The route to ruin my back

[Monday, 31 July, 2006]

Two weeks ago when I thought I should start to slack, my plan did not go well. I had done a fair share of work to contribute to the dark place, when people around were also encouraging me to relax more. Compared to the more senior people, they started to ignore everything (unless being given special task by the superiors) even half year before they started to clear leave. I supposed my three weeks of resting was fair enough.

As I mentioned about my failure to live a carefree life in my remaining days there, situations always caught up with me. I hated it when others did not want to take initiative to do work, waiting or hinting for me to get cracking. So I wondered was it a trend for the rest of the generations that everyone had to work hard till the day they cleared leave.

I worried so much for my injuries, preparing not to exert myself in my remaining days, but it got my back really bad this time even though I had been trying so hard to rest it.

Morning roamed the rain which kept the roadside flooded again. Nobody else except me took up the job to do the usual area cleaning. Even though the HeyYou was not around, I went to clear the water after the sweeping job to avoid any unforeseen complaint from him. Scoping the water with the dustpan and throwing into the drain, it required hundreds of swings.

Shep passed by to witness my lone effort and was very concerned. Suddenly she just seemed to lose her memory that the area was under our department. She questioned why I was doing it alone, just like how others including the HeyYou were puzzled about, and I told her the rest were busy. Apparently it was quite true this time, for almost all of the rest were having lessons to take care of.

She tried to take over me to test the tediousness of the job but I ensured her it was an easy task even though my back was almost cracking. It was then again she mentioned how everyone was thinking about her non-lenient working attitude. I might be different from the others that I actually felt sad once again because I knew she was always trying to be nice except for she went too far by the book.

After she left, Yuqing finally arrived to lend me a helping hand. I made sure I worked extra hard since I had a companion, but the drizzling halted us when we were almost done. Then, I went to the main office to get a spare key from Blackie to test the lock of a room and realised it was indeed spoilt. I made a tour up to both sides of the level three to check the toilets out and helped the cleaner auntie to trigger the tripped electricity’s switchboard.

After I took the sickening path back to return the keys to Blackie and urged him to get the contractor down to fix the door, I helped Gilbert to buy his breakfast. It was then I thought I could have a rest finally but some people came to borrow chairs again. Though it was a small matter which everyone should be able to handle, my name was called from the front over and over again that I decided to attend to it to stop all the irritations.

I realised Toad was the one who was asking for the chairs and he joked that I was sleeping behind when he saw I was the only one clearing the big puddle of water by the roadside just a while ago. I was so used to accusation that I did not take it to heart. As all the rooms were already booked, I had problems resolving the sudden need.

After weighing the importance of the event and the lessons, I brought the two customers up to the examination room to bring the chairs down. Ridiculously, they did not state the requirements in the first place and that we were actually playing kind by squeezing out the resources for them. And if Shep were to get to know about this, she would probably give me a lecture again for being too kind-hearted and not appreciating her ruthlessness to people who did not bother to help us.

After carrying the chairs down despite my back aching worsened so much, I went to the E-plaza to take a rest since it was at the ground floor as well. However, before I could finish a page of the newspapers, Kwang Han called me to go back for more work.

As Teddy bear had four of our rooms in hands, he asked us to clean them up before all the big shots came on Wednesday. He came together with Sold (voice so loud like selling pork in market and goods would definitely be SOLD out) to inspect the rooms while we were on the move.

The tables were pushed to the sides and chairs arranged in a circular form in the centre. The three of us inclusive of Kwang Han and Yuqing were helped by Kenneth and Kelvin in their effortless moves. They were actually instructed by Sold to help us out but they stopped soon after their bosses had left.

Anyway, for the lack of chairs, I went personally to the examination room to retrieve some again all by myself. As we stepped into the fourth room, both the two elderly shook their heads. It was actually the room which Sold forced us to keep the extra tables and chairs at, having to activate so many of our manpower to shift them instead of using his own men. It was of course filled with so many extra tables that the sides were unable to keep them and the centre was stained badly by the rubber stoppers of the furniture.

Sold asked for another room and obviously we did not have any left and I told him truthfully. In order to solve the problem, I used my common sense to try and ask him for what was wrong with the room so that we could rectify. I questioned him why we could not just push the tables to the sides like the other three rooms and he started roaring, boosting about the importance of the event.

It was so clear cut that since the other three rooms had the same arrangement, the fourth room should be the same. If there were excess tables, we could just move them out to other rooms and for the stains we would clean like other rooms; but Sold did not seem to understand such simple theory that he demanded me to ask Ivan for another room.

Since I knew the situation of the allocation of rooms in the building better than Ivan who was at another building even though he was the timetable planner, I understood there was no other room left. Still, I went down to the office and called Ivan to discuss and express my anger.

