Today is the Coming of Age Day for a new generation of people to be officially acknowledged by the nation as young adults, which means I am off work! I never understood why in Japan, one turns adult at the age of 20 because 21 has been the “adulthood” where I grew up in. But thinking about it, Singapore’s laws might be more baffling than I had thought. In Japan, you get to drink and smoke legally at the age of 20 when you turn adult, while in Singapore you are legally allowed to drink and smoke at the age of 18 even though you are not recognised as an adult yet.
However, apart from watching explicit movies (after censorship, that is), you can practically do anything when you turn 18 in Singapore, and this includes driving. Japanese people are allowed to drive at the age of 18 as well even though they are only allowed to drink and smoke at 20. And this reminds me of something I heard some time before and something I read somewhere recently:
In Japan, you are allowed to drive where you may get into accidents and injure others at 18 but only allowed to drink and smoke at 20. In other words, you are allowed to harm others at an earlier age than you are allowed to harm yourself.
This is interesting coffee shop talk at best but nonsensical in reasoning. The driving premise is fallacious as it disregards the harm one can cause to oneself in accidents, and the other premise disregards the potential harm one can cause to others by smoking (or even drinking). There is also no cause-and-effect relation between driving and getting into accidents like that of drinking/smoking and harming your health. Put simply, you do not necessarily get into accidents by driving, but it is essentially true that you harm your health as soon as you take the first puff or sip.
Whatever the case, there’s definitely going to be a lot of wasted people tonight. The cause of which is probably the prohibition of underage drinking and correlation of the act with adulthood. Not that I encourage underage consumption of alcohol but, drinking makes you an adult? That’s the bigger nonsense.