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need to look forward
Sunday, July 24, 2011

Here's some of the things I'm looking forward to in the near future;

9 Aug; Finally, NDP's close. Being with the performers following them from holding area to rehearsal to stage has this intoxicating atmosphere. Their enthusiasm alone is a joy to be part of.

Mid Aug; Hoping to get that trip to USS up, along with that complimentary MBS stay.

Late Aug; Possible HQ Branch cohesion, day trip across the highway to play paintball and go-kart.

8 Sept; Driving practical P:

11 Oct; Departure for Taiwan

7 Nov; Finally, arrival back to Singapore

In between that somewhere there'll be route marches in East Coast Park for the men to get their CSB qualification. Marching there will be some consolation to the fact that Ben and my batch were the last ones to POP from Tekong.

I had plans for a vacation in Koh Samui, drawn up to 75% completed and researched, when it had to be cancelled thanks to ATEC Evaluation exercises in December. I've since given it up, but all these apartment rentals in Europe at awesome prices with the fun of communal living are tempting. They beat hotel stays at any rate, I'll hope to do one of those in uni, seems like it'll complete the university experience.

penned by joel at 9:27 PM


a year already
Monday, July 18, 2011

I know I'm 7 long months away from ORD, and I've got two more rotations and an overseas exercise ahead. Still, this lull of NDP work and the posts by Mark, Ben and Joseph have encouraged me to put the 1year plus army experience in writing. Initially I felt like following some format, taking cue from their posts, but that wouldn't have done justice whatever we experience since it's to each a difference experience altogether.

I can safely say that up till now, I have no hate for national service. Perhaps just the duration, but that's only when my plans get cancelled and long term plans are derailed because of some training. I usually tell enlisting friends not to bother about adjusting before going in. Don't bother exercising, don't bother cutting down your shower time, etcetera. The fact is, when the parents leave the island waving off to you, nothing much can prepare you for what's next. I had a rough idea of what to expect thanks to the conscientious notes from Joseph compiled into a notebook. Rations to choose, discipline to have, marching orders to understand, among other things. It's the 'isolation' and the 24/7 supervision that draws the first blood. I'm thankful for the several vacations overseas prior to enlistment that left me with memories to distract most of the down moments.

Being posted to Whiskey was a decent surprise. The sergeants recognized me as I dragged the duffel bag still in my civvies, to 'everything out'. I got the usual 'eh, you look familiar', and it wasn't long before one spec asked me why I got posted to BMT again. So there I was, following in Joseph's footsteps of toilet IC. I recall one day when some guys ran up to me wishing me good luck, they found a turd in the middle of the toilet floor. Thank goodness it turned out to be a lump of brown coloured toilet paper, pretty convincing stuff, but I never found out where that brown colour came from. The PTs made me realise how terrible my fitness was. Luckily my determination caught me up to speed with my peers.

From each passing weekend I began to realise what Joseph told me about preferring to laze at home rather than to chiong out meant. Seeing recruits out in town for their weekend but yet so tired triggers a 'been there, done that' in all of us. Then came field camp, and the realisation of heat rash, freezing nights and sorely blistered boots. I'm glad to have had a great platoon to tide over the 9 weeks. Getting caught for wet tissues at the end of the field camp though, landed me my first guard duty. On hindsight it wasn't so bad actually, the ammo dump was a quiet place and my buddy was a nice guy to chat with. I remember the static and the interference from the nearby 300m range scared the both of us when it comms-ed through. It wasn't much help that stretches of the route weren't lit.

When it came the time for SIT-Test, I wanted to step up. I didn't have a yearning for OCS, it was for SCS. I didn't have the discipline to be an officer and I think I still wouldn't. When dusk fell, a few of us spotted young boars, their mothers lurking about watchfully. Damn, those things were cute. During the first night of SIT-Test, (was it only two days?) the commanders turned us out. Some rubbish was left around and they got us all in SBO in push ups, sit ups and the like. The whole company was barely awake, and people were muttering things like 'just own up lah' In the end a couple of people owned up, and past 2-3am we were dismissed. It turned out to be a ploy anyway, the commanders had planted the rubbish and planned to tire us out. I wonder if it's the usual treatment.

