Monday, 5 November 2012

VeganBurg With A Dressing Of Rain

What happened yesterday was that I headed down to East Coast Park for a gathering to celebrate the boys who are leaving conscription soon. It was raining cats and dogs and not the kind of weather you'd want to be hanging at the beach but we had no choice since it was an official platoon event. I met up with Shawn and Jonathan and because the weather so so terrible, we did not go down to the beach straightaway. We took a detour and ended up at VeganBurg that in my opinion, has the best fries served. It was crispy and soft all at once. The price were a little on the steep side for a fast food restaurant, but they served healthy food, so I suppose I could make an exception for it.

 I find these kind of platoon event to be very awkward, because no one really wants to be there in the first place. The whole point was to bond as a unit outside of a working environment, but we mostly stick to our own group of friends. Granted, there's only thirty of us in a platoon, yet they were plenty of drama to go around. Luckily, I get along with the majority and the minority few are the ones that nobody can stand to be around. Thank God they're leaving soon. Anyways, the three of us decided to ditch the cohesion halfway and went down to Parkway Parade to get a few items from the Uniqlo sale. I ended up getting an ombre grey oxford shirt. We left the 31's since they rented the bicycles and never came back.

We didn't take much photos from the cohesion, but above are the photos that were taken on Thursday night when we had our own little cohesion of "The Boys I Like." The guys in the first picture are my team members, and their fates rest on whether they're nice to me because I'm the one planning their duty schedules. Mostly though, they're nice to me except when they decide to pull a prank every now and then. That last photo, they were cheering for me to "cross the finishing line" and it's an homage to me never putting an effort for IPPT. Boys, they can be bitches sometimes too. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Woods In The Books

On Saturday, I met up with Jun Xian and we had lunch at Parco Millenia Walk. It's been about two months since we last caught up with one another, what with his military exercise in Taiwan, and the fact that he went to Japan thereafter to cleanse his soul after being exposed to unearthly sights in Taiwan. Jun Xian was sweet enough to get me souvenirs from the land of the rising sun. There is this beautiful handkerchief with blossom motifs on it, as well as a talisman that wishes luck upon the receiver. I jokingly asked him whether the talisman has been blessed by the priest of an ancient temple, like the one I see on Channel News Asia during Japan Hour, and it turns out that he really did get the talisman from a Shinto shrine. How thoughtful!

We had lunch at this place called Octa Hotel International Market, and it's this cafe that also sells beautiful home-ware items. It felt as though I was on a cobbled street in a hamlet town in Britain because the place felt really homely. Another plus point was that the whole area was not crowded despite it being a weekend. The raindrops splattering against the window sills were a nice touch to our little booth and I like the blue velvety cushioned chairs. The food was good and it felt honest and that's more than you can ask from an establishment and the staff were mild-mannered as well.

We then found this little gem of a bookstore called Woods In The Books. It is such a calming place and the kind of wonder-world you can just get lost in with the soothing music and the children's books. I felt like I was in another place and time altogether I just stopped and admired the books. They were all so beautifully handcrafted and I just felt the labour of love seeping through the pages. There was one book in particular, called "The Black Book Of Colours" that just took my breath away. It was all black and white with braille wording to describe to the blind about colours all around us. Here is an excerpt;
"Red is sour like unripe strawberries and as sweet as watermelon. It hurts when he finds it on his scraped knee."
It just felt so raw and so honest and it got to me a little bit because it just showed me how life can be cruel and unfair and how some people are just not able to see the beauty that this world has to offer. Yes, there are horrible things happening, but there's also beauty everywhere, and it's just heart-wrenching when children suffer. Simple words, written in the most innocent of prose, can be so instrumental in affecting someones outlook on life, I think.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


This dismount has shaped up to be a hectic one, but it's also been a good one thus far as well. On Thursday, after we dismounted, me and a bunch of people from my platoon went out together. Hence, I'm going to name them, "The Boys I Like." It's significant that we went out because we never go out together unless it's an official platoon event, considering we've been seeing each others faces for the past one week, every single day. So, to want to meet up with them shows my very high tolerance level towards these people.

We met up at Marina Square to have buffet at Hotpot Culture and we stayed there for two hours. When you have a bunch of boys together with food, you know that somehow, it will get a little rowdy. But thank goodness nothing embarrassing happened since we just minded our own business and everyone was just famished. After dinner, we walked around and that's when things got very dramatic. But I suppose that's what happens when you have a bunch of 'normal' guys going out together. And by no means is that a disrespect to my other guy friends I hang out with. I have no qualms in saying that we're the exception. We like theatre and the arts a little bit more than the average dude on the street. And we conduct ourselves a little differently as well. So, for me, it's an eye-opening experience when I go out with TBIL and the conversation is the kind you'd expect to be having in the locker room.

We proceeded to Marina Bay Sands to hang out a little bit at the rooftop. The Singapore skyline is gorgeous and the breeze was just relaxing it was the perfect spot to hang and chat a little bit. We talked about the different people, and the different batches and how each batch of guys differ from the rest. It doesn't come as a surprise to me when they said that my batch was the quiet one, yet we're also the close-knit one. No one in my batch is fighting with anyone else, and we look out for one another. Unlike other batches, where there are conflicts and infighting, my batch was labelled as the peaceful one. Probably because none of us really care too much about meddling with affairs of the platoon, and neither do we sidle up to people of power. Basically, we just minded our own business. The thing is, despite being a 'senior' batch, we are the younger ones, age-wise. So when others have conflict, it's amusing to see adult men fighting and bickering with one another. It's entertaining, yet so very disturbing. There is an issue that has gotten some guys riled up, and rightfully so. I just hope the issue gets settled quickly.

On Friday, I had an interview with Yahoo! for an editorial internship I hope I hear from them soon. I really liked the location and there's a Starbucks nearby I can just imagine myself getting coffee to kick start the day. The whole day, since I was already dressed up, I was just imagining myself as Andrea Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada. it's a little fantasy of mine and I absolutely loved this make-belief world that I created for myself that day. I then met up with Asaad for lunch and we watched Skyfall together. I am not a Bond fan, yet I loved the movie. It's completely ripped away the misconception that Bond is tacky courtesy of the Pierce Brosnan era. Daniel Craig defined the role in my opinion and the movie was just so raw and visceral despite being a blockbuster project. The third act was set in Scotland and my God were the scenery breathtaking. Critics felt the finale was a bit of a letdown yet I felt that it was the best part of the film. Judi Dench more than did her role justice and it's sad to see her let go of the role. However I have to admit that Joseph Fiennes is mighty fine; how can you dismiss Corialanus and Lord Voldermort all rolled into one?