I Don’t Care!


We Alway Care

I don’t believe that we will ever not care about what other people think of or see us. We can continue to live in the delusion that we don’t care, but this phrase ‘I don’t care’ is self-explanatory.

If we cared enough to make a statement out of it, it clearly illuminates the opposite. It is exactly because we cared, but we are certainly resistant to the fact that we cared so much, so we decide to shout it out loud, ‘I Don’t Care!’. What is it that we don’t care about? ‘I don’t care about what I really care about’.

Brolly the Jolly

Before I departed for Perth, I went to the pre-departure seminar organized by the university. The organizer shared her experiences living in Perth and I remembered vividly of what she said about umbrella. ‘Don’t use your umbrella when it’s not raining, people will laugh at you.’

So, I came to Perth during the punishing summer, and I did not use my brolly under the scorching sun, because ‘people will laugh at me’. My skin doesn’t take heat very well, it overreacts and is unremorseful after making me suffer the pain of blistered rash. Generally, I don’t do well with heat, my whole system starts to shut down when I am exposed to heat, even in short period of time.

Since that incident, I adopted 2 options for the summer. 1. DO NOT go out. 2. Wear sun-protection hoodie long sleeved jacket (mine is from Uniqlo!) when out in the sun. Now, the sunwear is quite useful, but the sun still gets to my face and neck, and it’s kind of warm having to cover up.

No more! People can laugh all they want, I don’t know them, they most certainly don’t know me! Why would people laugh anyway! It’s hot, we do whatever we need to shield from heat!

The Stupid and the Stupider

The underpinning fear when we follow social norms even though it makes no good sense, is that we are so mortified of being perceived as being stupid and silly. People who laugh at me for protecting myself from uncomfortable sun (noteworthy that Australia has the highest skin cancer rate) are quite stupid, do they know what they are laughing at? In order to avoid being seen as stupid, we do the stupider thing – suffer for no good reason!

More importantly, I already looked ridiculously unfashionable, so why should I care if the umbrella is going to make me look less cool. To be ‘less’, we need to first be ‘cool’. I am not remotely near to looking cool. My fashion sense has always been highly questionable – let’s say I choose comfort over trend, so please trendsetters, choose comfortable apparels!

Happy and Satisfied

So, I was walking home from the campus on Wednesday. With Autumn (that has been taking its own sweet time and letting Summer overstays its welcome) months, we are seeing more rainy and cloudy days. It was sunless when I left home at 12pm, but it was all sunny and hot at 4:30pm.

I had my pretty Japanese (nothing fancy really, it’s just super lightweight and super expensive!) retractable brolly in lavender color in my bag in case of rains. What a life saver! I used it for sun, and I was so happy and satisfied, despite the many stares from the passerby. I loved the wind on my skin that was not airtight covered by sun-apparel, yet not having the unwelcome sun heat touching the skin.

I was really joyful, and I tried very hard not to grin like an idiot – which I tend to do unconsciously when happy!

Village Syndrome

When I moved to Perth, something changes for me. I become braver to be myself. I believe most of us feel the same way when we are traveling out of the country where we called ‘home’. Home is really a place made up of communities that in one way or another, are connected to us! There is this irrational fear that someone will see us, and we may be an embarrassment to our parents, siblings, friends, and a bunch of relatives that we only saw once a year or longer.

We fear that if we do something different than usual, people will notice right away! Now that I am living abroad alone and very inactive in making friends, I am FREE to do whatever I want! I am free to remold myself into what I truly am, or at least what I think is my truer self.

Being an apparent foreigner allows me to break free from the village syndrome (I made this up, but it’s befitting). See, in a village setting, everyone knows everyone, and everyone talks to everyone – what bloody scary thought that is! – so that keeps us on our toes. We become very conscious about our public image that we feel paramountly to keep in order to maintain the cohesion in the society that we (think we) belong.

Hello! Someone I Know!

