When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, March 16, 2002

Hmm.... what if someone in Ormond somehow finds this and reads it.... ah, heck. Floor dinner on Friday nite, sally told me on my way out and got a note under my door. Walked a fair distance to Brunswick st, to this funky place called Hideout. Done in pastels and bright colours, and lots of lavender purple. And decor was sorta girlz "phuture london" line.

Would have had a v. boring time if this senior and i didn't start talking on the way. A 5th yr eng/comp. sci student, from hongkong, big Big soccer fan. The girls were chattering away, 5 guys went along. It was supposed to be BYO but the restaurant didn't allow byo. Hmm. Then one of the girls who had a bottle asked if she could leave hers in someone's handbag. Then all the girls indicated their tiny handbags/baguettes.

I almost burst out laughing on the street.

The only other fresher around looked pretty bored, hardly spoke at all. And viewed his burger with the same sort of apprehension and distaste a student views exams. Might have been because one of the seniors was talking abt how his working stint in a restaurant turned him right off catered food, because of the level of hygiene and other things going on in the kitchens. Then he went on abt having large drinks since the morning.

Finally excused myself at 8pm, thereabouts. Called jiamin but the farewell dinner for tingru was over, so i missed that for this. Made my way down to north dining hall, union house for OCF. Which was good; vyu kien was going thru the "OCF (vision) = cell group (ditto) = you = me " which isn't exactly self-explanatory. Verse for the year is Eph 5:8 (ephesians only has 6 chapters, silly me)".

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

Then cell time, word on the Great Commission, sharing abt Serve. Signed up for the easter camp, 28 to 31 march. Well, that's another weekend taken care of.
Hi. I'm supposed to be studying, so I'm just putting this up. It's melbourne uni's Overseas christian fellowship briefcase of documents, haven't really looked at it yet.
Basically yesterday I went for floor dinner (partly a disaster socially), then OCF nite (lasted until 12.35am).
Then Woke up to phone call from concerned (but very sleepy) father who woke up at 5am to call me to confirm some details and also to be sure i was "up for school". Reminded him that it was saturday, but at 5am I'd find it hard to ascertain the day too. Tried to call brother but he was out, and he left a msg saying he had just got back home and was going straight to bed.... will give him a wake-up call tomorrow (sorta "passing the buck"!) Lazed around, went for a run, chatted with melvin's friend on phone, spent almost the whole afternoon on the phone with wanyan (who is leading a very exciting life now). Did some studying. Trying to finish up readings now. Wanted to go to brownless library, but by the time i was off the phone it was 20 minutes to closing time.

Gabriel are you back from tekong??

Thursday, March 14, 2002

As I logged off, a perverse notion suddenly prevailed upon me. Of late, I have had only two deities - one of which is the love of my life, and you know who you are(skiing in the Alps, bloody hell!). Without your radiance, I could never get through to lunch, let alone the day and all its associated emotional and psychological encumbrances. And to my other deity - Amusement - who still favours me with Its largesse, often at the most unexpected at times - a moment of homage. And that ends the requisite "mad propz" encomium to my religion:)

It seems that blogger has issues with my account.

*Yesterday's* post didn't get through as well, so from now on I'm going to backdate all my posts by a day. It's rather sian, but I haven't got a choice, and it does give me some time to polish them up for readability. In any case, today I was oddly deprived of inspiration- in fact I could sum it up by saying that the dreaded sianness has begun to descend. I actually found myself, today, while drivng to work, thinking that I could get *used* to this job - when a week ago every moment of commuting was spent stewing in a maelstrom of self-contained convection anger. It's congealed into this deadening, numbing, ambition-killing stoicness which highlights more than ever my need to change careers. In any event - on with yesterday's entry.

