Wednesday, December 31, 2003

happy new year!

i'd really to love to get all mushy and express my gratitute for alot of pple and things. but unfortunately i'm feeling quite up (and about?) so.

happy new year!

actually i think i've alot to say. ah 2003....another year to add to the history books.

Monday, December 15, 2003

so since obs i've been quite bored, ups n downs. missing it. but thankfully we got back together again on friday; we went for a badminton session at choa chu kang cc! and ten people actually turned up, amazingly (even though some were a little lost and a little late). but it was pretty enjoyable, the company. so after that we went for dinner at lot 1, only 4 of us, but nevertheless enjoyable. so i guess it's a good start for watch gatherings, and we shall have some more. i'm glad at least andrea stays near, we can always go for stuff together, even things like jogging. why no herman? he calls me "siao" (x3)everytime i mention any healthy activity. =S.
oh yes i met up with xizhen too, during badminton. that was good. and precious, thinking of how next year we won't probably see each other again for a long time. she was going for hc co concert. hmm. and she was going off for camp on the next day.
guess what i found out? in our kurt yahoo group chin yong said he was preparing for an 1day course on sunday, and xizhen told me that she was going to obs on the sunday of her camp too. interesting. i wouldn't be surprised if one of their instructors turns out to be cy.
how small is this world man. but it's good too. everyone's related to everyone else. that's heartwarming=)

saturday i watched "the iron giant". snifff.

oh sunday i had a very nice conversation. the best i've had in a while. the only one in least over the phone. but i learnt some stuff! primary source of info about ns. cool. wall scaling, barbed wires and booting trainers. no wonder guys aren't as excited about it as me.
maybe irc isn't that bad after all. so many bad encounters to produce one good. worth it i guess.

and i talked to yixuan and adeline at night! and all three of us were playing .... garfield's scavenger hunt. so fun.
Part 1:
Part 2:
felt good to be talking to my budd again. no matter how far i go and how far we stray from one another i think i'll find that feeling only back here.

as usual i'm rambling.
yes monday today. the only exciting thing was that (and it WAS exciting) i went to the cck stadium gym with andrea. (bwaharharhar i was only three minutes late. ONLY. improving. and it wasn't exactly my fault ja....?) that was quite cool spent about 1.5 hours there. it was quite fun. "rowing", "hiking", jogging...weights were sad. we could just laugh at each other about the pathetic amount of weights attached. but that was fun too. so finally we went off, and i went to lot 1 to get xmas cards. ARGH talking about xmas cards doesn't anyone buy xmas cards ANYMORE? popular was so pathetic. the one inside was worse. and there was no other shop selling. i was so GRR. grr. grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

ok next comes an enigmatic message (since i'm so obliging and of course, nice) that no one's supposed to understand (even me perhaps?)
harhar it's really funny, it's so rare that when you come online i'm always very occupied. ok not exactly, probably not as occupied as you but you know how lousy i am at multitasking.
=) and i know how irritating it must be when you go "dont' you remember blarh blarh blarh" and the other person goes "..really? how come i don't remember". well it's not that . argh. i just dont' remember=P. it happens all the time, really. my mom always goes "dont' you remember ... when you were 9.......blarh blarh blarh (sth happened)"...and i say "'re kidding." ok not much point in this but i'm just blabbering.
and i'm always very puzzled, you're never on during weekends. and when i least expect it you pop on.
i'm pretty sad too, when conversations don't really go anywhere. but it's been pretty cool, i mean for this long. guess what i'm not only getting it from my mom but also my senior, "why are you perpetually online? everytime i'm online i see you online". er. =S. "alles deine Schuld/du bist schuldig" sounds familiar?=).
and i INSIST there IS a difference between my niceness to different people. really there is. so stop whining. =). but yeah i'm fully aware of how i appreciate the niceness equally much=). but i still maintain to a certain degree that my behaviour warrants such .. hmm. what word can i use. wholesome countertreatment.
and last of all. harharhar sergey. sounds cute though. harharharharhar. i'm so good. don't corrupt me!!
so. enjoy salem. snoow.....schnee...

