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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, July 06, 2002

The wedding I just came back from was a very Christian wedding. A very CHINESE Christian wedding. My medical officer married a pharmacist. How apt :) Though she's the daughter of a reverend - aren't they supposed to be celibate?

Everything was in Chinese, with nary an English word to be heard. Okay, that's not true, most parts except for the hymms and songs of praise, the vows and the slideshow of the couple's lives, were translated, albeit in halting English. But hearing so much Mandarin, and proper Mandarin to boot, not the half past six crap that I hear everyday in camp, was a real shock to my system. However, the background music played was totally in English, probably because no one sells CDs with songs of praise in Chinese!

Since all of us medics met up before going to the church - Sion Presbyterian Church, we were naturally late. And since the wedding started on time, a rarity I would assume, we arrived just as the processional was about to begin. So we were herded to the "cry room", a soundproof room on the second floor of the church, to witness the proceedings. What a sophisticated church.

There was a reading of scripture, Ephesians 5:22-33:

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

Together with the wedding vows, where the wife-to-be vowed to obey her husband and the citing of the sayings of Ancient Chinese Scholars about a woman's place, I thought that this was just a touch chauvinistic. But no one really follows them to the letter anyhow, just to the spirit which, of course, is infinitely more important. Then again, the groom pledged his worldly goods to his bride, so. :)

The choir sang a song in English, and it's enunciation was atrocious. The harmony was also off and they didn't blend very well. Oh well, I suppose they don't practice very often, being adults and all.

The priest related the story of this pretty girl who was pursued by 3 brothers. To prove their love, she asked them to run into and bang their heads on a wall. The first two refused and the second two, naturally, assented. In the end, the wall was made of paper, and the two got married. This story is supposed to be about the power of love, but I think, rather, that it is about the power of stupidity and erroneous definitions of courage as involving pointless, self-destructive acts. Bah.


On the way there, while on the MRT, I witnessed a public display of affection. Teenage love is so sweet. They way they looked at, talked to and lovingly touched each other brought a smile to my face. But the part when she put her hand on her hip would've scandalised many. Oh, did I mention that they were both girls? :) One was very clearly the dominant 'male' partner, while the other was obviously the more submissive 'female'. Lest anyone accuse of of mistaking best friends for lovers, it has to be known that their body language made their relationship very obvious, so.

On Bus 9 to the church, I saw this woman with a tudung and a Hard Rock Cafe baseball cap. Heh, cute!

My "China Bag" has now been decorated. I've pinned my RJ badge (note distinction. RJ vs RI badge. I've counted at least 10 differences between the two before) and my Raffles Voices choir badge on it. Now watch me get beaten up by Hokkien Pengs.
Ahh Blogger's finally recovered from it's ailment. Going to my MO's wedding later, or I'd have gone to collect my A Level Cert with FLCH.

Now, what is FLCH you may ask? I saw it written on the 3M noticeboard one day, in happier times (1998), and asked someone what it stood for. His reply: "Fucking Lanjiao Cheebye Head". Oh well, so many people don't like Francis :)


The thing about status.blogger.com is it only tells you AFTER problems are resolved. Gah.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Eh, why do you need a crossfade plugin post winamp 2.79? :) Nullsoft gives you one for free - and it works pretty well, too. No fancy features, but it does what it's supposed to do (crossfading) well. [Ed: Sqrsoft's plugin appears to be nice. Oh well, I'll let the audiophile advise! So please do. Get Sqrsoft Advanced Crossfading Output at www.sqrsoft.com.ar]

I rather like the pidjin mandarin in the army, it's fun mangling chinese/english/hokkien/teochew/cantonese/malay all in one sentence. Will learn to speak it better. The Coxford Advanced Dictionary *(for singlish)* is a big help. Try Talking Cock and take a look at it :)

I've been accused of having an attitude problem in my camp. Something about my strict/meticulous attitude towards the phrasing of english in the documents which I vet, which accuser calls "England". Will strive to be more meticulous/strict in the future. :D [Ed: Contribute stuff to "Improve Your English"!]