Yesterday's (Ed: which actually turned out late by a day due to certain technical errors last night, and some creative re-editing, as was this one) entry actually proved to be remarkably entertaining, as well as a good way to blow off steam after work. In fact, I was so inspired that today, I went around scribbling points that I intended to include in today's diatribe. However, the cuneiform patterns on the dog-eared scrap of paper I had used for this task has proved rather tricky to decipher. This is, at best, what I can read:


Tan Ah Kow competition
the guerilla of finance(catharsis)
importance of literacy(murals, signing, ATMs) ----> joy of writing
danger of CTOS(!!!)
Islamic banking -> ethical considerations
quoted Dune egregiously - water-rationing
solicited sycophancy VOC

Alright, so that's a little vague. Permit me to clarify.

Firstly, the Tan Ah Kow competition refers to a perverse idea that occurred to me while indulging my morbid curiosity. It turns out that there are no less than 52 separate Tan Ah Kows - all different people!- holding accounts with my bank. Who let the Kows out?? (okay. BAD BAD JOKE). It may say something that 46 of these appear to be born before 1955. But seriously, who knows what other @#$^ed up names might reside within the database? Should anyone be so inclined, leave a few potential candidates in the comments section, and I'll see how many I can dig up from the database. If this was a radio show, there might be prizes, but it ain't, so there ain't, save the potential for entertainment. Which may be the biggest prize of all.:)

Secondly, perhaps my natural adaptive instinct is kicking in, but today, instead of the usual waves of crippling despair, I felt this odd, god-like sense of omnipotence as I basked in the glow of being an integral cog within the economic life of society. Granted, the removal of this one cog doesn't do the machine much damage, but I was struck by the sheer.. *dependency* some of these people I deal with have on me, and the institution I represent. A person applying for a home loan could have his dream home turn to ashes if I raise doubts about his income consistency. The old geezers who depend on me to help them read their passbooks and write cheque deposit slips for them are placing their economic convenience squarely at the mercy of my perverse whims. Of course there's only so much damage I can do before I get fired and/or prosecuted - but I can do a *hell* lot of damage. And if I want to be stealthy.. security in the bank is rather lax(except when dealing with cash, obviously). Simply "misplacing" some of the credit cards, cheque books or ATM cards we issue everyday could deal untold trauma to the people who need them *immediately*. Believe me, I've seen enough pissed-off customers whose accounts didn't balance or had unexected charges come up, only to have that rage multiply when faced against the quality of customer service I provide. Or, if I *really* want to be evil - I could just go into some of those accounts and modify their addresses:) A lot of people wouldn't get bank statements, notifications of late charges, etc... and imagine all these bloody furious people going around and taking out their rage on all the people around them. As Crowley from Good Omens puts it: "The knock-on effects were incalculable. Thousands of souls all got a faint patina of tarnish and you hardly had to lift a finger." I could be the guerilla of consumer finance, dealing damage to a public as vengeance for my pain. hur hur hur. *snorts like a pig*

Thirdly, it's so bloody important to be literate. I have people who can't read(no kidding) insisting on an ATM card, and then, when faced with the bold new concept of PIN numbers, they put on the same face I do when anyone tries to talk to me about sports or shopping. Not to mention their anguish when asked to sign their names - I had to deal with this Bangladeshi who inscribed his name into the form with the steady precision and meticulousness that it took Michaelangelo to carve the Pieta. And, much like the Pieta, the symbols that emerged are meant to be a representation rather than an actual use of language. So we be glad we can all reed n rite end speelll rill gud n stuf.

Fourthly, boys and girls, NEVER EVER get on any of those international or national databases of bankruptcy or court records. EVERY little transgression in your life these days is certain to be filed and documented somewhere, somewhere where it *will* bite your ass someday when you least expect it. I've seen grown men's faces crumble when we dig up a past bankruptcy hearing from the CTOS database(which maintains a local listings of all bankruptcies and financially-related court orders) and have to turn down permission for a credit card or an ATM. Imagine what *other* databases are being kept on your littering, unwanted pregnancies, and taxi driver conversations.

