High Street Envy

Every story of mine has to start with a walk and a discovery.

Since Singapore has entered phase two, people are stepping out the streets in their masks and shopping for happiness.

The joy can be seen in their eyes as their masks cover the rest of their glee.

I went out to the mall with my father to buy some books from a capitalistic store because that’s what the world stands for. 

I did not know going to this bookstore would take us to the bougier side of Singapore. 

Of course, it was going to take us there because the world wouldn’t want to miss out on a chance to make me crave for the things I might never own. 

As we were nearing the mall, it did not seem like a virus was threatening our existence. 

There were masks on people’s faces, but I have never seen such enthusiastic crowds like these before.

Crowds of people all with an intent to get out of their confinement and finally reap the fruits of capitalism. 

The moment things seemed slightly better, we all rushed outside because our homes no longer offered us the comfort we were once used to. We itched to get outside to lay our hands on joy’s that were robbed from us.

The bookstore was embedded into the mall and one couldn’t come across it unless they have seen through different classes of richness. 

It was amusing to see people wait in lines to enter a store that was only meant for the entitled.  It would be weird to see someone like me go inside. 

I could see that the people who waited in line would not leave unless their hands got hold of the riches that had their names engraved on them.

Their lust was so infectious and dangerous that it made me not happy with what I just purchased. 

I do not judge the people who have the ability to buy such riches. I only comment because I am envious of them.

People say ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ and what I would like to say those people are that it is not entirely true.To those people who do not have money and live in poverty, money can surely buy them happiness. 

The truth to that statement differs to people belonging to different classes the world has put us in.

I finished my purchase. Two books is what I bought, while I saw people before and after me hold books till the weight of them could no longer fit in their hands and a trolley was needed. Meanwhile, my heart was trying to be content with the books I already had. 

I had to get out of this bougie place before I let it ruin my tiny chance of a happiness.

Never did I imagine that getting out of the mall would be the piece of cake.

Stepping outside stood a whole street of luxury goodness that I can never even step into because that was never my place. Names of brands I couldn’t spell just stood basking in the glory it got. 

They knew everyone dreamed of them but only the selected ever had the chance to share the pride with them.

It was hard to be happy with what I bought when everywhere I looked, I could see more.

It was hard to be happy with what I bought because I saw people carry heaps of what I dreamed of. 

While I watched capitalism breed in every store that I passed by, I remained silent not due to protest because I too was a customer of it a while before.

Stores were well dressed with big bold letters while everything inside them were so eloquently poised. 

Some stores took an electrifying approach and dressed themselves in boldness. 

It was hard to ignore it all.

It was so easy to forget the virus lurking when there was another sickness already present.

There were so many people around, by the looks of it everyone was happy, but I was no mind reader.

Some people didn’t have bags and I didn’t know what to think of that. I wasn’t happy nor sad.

It was time to go back home. To a world where I belonged. 

As we sat on the bus to go, my eyes lingered onto the streets filled with people. It was comforting to see the world attempt to go back to normal, but I was scared because I wanted this to last for a long time and not have a second wave hit us soon after we became reckless.

The bus stopped, we got down and we were supposed to take the metro to go back home as the bus did not take us the whole way.

What were the odds that the bus would stop at a shopping mall that I have heard that sells great vintage clothes.

I mentioned it to my dad, and we were soon in the mall buying me new running shoes because mine were old and retired. 

As we were heading to go back thinking we were done for the day, we passed by a fast fashion store and down the rabbit hole, we go.

I bought some new clothes for myself because I wanted to expand my wardrobe and branch into new styles. I wanted to feel happy and confident in my body. So capitalism, take my money and make me happy! 

Now happy and tired, we finally head back home with new toys to show off! 

Based on my experience and solely mine, I would like to conclude by saying that ‘money can buy you temporary moments of fleeting happiness’ because the ‘colossal happiness’ I had yesterday is now just happiness and it will soon be forgotten.

My happiness comes from gratefulness to still being able to buy such luxury when there are others that can’t even afford the basic necessities of life. My happiness is being thankful for the things I own.

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