Slave to tiredness

I bring myself full of hopes back, pinning for the better life. As the saying goes “the more hope you’ve the greater pain you’ll get”, it fits in tightly to my situation.

Nobody understands me well for my heaven turns into hell. I can’t accept the setback and I live on to suffer. My life full of misery gives me depression.

It’s a pain to know many things often, and I wish I don’t get to see the hypocrite of people. I witness the distrust of each other and I start to realise why some people love to fake busy.

I begin to doubt my belief, that working wholeheartedly is showing the greatest respect to the entruster and me. I begin to wear off.

There’re too many things I’m unsure of and before I’m taught, I’ve to do them. There’re so many errands and many others are always sitting around.

My old injuries return and I know one day I won’t be able to handle the pains, till I lose the ability to walk, I tear each day, looking back at the slavery army days.

Things pile up each day, and into my personal life. I can’t breathe as I shed my woe. I’m strengthless to retaliate when people challenge with meaningless mocking as they believe I’m working comfortably and leisurely.

I want to leave

I really hate the idea of working eleven hours per day, excluding the more than two hours of travelling time. There’s too much things on my mind to output and I need to get them out before they vanish.

It exhausts me tremendously by draining my rest time. Sleepy head can’t think and it’s hard to maintain opened lids. I keep nodding when I sit comfortably, too tired to read or write to improve myself.

Nobody really knows the operation of the AVA team, ad before I forget due to my short term memory; I shall list out the events of today.

Out of nine persons, one wet on course and one was purely in charge of the lecture rooms in the accommodation block. I was told to reach early for office duty and transportation fee was on me since I couldn’t catch the free shuttle bus at a later time. I had to travel alone too without Terry’s companion.

There were troublesome stuffs to pick up and Jonathon called me to open the STC block. I sensed some kind of flames starting off when CPL Lim volunteered to take over my office job and my partner Yong Cai disagreed. All along he thought Jonathon was slacking but AVA was indeed short of manpower.

I wasn’t supposed to do duty today. They scheduled my duty on a day which I was still on course and simply swapped the day with another guy’s.

I went to STC as requested and Jimmy arrived shortly before I could catch my breath, and I returned back to the office. I continued with doing the head count and then did another check at the 2SIG parade square for people attending HLS.

Jianxing passed me the STC’s key and I rushed back to take care of the room alone. Keys for the classrooms and equipments like laptops ad projectors were loaned out. Life was quite relax for that our except that I was alone and that I didn’t dare to leave the room unattended.

Jonathon called for my help. I was supposed to have early lunch but I ended up gobbling the food to rush for the office duty.

After the brain-bursting job, I went back to STC to set up and test the radio sets. Few craps I could give but the final was gloomy face. I realised the team needed well-trained signaller and driver to accomplish the tasks.

I was called up to the room to settle the loaning of keys and equipments, through Bryan’s phone, twice. I finally realised my phone’s battery was flat. To think that I didn’t have the free incoming call service, bill would burst.

This was when the warden officer was waiting for the missing room key to loan, I dashed around and realised Andrew was checking out the room.

In sweats, I daydreamed for a good rest on one of the chairs. I hadn’t heated the seat up before the warden sent for staff, and of course I was the only available one, I supposed, when Andrew was in his holiday mood just before ORD.

Climbing down the stairs again, the warden questioned for missing equipments. I made countless trips up and down, to get helps and bring down other stuffs. The warden seemed too good to be nice but I foolishly believed his acts to give us advices.

Soon, I went back office for the last parade. I saw the new captain who tried to get things organised in his own. I sensed troubles to adapt to the new environment.

Captain James started questioning about the lost equipments. It was a long talk and everyone seemed lost. The other teams were held back too, but were released in time for the last shuttle bus.

LTA Max joined in, announcing the email he received from the warden. It was then I saw his hypocritical. I finally knew what office politic was. He caught us off guard by hinting us to settle it but he informed all the officers before we could find out what was wrong.

After the long lecturing, I was left alone inside the office. It was around 7pm when Mr Cheng was back and I could finally leave, but Jonathon called me on time to take over his duty at STC to wait for the return of key at 8.30pm. Luckily the class ended early and we left together.

I’ve put in my best effort to learn, but certainly not worth to perform here. If you asked me if I want to stay, I’d say I’m hesitating to leave; if you ask me now, I swear I want to leave at once.

Welcome back

I wished so badly to return, day by day I put in effort to perform. Till hard work was recognised and I succeeded, dream seemed too real to realize.

