The eighth part of cartoonist Troy Chin’s autobiographical work finds our protagonist still trying to make sense of life in Singapore.
From dealing with a lover, various assholes, challenging friends to managing creative and commercial endeavours to finding an awkward synchronicity with lessons learnt in National Service, “Troy” finds more meaning in platitudes passed down by his maternal grandmother than the cynical Singaporean-styled ‘dog-eat-dog’ ethos sprouting around him.
Which is what ultimately grounds him despite himself and his confused grappling with the typical Singaporean psyche. Through his narratives, Troy strips away the veneer of status and wealth in which Singaporeans put their trust and demands more.
But more of what? And there’s the rub. There are no answers here for the diligent reader but the key is asking the right questions and possessing the courage not to blindly maintain the status quo or to adopt the herd mentality, whichever way it may go.
The Resident Tourist has never been stronger – both in terms of form and content – the writing is brave, the characterisation is sharp and there is real truth in confronting the sacred cows of our society. And yet, the story remains personal, idiosyncratic and indulgent, through it all.
… still there’s more …