It’s been such rare case that I haven’t been writing anything on my notebook during travelling. I had just finished reading a book last week titled “On the job”, whereas my free time on the train and in camp were spent on putting each word into my brain. I was reading for the sake of reading.

Reading was a tough job for me since I could be distracted so easily. Everytime after finishing a paragraph, it seemed like I hadn’t gone through them before. I was in fact thinking of other things while I was reading. It might be a supernatural power or unique skill, which I rather not had, because it was simply useless.

I bought a book from the bookfair downstairs my house last week. I was hoping for cheap old or second hand programming books but they weren’t as cheap as expected.

Most information could be viewed online, therefore, it didn’t worth to spend too much money on books; however, reading from books and monitors were totally different feeling, whereas small sized books could accompany me anywhere.

There were other books which I was quite fancy of, but decided not to waste money since I might not even have enough time to go over them.

In fact, reading is less awkward than writing during travelling; it’ll somehow attract less attention.

It's never been better

It’s really difficult to bring myself back after setback. When it’s almost impossible, worse situations come in, throwing celebrations for a rugged man.

I went back after a day of escaping from the hellish place. The absence of the duty clerks started the day unpleasantly. A set of new rules caused frustration, which I’d chosen to ignore. Just at the first storey, the scene of clients outside the office told it’d be a busy day.

It was a scary moment and luckily no big shot was around. We could have got there earlier if only the main office was opened earlier and we could draw the keys in time as well. It was an unusual case that none of the CAI personnel was around and I’d to help them issue their rooms.

I didn’t like the idea of Kwang Han being called back when he was promised of a off day since a few weeks back. However, he was handy and it was great to have him around to help settle things, especially when the office was kind of like a thrash place.

The cupboards to the expensive equipments like laptops and projectors weren’t even closed, not to mention being unlocked. Uniforms and boots were left in the middle of the “resting” place.

I checked the loan books and there was this laptop being issued out the day before, without the serial number or recipient’s number. The worst thing was the name without rank in front that was telling me he wasn’t even from the camp. Luckily we found a laptop on the front which matched the brand. So, I concluded the person didn’t clear it after the client returned.

I sensed a comeback of the same old problems. The book was in a mess with missing items like contact numbers and signatures, some equipments returned weren’t cleared. Perhaps, it’d never been better since last time, except that some of us were present months ago to lessen the disasters but now we weren’t in the office sometimes.

Of course, the charts on the wall weren’t updated; someone must be expecting souls could embark there when physicals weren’t around. Three projectors went missing but actually they were sent to workshop a day before and nobody had informed everyone.

Upon realising the number of the projectors left, I tried to get back the expired ones. Suddenly, the air-con servicing men arrived and claimed that they had informed Jonathan the day before that they were coming down. I stopped everything and accompanied them up to each room, on the way saw the threatrette’s door opened widely with the air-con on. Luckily the equipments inside were still around.

I was going for lunch when Warrant Ng came in and claimed that he had indented a laptop from Staff Quek. Again, Kwang Han and I weren’t informed of anything and we’d to make phone calls. We tested the set, which was found on the floor earlier on and there was problem with the power connector – obviously someone had received it without checking.

After lunch was self initiative to pack up the office, but it was painful to see others not contributing. And when someone stepped in, the only person not idling had to do the entertaining. It wasn’t only about setting good example.


Suddenly I remember this important fact about visiting a doctor. You’ve to stress each point clearly, and by hook or by crook, make sure he doesn’t twist a few words around in his report.

Let’s take for example: you’re there to see him because of a back injury after carrying some heavy stuffs. When you tell him you first injured it due to volleyball practise five years ago, make sure you highlight that’s only the starter of the pain. Also, you’ve to make it clear that it’s due to excess physical training for the volleyball game.

If he’s something wrong with his ears or his mind can’t really focus, and he indicates you’re complaining about your backache this visit due to volleyball practise, or he tries to act smart by summarizing the sentences by only writing down “Due to excessive volleyball game.” – And you’re a goner.

So, do both patients and doctors need to be A-grade students for English or GP (General paper) in order to make a successful consultation? I don’t know.

The most crucial period

So, there went my only leave of the year.

It was kind of wasted though the day was quite fruitful; I could actually get an off for the training at Mandai camp, if not for the ugly people.

I was there half an hour earlier, reading outside the administration door in a cool position. I watched three guys trying to roll a heavy tin down the stairs and then some passers-by were asked to help out. Two joined force to carry one tin down, whereas another one did it by himself. What I witnessed were different kinds of attitudes.

I went into the office so that I could open up the doors of the hall to start everything off earlier but the people weren’t so friendly. At least I was able to do it. After some time, I was told that the office would be closed soon and I’d to sign out the key to the door of the backstage. That Indian guy didn’t want me to take the key out from the sealed envelop before I signed over.

The participation was as bad as before and this time only eight of us were there. I was told by Brian I was going to play libero. I was fine with that since I’d have higher chance to get into Safsa, other than that I couldn’t perform by attacking. The crucial thing was still the eligibility for me to take part in the tournament.

I didn’t dig expectedly well. However, I felt less pressured like the previous time when David was around. I also had a phobia from the first training when both my calves had a cramp at the same time. It wasn’t a nice feeling to play when I still didn’t know if I could go for the next training.

Luckily all of them were very friendly people. We could achieve more if everyone was able to come for the training. Their digging couldn’t make it, whereas I hadn’t gotten back my confidence. They did extremely well in their spiking but I could predict bad situations during the tournament when opponents played tricky. I really hoped we could get into the semi-final.

