This is what happens when the world, oh okay, at least the country, is in peace, and all ministers and MPs decided to think before they talk. When there is not enough news to fill up the newspapers pages. This is the time when you get to read all kinds of hilarious news like some old actor refusing to pay his wife's alimony after he divorced her for a gal young enough to be his daughter, or the latest "I Dare to Eat Alone" campaign from NUS. My first thought? These university people really very free hor.
Like that also can? Like that also can be a campaign? Then what's next? "I Dare to Fight Alone" to encourage Ah Bengs with parangs to stop gang fights and be brave enough to stand up for solo fights? "I Dare to Gamble Alone" to discourage gambling uncles and aunties from bringing their friends along to the casinos? "I Dare to Contest Alone" to encourage GRC MPs to stop hiding behind high profile ministers?
And seriously, why should NUS be encouraging people to feel good about eating alone? Do these twenty-plus organisers know the meaning of eating alone?
If you eat alone in school, it means you're the kiasu loser who is always busy studying to score better than the rest of the class, prefers to do your projects alone so that you don't have to share your knowledge and you do not want to waste your time taking long lunch breaks and socialise with the other classmates.
If you eat alone in army camp, which I can't imagine how can it even be possible, it means you're the saboking loser who is either too slow and have problem keeping up with the platoon, or too quick and on to sabo the whole platoon. You are definitely the one targeted for blanket parties.
If you eat alone at work, it means you're the anti-social loser who is always on a different page from the rest of the team, and you only have enough guts to shoot arrows through emails. You may be the most hardworking worker in the team, but you're also the one they gossip about in the pantry breaks that you're never invited. If you poor bastard manage to climb up the ladder to be a manager one day, you can be sure you'll be fighting alone as well.
Actually I've got a better idea. Instead of encouraging university students to eat alone, why don't we have a "I Dare to Share Table" campaign? If you're alone, go share table with other schoolmates! Awkward? This is exactly what the Hong Kong people do! In crowded cafes and even dim sum restaurants, the Hong Kong people will opt to share tables with strangers. To the customers, they can cut the long waiting queue, and for the businesses, they can have faster turn-around-time, so this is a win-win situation. How many times in Singapore have you seen a couple taking up a table for 4 and think "Walau, what a waste of table"?
And do the Hong Kong people feel awkward about sharing table with strangers? No. Most of the time they actually ended up chatting with these strangers and share pointers on what's good or bad on the menu. I thought SM Goh has wanted us to start some "Vertical Kampong" spirit without the kampong? This is a good place to start.