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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, December 15, 2001

Restored Post

Back from Slavery because of Hari Raya. SnorComments decided to close down just after I added it. Gah.

My mind is dying. I will keep it alive with intelligent monologue. My legs below the halfway point of the shin are dying because of the garters. Garters restrict bloodflow. Garters are painful. Ouch.

On the ferry there on Day 1, we saw one person with a hearing aid, perhaps proof of the vicious circle of shouting and military personnel with increasingly bad hearing?

Jiax [who for some reason prematurely shaved his head] reported at the same time as I, so we went into the same platoon - Bravo Company, Platoon 2, and we were in adjacent sections. But we (with a whole lot of people) were moved to Gryphon on day 3 (today, Saturday), because we gained weight :) Now I don't have to do the "SOC" (Standard Obstacle Course). Muaha. My Bravo section was mostly ITE people born in 1980 and 1981, while my Gryphon section has a lot more JC people. However, both groups like to chatter away in Chinese. Oh dear. One of my section-mates asked for my URL. Whoa! I'm told that "you don't look like a RJ guy". Apparently RJ guys are supposed to be quite snobbish.

Physically it wasn't really that bad, at least it hasn't been so far. Mentally, it was somewhat traumatic, but then that's me. I don't really agree with Yongxiang's view (in 2000) that he was looking forward to switching off his mind for 2 1/2 years, but then I haven't been subjected to the rigours of the evil VJ never-ending continuous test cycle.

There is quite a lot of unnecessary conformity and inflexibility: For example, lights cannot be switched on after 7AM, even if it's raining or if it's very dark. Also, the water parades are dumb - they think that we're too stupid to drink enough water. They probably don't want to get into trouble because they're responsible for us, but I quite resent being force-fed water until I feel bloated and sick - the Mess Tin is very very big. Or maybe it's a dewious (sic) plot to make us feel full and eat less so we lose more weight! Either way, the "hold the mess tins at 90 degrees" thing is pointless and hurts the arms. There's also much needless haste, with people rushing here and there for no reason other than a sergeant's whim.

There are quite a few smokers but at least there are designated smoking areas so passive smoking's minimised. Some of the other recruits stank, but I think this is only a foretaste of things to come, considering that this was only a 3 day-long experience.

My nails are now cut quite short, and they are causing me some discomfort, even pain. The sacrifices we make.

Even in bondage, I found the time to take down Quotes. One choice one: Sergeant:[Am I to be addressed as] Sergeant or Sir? Recruit: Sergeant, Sir!

They *did* actually give an interview within 48 hours (well, more or less). The sergeant said I looked very stressed. In response to my worry that I'd be stuck "here" (by which I meant "in bondage") for 2 1/2 years, he said that I'd get to move around. He had a good idea for preventing the mental decomposition I expressed concern about - bring a book (One of my former section mates was reading Harry Potter #3, I believe, last night). And he claimed that there isn't that much conformity. Well.

Thought: Why do 75% of Muslim males have "Mohammed" in their names?

People I've seen so far:
Jianwen
Xiankun
Matthew Seah
Benjy

On the oath-taking:
- there were a *lot* of tone deaf people, apparent when singing the National Anthem after we'd publicly pledged our souls away
- the oath had numerous references to the *government* of Singapore. Suspicious.
- I mangled the oath, but they made me sign the written form the next day, but I suppose oaths extracted under duress are not binding.

On the injections:
- I was only tearing slightly before taking them, and when I was "penetrated", I merely shrieked and collapsed to one knee. Not bad, not bad indeed.
- 2 days on, one of the injected areas still hurts, I'm not sure whether it was the Typhoid Fever shot or the Tetanus shot.

On depression:
It was worse on the 1st day than on the 2nd, and the 2nd than the 3rd, so I think it will subside with time, but on the first day, I was really musing about the relative merits of overdosing on Panadol, walking into the sea or maiming myself by throwing myself from the third storey.