From there on commanders night, recruits night, all was smooth sailing. Seeing the new poly batch come in gave us that 'lao jiao' pride that every nsf will come to feel at least once. When we pop-ed, my parents were overseas and Joseph was off sailing, so my family wasn't there. It was a smooth affair and I know I slept early and damn well that night. Getting my posting to SCS a week later was a high point, and from thereon, army life got much better. As for that, another post too.

One thing I know about my BMT sergeants was that each had their own idiosyncrasies. The ang-moh PC with his accent and orders, the slack sergeant with his perpetual slouch and tilt of his head, the ultra nasal and anal HCI sergeant, everyone's typical yet unique lines. I wondered what mine would've been like if I went to rifle coy instead of HQ in 1SIR.

penned by joel at 12:50 PM


Monday, June 14, 2010

Every book out has pent up cravings. Got my fix this week from the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. And then there was extra cheese. Frankly though, at $6.40 total for a-la carte, compared to the $2.30 for a double cheeseburger with extra cheese,


I didn't rage that, it was just meant as an outright disclaimer. The QPC, as so affectionately termed by the staff, is exactly the double cheeseburger. Except with a lil more beef. I'm paying $4.10 for perhaps millimeters wider of beef patty.

Shame on you, Ronald.

Gonna get bubble tea later on for craving; part 2. Had this drink below, from the rations pack, and it's concentrate, no doubt, but it was awesome. Couldn't find it in the Cold Storage at Siglap, but I'll keep looking for it though.

Just finished the SITEST on Sunday, that's the last I'll see of outfield. For BMT at least. Shouldn't be too hard from here on, it's IPPT and SOC and that's about all the high key events done. Three weeks left, time flies, man.

I've done Remedial Training for lessons I've skipped before owing to injury, been confined (for bringing wet wipes to field camp) and gotten guard duty. Experienced every kind of punishment save for SOL, man I've got to be smarter.

Hoping to catch A team next week. Awesome show I caught on tv quite often when I was tiny. A comment by the original Mr. T, B A Baracus, made me a bit disappointed though. He said last time in the show they didn't do any intentional killings, it was all vigilante justice and no blood spilled, and it was more wholesome. Times have changed. wow I sound old.

penned by joel at 5:54 PM


got me high
Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's the fourth book out, the one prior to the dreaded field camp. The next book out's prior to the SIT Test. It's gonna be a hectic two weeks, and when it's over, it'll 7 weeks down, two weeks to go. Time sure flies, and so do the lives of your civilian friends. Playing catch up is hard, and sometimes sucky too :\

On a lighter note, I got a place in NUS's Real Estate course, man I was on a high when I read the results online. Finally, no lectures on retaking, no stressful weekends burned listening to having to look for alternatives. both my older brothers are in NUS, and Joseph's going to NTU, I think my parents must be proud that we all made it. Then again, I suppose the only one they had to worry for was me.

And yeah, Real Estate was my first choice, and many seem to have a narrow view on that title, but I'm thrilled. I think I'll further specialize under the Financial Law route.

There's an early book in today at 5:35, but at least we had a long weekend thanks to Vesak Day. I think NS dulls down certain parts in your life, I see it evidently in this post, and sometimes conversations with those not enlisted ):

penned by joel at 11:37 AM


oh book out day
Sunday, May 16, 2010

I had a list of things to do before enlisting. Some stuff that I may/may not have already done before, but mostly just for the fun of it. Gotta try to finish it even though I'm in already but I'm not optimistic ): 32 things in all. Not all of them were my ideas, it was drafted about one plus month back, no way it's gonna be left uncompleted.

[] = done
{} = somehow done/unable

ride a motorcycle

[point at the moon] – ouch!

