"The happiest place on earth"

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Sunday, March 24, 2002

Bookout post:

Restored Post

4 more days to POP! Woohoo.

The varicose veins don't seem to be persisting, yeh. But maybe the mark of Torment will forever be imprinted on my flesh! Too bad I couldn't find a picture of it.

They now have security checks for the baggage of people booking in and out of Tekong. Maybe they're afraid some disgruntled recruit will go and blow up the NS monument, horror! Or worried that people will bring back Entrenching Tool Blades.

An acronym someone came up with: COCK - Chief Of Chao Keng.

Platoon 1, which has the biggest sized people, is not allowed to bring in any food at all. Pity. At least we get dry biscuits. My sister actually asked me to bring in Craisins - Sweetened Dried Cranberries. They're very nice, and healthy to boot, but I doubt the inflexible army'd let us bring them in.

I took the boat in with Zhongyong on Monday, and I found out that he's in Taurus. So he's one of the 70 over OOCs there! It's beaten only by Viper. He says the first time they asked to go to the Recruits' Mess, they got a Fire Drill. He applied for a Sembcorp Scholarship in the morning and in the afternoon, was asked to go for an interview. Wow, that's quick for a corporate behemoth. He also told me that Michelle Seng from A03C was the other RJ girl (are there more?) who joined the army, and she was in 'Gazelle' company in SAFTI. Bah, segregated BMT. And she's quitting soon apparently. A decision most wise!

The fastcraft I took back had Love Seats. Woo. Great for snuggling.

By the time I reached the Company Line, they'd finished all the food from Games Day - "I had 3 1/2 curry puffs" - Someone.

My section was reading the papers Monday night and they saw that Fierce Girl had won the Angus Ross prize. As usual, they made comments - "[She] cannot make it". I don't know why they like to comment on everyone :) I talked about the previous year's winner, Fat Girl's Friend, and predictably someone asked, "Is she chio?". I replied that beauty was in the eye of the beholder, and everyone went "ohh..." and scratched their arms inexplicably. Someone thought that that adage meant that I thought that either or both of them was (Doh).

Norman passed his IPPT! This netted him a total of at least 3 days off. Woah.

I have the lowest BMI of the last confinement week's prisoners - 28. The rest's all were 30 and above. At least one person ran sub-14mins for his 2.4, but was confined because he hadn't lost enough weight - what a pity! Oh well, weight is not necessarily directly proportional to running time - even in Primary 4 to 6, I failed my 1.6km at over 15min.

Entrenched habits are hard to break. The PTI used "undergraft" instead of "undergrasp", and everyone has been using the former despite my repeated attempts to remedy the situation. Speaking of which, it seems that a requirement for the PTI course is a certain look. Almost all of them look rather aloof, cocky even.

My section mates, not content with waking me up at unearthly hours and then going back to sleep, have complained about my SMSing in the mornings. Apparently it wakes them up. So now I've to go outside to the corridor or the toilet.

Apparently we did well in 12th March's IPPT test, which was why 1 person from every section was allowed to book out for about 2 hours to buy food back from Changi Village. Most of us ate the "International" Nasi Lemak, apparently one of the best in Singapore. Which begs the question - why is it located in the middle of nowhere if it's so good? Well, it was indeed very tasty, but the chili (I didn't want to ask for no chili due to logistical difficulties) prevented me from finishing it all. And about 5 of us had Bubble Tea. As I walked to the dustbin that night I espied one Hawk Platoon 2 guy wearing an Algaroth T-Shirt. Woo, he brought it along to keep memories of the free world with him!

I was helping the clerk do administrative stuff, namely filling in a field in the suggestions form, so I got to see all the suggestions given by the staff. They sounded suspiciously familiar (So *that*'s why one sergeant asked each section for 12 things wrong with Tekong. They get money if the suggestions are implemented, see.). Some sounded rather indulgent and extravagant even. For example: "the railing at the smokers' corner is too low. Some recruits and even instructors may fall down", "provide a heater for showers [for recruits?]", "some recruits are shy about bathing... provide shower doors", and the best ones of all: "install an intercom system so sergeants don't have to shout to their recruits" and "provide internet access for the recruits". Gasp.