Bookout post:

Restored Post

Walking into camp, I saw that tanks have license plates. Ooo, how much should I bid for a tank COE? And I can just imagine a tank being pulled over for speeding.

After 2 real days in the Medical Centre, it is apaprent that when it is slack, it is very slack, but when it is busy it is very busy. On Thursday morning, we were so free that after 10am there was nothing to do and I could even talk to recruits (see below). But in the afternoon, some ADF people training in the area were suffering from physical exhaustion, brought on by trudging with an over-heavy load from 5:30am-1:30pm without any refilling of waterbottles, and their refusal to eat combat rations because they taste bad. Dave was one of the casualties - "Now you know how xiong my unit is". Oh, and I was called to IV one of them. Of course, I missed.

My thermometer is apparently very good. Someone else's is $12. Gah.

The canteen operators have a drawer in the filing cabinet for their medical dockets. Right.

Kumar in 40SAR gets a night off everyday unless there's night training. And the clerks wake up at 11 or 12. Oh well, the benefits of being in the Best Combat Unit.

I was walking to the Medical Centre when I saw some people gathered around this tube stuck into the soil. Apparently there was some rat in there and they'd killed it by pouring Printol in and were now trying to fish it out. Erk.

Seeing Staff Sergeant technicians, I was joking about Officer technicans. And one day I really saw one. Oh well.

I think I've found the reason why they're so ridiculously strict about many procedural matters - ISO. Stupid ISO.

We were having a Duty Medic 2i/c briefing when I chanced across the patient record board. And I saw, "S8311418E PTE Clarence Lun Yaodong. Unit: HQ/NDP Diagnosis: Asthma. Admit/Discharge: 030702 ATTN B 1 Day". Ahem. And there's some discrepancies with the log book - apparently he was admitted on the first, and was a private at Armour HQ, and had asthma and got 2 days ATTN C. 2 days later, he became a recruit (or was it the other day round?) at the School of Armour/STW. Julian heard a rumour that Yaodong went to DB for 2 years. Aww.

A batch of PSC LMS scholars, in their second year of indenture (apparently local scholars disrupt only in year 2), came for their Fit For Infantry, pending disruption. The SAF is so kind. They give you a checkup both before and after they enslave you.

We were waiting to knock off work on Wednesday, our first real day in camp, when an officer came up after jogging to ask why so many medics were sitting around. Then he got us to take his blood pressure.

I've finally seen one, and only one, cat.

A bought a black bag to sling by my side at E-mart, named, very succinctly, "China Bag". Very convenient for bringing stuff around, it is. And cheap too - $5.50, enthralling even non bargain seeking me. However it's very plain, so I should find some ways to personalise it.

The E-learning centre is fun. However, it seems that the only thing everyone learns is how to check their email!

There was a plump girl who came to report sick. This rather surprised me as I thought plump girls didn't have the desire to join the army. Maybe she joined the army to lose weight, as most females I told about my weight loss during BMT professed to want to!

I'm thinking of getting new nametags for my No 4 shirts. "S Q Seah" is just a touch impersonal. I'm looking for something with a bit more character. Maybe I'll even get one saying "Agagooga".

I was talking to some mono-intake recruits from AETC (Armour Engineers Training Centre). They all are of private diploma education level and lower. They're quite happy they weren't sent to Tekong, where they'd have to drink the bitter Tekong water and be bitten by the Commando mosquitoes there. Some of them may be lucky and become drivers after their BMT! Lucky.

The treatment room, from smelling of Printol, suddenly smelt like salted vegetables (kiam chye) on Thursday. Hmm.

I visited Somchaya's storeroom during lunchtime on Thursday. It's a veritable house of unknown pleasures! Ahh lucky storeman. The air-con is very cold and comfortable so he can read his book (at this moment, Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind)in comfort. On that visit I also found out what the first, second, third and fourth kind, a la "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". Apparently the first kind is when you see a bright light. The second is when you see a UFO. The third's when aliens come out and the fourth occurs when you are taken inside the UFO. Yet another eternal mystery solved!

