Here I am, writing. Only because I've decided to take a break from gaming... and I also have to work on my French, as well as complete my travel preparations. I've got a nice assortment of bags now and I just need to pack it all. Not to mention visa requirements. On the broader horizon, I've probably also to get my room into order so that I can find all my important documents w.r.t. my university entry so that I can settle my acommodation soon. Not to mention I have a few favours to do (one soon actually), things to purchase (tomorrow), oh and presents. Not sufficient though, to compete with the daily stress levels of a while back. Insufficient by far.

I also need to get my IC back cause they forgot to collect it, wonderful, after all that joking about it. I went back to the army market at beach road as well as to the place where i bought my duffel bag 2 and a half years ago to look at backpacks.

To me I saw the army as variety, for my life that is. I could have gone to study and save 2 years and get a headstart on my career or do what I wanted to do quicker, like get married or something. But I guess I didn't want to rush into something I'd be doing anyway and I'd rather have 2 years of something different and I did believe I wanted to grow up a bit. You can argue it's not the most conducive environment for reflecting (better some mountain in new zealand), but it sufficed. And I did enjoy the time, as a young person here in Singapore.

As the taxi driver said to me on the way back, "dang bing jiu xiang jin tian zuo tian de shi". I'm sorry I'm so low tech and unable to type in Chinese but basically he said that "army life will always stay with you like it's yesterday". Well, not really, my memories of Tekong are fading, of the sun, pumping... but basically that was quite fun.

OCS was a mixed bag. I mean, no one really likes curbs on freedom, when your friends and all could go out, while your life would be the army for 6 days a week. I liked the independence there. I liked staying in my own room, generally being responsible for myself (of course with the bunkmates) I think that's why I'm really looking forward to my studies cause I'd really like to have my own small room again. And in a way, a life like that makes you ready and willing to accept loneliness as well as the friends you have around you.

Learnt a lot of stuff, though you could have done that anywhere, but I liked all the new stuff about the military and all. Close combat, rappelling. I guess I never did ask myself if I believed in it. It was all based on very tenuous principles. But some of those were legit, nonetheless.

I was really lucky to have an efferverscent bunkmate, (thanks Hok Him), & I guess it's really lucky that people like that exist and you can speak freely without offense, that's got to be the most precious things in the world. Being able to be honest, because it's possible only as far as the other person lets you. Of course he still minded some things but if you make it clear than I guess one knows where the limits are. And how going to Jurong Point was a luxury and generally just appreciating the bustle everywhere when you book out. The sweaty bus ride on 157.

And I remember the duties... the punishments. Being alone with nothing to do let me to start listening to old CDs, the Beatles, eventually going through many many of their records. Worrying about people outside. Really, feeling aggrieved and persecuted with no reason to do so except that it gave myself a meaning when there was none. Enjoying running because I always thought about outrunning imaginary people I hated though I knew it would never be possible in real life. And it was a beautiful camp too.

And the happy hours and the times when the stupidest acts were performed. Being outfield. The stress of preparation for an exercise, especially when one was an appointment holder. Having that stress, and still thinking about things which bothered you outside... like Spade... Having not enough sleep most of the time... making do with comforts like listening tot he radio and playing java games on the phone, which were never such fun before! Having not enough sleep and waking to bad thoughts. And of course anticipating the end of it all... the countdowns...

(to be cont'd)

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