On the instructors:
- Most of them seem intrinsically nice, it's just that they have to be strict to train us. One pulled the "Manly" card on us today. He equates speaking softly and looking down with being feminine and having a lack of confidence. Well, there are people whose deathly quiet voices inspire awe. People can be firm and confident without shouting loud enough the make the building collapse. And if everyone shouts, other groups will not be able to hear instructions from the instructors or each other and will have to shout even louder. Yet another vicious circle... Why must everything in the army be about shouting?
- Our Company Sergeant Major is very nice and jovial. He has nicknamed one of our Section-mates "40KG", because that is what he said he wanted to lose over the 16 weeks (I wonder how the bet will go...)

Coming back on parole, my brother-in-law commented that my Fieldpack and Boots are better than the ones he had.
methinks "degenerate to a lower level.. lowest common denominator" is suggestively vague. Imprecise and misleading! Ditto for some of the rest.

In response to "Ed", would like to clarify my opinion- "a few different words here and there" hardly "pare(s) the english language to nothing". Complex vocabulary is often associated with very specific terms of usage- by all means use them if they are the most appropriate ones.

Suspected Jianwen's "grand plan" of delaying his enlistment by passing his napfa test after a levels would fail.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Following is the essay I write to commemorate my last day of freedom.

Follow-up essay:

In some countries, like Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan, compulsory military service, reminiscent of the press gangs of the British Empire, is enforced upon most of the male (and female, in Israel's case) population.

This practice is exceedingly harmful, not only to the individuals involved, but also the the communities, societies and nations involved.

Conscription entails the drafting of young citizens (of at least 18 years of age - those below that are considered child soldiers by international agreement) for between 1 to 3 years of full-time military training, and most countries require some form of reservist training from the servicemen after they have completed their full-time training to sharpen and hone their skills, and ensure that they are ready to defend their country at a moment's notice. This training, both full-time and part-time, irreversibly changes the structure and character of the conscripted populace, both on the individual and macro level.

Being in a military environment for an extended period of time, the conscripted male (as it is invariably a male) is subject to many influences. In a military camp, people often degenerate to a lower level under the stress of training, and this, coupled with the fact that people from all walks of life are conscripted, means that most degenerate to the lowest common denominator. To give vent to their frustrations and stress, and also because everybody is doing it and they do not want to be seen as different, most incorporate vulgarities and obscenities into their regular vocabulary, if they have not done so already, in which case they increase their frequency of swearing, and build upon their already extensive vocabulary. Thus, those who manage to avoid the depredations of modern culture and life, with f-word touting Hollywood stars and friends who spout vulgarities at the slightest provocation, inevitably are corrupted, killing any hope one might have of cultivating a gracious or courteous society.

Language is not the only way in which conscripted people are affected. Their behaviour is also adversely affected. In military training, barbarous behaviour is cultivated in the recruits. They are trained to kill and to strengthen their savage instinct, to bring the primal beast in them to the fore, through indoctrination sessions, martial training and the practice of getting soldiers to yell as loudly as they can when answering officers' commands, which perhaps leads to a vicious circle with the soldiers' loud shouting deafening the officers, such that the decibel level at which they stop pronouncing, "I can't hear you" keeps increasing. Incidentally, since the officers are those who are judged to be the most intelligent and have the best leadership qualities, this means that the cream of the nation's male youth has their hearing adversely affected, with the appropriate ramifications for the future of the country. Other influences may affect the soldier. For example, weak, tired, hungry, thirsty and aching, a person will be susceptible to outside influences, whether desirable or undesirable, an example of which would be religious fanaticism and fundamentalism - Military camps could be the breeding ground of a future generation of religious fundamnetalists.

While in military training, soldiers are given martial training, and learn both armed and unarmed combat. Furthermore, they have easy access to all matter of weaponry, which they have been taught to use. In tandem with the barbarity inculcated, and the pent up aggression, stress and vituperation, enforced military training leads to a higher crime rate, as since all male citizens, regardless of background, personality or psyche are conscripted, potential or existing criminals are learn how to expedite their criminal acts. Military service results in brutish, gruff and uncaring people - hallmarks of the criminal. The "might is right" attitude that the armed forces impart to their personnel means that people are less willing to be restricted by their moral inhibitions - Singapore's motto is "what you can't defend is not yours", a clear nod to criminals that if they can prey on innocents, they should.

