Steph's Friend

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The camp is over. I must say that it was an interesting week.

On the first day of the camp, we met at Boon Lay Interchange. We played ice-breaker games and got to know some of the names of my group mates. We took a bus to NTU and went to this common hall (it's a big place where we played our games and had our meal). We played some more games there. There was this game which was In that the player had to say certain things that were kinda obscene. I wondered how the girls would feel.

Anyway, on our first day, we played games most of the time in that common hall. While we were playing our games, I saw someone that I recognized. Hohoho...I don't know if she recognized me but I recognized her. I can't really confirm but had a hunch that it was her. She's from SCE (Comp Engin). The games were okay. The food was fine. Then there was an "Introduction Night". It was the perfect opportunity for me to confirm my guess. So when the emcee announced the appointment holders as they walked up to the "stage" I waited for him to go to the Welfare part. Finally he said "And now for the Welfare Officer we have..." Haha...I was right. My guess was right.

At night, we had an item called "Sherlock Holmes". It's where groups had to solve a murder case. Interesting huh? We freshies come and there's someone who died. Anyway it was interesting especially when you have a dead body coming back to live and girls screaming at the top of their lungs in the middle of the night.

There was this room where our group had to confirm if the deceased was indeed that person (I won't name names here lest someone with the same name reads my blog and gets offended). So our group entered the tutorial room. The lights were closed. Inside the room was this guy who looked like some forensic expert with a lab coat on him. The other guy was this supposedly dead guy lying on a row of tables with a table cloth over him. about being real.

Anyway, our group walked in with a lot of "hehe" and "haha". Then this scene followed:

Forensic Expert: Please respect the dead.
Group mate: Real or not? He sleep there how long already?
Forensic Expert: Please keep quiet and respect the dead.

You know, of all the place, why must they pick a tutorial room? It gives me the impression that people study until they get too stressed and die. Not a very nice impression eh? Anyway, he asked one of us to lift the table cloth which was on the "dead" guy. So that same group mate volunteered.

He lifted the table cloth and suddenly the "dead" guy moved! Sheesh. It's like some Resident Evil zombie man! The whole group was freaked out with the girls screaming. I looked at the Forensic Expert and saw that he was smiling. That evil guy. It must be him who killed the victim. Nah, it wasn't him but some other guy which he met later. It was a long game that ended quite late like about 1.30 am.

We went back to our rooms and took a shower. I wanted to refill my water bottle but did not know where. So I looked for someone to ask. I saw her, the one from SCE (Let's call her T). Maybe I should ask her? Or maybe I should continue to play this game of hide and seek? was funny. Nevertheless, I went over to T and her group of friends and asked. One of her friends answered me with a very vague answer. I guess she didn't know where but suggested the pantry. I tried the pantry on my level but there wasn't any. I only found a water cooler at the second level pantry.

My room mates and I slept at about 2.00 am. In case, you don't know, it was 5 people on two beds. So we combined the two beds together and slept. The fan was at full blast and I was getting cold. It's not easy to sleep when you are cold and squeezed. So I slept on the floor. It was hard but nevertheless easier to sleep on than the bed. How wrong I was. I woke up and tossed every now and then. I seriously don't know how long I can keep up with this. Unknowingly, my answer would be found the next day.

Day 2. Breakfast was nasi lemak. Quite okay I would say. We played some more games and then there was this game where we had candles and had to go over to our opponent's side and use our candle to burn their strings. They defend by blowing out the flame on our candles. Simple and easy. I played the defender for my side. T was there standing near some place marked with raffia strings with her friends. The raffia strings were "danger zones" with holes where people may fall into. Very noble job standing there. As I played I saw that there were some guys who played very roughly. One of my team mates who was defending had his specs knocked out! And worse still, the guy didn't apologize to him. That was not all. There was this guy who was trying to break through our defense and knocked a female team mate down onto the floor! Sheesh, it was like so rough man!

