Monthly Archives: December 2005

White Christmas

Snow in London! Looks like it’s a white Christmas after all.

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Blue Christmas

It’s Christmas once more, and it’s just so different from previous years. Then again, my previous years’ weren’t really anything like my schooling days’, either. 2003’s was my first bookout from Tekong, 2004’s was just a break from the dreary routine of work in camp.

And on 2005’s Christmas, I find myself groggily waking up in Xianna’s flat after a great Eve Dinner, where I drank a little more than usual and experienced for the first time my closest encounter with loss of sobriety. Tumble out of bed (the sleeping bag, rather), check email, etc… Not quite the Christmas I’m used to.

The streets are empty and the shops are closed. It’s a marked contrast with Singapore, with its bright lights and bustling walkways. Everyone’s home for Christmas, and here I am. With friends, yes, but somehow, things are still different.

I still have a pile of unwritten cards, and sometimes I wonder why I bother with this annual tradition. I often just blank out when trying to write them, and it’s not that I have nothing to say to people (or maybe I don’t?), it’s just that when under the pressure to complete a card by a certain deadline (which I’ve already missed for most of my friends), I often don’t write anything meaningful. But the people I write cards for, (usually) are people I really want to say nice things to. So somehow, I just end up giving crap cards. With good intentions.

I think it’s also because my horde of old cards is still back in Singapore, so I haven’t been able to reread them and get into that nostalgic mood.

All in all, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas, somehow.

Back from Spain

Because I am lazy, and because Allan’s already summarised it so well (even with photo collages!), I’m not gonna go into the trip in great detail. But there’s still stuff to be said, and so here goes.

I’ve never been that big on sight-seeing, and I guess what I enjoyed most about the trip would be the company. It was great just exploring another country with this bunch of people you used to be doing stupid stuff with back in those JC days.

I guess some things just don’t change.

Travelling in Spain (with my crappy command of their language) has really inspired me to learn it better, after seeing how useful it could have been if only I’d known how to express my thoughts more clearly. Oh well, my Spanish has improved slightly over the holiday. Like I’ve firmed up my counting already, and I’ve improved my vocabulary somewhat. Though mostly with food-related words like bacalao, paella, tapas, sangria… I guess you can see where my priorities lie.

We drank quite a lot during the trip, like at least a jug a day! Split between six people, it wasn’t that much, but still way above my average of zero a day. For some reason I seem to have been drinking whenever I go on vacations lately, like that time I went to Perth earlier this year.

Oh well. It’s interesting getting mildly high. I’ve never really been over-the-brink drunk before, rather curious what it’d be like actually. Haha. Maybe it’s an experience best left unexperienced, though. Hmm.

London redux

I’m back here in London once more, the third time actually. Flying off to Spain tomorrow. I’ve been here only a day, so haven’t really done much, just met up with Weiyi and Carey who’ve flown over from Singapore to enjoy a European holiday with us.

It was actually pretty funny since after awhile of walking around, us guys got tired of pretending to shop and decided to go back to Xianna’s place to stone for awhile. I had my laptop with me (the Apple Centre had a service queue up to 7 Jan, so I wasn’t able to get my USB port looked at in the end), as did the others (who were staying at her place).

So when you put 3 guys with laptops in a flat with wireless internet, what do you get? An instant LAN shop!

Anyway, before leaving for dinner (roast duck!), I noticed that Xianna and her sister had put up Christmas stockings already. Well, kinda. It was a sight that simply begged for photo-taking.

If I’m not wrong, that’s the chinese supermarket I’d bought my Mi Goreng from. Amusing stuff, no?

Blue weekend

It’s my last weekend here in York (for the term, anyway), and I find myself feeling rather uneasy right now.

Perhaps it’s because I’m having my MCQ exam (which I’m terribly ill-prepared for) this coming Tuesday, and I’ve been slacking a lot rather than studying for it.

Perhaps it’s because I’ll be off to London and then to Spain this coming Thursday, and haven’t really been doing basic preparations for this vacation, such as settling my accommodation in London, changing currency, packing my stuff or even revising some rudimentary Spanish.

Perhaps it’s because I find myself unable to finish my Christmas cards on time (having not started on them yet), and they’ll probably be late again this year.

Perhaps it’s because things are finally starting to settle at long last, and I am starting to feel comfortable and happy where I am, only to find myself about to be uprooted once more. I know that term breaks are normal and (usually) very happy things, and that I’ve actually been looking forward to them, but… 7 Jan just seems so very faraway right now.

