=216= Melancholic Reflections: Esplanade

Well, I am going to end my internship tmr. WOW. IT has been one month already! Quite honestly, I have so much mixed feelings going on. Don’t really know what to feel at this point.

Let me reflect a bit. First of all, i must say that my experience in Esplanade was good. Sometimes i feel as if my presence there was really redundant, sometimes, i feel extremely satisfied with what i had done in the day, but over all, it was a good internship.

Let me praise Esplanade first. The people there are nice. In fact, I must say that i doubt anywhere else will have people so nice. about 75-80 percent of the people working there are malays and they are REALLY fun to work with. Almost all of them smokes and it has been really funny to have them bug me to go smoke with them. Nest, everyone in Esplanade seemed to have a strong sense of pride working there. Even though many would complain about their bosses or about work or policies, all of them actually seemed to enjoying themselves. Then, with events happening everyday, I really do enjoy the free shows that I get to watch or like EP launches that i get to listen to. Though sometimes i complain that I am not doing anything and it is a waste of time to be there, I simply can’t walk away from this internship saying that i have learned nothing. My friend put it in quite a nice way. “The experience that we had here…… just won’t go away one lah! The experience is good!” I have met wonderful people that have taught me lots that has trained me well!

Several mentions–though i am not sure if i spelt their names correctly–Sunny, Roy and Sid from the Theatre; they made my first day of work SO enjoyable! Even though they ask REALLY personal questions, they really made me feel at home there on the first day! On top of that, Sunny brought me up to the grid to throw power down, the other two guided me along VERY well as well, i sincerely give thanks. WOW! I was quite sad that Sunny didn’t make fun of me when I greeted him this week… -sigh- oh well. Polar from Theatre as well; Polar was the first person that approached me, asking me if i wanted to learn or just stand there and observe. So when i answered i wanted to learn, he taught me how to tape stuff and assigned me with more work to do. I am glad that he had helped me out! I am quite glad that he told Yun Qi that i asked a lot of questions(though i didn’t). Then, Bear, WAH! His lighting was awesome! It was magical with his lighting and good music. He showed me the dimmer box and all. Next, Madthai(I really do not know how to spell…). Honestly, i learned more staging in one day of his training then i had learned sound the whole week. A few people just do not know how to teach, but more on that later. He guided both me and Jia Jun to help out with the staging; teaching us how to move the Nivo, How to collapse the barricade etc etc. At the end of it, he even gave us(the trainees) some soft drinks to thank us for the help. He even helped me asked my in-charge, which was quite annoying… -sigh-, to let me off early! I really give thanks that he was there for us interns. Then on Tues, another two people to thank was Zai and Jali! They were both VERY nice to teach me how to tie the knot that they tie and teach me all the terms and stuff. Jali in particular looked out for me a lot! He intended to bring me to the buffet together with him, he guided me and taught me the ropes. Thank God that he was there! Zai was extremely hilarious, he sings out of tune jokes around and fools around. He was guiding me through the staging as well! Today, Wah Lee brought us around the Concert hall as well! which was nice!

A hard truth that i learned in esplanade is that “nice people might not be good teachers”. As I said before, everyone in Esplanade is REALLY nice. The worse was like a girl with a scary resting face and was quiet throughout, but even she smiled and reacted well. I heard of another person that scolded my friends, but even him taught my friends stuff. However, the people who shall not be mentioned in this post is who i am about to talk about. They are the people who are nice but do nothing to teach us anything. They are the people who smile and laugh with us, but will not take the initiative to teach or will be distracted with work that he doesn’t even assign us work. Ok maybe the one that is busy gets an excuse, but not the one that is free. They are people that you wouldn’t mind greet and laugh with but not people you would want to learn from. I really do think they need to teach how to teach… -sigh-

From the awkward events where we do nothing, there is an amazing thing going on that people did not noticed; we got A LOT closer. I reckon that when people have nothing to do and they can only sit around and talk, this is the time where you can really build friendships. I noticed that i got a lot closer to my internship mates over the course of these 3 weeks and it was beautiful. I think i have built solid relationships these past three weeks and it is probably the reason why i enjoyed Esplanade that much. I got closer to Yu Hui, Marianne and Jie Jun in particular. I have no idea why, but we have a lot of events together! Therefore we get lots of time to just chat! Like when I was Theatre Studio with Yu Hui and Jie Jun, we just gathered together to talk and chat to kill time. Then i had supper with Marianne and Jie Jun on Tues just to chat. It is not that I am not getting close to the guys, but i am not attached together with many of them. Maybe just Jia Jun? Janzen is a bit quiet, so didn’t get to talk much with him. Dillon is a funny dude as well! I found a Teh O Peng friend that likes watches as well! So that is nice! We realised just how expensive Patek Phillipe was. The model that I saw was like 120k Euros!!! Just kill me now! No money to buy! :<