I'm a hell of a lot more tired than I thought I was, and in hindsight, the other topics I've earmarked don't really seem *that* fascinating after all. So I think I'll wrap it for tonight, and go to sleep basking in the warm glow of mediocre, Pepysian glory and the satisfaction of a day well-bitched.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

*Cheers again*

Apologise for the hanging "And" in the last entry- Daniel (Chaowan, as his acquaintances in singapore would know him as) pulled me out of com lab, lessons were starting.
Forgot to mention I went to watch Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" (female version) when i was in singapore. Arrived late because i left late, plus the bus was stuck in an orchard rd traffic jam. And there was a traffic block at wisma for a strange reason. I ended up taking off the bus near heeren, walking down to the mrt to take it one stop to dhoby ghaut, then running up to the drama centre. Traffic was crawling.
Someone in the stage club must have some neil simon fetish- i remember them putting up the first "the odd couple" and barefoot in the park recently.
Lighthearted comedy- dialogue was funny, the two female characters were flat (and i don't necessarily mean in stature, then it would only apply to the skinny one). Sorta bordering on american sitcom-ish "beverly hillbillie" girl teams up with "friends cum ellen cum frasier " type generic gen-x yuppie-working-in-media. Lotsa laughter. But there were two spanish brothers with irritating accents and even more irritating stereotypical behaviour, like, do-oh!!

Anyway, that came to mind because blue/orange is showing here, as is Lifex3, and i was trying to think of pple to go watch them with. But a lot of the bunch i'm close to here (made up largely of singapore/malaysian 1st yr meds.... awful aren't i) are watching their purses/wallets closely. I don't dare ask albert, he practically counts every penny (not that it's possible, 1 cents don't exist, apparently this Other kid from singapore bought some stuff at $2.99 and was waiting at the cashier for 5 minute for the one-cent change). And all this is making me edgy 'cos i feel like i'm squandering money away every time i make any purchase.

Got a reminder to study so returning back to my room. Ciao.
Here's yesterday's entry.

Will follow with today's entry shortly after (damned blog errors)

I realize that yesterday's brief rant of bitching actually served as an emotional novocaine of sorts to my beleaguered soul. Strange, but it goes some way to explaining the Adrian Moles and the Bridget Joneses of this world. So today, I have decided to provide a somewhat experimental foray and test run a series of observations, some of which border on bitchy, others of which are just plain abstruse.

Now I could outline a straightforward "bitch" narrative in which I complain assidously about the horrible drive to work, the need to go against all my habits and gorge myself for breakfast(because I'm never assured of time for lunch), the public and the constant source of wonder I derive from their inability to read the words: "CASH DEPOSIT MACHINE" or "CHEQUE DEPOSIT COUNTER". (and to some of you, I already have done this, and more, over and over, until your "heads grew heavy and your sight grew dim." bwahaahhah)

However, I shall unleash a fusillade of random points. I actually catalogued a few observations I expressly wanted to gripe about today. So here there are. uh huh uh huh. ooh yeah. shake it baby.

a) The toilet has a generator in it. It is the only toilet I have ever seen with a fully functional gasoline generator just in front of the toilet bowl(there's just enough space
to stand in between the bowl and the generator to perform your ablutions). I find that highly fascinating! A generator! In a toilet! (it's the bank's back-up power supply, for the congenitally thick)

b) There are two security guards there. One is an amusing, garrulous, scoundrel type who has lived in Australia, reputedly has contacts with some seriously wealthy Malay tycoons he met while abroad(he alludes to the camaraderie of Malays overseas as a uniting bond that transcends classes), is fleeing a court order against him(in New Zealand) for unpaid debts, and a felony suspicion, if his highly suspect stories are true. The other has only said about four words to me since I started work, wears blue-tinted sunglasses, and carries the shotgun.

There is a certain *rightness* to things that the guy who talks the least carries the gun. I have to come call him Silent, as a nod to the wizard from Glen Cook's Black Company series(the inspiration to the computer game Myth: The Fallen Lords and a rattling good yarn for fans of comparative morality:). I once remarked to Silent. "Funny how Hasan(the talkative guard) yaks so much and you never say anything and all. It balances out." He sort of smiled. I'm not sure if it was a polite, meaningless smile, or a flash of true Zen appreciation. I shall probably never know.

