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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, March 30, 2002

For anyone who's fed up with confounded Microsoft Word's eccentricities and peculiarities:

Microsoft Word: Living with the Beast


I love the fascinating articles Salon.com comes up with:

Backstabbers
In "Woman's Inhumanity to Woman," pioneering feminist Phyllis Chesler dares to talk about the ways women -- including famous feminists -- stab each other in the back.

Publisher Comments:
Why do contemporary women often have such a hard time getting along with each other, at work, and within the family? Why is female friendship so important to women, despite the prevalence of female betrayals? How does the mother-daughter relationship impede women's growth? This book - destined to be a controversial classic - draws on recent biological, psychological, and anthropological research, as well as hundreds of original interviews, to redress the complicated silence that has prevailed about woman's inhumanity to woman. While women may not be aggressive in the same way that men are, cross-cultural studies confirm that girls and women are equally aggressive in "indirect" ways, and mainly toward each other. Women envy and compete against other women, not against men - and tend to deny this, even to themselves. Like men, many women also hold sexist beliefs; often, they are unaware of it. Women depend upon each other for emotional intimacy and bonding, but their power to form cliques, gossip about, and shun one another enforces conformity and discourages self-confidence and psychological clarity from girlhood on. Are women oppressed? Yes. Do oppressed people internalize the oppressor's attitudes? Without a doubt. Women, therefore, must acknowledge their own sexism and gender double-standards before they can practice sisterhood, resist sexism, treat other women ethically, and forge realistic and compassionate personal and political coalitions. "Chesler�s work is our public conscience." - Letty Cottoin Pogrebin


Mahler - composer of overly long symphonies. Erk.

And Blogger's eating my archives again. Gah. This calls for desperate measures (see right tab).

I can't go to Melbourne anymore because there're no seats. Oh well, I better plan earlier next time.


My new ICQ picture:




Evil Cult has its first Male Sop in 4 years, Kelvin Chan! And a Sop 1 too. Hurrah.

Friday, March 29, 2002

It's rather amusing and sad at the same time.

A large proportion of the weblogs/homepages set up by Singaporean youth are largely one or more of the following:

1) Song lyrics
2) Angst (General)
3) Angst about their breakups
4) Bad poetry

And it's all depressing. Though I usually fight off the effects, unless the page itself (sans content) gives me a headache.


More blowing of my trumpet:

"your pop post is already more than adequate- i have to admit, you're quite a compulsively readable diarist. mainly because your tone totally lacks angst. it's a very straight-faced delivery of ludricously comical situations. it's the Pepysian version of Seinfeld."


It seems some people [NB: That's *so* much better than a mere "you", a "you" without a link to anywhere to give you a clue to who "you" is or, horror, a "you" in bold or italics.] do not like Chinese superstitions. Well I never put much stock in them either. Some ones I abhor which come to mind at first thought:

1) Eating Bananas will make you turn yellow
This was told me by my ex-Chinese Tuition Teacher (the one before my last one). I countered with a, "then won't eating rice make you turn white?"

2) Eating (insert animal part) will make you gain desired quality/ies of animal, with especial reference to the eaten part
This dumb belief why the Tiger and Rhinoceros are going extinct. And if this is true, then all of us should become very muscular. And I shudder to think of what happens when people (not me, I find them disgusting) eat intestines and the link.
POP post:

Restored Post

POP loh! Obedience School is done. Now I'm free till posting next Saturday. Hope I get to wear the coveted Blue (Service) Beret.

My former Platoon Commander is rather controlled by his mood. Unfortunately, when he's in a bad mood (and that is all too often), he's to be feared. My muscles hurted from Friday's torture till Tuesday.

Before our last bookout, we saw our OC walking back from the bathroom in his trademark towel and slippers. Platoon 3 got a picture with him, as did we.

The plastic bag they gave us to take our photos (of the Platoon and Company) home had "Viva 2000" and a 2000 Calender printed on them. Trust the cheapskate SAF.

We had a Stand By Helmet before our Last Bookout. Ridiculous. We were told to change the netting, but not all did.

