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Just now (yesterday), I went with a bunch of new hostel mates to the Padang to watch the National Day Parade live on the wide screen tele (which we couldn’t see or hear). But the sea of red and white were only waiting for one thing: the fireworks. After that, it was perhaps the only time I’ve seen streets like St Andrew’s and Coleman covered with people–so much so vehicular traffic can’t pass.

But the day before, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) anniversary passed without so much as a whimper. Take a look as it’s relevancy. Peace? With bits like the East Timor massacre, hard to attribute to Asean. Trade? AFTA (Asean Free Trade Agreement) is riddled with so much holes and exemptions, it’s benefits to Aseanites it marginal if at al. Maybe democracy in Burma? Heh, forget Burma – not one Indochinese Asean member is democratic by any stretch of the word.

Maybe haze prevention then? Nadda – not only is Indonesia sticking out, the recent bad haze in northern Thailand caused by Burma (both are signatories of that trans-boundary pollution treaty shit) only shows Asean is a rather expensive talk shop.

Moving back to Singapore, I’m proud of myself. I managed to stay away from liquor throughout the entire National Day holiday. Speaking of which, you know SMU Hostel bans alcohol? You know, the same school that has not one, but two pubs on campus? And two branches of 7-Eleven that sells alcohol? The same school that gave out free beer on its anniversary? They ban not merely consumption per se but procession of alcohol in my overpriced, cramp cosy hostel room.

They can pry my scotch from my cold, dead hands.


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