The pidgin bastardised tongue that passes for Mandarin in the Army, and indeed much of Singapore, really irks me, much more so than proper Mandarin. The grammar is wrong and all words above Primary 4 difficulty level are not used and English is substituted for them instead, so that you have sentences like "Wo3 yao4 take responsibility" when the correct sentence would be "Wo3 yao4 fu4 ze2 ren4". So much for a populace that's effectively bilingual. I, at least, can say that I am effectively monolingual. Most of Singapore is effectively "non-lingual", for lack of a better word. My damning indictment might sound harsh, but I insist it is true.

Folie snapped the tourniquet trying to find my veins, so they used a glove as an improvised tourniquet. Smart.

Before booking out Thursday night, we had a barbeque. It was the first time I started a fire for one, and my second or third time using a lighter too. Oh well. The Camp Commandant's Officer (CCO) Senior Medic had prepared some crabs for us. How rare. But Seetoh tricked me into thinking that the crab crap was crab roe. Grr. Towards the end, I realised that all the other new medics in 42SAR had sidled off, so I cleared up a bit and left myself. Since a taxi was coming out of camp, I took it. And was shocked at the $15 taxi fare. Ugh.


Quotes:

"[On A Levels] You want to know what I got? ABFF... F is for econs... management... A is for absent... [The] B... [is] together"

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Our CO's nice. He gave us half a day off. I'd have booked out earlier but I had a Medic's BBQ.

Weird requests:

"say.
got any pictures of chio people?"

And, on prom:

"I'd rather have gone around taking photos of people zao-gnging."

On Som's advice, I'm giving Sqrsoft Advanced Crossfading Output another try, since SB Live won't give me the "Wave device in use" error. That does have its bad points though, like irritating noises coming up when I'm listening to mp3s.
I found this excellent site containing sheet music for many, many Game Piano Collections soundtracks. It's a very nicely designed site, too. Pity I have no idea what the Doremi track thing is, but I'll figure it out.

Here's the site:
Squaresound

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I am posting this from the Armour E-learning centre. Nice place. LCD monitors too. But apparently we can't use ICQ and IRC. Not that that stops Somchaya anyhow :) And the guy next to me is using ICQ2GO, so.

They've also somehow disabled Windows Media Player's video playback, so when you play videos only sound comes out. And they've Quicktime 4 here to tempt you, until you find out most modern movie trailers need Quicktime 5 to play - and the automatic updater's port is blocked.

Darn thing that wipes all changes made to the system on reboot!
Someone ate the names! My Name!!!

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

I hear the unofficial candidate for head prefect is Act Cute 2's sister. Eeeee.

Everyone is either in school or in camp, and Andrew's busy skewering sea turtles for his dinner barbeque. Damn.

You know you're bored when you start listening to Hebrew music: "Yom Seh Le - Yisrael".


Why does everybody like to link to my now-mutilated RGS Yearbooks page? Even if Tripod did cut my disk space allocation by 3/5 and I'm too busy to find a new webhost. I love referrer reports :)

And some vindication for my long neglected project:

"i don't know. my school annual 2001 has disappeared yet again. it's almost scary to think of what my brother can do to it now that he has torn out almost all the pages already. i actually treasure my possessions. but i... i can't tell him off for destroying something which i actually treasured. my school annual -- my sec 1 year -- i have no idea why my brother would do such a thing."

Oh dear. I still have my 1997-2000 yearbooks. 1996 disappeared when I moved. And 2001 is not out yet. Or something. Apparently our A level certs are out already. I must go and get them one day.
Today was SAF day. I hate SAF day. We arrived at 2+pm, and waited till 6+pm for the pre-parade segment to start. And it gets worse.

I was marinated in rainwater for 6 hours, as it rained non-stop, being a drizzle at the best of times. Mother Nature was showing her disdain of the SAF! In fact, she threw a lightning storm at us, but they didn't declare Cat 1 or even activate their wet weather plan! We were hapless, and expressed our frustration by moaning and shouting when the rain became heavier. I have a feeling that's going to be interpreted as "enthusiasm" in official accounts ie Pioneer Magazine. Some poor JC students had to attend the parade - their waterproof uniforms stood them in good stead!

