Chinese New Year 2017: From Flowers to Food

It’s already close to two month since CNY – time flies doesn’t it? Earlier in the year, I wrote on my Dayre that I aimed to write at least 4 blog post per month from February onwards. But then, I failed myself. I didn’t have time to sit down and complete all those drafts that had been rotting in my account. Although I am still able to post on Dayre almost everyday – cramming my thoughts into a post within the last 15 minutes of the day – witness how much of a procrastinator I am?

Since it’s already March, I think I need to do something to keep this blog going.

Initially, I had three separate posts about this year’s CNY but I think I am getting too lazy – is that a signal that I am aging prematurely? I shall just combine them into an omnibus edition and just fill them up merely with pictures.

Day 2 of CNY – 29/1 

As per tradition, my family and I went to my aunt’s house for a mini gathering before heading out for a family outing – with just the three of us.

Ever since the passing of my maternal grandfather roughly 8 years back, our CNY becomes much simple. There was no more large gathering over at the old house, no more staring sessions with the dog, no more wandering around the Venus entrance of the MacRitchie Nature Trail. It is kind of funny that how much I used to dread traveling to grandpa’s house when I was young. Probably one reason was that my maternal family is really large. The moment as I stepped into the gates, I had to hide behind my mum before being greeted by 20 over people – some of them I hardly recognise. Fair enough, I get a lot of ang bao because of that, but it was kind of intimidating coming face to face with so many people.

Despite that, I have to count my blessing that I have never yet faced any questioning regarding my future plans – a problem that most Singaporean youngsters face during the festive season. Probably I was still quite young back then. I did not have any plans other than trying to complete my PSLE and grow up. 

Anyway, fast forward 8 years, it becomes just a small gathering where we will have a simple lunch over at my aunt’s house, just a few streets across from where I stay. 

 

Of course, I need my annual OOTD – something that all of us started becoming frenzy about since Instagram appears in our life. After the gathering, we decided to head to Gardens by the Day – for the second consecutive year – to see the spring flowers.

We obviously took a lot of photos at Marina Bay Sands, on the way to our destination.

 
My mum and I – Her attire just fits the entire mood of the festival.
My dad and I.
 
As my parents seldom have photos together because we seldom go out as a family together due to work and my parents’ knee problems, I find that there is a need to help them take more shots together during the trip.
 
It’s the duty of a son to make sure they have a lot of memories throughout their years of marriage captured and archived. THEY LOOK SO GOOD TOGETHER!
 
The flower exhibits at both of the domes in Garden by the Bay for this year’s Chinese New Year looks similar to the one we saw last year – I mean spring flowers doesn’t change overnight, it’s always that same old species of flowers that will bloom during this period of the year.
It’s the Year of the Rooster, so I guess it is mandatory to display the mascot around the garden. 
 
I was busying taking pictures of the flowers because they were just so beautiful. I love the sight of flowers because they can make your day any time.
Day 4 of CNY –  31/1
On the 4th day of CNY, my family and I went down to Chinatown – after all the CNY hype was gone. Chinatown on the 4th day of CNY is still as crowded (like what else can one expect of the tourist destination?) Everyone was there either to have a walk before the end of their holiday or to take this opportunity to taste the delicacies Chinatown has to offer.

Home to two of the Michelin-starred stalls, Chinatown is no doubt the ‘food heaven’ for both Singaporeans and tourists alike.

We didn’t have the chance to patronise the two Michelin-starred stalls because we were lazy to queue up that long for food so we looked for other alternatives.

There are a lot of soya sauce chicken stalls in Chinatown Complex alone, so we were definitely spoilt of choices. We settled for Ma Li Ya Virgin Chicken and a big plate of lohei from Zhen Jie Facai Yusheng. A bit too much for just the three of us but well, it was CNY period and I was serving my cheat week.


The lohei from Zhen Jie was dubbed as the most famous in Chinatown – and it definitely lived up to its reputation when I had to queue a good 15 minutes for it. (The queue was much longer when I revisited Chinatown Centre three days later during the seventh day of CNY – when the local Chinese has the custom of gathering for lohei.)

Of course, that was one of the few lohei I had throughout this CNY. We had a mandatory one on the seventh day – which also coincides with Lichun – which signifies the actual beginning of spring.

I tend to call lohei as ‘Chinese Salad’.