[have a date] - :B

high five a kid – I’m bad with em, I don't see any particular triumph I'll be making with them.

pick a coin from a fountain – this should be easy, but I doubt so in sg, heh

[mend something] – sew what?!

climb a tree

[give a coin to a busker] – Don’t Look Back in Anger

[spend the night in a hotel room] – two trips, actually.

buy a lottery/scratch card – SOON!

have breakfast in bed

do three charitable things – two down, one to go.

{learn to play a song on the guitar} – sub pass

[consume something awful] – whiskey blows

[night cycle] – eerily quiet

bury something

[pee in somewhere public] – no not public toilet-public

[watch five movies] - ju-on/adventureland/scary movie 4/kickass/the informant

go to universal studios

[eat The apple tart] - mmm

[Ride an ATV] - monster fun :

[Jump on hotel beds] - always more fun with friends :P

[Buy something off the streets] - indie wristband

{Ask for a malaysian girl's number} – meant to be done when I was there, ugh

do a sea sport

play tennis on a grass court

buy a nice bottle of cologne

[Sneak into somewhere] - heh heh heh

[Be atas for a day]

Register for driving

[Get dirty] – all clean stuff, don’t stray

build something

So I booked out from my confinement period of a deathly long 17 days, and had a kickass weekend spending upwards of 150 in two nights. Totally worth it though, there's no way I'm going back to camp feeling like I didn't maximize my book out. Whiskey Coy, Platoon 3, Section 4, same as my brother, only the batch that's after him. What are the chances of such coincidence? Heh.

penned by joel at 11:52 AM


stay away
Thursday, April 22, 2010

I spent two hours in the cinema watching The Bounty Hunter tonight. So that you will never have to, I never wanted to walk out of a cinema this bad before.

penned by joel at 11:52 PM


whatcha say

K, I can't sing for nuts, but there's this one song, the only song that has that kinda effect on me for the longest time. When it comes on the radio or just randomize-plays that song on the mp3, there's that awesome uplifting effect. Got spammed on the radio about a few months after I was addicted to it, but that was fine, didn't bother me like other fad songs cuz this was too good. Had an addictive tune and lyrics I couldn't understand that easily. Hey Soul Sister.

The newest government related debate in the papers now; scrapping or diminishing the percentage of the Chinese language subject in PSLE. And then O Levels. Utter bullcrap I must say, my Mandarin personally sucks, I scrapped it in A Levels with a Sub-Pass, but we absolutely cannot let the future generations have a shittier command of the subject than us right now.

We've held much pride in our country for having bilingualism since beyond the days of gaining independence. The importance of the multi-ethnicity and cosmopolitan nature of our country calls for the basic ability to grasp two languages.

I detest those deluded artsy students who tell others, 'oh I suck at Chinese, he-he, I'd prefer learning French/German..' I'm not one to talk very much, I don't acknowledge my roots as well as others may, and wouldn't speak much Mandarin if I can help it, but at least I do not renounce it. It's demoralising, when the Westerners are embracing Mandarin, while we Chinese are ignorant, if not disgusted by our own language.

I put in effort, not to just escape to CLB (Chinese Language, Basic) and took my normal CL A Levels twice just to pass. I struggled and hardly liked studying for it, but I did it anyway. Don't ace everything and throw Mandarin aside, it's disgusting! I'm not rage-typing, just giving my sentiments. Balls up and pass your Chinese exams, don't go running to the government to tweak it for you.

I would actually like comments on this, if anyone begs to differ.

penned by joel at 3:16 PM


so we wait?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So I checked, I wasn't shortlisted for the interviews for the Architecture and Industrial design course. Some people apparently can skip it and go in, but I highly doubt I was that good. Having confidence isn't they question, is more of not deluding myself.

If I can't get in, I think I'll be really bummed. Already finding out I wasn't in the list got me this sinking feeling. Then I headed out for lunch nearby and got my army specs done.

Something last night left me feeling really insecure.

Dang, 8 days left.

penned by joel at 5:08 PM


10 days and less
Sunday, April 18, 2010

Some guy in the papers today wrote a column about how he was nearly mugged by a possibly armed drug addict, but refused to give her $3 because he was sure she was going to use that cash for drugs.