Anyway, the game dragged for too long and the judge said that defending was not allowed so I went to attack. Someone blew out my flame and I had to go to the "Medic" (the guy who lighted all our candles) to flame on! Ironically, there was a pit near my Medic and I sprained my ankle. Ironic isn't it? Spraining your leg while going to the Medic. I heard a loud crack sound and I knew I was in trouble. Nevertheless, I continued on. The game ended and we proceeded on to the next game.

I couldn't participate and had to sit down. So I helped my group hold our flag while my team mates played. Yet it was then that the fun started...

I was sitting with the flag. There was one senior beside me and I saw T walking over to our side. She sat with us. was going to be a real joke that I should meet up with T when I have a sprained ankle. It was a real joke, but it wasn't funny.

Anyway, they chat until T asked me this question.

T: Are you a freshie or a senior?
Me: Freshie.
T: Then why don't you play with them?
Me: I sprained my ankle.
T: When?
Me: Like...30 minutes ago?
T: Huh? You should inform us earlier.

Our conversation was something like that. So T went to get some medics to help her while I thought about how funny it was that I should meet T with such a predicament. In case you are wondering. I knew T for some time but didn't know who she was in real life.So the camp was an opportunity for me to find out who T was.

T and the medic came. The medic said that there was a slight swelling. They brought me over to the grandstand for me to rest. Along the way, we had this conversation.

T: So which course are you in?

It was a good question because she knows that Steph is studying Material Science. Should I continue on playing the game of hide and seek and say some crap like "Business Engineering Sciences"? Nah. It's good to tell the truth.

Me: Material Engineering.
T: I see. By the way, what's your name?

Whoa! The final question that could end this game. I told the truth.

Me: Stephen
T: Oh! I think I know who you are. The blogger right?
Me: Yah.

Sheesh. It was so pai seh to meet someone you don't know with a sprain ankle. We reached the grandstand and I was given an ice pack to reduce the swelling. I can't remember the two medics' name but I know that one was from Medan, the same place where I grew up in. I think his name was like Medy or something like that. Anyway we had an interesting conversation.

Me: You are not Singaporean right?
Medy: Yah. I am from Indonesia.
Me: Cool! Dari mana? (Which part of Indonesia?)

At this point of time, Medy looked surprised while T just laughed.

Medy: Medan.
Me: I grew up there!

And so we talked and talked.

The senior medic (it was a lady with a ponytail) wrapped up my ankle with some bandage. I was told to rest.

As I rest, I wondered how sad it was that I was there to make new friends and enjoy myself. Yet such a thing had to happen. It was real sad. I saw many of them playing out there in the field having fun. It was kinda sad. Then T gave me some food and drinks for my lunch. I ate and looked at my group playing. They were having fun while I was having lunch. Something was wrong. It was my ankle.

Anyway, to cut the looong and saaad story short, my dad wanted me to see a doctor and told me to go back. Before I went back, my group cheered me on led by the Group Leader. Yet I wondered how many of them really meant it? Nevertheless, it was a nice gesture. There was this guy from SCE (I can't remember his name but I know he's some important guy in the camp and the SCE club) who drove me to my hall and Wendy, one of the GLs, helped me as I packed my stuff. I gave my SP gift to Wendy and asked her to passed it to T since T has been a great help assisting me with my injury. I guess I won't be meeting any SP huh. Anyway, the guy then drove me to the polyclinic which was near my house. My dad was waiting for me there. I thanked the both of them, Wendy and the Important Guy.

So I waited for my queue to arrive. While waiting I asked whether there was any good that came out of all these. I mean when something bad happens, try to look at the bright side and things won't be so bad. So what are the good things? Well, I thought of a few:

1. I need not club.

I guess I can still say that I have never been to a club. My record is still kept.

2. I get to sleep on my bed.

I need not squeeze with four other guys for space to sleep.

2 may not be much but hey, at least there's some good out of it right?

Anyway, something happened yesterday night (Monday night). Colin, the Chief Group Leader came to my house to give me my Camp T-short and shoe. Apparently, I left my shoe back in camp. Hey, I had a sprained ankle and couldn't pack properly okay. He came and met me near my house and passed me my shoe and T-short. I was very touched by his act of kindness. So I gave him a box of biscuits as a form of appreciation. I guess I have one more thing to add to my list of "good things".

