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

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Towards the land directly south of Japan

Metaphorically, I have butterflies in my stomach.

In reality, I am tossing and turning in my bed.

Less than 9 hours from now, I will find myself on board a plane bound for the land of Jacky Wu, Nono and Kang Kang. No, not to see them, of course, but I would be in their country/province (antagonists in that famous debate may pick your word) for a whole month.

Cheap milk tea makes me salivate, but the thought of scaling the mountains there has only given me more butterflies.

You see, they like to start small. Disguising themselves as easily dismissable feelings, they hide in your stomach. Then as the departure date rolls nearer, they start to get big — exponentially.

So here I am trying hard to keep the butterflies inside my stomach. (I won't want them out, though, it kind of messes up the floor tiles.)

For one month, I will miss my family, my computer, my favourite hang outs, my favourite food, and most important of all: my room. I like the mess, it has made my mother nag, but it is the only place which I am legally permitted to let loose without prosecution.

But don't worry about updates. The computers in the camp are outfitted with speedy access to U.S. servers, so much so that the only limitation stopping me from updating this blog is my lack of time. I have no doubt that I would be busy, and the 3rd biggest boss has already given an indication of the things to come.

There they go again. Them butterflies really begin to annoy.

Let's see: I will miss the strict traffic order, especially driving on the correct side of the road, the reassurance that I won't get lost...

Well, now that has come, let's see what I would have one full month of:
Betel nuts (reddish stuff that people chew and spit out), cheap milk tea, interesting toys, huge dildos (I saw one on my last trip there), mountains, ninja vans, mountains, photos (I have learnt my lesson: my camera is coming with me this time around)... Have I mentioned mountains?

I am sure that things would turn out just fine, and I would probably just come back a very happy person, since that should be the last of my outfields.

Yup, it would turn out fine...

Till the next post!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Of Crave and Greed

What is exactly the driving force of the world, Crave or Greed?

To me, Crave is a want for something. Greed is the desire for more. In such a context, that makes "insatiable greed" a repetition. To others, the lines between the two lexicons are blurred.

That is not inferring the incompetence of ordinary folks per se, but I question the strength of their convictions, on the risk of being labelled a lingual purist.

In everyday life, the two terms are used interchangeably, without regards to their degree of severity. Hardly surprising, but there comes a time to draw a line between fair use interchangeability, and wrong use.

It is like "red" and "maroon".

But then again, word contexts change over time, so I probably am an alarmist with nothing better to do with his time, and should just shut up.

Yet again, subtleties are what makes up the finely defined world of Language, and should be dealt with absolute care to avoid a dull future where everything is black to the same degree.

You are good.

You are... good.

Erm, whatever. I haven't got anybody to proof this, so my argument's probably nonsense. Please don't lam-blast me, I am just a poor "A" level holder, forced to serve the nation's army.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Post National Day

I tried calling the forum host a few times yesterday, but nobody answered, strangely.

So there hangs precariously on the precipice all the previous comments made in that forum host. I won't be surprised if it has gone over the cliff already.

Meanwhile, my bad cough is improving somewhat: my throat no longer launches into an obstructed fit thanks to the cough medicine, but I can still feel the phelgm clustering in a choke point in the wind pipe.

My pen pal from the U.S. suggests that I try a cigarette or two, to induce those slimey invaders into my mouth. As arcane theories of using "poison to counter poison" filled my mind, I had to say, thanks for the suggestion, but no thanks, John. I really don't need more stuff clogging my airway now.

For those who have missed the National Day parade which was broadcast over all the free-to-air channels yesterday can watch the repeat telecast on Saturday, 1pm. If you would like to catch the exciting repetition on demand, [:::> Internet streaming has made it possible <:::].

Fireworks enthusiasts may take a look at the nitrate display repeated over and over again, [:::> courtesy of a blogger lucky enough to be invited to the view from Southeast Asia's tallest hotel <:::].

[:::> Badaunt <:::] has gone travelling again! This time, she brings us updates to her travels in Budapest.

Budapest in August is full. At the airport informatzion desk we started bz asking about the place we had originallz wanted, then moved down the price list until we found one that had rooms available. This means that we are now stazing at the cheapest place in Budapest, a zouth hostel. It is prettz rough, but clean. It is also incrediblz noisz as the zouth stazing there are apparentlz into partzing all night.