I want to honour Jia Jun a bit. Well Jia Jun asked me to help him sign his attendance sheet for him one day. This was because he alr had three days off in the week, he needed another day off, but he was too scared to ask our scheduler to block that day. When i saw the message, i was troubled. I mean, I stand by my integrity, when i speak the truth, I speak the truth. I thought about what if Sis finds out and we get questioned. I like to believe that i would carry the burden and just be truthful about it if asked. So i just told him alright. However, i was conflicted inside. I mean, It was the wrong thing to do, but i really do treasure Jia Jun as a brother. I thought about the outcomes and i really do think that him being honest himself was the best choice. In the ‘ideal’ situation, i do it, he doesn’t get caught, he gets away with it, but I doubt it will be that easy. If i do it, his in-charge finds out, it blows up, he gets into trouble. If I do it, his in-charge doesn’t find out, Sis finds out, he gets into trouble. If i promised him, but i do not do it, he gets into trouble. If he tells Sis, it might not reflect well on his schedule that he misses one whole week, but he does not get into any trouble with being dishonest. However, since i already agreed to it, I was like, aiya just do it luhh.

Then, in the bus, i saw Jia Jun text me. I was conflicted inside once again. Do the right thing? Or do the thing that could get the ‘ideal’ situation? Honestly, i will be lying if i said that i wasn’t worried about getting caught as well, but it was the last of my worries(but still my worry). My biggest worry was whether was i doing the right thing or not. Therefore i sent a simple text back to Jia Jun, “Bro, you sure you don’t want to tell Sis ah?” Just to check if he wanted to go on with it. If he said ‘yes’ i would have went on with it. I do not know if this thinking was right or wrong. I need more wisdom on this! :/ However, i was please with his reply. He replied, “I should right? But then if i block it out it would mean that the whole week i am not working…” This little message shows more than people think. This shows a man struggling to choose between the right and the ‘ideal’ thing to do. In the end, Jia Jun decided to tell Sis! With little persuasion from me except like showing him the outcomes. I even added, “Up to you, tell me!” But he decided to do what was right and i am proud of him! Might be really bad on the outside, but on the inside he is a man that chose what was right and that can’t be taken away from him.

Who knew Esplanade will be a place for spiritual battles as well? But I am glad the battle was won!

Would I return for a second round of 6 months internship? Personally, i do not really know… As of now, with adrenaline and the reflecting mood, i really do think that it was worth it. However, like Jia Jun, i also want to experience other places like Marina Bay Sands or the Star. The huge killer about this internship was that there was no pay at all… -sigh- MBS and the Star probably has pay, I will probably be doing similar stuff, but i doubt the people will be as nice and i get to learn as much from people there. SO much mixed feelings… :/

As of now, I really enjoy the distance from my house to esplanade. I really enjoy walking to work and seeing art everywhere. I really enjoy taping my card into the backstage and walk around there seeing signed posters of famous artistes like Jason Mraz! I really enjoy going to work and talk to my internship mates. I really enjoy watching different bands from different countries performing at the outdoor theatre. I really enjoy rigging stuff up bars in the theatre. I really enjoy stepping on my friends’ safety boots because they can’t feel anything with steel toed boots! It was a great experience! I am able to say that i was in Esplanade’s back stage doing work unlike no other. -sigh- How am i going to choose now… 😦

Oh well, i will consider together with my friends, but Esplanade is definitely a great choice and i will seriously consider going back.

On a side note, Lee Kuan Yew’s death is quite a significant one. Singapore media is incredible, we are honouring him everywhere and for good reason. I read on on the accounts. I watch his earlier interviews and speeches and I am amazed at how well he chooses his words and empathisis on them. I noticed a general pattern of his speech. He would often have long pauses or even awkward pauses just so he can find the right words or the right way to speak it. His wisdom in the words he uses is unparalleled in Singapore. Some people even say that he was the Bruce Lee of politics. I quite enjoyed how he deflected the question of how his wife played a part in his life in an interview by saying that he is not there to bare his life out to the public, he is there to talk about public matters. This showed great prioritising of work and life. This was to keep his family safe and i see great wisdom in it. I saw snippets of his speeches on TV and i saw such force and ability to inspire. Just see how many people queued up to pay respects to him(kilometers! O_O) and you will see how amazing his leadership was. Not to mention that he brought Singapore from a poor third world country to a thriving first world country in a generation. I pray for Singapore to have another leader like that. Nothing I say would actually mean much because i am not from the older generation that he impacted the most. However, i am grateful for Mr Lee Kuan Yew for such a wonderful place to live in. People that knows me, knows that i love Singapore, but without Mr Lee Kuan Yew, there will not be a Singapore for me to love. For that, I give thanks.

As Mr Lee Kuan Yew puts so eloquently,

“I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There’s nothing more that I need to do.

At the end of the day, what have I got?
A successful Singapore.

What have I given up?
My life”



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