Day 8 of CNY – 4/2
A gathering over at Tricia’s house for a steamboat session with my bunch of morons.

The gathering was discussed way back last year when I realised she stayed in one of my dream private housing estate. So I was like, “Next year’s CNY gathering at your house!” I am glad it became a reality to visit one of my dream houses (Yes, I have lots of dream houses, all spreaded across this tiny island). 

I was wowed by both the exterior and interior design of her house the moment I stepped into it. I just love it so much and it even has a roof top where we hang out talking about random shit (as well as listening to Audrey’s very happening story) after we were done with our dinner.

I know we look like a big family. HAHAHA

Meanwhile, I discover a yearbook from SRJC on Trish’s bookshelf, so I took it out and browse it through. I didn’t have a change to get my hands on SRJC’s 25th anniversary handbook because I left the school before the 25th year.

And hey look, I spotted Viv and my other former classmates on one of the pages.

Day 15 of CNY – 11/2
Another CNY gathering and this time it’s at Nic’s house! I was late because I can only joined them after my work so they started eating first without me.

And because Viv had to go early, before I arrived, so they also took a group photo without me. HAHAHA

But hey, they actually left a sit there for me to photoshop myself into the picture. HAHAHA. They are always so cute. It’s always great to see all of them again.

Chinese New Year Eve and Returning ‘Home’

It’s Chinese New Year Eve, the day that I’ve been waiting for throughout the past 364 days. The reason is because CNY is my favourite festival out of the other festivals/holidays we have in this multi-cultural country of ours.


Started the day helping out at the kitchen after waking up at 0630. It wasn’t easy trying to drag myself out of the bed because I ain’t a morning person. 

After rendering some help, I went out because I’ve planned to go back to my alma mater, Ang Mo Kio Secondary, with Audrey and Kaihao. Auds was the first to reach after doing the nails at AMK Central. By the time I reached, I saw her chatting with the security guards – who have been there since the year of my enrolment. 

Kaihao arrived about 45 minutes later and we went around exploring our former school. It seems so different as compared to the last time I dropped by — that’s a good a year and a half ago.

We went to each and every classroom to find our teachers and I am not surprise some teachers couldn’t recognise me because I’ve really changed a lot in my physical appearance. HAHAHA



Of course, while I had the chance to be back at AMKSS, I need to go and find my favourite teacher there – Mr Tan Kim Huat 陳老大! 

After we were done finding our teachers, we went to have our brunch at Canopy – which is a few street away from AMKSS. The moment we stepped into the restaurant, I was taken aback by the stunning atmosphere and interior architecture. It definitely provides a cosy dining experience for their patrons. (To see how it’s interior looks like, do check out by vlog at the bottom of this post!)



Kaihao opted for Canopy Beef Burger and Auds decided to have Carbonara. As for me, I decided to get Eggs Royale — which consists of two perfectly poached eggs on English Muffins, coupled with smoked salmon, salad and hollandaise sause.

While we were eating, Kaihao and Auds took over my phone and start exploring the Portrait mode. You could clearly see the different when the photo is taken using the normal mode and when it is taken using the portrait mode.


(Credits to Kaihao)



(Credits to Auds)

We sat at the restaurant for a good 2 hours before my mother called to summon me back home to help out with the other preparations.

I went home and helped out for final preparations for CNY before having our annual CNY steamboat.


There was really lots and lots of food that all of us struggled to finish. But well, it’s good not to finish the food on CNY Eve because it represents 年年有餘!

As the clock strikes 12 in the midnight, it signified the start of the Year of the Rooster/Chicken. And I am looking forward to the activities for the next 15 days!


Check out my latest vlog!

BBQ @ YK’s: Eight Years of Friendship

 

There is one saying that goes: “If a friendship lasts longer than 7 years, psychologists say it will last a lifetime.”
(Image: EmilyQuotes)

Well, for this group of friends, most of us are already on the verge of celebrating our 8 years of friendship in the upcoming month. Time really flies.

Stefanie, Elyssa, Junwei, Yong Kang and I first met when we were allocated into the same class during our first year at Ang Mo Kio Sec. That was a good 7 years and 11 months ago. Back then, we were all tiny ones (maybe apart from me, thanks to my size) who were being thrown into a new environment. It’s somehow like placing a home-grown tiger back into the forest.