Even if military training does not result in a person committing criminal acts, it still leaves scars on a person's psyche and body. Fatalities and unnecessary exposure to danger may result due to military training, but the extent of these is not known due to their being covered up by governments. Even if one is not killed or permanently injured during training, the constant abuse, physical, mental or otherwise, (by drill sergeants, who seek to torture a recruit until he break down, so that a useful soldier may be made out of him) and punishment, often unfair and meted out the slightest perceived transgression, breaks down the fabric of a person's mind, destroying his self-esteem, may cause mental breakdowns and plants the seeds of horrific nightmares which may haunt the soldiers for the rest of their lives, and this is assuming no permanent physical damage is sustained by soldiers during their tenure. The requirement that soldiers obey orders without question breaks down soldiers' will, and destroys any creativity they already had. People's character and personality are blunted and deadened, even destroyed, by military service. Likeable, jovial and vivacious people are transformed into gruff, coarse and unfeeling brutes, or if not, dead, lifeless husks. The greater tragedy of it all is that this is yet another vicious cycle, as officers seek to inflict the same torture upon their soldiers that they once were exposed to.

Military service also has negative social effects. In some countries, it is a justification for wage discrimination against females, negating the work of the early suffragettes. Sexual discrimination is also implicit in the concept of military service itself - are not females as good as males? Were they not born equal? The practice of conscripting males raises many doubts about the equality of the sexes. Even in Israel, females serve for shorter terms than their male counterparts and are not involved in front line duty. This suggests that women, then, are an inferior gender. Chauvinism is also encouraged by this sexual discrimination, as males look upon themselves as the Protectors of the nation, sheltering the weaker sex. In Singapore, the concept of 'Total Defence' was promulgated in the 1980s, that "everybody has a part to play". Evidently, some people have a bigger part to play than others - those who are active in Military Defence are also required to fulfill their roles in Economic, Psychological, Social and Civil Defence.

The economic impact upon the country that practices conscription is also incalculable. The lost years of the full-time training is substantial - what would be the impact on a country's GDP if half the workforce (considerably more in actuality, since females constitute less than half of the workforce) were to stop working for 2 to 3 years? And what about reservist training, where personnel can be summoned for up to 40 days a year of training? Besides the economically productive activity forgone, the country also has to pay the reservists while they are in training, a considerable burden upon taxpayers. This does not even take into account the uncountable cost of the mental atrophy that military service induces, the cost of the reduced ability and therapy of of tormented employees and the reduction in a person's creative capacity, as military service trains soldiers to be unthinking and obedient, following orders. As an example, let us look at Singapore, where 6% of the country's GDP is spent on defence, the second highest item on the expenditure list. The cost in economically productive activity forgone both in time and direct military expenditure is considerable. In Singapore, it is reported that there are 300,000 soldiers, including reservists, but one suspects that this figure, like that of China's armed forces, is considerably under-reported. Assuming 3 million citizens (under estimating for a conservative estimate), and a 100:100 gender ratio (to exclude those unfit for military service for one reason or another, again rather conservatively), and further assuming that half of the population is between the ages of 18 and 50 (again a gross underestimation), we can see that the lower bound of the size of Singapore's armed forces is 750,000, which is 3/4 of the reported size of China's army in 1990. Why such a small city state needs such a humongous army to protect such a small land area is unknown.

The burden on the individual is also considerable. Some of the best years of his life are lost while he is in full-time training, and he has to see those friends of his who are not in military training go on to College and University, pursuing their dreams, while he is stuck in a trench plucking leeches from his legs. He drifts out of touch with them, and loses many friends due to different mindsets and enforced separation. Those who have significant others or are married see their relationships suffer, due to a dearth of interaction and the other partner moving on mentally due to University education. Those who are in dire financial straits, whose families need a monetary infusion, are also disadvantaged by enforced military service, as their ailing mothers die due to a lack of money for medical treatment. This is to say nothing of the moral problems - who could bear to kill another human, even in desperate circumstances? Most major religions do not support killing - Christianity urges people to turn the other cheek and the Koran says that "he who kills one person kills the whole of humanity", and military service impinges on the religious obligations and tenets of many (Christianity and Islam accounting for more than half of the world's population).