After a while, Kelvin came down, followed by Teddy bear and I explained to him the situation and my plan. His ears were opened for the fact, unlike Sold, and after hearing my words, he nodded. Without further ado, we got back to work. I was quite disappointed that Kenneth and Kelvin, being instructed to help us, were spending most of their time sitting down to enjoy the air-conditioner. Luckily, Ah Boon saw our hardship and came down to aid us immediately.

I had never intended to pull a long face, especially when my clear-leave day was coming so soon, nevertheless the inevitable sudden tedious work had hurt my back so much and yet I still continued with the work. We managed to shift everything in order before leaving for lunch at around noon.

Back to the office after lunch, everyone started to stick to the computers. There was a need to mop the rooms soon since the commander was said to be coming in the afternoon and we had to leave them to dry. But since I was the only injured and also worried person, I decided not to care as well. I took a fresh breath sitting outside alone and then went in to the office half an hour later and they did not seem to bother.

After some time, Kwang Han came to the back to ask me to start work. I was puzzled why he still asked me along when he obviously knew I had back injury and that the earlier chores had already caused so much pain in me. I did not want to shrink the responsibility and got up immediately but Yuqing was still gluing to in front of the computer. In fact, there were a few other lab technicians who were part of us and should be helping out, but nobody had approached them.

Kwang Han and I held the two mops to si
ege the rooms without any delay. The pain on my lower back was getting terrible but since I wanted to get everything done fast and well, which was my usual practise, I did not hand the mop over to Yuqing for he would definitely stone halfway and dream of things.

It was quite a fun process after all and the satisfaction to see the extremely dirty floors becoming clean, regardless of the fact that they would definitely get back to the older condition soon, was good enough to ease some of my flames. One thing I did not like about was people who took the opportunity to come over to slack while doing nothing.

Temporary location of Sunsetbay

For those who do not know, Sunsetbay has temporary shifted from Siloso Beach to Tanjong Beach. It will move out of Sentosa by end of this year, most probably to East Coast Park.

Currently, to use their facilities, you have to pay four bucks each and no water will be given. They are not given the permission to sell drinks anyway.

It is not a good idea for them to move but of no choice I suppose. Sentosa would definitely lose most of its expert volleyball players and many of the regulars who visit the place just for a good volleyball game. For me, I am having second thought of renewing my Islander card at the end of this year.

My forever junk house

[Sunday, 30 July, 2006]

After my younger brother and mum left the house for lunch, I started a little packing of the house. I was happy later when my elder brother and his girlfriend left as well and I started packing my wardrobe as it was inside the room where they were in.

I placed my sentimental value at the wrong time and did not throw away many things. I had problems sorting out things and especially when the space was so limited that it was just enough to open the doors.

As for the cupboard which I kept the books and stationary, the doors were blocked by my elder brother’s stuffs lying all over the floor. I remembered months ago when we shifted the bed the place was spacious and I was at least able to pack the stuffs inside. It was because his girlfriend had come and I stopped packing halfway. My motivation was overwhelmed by other stuffs and eventually dropped the idea.

I proclaimed I had no time or space to keep my stuffs neat.

My back started aching soon. Apart from packing my own stuffs, I did not stick to a place at a time, but to clear little portion of stuffs everywhere. There were too many things I did not know if I could throw away since almost all of them did not belong to me. I knew if my elder brother were to do it, he would not care the importance at all, and thus the process could be faster.

I was glad when my mum and younger brother were back since there was some stuff which I needed my mum to authenticate before I could throw them away. However, my elder brother and his girlfriend were back after some time and I had to leave the room; not that they would want to chase me away but I did not want to disturb them, nor did I want anyone to look at me do my stuff.

The feeling was terrible when I knew I needed a dust-free house to stop my nose irritation, a neat house to save my inspiration and a house which I could proudly tell everyone it was mine.

Apparently with the back injury worsened by ***, I could not do tedious work at all. I was not sure how long it would take for me to clear up all the mess because there was so little I could do each time. I had wasted a day to abandon my website and self learning plan, and yet so few things were done.

I hated it when people did not believe that I had tried my best to keep my house neat and clean because it was obvious the place was more like a junk. I did keep things organised a few times but someone just clicked the “recovery button” to reset the positions of the junks each time.

There was extremely lack of space for me to keep my stuffs as well when all the places were occupied by useless pots or cookery stuffs, and worst of all, the big fish tank and two smaller empty ones. Weirdly, mothers usually were the ones who packed and kept the houses clean but my mum kept all the old and useless stuffs to make burglars’ jobs harder. Whereas for my elder brother, he was happy enough to rear his creatures without even cleaning the tank, not even to clean the air filter when it was choked badly. The sound of the air plump occasionally irritated me since it was just a few centimetres away from me.