I might add that Hasan has formally told me that if a robber ever comes, at night, he'll be glad to help him load up the ATM machine into a truck. He claims that him and Silent are there for purely formal insurance purposes. As he put it: "The security company and the bank have a back-scratch deal with one another. The robbers are another story. The police are YET another story."

c) Today we had a meeting. I actually planned to say a LOT about the meeting, but once again, the raw seething waves of hatred and self-loathing and hypomanic fits seem to have faded somewhat now that I'm at home, and well-fed, and looking forward to watching some VCDs before I head to sleep. All I shall say now is that, if I liked Scott Adams' Dilbert work before, I am now *living* them. With the pointy-haired manager, Quality Initiatives, surreal office politics, and all.

d) Actually, at the meeting, our assistant manager(ABM) was pointing out that my branch is legendary for the numbers of complaints, etc etc. And unfortunately, a lot of wealthy golfing partners of our managing director seem to have chosen our branch as their whipping boy in conversational topics over the fairway. AND this is despite a lot of informal commentary that we provide some of the best service among branches - although formal complaints are the ones that get filed. When the ABM was assigned to a ulu suburban area, he said he received abuse, threats, scoldings, in greater amounts than we do here.. but only one written complaint? Why? Because, he said, in cheena areas, they can't be bothered to write in.

Unfortunately our area is kind of like Holland Village, with yuppies, expatriates, the nouveau riche, restauranteurs, hairdressers, small(but wealthy) businessmen, and these people all LOVE to bitch. Formally. In letters that get attached to our personnel files. I had to restrain an insane urge to orate sonorously: "The evil that men do lives on after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."

e) And, finally, a word of kudos for my ABM. He's cynical, mean, swears a lot, smokes like a chimney... but cares for his staff(us poor sods). He had a bad hiatus in Singapore for a few years, and has emerged the equivalent of the broken down, contemptuous, hard-bitten lieutenant in a Verdun trench who constantly prods and holds his staff together through sheer force of will. He gives good advice, when he isn't swearing at HQ, the cheque clearers, the credit card department, our manager, the customers, and any of our obstacles at work. He is the linchpin of our "us against the rest of the damn world" esprit de corps that infuses my colleagues.
*Cheers for The Associate's "gems"*

Am in the med comp labs now... iMacs here are all in teal..... one of my favourite colours!!
Tuesday was,... well, tuesday. Lectures (studying chem s pays off .... enzyme kinetics, organic chem 3-D structure, stuff like that). And yours truly betrayed his blur roots... missed my tutorial at 3.15pm (i thought mine was at 4.15!!). Attended the 4.15 class instead.

Attended a college tutorial- first biochem one. The PhD pharmacology student conducting it claimed she spent her afternoon in UBar, and that would account for her tipsy behaviour. She was, like, out of it, totally, and well still managed to go through the stuff she prepared, but just barely. Had problems pronouncing "pyrimidine". I'll have to check out which tutorials are coming up... could have skipped that one.

Sheila's in australia!!!! (manic whoooping, gleeful noises) Now if only i had some way of contacting her....

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

thank ye, o pedantic one, for the help with placing the 'comments' thingy on my blog. while html is still comprehensible, i can't manage javascript to save my straying soul. in the same vein as the associate, mayhap you'd like to explain why you relish unleashing your dieting anecdotes in greater frequency than i do of my own? taking into account the perception that i'm an airheady neurotic-consumes-only-celery-sticks rgs gep type, that's rather alarming, innit?;)
retaking your gp's an excellent move, but you might like to spell 'diarrhoea' accurately first:) [Ed: di�ar�rhe�a also di�ar�rhoe�a (d-r)

Excessive and frequent evacuation of watery feces, usually indicating gastrointestinal distress or disorder.

[Middle English diaria, from Medieval Latin, from Late Latin diarrhoea, from Greek diarroia, from diarrein, to flow through : dia-, dia- + rhein, to flow, run; see sreu- in Indo-European Roots.]diar�rheal or diar�rheic (-k) or diar�rhetic (-rtk) adj.