It was just the first day, when things went headwire. I wasn’t of a capable man, but I wanted to know what actually went wrong and why was I idling around.

As foreseen, things would change for the worse. The main source of dependence, assurance and respect were diminishing. Was it still the same place which I hesitated to leave two months ago?

I tried to pick up things fast; I wanted to be a good learner, through sacrifice of my leisure time I wouldn’t mind.

But I had no choice; I couldn’t choose to stay or leave.

Islandwide Driving

Driving on the expressway was exciting. It was by then free to display my creativity i driving, whereby o instructor was sitting besides me most of the time.

We should be failures for the tests, and I guaranteed I’d get more than 30 major faults if islandwide driving was the test. That was when I finally got to understand Mr Low’s words that with the huge vehicle I was driving, I could be the “king” of the road.

My greatest regret was that he was unable to sit besides me while I cut through the lanes and forced other vehicles to give ways. I was just doing the right thing to survive on the roads of Singapore.

Driving was a challenge to build up confident, determination and hard-heartenness. I had made my first step into independency.

Driver's Handbook

1 – Back to training

It was yet another trainee’s lifestyle. I hated it since BMT and never would I want to taste it again, if I had a choice.

The only relief was that my ex-platoonmates would be joining me, so much of a fortunate in the suffer. I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t need to stay in camp from Sunday night until Saturday afternoon every week.

Life was a challenge since the first day, when other platoons accused us of using their toilet and dustbin. Then, we saw unfamiliar faces in our toilet instead. Soon, one of our phones was stolen.

I had my first driving of real vehicle on the second day, and I couldn’t believe it at first. I was full of excitement on the circuit’s road but too scared to involve in any accident. I knew well nothing would happen to me if the landrover was damaged but it would hurt me more to put other people (instructor) in trouble.

By the third day, I got sick of driving when I knew I didn’t catch up the skill as fast as others. What motivated me was the fact that my dad used to be a container car driver and I wanted to be as good as him.

Everyone passed their Highway Code test in our first try with more than half of us scoring perfect, thus we got to book out early on the first Saturday.

2 – Receiving the baddies

During the second week, I started to enjoy myself at the Hideout to watch television show with others. It was a good place with large television set and sofas. It was fun to have more than fifty people squeezing and jeering together.

However, assholes spoiled our nights often when they left their seats unattended right after the show. I was amazed with those tattooed gangsters-wannabe, because they could live their lives with so many people despising them, and if I were any of them, I’d have hidden under my blanket to cry instead of going down to the Hideout.

I made my first trip to the public road with my legs in pains. Despites this and the long dragging cough I had, I endured to prevent myself from getting out-of-course.

Unfortunately, with the depression of each day due to poor understanding of the driving skill, it reminded me of BMT life. My cough started since at stagmont camp worsened, probably due to the Muslim food I had for each meal, with my pimples outbreaking. Even though we were indented with night snacks every night, our supply was stolen sometimes.

I got to talk to my bunkmates more and through each conversation brought out my wastage of time all these years. At least this time I had a very good buddy. No doubt, I had to try very hard to withstand lamer who cut queue or smoke like as if it was their fathers’ camp.

3 – Tonner

Driving the 3-tonner vehicle was an insane task. The huge giant had a width so big that it occupied almost the whole of a narrow road lane. It took great efforts to keep the vehicle within the centre of the lane, that you had to keep adjusting the steering wheel to control the cross country tyres.

I didn’t dare to use the horn due to its loud noise which might alarm the elderly near the road. I felt essential to give ways to other road users even when I had the right of ways. Driving was a maze to me.

I had lots of time to do my writing but situations weren’t to my favour most of the time. I couldn’t stand noise, and especially people looking at my draft work. At forced situation when friends requested to look at my notebook, I had to give in.

Sleeping earl had been a habit since I needed lots of concentration in my driving. Besides, I couldn’t continue with my writing when my bunkmates needed rest. I was also trained as a pig to sleep during the to and fro journey between Sembawang and Kaki Bukit daily.

I was annoyed by rashes but I didn’t see any doctor for I didn’t want to get out-of-course halfway.

4 – Guilt

I got so sick of the heaty food and eventually lost my appetite. It was only during the two days cross country driving, good food was catered by other vendor.

My cough that had subsided returned within less than a week, at a higher pace this time. Occasionally I felt like vomiting during invasion of the dry cough. This was the week that I stopped my jogging session with my platoonmates.