Even in its titular aim - protecting a country, conscription may not be all that effective. Being forced into service, many conscripts are demoralised and unwilling to fight, and during a real war, desertions and defections are likely. There are also disturbing implications for World Peace - the larger a country's army gets, the larger neighbouring countries will build their armies, and an arms race is set off, destabilising the region and the world. Also, the country that practices conscription itself may be tempted to invade neighouring countries, for, though most countries have "Ministries of Defence", they are actually Ministries of War - not everybody is as honest as Saddam Hussein who has a Ministry of War and a Ministry of Propaganda.

To justify their bondage of a good half of the populace, lawmakers often like to tout the benefits of conscription. They say that it improves the physical fitness of the soldiers, teaches healthy living, good sanitary habits and discipline, and that you get to make new friends but this is tantmount to saying that it is good for your aircraft to encounter serious engine trouble because you get the thrill of jumping out of a plane in a parachute. These are all incidental side effects from conscription, and do not outweigh the bad effects, or they can be achieved more easily by partaking in other, less hurtful activities like joining a health club or chatting on IRC. Some people, attempting to sooth their spirits, console themselves by remembering that they are paid, but then, prostitutes are paid too (and much more handsomely than soldiers!). In fact, prostitutes sell their body, but soldiers "sell" (or, strictly speaking, are forced to give up) their body, mind and soul, as they pledge eternal allegiance to their country and promise to obey the Premier or President. Some people also say that military service is much easier now than, say, a few decades ago, but then, dying now is much better than a few centuries ago, as instead of your body being set out for the vultures to pick at, or, if you were executed by hated enemies, you are first flayed then beheaded and your 4 limbs, sexual organs and head sent to 6 different corners of the globe, you are buried in a nice casket or cremated and put in a beautiful urn - you still die.

With such a myriad of disadvantages, it is no wonder that many countries are stopping or scaling down conscription - Switzerland is going to reduce the size of its armed forces, Belgium ended conscription in 1992, the Netherlands in 1996, Spain and France in 2001, and Italy will do so in 2006, Portugal in 2003, and that many countries offer Alternative Service for conscientious objectors. It is a pity that some countries continue to inflict such torment on the male citizenry, but we can do nought but hope of the best, at least in Singapore, since a campaign of civil disobedience would be crushed ruthlessly, and the populace has been indoctrinated to believe that military service is good.
I was thinking of posting an anti-NS rant before I left, a follow-up to the essay I wrote in Secondary 4 about why compulsory military service is bad, which Ms Low Seng Eng, my English teacher, proclaimed, "If you want to read something funny, read Gabriel's essay" and she said to me, "you'd think they all come out in a body bag or straitjacket". but I think that idea's come to nought. Oh well. 'll probably post my essay later tonight.


Found on Buffalo's Chips: You never know when a little conversational Latin might come in handy. Toward that end I've dug up a few Latin phrases for you to familiarize yourself with...

Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Di! Ecce hora! Uxor mea me necabit!
God, look at the time! My wife will kill me!

Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est.
The designated hitter rule has got to go.

Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.
If Caesar were alive, you'd be chained to an oar.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

(At a barbeque)
Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?

Neutiquam erro.
I am not lost.

Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.
Oh! Was I speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.


My sister gave me her old handphone (the one which survived a 11 storey fall). Yes, yet another first for Gabriel. The Hi-card is very expensive - 7 times more expensive than a publich phone (72 cents per half minute).
"Obfuscates". Right. (=
As a dabbler in writing, heartily agree with Economist's advocation of fewer, less complex words
[Ed: I like a few different words here and there - overuse of simple language deadens the mind a little and is boooring to read. Besides, I learnt most of my English from my wide reading, and if everyone uses simple language all the time, then it will become like George Orwell's 1984, where they progressively pare down the English language to nothing. Basically - all things in moderation]
. (Stint of mentorship with 4 other guys as "little boy minimalist naturalist poets"- as qian xi so cunningly put it- forced a discipline of words)

Usage of cumbersome vocabulary stinks of unwholesome pretension- and anyway, language is largely about communicating as effectively/clearly as possible. Read somewhere in a Roald Dahl adult short story that some writers use at least one "big" word in every chapter so as to "impress the heck off their readers".

Try aloe vera gel/lotion on sunburnt skin.

