Waffle

When times are hard, there’s always this blog where I can flood with my chain of thoughts… This blog has been left empty for the last six months since December but that doesn’t mean that my life has been smooth sailing… I just couldn’t find the motivation to click that “Add New Post” button…

Let me recap the last six months and bring this blog’s timeline back to the present…

The week following the last blog post, I passed out from Basic Military Training Centre, Quebec Company.

Towards the end of 2008, I was posted to School of Infantry Specialists, Charlie Company for Basic Section Leader Course.

After the first month of my course, I requested to go Out Of Course because I knew I am physically unfit to become a Specialist. I couldn’t pass my IPPT, even on the second last day of BSLC, which caused me to fail my course. The notion of not being able to pass the course slowly took its toll on me. I started to have sleepless nights, migraines, became physically and mentally exhausted. The stress didn’t motivate me, it broke me… It even got me SOL…

Eventually, I failed the course and went out of course. Yes, many say it’s a waste because I went through every training but I am grateful for what I have. I have good memories of my supportive commanders who did not give up on me until the end, my crazy section mates who went through the 8 weeks with me, bunch of enthusiastic people I know in Charlie Company and group of OOCs I met at Hotel Company. It doesn’t even matter to me that I didn’t get a Corporal rank because I’ve experienced more than others already…

Despite being told the group of OOCs will recourse, I was posted out to Unit. In the beginning, Unit’s lifestyle was a little weird to fit into because the lifestyles in School and Unit are immensely different. Slowly, I blend into the Unit, made friends, was given opportunities to perform and I am currently very happy in my Unit. My “fire” died in Traning School but somehow it started to burn again…

This entry more or less summarises what happened in my Service for the last six months… Hopefully this “resurrects” my habit to blog so I can relieve some of my sorrows here, sort them out and get some headway to what’s next…

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It was Winnie’s Birthday gathering at Wala Wala on Saturday. It was nice catching up with some Polytechnic friends after quite awhile, since my enlistment. I didn’t drink at Wala because I don’t want to be dehydrated for my 24KM Route March on Wednesday morning and also I have a Sentosa outing on Sunday. I told Yi Ling we’ll meet after Xhi Ween and I POP from BMT so we’ll meet real soon…

I cannot recall when was my last visit to Sentosa… It must have been long… I went to Sentosa yesterday with some of my BMT-mates. We wanted to go since last week but we didn’t really had the time to plan properly but it went well enough. We had a good turnout, more than enough Pot Luck and sufficient to drink.

We didn’t really plan what to do but eventually it became 4-on-4 Soccer on the beach, Monkey on the seabed and babewatching. We’re all burnt! After Sentosa, we went to VivoCity for arcade and Burger King dinner before heading home.

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After some discussions over transport on Friday night, I went out to meet Angela, Kai, Jin and her boyfriend at Bugis Junction. We went to have Tau Huay break at Selegie.

After our Tau Huay break, we strolled from Selegie to Somerset for our NightRider services. I love NightRider service! It’s a cheaper alternative for people like me who hangs out late at night, don’t want to drive or cab. It also gives people a chance to walk long distances i.e. Selegie to Somerset…

I am still down with flu since Monday… I feel lethargic all weekend… I stayed home all Saturday and Sunday… Boring weekend… I wanted to grab a Double Chocolate Donut from Donut Factory and take a stroll down town but couldn’t find anyone to go with me… I think I’ll leave that for next weekend or block leave, I need some rest now…

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I booked out on Friday night, got home, bathed, had dinner, came online, do the usual stuff and went to bed after dozing off watching my Vimeo subscriptions. Saturday morning, I woke to continue my usual online stuff…

Sounds like a boring weekend…? Nah, the highlights are coming up… Dad suddenly pulled out from the outing because he wasn’t feeling well so I drove my brother and sister down town after lunch. I parked at Palais Renaissance where my brother’s having his Chinese tuition.

