Friday, June 02, 2006

Back to London

Went back to London last Sunday. Although the trip was rather short, touched ground on Sunday evening, left London on Wednesday noon, not even 72 hours. But missions accomplished.

Met Kuai Peng and family at Cheam village, outskirts of South London. They were excited with the 'Bak-Gua' that I brought to them.'Bak-Gua'is a kind of roasted pork, tasty and juicy, well like by non-Muslim in Southeast Asia.

They asked me to move to London, a place that filled with more fun and casual learning for children. Children would receive more rounded education in UK at a more affordable pace, although the cost of living would be 3 times more than that of Singapore.

Children are children. They need the space for learning, sharing and gaming in order to be nurtured with life-skill. They need their childhood. Learning process is associated with time. Let's return the childhood to them. Once the time is missed, it could never wind back. After all whether the children adopt a rapid pace or an affordable one, they would reach the same point after graduated from university. They would also reach the same point if they take on another road, i.e. not the academic path.

I tend to agree. We put our children through pressure cookers in Singapore. But how many top-notched businessmen, top-notched researchers, top-notched CEO, top-notched medical doctors, top-notched dancers, top-notched entrepreneurs, top-notched art performers and top-notched engineers we have produced? We cultivated workers, we thought them to be paper-chase, but we did not cultivate passion. We lack the depth.

On the night before returns, managed to meet up with Guo Xiong at Tavistock Square, West Central London. While waiting for him, I managed to spend some minutes back in UCL for a quick look. While I still recognised the building and without problem in getting around, people have changed.

1993 was the first time I stepped onto the land of London, first time stepped into UCL to fulfill a life-time dream. Eventually, I spent one year there with my wife. What a honey year!

That was the time I met Guo Xiong. He was my CFD lecturer. I was deeply impressed by his top-notched passion in the CFD subject. Eventually we developed friendship.

1994, my son was born in UCH. That was where we met Kuai Peng for more than a decade. I was deeply impressed by the professionalism of the hospital staff. A pre-matured kid weighed 619g, survived and discharged on actual due date! I was interviewed by BBC then. I gave full credit to the UCH staff.

Guo Xiong and I went back to the small Chinese restaurant near Russell Square. In 1999 when I attached to work in London for a year, we used to spend our time there. Crispy duck with a bottle of red wine, that's how an evening would pass. I have very little luxury like this back in Singapore.

Sincere people, open society, familiar places and fond memories. When they are integrated in a coherent manner, that brings in happiness deep from the heart. We all chase after happiness in life, don't we?

Or perhaps distance has its beauty. We are separated by physical space and do not impose threats between us. The physical distance actually serves as a bridge to cross us over. Hence we can treat others with dignity and respect. Sounds like 4th dimension?

A short trip to London. I was happy. Deep from the heart.

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