Friday, November 8, 2013

#2

#1.5

I was in my hostel when the news of the Indian attack first broke out. By then the situation in Singapore has gotten so bad that all international students in the university that I am studying in, the National University of Singapore (NUS) have been ordered not to venture out of campus due to anti-foreigners protests that were breaking out all across the island. Lessons have been switched into e-learning mode too, a practice in NUS where the students can attend classes from the comfort of home with an internet connection. It was part of the university administration's effort to try and preserve the normalcy of education as much as possible when a nationwide circumstance like a viral outbreak renders attending class almost inadvisable. You could tell that it was not working out though, as the professors themselves are very visibly affected by what was going around Singapore until they were blabbering mostly to themselves during the recorded lecture sessions. But in the campus grounds itself, a sort of unreal peace was still in effect, as everyone is sort of sheltered from the outside world and attempts to continue on life as normally as possible.

I myself was not in the mood to study, thinking on everything that has been going on for the past few days, both in Singapore and the world; and I wondered whether I should go back to my hometown in Malaysia instead. My word count for the written assignment that we were supposed to be writing hovered at the 500 mark, halfway from the required word count needed for submission. I was already at a lost of what to write by then, feeling that I was wondering aimlessly around instead of churning out constructive arguments so I decided to take a break by surfing the web for updates.

The first thing that I immediately found plastered all over my social media newsfeed, Twitter and Facebook, when I opened the browser was about the Indian attack and reports of attack that have begun surfacing around the world. It seems like the whole world is bordering on panic and discussions were rife online. Everyone was talking about it, but most have no idea on what to do about it. Except to go online to share their thoughts, that is.

"OMG it's in the end of the world! How?"

"It's only India! Singapore will be safe!"

"The dead have begun rising! Now all my video game skills will finally pay off!"

"Pray for the world guys, that we will brave though this. Stay strong!"

Those were among the status updates that accompanied the link of the various sources of the news of the attack itself. Funny how we complain, express our fears and wonder aloud about our impending doom; but instead of doing anything concrete about it, most of us are still on the internet typing away on our keyboard. It's as if that  when the zombie attacks,amount of likes we have gotten on Facebook would somehow translate into the type of weapons or food we could get. No matter how we exchange or express our opinions online, it was not going to change anything off line.

As I begin reading more and more of the now surfacing reports further west to India, with Europe and the Middle East now reporting confirmed attacks, a wave of panic slowly began building inside of me. I could not help but feel that something very wrong is happening and that what we were seeing now is not a much smaller picture of what is to come. We are not doing the necessary preparations for it. And when the wave finally hits, we will all be washed away in the relentless torrent of it. I felt scared.

I looked at my phone. The clock indicated 5.00 pm, one and half an hour more to the planned dinner time with my friends. As the screen of my computer stared blankly back at me, I decided to do the unthinkable. Crazy, I might add, if one were to normally do it. But if what I think will happen is gonna happen, it would be the perfectly logical choice to make. I grabbed my wallet, my backpack and headed to the bus stop that was directly behind my hostel.

It was time to do some grocery shopping.

#AA

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