I walked to Takashimaya where I strolled Kinokuniya for awhile to get a gauge of how much I will spend on my next Book Shopping Spree. About $200 for Twilight Series, Brisingr, Freakonomics, The Last Lecture, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Tales of Beedle the Bard… How am I going to afford them… I guess I should finish up already-full-and-unread bookshelf first… By then, these books should be cheaper…?

After the quick gauge, I went for my facial appointment. Microdermabrasion to repair the damages outfields have done to my face… After the facial, I joined my Mom and sister to Food Republic, Wisma Atria where we packed food for our picnic. We fetched the brother and headed to the new Marina Barrage.

The road to the Barrage is so chaotic with all the construction going on at the Marina Bay Sands. I thought I was going to get into a car accident… It started to drizzle when we arrived. We had our little picnic in the shelter on the Green Roof before exploring the Barrage…

We got a little carried away and forgot to keep track of the time. We left the Barrage at 7PM when our movie was at 7.20PM at Marina Square. We rushed and we ran and managed to sit in time for the movie, Madagascar 2.

Madagascar 2 is sure a funny family oriented movie with lessons to learn about Friendship, Love, Kinship, Courage, Perserverance and also a speck of satire. Not forgetting the catchy move soundtrack which hooked us up since the first Madagascar movie. You got to move it, move it! 4.5 / 5

After the movie, I tried my luck for Donut Factory’s Double Chocolate Donut but the Suntec branch was already closed… We got back to our car parked at Millenia Walk and saw the car covered with dirt patches! Must have been the drizzle and dirt from the Marina South roads… We went for a car wash before heading home which marks the end of the outing.

I will be booking in at 1725H later. That’s 5.25PM. I shall go start packing for book in. I will be booking out this Friday. :)

After 10 over days on that island, I finally booked out around 1600 at Singapore Science Centre after attending some Defence Technology exhibition. I was really looking forward to this weekend especially after the weekend confinement for the exhausting field camp.

Upon booking out, Adrian and I went to Chevrons to restock supplies we used during field camp. Afterwhich, we boarded the free shuttle service to IMM. Before the bus set off, there were a few uncles on board discussing about some current affairs… It’s from them that we know that Sands is having troubles with the Marina Bay Integrated Resort. If not for them, we wouldn’t have know anything after our long confinement…

During the bus ride to IMM, the uncles and another auntie who boarded started to talk about some unrest in Taiwan… Earlier on before booking out, on the way to Singapore Science Centre, we also heard from the radio that DBS will be retrenching staff in their Singapore and Hong Kong offices. Less than a fortnight and the world seems to have changed quite a bit! Not excluding we have a new President of USA, President-elect Barack Obama! I think we were seriously cut off from the world…

Adrian and I took a cab back to Keat Hong LRT Station from IMM. There was a long queue at the taxi stand but somehow the Security Guard hailed us a cab and we skipped the queue… It felt weird but the taxi driver said it was fine as we are serving the nation and protecting the citizens…

Back home, got online to do the usual stuff, grab and read the newspapers, bathed, had dinner and went out with Jin, Kai and Angela. We met Jin at Bugis where I bought my McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger! I never missed any sort of food outside the island until field camp… We then went to our usual haunt, Tong Shui Hong Kong Cafe at Liang Seah Street. I ate another chee cheong fun and my tummy nearly exploded that night…

I woke around 2PM Saturday. My body just kept sleeping, replenishing all the energy I lost through field camp… My father collected our new DLink router from Rochor so I fixed it up by late afternoon. I was feeling really bored especially when you’re not out after a confinement. I bumped around until around 11PM when I decided to drive Kai and Jin out to watch Quantum of Solace at GV Marina Square at midnight.

