Living in a HDB flat means that occasionally I have funerals at my void decks. This particular void deck of mine doesn’t attract weddings, perhaps due to the numerous funerals. White setting means a christian funeral rite while gold, multi-colour wreaths together with chanting monks and smoke means a taoist or buddhist funeral. Either way, it puts life in perspective. How many of us get to see such death on a regular basis. And personally, I think it’s good to remind myself that one’s life span is only that 70 odd years and once it’s gone, it’s gone. One is reduced to a wooden box that will be reduced to ashes. Of course, famous celebrities’ death has the same effect, i.e. Michael Jackson’s death. One thinks, ‘wow, they die too eh? Maybe it’s not such a different world they live in after all.’ Death – the great constant. That’s why when Shulamite woman states in the bible that her love is as strong as death to King Solomon, it shows that she’s a woman with some faith in her love. To declare that her love is as unchanging, constant and certain as death takes conviction.

So that’s one of the benefits of living in a HDB flat, to be reminded of one’s mortality. Which I think most of us try to avoid. If not things become pretty meaningless. The thing is, it’s impossible to live life like you are going to die the next day, you can enjoy all you want and bathe in champagne for all anyone cares. But the issue is, what if one doesn’t die tmr. Then you’re stuck with the champagne bill and life for the living doesn’t become too fun after that.

And the other thing about living in a HDB flat is the term ‘heartlanders’. The term is derogatory to most Singaporeans. And I wonder whether the person who named the mall in Hougang the “Heartland Mall” feel like shooting himself or herself. What is the term supposed to connote anyway? A rural vs ‘I-live-at-The-Sail’ kind of city living? Its exact meaning eludes me. I understand that people judge other people according to their address and whatever district they live in. But if a heartlander means someone who lives in a HDB flat, that covers about 80% of Singaporeans. If it means the supposedly rural (read, poorer areas) of Singapore, the issue is where? If they mean a certain type of people, then why judge them by the type of estate that they owned, which is owned by a vast majority of Singaporeans? Its imprecise meaning irks me. Of course, there’s also a television program that has the term as its name, though I don’t think they were aware that it’s a not-so-nice term.

Anyhow, basically, life is short, go live it.


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