My erstwhile classmate Jason Chen was the Delta Company Best Recruit! Hurrah. He's been upgraded to PES A and is probably bound for OCS :) His name will live on forever on Cookhouse 1's wall! And Tan Lisheng's the Taurus Company Best, and the only IPPT gold in his platoon. Congratulations to him too [NB: Amazing what you learn about people when you have other people telling you about the aforementioned people during their BMT].

In the end, besides the 35 OOCs who've been posted out already, only 3 people failed the course. They probably did something *really* egregious. So Ken won't have to recourse, good for him. 160/200's not a bad survival rate. Yucheng's platoon started with 46 people and ended with 28. Pillows aplenty at night!

Parade rehearsal sucks. I think I'd rather do Endurance Training runs and Weights/Circuit Trainings. At least the RSM was nice and didn't punish us. He even procured syrup water for us.

Apparently the reason the contractor took back all the washing machines was because everyone threw in their muddy clothes without a pre-wash, which clogged up the machines, and they didn't want to come across the sea to repair them.

We had a combined e-mart/canteen break. The School 2 canteen is better than the School 1 one. I had 2 Chicken Wings. They were very crispy and juicy. Normally Mat chicken wings are nicer than Chinese ones, but the Mat one I had at the other Canteen the other day before Guard Duty paled in comparison. I also had a Magnolia Maga (whatever) Supreme Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, as well as a packet of so-called "Juicy" Peach Pulp (it was dry). Our sergeant made Samson walk back to the Company Line with Camo Netting on his head. Hehe.

Apparently I bounce when walking too.

Aliff wears Puma Sports Shorts under his black PT shorts. And underwear under that too. Wonderful.

My mother observed that in BMT I'd taken more MCs than in 6 (and maybe even 12) years of school. :) I maintain I wasn't cheating though, you can study with a flu, but you can't charge hills.

They gave us some surveys to do. Of course, the SAF likes quantitative not qualitative feedback, so all the questions were multiple choice. I like doing surveys, especially MCQ ones which are easy to fill in. Maybe it's the illusion that my feedback matters when not only is it statistically insignificant, we were rushed and encouraged to shade random boxes to save time.

They asked us, in the survey, if the lessons elicited any interest in us. I put "not at all" for all but the National Education lessons, for which I put "a little" since our OC taught them in a most lively and interesting manner. Who on earth would have interest in M16S1 Technical Handling, or Hand Grenade Throwing?

We were also asked if our instructors used vulgar language on us. Haha. I gave most of the people listed there an "always" rating, my section commander a "sometimes" rating and our OC a "never" (because although he always uses vulgar language, it is never used *on* us). Yucheng says that his CSM never used vulgarities. Which makes him, along with my 2IC, one of the 2 instructors at BMTC who don't use vulgarities :)

We were asked if we agreed with the statement: "During NS, it is acceptable to lie low and do the acceptable minimum." Haha. They know the ground well. Another hilarious statement we were asked if we agreed to: "The SAF is an efficient and well run organisation." The survey was anonymous though - we were specifically instructed not to shade in our NRIC No. Looks like they do take the results somewhat seriously.

I think I've beat our Quartermaster's record of using 10 pieces of featherlite during BMT. Other people used it like there's no tomorrow, and then asked me for some since I had so much. The rewards of frugality. But I have bestowed to the next recipient of the rifle cleaning kit that I had possession of a copious amount of featherlite and at least half a bottle of oil. He should be quite happy :)

I got called up for the recce trooper interview. Ugh, I hope I don't get in. Time to downgrade! I think endless recourses would be better than 2 years in the field and/or getting maimed on a motorbike. If I go there, my long standing prediction that I'd come out of slavery dead, broken or crazy might just come true. Every mission is in Full Battle Order and they get a POW treatment course like the Commandos but apparently it's a "lite" version. Oh, and they get to wear Jungle Hats instead of Helmets. Yeh. Suspiciously, our platoon's IPPT pass was interviewed for the Rifleman post, but he managed to get himself rejected.

