Tonight I shall write about something more (or less, depending how much you already know and where you're coming from) frivolous.
So haikus, dreams, recipes and wishful thinking aside, the night was dedicated to a gathering between three friends and the conversation we had.
First off, I had a bad bad dinner, and that probably fueled the very strong stands I had for the issues we discussed; kim chi friend rice had never tasted to bad (I will disclose my recipe for the lovely dish at a later time).
We had originally wanted to go to Aston's for steak, but the long-lost obligations of many a guilty conscience resulted in the mother of all (haha) queues at BOTH Fish & Co. and Aston's. The trio wounded up at the Kopitiam - spacious, clean and oh-so empty.
We (I more than the other two) soon discovered that Aston's and Fish & Co. weren't solely to blame for the lack of support for the local hawkers at the food court.
Fast forward to my place, where we sat and caught up about our lives (and the lives of all us simple-class normristocrats). One friend showed us this really freaky forum where people tracked the progress of their soon-to-be completed (in the next three years hopefully, for the contractor's sake) HDB flat.
The over-enthusiastic fan boys posted pictures of their flats in its various stages of development, noting the number of foreign workers (new workers = faster work = sooner I can move in!), and even first-hand information about the worksite by the helpful (bribed) foreman!
Scary. Wonder what their investigative voyeurism will turn to when their flats are all done. Ladies, hold on to your underwear!
So one thing led to another, and since we're on the subject of homogeneous affordable public living, I got to asking why the higher floors cost more.
My stand was, as a public service, the HDB had no right to charge more for the different levels just because they are more desirable. As public housing, everyone who can ballot for the flats should be entitled to the same price for the same floorspace regardless of where they were situated within the site.
Then I got lambasted by two other views (which in my state of gastronomic insufficiency has gone under my radar) from the two friends.
View One (mine, the public servant) - Public housing people had no right to charge higher prices to people for the same land space in the same area simply because of demand.
View Two (Friend A, the businessman) - The different prices are of course due to the differing states of demand apparent in the different land spaces within the same area.
View Three (Friend B, the directly affected house buyer) - To the people who are getting the house, the price doesn't really matter. All I want is to get a flat that I like.
The ensuing debate is extremely enlightening, but my finger still hurts from the cut I received at my sister's yesterday (thin glass, busy hands, lousy skillsmenship in washing cups; don't ask) and I'll just leave you to debate it among yourselves.
Email me with your views if you have any! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This led to another debate between three of us, and that once again gave me the various views of various kinds of people involved - same issue, different stakeholders, totally varied arguments.
In all of the exchange, I am brought to a simple scene in one of my secondary school literature texts - I had never drew similes from school work, but I like to think I've grown somewhat since I was 17.
The Crucible, Arthur Miller.
ERP, Means Testing, Balloting Penalties... so many other policies that public service people have to come up with - all vastly different catering to an enormous demographic. What's amazes me is that they can all fit under the same overlying denominator - public opinion.
Thank you to the dudes who gave me the really good conversation. It's nice to talk about something more than my newest shirts (that's just me really) and that cute girl sitting by the corner (that's still me).
The wedding's next, and I can't wait.