Ok, maybe my analogy doesn’t make any sense at all – like it has always been.
For the past 4 years (or so, I think), we’ve been organising gatherings with this group of ex-classmates-and-current-BBFs every year. And without fail, we will find ourselves BBQ-ing either at Yong Kang’s house, Stef’s house or at East Coast Park. I still wonder why did we even had it at ECP few years back when we could organise it over at someone’s house where the BBQ pit is readily available as long as booking is made beforehand.
Maybe I knew the reasons back then. But obviously now I don’t.
For this year, we were glad to have Ashley (Stef’s boyfriend), Sheri and her boyfriend Justinn joining us. I always love it when the group expands to include mutual friends and boy/girlfriends. We are probably waiting for one of us guys to get attached and bring their girlfriends out to join in the fun.
Since this year’s BBQ gathering is held in December, one day before Yong Kang’s birthday and a couple of weeks before Jun Wei’s birthday, Elyssa, Stef, Sheri and I discussed and agreed that we should celebrate their birthday together that day.
BIRTHDAY UNDER THE RAIN
Apparently, the weather is not on our side because the sky was casted with dark clouds and we knew that a rain was imminent. Yet, we carried on to start the fire despite the early signs of catastrophe the impending downpour. At the same time, Elyssa who was bringing the cake has not arrived at. By the time, she arrived, I had to escort her under the rain – taking the wrong route because I forgot that the other entrance is located too far away.
It was a sudden heavy downpour that resulted in 1) Elyssa and I being stranded in the rain and, 2) the fire that the guys set up had been extinguished.
We called Sheri to bring us umbrellas so that at least one of us will be sheltered. In the end, I braved the rain and ran back while trying to avoid slipping along the way because apparently, none of the two umbrellas that were brought to us could be shared among two people. I suggested to the girls that they carried each of the umbrellas while protecting both the cake and my hand phone along the way.
The funny part is that the umbrella Elyssa was holding onto, wasn’t strong enough against the rain. The umbrella flipped on its side and caused her to be drench.
As soon as I reached the shelter that the rest were at, I stared at the pathetic state of the BBQ pit.
“The fire looks damn pathetic.” I joked.
“There is one part that is still burning.” Justinn, trying to console us.
“It is going to go off very soon.” I remarked.
Indeed, the fire did not survive the ordeal. 6 out of 6 fire burners were extinguished. There goes the effort.
“At least we are at a much better state compared to the angmoh at the other side.” Yong Kang tried to make all of us feel better.
We walked past a group of Caucasians, who were already BBQ-ing their food, while we were on our way to our pit. At this point in time, we were all wondering if their chicken wings were drenched.
I swear we are a bunch of sadists.
I was really famished since I kind of skipped lunch because we thought we’ve overestimated ourselves again. From past experience, be it at Swee Choon or during past BBQ sessions, we tend to over order/prepare the food. In the end, all of us felt like we were all pregnant – with food.
I quietly suggested to Elyssa that we should celebrate their birthday first, let them blow the candles and we can munch on the cake first before the rain cleared for us to resume our BBQ activities.
It took us quite a while to prepare because I’d had to distract them from looking towards the direction of where the cake was being prepared. The wind was rather strong that the candles that I lit were being extinguished immediately.
Just like my dreams.
Once the candles were lit, Elyssa held the cake up while I tried to use both my palms to cover it to prevent any wind to go near it. Thank goodness that both Yong Kang and Junwei were back facing us.

 

The birthday songs echoed the area instantly.
 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!: Featuring the two birthday boys, YK (left) and JW (right)
REMINISCING THE PAST
Not long after we finished the cake, the rain stopped.
Thank you very much.
The birthday boys got back to work by trying to restart the fire while Justinn and I volunteered to go to Seletar Mall to top up some charcoals and plastic forks.
 
We spent the next few hours BBQ-ing and reminiscing the past. We talked about how we used to be last time, how JW, YK, Ely and I used to be in the same group for some science project, how Stef and I used to talk on the phone for 2-3 hours straight. Up till now, I am still amazed by my ability to chat over a long period of time. I may have short-term memory, but I could still remember those nights that I would paced up and down my house, chatting with Chairperson Stef over the phone. Back then, there was no whatsapp, no Telegram, no nothing. I was still holding a Nokia phone because iPhone has just been released for only 2 years and I am still a noob in the latest technology trends. Back then, relationships amongst people tend to be closers because we actually converse with one another. I can’t remember the content of all of our night talks about I really miss those times because there are something that just can’t be replaced.
I remembered questioning both Justinn and Sheri how they got together. It’s like very gossipy but hey, I also need to know the love story of my friends right.