When people want to dismiss or berate others, they like to say, "go and fuck the wall". Which is what we've been doing during SOC, especially the 2 rundowns (of which I missed the first because of guard duty - hurray!). For the ramp, we're not required to jump off the high one, only the low one :) Yap Zu Yao suspiciously gained weight to bring the scale above 100kg after his first try at Jacob's Ladder, where he was paralysed at the top for at least 5 minutes.

I still don't understand what the hell "lampah pahlan" means.

Some people seem to believe that the louder they sing, the more in tune they will be. Ugh. And not only can some people not keep in pitch, they cannot follow the tempo, or come in early. Ugh ugh.

The CCO (Camp Commanding Officer) logo has a coconut tree and a elephant in it. That seems to impart a holiday mood.

I was conned by someone so I missed the chance to book out during confinement week for a talk at NTU, from 1045 to 2300. Oh well.

Apparently this Platoon 1 guy got the coveted "Excused Tekong" since he vommitted after every meal. Maybe it's the water.

The pears we're given, the dark green ones that're supposed to be soft, never are. Only once have I bitten into one to be rewarded with soft tender flesh.

One night I was so bored, I was reduced to reading FHM. Ahh the tragedy! The sorry state of things.

Royston my buddy's been posted out! And to a Combat Engineer camp in Changi too. Where even clerks book out on saturday at 7pm and in on sunday at 6pm. Oh well. But he stole 2 packets of instant noodles from my cupboard before he was posted out (including my only chicken flavoured one!). Luckily he atoned for his sins by smuggling in a Snickers bar for me (he'd ostensibly brought in another, but he shared it with Norman and I got only a bite).

Recently, people have been complaining and asking me why I keep smiling inexplicably when no one was (attempting to) crack jokes. Perhaps this means I'm becoming abnormal (ie normal for me) again!

For a while, I've been told that my right shoulder is lower than my left. I didn't really bother to go and check, until one day, looking in the mirror, I noticed how pronounced the tilt was. Ahh! What's happening to me? This is worse than varicose veins. Anyway apparently there's been a subconscious correction, because it seems the tilt has become less extreme.

I suspect the oranges we got one day, which tasted a bit different and were dryer, were Thai oranges. And we got mangoes again. Mine was quite sweet. Yeh.

We had the dreaded 16km route march. We are supposed to do 4km in 1 hour, but the pace is always so fast - we always take less than 45 minutes. It's no wonder many of us find difficulty keeping up. After the march, everyone went crazy, and 'water parade' took on a whole new meaning, with shaving cream and peanut butter thrown into the fray. We also saw our Officer in Command (OC) walking from the Company Office to the toilet in his towel and slippers to bathe.

I had Guard Duty again, on a weekday night. I'm lucky I've never done the 24hr one, which would probably stun me. We got an even nicer Guard Commander this time, and he came so early to bring us to dinner that the cookhouse wasn't open, so we got to go to the canteen. The food was mediocre but it was a nice change from the cookhouse food, and I bought chocolate for Guard Duty. The beds in the guard bunk have -bedsheets- and the pillows -pillowcases- now. Woah.

There were 3 charged personnel who came for the Staff Parade during Guard Duty. One of them was charged for the sin of, lets wait for it, EATING CUP NOODLES. Gasp. The morning after field camp, they were supposed to consume field rations, but he had cup noodles and was charged for that.

Walking past the Scabbard [Officers' Mess] while prowling, I saw 4 cockcoraches crawling by. Which means I've now seen 5 cockroaches on Tekong, and the first was a dead one. Is there something I can conclude from this? Maybe I should have done a 'prone thrust and withdrawal' on them. Or the very noisy cat that was raising a ruckus.

Even at 12am, there were many instructors out and about. So now we know why they're always so grumpy in the mornings.

The cookhouse likes the confinees. The food is better, and we got fruit cocktail on Saturday. After dinner the extra watermelon and yellowmelon was brought back to the company line by 2 people, whereupon we had a feast. I had 1 slice of the former and 3 of the latter, on top of 1 slice of yellowmelon I had at dinner. On sunday we were given extra fried chicken and sweet and sour fish by the chefs, and we were told "you3 kong4 zai4 lai2 (If you're free, do come again)" (Gah).