Source: The American Heritage� Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright � 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.]

Monday, March 11, 2002

BTW, it's spelled Moomba, the bar in Collingwood is near the McDonald's(can't remember EXACTLY where), and Brunetti has the most divine Italian hot chocolate on the planet bar none. Brunetti's is located on Swanston Street itself, right opposite the part where all the trams terminate - it's on the University side. Just before the overpass from the Physics building.
1984 was written in 1948. John Nash's work in the Pentagon was in the 50s.
The book was already extant then.

I've never really appreciated the therapeutic value of sharing your most intimate personal feelings with a diary, let alone publishing that diary for all and sundry on the net. Still, at the repeated exhortations of friends who keep telling me I have related enough experiences about it to write a book("oh god stop already stop just make it stop go write a book or something") - there ARE some interesting observations to be made. And it IS oddly cathartic. So here's today's little gems

Putting work into perspective:

Succeses to date.
a) Learning to tie a half-windsor knot for my tie. This is no mean feat considering that for four years in secondary school my school tie was only tied twice by my mother, and subsequently hitched and unhitched every week; only retying the knot ONCE after Sec. 2(lost the tie in canteen). And in university, I got away with clip-ons and bowties whenever occasions demanded a cravat of some sort. But now, I have to tie a tie *everyday*. And now I know how. (thanks to http://www.bizweb.com/tie) Cheer at my triumphs! Bask in my glory!

Failures to date:
a) Everything else, from having a hideous job, to having a hideous life.

Okay, that bit of bitching made me feel WAY better about myself:)

Monday: Lectures started at 8. Breakfast at cafe notturno's (delightful iced choc) with the bunch, lecture and tutorial in the afternoon (irritating teacher in tute, hardly had any idea what was going on) then watched a beautiful mind. Fantastic!!

Tidbit trivia:
When jon nash finishes his business in the pentagon, he looks up and says "who's big brother?"
* The term "big brother' only came into common use after orwells' "1984", so, ha-hah

The little girl holds a Dr. Seuss "Green Eggs and Ham" book for dr. nash to read to her; i doubt it was written by the 1970s.

Check out the changing hairdos of the main characters and extras over the years 1960s to 1994.

Andrew gan
Collingwood: My type? What's the bar?

Wanted to give gabriel a call (i got back to my room at 4.30pm Singapore time), but unsure at that time if he was available. Ah well.

Stingray's one of my favourite dishes! Provided it's done well. Actually I just like all sorts of food with seafood quite high on my list (my parents cook quite a lot of it, my dad comes from a seaside town with lots of iodine in his diet)

Ah, discovered I was practically the last one to find out about tina tan's catwalk aspirations. According to sarah she's gotten into the finals (20 girls); general opinion is that she's somewhat chio but her glamour photos in the press don't do her mug justice. Oh, and danny finds the whole thing highly amusing. I probably shouldn't elaborate lest I offend anyone.

Games day was fun! The first game my cell group ("Pluto") went to was next to the pond (used to be a river, but most of it dried up) and there was this pole erected 20m from it, the pole had holes drilled into it and a piece of styrofoam was stuffed into it; objective was to ferry water from the pond (smellier than septic tanks and all kinds of lower life forms) into the poles via 3 plastic cups, to force the styrofoam out. Involved most of cell group stuffing their fingers into the many holes in the pole (muffled cries when jets of water shot out from the holes in the pole into pple's mouths). Rest of them were more unusual stuff- boil an egg in the middle of a circle 6m in diameter without stepping into the circle (tie the egg, mess tin, and the mess tin containing lit solid fuel to string on both sides and slowly lower them into the circle), modified hopscotch, and throwing a tyre onto a 5m- pole and getting it off the pole again.