It reminded me of life in camp where nobody would bother to make a better place for others and every time when I was motivated to do something, it was all one-man show, when I alone had not much influence or strength.

Seriously, money could easily solve the entire problem. A bigger house with large spaces could easily satisfy people who did not need to keep junks for the snowy days in Singapore. If I had a room of my own I would have stayed inside all the while.

It was a frustrating day to realise so much work had to be done before I could realise my dream.

A second lunch

[Friday, 28 July, 2006]

I took a quick lunch, causing a stomach discomfort before rushing to the MMI physiotherapy centre. It was a relaxing afternoon since no physiotherapist was around. I took extra effort to ensure I had done my gym properly.

When I was about to leave, Kenneth asked me to wait for him and Dom as they were going down as well. We went to the NUS’s bookshop and then followed by the canteen. Since both of them were taking their lunch there and that I was not in a rush, I decided to join them.

It was a sin to take a second lunch even though the latter one was quite late. The chicken chop selling at just $2.20 was not bad apart from the salad did not really taste good. Suddenly it reminded me of the NP canteen 1 chicken chop.

As it started to rain, I rushed off without waiting for Dom to get the fruit juice. It was when I got up to the NUH shuttle bus, I gave up my seat to an auntie and she started to praise me in front of her friend.

“This boy is a very good boy.” – In dialect.

I got blushed immediately. It was such a simple courtesy and yet I was praised; everyone should have given up seat to the elderly.

Sad to say, more than half of the population are not doing this and that is why kind people are more recognised. I really wish more people can wake up their sense.

Tagboard and popup advertisements

[Friday, 28 July, 2006]

I had removed two URLs from the links page in my website. They used to be in the “web building” page, under the “tagboard” section. One of them was no longer providing free service, except for the seven days free trial, whereas another one, Cbox, was forcing popup advertisements.

At first, I thought some spywares were targeting Cbox and thus causing the popup advertisements. Sometimes after cleaning my harddisk using Spybot Search and Destroy (, the advertisements did not appear; all along I was careless and did not notice the status bar of my web browser, showing an URL from the Cbox domain that was generating the popup advertisements.

It was until embarrassment filled my face, I was determined to find out more and thus discovering the URL on the status bar; the three popup advertisements at one time were far too irritating. After exploring pages of friends who were using the same service, I discovered trends of the popup advertisements. It did not appear every time, however, most probably at my first visit to that particular site using the service; therefore, once I had cleared my cache, the cookies and the temporary internet files, the advertisements would surface again.

Personally, I hate popup advertisement a lot; it is the best way to annoy your visitors. Giving extra windows for your visitors to close each time is a torture, too unkind to repay them for their efforts to drop by your site. If there is popup advertisement, I rather not use the service. Besides, there are other free services available over the internet; though might not be better, at least it will not annoy your visitors away.

Our efforts and surprises

[Thursday, 28 July, 2006]

We had been trying to give each other surprises that there had been many guessing games. Perhaps, we had telepathy communication that it required more than efforts for a sweet surprise.

Nonetheless, sometimes I felt stressed because there might be one day that I was inspired-less and that there could be a negligence feeling. Similar to sending of sweet messages, we used to come up with such poetic ones so often that the inspiration juice was squeezed out and there was a weird feeling somehow. Luckily for our daily efforts there was trust between us and I supposed we had got used to it.

This time, the surprise she tried to amaze me was too obvious for a shock. She asked me for my location and did not reply me until I called her she did not chat over the phone like usual and insisted me to give her a message once when I reached home.

I gave her an assurance when I was home and she told me to give her half an hour’s time, which was sufficient enough to reach my place. When the time was up, she did not contact me until I lied to her that I was going out. Then, I ambushed near the lift for her, which proved worthless waiting.

Suddenly she called and asked me to tell her once I got home. I quickly got back in because I could wait no longer for her sweet surprise, such that I did not want her to wait somewhere near and waste the time. However, it took longer than expected and I kept questioning her over the phone to confuse her into leaking the secret since she was not good in directions.

She told me to wait for a while and she hung up the phone. I sat in front of the door and she appeared.

The irritating voice

The first time I realized something was wrong with her was when she came into the office and started mumbling in front of the training schedule. Nobody cared to entertain her and none actually realized what she was paranoid about.

It became so clear when I was besides Ivan, she came in and spouted nonsense. Ivan was rude to her and walked away to use the internet instead. It was actually confusion over her department and that one of them had told Ivan to change the room for a lesson, whereby another could not find something. She insisted it was Ivan’s fault and hung around to pollute the place for a long time. Until she realized Ivan was right, she still stayed there to talk over her mobile phone, irritating everyone like nobody’s business.