During the recce trooper interview, I saw that Jerry, Benjy and Minrui's friend (whose name I know not) had been selected too. Luckily, the interviewer told us that our posting was not yet confirmed. They showed us a promo video which was produced by the officer who came to interview us. Nice effort, though it was essentially a photo slideshow with many of the photos repeated.

I don't know why so many have asked recently about my forehead scar, especially my secondary school / JC friends, since I got it in 1996. Must be the loss of hair has made it more prominent and they've noticed it afresh.

The clerk came around the check our rifles' cleanliness. Hehe.

Chris made a super sandwich for breakfast - 4 slices of bread, with alternating kaya and peanut butter layers.

Being a PTI is a very slack job. You just wear a cool singlet and shout at people. During SOC you demonstrate once or twice and go back to shouting :)

We visited e-mart again the day after the canteen break, and a female sergeant walked by. Someone began leading the song:

They say that in the army,
The girls are very chio.
You ask for Cindy Crawford,
They give you Koh Cheng Mun. [NB: Yes that's the original. So now you know.]

So mean!

Mark Yong, who OOCed a few weeks after entering PTP, is now back and in School 2. Woo.

The newer intakes get to have their water parades from 7-up and Coke bottles instead of Mess Tins. Not only does this look better, and they don't have to hold the bottles at 90 degrees, as with mess mugs (I presume, since this is unfeasible for plastic bottles), Yucheng informs me that the Mess Mug is 600ml - he measured - as opposed to the bottles' 500ml. Good for them! No more water torture!

I've seen our CSM maybe 3 times since enlistment. Once on my first day in Gryphon, when he bet with Joshua whether he'd lose 40kg (he didn't), once when he came in to talk about sammyboy.com and the last during the last POP rehearsal day. The rest of the time he's been on medical or other leave. Ahem.

More incontrovertible evidence of Delta's slackness:
- Their GST fieldcamp was only half a day. They went there to see the MILES thing (some laser system to tell you when you've been shot in exercises) and then went back
- They've never eaten field rations. All their field camps, they've been provided with out rations
Maybe it has something to do with the warrant officers in Delta. "They've had their share of tekaning people" - Zhongyong

We were the third company to take the boats out after the parade. Previously it's been done in alphabetical order (as opposed to this year's reverse alphabetical order) so I didn't wait too long. Poor Jianwen though... Apparently it's quite fair actually - those who are the first ones in and wait the longest for the parade are the first ones out and wait the least after the parade.

Many of the Gryphon instructors were waiting suspiciously at Pasir Ris when we got off the bus.

I was talking with 2 non-Chinese the other day about why Malays are so united. We agreed they like to band together and stand up for each other. It's partially explained by their common religion, as we can see from the Muslim world supporting, or purporting to support, the Palestinian cause, but I think that's not the whole issue. They also agreed that the prohibition on apostasy was niggly and ridiculous. During the 24km route march, me and another Christian and a Muslim were discussing why apostasy is taken so seriously in Islam. Apparently your children path the way to Heaven for you, and if they convert, you're screwed.

Plenty of warrant officers and officers tagged along for the 24km route March. Maybe it's an occasion for them all to get together.

I was accused of being selfish for not wanting to sing the (stupid) songs on the last leg of the 24km route march. But then I didn't even have the breath the breathe, let alone sing.

When we reached the shower point, everyone started dancing and singing. We were told that our shower would be with water from a well at Selabin after our 24 km march. Later, I found how one well can shower 8 companies - a pump pumps water into a pipe which loops in an oval above the well, and you walk one round around the well. Bah, didn't even wash the sweat off.

As we marched into the parade square in Full Battle Order, they played the Imperial March. How appropriate, we are Stormtroopers, slaves and beholden to the Emperor. I knew it!

The crowd clapped for every action, even a simple cediya and senangdiri :)

During the worst part of the parade, the Guest of Honour's speech, 2 people in my company concussed, and Herman (the alternate Malay spelling of 'Hairman'), who was beside me was breathing heavily and swaying from side to side. Unfortunately, the fella didn't take the hint and droned on for some time, making no attempt to conclude even after the second had collapsed. And it wasn't even a good speech, it was recycled, dull, boring and filled with propaganda and big words. In fact I think it was essentially a rewording of the speech given at our enlistment. Some people in the audience laughed at the concussions, how mean! Our 2IC was the original announcer, but I think when the people concussed he went to check on them, which was why the voice echoing from the speakers suddenly became very Chinese-educated Singaporean.