For a time, we were also not permitted to go to the toilet, evidently because they feared we would abscond. And when they finally let us go, everyone started smoking in the toilet, so the air was thick with smog. And the smoke was even worse after the whole event, when even more people went to the toilet to relieve themselves, in more ways than one.

The MCs tried to get us to do a SAF wave, but on their first attempt, no one responded. In the end, the wave went a respectable three rounds around the stadium, complete with rubbish flying into the air as the wave crest moved through the stadium - I hope no one was hurt by the killer litter!

Quite a few items were stolen from NDP. During the recycled unarmed combat segment, one guy ran out late, so he was running way behind everyone, struggling to catch up. Aww.

They presented some soppy communalistic song by Tanya Chua. Except that she wasn't there - they just played a track from her CD. That was utterly cheapskate.

One member of the band passed out during the parade! Erk. It couldn't have been heatstroke, since it was raining all the way. Oh dear.

Malay is very weird - there is even a drill command to lower your head even. A funny sounding phrase was also shouted repeatedly - "punji punji". It made everyone amused and everytime it was shouted, people giggled or sniggered. A malay friend advises: "sheesh i was wondering what was so funny bout it. i think it refers to the flag bearers". Ahh.

They gave the President a Gore-Tex raincoat and a jockey cap to wear. Yeh. We, on the other hand, were issued with Vietnam-made, blue coloured condom-ponchos which tore easily and left us semi-dry at best. I think half the SAF is going to report sick tomorrow!

As expected, a September 11th reference was made in Tony Tan's speech. Maybe someone should have hijacked a plane and flown it into the National Stadiumm, killing the top brass of the Armed Forces. 9/11 is overused, especially to justify all manner of repressive policies. Also, much was made of the 'dedication' and 'commitment' of NSmen. More like our fear of going to jail.

The MC kept pronouncing 'provost' as 'provo'. Irritating.

All the items involving marching were too long and too draggy. They deadened our minds. Which is why I'm so uncharacteristically un-verbose in this paragraph.

After the whole thing, my sister and brother in law brought me a change of clothing, which is why I don't have footrot now. We had dinner nearby, at Wildfire's, and the waitress there was as tall as me and reminded me of Yunxin, with the similar bearing and slightly familiar features.


Something interesting I found out while trying to find out what the hell the Peoples' Defence Force does.

Monday, July 01, 2002

I wanted to upgrade my computer to WinXP with the CD that Tim burnt for me, but my sister came along after I'd barely started the Upgrade Advisor and demanded to use the computer, and she was using it till 1:46AM (I know the time because I checked the IE cache), by which time I'd fallen asleep.

I got my digital thermometer just now. Yes, we have to get our own for our work (I forgot to note this down in my last bookout post. Duly amended, in addition to something about dogs). Disgusting, isn't it? The one I got, from Bukit Timah Plaza Pharmacy, cost $29.80. Ouch. Apparently they're $15-17, so maybe I got cheated, but time is more valuable than money, especially bookout time, so I just forked out that hefty sum.

Maybe 1 1/2 of the 3 boxes (small cartons, in fact) of Flake that my sister bought in a fit of madness for me on the way back from one of her last holidays, to Malta, if I remember correctly, are still languishing in the fridge. And that's after she's given one box away. Oh well, she was really too enthusiastic.

My brother in law got 16 1L packets of Cyprina Grapefruit juice at Bukit Timah Plaza just now. Besides the fact that Grapefruit juice is disgusting in and of itself, the packets now come with Halal stickers! Ugh. I'm rather sickened and disgusted by the thought that anyone thought animal products might be put into fruit juice, and anyway nothing in the world is Halal due to the water cycle and the water table, so while waiting for my brother in law to drive the car over, I wrote "Haram" on as many packets I could find, excepting the sole pre-existing Haram packet (the one which didn't have one of the silly stickers). That said, Halal grapefruit juice can't beat Halal Ice (Tuck Lee Iceworks).

