Have you ever thought of a woman being single and alone in the traditional society? In fact, I was a woman being single and alone. Although I did not want to live alone, my parents bought me a flat as heritage. Then I had to live alone in the flat. Thus I had got both benefits and troubles being single and alone.
As I had to take care of my flat alone, I had learnt many things myself. I had to renovate, furnish and decorate the flat so that I had learnt some knowledge from the bricklayers, carpenters, painters, plumbers and electricians. Watching fixing the tongue and groove plank on the floor, making the compartments, fixing the tiles on the walls and floors, painting the walls, fixing the pipe lines, and turning on the electricity, in the flat, I got some knowledge about building a house. I also got some knowledge by buying the items for renovating the flat myself. Moreover, I, living alone, had learnt how to use some of the tools myself. Using a hammer, I knew how to put in nails. Using a screw driver, I knew how to put in screws. Using pliers, I knew how to cut or twist and twin a zinc string. Furthermore, I knew how to repair some of the things myself. I knew how to fix the new fluorescent lights if the old ones did not work anymore. I knew how to fix the new taps if the old ones did not work properly anymore. Besides, I knew how to use and maintain the electric and electronic items in the flat. I knew how to add deionized battery water into the battery joined with the inverter. I knew how to join the DVD player with the cassette player or television set. I knew what to do if there was too much static on the television set or radio. These are some of the benefits that I got being single and alone although any man can do all the things I can do, most women in my society cannot do everything I can do for they do not have any chance or they think those are the things only men can do.
On the other hand, I also had some of the troubles being single and all alone. As I had to live alone, I had to juggle teaching English as a second language, studying creative writing courses and literature in English myself, selling cosmetics at home, doing housework, maintaining and taking care of the flat on my own everyday. Obviously, I was more tired and busier than any typical man or woman who differentiates between a woman’s jobs and a man’s jobs. Living alone, I had some social and psychological problems too. I had to worry at nights because thieves might break into my flat in which I was alone. I had to suffer from insulting and offensive verbal abuses of jealous, nasty and unsympathetic relatives next door, neighbors and strangers in the street like betel quid sellers and trishaw drivers everyday. I had got all the troubles that most men and women could not have because of my situation.
In summary, I had got both benefits and troubles being single and alone. Apart from all the troubles, I enjoyed being single and alone. I did appreciate all the knowledge that I learnt, according to my situation. I will never forget and will use these benefits throughout my life.
Footnote: Now I am living in a house together with my parents my mother wanted to live in a house and sold each flat we lived each to buy the house.