3. There are kind and nice people in NTU.

From Colin to T to Wendy and the Important Guy who drove me back, I was able to see that there were nice people in the camp. This was something I may not have seen If I didn't sprained my ankle.

I would like to end this post with a thank you to all those who have helped me.

(Note: I will be away again for another camp. Will be back on Thursday)

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Start Of SCE/MSE FOC 2007

Today is the start of the SCE/MSE FOC 2007. It is a one week camp, so I won't be posting anything for this week.

Here's a video of Jack Black on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Enjoy :)

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Post Before NTU MSE/SCE Freshman Orientation Camp 2007

I went to Jurong Point today to buy some stuff for the upcoming FOC (Freshman Orientation Camp). As I was looking around, I chanced upon two girls. At first I didn't really noticed them until I walked past them and overheard one of them. She said this.

Girl: Can he ******* shut-up?

Whoa. She's like just a secondary school girl and there I heard an expletive from her mouth. I began to think how some young people these days are fluent in such languages and show no restraint in using them. Not that I hate them or anything like that. It's do you say...weird. As I was thinking, lo and behold an auntie in front of me said this.

Auntie: Chou nan ren. (Stinking men.)

I guess, it's one after another. Am I like living in the twilight zone, expletive department or something like that? No. I am in Singapore. And I thought "love" was our favorite word. Nevermind.

I walked and bought some stuff. I saw another girl, and she resembled closely to someone I know in primary school. It was in a split second. I was about to call her name but she turned away. I guess she must be her twin sister. Wait...she doesn't have a twin sister. Nevemind.

I walked along the Jollibean stall and saw another person again (what's up with today?). This time I know that I really know her. She was my senior in NJCSB (National Junior College Symphonic Band). She was with one guy. So I guess I better don't disturb them...haha. Or maybe they are just friends? She is now studying in NUS. This girl has a very interesting feature that I can only find in her and nobody else (until now that is). She has this very interesting feature about her that puzzled me since the day I saw her (meaning since I was in NJC).

Her feature is this. It's something to do with her looks. You know how some girls have a boyish look making them look like a tomboy or butch? Well, for her it's different. She has a boyish look, but it's the handsome kind of boyish look. As a girl, she's pretty okay looking. In short, she's both handsome and beautiful. Weird huh? Well, that was what I thought too when I first saw her. She looked like a guy (a handsome one unlike me) from a glance and yet like a girl (a beautiful one) from another glance. It's as if her face was a composition of both a handsome guy and beautiful girl's faces. I don't blame you if you think I'm talking crap but seriously, she's beautifully handsome or handsomely (this part is crap I admit). Must be her genes. I won't be surprised if she has male and female suitors after her, although it can be kind of scary though. Her personality is nice. She's an okay-person. Someone you can be friends with. I also heard that she's smart. Of course once you know her, you won't think of her as a boy but as a girl. However, if it's your first time meeting her, you will experience the is-that-person-a-he-or-she kind of dilemma.

Anyway, I have bought my things. I will pack tomorrow night the day before the camp. However, before the camp starts, I have certain thoughts.

1. How will it be like?

I hope it's fine. When I was young, I wasn't very socialable. To what extent? It depends. Of course once the ice is broken, we will get ice cubes. Joking. Once the ice is broken it will be easier to chat and all that. Of course the people you mix with must be willing to break the ice too. If not, you get one ice cube plus another ice cube and you get two ice cubes. No broken ice.

2. SP (Special Partner/Pal) Night.

For those who don't know what SP Night is, it's where a guy and a girl will be paired off to get to know each other better and finally, they club and exchange gifts.

Seriously man. I feel like I am taking part in the SDU matchmaking scheme. However, I appreciate the effort and time spent by the seniors in making this. It can be quite an interesting thing. Let me illustrate:

Lady: Hi, my name is ABC.
Me: Hi, my name is Stephen.
Lady: So...anything to talk about?
Me: Nothing (refer to point 1 on my lack of social skills).
Lady: I see.
So both of us stare at space until time is up.