Setting was no problem for me before I got tired in the third set, which my team eventually won a can of free drinks each. We’d great fun.

I don't regard him as a doctor

Sometimes I really doubt the professionalism of doctors nowadays. They may be good in their studies, memories or whatever shit, but their characters are always a questionnaire.

Do you care for your patients? Will you give them the best that you can? Can you assure their health will be well taken, at least you try?

If you think they’re sick or injured, will you give them the medical certificates that they need? If you think they’re fit enough to do all the shit, can’t you certify he’s fit to?

If own a private clinic, I don’t give any hell to you; if you work in a hospital or polyclinic, I can choose other places; but if you work in an army camp’s medical centre, you’re just causing hell to all the patients who have no other alternatives.

I despise you.

They never stop

It was a rare night when mum met my brother in the living room and they couldn’t stop talking.

There were countless topics on my mind and I needed to put them down before forgetting them.

Suddenly I realised if my work place hadn’t moved out to the living room, this wouldn’t have affected me.

“I can’t think when you keep talking; I can’t sleep if I don’t finish typing.”

I must be too weak that I conceded.

Totally burnt out, depressed and devastated

I’m so worn out and my most inner soul is burnt. I haven’t come to this depressed state that I feel as if I’m going to break down any moment.

Maybe I’ve been too happy-go-lucky these days that I put myself together when the problem arouses. It’s the greatest setback after so long. I’ve tried my best; I’m so devastated of my energy.

This morning, the greatest thing was to see Staff Quek at the Spec Mess. He was finally back after such a long holidays and I believed everything would be back to order. Also, he would most probably help me in my volleyball invasion.

Yes he did after I told him roughly about it and he helped me sign the off pass immediately and I gladly left the camp and even caught the bus 927 right on time at the interchange. Everything was going smoothly before 007 called me and I’d to alight at the end of expressway and take another two buses to get back to camp.

007 was nowhere to be found and I went down to have a chat with Staff Quek and he promised to help me. I was already prepared to face the music, too used to it, being reasonable or unreasonable, camp’s life sucked like that. However, my main concern was whether I could continue with the game a not.

The cause of missing a training session was far too great for I hadn’t trained for so long. I needed so much more practises to recap all the skill and also to build back all my confidence that was really important.

At least 007 didn’t scream at me. Together with Staff Quek, we’d a long talk and finally came to an agreement that I’d to get a memo from the MO or physiotherapist to prove my physical condition was able to make it.

I made a call to MMI to look for Kenneth and he told me Ms Archana was on two weeks overseas leave. Whereas the MO who had refused to write the memo some weeks ago was on leave for a day too.

It was a moment of helpless, where even the immoral didn’t seem to be able to help. I approached many people, like the warrant officer in charge of the formation team who couldn’t do anything.

It was near the end of world. The depression had brought my months of smiley face back to the grave. My hope, dream and fantasize were on the edge of execution.

CPT Phua had a talk with me but my mouth was frozen by then. There were too many things to say, however, too voiceless to sound out.

This day, I was too tired of everything – smiling, laughing and joking – but I couldn’t give up.

What's Your True Color?

Chan, your true color is Green!
You’re green, the color of growth and vigor. Good-hearted and giving, you have a knack for finding and bringing out the best in people. Green is the most down-to-earth color in the spectrum — reliable and trustworthy. People know they can count on you to be around in times of need, since your concern for people is genuine and sincere. You take pride in being a good friend. For you, success is measured in terms of personal achievement and growth, not by status or position. Rare as emeralds, greens are wonderful, natural people. It truly is your color!
(gone with the wind!)

Christmas 2005

It’s just a festival, an excuse for friends to gather, for fun and to release stress.

Every year it’s still the same, going out with the same group of friends, except the faces are somehow different; people just walk in and out of our lives.

This year, I thought I was going to stay at home until Mingfa called me. I tried to get more people like Kachua and Jinyang who had already had their own appointments, whereas Guoxin claimed he didn’t know the rest well and I stopped probing him.

It was a short notice and then Mingfa suddenly messaged me that I’d to get a present for gifts exchange. After lazing around, I started cracking and finally bought an umbrella, which exceeded the budget.

Moving about slowly and preparing to be late for more than half an hour since Weitat usually wouldn’t arrive until two hours after the meeting time, this time I was wrong. Perhaps, they might have met up earlier before going there.

Dinner was Long John Silver’s at IMM. We slacked around waiting for others and then took the shuttle bus to Jurong East MRT and proceeded to Somerset, where we had fun taking photos. When all the thirteen of us were there, we moved to Cuppage for karaoke.

Gifts exchange was at twelve sharp. I got jewellery for girls and Meijun exchanged her pillow with me. We continued with the singing and photo taking until half of us were falling asleep.

Partying during festival season could be costly like up to $28 each person. We left the place with pocket torn at around three in the morning. I gave a call to Ruoci and realised she had abandoned us again. After a visit to the Seven-eleven store, the breads cured me from my gastric pain.

We proceeded on towards Lau Pa Sat by foot and it took us around an hour to reach there. I’d a plate of chicken chop. It was quite nice except that the paper plate didn’t have any divider to prevent the fries from being wetted and the paper fork wasn’t sharp enough.

Everyone started to leave soon and we didn’t go to Fullerton One as planned. Anyway, just when I was about to leave with Weitat and his two thirteen-years-old friends, it started to pour heavily.

We boarded the first bus and the pillow saved me from being drenched badly.