Sigh. I don’t know.

More randomness

This sinfest comic arc is really cute. Starting here (just click ‘next comic’ repeatedly), it’s just… really cute! How many times can I say really cute before it gets old? I don’t know. But it’s really cute anyway.

Your Percy went bye-bye. It’s gonna be okay. Don’t cry.

Wow.

I was also reading this account of a second-generation Singapore, kinda like a short autobiography. It’s really interesting reading how things were during your parents’ time. It struck me as incredibly sad that he had to drop out from Raffles Institution at Secondary 3 due to financial limitations and start work immediately.

In 1966, my father said that it is difficult for him to support four school-going children. He understands that HM Dockyard is conducting an exam to select apprentices from 16-years old; usually those that failed their “O” levels.

He pointed out that he could only supported me up to “O” level only. And the best I can hope for is to work as a teacher or a clerk. Why not learn a trade and work your way up. And if you are a top student, you will selected to work at Portsmouth and at the same time, studying for a HND (equivalent to a poly diploma) over there.

Patrick Pestana was trying to persuade me to stay in school, offered free athletic kits and a bursary. Unfortunately, for bursary, the cut-off level was S$200 pm income and my father was earning S$210 pm. So, disqualified!!

I guess for all my discontent about everything, I’m actually incredibly lucky. Most of my friends are, actually, incredibly lucky and still unhappy. It’s just the way humans are, I guess.

The guy got what he wanted to in the end (the chance to study overseas), and that’s great for him, but not everybody gets that chance. I still believe education to be the great leveller, despite the over-emphasis on paper qualifications in Singapore, but the fact that not everybody gets a fair chance to climb the social ladder still really irks me.

Finally, I just read that one of Tomorrow‘s moderators has passed away. That didn’t particularly affect me since frankly she was (to me) merely another person out there in the big big world, but I was curious and went down to check out her blog.

Dammit! I am suspected to have dengue. Not fun at all.

My symptoms include:

Weekness in limbs
Extreme tiredness
Severe headache
Sudden fever

Doctor days that it could be just another viral fever, but has told me to monitor the fever. If it sustains for a few more days, I ought to get a blood test done. Well great then, apart from feeling crappy, I may not be able to go for that party!

Anyway wish me luck that it is not dengue!

Her last entry was just so sad. It was so innocent, so unsuspecting of what was to come, just a “Damn I might have dengue!”, which sounds vaguely like what I was posting on my blog two years back. Entry after entry after entry, then a silence, then another entry a week later to prove I was still alive and back in one piece.

This should be what her blog should have looked like, not just entry and then eternal silence.

Hmm.

Lunch break

After some attempt to work on my practical report, I decided to break for lunch. Out of rice, sick of spaghetti, so I just threw in a packet of Indo Mie® Mi goreng (I actually bought a box when I was in London). Stir-fried some mushrooms and beef, and voila! Lunch is served.

Eaten while watching CSI (a Paul Millander episode! Cool stuff).

(This was a thoroughly pointless post, but I guess it served its primary purpose – to delay the return to work. But now it’s done. Sigh, how depressing.)

Revival

So my laptop’s been fixed, and like a suicidal maniac I’m blogging instead of doing my homework. Oh well, still about 60h to go before they’re due anyway.

Irritatingly enough one of my usb ports is now dead. I’ll like to get it fixed, but it’s not worth the £10 (S$30) to travel back and forth Leeds, not when I can survive (though grudgingly so) on the remaining port, especially if I need to leave it over again. I’ll probably get it serviced when I’m next in London instead.

In other news, I recently took part in an internal race for Karting recently and amazingly enough, my team won. The participants were classified into three different classes, and each team consisted of a driver from each class. Fortuitously (or not) I was seeded as Class C (the lousiest group) and was probably the fastest in that group, so I guess that helped my team somewhat. It also probably helped that my team’s drivers were never given penalties, so we just continued chalking up laps while some other teams had to sit out for a few minutes.

The trophy’s kinda cheesy, and the drink’s definitely cheap stuff (5.5%!), but there’s still some thrill winning something lah huh. Maybe by next year I’ll get seeded as Class A instead (I was actually almost Class B this time, but some senior turned up last minute and knocked me into Class C).

Sigh. Back to work.

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