Okay, maybe it's not so bad. Maybe it's like this:

Me: Hi, my name is Stephen.
Lady: Hi, my name is ABC.
Me: Cool dudette! Your name consists of the first three words of the alphabet. Easy to remember!
That will totally end (not to mention ruin) everything.

Jokes aside. I don't know how this SP Night will turn out. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

I have bought the gift for my SP. I hope she likes it. It's a jack-in-the-box that pops out. Joking. I may get a slap for that.

Truth be told, it's a card and a gift. Why a card? Well, I figured out that since no one knows who their SP is, it's highly unlikely that any of them would buy a card. Well, I have that card, so that my SP will feel special to be the only one who received a card from her SP. It's not like she's my girlfriend or whatever, why I don't even know her. However, I just hope that whoever she is, she will enjoy herself being my SP. ( touching. No lah where got touching? No one touch you wad. -_-''')

3. Clubbing.

In point 2, I mentioned that we will meet our SP in a club. First of all, I've never ever been to a club. Second I hate clubs.

I remember how in the army my very good friends tried very hard to bring me to a club. I appreciate their kindness, but clubbing simply isn't the place for me. I suggested for us to go to the library instead and they were all like -_-'''.

I don't go clubs because I have a very bad impression of clubs. When I was small, I grew up in Indonesia. The clubs there were associated with people flirting, people behaving promiscuously, gambling and drug sales. Here in Singapore I guess it's the same thing with news about how people got into fights, people got killed...etc. In short, I have a very bad impression of it. When my GL (Group Leader) called and told me that we had to club, I was like "oh man". It really tested my values. However, I can't really reject and say no can I? I will only say no if we are required to take alcohol (which I feel is highly unlikely) or we are required to do things that are against my values. If it's just going there just to meet our SP, I'll treat that place as a museum.

Okay, I've talked too much. Hopefully, I can talk like that with the people in the camp and my SP (whoever she is). Got to go and prepare for the camp. Bye.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Am A Man

Okay, you may be wondering "what's up with the weird post title?". Well, it is inspired by something that happened yesterday.

As usual, I was checking my email to see if there was anything important. Oh, I do have email. Okay, let's see who it was from. Hm...spam...spam...and an "Anonymous"? Who could it be? Well, let's read it.

Here's the picture of that email that inspired me to write this post. I won't reveal his name even though he included it as it may be a mistake of some sort.

Guess what? He wants to meet me for "ice cream or something". Did I visit his Hot Or Not profile? I don't think so. And what on earth is my "Citizen Grim profile"? The scary part was the last sentence.

It was then that I realized that a guy is trying to get to know me by asking me out for a date! Oh man! I can't believe this is happening. Let me repeat. I can't believe this is happening. Let me repeat again. I can't believe this is happening. What has the world become?

Then I realized that maybe because he thought that I am a woman and hence is interested in meeting up with me. I can't believe this. Sheesh. I wrote in the "About Me" section that I am Stephen. Hello world, Stephen is a guy's name. Steph is just a nickname my friends call me. Also, I am straight. I am only interested in having a serious relationship with a woman and nothing more.

To the man who wrote this: I am not a woman. Please read the "About Me" section.

Maybe this comment was for another person? I don't know. It's just way too weird.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Shuai Ge (Handsome Boy)

This morning, my parents and I decided to go to West Mall for our brunch (breakfast and lunch). When we reached there, there were a lot of stalls with various kinds of food. There was one stall with Vietnam food, another with seaweed, one with local food and many more. I saw one stall (the crackers stall) with free samples. So I went to it and took one of the food displayed - the spicy crackers. It was nice. My dad asked if I wanted to buy it. It was tasty, but I didn't buy it. Maybe later. I took one more sample and decided that it was enough. Apparently, the stalls were all not ready yet as the stall holders were seen packing things and setting up stuff. I guess it's something like a mini food fair.