He said he'd never fund a drug addiction, or anything the least bit harmful to someone in an addiction.

Quite bad a summary, I know, but I was decently surprised at his conviction, I think few people, myself included, will stand that strong for values, risking personal interests, much less for life.

Still have yet to get the pictures form Mark and Joseph, but Joseph's already posted up most of the nice ones.

penned by joel at 1:15 PM


across the causeway #3
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yet another holiday and another wad of cash gone. Flawless, man it'll set the bar high for any future holidays. Picture post when I get the photos.

penned by joel at 10:20 PM


ain't no better reason
Friday, April 9, 2010

Waiting for a lift to go play pool now, and I realise my blog hasn't got posts without pictures. I wonder if I'm reliant on them to make the posts interesting. No?

Anyway I'm counting down the days of freedom, and while so many on facebook are talking about their Passing Out Parade, I've yet to go in. Feels like I'm some kid, but heck that, the whole year up till now has been a blast and it's got to end somewhere with the mud, fatigues and rifles.

I'm planning the whole trip to Malaysia, ATV quad bikes, paintball, go karting circuit, reverse bungee and all that's in between. I must say, it's quite satisfying to see it all fall into place, and it's good to put email to practical uses. Otherwise it just gathers dust with the funk junk.

Leaving on Monday C:

penned by joel at 1:21 AM


Across the Causeway #2
Sunday, March 28, 2010

Leaving so abruptly reminded me of the last trip I had to Malaysia with the class, straight after the A's. Sabrina's dad was gonna drive us up to KL while he was there on his business trip, so that morning we had to head to her place under the torrential downpour. Kinda dampened my mood in the morning already :\

We left around 9, made several stops along the way for food, business stuff and toilet breaks, finally arriving around the evening. Felt kinda lazy to go out after though, even though we were cooped up in the car for so long.

Pavilion I think, we went there first, but there wasn't much to buy there, it was more or less atas stuff. I got a shirt there though, we took this just outside the mall. I didn't notice there were so many Arabs in Malaysia till then. Makes sense though. There was some street music thing going on while heading back, the pink woman in the left of the picture below, she was on drugs or something. Dancing like in a trance, man she musta been high.

Her dad had to work the next day, so we were dropped off at Mid Valley Mega Mall for the whole day to shop. Carrying their shopping load was nothing compared to Singapore. Man the bags nearly made a full semi circle stacked in one hand.

That night we arranged to meet with Yong Zhi, an ex colleague from Citibank, he was there on a short trip too. Got to Zouk at around half past eleven, after the girls spent eternities (yeah, plural) on deliberation of what to wear, and whatever else it was that got a beard on me growing.

Oh and we got off some pictures before we left.

I couldn't sleep after we got back, neither could I for the first night. In contrast to how easily I slept for all three nights in the December trip we had to the same hotel :\ ended up feeling really crabby the next day, when we spent the whole day at Berjaya Times Square.

We were supposed to ride the stuff at Cosmo's World, but we didn't really feel up to it. Met up with Yong Zhi again for breakfast, then he had to leave for Singapore shortly after. Tried Wendy's for lunch for the first time, and some survey the staff asked us to participate in had us left with 4 burgers each.

As it is I didn't have much appetite, the sight of 12 burgers just turned me off. Dang I feel bad for not having finished it, but how could I possibly.

Sabrina's dad drove us through the causeway again, back home, but we made several stops along the way, most of the time being spent at Melaka. Was that spelt right? By then I had exhausted all my cash, including having owed Sabrina a tidy sum. Didn't think I'd buy that much there.

The famous red thingy I see so often of pictures in Melaka, in the backdrop.

Jonker's street, with all the kick-knacks, clothes and souvenirs. We waited there till dusk to see the night market, and had the chicken rice balls that that place was famous for. Wasn't that fantastic though.

Second time overseas with friends, and really owe alot of fun/convenience to Sabrina's dad, driving us around and knowing the place so well.