I've learnt that... Sikhs cannot eat Halal food because of religious reasons. Looks like I'm not the only one with objections to eating food that's been prayed over. I wonder how they eat in Muslim countries, as they'll largely be restricted to a Lent diet (fish). I suggested to my company Singh that he carry a piece of bacon wherever he goes, so maybe he can eat at more places and he said "you want me to get arrested ah?".

People always like to tell me, "army is very good now" and when they do, I usually give my grisly dismemberment analogy - army now is like lopping off one limb instead of last time's two. I'd like to make an addition - being in Gryphon is like chopping off only a hand.

I was bored during confinement, so I started singing various songs. I was quite miffed that I couldn't remember the full lyrics of one of them, written by my sister's friend, an O2 scout, so I procured them and they are reproduced below.

My section mate Aliff has gotten downgraded to C9L2 because his BMI is still above 35. If I wanted to achieve that, I'd need to be 110kg - I'd have to gain almost 24kg. Maybe if I become a rifleman. Or maybe breaking a leg'd be faster and less painful.

Boo hoo, they've reduced our food. From 4 protein and 2 vegetable, the allotment has decreased to 3 protein and 1 vegetable. And the size of the portions has not increased, except that we get maybe 150% as much vegetables.

The SAF doesn't used "withdraw" or "retreat" but "retrogade". Gah. Euphemisms are evil.

The Infantry Song sucks. The lyrics are silly and jingoistic, and were obviously forced to fit a tune stolen from elsewhere, as one can tell from the fact that the song does not flow smoothly, and some long words are sung very quickly.

We sung the Teletubbies song while marching back from E-mart. Gah. And I hate the "heya hoah infantry ah" song.

Andrew's friend Ralph has a very long nametag, it's at least 3 words long and the font is very small.

Fieldcamp #2:

Our OC's security pass has 2 stickers on the back of it. I asked him about it and he said, "my lucky charm".

The chicken is the "Claypot Rice With Chicken" tastes like briny, very unfresh tuna. One wonders what they do to it.

We had IPPT training. Our Platoon Commander (PC) put his shoulders under some people's legs while they were hanging on the pullup bar to assist them. For standing broad jump, they lined people up on the ground breadthwise and they lay down, and the person jumped. Of course, the PC was the last in the line. Too bad one guy tripped once (ouch).

There was some talk of supernatural stuff during the first night, when our [uber nice] OC talked to us. Apparently since he converted to Christianity, he stopped being troubled by smothering sensations, while being unable to wake, during his sleep.

As would be expected, much of the talk was about sex. I'm wondering if it's too explicit to publish here. Also, there's the matter of privacy :) Ah, this is a family blog, so I'll just let most of it lie in my notebook.

A lot of his advice about relationships had to do with sex, and how to get it. There was even a rough timetable for physical contact which got you sex within a month - "tried and tested". And apparently Jap girls have smelly mouths due to their eating sushi and raw fish.

He said that 20-30% of us will become Riflemen. Ahh!

It just *had* to rain the first night. So much for the so-called waterproof groundsheet. In the morning we were all cold, wet and shivering.

I was self-excused the second day, so I became the enemy, and fired at least 300 blanks. Auto mode is kind of fun. Until you have to clean the rifle. We the enemies were like vampires - the more people we 'killed', the bigger our ranks grew. I wonder why the non-designated enemies liked firing blanks so much.

One sergeant noticed my adverse reaction to thunderflashes - screwed shut eyes and palms over ears. So he lit the paper and threw it in my direction. And a while later he threw a stone near me. Cheeky, the man.

Our company 2IC, born in 1979, was from RI too and after that he went to Australia to study. And oh, he has a degree.

On the second evening, we started talking about food. Lucious, glorious food. Apparently they get Salmon, smoked and black pepper, in the Muslim cookhouse. I was asked to try Thosai.

I hate metalled roads. They are hard to walk on and the stones hurt the feet.