During the re-entry part of the parade, Charlie stopped and Hentak Kaki-ed too early, screwing our position as well. Hawk apparently (and evidently) is bad at their drill, while we were commended by the RSM after a rehearsal for being one of the best even though we were obese.

I got to meet and shake the hand of the famed Commando, father of Saravanan, whom we'd heard so much about.

After the parade, people were throwing their instructors in the air. While talking to Jianwen, I observed as some Alpha people threw one instructor... and he fell onto the floor! Ouch. Lucky he could still stand after that.

Even for the parade, they'd given survey forms. My sister, seeing there was no space for "short answer" style comments, decided to scribbe half a page of comments on the reverse side of the paper, and refused to tick the boxes on the printed side.

And some misc notes,

Royston tricked me. He had told me he could book out only at 6pm on Saturdays and had to book in at 7pm on Sundays, or something like that. Actually he can book out everyday, just that he has to book in by 11:59pm. And he's still complaining. On Friday the computers in his camp were down, so he got to slack the whole day!

At the start, my section mates were saying that by the end of BMT, my English'd be as bad as theirs. That hasn't come to pass - every so often I'd still utter a sentence none of them could comprehend :)

Jiax is a storeman. A storeman who works in an air-conditioned storeroom. Lucky one!

The OOC rate for SISPEC is suspiciously higher than for OCS. Why ah, why ah.

In the cookhouse, I saw the Economist on a table, reverse side facing up, and I went to investigate. When my suspicions were confirmed, I told the guy, "Finally, someone else who reads this!"


Quotes:

"[On giving feedback] [If you] feedback to [the] sect. com, the thing will go down the drain. Flush down evidence. [Mimes crushing paper]"

"Please, don't call me up in the middle of the night and tell me you ban4 jio3 [urinate]. I will trace the telephone number and whack you up."

"[On mood swings and being nice to recruits] Lieutenant ******, it depends on his period"

"[On cancelling our IPPT retest during Block Leave] It's a fair thing, you help me, I help you. Actually you don't help me, fuck."

"Monday, OTOT [Own Time, Own Target] you go and report to your new unit... Sorry, there's a timing. You don't go there late, you get charged. Don't say I say..."

"[On life as an Ops Sergeant] I reach my office at 7:45... I [turn] on my computer, I play some games... I go for [a] tea break... I do some work... I go for lunch. I sleep until 2 o'clock. I on my computer, play some games... go for tea break... I go and take a shower, 5:45 I catch the bus, I go home... [Recruit: Shiok ah Sir] What shiok? Damage my mind, play too many games... I've completed a lot of games."

"[On keeping fit and/or active even though we're obese] Take care of yourself, so you can bang a lot of girls when you grow old... 3 or 4 at one time."

"Kerkiri bo seng. [Platoon turns to face the sea] Now all of you will die. Cepar ja-... I'm a bit high"

"[On his 'POP'] The CSM came in... 'Do you know who I am?' 'Yes Sir'... He told us some dirty jokes and went off."

"[On my possible recce trooper 2SIB posting] Go and recce people, 2 year fieldcamp. That's why he's very sad."

"[On having night and colour blindness, disqualifying you for the recce trooper post] You better own up now, otherwise happy happy, I take you back then find out you are gay. Jialat. (???)"

"[On the POW treatment course] The POW one, the most is 15 minutes... Nothing one... Put you in [an[ isolation cell, ask you to turn here [and] turn there. There will be no physical contact."

"Infantry, charge here charge there, one idiot behind screaming at you... Sit there cannot, lie there cannot. All the time, one idiot down there screaming at you."

"[On being a recce trooper] It will not be everyday in the field, eat grass one. It won't happen."

"[On being a recce trooper] If you fail the bike course, I give you [a] bike, you push there ah?"