eh psst i've another nice german song to recommend: oase by joachim deutschland. ok it's not "nice" but it's quite fun. when you figure out the lyrics=) ja? i miss german alot. it doesn't feel the same anymore.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

hey i'm back!
wanna hear about obs? well you have no choice.=)

was unhappy in the beginning, being separated from christine (we decided that we were gonna cling on to each other), that there were 8 other pj pple in my watch and a "public", a guy who just finished his Os and spent $900 on these 9 days.
i really enjoyed the kayaking on the first day, it's been so long since i've been in the water. felt good. had less trouble getting back into the kayak during capsize+rescue drill. quite lang2 bei4 doing the side one, but i finally did the sliding up from the back one and got it on the first go!
we were under mobile, so we had to pitch tents every night, regardless of weather or whether there's (better) shelter. luckily it only rained on the first night, actually it started raining 5 mins after we sat up in our tents. we got a little wet and i was quite worried about not having enough clothes.
after we changed into our PT attire on the 2nd morning they made us to the 5BX on the wet floor, which i found very inconsiderate of them, since they knew fully well most of us don't have enough clothes to last. but later i thought about it, and i'm glad we did what we did, because it was all part of making us more rugged. now looking back i enjoyed PT and the jogging thereafter.
and the atmosphere was great, you can see sea eagles gliding around overhead, trees everywhere..ants everywhere=S. we had a beautiful bunk but were forbidden to utilise it of course. all the littlest stars were visible on the first night, i just walked to the camping site with my head up. and the air was great. i felt so much more alive and less detached.

then we prepared for our land ex which lasts from the 2nd to the 4th day. on the 2nd day we had to wait for 2h before setting off on our hike to the old obs camp, and i had plenty of time to talk to 2 of my watchmates. we were the only ones not asleep. i was really glad for that because one of them was really amazing. he's really funny and well, slack (in a funny way too), but he had that special quality that i've only seen so far in a few guys. i really can't quite put my finger on it.

so the first day we settled down very early, pitched our tents plus cooked all before dark, so that we had a nice dinner sitting on a groundsheet in the middle of the parade square. i like the old obs camp jetty.
the 2nd day of our land ex we did the wild whoozy (whoozy willow. =) unfunny but...funny) and the flying fox. as you and i both know when i'm reluctant about something it takes a hell lot of effort to make me do it. and height activities are things that i'm really reluctant to try. but i'm proud of this morning because i was better prepared mentally (because of the 5 day course) and just, "heck"-ed and went up both. after "oh shit"-ting for a while on top of the flying fox i took the step and was falling=S. for the wild whoozy i'm not as proud; i could've pushed myself more. but ah well. i'm just glad this wasn't the first time i'm doing this. made it alot easier.

then the afternoon consisted of rafting and jetty jump. i was pretty pissed off about the rafting. i'm glad my watch wasn't made up of all rj pple. i'm thoroughly disgusted and i miss natural-born leaders.
i think maybe there's something wrong about the current emphasis on developing leadership qualities. i know most pple believe that leaders don't always have to be natural-born. and all those seminars we go to all say "identify the traits that a leader should have.." blarh blarh. that's all bullshit. sometimes when pple try too hard to display those qualities it just disgusts me. a leader is more than just those qualities put together. the whole is here definitely larger than the sum of its parts.
but i enjoyed the activities alot, the jetty jump especially. and i found out our instructor's pretty unwavering=) (the guys begged pathetically for another jump but he just herded us away)

in the evening we had this "hot seat" thing, where everyone had to something good and something bad about each person in the watch. that took up alot of time but it was quite good. although i had difficulty trying to rephrase my harsh words (which came out alright still, i reckon). and through this i realised who i've been interacting with, which was most of the watchmates. so that i was quite satisfied with. at least i had some incident to relate to with each person. i think being the medic helped, i just spent 2 hours in the afternoon cleaning up jovina's wound, and of course chatting with her. at least not all rj pple are. ahem.