Hmmm. Yeo Feng's blog seems to be a one-man show. [Ed: I've posted 2 posts there, and will endeavour to post regularly]
Som, Yucheng [who has been reading too many self-improvement books] and Jianwen (that I know of) were swallowed today, and I'm next Tomorrow.



elvis presley - (Liszt) Transcendental Etude 12, Chasse-neige.mp3.temp - Hrm



Ugh - My nose is sunburnt, I forgot to apply sunscreen there on monday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

I've been invited by Yeo Feng to be a contributor to his weblog - Avid Techie - Technophile's Diary.

It's rather interesting, and if he keeps up his enthusiasm, it promises to be regularly updated with a stream of updates.

Also, it's holding a year end contest now.


Internal search engine stats (format - search | number of searches):

1. neopets 6
2. flesh parade 4
3. darksun shatterd land 4
4. singing chickens 3
5. blood sword 3
6. problems facing warner bros in terms of staffs turnover 3
7. ayers rock 2
8. stupider 2
9. queen rania of jordan 2
10. kwek mean luck 2
11. a03 2
12. uluru 2
13. goodbye speeches 2
14. pachelbel 2
15. pictures of the ob-irtysh river 2
16. animal onomatopoeia poems 2
17. farinelli 2
18. china's national anthem 2
19. dark side of xeen protect code 2
20. wav files 2


The Economist has released its English Style Guide ("This guide is based on the style book which is given to all journalists at The Economist.")

It advocates fewer, less complex words. Generally, this is good, but the minimalist approach doesn't sit that well with me - I like playing with words, though not to as great an extent as many of the people on vis-a-vis and The Associate, which I find obfuscates the content of a conversation. Also, many of the guidelines seem to be directed at Anglicising the writing style of a writer, but after all The Economist is a British publication.

Hehe:
"What was meant by the Israeli defence ministry when it issued the following press release remains unclear: The United States and Israel now possess the capability to conduct real-time simulations with man in the loop for full-scale theatre missile defence architectures for the Middle East."

Though I approve of some of it, especially the warning against Political Correctness!


Angela has offered her services at $1000/hour to hack into Singapore's database. That's quite cheap actually.

No one wants to take up my offer of $1/hr pay to hold ballloons in the park. Geraldine suggests that I print my URL on them.


Went down to Beach Road to buy some stuff for bondage. For some reason, there were quite a few mats around.

At least I won't have to bring a shaving kit along.
Hi,

Just got to use computer (people playing virtual golf and earth:2025 clones finally released them). Had to sms my bro urgently, so I put my smallest denomination coin (50p) into a sms cum email cum normal phone phone. SMS- 10p. Email- 20p. 1 sms to brother, email to mum. And to gabriel, since there was 20p left (and no refund would be given.) Surprise surprise- Bumped into Shang yee (she just heard that i was around) in Boots pharmacy- was shopping for moisturiser, she was apparently looking for presents for em and nic. Now i feel like i'm really the last person around without a ready handphone.

Cambridge may be more interesting... haven't been there before. Oxford definitely has better shopping by most accounts (shopping centres, all kinds of fashion and many bookshops, Blackwell's) will take a look at the other colleges this afternoon if there's nothing else on. Can't believe i'm expected to be cooped up in the common room under glaring incandescent lights with so many other pple. Ah well, bought a copy of Rendezvous with Rama which i've been aching to read for a long time.

Andrew
Experimenting with another comment system... Hope this one will stay up for a long time :) But "SnorComments accounts that have been inactive for 2 months will be deleted." Ugh.



My elbows, arms and wrists are still a little sore from yesterday. Ouch.



12:34PM: Mmm, my sister bought me more Pork instant noodles, and these are premium!

Little Cook TVP Pork And Mustard Stem Premium Noodle

These really contain real pork and real Mustard Stems, by the way!

Yum.



12:51PM: Gah, my mother keeps hiding things and then complains that we don't use up the stuff we've bought. My fudge-in-a-bottle cannot be found.

NTUC Bukit Timah Plaza has an Australian food pavillion, with lots of nice stuff.
Got a Christmas card from Andrew. I don't actually send cards to anybody, partially because I'm lazy, but he still sends them to me, isn't he sweet? :)

Too bad whatever he enclosed dropped out while in the mail. The envelope is damaged near the bottom part of the reverse side. Ah well.