Mumba festival This weekend, so the few of us ("1st yr meds? Soo exclusive"-lu-fee) arranged to meet for dinner and mumba after games day. Was suppposed to meet albert, then meet up with the rest of them. Albert turned up hafl an hour late, then brightly suggested getting one large pizza (each) to eat on the way. He didn't know intersection cafe didn't do instant take-away, we ended up waiting for the pizza to bake. By the time we got to the river, fireworks were over, and his handphone batt died. So we couldn't contact the rest, then decided to head back. Only we missed 2 buses in a row, and the buses came in 20-minute intervals. Got back at eleven plus.

But i didn't mind. Really. Pretty sure i'd been thru worse, somewhere in the 2L era of 1996-1997. Or in 2L revisited- 1998-1999. Plus, I had pizza (=.
And in case u got the wrong idea, nooo i didn't finish the pizza by myself, called my friend to help me finish it. Neighbours on my level were all out.

Sunday was brunch day (brunch is simply delightful- all kinds of things, large spread... rudy suggested i go to the 9am service instead of the 11am one since brunch is 10.30 to 12.30) eating food made me late for church (though i ate pretty little). This is weird. My life shouldn't revolve so much around food and its consumption.

Sermon on the brother who asked Christ to arbitrate in the inheritance dispute with his brother; "riches on earth"; building up relationship being paramount;.

Then i bumped into my mum's friend, who insisted on bringing me to her apartment for lunch. Her 2 sons are studying in melbourne, so they had a 2-bedroom apartment right in the city all to themselves; she and her husband and a 12-yr old harry potter/WWF maniac daughter came down for the school holidays. Ate delicious home-cooked bee hoon, roast chicken, chicken curry, some kind of omelette. And lovely peaches. And lazed around their place all afternoon. (Ouch have a backache today- think it's because i fell asleep on the couch in their place)

Sunday nite was spent in the comp lab on icq, blog, email.
I have to go back in less than 2 hours time. Oh well. At least I got 1 1/2 days off due to my diarrhea (ouch).

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Well let's consider the homosexuality of your rants:

"My previous Body Shop Jasmine Exfoliating Body Wash just drains away." [Ed: Lavender and Ylang Ylang are just not for me]

"Ahhh! I hate jumping down from such heights..."

"Apparently everyone, even mild mannered sorts, come out of Slavery spouting vulgarities. I am the only survivor, though unclean thoughts (of this nature!) sometimes trouble me. I think I will survive this assault on my sensibilities though!"

Plus the fact you went for SAF MDC auditions.....

If the shoe fits, you cannot acquit.

[Ed: I am more amused than anything (comments in this league rarely faze me) but re: http://gssq.blogspot.com/2001_11_01_gssq_archive.html#7263853 in which was quoted:

"you seem to have a distinct mortification for sexuality - a quality shared by quite a few serial killers... i was reading through your blog - and a recurrent theme in our conversations and in your epistlery - there's a not-so-subtle misogyny and resentment of female sexuality - the abhorrence of "flesh parades" and "hot pants" {Ed: It was hot shorts actually}, the general veneer of distaste for anything that heightens adolescent sexual attractivenes... the proliferation of calling people by these little soubriquets
it's vaguely schizo - you're disssociating yourself from these people, giving them conceptual labels.

might i add how psychopathic it is to pick up scrunchies and hairbands..."

There was some more about how it was like the priests who molest little boys because they're repressed, "same thing, different degree" and that it was a symptom of my repressed sexuality. There was a lot more, due to the fondness of our proto-psychoanalyst to be, but my ICQ history got corrupted, so.

So which way does it swing? A secret liking of Flesh Parade-rs or a secret desire to participate in the Sydney Mardi Gras {I hear it's quite magnificent. I must go have a look, soak in the atmosphere one day}.]
The Associate informs me that cohabitate is a word. And searching for it gets 3000 over results on Google. Well. Oh well.

The 2001 Batch of Raffles Guys GEPs had a better lit (elit I presume, I don't think they have clit there) average than English average. Weird.

I intend to retake my GP. It's ignominious, on paper my English/Logic is shown to be as bad as my Chinese. Even if the certs can't be combined, it's a matter of principle :)

There are just too many seafood stalls at Newton Hawker Centre. At least 8. Probably because of the high profits you can earn by selling Stingray.

