Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Hostel Taught Me A Lesson

I was talking to my neighbour next door and he told me lots of stuff that merited a place on this blog.

Basically I'm just very lucky to have moved in into the circumstances I am in.

Before me there's another Arab guy and he's bad.

His leaving opened the door for my place into this existence here.

The way the hostel goes, single room is only about 1/4 of the whole block and I've got a single room. Could consider myself very lucky already.

And on top of that each floor have one CCTV monitoring the whole floor and with the two behind the scene stairways the CCTV which is situated to watch the main corridor with the lift is only in my opinion, half efficient. My room is located directly in front of it, no chance of anything going through my door without being seen by it.

Very safe relatively compared to others.

And the timing is also good. I came in in June, when just barely half a year ago break ins and theft is a very common occurrence in this block. During it's peak time, as many as 6 laptops got stolen in just one day from break ins. Informing the authorities and police also almost always ends up fruitless.

It got so bad that the school finally upped the whole block's security. Multiple security guard are hired to keep the main, one and only entrance always alive. And they installed CCTV. And they implemented the thumbprint id access. No wanders why the backyard of the block is fenced up with military barbed wires as if keeping the prisoners in.

Safe is not a bigger word when thrown in the face of danger.

He also highlighted that for our corner here, we all know each other very well and most importantly, communicate as a community. We watch over each others back and check upon each other to ensure everything is right.

All of that combined made me feel very lucky indeed.

Especially considering the fact that just barely one month ago as I was contemplating moving out to the new condominium just at the other end of school, I weight both option and concluded they are both equal. How wrong I was. How naive I was.

I had set my mind onto it for a great time and despite all the failings I had push hard enough to live through the difficulties. At the final moment I had the opportunity calling at me I had a gut feeling that somethings odd. I almost went ahead had it not be for the fact that I didn't have my personal funding available which shifted the balance. Despite the unfamiliarity and embarrassment of being labeled "the talk so much but no action type of person" I told the guys I wanted out at the 11th hour. They didn't take it smoothly but life still went on.

Now it doesn't sound like a big matter but the reason the odds are really big is because on top of the hostel being whatever it is, through experience I reckon the condo will be the center for many problems.

For one, it doesn't have a central system to govern the behavior of the tenants. At the hostel we don't go around fighting and spray painting someone elses door because we believe that the school will get us. We trust that there's a system, a higher authority, which makes consideration of our action worthwhile.

At the new condominium I expect to see civilized people degenerate to standards lower than before having moved (ironic isn't it?) simply because of the absence of a higher power. Yes the condo stated well enough that it comes with 24/7 security guard, but at best they are there to keep outsiders out. The real problem is from the inside. They are not there to maintain harmony or peace, even if they could they wouldn't. why would they? they are working not doing charity by being angels. The real problem is the tenants themselves. Simple because they could.

Unfortunate to say, for those friends of mine who moved out en mass, they are those of you who could do well with little studying, but in not studying they are influencing those not as gifted and in doing so, dragging them down. Like an anchor into the open sea, it's a matter of how much, how fast it sinks.

Guys being guys, given a environment where they have liberty from parental watch, finance, space, time, opportunity and booze( and not to mention girls yet), why wouldn't they party all the time? They would. Maybe not literally, but studying goes down with the anchor all the way to the abyss too. It defeats the whole purpose of being in school altogether. Playing is fun but when without control, overplaying is destructive in many ways. For a person like me I wouldn't be able to live with that kind of guilt.

Maybe once yes but not twice, I've done my share in Singapore already.

Maybe I subconsciously saw that coming just before I moved in, maybe I didn't but I'm fortunate for the way things turned out for me.

Also through watching humans learning from experience for all of humanity ever existed, with no guidelines to follow, people will always make the same mistake every-single-time we throw them back to the start of a situation. If it was the same people they would learn, but in this case people here are all independent cases from those before and they will make the same mistakes (and subsequently learn - the hard way- from it) again. Learn once more, things my seniors and their seniors all have went through in the history of this hostel. Things like the theft and inadequate security just a year ago at my hostel.

That, they are going back to ice age again.

Back then they said the cause of the havoc are because of the huge population of locals here. Fair enough, the locals are always the more culpable ones because they have outside connections and greater knowledge of the know-hows. This semester the new rule being enforce is forcing a mass exodus of the locals. Meaning, we are (I think) heading into a new dawn again. Facing a new situation with no history to guide us and no old heads to lead us, I'm keeping my eyes open bigger now than ever, to be the first to notice any wave of change regarding this.

Towards the end of our conversation my neighbour, having just found out about my history of walking solo at Singapore for the past 4 years said, ( with some reference to himself having gone through a similar path of life too)- " We should know this better (of handling this situation) ".

He is damn right.

With great authority comes great responsibility. If authority of our own life comes from experience and experience comes from knowledge, at some point we would have learn enough and have to take full responsibility of our own life. I've just connected the dots and thought that up in the past few minutes but it boils down to the same fundamental principle of mine - that we can give reasons for being born imperfect but we cannot give excuses if we die imperfect.

The one thing I learn today is don't ever stop learning from others, be it your classmates, peers, compatitors or neighbours. Be it class lectures, gossips, news or past history. There's only so much one person can learn in his lifetime but if a person learns to utilize the summary of others learning then it would be.. more awesome ;)

1 comment:

Bengbeng said...

u got a great blog here.. n got the gft of writing too. if i could write it would b so nice. at the moment i jus depend on my pics..

u talk of many faces.. i talk of a man wearing many hats.. sounds more neutral with no unpleasant connotations :)

hey fren, thanks for dropping by