"[On the cookhouse food survey] The minimum you will put for the survey is 'satisfactory', understand?"
A theory I formulated sometime back (one of many) is that girls' voices mellow, though they don't change as much as (most) guys'. And this was confirmed, dramatically in fact, by someone whose tone in 9 months changed from high pitched and squeaky to, one err, less high pitched and no longer squeaky, but more smooth. Oh and she picked up a happy SPG-ish accent too :)

-shrills-
lYke, siNCe wHeNz? ~*
(= ^ _^ =)

grins, haven't polished my intracaps in awhile. you and crys are loathesomely mean creatures!

[Ed: You've just revealed yourself! Not my fault ah. :) And Jap smilies too, tut tut.]
The evils of the prevalent culture of Hot Socks:

".... when I walk to the MRT from school, people stop to look at my shoes? They're perfectly normal, so I assume it's because so many of the people around me wear those ankle socks. Which make no sense whasoever to me. If I wore those... you know what I'd get?

Sore ankles. (from rubbing against the shoe.)" - A friend in RJ

Ahh my source is delightful.


A theory I formulated sometime back (one of many) is that girls' voices mellow, though they don't change as much as (most) guys'. And this was confirmed, dramatically in fact, by someone whose tone in 9 months changed from high pitched and squeaky to, one err, less high pitched and no longer squeaky, but more smooth. Oh and she picked up a happy SPG-ish accent too :)


Before I went back to camp last Sunday I was forced to go to Sun Yat Sen villa in Balestier, where the only things I enjoyed were the air-conditioning and laughing at the terribly biased view of Chinese History it provided (all in mistake ridden English). You'd think that Sun Yat Sen was one of the greatest men in History, and the Qing government was through and through corrupt and evil. I even got the impression that it was trying to create a Personality Cult about Sun.

What's this doing in Singapore anyway?


Illegal CD sellers have moved to the next level - peddling their wares while you sit at East Coast Seafood Restaurants! 2 people came by, one with VCDs (not obscene as far as I could see) and one with Games CDs. Of course they're still at it at MRT stations, one person was displaying his wares. I caught a brief glimpse, and indeed it was pornography. Ugh, all the tasteless material (I still remember Xiaoshi's explanation - "they have lousy directors"). Overheard: "you3, xu2 mei3 feng4, ze4 li3" (Have, Chu Mei Feng, over here).

Thursday, March 28, 2002

POP loh! I'm now a Private.

I will take this night to watch my PRLG tapes and to rest.

Something is hideously wrong with blogger / blogspot. The March archives are temperamental and my commenting system has disappeared. Blogger doesn't like Mozilla, at least the lousy build I was using previously.
Thursday: Maundy Thursday! Happily woke up at 7 and had QT, realized lecture started at 9 and not 8, so went to finish up laundry. Dallied a tad too long, ended up 10 minutes late for lecture. And proceeded to the wrong lecture theatre- Public lecture theatre instead of the Copeland theatre. Bumped into Ms. CCLL (Coco Lee Lookalike) with her trademark sunnies, who thought i looked familiar and told me lecture was at copeland. Pharmacology lecture today.

Went off to play badminton with Albert- had so much fun!!! Ended up skipping a workshop for international students. Then went to... union house to look for chenyi/sarah (who were leaving for prac), borrowed more books from rowden white for the long weekend (they're closed till wednesday), safeway supermarket for files and dates and chips, ormond.

Going off for ocf camp tomorrow... i'm supposed to meet everyone at tin alley, storey street, near university high, royal parade side.... i still haven't figured out where. I'll make phone calls to handphones if the need arises.

Andrew gan
Another week almost without blogging....
Monday i think i was jetlagged... woozed through the day.
Tuesday... had my health and society presentation. Very nervous, almost broke out in a cold sweat stammering. I thought I had gotten over that.
Was on the phone with parents and victor.... he asked abt what singing thing i had in mind and i mentioned the mcfarland singers.... just as i realized it was 10.20pm and I was terribly late! Rushed down to join in... it's a small informal a cappella group in ormond, abt 14pple but only 6 turned up tonite (sophie being the only alto and a sole bass. C'mon, laugh!).

