Last night, over Buffalo Trace bourbon (on the rocks) and $30 burgers (affordable, by Singapore standards) we talked about how every generation has a thing that they are willing to drop a decent dollar on, perhaps in the past it was that first car, or a round-the-world-to-the-seven-wonders trip, or that bachelor pad (none of us can afford that these days seeing as how a car in Singapore could equate to a pretty nice apartment in downtown Vancouver or a condo is akin to a mansion overseas). So these days, we seem pretty willing to drop (a lot of) it on a meal, a drink, or two.
The conversation was sparked by an article (yes, again) P sent to a few of us on how if we ate out less we would have more in our bank accounts, like, a lot more, like $100k more if you put all that money into an S&P 500 indexed fund with an annual rate of return of about 10%. And how increasingly, that decent dollar goes towards something intangible, the experiential, the things that bring great pleasure in-the-moment – eating good food, checking out new bars, being with people, exposing yourself to new concepts, relishing in the vibrancy of a once-stale-cookie-cutter city that’s really beginning to come into its own. Or perhaps we drop the dollar because it photographs well and would look good on instagram – because as much as social media is about sharing the good things, in a way, it also ends up showing how good you are at living, though perhaps not how good you are at life.
You’re wondering what I’m rambling on about. Well, if you were “good at life” you’d be eating at home every day, packing lunch to work, skipping the holidays and saving for the future, rainy days and all. Chances are, the folks who are good at life will be married with three kids, have a suburban and a sedan, and a nice home in the RCR much, much sooner than the rest of us.
And as important as those things are, what I really want to do is be good at living, at least in my twenties. I want to have after work drinks with colleagues where I get to meet new people who do different things from me and have grown up in different places. I want to spend all my evenings out with friends, not because I dislike being alone (I love reading at home) or have endless amounts of money to spend on meals out, but because I know in a few years’ time my friends will couple up, settle down, and pop out babies. After that point, friends become an aside, and family becomes the main focus.
I want to have wonderful weekends that feel like one, long, epic and amazing day where we’re constantly exploring, trying new things, going for art exhibitions or musicals (not because I’m particularly artsy or cultured, but because it’s new, and it’s exposure, and well, why not?), playing pong on the beach or fetch with the dogs, hosting dinner parties and having a little too much wine and laughing and talking till our throats are dry. Weekends spent watching late night movies, or over long extended champagne brunches planning the next hen’s night, birthday party, or just because, and occasionally (though not as often as I used to) I want to spend weekends dancing till dawn.
So I suppose, in a way, this is all driven by this desire to be open to everything, to experiencing it all, before the need to be good at life really sets in. Whether or not one can be good at living and good at life at the same time? Well, I’ve yet to experience it for myself. But perhaps it isn’t impossible.
As for the photos? Well, it’s my way of making up for my appalling memory, and it’s easier than emailing all my friends to tell them about the best new place to go for Burgers (S U P R E T T E). Big juicy delicious burgers covered in bacon, avocado, mushroom and gruyere. Nom nom.
It also helps that the S U P R E T T E sign is very instagrammable :)