. Ok. Women are fickled-minded.

Because of the trip I have to wake up as early as school time! Urgh! And haha of course I couldn't. So I was late for the departure time. But was still 4 minutes early to reach Tanah Merah. Though CS, YW and CJ were already there. Then realised that Ereneh weren't going!!! My world suddenly turned so grey. I am the lone girl there! The rest are lone-paired! Urgh! I would be so lonely there!

But well, my worries didn't come true. The trip turned out to be still as fun and the lone-paireds aren't that tightly bound either. Furthermore the nature of the trip didn't require that much interaction too. Except some interaction with mosquitoes. Oh ya I shall proclaim here that I am the only survivor in Ubin! I wasn't bitten by mosquitoes at all! lalalalala~

Then there were some accidents too, like wan xin and yiwen slipped or fell down from bike, yiwen was lost when we wre tracking na du gong temple and we couldn't contact her as there were no line. Starhub, M1 and Singtel should do something to their connection. But well, nothing serious and we re-united with Yiwen in the end still.
Wonder if there will be anymore inhabitants on Ubin after the current generation of people have passed away. No youths or even adults were seen except tourists like us. We bought drinks from a 50+ man who told us about his farm animals being destroyed by government due to avian flu last time. Even though a nominal sum was given to him to compensate for the loss of his animals, the sum could not compensate for the drastic change that occurred to his life. He used to be a orchird planter then, even had a board stating "Orchird Shan1 Zhuang1" in front of his shabby house. But his orchird fertiliser came from his animals manure, so loss of farm rear implies loss of fertiliser. So today what we saw was only stacked up empty flower pots. What he has now is a wild boar and yet people complained that he ill-treat it as it is skinnier than the farm pigs. But haloz~ it's WILD boar, and it is by genes skinnier than farm pigs! It has to run for its life! So he tried to let it go, but the latter refused, after ten years of company with the man. So at least he still has a friend. There is no sight of his family.
The younger generation nowadays are just too educated and too intelligent, too modern to avoid such rural place, where telephone wires are still connected above land, houses are built using woods on stilts, some of the roads are not tarred, mosquitoes are everywhere, wild boar running in the wild, telephone connection is unstable, electricity is generated using generator at some places. Ask around and no one will tell you that is their ideal home.
But we need it as a place for recreation. A place in Singapore where there is still forest and wooden houses. But who will be willing to be there to maintain the rural look? Who will be willing to earn a living by renting out bicycles? Who will be ready to take a boat ride in order to buy daily needs? Looking at the old boat driver on the way back to mainland, I have too many questions to ask myself, and contemplate on the cost we need in order to maintain a laid-back leisure spot. It is about maintaining a rural place at the expense of the less educateds. It is about asking someone to take up the job which none of us wants. It is about us looking at them as if there are part of the decoration of nature. It is about the unwillingness to modernise them, a process which all of us yearn.
The trip brought me lots of fun, and lots of points to reflect upon the society.


Blogger ria said...

Thanks for sharing the story.

I've posted a link to it from the focus ubin website which was started by some of us who are passionate about Ubin as the last unspoilt island in Singapore.

10:35 AM  

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