Apparently "The Tick" is now a Live Action TV Show. I never really understood that one.

Apparently a RI scout came earlier in the day and asked if there were any jobs to do. My sister gave him some chocolate cake.

That day Chinx went back to RJC in his Combat Boots. Actually they didn't look too bad, they go quite well if the pants cover the top of the boots. But astute people like me can tell the dark secret hidden underneath the cloth...

"you DO know that your army rants are horrifyingly gay.

not as an insult - but they're horrifyingly terribly full of repressed latent homosexuality."

Yeah baby.
Had a rockin' weekend. First welcome nite by Overseas christian fellowship, rudy was telling me abt it a Looong time ago when he was in 1st/2nd/3rd yr, siew min said she'll bring me along to the meetings. Arranged to meet sarah/jiamin/albert at student union first at 7pm when it started. Had to wait until 7.25pm for him to arrive (grrrr) but jiamin and sarah were telling very funny stories abt rgs/rjc, abt orientation n stuff.

OCF welcome had worship, youth-service style (2 keyboardists, worship leader, 1 acoustic guit, 2 basses, 1 drummer) and they connected in their own amps, hillsongs and others. Announcements about their upcoming activites (games day the following day, easter camp, all sound fun, going for them), introduction, welcome of new members (i stood up but ushers didn't give me a file. Hrmmmph. I can't be That short. ) OCF is mainly singapore/malaysian chinese, more the former. I mean, they even have holiday meetings in singapore! And there's OCF melbourne (melb uni and RMIT), OCF parkville, OCF branches for monash and stuff. And vyu kien (sp?) (whom i discovered, was the chair this yr) warned us that ocf wasn't a replacement/sub for any church, we were expected to go to church on sunday. Most ocf-ers i heard, go to the glen waverly one with a v. good speaker, or to ACCF the cultish questionable young people's one, or to swanston st church of christ (met esther there).

Then a pastor from a church in the city came up, short message on quiet time. Passage from gospel of John where Jesus went to the mountains to pray by himself without telling anyone. Then broke up into cell groups; siew min suggested i and albert and yew ngie join hers. Rudy's also in it; we've got a cell leader Emily who's very nice, got to know one another, covered some bible study material.

Friday nite, I signed up for the games day on saturday 'cos i couldn't sign up earlier during the recruitment drive. And turned out tentatively not enough transport, i may not be able to go. Past midnight emily called me to say i could (they rented a van for the day to accommodate, aside from the bus and the other cars the uni students drove).

Games day on saturday- went down to Allfit campsite out in the bush; really hot but quite fun. Ran around, station games, got all wet and dirty, will blog more later, gotta call sarah and tell her Tina's in the running for ms singapore!

Andrew gan
BTW. We don't eat food cooked in palm oil, unfortunately, for the most part. Palm oil is a necessary ingredient for making certain types of soaps and emulsifiers, so you can sort of say that we all bathe in it.
Andrew - there's a bar at Collingwood where they'd just LOVE your type. Thursday nights, man.

Harrowing incident on thursday nite.

I missed dinner (took a long nap in the afternoon and unless u put yr name down earlier to reserve a packed meal in the fridge, they clear away all the food by 7pm. A lot of food goes to waste). Anyway, esmond and cindy and see siong and william were going to town, asked me along. Took a tram frmo swanston st. Then these group of drunk punks (reaaal purple haired-mohawk) came onto the tram spewing vulgarities. Next thing i know, one of them was glaring at me and tried to lick me. I was sitting right at the front of the tram and the tram driver wasn't intending to do anything. He ended up licking my ear. Twice. GROSS. Anyway, i was traumatised for the rest of the nite and went to wash my ear over and over again.