Anyway, we went to eat at Mos Burger. The food was expensive but filling. I can never understand how (tongue twister alert) Mos Burger's burgers (you want to try to say that out loud?) are so expensive. They are even more expensive than MacDonald's and KFC. However, it was only once in a while so I guess it's not that bad.

We had our brunch and went to the food fair to look at the food available. I was walking halfway when I realised that my parents were behind looking at some stalls. My dad was at the crackers stall from where I took a few samples from. There was a lady there who was trying to sell some of the crackers to my dad. I saw him and walked towards him. It was then that this conversation followed.

Lady: Zhe shi ni de er zi arh? (Is this your son?)
Dad: Yes.
Lady: Wah...shuai ge leh! Ni you shi yi shi mah? (Wah, handsome leh! Do you want to have some sample?)
Me: thank you.

It was at this point of time that I felt weird...way weird. I am not used to people saying such things. I analyzed the situation and came to two conclusions. First, she was telling the truth. If so, then I guess maybe I am not as bad looking as I thought I Second, she said that hoping that we will buy from her. If so, then I guess her crackers look better than me.

In the end, my dad bought one packet of crackers that I sampled previously. Was it because of the lady's comments or was it because the crackers were nice? I think I know...

Anyway, the lady's comments made me think deep about something. I guess that will be for another blog post.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

An Old Acquaintance

I went to the library over at Jurong to borrow some books. I realized that I had better polish up on my A Level knowledge else I may say something stupid like Isaac Newton was a famous pianist and Mozart was the one who build the Great Wall of China. Okay, maybe not to that extent but I figured out that I had to do some reading.

I found two books and borrowed them. After that, I went to the toilet and used the sink. I pressed on the tap expecting water to come out. However, what came out was a sudden gush of water! It splashed all over my shirt. Somehow the tap didn't understand that it was me and not my shirt that needed some water. So I went out of the toilet with a wet spot on my shirt. Imagine the stares I attracted. If they were stares because I am handsome, I don't mind. However, if the stares were a result of some wet spot on my shirt, then it's pretty embarrassing.

Anyway, I remembered that I had to buy a tin of Jacob's crackers. So I went to NTUC Fairprice and went to the cashier. It was then that I realized that it was the first Wednesday of the month! It was Bring Your Own Bag Day! I figured out that if you didn't bring any plastic bag, you had to actually PAY to get one. I did not bring any plastic bags with me and I didn't want to waste any money. So I told her that I don't need any and that I could carry the big tin of Jacob's crackers myself. She agreed. I saved a few cents. And so I walked out of the store with a big tin beside me. After I stepped out of the store, I realized that I looked funny. I looked like some old man who stashed away his retirement savings in a tin box. Okay, maybe I shouldn't have saved a few cents.

I walked crossed the road at the traffic lights and walked under the covered walkway. It was there and then that it happened...

I was walking with this big tin box of crackers beside me when I saw her in front. She saw me too. Did she smile at me? I don't know. I was just surprised to see her there. At that moment of time, I seemed to forget her name. Her face was familiar. It was one I seen before in NJC. Yet at that point of time I forgot her name. The story goes back a long way...

It was in NJC then. I saw her in the early months of my NJC years. I knew her name from a friend of mine. I was in the band then. I heard that she was in the band in secondary school. I asked my friend why didn't she join band in NJC. Her friend told me the reason (I won't say it here). It was a sad reason I thought. However, she joined the Chinese Orchestra (CO). It was weird in that she couldn't join the Symphonic Band but could join CO. Anyway, that was her choice.

A few weeks later, she (the one who joined CO) visited the band room frequently. I was at the percussion side practicing on my snare drum. Every visit would involve a smile and a few looks over at my side. It maybe the big gong behind me I thought. Not only that. As I walked from lecture to lecture, at times I bumped into her. She would give the same smile. Maybe it's some guy behind me I thought. This continued on. I thought she wanted to be my friend. Anyway, we remained as normal school mates with oh-you-are-in-the-same-school kind of relationship. After A Levels, I went to army and I don't know what she did.