Had dinner with Tim The Great just now. I hadn't seen him since last year - over the Hari Raya weekend when I booked out!

He taught me how to program dotted notes in Nokia Composer. Ugh, I swear it's not in the manual (as is a lot of other stuff). He was surprised that I composed by ear, so he showed off his scores. How arrogrant (sic) :)

I finally compiled a playlist of all his songs for him. I wonder if he will bother to maintain it, though. You can view the list here.

4:37AM:

My upgrade attempt failed. Damn. Ah I can sleep during SAF Day.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Bookout post:

Restored Post

We have not enough beds and cupboards, so for now none of us have cupboards, and 4/6 of us sleep in the sick bay! It's quite comfortable, except for the walk to there and back.

On the job training is really mind boggling. There's lots of stuff to remember, and lots of paperwork to do. And we're all scared of forgetting to do certain things when registering patients and the like. Ugh. To make matters worse, we've to buy our own digital thermometers! Outrageous,

Yeh, I don't need to book out in collared shirts anymore.

The toilets at 42SAR are really nice. I thought it was only the toilets on the level of the offices, but when I used the toilet on the top floor where the Medical Platoon's bunk is, I was pleasantly shocked. BMT's facilities are supposed to be good already, but those in my unit are even better. The shower cubicles have doors! And the floors are tiled and there are flower designs on the tiles at chest level. Kind of like a 3 star hotel.

I've seen many dogs in camp. Yeh. And no cats. Double yeh.

My brother in law claimed that there was standby bed even in Units. Fortunately, this is not true. Goody.

Our post-NDP block leave with be from 12/8 to 17/8. This will leave me with 1/2 day left. I'm going to spend my next 14 days of leave, when it comes, as quickly as possible!

Zhongyong is stayout. Grr.

I found out what the two chevrons on the upper arm represent - it's the old corporal rank.

On nights off, Andrew Tan has to book in at 10+pm. Might's well not go out!

Our berets hadn't arrived yet, but the CCO Senior Medic wanted us to wear them by Monday, so we had to expend yet more credit at E-mart. I look horrible, like a French Painter at best, with mine on.

It's rather inane - there are specified times when one is allowed to use the arcade machines in camp. And there are, like 5 times throughout the day. 2 of them last half an hour and the other 3 last for 15 minutes! No one's gonna complete Metal Slug 3 (say) in half an hour. Though it does seem rather cheap - one of the machines costs 3 x 10 cents per credit. And it's quite up-to-date - I saw one KOF 2001 machine.

It's very funny. In one canteen there's a poster encouraging you to buy the (presumably more expensive) Singapore Red Bull, which has extra ingredients - including the most expensive of all of them, less sugar and is generally better, instead of the one meant for Indo-China. And then in the fridge of the drinks store, one sees only the Indo-Chinese Red Bull. Aww.

On Friday afternoon, we were mobilised for NDP cover. Or at least that's what we were told. When we arrived, we saw a lot of kiddies, and the MC announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls [Notice how for the older ones, it's ladies first, but it's vice versa for the kids], welcome to the opening ceremony of the Singapore Youth Festival 2002". And so I was sort-of involved in the SYF opening ceremony again, 6 years after my previous time.

The choir now sings more funky songs, with beats, stuttered rhythms and the like. But their costumes look as horrible as ever. Or worse. In 1996, the costume was a yellow shirt with a white collar and white bermudas with ridges running down them. This year, they have a white shirt and some dodgy-looking overtunic which looks like coloured fish scales glued together and stuck on soft leather. There's probably a name for that material, but it doesn't come to mind now. Their choreography is hilarious too. But then I usually find choreography hilarious. Anyhow, it involves swinging their white caps around, orange fans (yes, this is worse than the green ones I had) and some butt shaking and arm twirling.