so, day 4. our solo day! i believe it's the most memorable day. in the morning chin yong (instructor) allocated our plots to us. suddenly i found myself alone. there was mud all over the place..i didn't even want to put down my backpack. so just stood there for 5 minutes not knowing what to do, or where to start. i could see jovina and andrea (this ex-mg squasher. she really really reminds me of jen. i accidentally called her "jen" during kayaking=S) vaguely. so finally i started and started building my basha. after i was done i just sat/laid (alternatively, when i was sick of one) under the roof and updated my journal, waiting for darkness to fall. our watches and torches were all confiscated, we were given our rations. it was quite funny. i had alot of time to think about things, the pple and things i missed. i could see jovina through the bushes regularly, but she was so far and we werent' allowed to talk. i resorted to talking to myself most of the time and feeling stupid. i was pretty scared at first, all the mud beneath my poncho, and the ants crawling across it=( miserable. and there were roots underneath me. and i only had 4 pieces of bread for lunch + dinner. well it wasn't really lunch/dinner. when you're hungry you eat, when you're tired you just doze off (which i tried not to coz i didnt' wanna stay up at night). there was no sense of time, it felt like forever before the sky finally began to darken. and when darkness fell it was another story altogether. i lit my candle and finally started on my task, which was to write a letter to myself (following the guidelines of course) and also another to the instructor. i had to rush through these tasks with my candle, which was quite fun=) i was so focussed i didn't realise that the candle was so short the tissue i was holding caught on fire as well. i'm really quite inexperienced at this, and i just held the tissue, knowing soon enough my hand was gonna get burnt, but i didn't know what to do. finally my hand did get burnt, so i threw the tissue on the ground and stamped it furiously with my shoes=S. i find it really amusing.=) i thought i was gonna start a bush fire, or at least burn down my basha=S.

woke up a few times at night, but everytime i opened my eyes it was still dark around me, and i could only peer out through the strip beneath the ceiling, see my fully dressed feet and the leaves and trunks of trees. (and expecting to see another pair of legs appear in front of me or sth=S was pretty frightened) but finally it was daylight again, and i woke up just in time to hear chin yong's footsteps crunching on the track and calling "wake up!!". boy was i glad to get out of there, and talk to my watchmates again. i'm sure everyone agreed that we've never enjoyed the company of each other more. that really helped us to bond.

so on this new day, the 5th day i think, we hiked back to camp 1 and had a mini-sea ex in the afternoon, to prepare us for the following 3 days of sea ex. i got separated from my partner from the 1st day...charmain sorta. grabbed me. (it's complicated) i couldn't really do anything about it. that was a stupid mistake.
so we paddled down past the old camp and back up again, in the storm (woo. i love swimming/paddling in downpours.) i was like, look look! look at the rain catching up on us! (there was a patch of blotchy sea 50m behind us) and once again nobody really cared=S. but i thought it was wonderful. that's all that matters isn't it.

i've learnt alot more about kayaking. i've learnt why my normal strokes make me turn left, i've learnt why my left draw strokes make me turn left even more, and i learnt that it's 70% push with one hand and only 30% pull with the other. grrrr. that's the biggest revelation.

so at night we were briefed about the following day, day 6. the route: from new camp around ubin (chek jawa etc) back to old camp, cross channel to coney island (aka sandfly haven) where we were gonna camp for the night. this is, to quote ivan, "only the prelims. the 2nd day is the real exam".

so we woke up to a wonderful day 6 of paddling. paddle paddle paddle. but as the day progressed i got more and more fed up. it's amazing how some pple just don't care about others, even though it's their own watchmates.
anyway we arrived about 3h ahead of schedule, so we had a pretty relaxed tent pitching n cooking session. one of the girls fell sick, and shuxian (i think serene+ad+val+hon's ex-instructor, at least that's who hon reckons is) was really nice. she was in her tent (either getting ready to sleep or change) and i called her and she took the trouble to make hot milo. i was pretty touched.