So, I was in a very jolly mood, possibly grinning unconsciously like a fool from time to time. I didn’t feel embarrassed when people were looking. I could see they were sweating through their clothes, so why should I care? I looked better and cooler (pun unintended).

Then, I saw my housemate walking toward my direction, with a friend! Yup, the village syndrome is real! Immediately, I felt a little apologetic towards her as I am somewhat associated with her since we live in the same house, and her friend might be thinking lesser of her household makeup now because I am the uncool typical Asian using brolly under the sun!

It was only a very brief moment. I realised that I don’t really care! We aren’t friends, we just live in the same house; and if my friend thinks lesser of me because I am uncool, then she should not be a friend. Wow, I feel so liberated!

Moral of the story – Use brolly, rain or sun. 


2 thoughts on “I Don’t Care!

  1. Awwwww I can relate to your issues with outside hot temperatures!
    I have lived in cold Scotland for the past 35 years and to go to an extremely hot climate, Hong Kong last summer, which is my birth place……..boy!
    I felt sick, felt so uncomfortable, sticky, toasting hot and was dying to get back home to Scotland or even Sydney just to feel the fresh air and cooler weather.
    I shall never complain about our rain in Scotland, after experiencing the torrential rain in Hong Kong whilst walking all day in Disneyland!
    Scotland’s rain is so much lighter and cooler compared to Hong Kong’s.
    As for sunshine, we rarely see the sun nowadays compared to the 80’s! How times have changed our weather due to how us humans has destroyed our environment! Sad! Big sigh!
    Send us your sun will you please? We could all do with a sun tan you know!


    1. Imagine Singapore for a moment – there is only one season in Singapore, summer! There are of course variations – hot, very hot, unbearably hot. Oh, in recent years, we have added a new ‘weather condition’ – hazy smog (due to neighbouring countries human-caused forest burns.

      On top of the fact that I really don’t regulate heat very well, I also have a genuine chronic skin condition (it’s more of a combo, really!), known as urticaria, and mine overreacts to humidity. Singapore = 100% humidity at all times! My skin was like live rain forecast station whereby red patches show and unbearable itch starts before the rain comes.

      I agree with the major climate shift. I am not sure if we could ever have changed it. We can blame human for the environmental change, but I feel that it’s more than that. Evolution is a necessary evil, if we had stopped evolution, it had to start from cave age. With hindsight, after having come so far in human history, we now decide that perhaps we should have stopped evolution at 80’s (for instance), but how can we know we would have come this far? Evolution is not exactly a deliberate plan, I feel. Personally, I think it’s just an explanation of human progression. We progress, things have to change, one goes up, another goes down. Population goes up, consumable goes down; needs go up, supplies go down etc. I am not trying to paint a bleak future but it could be an inevitable outcome for all beings. I don’t really know if dinosaur extinct because of one definite cause, but it could have been the environmental progression, the species may have always strive to adapt and be resilient, like what we do now, but perhaps its extinction has a far more meaningful purpose, perhaps to make way for other species? Ok, so you can tell from this that I am very mellow about environmental activist effort; let’s say I am quite neutral about our environmental changes.

      Well, you would be clever to requisite Sun from me. Seriously. I spent 3 months winter vacation in Oregon, US, and Denmark (combined, I circumnavigated the globe), I only saw days of light snow! It was the weirdest thing! A week before I arrived at Oregon, my friend took a photo of her balcony and street with thick layer of white; they were gone when I arrived, 2 days before I left for Denmark from OR, it started to snow a little, as soon as my flight took off, the airport shut down for a few days due to thunderstorm. Counted my blessings, and some woes at the same time, I say!

      A week before I arrived in Denmark, the (you know who) person took photos of his backyard, all white. I was so excited. I was also told that Feb had been the coldest and snowy month. There zero snow when I arrived. One morning, I spotted light snow, I dashed to the backyard, the snow stopped!!!! There was no snow throughout my stay.

      My mother confidently concluded that I brought the sun with me, because during the time that I was away from Singapore, Singapore was cool and nice. hahaha!


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