On materialism and whatnot.

Writing 101, Day Twenty: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. For a twist, go for length.

This is the final prompt in Writing 101, and I’ve got to be honest – I hate it. I was actually considering to just stop with my previous post (Day 18). Then I realise that it’d just be another thing I got myself into without seeing it to completion. So, to break this nasty habit of mine, I am writing this rather uninspired post.

The primary reason I hated this prompt is because I couldn’t think of anything that meant that much to me. I mean, surely, some things were bound to appear in my head. And yeah, there were a few contenders – but none really shone through.

“Talk about your car, idiot.”

My car

Owning a car in Singapore, is next to ludicrous. We’re such a landlocked country that there are strict laws to deter car ownership. Even before you can buy a car, you must first purchase a piece of paper that says ‘Certificate of Entitlement’ (COE). There is a quota on the number of COE issued, thus warranting the need for bidding. As of June 2014, the cost of the COE for small cars (up to 1600cc) is estimated at S$71,672. This COE not only adds to the cost of the car, but also comes with an expiration date of ten years.

Allow me to repeat that – You have to pay an additional S$71,672 for a piece of paper that gives you the right to own a car for only – fucking – 10 years. After which, you either renew your COE or send that 10 year old car to the scrapyard. In other words, you spend around S$100k (US$80k) on a piece of shit Asian-made car like a Mitsubitshi, Toyota or Honda for all of 10 years. You might want to close your agape mouth now.

Now that you know the true value of owning a car in this tiny part of the world, you would think that I would naturally consider my car to be my most-prized possession. You’re wrong. If you don’t already know; I am a twenty-one year old who got himself a shitty summer job for the first time in his life. There is no way in hell I am able to afford my car, or any car for that matter. I’m one of those assholes who drives on his father’s dime. So technically, my car is my father’s. There is no pride here; only shame (for being spoilt).


“What about your family of cameras?”

My Canon Family

Alright, you got me there. I only included my family of Canon DSLRs to spite the hell out of you. I don’t actually need them all of them. In fact, they have been sleeping soundly in my dry cabinet for the past 4 years. Thank you daddy, I suppose? I’m trying, I’m trying – even trying to sell off my 50D.

I have to say that over the past few years, I have done some growing up. Perhaps it was the military. I have honestly become less of a materialistic son-of-a-gun. Ask me this same question 2 years ago, I would probably unabashedly list you a bunch of unnecessary and overpriced shit I paid for with my money. I do realise how immature that was of me. In fact, I am now ashamed of my unscrupulous materialism and other misgivings. I must proffer that I have given up on many of my materialistic indulges, less my car – no way in hell am I going back to public transport.


“If not material, what about honour? I know! You can talk about your awards!”

Army Awards

I did well in the Army. I received quite a number of awards and recognition, but only 3 occasions will always be retained in my ‘pride-bank’. The first event was when I received a Coin from my Formation Commanding Officer in recognition of my ‘Professionalism’ and ‘Fighting Spirit’. Secondly, I topped my cohort in the Specialist Cadet Course and was awarded the Golden Bayonet by some Minister whose name slips my mind. My entire family was invited to watch me receive the award at the graduation parade, where I officially became a Sergeant. Lastly, I will always remember the time I received a Coin from the Chief of Defence Force (3-Star General who is the head of the Armed Forces) in recognition of my ‘Leadership’ and ‘Professionalism’ whilst in New Zealand.

I must say that while I am truly proud of my achievements in the army, I cannot hold it in the highest regard. That was just a small phase of my life. In fact, I doubt that it’s going to do wonders to my resume. It will just become a speck of overlooked detail on a resume, stacked along with many others’. I also do not wish to be defined by just this alone.


I want to possess something that means so much to me, that it would hurt my very existence to be apart from it. I guess perhaps I am still a little too young – a little too inexperienced – to appropriate such esteem to anything at all.


4 thoughts on “On materialism and whatnot.

  1. This is such a perfect post that I want to hug you on the spot. I’m in awe of your military accomplishments, and I don’t even envy you your (father’s) car and cameras. Which is a lot — I’m normally pitifully envious. 😮


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