Later on in the year I identified precisely what made things so divisive and asymmetrical between the two groups of people that I interacted chiefly with (Scouts and HP), hence making it more difficult to fit in completely with either group. First off, a language separation. Anything to do with Scouts was in at least 3, if not 4 languages; anything to do with HP must be in grammatical English – HP is where bad English becomes the perennial joke. For me, it was difficult to adapt to both “modes” of speaking at the same time: for instance I found it very weird when people in Scouts (who normally used Mandarin) were trying to use more English when talking to me. Second, it was the separations within the school – though I was keen in interacting with the Scouts, the divisions (in terms of class and classrooms/ class benches/ curriculum) never gave me enough time and room to do so. Maybe I should have joined something like OAC but I really don’t know – it might have pulled me further from the people in HP. I guess I could highlight some “cultural” difference between the Scouts and HP as a third reason but pinpointing the exact difference may be difficult.
I guess I’ve changed quite a bit since I started socialising more with the HP people. I think I speak more (and better) English nowadays; I have a wider perspective of music; I actually know some stuff about English drama and culture (these come among a dozen other changes). Despite all that, I still wouldn’t say I’m totally absorbed into the HP culture. There are still many times where things happen in HP, and I think to myself: “Hey, this isn’t what the Scouts would say/ do.” I guess I still can’t detach myself completely from my Scouting background – it’s exactly Scouting which has taught me so much: humility, dedication, integrity, all with an added mean streak (yes, there are awesome x10000 people in Scouts too). Even though I wasn’t some great achiever in Scouts, I took a lot away from it [I still remember Yu Guang saying that all the APLs (before the March shifts) have really learnt a lot from Scouts, a statement which is resoundingly true]. It’s probably that which will make my experiences with the Scouts unforgettable. Maybe this is what Mr. Ang meant when he said “Western education with an Oriental slant” (quote’s not exact) – being open to both “cultures” and accepting them for their value.
While I was on the way back from the Queen musical, I was telling a good friend that I’d post the review on my blog as soon as I came back. He asked: “Why not post it elsewhere (he referred to somewhere specific)? Not many people read your blog anyway.” That was a good question, and I gave it some thought. The purpose eventually dawned upon me. I don’t blog for readership (no, not even when I’m writing a review). I blog to sort my thoughts out. Whether blogging gives me calm after adrenalin-packed moments, or clarity after confusion, I think it really does me some good – I think mapping out my thoughts makes me think much more clearly. And I think this post has really done me a whole lot of good.