It was really last minute thing and we arrived slightly after the movie started around 12.20AM(?). Quantum of Solace was OK, nothing fantastic… After movie, I was feeling hungry so we went to Cheong Chin Nam for Al Ameen. I had my Sardine Murtabak with Horlicks dinosaur. It started raining so we took our time to eat until a small drizzle before heading home. By the time I was home, it was around 3-odd AM. I changed and slept on the sofa because I didn’t want to sleep on my own bed without bathing…

Sunday morning, Mom woke me early to pay my annual respect to her elder brother. Now I am rushing through my blog entries before my early book in at 1640. I haven’t even pack my stuff and fold my Smart 4 yet… I hope I will be able to book out next Sunday after our Situational Test… It’ll be sad if we’re getting confined again… :(

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If only this long weekend never ends… A long weekend to enjoy before my field camp this coming Friday which means I will not be booking out this coming weekend and will only be out on the 6/7 November… Once field camp is over, the worst of BMT is over and BMT will be over very soon… Another 7 weeks in Tekong.

I booked out on Friday night and came home to my new Nokia E51 Non-Camera. A phone I bought for National Service. A phone with the features I need to stay in touch with the world out here… I setup the phone the whole night while doing my usual online stuff…

On Saturday, the family fetched the brother for tuition at Palais Renaissance as usual. Mom, sister and I hanged around town. We went to Isetan to buy a drink and EpiCentre Orchard to get myself a protector for my iPod nano which already has a chip at the lower right corner..

Afterwhich, Mom went to a salon at Far East Plaza as she was having a wedding dinner that night. After salon, we went back to Palais Renaissance to meet up with Dad and brother before dropping Mom at Vivocity and heading home. That night, the family went to Harbourfront to fetch Mom after the wedding dinner. I wanted to have supper so we went to Cheong Chin Nam where Dad and I had Teochew porridge.

We reached home a bit before midnight. I got a bath and started reading Saturday’s newspaper while watching Suze Orman Show on CNBC. I have been in camp so much that I am quite out of touch with the current Financial Crisis and other affairs.

Half the world away in Singapore, I think we are affected somehow or another with the investors in products of failed banks taking the direct hit. Other things to note, the American Presidential Elections and widespread melamine hunt with more and more food products identified to contain melamine which can cause kidney stones, cancer or reproductive damage. How I wish I had more time to read up and understand more of these current affairs…

Sunday morning, the family accompanied me to Army Market where I got some supplies for field camp and Mom got a box of SLII Muffins. We then spent the rest of the afternoon at Vivocity signing a new mobile plan, signing a new MaxOnline plan and Digital Voice, lunch at Imperial Herbal Restaurant and cancelling our current MaxOnline plan before heading home.

The family had Pizza Hut dinner at home as the maid had an off day. After dinner, I met with Jin and Angela at LotOne. It was a belated birthday get together for Jin. I must say LotOne changed so much. In the secondary school days, I used to know every corner of that place but now I can easily get lost in there. There were so many new shops and eateries. We had dessert at Ministry Of Food before renting The Plague and heading over to Jin’s to watch. After the movie, Angela and I headed home.

That more or less concludes my long weekend. I am going to hope that it’s not going to rain during my field camp… By the time field camp ends, America would have a new President… See you the next weekend… :(

As much as I want to feel positive about serving the Nation, I really want to get back to my life… I seem to feel worse every book in. I know that I am already a very fortunate recruit and there are others who are going through worse things. I am not complaining about the experience but I really want to get back to my life…

To the life when I had more time to myself… To read my books. To game my DS Lite. To surf the Internet. To hang out with friends. To go shopping. To sing Karaoke. To listen to my music. To study. To watch TV. To watch movies. To simply stay home. To do all the things I can with my time…

It’s only my fifth week and I am tired of it. How am I going to survive my next 8 weeks or further 99 weeks in service…? Seems like all the vulnerable mind fortresses I previously built have fallen… Those vulnerable mind fortresses I built just to delude myself into accepting enlistment…

I am now ready to accept. Accept that I am reluctant to serve. I don’t want to feel miserable serving but a fact’s a fact. Isn’t there much more misery to continue running away from the fact…? However, I helplessly have to fulfil my liability… Instead of lamenting more, I should overturn the whole gridlock to my advantage…

During and after my National Service, I am going to need quite a bit of money… For my facials, entertainment, outings, University fees, maybe a business venture, etc. My higher purpose to serve, is to become a commander for the higher payslip to finance my life! Now I feel much better about serving… Ha!

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