They are still singing the stupid song, "We Share". In Sec 1, we in the choir had to sing it and I was wondering why the tune was so nice. When I became more versed in the ways of music, I realised that it was actually Holst's "I Vow To Thee My Country" with the nationalist lyrics replaced by communalistic ones written by Prof Edwin Thumboo. At least, the lyrics are not too cheesy, and they fit in with the cadence of the song. Now, they've added a descant part and some beats to the song. Ugh. Another of the songs they're still being made to perform is Pesta Belia. I was surprised that I still remembered the tune! Though I'd forgotten all the malay lyrics.

The parade commander is some RJ girl. Yeh.

Apparently some people, after passing out from SISPEC/OCS, get posted to... the NCC. Wow.

I find marching with a skirt amusing. As I do girls' lifting of their legs to bang - apparently the angle of lift's supposed to be between 45 and 80 degrees, but it seems they are lazy and always raise their legs as low as they can get away with. The sight of the Chinese High boys marching in shorts also caused me a moment of mirth. I think I get amused too easily.

And of all the things that happened during the SYF Opening Rehearsal, the one that left me most flabbergasted was seeing some people. 2 people, specifically. It was disgusting, but yet again, I ran into Huijun and Huimei! Everywhere I go, no matter what I do, they will show up. Anyhow they were volunteering with the Red Cross Ambulance Service, and started one week ago. So all the kiddies were in safe hands with our favourite, valiant twins.

*** [Ed: Name removed by request, due to person's vanity], doing his signal duties, looks hilarious. He wears his unit singlet, making him look a bit less professional. He has all manner of equipment strapped to his body, and antennas stick out all over, making him look like a suicide bomber. And he has not one, but two headsets on his head, attached by a headband that makes him look like a jungle boy, and frazzles his hair.

There's the usual marching band competition, and as always, TKSS and Bowen are among the finalists. The bands seem to be made up of mostly females, which is somewhat odd - I didn't think bands have the stigma that choirs have for males. The antics of drum majors never fail to amuse me, especially their antics with the oversized toothpicks. And their throwing them in the air and (sometimes) failing to catch them. I wonder if anyone has gotten injured before - Newspaper headline: "Drum major maimed by his own staff". The TKSS marching band wears black-and-white striped shirts. They look like prisoners.

We had a frugal serving of Pizza Hut food for dinner on Friday. Ugh.

After the SYF rehearsal was a NDP technical rehearsal. Which meant we just sat there and stoned. And the older medics were bored, so the senior medic decided to test us on POCM! My phone rang when I was the casualty, and the MO recognised my ringtone. So far the only other person who has is the doctor at the clinic I usually go to. Maybe there's something with doctors and classical music.

The rehearsal ended late, and we ended up leaving at about 11:15pm, sleeping only at about 12:40am. As we had to wake up at 6:10am, we were very tired on Saturday.

On Sunday, we finally covered an actual rehearsal. Except that we spent the time before and after lunch being casualties for the medical teams to practice on. The casualty cards we got were horrendously misspelt - "diddy, cannot hear" (giddy), "deep painting" (panting) and "knock on conrete" (concrete) were just some of the misspellings on them. I was talking to a medic from 5SIR. He was malay, as were most of his fellow 5SIR medics (so much for racial equity). He said that being a platoon medic wasn't actually that tough - he always waits until the fighting has stopped until he goes in to treat the wounded, and he gets riflemen to do all the work - even neck and pistol dragging.

We had some Bandung which 6SIR had concocted, and as we were tasting it I was commenting that it tasted a bit sour and we'd get diarrhea later. Sure enough, I had mild diarrhea Saturday night. Gah.

As we rode in on the tonner, I saw movement in the Kallang Netball Centre. It was the Raffles Guys School Upper Secondary Netball Carnival. Yeh.

I theorise that the purpose of SAF personnel learning unarmed combat is so that they can put up items for National Day (the SAF already provides much of the parade contingent, the odd jobs force, medical cover, comms support and god knows what else - free labour!)! In a real fight you'd just use any style that came to hand, so to speak, to attack your opponent.