day 7=S paddle some more...from coney island to sembawang, and to the causeway, and back to sembawang again, without beaching up at all. the tide and wind were all against us. we were tossed around on the sea. our boat kept veering left, so i had to say "draw stroke on the left" about a hundred times (i'm really sick of the word "left" now). i was quite miserable. i wouldn't have minded the physical exhaustion if i hadn't been worn down mentally and tolerance-wise. i wouldn't have minded "paddling till my arms dropped out". but 10.5 hours of being on the verge of blowing up really wore me out.
finally! we made it to sembawang, where everyone dragged themselves up the beach. and their boats.
i enjoyed the evening alot, sitting there packed between watchmates and talking crap. playing "truth or dare". once again i'm amazed at how typically teenagerish some of the guys can be. they can really come up with some ingenious questions for "truth".

day 8 we paddled back to obs (beat the other fleet! ie chris+hon+mag+sya's fleet which was coming back from changi). they paddled 14h on the 2nd day=S while we were complaining about 10.5! wow.
i found out i lost my shoes. after they unloaded the kayak hatches i couldn't find my shoes=( i was left with a pair disabled and a pair lost, and a pair of sandals threatening to disband.
in the afternoon they still had a height activity for us, it was the log thing from the first day of our 5 day course. i was pretty reluctant to do it, and on the pretext of not having proper footwear i delayed my turn for a while, while chin yong kept nudging with "well, you can always borrow shoes. don't let a pair of shoes stop you from doing it. think about it". damn he's so good at sending us on guilt trips. (like when dennis and jiahan secretly cooked together during solo day but got caught redhanded, he did about the same thing. the *i'm so disappointed in you. sigh* look.=S harhar but that's why instructors like him are impressive too)
finally i was the only one left. and i decided, what the heck. all i have to do it climb up there and walk across those logs. so charmain lent me her shoes and i went up. when i came down i was really energised, i'm very glad i did it instead of backing out. it really gave me a sense of achievement because it was so tempting to back out, and i had the option of doing so, and i was on the verge of doing so too. but i didn't and went ahead. although up there i held on to the belay rope and all, but just that not saying "no i wont' do it" really made the biggest impact.

after our dining hall duty i fell into a drain. -_-. all the mishaps on the 2nd last day. i was wondering whether to borrow shoes for the 9km challenge run for the next day. but now that i grazed my leg and have trouble walking, i guess not.
we had our farewell session at night, because chin yong was leaving early the following morning for a trip to m'sia with some kids who have muscular dystrophy. yixuan was so emotional we had to skip her for our discussion. oh you know, during the height activity in the afternoon she actually wanted me to belay her coz i make her "feel safe". i was really touched=) and i said that that would be one of the most memorable things from this course too.

our last night together wasn't that memorable, pple were so tired they just fell asleep, dennis told a few dirty jokes (the pj girls are all pretty innocent. "huh? what's that?" harharharhar) in the bunk, which ben opened up =) (of course that was forbidden), and at the prospect of running 9km the following morning it just made pple more tired.

day 9. 13 out of 16 of us made it back to send chin yong off. it wasn't him leaving that made me teary, it was seeing him standing on the boat waving profusely, and even as the boat made a turn heading in the opposite direction, he still stretched out his neck and waved, till we couldnt' see him anymore. hmmm. wah that i couldn't take. but at least i was alot more prepared this time. and knowing singapore's so small i have a feeling we'll probably meet him pretty soon again.
we had a tough time scrubbing everything and satisfying dr. mario's standard of cleaniness=S. but eventually we packed up and had our farewell/cert presentation/hugging session. and i was terribly glad chin yong wasn't around, coz he would've made it alot harder for most of us to go.

yixuan sigmund n i got a lift from jiahan's dad. and i was really glad i didn't have to go back alone, coz it would've given me alot of time to be miserable.

and i'm glad it was mobile and 9 days. i learned alot more than i did last time.

..=).there. my obs adventure 2003.