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All the about Pkchukiss's life in the Singapore Armed Forces

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Interesting and Loathsome characters

I find it an interesting experience to be in contact with so many people from all walks of life: There is one poor guy back in my BMT company who is already married (26 if my recall is not flawed at 19 and a half years old) and having to spend 5 and a half days away from his wife just to complete his national service stint. He deferred his NS during his university days (how he managed to escape the maximum age cap for deferment I still wonder), and met the love of his life in 2004. 6 months later he was packed into Pulau Tekong along with the rest of us young 18 year olds.

Surprisingly, he managed to meld in well with the nonsensical sensibilities of us freshies out of junior college (my intake was comprised solely of that), and even managed to pass himself off as one of our own (so to speak) before I met him during the company BMT field camp.

In contrast to this is another person that I met later, when I got into this camp. He is quite a stark contrast to the other "misfit" in the whole lot. Without sparing any restraint, allow me to call him a self-righteous, boot-eating jerk. Where I normally do not stoop this low to label a person, his incessant pietistic preaching to the rest of the platoon has made him the most unliked person. Wrong. He is the most unliked person in the whole company, coming in runner up after a certain platoon sergeant in the company (but that is another story).

At first sight, he appears to be like me, a slightly chatty and cheerful soul who loves to go around meeting new friends: (I might even suspect that he was simply just trying to be like me, since I really have so many nice friends). A few months of contact with him still did not alert me to his underlying problem, until this conversation happened between him and another guy (who I shall call Anonymous). You see, Anonymous has this bad problem: he is always thinking about something else, and does not really care much about hygiene. Here's what I-am-right told him:

I-am-right: Ooi Anonymous! Why are you picking your soles?
Anonymous: What? I was just cleaning them.
He: (in total exasperation) Tsk, I tell you, tsk, you must go and clean yourself. Like that how can people survive with you, right?
Anonymous: But...
He: (cuts Anonymous off) Tsk... When I speak, you do not speak, understand. That is basic respect. Now go and shower, now!

At least some consistency in his behaviour would not have people calling him a total hypocrite:

I-am-right: (to a superior) Oh, Sergeant, there is something I need to tell you. (voice in full awe)
Sergeant: Uh-huh?
He: Erm... Can I go smoke upstairs? (smoking is prohibited in the bunk levels during office hours)
Sergeant: No.
He: Please...?

I have ignored his self-righteousness outbursts on me, but his recent actions really hit my raw nerve: Darth Vader would really crush his trachea.

It is amazing how he has escaped any form of punishment for his bungling of the book-in/out book: That is if anybody bothered to check and see that the signature, date and time have been filled up in the wrong order for ONE particular entry for a given Friday. This is his third time, and in my thoroughly furious state, I was shocked that I helped him cancel out his erroneous entry, and spoof his signature in a totally new line while he leaves camp blissfully unaware...

Now allow me to steam it off and regular programming will resume as soon as possible...

P.S. Geez, it is not that I was fishing around for any sympathy or something, but there really is a need for action to be taken, if all the guys there are to prevent any bottled up feelings from gushing out in a drink can styled explosion. I can feel it... The gas is bubbling already.

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

16 drafts, and nothing presentable

Beer must really mess with one's mind. (Does its effects prevail two days later?)

You see, I had a few cups (not mugs, mind you) at one of the many little niches in Singapore's frequent haunt of night owls on Friday night. It was my first time actually drinking alcohol in any significant quantity, but it was enough to slow me down. Though I could walk in a straight line and talk without slurring, my face was red (as my buddy was assuring me). I am quite happy that I managed to get past my first time in a pub without actually announcing my newbie status (the vomitting routine).

But somehow, since then, I have not been able to come up with any piece of writing that I am satisfied with. (I am as disatisfied with this post as with the rest of the 15 other candidates that I have thrashed, but it will have to do) Since I am booking back into camp soon, which would mean another week of no updates, to stem any guilt for not updating my blog (I still wonder why that happens), I am writing this post! This is a post. There, I have done it. Now I can go back to camp and sleep over what I was trying to continue from the post prior to this... and hopefully take less than 15 drafts to finish it.

Arrrgh! Thrash this post!

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Disappearing Act — again?!

20 days of update-less days, I wonder how you have been living without fresh content from my blog :-)

Not that I could have helped it in any way, I was in Formosa, better known as Taiwan nowadays for a 14 day trip as an enemy to the First Guards Battalion, which was being evaluated (not unlike a year end examination for army battalions) by ATEC. I did consider doing it via WAP, but the exorbitant roaming costs really muted my interest in keeping this front page in vogue. Heck, even as I see my phone bill (which came halfway through my trip there, and hence a little preview of my roaming costs), I am already looking at a month or two of instant noodle meals. Now if only I had a camera to show you my bill! All $95 in total, $40 of them for a few calls and SMSes!

Anyway, I took off on the 2nd this month dead in the morning (7 am flight, but I had to be at the airport by 5 am) on Singapore's very own renowned carrier. All through the entire 3 and a half hours, I was restless, not only because of the in-flight entertainment (we had those small LCD TVs in the individual seats, complete with a remote control which allows you to play games), but and also due to the freezing cold in the cabin. I know it is pressurised and all, but sometimes, I wished that SIA would bother to keep their thermostats at a higher temperature. My curious behaviour exhibited itself when I spent the entire flight staring at the flight path information displayed on one of the dedicated channels. The officer sitting next to me (didn't they all sit in the First Class?) was interested that I didn't go for the entertainment:

"Hey, why are you staring at that stupid thing? Wouldn't you want to watch a movie?"
"No, I am really interested in this thing... Ground speed, altitude, wind speed, current location..."
"You are a strange one... Are you a scout?"

Ignoring the obvious fact that I was wearing a shirt that proclaimed "RECON" on my chest, he was right.

We landed at around 11 am in the same morning, and being the packet I/C, I had to shepherd my brood into proper order, and bring them through the Taiwanese customs, along with immigration officers with such penetrating eyes, it appeared that he was probing my mind. I shuddered, until he looked down on my embarkation card, and finally stamped it, with a sigh of satisfaction.

Then we subjected our cargo to the inspection by a very adorable and cute — dog. He/She went around sniffing our luggages, happily licking the occasional bag, and the handler was barely able to get her to finish our row, so that we could leave the airport. It was then that the rude shock came.

It wasn't hot outside.

[To be continued... in another post]


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