Remembering the Words of My Grandma

Singaporeans males have to enlist and serve the army. It used to be 2.5 years during my time. I believe it’s 2 years now. Assuming you have passed a physical fitness test (comprising of pull-ups, sit-ups, standing board jump, shutter run, 2.4km run and something else which I have forgotten) before being enlisted in the army, you start off with basic military training (BMT) which lasts 2.5 to 3 months. After that you are sent to an army unit, usually for further training.

Within the army, there’s an unit called the music and drama or something like that. This unit include the army’s military bands. It does make sense when you think about it. Bands have graced presidential visits, parades, etc. Anyhow, on one of the Saturdays during my BMT, I was informed that I could go for an audition in “a camp in Orchard” to see whether I’m good enough to join the army’s military band. I was ecstastic that I’m given the wonderful opportunity to be part of the band for the remaining period of my national service.

I reached home from the army camp, told my grandma about the great news, took a shower and left home to catch a cab to get to the “camp in Orchard”. I told the cab driver to head to the camp in Orchard. He was hesitant and needed the specific place. I couldn’t tell him the exact place. He said he wouldn’t know where to go then. I left the cab feeling very upset. There goes my chance of being part of the band! I will be dispatched to an army unit where physical training is demanding and be depressed for the rest of my life!

I reached home and started literally banging away on my piano as a way to cope with my emotions. My grandma asked me what had happened. She said to try again, with another cab driver. She might also have mentioned that there’s an army camp in “Tanglin” which might be the one that I’m looking for. Assured with her words, I caught another cab. This time, the driver was cheery and said that the camp that I have in mind is “Tanglin camp”. He drove me there. I reached the correct venue, went for the audition, impressed the army band director enough with my sight reading skills and the rest is history.

I often think back to the gentle and reassuring words of my grandma. “Try again.”

 

Today is the day where …

Today is the day where I:

  • Finally figured out how to use the bike pump that I purchased more than a month ago. It feels so good when it is hard. The bike tyre.
  • Cycled to Ikea from my place which is about 12 km away and it is uphill on the way to Ikea.
  • Had the Ikea experience which included buying more stuff (hopefully useful) than I originally intended to and had a hotdog and a soft serve ice-cream. The soft serve ice-cream machine is AMAZING. You pop the cone in the holder and the holder goes up, up and away and the machine pops the ice-cream into the cone PERFECTLY, topped with chocolate and strawberry sauce. It is CLASS.

I don’t think I’m going to cycle to Ikea again… not any time soon anyway. 😉

I am so going to die of a heart attack…

I woke up feeling amiss. Something’s not right with my body. Just like after a mild hangover. But it’s not a hangover. It’s from last night’s humongous Christmas dinner, which Derarca very kindly invited me to, to spend with her family and very close friends. Here’s what I had last night:

  • starter: salmon on soda bread, Dublin Bay and Madagascar prawns in mayo
  • Turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, roast parsnip and potatoes, bacon, sausages, etc
  • Christmas pudding set on fire, with cream and brandy butter
  • Cheese and crackers on platter and brandy
  • Christmas fruit cake with icing
  • Coffee with milk

I suspect I’m on the onset of a heart attack from the above. Time for a run now, on St. Stephen’s Day!

P.S.: I didn’t mention the very delightful company that I had last night! Simply hilarious and good craic!

Quick journal

Lunch with Catherine

  • porridge (made with oats and milk) are very filling and healthy / nutritious
  • Whether something turns out good or bad depends on how you react to it. For example, if my child misbehaves, it is up to me on how I react which subsequently affects his/her response to me.
  • Life isn’t (always) perfect. You have to be cheerful and positive about it. Otherwise, you are going to be miserable.

Amazing week with Joyce

  • Do not settle
  • What are you doing to make it (your dreams/goals) happen?
  • Do not assume that people know what’s on your mind. You have to tell them about it.

Others

  • My butt got pinched twice! Once at the Venue, a Latin club, when I was out with Joyce. The other time was at the company’s Christmas Dinner (by my colleague!)