I don't send out Christmas cards / give everyone birthday presents because the problem with this is that if you forget one person, then it is rather suay. You have to draw up a long list and you invariably miss people. Also, the exigencies of life necessitate that you send cards or buy presents for people you don't even *want* to, which is rather sad, insincere or maybe even, dare I say, hyprocritical?

Ahh, but I'm just rationalising my laziness :) I send out my Seasons Greetings and Birthday Presents psychically, with ephemeral pulses of affection and love!

Monday, December 10, 2001

Just finished second interview. Ah. Am recording down subjects of conversation in my notebook for future reference. Used the phrase "place poetry" 4 times in the medic interview (hee heee heee)

The first interview was more academic in orientation, abt clinical exposure, knowledge, medical cases. More formal, me and interviewer on opposite sides of the table facing each other, and a stack of paper for me to draw relevant diagrams on. THe second was on me "as a person"- using the personal statement as a jump-board thingie (whatever it's called). Me and interviewer on cushioned sofas at angles to each other, and a coffee table in between strewn with papers. But for the second interview, there was a lean towards bedside attitude/ behaviour towards patients at the end of the interview/conversation/session thingie.
Going off to record proceedings of interview.
Actually, not sure if i'm allowed to publish this- one isn't supposed to communicate to other interview candidates what happened, to avoid giving anyone unfair advantages. I'll just post this then- assume i'm the only balderdash blogger here right now.

Warm fuzzy feelings welling up well inside of me


Andrew
Just remembered
Saw a pair of nike "Hot socks" labelled as "footies" in BATA the other day. Ah.
Just completed one interview (!�"$%"~�!@�). Next one in 15 minutes time. Ah.
Went out with the class to Sentosa today.

We were supposed to meet at 9 am at World Trade Centre's McDonalds, but almost everyone (but for me, Myo Li and Felicia) was late, and most of them were fashionably late (more than 1/2 hr).

While strolling around the WTC, a handphone rang with China's national anthem as the ringtone.

Chin Yung and Chin Xiang brought their prom pics along, and the former had a photo with African! The odd thing is that he didn't know her name, but he knows her through his sister (or something). "Why you call her 'African'? She's very white." - Zhixiang (who still has that disgusting Powerpuff Girl hanging from his bag).

Tong was wearing floral printed Hot Sorts (which, in her defence, she says her mother bought for her). Lucky she wore them at the hips, or they'd be hotter. Felicia's were not floral printed, so they looked less Hot even though they were the same length, and Myo Li wore floral printed, but un-Hot shorts.

And I found out the name of the J1 Councillor who looks like a Horse! Chin Xiang took a picture with her. Too bad I can't remember her name now, not that I would have posted it anyway.

Felicia told me that she'd found out what the hair accessories which are like small elastic bands are called - Ponytailers. Someone suggested "scrunchie", but we all know that those are the big, fluffy/furry/bulkier ones.



When we finally went to Sentosa we started playing Beach Volleyball. After applying liberal doses of sunscreen. The last time the class went to Sentosa, most of them got burnt to a red crisp (haha I didn't go so I was saved). I'm not as useless as in Lower Secondary, when I ran shrieking away from the ball, but I'm still quite lousy (though better than Myo Li :) ). There was this girl in the group a while away who was playing Beach Volleyball in a dress. Hrm.

I also went Kayaking, for the first time since OBS 3 1/2 years ago. The first time I went out, it was with Tong, and I capsized twice. The first time, my (almost 3 years old - quite long lasting for me) glasses went to the bottom of the lagoon, where they now reside. Well, the colour was fading from the frame and the lenses were scratched. My wallet also got soaked (okay, I'm dumb bringing things along). We both agreed that it was probably a combination of both of our mannerisms of jerking a lot and what not that caused the capsize ("I've never capsized a kayak before").

Later we played Captain's Ball while frolicking in the water, and some of us tried to teach Myo Li to float, not very successfully. No one understood my reference to getting a yeast infection from the dirty seawater.

I didn't bring a change of clothing (yes, I'm dumb), but I did that in Hawaii too, when I walked back to the Hotel from Waikiki (I think) Beach. And on that occasion my glasses fell apart and a nice optician reassembled them for me free. That day, I sat on the beach and let myself be buffeted by waves, which is where and when this picture:
was taken.