They have this stupid idea of "NDP radio" where they pretend that they are tuning into radio stations, which then play 4 songs in each of the 4 national languages (naturally). They brought in dancers from the Lindy Hop Ensemble, ACJC and CHIJ Katong (almost definitely from their Flesh Parades), Sriwana and some Indians who had no shirts identifying which organisation they belonged to (if any). to dance inanely, and probably the worst choreography was that for the most irritating Malay song of all time - Burung Kakatua (lyrics will NOT be found below for this), sung in a most ear grinding arrangement by a most annoying Malay woman. Gah.

Some items in NDP were reused from the SYF opening ceremony - how cheapskate. So we saw the kiddies from Temasek Secondary and CHIJ Toa Payoh and St Theresa's Convent running around again. And these are really kiddies - most of them were tiny, Sec 1s or Sec 2s at most. Someone was commenting that he came to our location because he wanted to see zha bor, but in the end it was "xiao3 mei4 mei4" (little sisters). Aww.

They announced that the choir was going to sing a song - "Semoga Bahagia", composed by some Mohammad guy (aren't they all). I was very happy that it wasn't by Iskandar Ismail, he-who-composes-all-national-songs, and the song played along until a familiar part came. Then, I realised, to my horror, that it was actually the Children's Day song that we were forced to sing every Children's Day in Nanyang (how ironic, a malay song in a cheena school!), and I'd last sung in Secondary 2 or 3 when Mr Johari got us a cake for Children's Day but wanted us to sing the song. They'd arranged it, added beats and added new bits (not least the words "Semoga Bahagia", which I believe didn't appear in the original song), which was why I didn't recognise it at first. Lyrics can be found at the end of this post!

There was one part where they released many balloons into the air. I don't know how many seagulls and sea otters are going to choke on them and die just for this silly spectacle. NDP is just silly pageantry. Well, you know what they say about the proletariat and Bread and Circuses.

It seems the marshallers' jobs are very sad. They are like sheepdogs, running alongside and behind the kiddies as they rush onto the tarpaulin-covered field.

During the item involving Temasek Secondary, one little girl's giant white balloon popped. Aww.

We had anemic servings of Pizza Hut (Yes, again. I wonder how those taking part in every rehearsal can stand eating the same thing every time) and KFC respectively for lunch and dinner on Saturday. They're so stingy.

If you want to read the official line on NDP 2002, you can visit the hilarious website.

On the way home I crossed an overhead bridge when I shouldn't have so I ended up traversing the length of the Nicoll Highway. Oh well.


Quotes:

"[On NDP cover] Nu3 de4 yong4 [For females, perform] CPR. Nan2 de4 yong4 [For males, perform] IV. For all types of illness."

"[Me on Jaime Teo: What's her claim to fame? What's her claim to fame?] Boobs. Brainless boobs... Ms University-Singapore (Universe)"


I need new shoes. My black dress shoes went missing and my 2 pairs of track shoes are rather battered. And I lack casual shoes.

My thursday night can be described here, but I would like to make some points.

- I've quarelled with Screwed Up Girl before
- I said it was going to be a REAL PJ girl. And she doesn't know PJ girl anyway.
- The RV alumni didn't want me
- It's not nice to invite the whole world along when you yourself are being invited, and not organising the thing
- Your boyfriend is not a leech. And it *is* okay to go do things on your own. Not doing something with him does not mean that you are abandoning him, or choosing someone else over him
- Marcia. Not "Marsha" :)
- Crying all the time, at matters of little import, is not a good practice

This does sound rather mean, but I'm actually not angry anymore, am in a rather good mood, albeit tired after NDP cover.

And a misc point:

- The ice machine was right behind me and Andrew. Self service!


Semoga Bahagia

Sama sama, maju ka hadapan
Pandai chari, pelajaran
Jaga diri, dalam keshatan
Serta sopan santun, dengan kawan kawan
Dengan hati, bersih serta suchi
Sama sama, hormat dan berbudi
Jaga tingka, pemuda pemudi,
Adat dan budata
Jun jong tinggi,
chapai-la lekas chita chita
Pemudi pemuda
Supaya kita ada harga dimata dunia.
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