Wednesday: Woke up late (woke up just as the lecture started). Frazzled, left some books back in ormond, so had to go get them between lectures. Role-play for ICM- i had sooo much fun doing it! I was supposed to prepare for it- as a second year drama student going overseas on tour with a drama company. Supposed to go to the doctor for some immunisations, but a) is vegetarian and won't use any drugs with animal derivatives, b) hates needles, c) is too conceited and self-involved to let the doctor get any words in, d) tries to persuade the doctor to become vegetarian. Got comments that i was good and so opposite from me normally (=

Also had lunch with wanyan, signed up for horseriding at Ponyland and Rubicon valley... went swimming at city baths for the 1st time (not bad, just somewhat crowded... think it's because i went at 5 something). $3 per entry (ouch!), $24 for 10 trips. I'll try carlton pool next time... prices similar.


Andrew gan

Monday, March 25, 2002

(curiously) Since when was this blog a "family blog" or "PG-13"?

and i hardly wear the white top! Other sleeveless tops, maybe. I just bought one in singapore! ( =
Just heard another euphemism for "erm, and her cousin".- "godsister/godbrother/(other extended relation)"

Forgot to get moisturizer. In particular my big bottle of body shop tea tree moisturizer. That means a trip down to amcal chemist, lygon st.

Looking v much forward to OCF camp this weekend!! Asked around what other pple are doing easter break, most of them said "Study". Guess I should too ....

Sunday, March 24, 2002

Who's the owner of the angsty radiohead webpage? Gave me a headache too.

I hate Yahoo. Starting from April 2002, free email accounts will no longer have POP3 access or mail forwarding.
Accolades for me:

"btw, did you tell andrew you were irked at my psychoanalysis of you?

because if so, that's the first time i've seen you display any form of anger."

Wah :) Nah I may be less easy to move to anger than most others, but I'm not immune to it.

"*grins* i've told people that i admire the way you keep angst and self-pity out of your interactions whilst still wallowing in self-indulgence. it's something i completely fail to do, as you well know."

Hoho.


Ahh this is so arrogrant (sic) of me.

And now I'll get back to my bookout post.
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.

Gah.

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.


Quotes:

"[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!
Was out most of today, most rare for sad sods like me.

Some brief, light angst (sans dark colours, a lack of punctuation / capitalisation, repeated addresses to people with lots of 'you lah blah'):

Slimming ads always have the line, "your clothes fit better!". Obviously they've never lost more than 2kg. Without a belt my pants'd slip right off. Well actually they're not that loose, and I still have my paunch. Some section mates are heavier than me but look thinner, I wonder what I'm doing wrong. Maybe they have more muscles, which are denser than fat.

Back to the topic, all my nice belts have disappeared since enlistment, so whenever I don trousers I am forced by the exigencies of the situation to use the SAF belt, which is not that bad in and of itself but carries negative connotations and feelings. My stuff's always hidden because my mother cleans my room and rearranges everything, forgetting (deliberately or otherwise) where all my stuff has been shifted to and blaming my messy room for the lost items. Ahh - everyone's been there, done that. So I shan't dwell on that.

That wasn't too heavy anyhow. Back to the post proper.


High class hotels all seem to have the "hotel" scent. It must be sprayed to give guests a sense of comfort and deja vu.

I had lunch at the Mandarin's Triple Tree, where the Lobster Bisque has pieces of Lobster floating in it - a first for me. There was also this lovely crumble, fig I suspect. I still haven't mastered the art of dispensing soft serve ice cream, so the vanilla ice cream on top didn't look very good.

Driving past the School With The Most Indecent Uniform In Singapore Bar One, I saw no one with hair long enough to warrant tying up, even though they've had almost 3 full months to grow it long. This doesn't bode well for my future plans.

The time of the coven was shifted up from 3pm to 2pm, and we got an expected visitor after a while. The head honcho was, as usual, fashionably late, so I got to question Our Friend on the effects of tetracycline on teeth, and she claims it's her strong tea. Uncharacteristically, I was the only one in long pants, because of where I'd eaten lunch earlier.