They were very evil. It's their last chance to torture us before they hand us over to the tender ministrations of the Regimental Sergeant Major and then we pass out. They had a turnout at about 11, after a suspiciously early lights off at 9:15. We rode away in the store tonner to scenes of torture that would not be out of place in a medieval prison. Pushups, crunches, alternate leg thrusts and the lot. It was much worse than the first field camp. Emmanual was lazy to join the Attn B / excused personnel in our doing of "sai gang", so he, with an official excuse, was punished along with everyone.

The day after we returned, or rather later in the day (we arrived back really late and Lights Off was at 2:30am), Royston got posted out. Oh well. No more buddy.

I had to go outfield again on Thursday morning because my PC thought I looked blur, and I failed the "1-up, 2-up and 3-up" test that he'd given Thursday morning. It was quite light actually, mainly lectures. The only dirty stuff was rolling a short distance about 3 times, and practicing contact drills with a waterbottle as an imagined tree. Oh, and picking rubbish.

Back to bunk:

As usual we were happy to sleep on spring mattresses again. At weights training, I asked permission to keep my towel before the weight review and went to buy "Mountain Dew" from the Bravo vending machine. Only Lemon Barley came out. Grr. Oh and the weight review showed I was 86.5kg.

Modified marching song:

They say that in the army,
The girls are very chio.
You ask for Cindy Crawford,
They give you Gabriel Seah.


The injured lot of one platoon started walking along with their own song:

We walk last night ah
We walk the night before
Now we walk like we never walk before yah.
As we walk ah
As happy as can be
We are the man from Gryphon Company.

Heh, nice change from we "cheong", "run", "march" or the like.

Few have watches and they keep asking others for the time. Irritating.

On Thursday night we were attacked. We woke to shaving cream everywhere - cupboard handles, slippers, door thresholds and windows. One section had "I know what you did last night" sprayed on its window and another had the letters A and E in their own circles sprayed onto the floor. Apparently it was done by some sergeants about to ORD. And our instructors, those in the "20th" (whatever that refers to) were attacked too - one said he woke and put his feet in water filled boots. The mess demoralised us, so we didn't do much area cleaning Friday morn.

Which lead to much torture Saturday when our PC did an inspection before SOC. My arms, forearms and shoulders still hurt now (Sunday afternoon). And the torture continued till mid-afternoon when the standbys stopped. "Down and hold it there...". Some idiot changed to knuckle pushups, and he made us all do them.

I don't know what's the KFC obsession. Saravanan the Younger said he spent $50 on it one bookout. And a few people have enthused about eating a lot of KFC food. The chicken isn't really tasty, and it's dry to boot. I think Waffletown makes much better chicken.

I saw sausages on a vegetarian's plate during breakfast. Which means they actually bother to procure vegetarian sausages. I'm surprised.


"[Sticks right hand out fully, palm facing in, with the 3 middle fingers extended] Have you ever seen me do this? Read between the lines... [Recruit: Become naughty, ah, sir] [Makes 'knock it down' sign, wiggling 2 fingers] Forty [pushups]... Never before in my officer career has a recruit called me 'naughty'."

"Gabriel, the shape of your breasts looks very tempting... very feminine... really really!"

"My family is very poor. I live in a rubbish dump."

"Hair man... I don't know how to pronounce this name (Hairman)"

"[On the BMTC keychain] It is too small... If it's bigger I will take it home and throw all the arrows at it (darts)"

"[Recruit: Sergeant, Why you go SISPEC?] This sort of thing is suck thumb one (did you go to)"

"Gryphon doesn't start with G... starts with 'W', welfare."

"Eh why you all sound more lao jiao than him [the guard commander]?"

"Go upstairs, do anything you want. Get caught, your business (Iif you get)"

"[On why he doesn't look for e-books online] I have no time... I spend all my time looking for porn. I love porn... Porn is good."

"I used to have desire, then I watched porn. I lost all my desire."

"[On why he watches porn] I don't really play games, so [there's] nothing else."