The day which three items were tested together slashed my confidence. Leashing was an easy task to me but not on that day when I overlooked the position of the rope. No matter how much force I applied and how tight the tension was, the fatal error gave me a big blow. I was faster than most people during the practises but somehow I had disappointed the instructor. Whereas for the parking test, I spent about half of the ten minutes given to finish the task.

Keeping in touch with other friends was almost an impossible task when I had to face my platoon-mates daily. Sometimes I was bored, but holding to my phone was pointless when nobody replied to my messages.

It was only during early Sunday mornings I could have volleyball games with my team-mates and that was the only enjoyment I could have in my short weekends. And of course, I tried to spend my Saturday nights with my family during dinner.

5 – The pressure

I waited until the leashing retest was conducted. My agony and guilt gave me the drive to overcome any phobia. The teasing by an unknown force sprained my right ankle at the start of the timer when I was walking normally. The sudden setback failed to put me back as I continued to use my right foot to inject tension to the crying rope. The tester was amazed with my speed and remarked that I was rushing for my lunch. I gave no thought of explaining my normal pace to him in my shame for the previous failure.

Soon, fears and wished filled my surrounding as the actual driving test approached. Taking up the course was a normal learning experience to me but now that passing the course had become a big burden to me.

I knew well my instructor would be given a sum of money if I were to pass my driving test in my first try. His salary was low. He was such a great person, someone who tried not to scream at me when I repeated my mistake, someone who gave me encouragement and joked with me. If he didn’t treat me so well, I wouldn’t have feared to disappoint them.

I failed my first test. A change of vehicle seemed to turn me into a newbie. However, I felt relief after the test as I knew I could do nothing to change the fact.

6 – Backlog

Slowly, one by one left the platoon as retests were conducted. I didn’t know if I should feel happy or sad for the passes as they would be going back to their units to suffer. Whereas for me, I felt lonelier with the departure of my friends. Since luck wasn’t on my side, I could only give my best wishes to the pests to pass their tests in order for me not to see them.

It was an unbearable week, the shame to see my trainer almost put me into holes to hide my face. Every failure required another two hundreds minutes of driving and that was the worst torture for someone who had lost his confidence and will to drive.

As time went by, it was obvious that passing depended mostly on luck. Skilled drivers took a few tries to pass, whereas the hopeless ones could do it in earlier stages. This was the greatest moral booster for the remaining, but sometimes we did negatively felt embarrassed.

I was happy when the test was cancelled once, so that none of us had to leave us.

7 – Departure

Clinging on till the last extended week, the few of us were bonded closely together. However, the long slacking hours in the day had exhausted me with my mindful of thoughts, and each night I was baby-sit onto the bed, lying restlessly.

I had no determination to take up more challenges but my instructor confirmed that he had to pay a sum of money if I didn’t pass the course.

The worst punishment was to m
ake other people suffer for me. His words added some nervousness back to me and his patience ad kindness threw in more guilt into me.

I knew well if I ever passed, my life for the next two years might be changed, for the worse I’d have to leave my friends behind but I should unselfishly repay my instructor for all his teaching, so I put on my armour again.

Luck was totally on my side in my fifth test, and the greatest gift was to have the kindest test to sit besides me. I passed.

Leaving my friends behind was the greatest sin, but the fact that the course would end in two more days relieved me.


I hadn’t played a game so well for long. This time, my team consisted of three outsiders, too weird to be true that I had performed when I was nervous. It was probably due to the extra concentration I had put in, especially the skill and spirit of my teammates.

After all these years, I wasn’t a professional yet. It was during the game that I realised I hadn’t been taking off correctly in my spiking ever since I was enlisted. I turned the three-steps taking off into two, starting with my right leg. There were also periods of time I forgot to open up my palms, use my wrist force or swing my arms. I wasn’t a good player.

I don’t know what have gotten into me for the past year, I seem to lose myself out of a sudden and fumble up my task. Perhaps, stress is the main cause.

I must get out of this because reality leaves no room for useless man.

The light

I don’t know why so many things are beyond control, that is, no matter how much effort I’ve put in, it’s pointless. It’s not about being pessimistic or not, but the fact of life.

The worst thing is when one doesn’t know his own limit, pressing on everything blindly. He doesn’t get what he really deserves, maybe due to his stupidity.

Sometimes I start to wonder if it worth to try hard, for own self satisfactory or eternal torments, or for someone out there who’s special.

I’m tired. Looking back at the shaggy route I’ve been through all these years, I laughed through sadness and cried through joys, I could have lived happier.

Am I supposed to continue with my perspective of life? How do I move on without guidance?