What matters

Just found this hilarious conversation snippet from my last (and final 😢) in-camp training session in my e-mail drafts folder.

Just before we were about to commence our orientation route march around the camp…

Me: “Do you realise the entire battalion is not listening to [the route march conducting officer]?”

NSman A: “What he’s saying doesn’t matter; what matters is that he’s saying it.”

Poet of colour

I’ve always thought of myself in these terms (in no particular order): writer, artist, educator, editor, and so forth.

At most, I’ve included the adjective “Singaporean” in front of the first two nouns, or “based in Singapore” behind the latter two to provide a sense of context.

But never in a million years have I thought of myself and my work in terms of race.

So I was pleasantly surprised – and very amused – to find myself being described as a “poet of colour”, as seen from one of the hashtags on this post:

Apparently, I'm a poet of colour 😂
Apparently, I’m a poet of colour 😂

It’s one of the few times – beyond form-filling and direct or indirect racist comments made in my presence, because people are occasionally unable to grasp my ethnic makeup – that I’m forced to confront the fact that race matters a lot more to other people than it does for me.