I am now back in Singapore for two weeks or so and whenever I am back, I always get an initial mini culture shock and it takes a few days to get used to everything. That is of course totally understandable as I have left this tiny red dot for seven years now. Yes, this month marks my 7th anniversary of my relocation to Australia (actual anniversary date was yesterday) and you know what people always say about the 7th year right? Yes, the 7th year itch. When my current work contract ends in Papua New Guinea (most likely by the end of 2015), if there is still no work for me back at the Melbourne office, Ision and I might have to move elsewhere (London was the original plan but it seems that the low oil price also affected the amount of work available there). So there you go, the 7th year itch is happening for real... maybe.
So how does this 7th anniversary tie in to this month's musical post you might wonder. My first actual stay in Australia was back in 2001 during my six-month exchange program with the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Those six months of culture shock still resonates within me up till today. For instance, I really couldn't identify with the drinking culture and the brazen rowdiness in Australian youths as if the public around them didn't matter. I found it so hard back then to have to fake my way through social events whilst trying my utmost to immerse myself into the version of the Australian culture that was presented in front of me. I wanted the most out of the exchange program but I ended up being quite miserable. That was when I wrote the song I am sharing in this post. Read through the English translation to get a taste of what I felt back in 2001, a time when I literally still did not know what the word "bogan" meant. In case you don't know what it means too, they are fully-featured in the music clip to give you an idea how spine-tingling it will be if you are trapped in the same room as them.
Fast forward 14 years (gosh!) and I am still facing the same problem sometimes. Take my time in PNG for example when I often have to fake my friendliness so that the day can get by normally. When night time comes after dinner, that is when I truly have my space back to myself, when I can cast my mask to a corner and be who I want to be. Alas I have to pick that mask back up and wear it the next day. Also, what about the teenagers running amok on public transport showing no respect to everyone else? That version of Australian culture I saw in 2001 seems to be still alive and kicking today.
That's enough whingeing for now. Tell me what you feel about the song if you have ever felt alone and alienated in a foreign culture despite trying your best to fit in.
词 / 曲 : 锦泉
[I Can't Bear to Watch This Any Longer]
I have long grown sick of listening to words with meaning as thin as skin
When will their mouths awaken from their slumber in the junkyard?
Enjoying the peace and quiet of being alone late at night
When I can temporarily lose the mask tied to my face in my thoughts
In every warm hug and friendly greeting
Resides the sincere disdain emanating from their eyes
As I watch the show with glee
I see their silent lies fooling no one else but themselves
Why isn't everything as rosy as what I had imagined?
Why am I still here putting up with the smirk written on their faces?
I really want to wake them up and advise them not to continue torturing themselves
But I am still not tired of this one-man show playing in front of my eyes
They display their daft behaviour for me and everyone else to see
Can they not present themselves with more intellect and class?
I think they should be given more time so that they can waste another century
Too bad I have now expended all my sympathy and can't bear to watch this any longer