She created more of a nuisance when I witnessed her bother Quek when he was extremely busy. Her voice would never end. Then, she continued to hang around in my office again to spread her fame.

Her looks I would never despise on because it was not her choice; her create-hair-standing voice could not be chosen as well; however, she could actually stop pestering everyone, imitating a bee rounding up ears.

Cycle to send her home

[Wednesday, 26 July, 2006]

It was not the first time I cycled to her neighbourhood. In my maximum constant speed, I could reach there in around ten minutes, but it was never as simple as before I suffered from my injuries.

There were numerous reasons for me to go in regardless of my tiredness. Apparently I needed to exercise to build up the muscle around my injured knees, but it was more for granting her wish to hug me hours ago when her neighbour rushed into the lift to interrupt us; it was just a sudden short meeting at Redhill to send her home. I had more concern in mind as it was the lunar seventh month when souls were said to be released and that I might not have chance to send her home from tuition since her mum asked her tutor to go to her house in future.

This night, I filled my stomach fully with the packet rice and pizzas. I specially took a towel along to wipe off my sweat before they could stink my shirt. I reached there fast as usual and waited near the provision shop where she would definitely pass by.

In the midst of my anxiety for a surprise, a few uncles were gathering around the letterbox. It took me a while to guess they were from the community and wanted to open up the notice box at the top. They seemed unable to reach the top and I hesitated for a while (fearing that I might make a fool out of myself) before approaching them.

The uncle nearest to me was straightforward and acknowledged my help immediately, watching me get up to sit on the letterbox without any effort. The lock almost embarrassed me; it was built so near the wall that it was so difficult to twist the key. Alas, I did it and impressed all of them and I greatly enjoyed their appreciation when I respectfully assured them of my sincerity. One of them, a Malay guy, thumbed up for me as they were leaving the place and I believed it was a morale booster to show my capability and how others appreciate me after being degraded in the army.

The notice board was a stupid design since the residents would not look at the notices when they were put up so high on the wall. Besides, there was even an article which was for year 2004, such that I presumed they had not updated the board for long.

I began to get worried when Vivi did not call me after ten. The wind was strong and the sky was turning reddish, I did not even know if I would be making a wasted trip down. I wanted so much to at least SMS her but it could arouse her suspicious. Luckily, she called me immediately when her tuition ended and thus released my worries.

I acted as if I was waken up by her from my sleep and when she told me to call her back using my house phone as usual, I told her to give me some time. I ambushed at the opposite exit at the lobby but she did not seem surprised to see me.

It was not a very good idea to cycle there since I had to take care of it and that I could not hold her hands during the stroll to her house, but a least it saved me from lots of walk and some transportation fee. Moreover, it allowed me to stay out later if I wanted to and of course, act as physiotherapy session.

We had a little wait downstairs for there were people using the lifts. The night was fair indeed, for my effort was kindly paid off.

Love – why must it be so difficult?

Raining saved the day

[Tuesday, 25 July, 2006]

I woke up to be so tired. Lacking of sleep had once again put me in fatigue. I felt too weak to do anything and yet I had no choice but to set off for camp.

It was not a usual day because of the HLS run that I had to leave my house earlier. This time the five of us, Rongji, Edgar, Gilbert, Siu Hang and I were one of the earliest to reach the 2SIG parade square. Lightning was dancing over the sky, causing the fears within our misplaced hearts. It was going to rain for sure and thus we were not sure if we should proceed on.

It was weird that no familiar face was seemed and soon heavy downpour was scattered over the place. News of the cancellation for the run was called but we were already stuck there. I saw a great relief finally for my condition was totally unsuitable for a good run. As the rain lightened in a while’s time, we walked back to office.

The morning started relaxing though I could sense work piling up. Then, we were told that the HLS was actually postponed and since nobody had informed us about it, we were blindfolded. It was another blessing in disguise.

At the later part of the day, I witnessed more nuisances from the supposed-to-be-wise old men.

Troublesome Tan called upon the office to get his lesson prepared again. I suspected he was simply looking for companion as well as to attract attention. Though he could be quite entertaining sometimes, his loud voice was no doubt irritating when everyone was busy or tired.

As for the Journey-to-the-west, he seemed pretty polite whenever I greeted him but he was actually a troublemaker who was bearing grudges on Quek and in turns took his anger on Siu Hang and the rest. He was finding the slightest fault whenever possible. He left an equipment room unlocked with the keys inside and blamed Siu Hang for taking initiative to lock it up. That was one of the most absurd thing I had seen, for a criminal to criticize someone being responsible.

In fact, so many screw-up things had been happening that I was totally faithless about the place.

In the afternoon, we had to move the old CPU to the CCO side. Despite having backache and that I was so worried it might worsen again, I did not escape from the job. In actual fact, we were having fun by giving selves entertainment.