I'll never venture out into the city at nite alone ever.
Hi, oh-gosh-haven't-blogged-for-a-week is back, Lessons started monday (and everyone keeps on asking how the first week of school has been, it's Reeaaaally irritating but i won't scream) all just introductions to this and introductions to that. Kiasu singapore students copying down what the lecturer says about "there are 3 types of muscle; skeletal muscle which is striated, cardiac muscle which is only found in the heart and smooth muscle, which doesn't have striations or clear bandings", like, we'll be going in-depth into all these until you'll be sick of histology soon. Aniwae it's all easy easy stuff which doesn't reflect the rest of the course at all (2nd yr onwards, medicine and physiotherapy school terms start 2 weeks earlier than everyone else because of the amt of coursework to finish)

And i got my mantoux test again. Worrisome, on the 2nd day the red spot where the antigen was injected ballooOOOOoooned to a whopping 20mm (9 to 15mm is safe). Which means i may have residual TB (i've never gotten TB before; have mild asthma). And i have to go for an x-ray. Ah well, at least i'm not particularly scared of needles (a girl who shall remain anonymous was asked by the nurse to have a lie-down after her injection in case she fainted; another anon. boy decided to whack another anon. girl on her mantoux skin test spot until hers was big and swollen, girl was asked by the nurse if "she was abused or had been the victim of abuse")
Re: SAF MDC auditions
Ha! No more dismissing modern music or dance!!!!
Ah well, you have the consolation that even among the pple who audition successfully for it, quite a number won't want to join eventually.
The Associate would like to say this to all and sundry, in between his hiding in his attap house and partaking of food cooked in palm oil:

It's been a long time since I posted. And some of you reading this are kept reasonably informed on the current anguished status of my existence, which has taken on fever pitch of late.

While you can get all the gross details off Gabriel - he was the only person online when I needed someone to talk to, unfortunately, and thusly I furnished(bombarded) him with a great deal of goss.

To sum up:

a) Am working now in a bank.
b) I deal with people's money despite having no training(absolutely no training - i was posted to a branch to start selling unit trusts, opening accounts, processing loans, accepting credit card applications on the first day), poor handwriting, outdated computer systems(P-166 with 32MB of RAM - which isn't so bad. but the software linking to the bank's network is KLUDGY as hell. running a credit check on someone has never been so difficult), clients who think they're God, and a typical cheena firm. I mean cheena - every morning we have to undergo a Cultural Revolution style self-denunciation briefing where we outline the mistakes we made the previous day.(eg. the tellers describe the number of casting/entry errors they made, i outline how i mistakenly issued a passbook for a wrong account, etc etc...)

Let me highlight this - when we open accounts for customers, we have to fill in these forms. and then stick these forms into printers that will print some reference data on a blank space. Now, the printers are aligned for the latest form layout.. but our branch has been instructed to finish using all of the OLD forms first(a few hundred). and so, the computer printed stuff gets printed onto this space occupied by text and lines, and we have to squint like fuck to make out what it says for reference.

Although it's not an entirely painful experience - it can be reasonably interesting at times. Yesterday I met a client, who, let me euphemistically put it, was in the high-impact, high interest informal-debt collection/provision business. I feel safe to describe this encounter here, unless he happens to surf the net and have this page bookmarked, in which case the constituents of my body will soon be in several garbage bags. He wanted to meet us to refinance a house that used to be in a joint account but was now transferred solely to him. (hmmm)

A man came to pick us up at a gas station(probably to make sure we weren't the narcs.) As we entered the office, some thug locked the door behind us. His office is so disturbingly like what you imagine a loanshark's office to be from the movies that I almost thought that he copied it off some hong kong movie. It was in a barely occupied shoplot, with no signboard, at the top of an unmarked stairwell; and the office's decor had all the cliches: the gray, smoke-hazed miasma, the fishtank, the "chinese organisation" banner, the guan yu altar, the smoking henchmen lazing around, dumbbells scatted on the floor, the fat ta ge at the desk with a video screen attached to a closed-circuit camera aimed at the stairwell, and a huge slash scar bissecting his arm.

Quite a nice chap though, I must confess. As my senior pointed out: in our line of work, "the customer is always right" - in HIS line of work, "the customer is always wrong." Guess who has a happier working culture.
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