 



8 YEARS AND GOING STRONG: I am sure that the group is going to become bigger and bigger as the year goes by.
(From left: Elyssa, Sheri, Justinn, Junwei, Yong Kang, me, Ashley and Stef)


We even attempted the Mannequin Challenge




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SPECIAL MENTION: MOMO

I can’t end this post without mentioning YK’s dog. His name is Momo. He was the first one to greet me the moment when I stepped out of the elevator. You can bet that how taken aback I was when a dog just came from out of nowhere and start ‘attacking’ your feet.

He got to be the most active dog I’ve ever encountered. He just kept circling around you and tried to lick your feet. If you played with him, there are chances that he might ever try to lick your face.

 

SOME KISSES PLEASE: Ashley interacting with Momo. I swear this dog just love to lick everyone.

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Farewell to Teenage Years: How Is It Like Being a 20-Year-Old (Part 2)

(This post is part of a series. You can read Part 1 here.)

The release of my O Level results had been a bittersweet one. On one hand, I was glad that I managed to graduate from secondary school but on the other hand, I just seem to not able to imagine a life where I won’t be able to study together with those group of friends I used to share the classroom with. As much as I don’t like it, I’d still have to face the fact that we were going to go our separate ways in our academic life, but we will continue to make an effort to meet up every now and then so that we will keep the friend-ship sailing.

What’s ahead of me for the next three years is something that sets me thinking. It is three years of decision making, hit and misses and lessons learnt. To be very frank, these were the three years that shapes the way I am right now, as a person. Although my academic life has not gone what I’ve expected it to turn out to be, but I really did not regret the path I’ve took thanks to the friendships that I’ve forged along the way and the support I had around me.

2013 – The Year of Transition
Upon receiving my O’ Level’s certification, I went on to further my education at Serangoon JC. I could still remember on the first day I was there, apart from Wan Qing, there’s barely anyone I know there. What was running through my mind back then was that, “Damn it, I am now in a new environment, everything just seems so strange to me. What am I suppose to do now?” I was lost and confused but at least I knew there was still someone from Pedoro who I will still get to meet on almost all school days.

Orientation has been terrible because I did not think I would be able to immerse into the school culture and make friends with the people there. On the first day after we were all allocated to our class, I found out I got into a class with only 4 guys. Never in my life prior to this had I experience such a majority of girls in my class. I admit I used to laugh at the neighbouring class back in Secondary School that it contains “too many female population”. I think Karma used this opportunity to hit back.

It used to be that most of my friends are guys, and if we put it into ratio aspects, it’s an overwhelming number of guys. I mean, if you take a look at the previous post, you will see that most of the people featured in it are guys. 

But ever since I moved into humanities and arts course, the male-female proportion changes and it changes a little too much.

From the start, I didn’t believe that I’ll get along well with my classmates because I was very much stuck in the past. I didn’t really want to socialise because I was afraid that I might become a little too close to my new friends and start to forget about those who I have spend a longer time with. I don’t know why I had that thinking back then, but as I looked back over the past three years, I think that even though I have forged new and close friendships, my relationship with my “older” friends did not deteriorate. 

After just a short 10 months with the school, I managed to make a lot of friends – especially those from my class and from the other arts class. Maybe because my role as a CG rep, coupled with me being in a rather weird subject combination (which always resulted in me having to go for H1 Maths and H2 Chinese (CLL) lessons all by myself), has helped me to gain more exposure and know more people as a  result.

It’s like from being a CG rep, I get to know the other CG reps from other classes, like Phillippe, Karis, David and Daryl, etc. While from H1 Maths, I get to know people like Kang Ngee, Siyinn and Pheobe, etc. And at H2 CLL, I get to know Ashlyn, Teck Ching, Zichao and Sun Jie, etc. It’s nice to be going around alone acquainting people in the process.

THE GNC PEOPLE (from left: Teck Ching, me, Ratna, Nicole, Wanlin and Finzi): Although it’s usually Ratna, Nicole and I who were always hanging out at Good News Cafe (GNC) in between lessons, but the rest tend to join us every now and then.