The next time I saw her was on the bus when I worked in IMRE. She saw me and I saw her. It brought back memories of her smile and the big gong behind me (okay maybe the gong part is a joke). This time, she kept quiet. Maybe something happened? I don't know.

Flashback over. I walked towards her and she walked towards me. We brushed past each other. She saw me with my big tin of Jacob's and wet shirt. It was a bad way of making impressions. I thought she smiled. I don't know.

She's a nice lady. Friendly and all. Was she interested in me? Or was she interested in the gong behind me (okay, joke again). Maybe I was dumb and immature about this boy-girl relationship (BGR) stuff then when I was in NJC. Thinking back, it seems that she may be hinting of a friendship. Of course all these are just thoughts and conclusions that I have. They maybe wrong. For all you know, she was really interested in playing the gong.

Anyway, I took the bus home and went to do some A Level stuff. By then, my shirt had dried.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Art Appreciation

I am not sure if the majority of the youths in Singapore are able to appreciate art, but I myself sometimes find it very hard to do so. Art is a very big field with "modern art", "graffiti", and even "cooking". Yes, your mum does "art" in the kitchen every morning so that the whole family can eat. Anyway, there are some forms of art that are truly nice and others that seems...weird.

I have never been in any art exhibition other than my primary 6 art competition where people were drawn with circles and stick figures. A few days ago, I imagined what would happen if I really attended one of them. I can only imagine how the scenario would be...

Host: Hi, are you here to view the exhibits?
Me: Er, yes. It's my first time in one of these.
Host: Ho ho, don't worry. I will guide you along.

We walk over to one exhibit that looks like a pile of hair shaped into some odd looking shape.

Me: What's this?
Host: Well, this is titled "Hairy Situation". It's made from real hair cut from salons all over Singapore. The artist spent a lot of time sticking all these together to get what you see today.
Me: Uh-huh...

Lesson learnt: Anything can be art.

Then he brought me over to a clay statue shaped into a woman carrying a child.

Me: I think I understand this. It's a mother carrying her baby right?
Host: Ho ho ho. It's no surprise that you got it wrong.
Me: Wrong?
Host: Yes. A lot of visitors mentioned what you said too. It's actually a pictorial representation of vassalage.

(In case some of you don't know what vassalage is, it's when a country submits into the authority of another country, usually more superior, and receives help from it.)

Me: chim one.
Host: Please don't say "chim". It's very unrefined. Say "abstract". It's much better.
Me: ...
Host: If you read at the short write-up below this statue, you can see that it is written clearly here what it stands for.
Me: Oh okay.

Lesson learnt: Read labels before commenting.

Next he brought me to this painting of random lines with various thickness and colours.

Me: Wah...this is so ABSTRACT.
Host: Yes it is.
Me: I read somewhere that before some painters begin to paint such art pieces, they think deep and let their emotions flow freely to express what they feel.
Host: Erm, not all of them do that.
Me: I see. The colors here seem dark and the mood I get while looking at this seems to reflect the artist's message of confinement.
Host: You are right again. You are getting good at this.
Me: Thanks. I think he or she who painted this must have some feeling of confinement. Right?
Host: Actually, it's not a "he" or "she"?
Me: Wah...this is even more ABSTRACT! Is it an alien?
Host: No. It was Ah-meng the orang-utan who drew it and the zoo gave it to us.
Me: -_-

Lesson learnt: Not all artists are humans.

It was the end of the tour and before I left we had this conversation.

Me: Thanks for your time.
Host: You are welcome. So what do you think of art now?

This is a very tricky question as I still knew nuts about art. I interpreted most of them wrongly and the one I got right was done by an orang-utan. Sad isn't it? After thinking long and hard...

Me: Hm...I feel that art...
Host: Yes?

The host's eyes were beaming with high hopes of educating me with art.

Me: Is a three-letter word.
Host: Huh?
Me: I wrong?
Host: are right. It is a three-letter word after all.
Me: Well, thank you. I need to get going.

With that I left the host still puzzled by my primary-schoolish answer.

(Note: The above didn't happen. It was all imaginary.)

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