Think I'll be going back there again with the guys soon enough, paintball, ATV, reverse bungee, go karts and whatever else that'll be adrenaline pumping. Hardly the shopping, heh.

penned by joel at 12:48 PM


Surf and sand
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

K, so one of the weekends they decided to go to Sentosa, meet up somewhere away from work for once. I, for one, kinda hate Sentosa, but I shan't elaborate on that. The weather was quite nice htere, those sort that it's just about to rain but it just hangs overcast and blows constant breezes. My, was it crowded.

Anyway, I joined em late that day, managed to play some games of frisbee before we headed to Vivocity for dinner. Ah, yet another place i didn't really like. That place, that Harbourfront area just doesn't feel welcoming.. We settled on Thai Express quickly, surprising since usually with groups that meals don't usually get settled so fast. So it's great they're all an easy going bunch.

Ah I forgot who won this one, but it was a stalemate for an awfully long time. Timothy on the left, he went to police in NS, kinda convinced me to try for it. It's the 9 months officer training thingy that has me a bit uncertain though.

That's it then, we headed home afterward, many of them being girls with curfews :\

Oh right, I'll be headed to Malaysia from Tuesday to Friday, won't be updating till I get back!

penned by joel at 8:42 PM


The very late CNY

Chinese New Year feel on our 5th week, wait, at least if memory serves right. No bonuses from our supervisor, heh.

The vending machine nincompoops not having the cola refilled for the last three weeks was particularly infuriating, wasn't anything else good to drink. The F&N Groovy Grape just tastes so wrong on so many levels.

Druggies on Tap Tap.

Our red themed CNY Monday, at the lobby entrance of the office. It's surprising how much the air conditioning temperature can vary within that office space.

And then there's Sabre, years and years of filing of Citibank Client signatures that span all the way to the start of Singapore's branch. A whole room full of it. And stacks upon stacks to file, it's a boring nightmare that every prospective Citi staff or temp has to face at least once. But it's fun with the right company. Then again everything is.

Headed over to the River Hong Bao thingy at the Marina Bay area just nearby, after work. Packed with aunties, uncles and tourists, not really a place for teenagers I'd think. We wanted to ride the Uncle Ringo rides there, but by the time we wanted to return on the next week, they packed up and left already, darn moving circus.

That's Liting, Sabrina and Eddy, Eddy who's still working at Citibank, but now for a much higher rate of $10.50 an hour.

Had a two reunions at our place for family, and two visitations out. The money disappeared faster this year than any before, despite not being significantly more than the previous years. I just have the subconscious urge to enjoy myself more though, since I'll be going in for enlistment soon. That means that urge to pinch at my savings too. Ah- more like yank.

penned by joel at 7:27 PM


Mad-hat Monday

Mad Hat Monday for week 3 of Citibank, I bought a pirate hat from a nearby party shop for a neat $5+, it's still sitting in my room. We're hoping we'd meet for Halloween and make use of it again :D

So we came to work itching to put it on, and some perm staff there were expecting another themed Monday, surprisingly. The dark clown below, man he hasn't seen a day of joy, this guy. Heh. Thankfully Yong Zhi got something more fun so I wouldn't be the odd one out.

Murderous court jester.

Sabrina reminded me of those vintage advertisements where the lil girls in the winter would wear these horridly fashionable winter caps. Cute though, heh. That's Edwyna next to her, who knows lotsa places for good food, wouldn't have struck me as a foodie at first sight :\

That ain't my hand, you know I don't pose like that.

Timothy on the right, with his styled hair in lieu of his mad hat.

This fountain has lots of Citibank photoshoots cuz it's so convenient, just downstairs. Right next to Harry's bar, where there're tons of smoking Citibank employees all day. Thank goodness for the perpetual breeze or not it'd be all Vietnam down there.

And so concludes week 3 of Citibank, halfway to the end of the contract and still busy doing lists. This is only about half the temp staff in the picture though, the rest didn't really participate, plus we didn't know em as well yet. Ok at least I didn't.

penned by joel at 7:12 PM