SR DRAMA
SR Drama is an important part of my life and one of the most memorable part. It is the second reason why I actually doesn’t mind enrolling into SRJC again if I have the ability to turn back time. The support we get from the CCA is huge. We are like a family and we really take good care of one another.
The club would put up a play annually where we can sell tickets to our friends and family and invite them to come and watch us perform. I could still remember we spent just around 2 months or so (I think even lesser) to come out with a script, characterisation and fine tuning our acts. It was a rather quick yet fun process, despite having to go back to school for rehearsals almost every day during our holiday. Despite that, it is all worth it.
I really want to thank Ms. C and Mr Tsui for all the coordination works and their advices. They were there almost every sessions to cheer us on and give us feedbacks on how to bring our performances to the next level.

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The show couldn’t be possible also without the rest of our fellow Dramateers. I am really appreciative to have my seven ‘deadly’ princesses: Donna, Jishna, Shafa, Denise, Kheng Yin, Yap Qi and Zainur. Of course, and not forgetting Neesha who was there everytime to guide us along. Oh, and also Zhirong, who acted as the waiter that symphatised my plight after witnessing the ordeal that I have to go through.



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Apart from ‘Seven Deadly Princesses’, I was also involved in another play. The other play sets in a school, where a newcomer was introduced to her new classmates. I swear that if I were to have classmates she encountered in the new learning environment, I will probably:
1)    Join in the fun and be as eccentric.
2)    Give up and time to quit school once again.
I acted as William Pang, or like what he said, “you can also call me WP”. From this sentence, it is evident that my character is a staunch supporter of Workers’ Party. Everything becomes more clear when he started to criticise the government – in a satirical manner. I somehow believe in the theory that this role was tailor-made for me. I am not saying that I am a vocal critic of the government, I just love to be satirical – maybe that’s the outcome of me watching too much political comedy like Stephen Colbert. Furthermore, William is a damn ‘beng’ character, who will be squatting at one corner, with his sunglasses on top of his head, while sucking on his lolly pop, pretending that it is some sort of a cigarette. He is the most localised person out of the entire play. That was the same comment that fellow dramateer Joseph made about me back then. I think if we were to meet up again, he would still make that same comment.
The reason behind this is that I am the most ‘Singaporean’ out of all the other dramateers. Everyone spoke, or at least attempted to speak, in perfect English. And then you have me, communicating with these English-speaking elites in perfect Singlish. The fun part is that they could help me in improving my English while I taught them conversational Singlish. That’s what Ah Bengs do.
Although I might be a little culturally different from the majority of them, but this makes the entire club looks and sounds culturally diversified. We might be different, but we shared the same interest in acting and in writing. Of course, I will choose acting over the rest of the work.
Thespian 2013 is my last theatre appearance as a ‘first-line actor’. Although I performed for Love97.2FM’s 21st Birthday show in 2015, but I was only just a calefare. After which, I embarked on a hiatus in theatre acting. From the day the curtain closed at our last show till today, it has been a good 1268 days. Although I miss acting, I miss the stage, but I don’t think it will be any time soon before I return to stage production.


NAMASTE: Annas and I during one of the pieces for Thespian 2013.
REUNITED (from left: Yuen Wei, You Jun, Aik Peng, me, Joseph and Ziyi): Me during my visit back to SR while the rest were preparing to receive their A’ Level’s results.

