More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side

Isn't it strange how we humans always want what we don't have. It's always better on the other side of the fence, where the grass is constantly greener. The problem is, we only choose to see the manicured grass on the other side and neglect to think of the effort into putting smelly fertiliser on it and mowing it to keep it trimmed neatly.

I have been asking my manager to send me on a work trip for the last two months. My urge to work overseas started to intensify when I heard that other friends were going overseas to do training and some were working overseas from country to country. The monotony of staying in the office was getting to me. I just wanted to get away from it all and experience new things. Well that feeling has passed a little, but I still would like to go on a short work trip overseas.

Work mates who has been on overseas work trips say its not a holiday like I think. They all say there is a lot of pressure to get things done and you work extremely long hours, weekends even. I hear them and also believe them, but I guess you always have to experience something for yourself before you truly believe someone else's opinion. I just see a work trip as a nice way to see the world and learn some things along the way.

Recently I talked to my friend working overseas. She has been working overseas for most of this year, not entirely by choice. Initially she said it was all new and fun. But now the stress to get things done and long hours are really taking its toll on her. Then I said to her, "Why don't you work in Australia", to which she replied "Then I wouldn't get to see the World, would I". We always want the best of both worlds, but that can rarely ever happen. She enjoys some aspects of working overseas such as seeing so many new places, but with those pros are the cons. The cons are you miss out on seeing your friends and family, you work extremely long hours, you have lots of pressure to get things done, you live out of a suitcase, you eat whenever and whatever you can.

The work situation is true for all other aspects of life. We see the person driving the nice car and living in the big house and say they are so lucky. We don't see the huge mortgage they have. A work mate was saying how someone commented that he was so rich and lived in a big house, to which he said that he had a massive mortgage and needed to budget quite tightly to pay it off.

I'm constantly envious of people who have their own business and work according to their own terms. It seems like that is the way to go. But I'm sure that they have lots of problems with their businesses too. Maybe even if you are a rich millionaire, you still envy your neighbour, who knows. I wish I could just be Bill Gates for a day and see how he lives. Is there lots of pressure on him or can he just instantaneously fly a plane to Paris to eat some steak whenever he felt like it.

I always say that "When I get rich, I will live the easy life and do all the things I enjoy". There are two problems with that statement. Firstly, why do I have to be rich to do what I want to do. I think this notion of having money before you can do what you want is so ingrained in us by society that its hard to break. Also its probably a safety net we give ourselves. What if we did what we wanted to do and still found we weren't satisfied, what then. There would be nothing left to aim for in life and we would be very disappointed. The second problem is that, can you really do what you want even if you are rich. Do you still need to look after your business or work at your job. Do you want even more materially, which will force you to work even harder. Another question I always ask is why massive celebrities, such as Oprah or Steven Spielberg for example, don't just quit their jobs and live a life of luxury. Maybe they really enjoy their job, but then you also hear them complain about the long hours they work and all the paparazzi and how they don't have no privacy. If they quit and get out of the limelight, then no one will want to know about them. But that's not how it works. They want people to know about them, but yet don't want all their bad things written in the tabloids. I think that we always strive to get what we don't have and think others have that is better. It's an unattainable goal that we constantly reach for. Only the truly remarkable people can be happy with their life and I envy those people. I think their grass is extremely green and they think so too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working overseas is very tough... as you describe it... living from a suitcase and eating whatever crap you get your hands on. But, it does teach you mommy's boys how to cook for yourself and do your own washing. But i have known ppl who would avoid cooking to such an extent as to regularly have rice bubbles for dinner... bcos as we all know room service at most places is totally crap.

8/23/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I sure it definitely teaches you to be independent. If I was forced to cook I would, but when there is a choice, I choose to eat and not to cook.

8/23/2006 8:09 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Like you I have always wanted to work overseas. My dream of being a flight stewardess is just a dream.... no good looks and lack of height! Had never worked in an MNC ... so no travelling on the job.

However, God had blesed me with better plans... had visited some 160 cities as a tourist! And in Australia, England, Belgium, US and Korea, had the chance of staying for a length of time because of relatives.

Guess the whole idea is on contentment. There is a time and a place for everything. In the meanwhile, it is always best to be happy, cheerful and outward looking!

8/24/2006 12:55 AM  
Blogger wei.z|Lisa said...

It's quite hard to say money is everything, because people will just say you're crazy. It's probably the thing that your parents constantly nag you about, but if you know just how to save enough, spend the rest and enjoy life. One doesn't need a great job to save. Everybody can save. It'll just take longer for others, etc. As for the grass, I just say it's human nature to think so. Maybe that's where the term 'green with envy' came from. Or maybe everybody should just get some better eyesight, cos the grass obviously ain't greener anywhere.
Btw, I was just curious as to what nationality you were?

8/24/2006 7:15 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

You're so lucky Choo to have visited so many places. I'm not unhappy at the moment, just always wishing for more.

I definintely need better eyesight Lisa, literally hahaha. The grass is fairly green for me but always, its greener somewhere else.

I'm Te Chu Chinese born in Vietnam and grew up in Australia.

8/24/2006 8:54 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

Im not sure that working away is everything its cracked up to be. I think it gives you an independence of sorts and it can give you experience but like you say it is no holiday from what I have heard.

Unless you can get yourself a jolly or a work perk youre better off staying where you are and just making the best out of what you already have.

Apparently working away can be quite lonely and it would probably turn you into a workaholic and an alcoholic (as you drink out of boredom and loneliness). I think you are better off just being what you are already...a blogaholic and a chocaholic. Ha ha.

8/24/2006 8:56 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I'm sure working overseas is not all that good. I only want to go for two to three weeks. Definitely anymore and I think I would hate it. I like my job currently so don't get me wrong on that aspect.

I am a blogaholic and chocaholic, you're identified my weaknesses precisely James. Plus this time its your time to make me laugh, which I really needed. Been so tired today and had a nap after work. Needed a pick-me-up laugh. Feel better already.

8/24/2006 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working overseas is definately not what its cracked up to be. I once liked the idea of working abroad, but I know I wouldn't enjoy it and will be missing everyone back at home.

My dad works abroad 8 months of the year. He hates it. He's been doing this ever since he left school, and he has missed out on us (me and my brothers) growing up, and also when I needed him during my exams, he wasnt there.

But I think just going for 2 to 3 weeks will be an experience for you, and you should consider it otherwise, you'll only look back later on in your life and wished you had done it.

8/25/2006 8:26 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Stan, I definitely don't want to work overseas for a long time. Anything more than 2-3 weeks and like you, I will definitely miss everyone. I'm a very social person and even at work I love to go and talk to people all day long. You put me in solitude for an extended period and I just can't stand it.

So your dad was one of those business man travelling all over the world trying to provide for you. But it does mean he misses all the important parts in your life and you probably aren't as close to him as your mum?

8/26/2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Gosh! When I was a teacher, I had more time but less money to travel. Now that I am a real estate agent, I have more money but less time to travel and limit my trips to short stay with my second brother in Penang mostly. Am going to Kuching end of this month after so much nagging from Sis who bought me the tickets and after grumbling from Kuching friends who grumbled they had not seen me for so long. I always tell people to come to Singapore lah and hope my great hospitality will be enticing enough!

So hope to see you in December, Thanh.

8/27/2006 10:25 AM  

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