"[On Raymond E Feist] I like magic... the whole book[,] I am waiting for Pug to come out... He come out, a few pages later he's gone... Nakor is crap (comes)"

"[On R.A. Salvatore] His book, Demon Awakening... the main character has the face of the author... All his books... he is so egoistic"

"[On tabletop RPGs' slowness] I'd rather masterbate than play that kind of shit."

"[On Emmanual and Kok Wei thinking they look very good, and the former thinking her has the voice of Kenny Rogers] I think all the people from PJ have ego problems."

"[On me on the heya hoah infantry ah song] Why you never sing the 'masterbate' ah?"

"Eh, fuck lah Royston, why aren't you posted out yet? Then I can take your pillow."

"A sniper, someone you cannot see. If you can see him, he's not a sniper. [Other instructor: He's a fucker.]"

"[On Fire and Movement] For you all, I can be a bit lighter... I understand, obese."

"Try to participate in all the training, then you can get out of this hellhole."

"[On Counterstrike] You know CS is not realistic, so when enemy fire at you, don't go and jump around... You'll be full of bullet holes (an enemy fires)"

"[On the SAF Core Values] I forget already... I don't water parade."

"Some of you will be posted to [a combat?] unit... I say good luck to you... Hallelujah."

"[On the ah beng soldiers] If they don't hear the word 'jee', the word 'bye, they don't move. It's just like an activation word for them."

"It's a motivation factor for them, [if] they hear you scold vulgar language also they shiok (they also feel)"

"[On outfield training] My sergeants also can scold me 'jee bye'. Then [when we] go back [he will] get charged... No lah."

"Go in, then you go to endure... You got to control. If cannot then you stop, kiss kiss hug hug press press."

"If you do it right 10-20 times, [if] you don't ask for it, she will ask for it... I tell you they are even more hornier than you."

"You are living in the 21st Century. If you get with a girl and she tells you, 'I want to wait till marriage', you should go and get another girlfriend."

"You can lie to her, 'I am also a virgin.'"

"Don't be conservative, one position only, die die lie on top of the girl."

"Try not to touch her, until she wants you to touch her... 2nd week you can attack her 2 mountains already"

"All my girlfriends is 1 month gao tim one... (are)"

"My private soldiers, 3 men bang 2 Japanese girls... Taiwan, 1 whole section bang 3 girls. (banged)"

"Singapore is 3 out of 10 girls good looking... Taiwan is 6 or 7. (In Singapore, are good, For Taiwan it)"

"[On what someone can give his girlfriend for her 21st birthday] You can buy her a dildo."

"[On pornography] Once in a while you surf this sort of thing, it's ok, but the thing I hate is to pay, so what I do is sign up for [a] 3 day trial, then I reject."

"[To me] You don't snore, you know, you breathe heavily... Like some murderer, psycho'part (psychopath)"

"I'm going to NUS and get myself a RJ girl. Nice personality, nice body... [Jermyn: Nice butt] Nice butt. [Jermyn: Nice tits] That I won't know because she'll be wearing a bra. [Jermyn: You can take it off]"

"[On talk over who'd get 'Best Recruit'] Fuck lah, the name just appear on the cookhouse [wall] (will just)"

"[On refusal to join the people doing a makeup route march] Platoon 2 clever... We don't have integrity, but we have intelligence."

"Good morning Sir. [Notices it's his friend] Jee bye!"

"The secret to SOC is this. Eat more, put on weight [till you're 100kg or above] and don't do."

"Jermyn, got Hep B or not? (Do you have the Hep B screening)"

[Lifted off the only place on the web - currently - that you can find the full lyrics: the RI website]

As One

We were once all strangers
Roaming near and far
Lost in a world of fantasy
Don't know who we are

Chorus 1
Then one day destined we were
To stand together here as one, la la la
We'll be together, together as one

Day by day our spirits grew
Bonding us with love
Striving, working, never rest
Striving for the best

Chorus 2
'Tis our story, 'tis our song
Filled with joy, spirit strong
As one, la la la
We'll be together, together as one

As the years pass us by
In many ways we fly
But the spirit still remains
It can never die

[Repeat Chorus 2]

La la la
We'll be together, together as one

NB: There are a few more items but time is lacking so they'll be posted with the last BMT bookout post!
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