How I wish I could travel on my own free will, on my own time, without nonsensical restrictions! Each time I go abroad on training trips with the SAF, they like to impose weird rules on our R&R, which sometimes mar the experience. Here are a few of the sillier ones:

  • NO entering any water body:
    That automatically excludes the beach from the itinerary.
  • NO rental and driving of local transportation
    What is the use of your licence if you cannot drive? How many attractions can we visit without a vehicle?

My final trip with the SAF is Exercise StarLight. I am forbidden to say where it is located. Anyway, I really would love to meet the nice girls in Taipei :-P. After my ATEC there, my battalion would be standing down soon. Most of the guys would end their full time national service in December, while the rest of Support Company would leave for the civilian world in March/April.

I would save the farewell speech in another post, but I would just like to mention that it was nice knowing everybody here. All those whom I had quarrels with, I totally enjoyed bickering with all of you :-). It really adds flavour to life. Nice to fight ATEC with you all, and Towards Greater Heights.

Monday, August 08, 2005

National Day

It is that time of the year again.

Boring introduction suits cliched event that happens every year with the same monotony of brushing a teeth.

However, as far as the MCs of the National Day parade are concerned, National Day is the most exciting event to happen to Singapore since eons. They bounce around like a fevered bunny on steroids, marching the spectators and home viewers through the same menu of events year after year.

As if things were not bad enough, we have an organising committee which switch-a-roos between the armed formations each year. While I agree with the over-stressed point on how fresh hands are willing to try new stuff, I question their rationale: what is the use of having new people on the job when the same inefficiencies are repeated year after year? Sure, these people try new stuff, which are in essence the old mistakes made by their predecessors.

Definitely innovative.

I could list the events for the day:

  1. Pre-parade Segment:

    Teenagers from the ITE would bound around (think rabbits) in a song that embodies "joy", "youth", and "hope" (smaller than usual capitalisation intentional). Choir bursts into a national day song.

  2. Parade marches in:

    A few commercial entities, in addition to the armed forces, march in military formation, to symbolise the five facets of Total Defence. Choir bursts into a national day song.

  3. MPs arrive. Choir bursts into a national day song.

  4. Prime Minister arrives. Parade does a salute. Choir bursts into a national day song.

  5. President arrives. Parades does a salute. Colours salute. Choir bursts into a... (you get the idea)

  6. Show One/Two/Three: Themes can range from "unity" to "prosperity", etc... provided that it is a cornerstone of the current national thrust. Choir bursts into a national day song every now and then. A video show, or two of proud Singaporeans...

  7. Fireworks go off to the tune of a national day song sung by - you-know-who.

  8. Everybody present says the National pledge

  9. President goes off

  10. Spectators find themselves being ushered out

It is the same thing over and over again. It is akin to a salesman peddling his wares on the street. He does the same thing, only difference is the variety of his wares year after year.

I was at the National Day parade last year as a serviceman on usher duty. I was there too the year previous as a civilian. Before those two, I was witness to the same cookie-cutter for 18 years.

Given that I have seen the same show repackaged in the same box every year, I feel justified in doing anything other than watch the National Day parade. It should have sounded stale to everybody 38 years ago (Singapore celebrates Her 40th Independence day tomorrow), and I find it a curious social phenomenon that Singaporeans continue to find inspirational value in it.

Happy National Day! (And for the umpteenth time, Singapore does NOT celebrate a birthday. It is our Independence day we are celebrating!)

P.S.: I have no idea why I sound so cynical today, but the fact remains that I am peeved. Whether my medicine has any links with my fits today is still an untested theory.

P.S.S: I am still feeling drowsy from all the medicine I am taking. My doctor has advised me to get a chest ray done if my bad cough still persist.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sleeping online

If my MSN contacts were paying any attention, they would have found me in a perpetual snooze all through the sun and the moon.

Yes, I am in a medically induced snooze. (As to why I was compelled to type "Medical Induced Snooze" in my status text instead, I have only the influence of Phenexpect and Actifed to plead)

As I take yet another dose of the medicine, I have only this prequel of a post to put up: I am probably more sick than I have previously thought.


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