The Tulip brand pork sausages we bought contained... Pig blood plasma. Ugh.

I struck out on a single kayak after that. It was quite fast, and I didn't capsize. Well, I did, but I was besotted by Pirates (Changge and Qingru) who capsized me not once, but twice! And they tried to hijack Tong and Felicia's kayak, but were stopped and ran away with the oars.

There were some lians frolicking on the beach, with one slightly plump guy in a bikini.

Jason had a nice pair of $300 sunglasses, which were golden and gave very clear vision. Changge: "Good to look at girls."

The bad thing about going to the beach is that you get sand everywhere - I had to wash it off my perenium. And now I am sore, especially in my wrists and arms, and rather tired.



A thought on "Total Defence" - there's a part for everyone, but some people play a bigger part than others. Maybe I should boycott the other 4 aspects of Total Defence - Psychological, Social, Economic and Civil.

Seen on TV Works - Adrian Pang singing 'All I want for Christmas is Angelina Jolie'. Gah.

My cable connection is temperamental and I have to reboot every now and then. Grr.

There is a "Moral Uplifting Society" near Forum the Shopping Mall. I believe it is this one:

Che Sen Khor Moral Uplifting Society
Hi,

In oxford now, languishing in the junior common room waiting for the admission exam. \Still contactable via email, so do drop me a line. Walking around the uni town was fun, parks are quite horrible (winter), shopping to do. Free food and accommodation for the time i'm in oxford (in saint anne's college).

Bumped into Yoong Chuan on the MA plane to london- he's also around for interviews.

Anyone wants anything from UK? Can't promise anything but will try to oblige-
expect to frequent discount racks in clothes shops and bookshops and the like most often.

Heard ACJC prom was dotted with ugly clothes. Well. Will probe further when i get back

Gabriel, F and B industry in muslim countries just re-package their deals during ramadan. I know many hotels in malaysia run big night buffet promotions in ramadan, and scale down their high teas. Eating out becomes a big affair as many families go out to break their fast. Restaurants don't just close down for a month you know, have a look around the ones in singapore (though i daresay you might see one or two guilty people gobbling down food)

Gotta run. Ciao.

Andrew
Lin Yucheng sent me his Prom photos. Apparently he has mellowed, though I can still detect many traces of his old irritatingness.

And he did what Ian suggested I do, and went up to take photos with people (girls all, in his case) that he didn't know (or claims not to, at any rate). Well. And he dedicated a whole category just for that.

Looking at the photos of the Prom, it almost seems as if there were as many guys wearing suits at the Hualalalala Prom as there were guys *not* wearing suits at RJ's. Ok, not quite that many, but you get the idea. The girls' gowns and dresses are also rather insipid (and there's one garish one). And almost everyone was in black! ARGH.

Maybe it's something to do with Hualalalala.

Sunday, December 09, 2001

Doh!

Yong Lin just told me why my stacking of paragraph tags won't work. Blogger used to do it for you, but now it won't. So I'll have to change all my paragraph tags to double break line tags.

Flurry of updates on the main page.
Ah. havent posted for quite a while.. been busy writing essays.. yipeeeee! left 1 more to go..! =) excluding those i have to edit once my senior finishes reading them...

Prom.. grr. stupid mc. lousy music. bad food [Ed: Eugene Ng and I think it was quite good! Maybe Fuzzirat spent too much time taking photos, and his food grew cold, or people spiked his food with salt and pepper (someone did that to me in prague)]. it was (in one word) terrible.
Yep, this is my prom post. Ta-da!

Went out yesterday with some friends.. heheh... left house at 5+ pm, reached home at 3am... quite fun.. its good to have seniors with cars... =)
Watched some funny chinese movie bout a dog becoming human... very cute.. =) go watch if u'r bored...

Argh, 2 days to play b4 enlistment! and 3 interviews scheduled on those 2 days already.... hopefully on tuesday i can go out for a while b4 i go home and pack and rest b4 going to camp the next morning... =P

oh well. later going to cut my hair for interview.. which is a bit strange cos on weds im gonna get another haircut..

ookie... time for other ppl to post.

wheeee! 1 more essay!
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