Andrew Gan finally volunteered to give me a hug (after struggling whenever I ambushed him in school), but Kairen had to be caught. :) Ah what a pity, in RI, him and Allan used to come up and hug me.

Paul Foo, who was allegedly fired from his job at RI for some pornography related incident (I have no idea whether this was true, but if it is I doubt it was his fault) is now Kairen's brother's form teacher. Woo.

The cabby from Guthrie House to Orchard Road was very energetic and happy, apparently because it was Saturday. Kairen thinks he's psycho. "I'm a happy cabby. Just call me Mr Happy Cabby." - Mr Happy Cabby.

Weird things you hear: I hear Jasmine Kok got tipsy and stripped at some AC party. ??? [NB: If, as is usual, the party mentioned or someone who knows the party visits, there is no intended or implied malice or negative connotations, merely a stating of a weird rumour]

My section (or at least the other 6 who turned up - just over half of us were present) decided to go to Burger King for dinner. Kind of sad. Tze Li had a Whopper meal and a Double Cheeseburger. He claimed he didn't eat lunch. Joshua, who did, had an upsized meal and another burger. And you wonder why we're in Morbid Obsese.

Suspicious things are going on at Chinois Chinois - Lady patrons must be 18 and above, while Male ones must be 25 and above. Ahem.

The makeup BIC was done with Whiskey, so I was told by Nelson about the Whiskey Girls. Apparently of the 4, 3 can make it, and have female voices, while one cannot, and has the voice of a man.

I met the 4K group on another of their outings at Lido, after last leaving them just after 6, after my hitchiking with Mr Happy Cabby. As usual, Mr Ong was with them. I wonder how come he always manages to turn up, and how he's always invited. They got row Z, while we were at row N, markedly further from the screen.

This 13 year old was sitting on the crotch of the Ronald McDonald figure at Lido. Erm.

Poor Ken lost only 11.5kg, and he says he has to do a recourse because he's short of the target by 3.5kg.

We met this Malay from our company, with his tudung clad girlfriend. What bothers me is this: If she's pious enough to observe the tudung rule (according to that interpretation of Islam), why doesn't she avoid the greater sin of Khalwat? I didn't see any male relative of hers close by.

The Time Machine is based only loosely on the original. Hollywood requires: Love, English Speaking Foreigners and Climatic Fights. Bah.


Overheard:

[On Andrew Gan's white sleeveless top] I know it's really hot today, but every time I see you you're wearing that

[On me] He's excellent at quoting people out of context. You should go and work for SPH.

[To Grace on Mr Ong's friend] Do you know Mazit?

I'm not going to say anything that will result in me being quoted out of context.

[Covers Ho Poh Fun's face in the RJ Yearbook] See no evil, see no evil.

The only given when Mr Ong is around is he'll come and touch you.

Yesterday after debate, I saw my brother talk to some girl. It was damn sad.

I remember during OBS when some Chinese High Guy sprayed deep heat on you... I was Mobile... We were nearby... I heard someone screaming, I knew it had to be you, but I didn't know why.

Some guy's father called Melvin up and told him, "Can you stop hitting my son's balls?"... Every morning he'd take his pencilbox and whack Junxian.

[On CAP] They just go there to buaya, seriously lah.

[To Grace] Do you know when I saw you, the first thing I thought was, 'This girl looks like Shawn Ban.

Hi, I'm Albert. Want to see my Prince Albert?

You know that I finally found out that Gabriel's Dad's name isn't Camel?... I was deluded for 6 years.

[To Grace] Maybe you should marry Shawn Ban. You'll have smart kids who look like their parents and write really good cynical poetry.

[On me remembering the $25 debt] I hate your palmtop. I want to smash it one day.

[To Andrew on his neighbour] Why don't you wake up at 5, dress up and pose at the door. When she comes out, you can say 'hi' and go back to sleep.

I saw the ad: Miss Singapore Universe, it's not just a flesh parade. I thought of Gabriel. [Grace: Me too]

I'm going to poke you Gabriel... Wow, that works.

What's wrong with Hot Shorts? I like Hot Shorts.

Oh look, it's the [ugly] RGS girl and her, cousin.
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