After I left JC, I received a message one day in a request for manpower to help out at Thespian 2015. Since my batch has already graduated with their A’ Level’s certification, we returned as mentors and alumni to lend the club a hand. Although I hardly recognize anyone because the juniors who were performing for that year’s Thespian joined the club the year after I departed. Thankfully there were Zhirong, Kheng Yin, Joseph and Donna (just to name a few), I managed to feel the familiarity of the environment. It felt like 2013 all over again.
Together with Kheng Yin, we took charge of a play – a play that we were both acting in two years back.
“Seven Deadly Princesses.”
There is no more Eddy who took too long to get comfortable with his fellow actresses but there is a new Allen (the main character) in the form of Ernest. There is no more Donna, Jishna, Shafa, Denise, Kheng Yin, Yap Qi and Zainur but there is Haysia, Jesslyn, Rachanna, Shirin, Shiying and *sorry there’s this girl whom I can’t remember her name*. Oops. There is no more gay Zhirong but we got a gay-er Fairuz as the waiter.
It was fun working with all of them to be very honest, although I need to admit that I needed more time with Ernest to bring the best out of him and to make sure that he interpreted the character much better than I did.
I remembered how I was rushing between school and SR in order to get to the rehearsals on time and the whole list of notes that I’ve made so that I could give them suggestions on where and what to improve. The comforting part is that these kids took all of our suggestions seriously and that is one great thing about the kind of attitude all of us have in SR Drama. We love to constantly improve ourselves. We take in suggestions that are helpful to us, we provide suggestions to our fellow mates and together, we improve as one.
On the day of the actual performance, although I was down with flu, but I dragged myself to SR (and that’ll be the only time) in order to catch these kids perform. Right before the performance, I was actually really really excited, I could feel my heart palpitating – just like when I was at the backstage in 2013. I felt like I was the one performing instead. I was nervous because I really want to see them performed to their very best and show the rest of the school what they are capable of.
By the time the curtain closed an hour and a half later, I almost teared. The reason is simple: All the dramateers, regardless of the pieces, have showcase their very best. That moment, I felt proud of them. The thunderous applause from the audience is one of the most satisfactory sound I have ever heard in the past 20 years of my life.

2 ALLENS AND THE NEW 7 PRINCESSES: Me and Ernest with the rest of the new 7 Deadly Princesses.
ONE BIG FAMILY: No one is going to doubt this fact. (Taken in Little India after our reunion meet-up last year)

1SR06, JCFC & The Muppets
I think for those who’ve been reading my blog and have a relatively good memory, I think I talked about my academic life in SR before. I once wrote a post entry regarding how I felt during my early days there in the college. It’ll be quite repetitive if I were to talk about how I felt lonely and helpless during the starting phrase of my new academic life. I am sure I sounded like a spoilt recorder.
Despite my calamitous 10 months trying out Pre-U education, I feel contented with the process. I could not recall how many people we had in total in 13-1SR06, but 10 of us are still in contact until now, celebrating each other’s birthday, having random KTV sessions or dinner meet-ups or even going to church together when there’s some major events (I mean apart from Peish, Mish and maybe Clar, the rest of us will probably join them for church service when they invited us over to attend some special church service at Heart of God).
It will be quite a long story if I were to explain how the friendship comes about and how I ended up becoming the only ‘opposite gender that blended in too well’. Some of the friendships, if we were to think about it now, are rather improbable back then. I shall quote from my Dayre entry from 13 Nov 2016:
“Actually, like what I’ve told Viv just now, it is kind of unbelievable that both of us can actually be talking, meeting up almost every week and sitting down for dinner together. I mean three years ago, I won’t expect that we could be so close because she is sort of like my senior (although yes she is hahaha sorry Viv) and there’s probably this seniority gap between us. And I think we weren’t even in the same clique. Well, many things happen over the past years that shape the thing it is today.”
My friendship with Vivian isn’t the only one in which I think sounded impossible 3 years back. I shall leave another example: Wanlin. Wanz was in the same secondary school as I was, and it’s like we knew of each other’s presence but we never held a single discussion before. I seriously think that we had walked past each other back at AMKSS without greeting each other — that is because we don’t know each other yet. Well, fate has other thing in mind for us. Both of us ended up in the same JC and the same class and that was when we started to interact. Initially, she is just someone who doesn’t really matter to me but now, she becomes a bitch a friend, a close friend who mattered so much to me — just like the rest of my closer groups of friends.
In February next year, it will mark the 4th year of our friendship. To be honest, I really didn’t expect our friendship to last this far. Despite our packed schedule, we still try our best to make time for one another – even just a small meetup for a meal during one’s birthday. It becomes to the point where birthdays become incomplete without celebrating with them.
We’ve been through many ups and downs, and just when I thought I would lose contact with them the moment I left JC, I was wrong. I am jubilant that I was proven wrong. Over the past 3 years, I felt as if I haven’t left SR. Since last year, it becomes like a tradition to countdown to the New Year together. They are like the last people I’ll meet for the previous year and the first people I’ll meet in the new year. It’s an unspoken promise. We start the year together and end the year together.
Being the only guy in this clique, although I might sometimes felt ostracised from the conversations – especially when they were talking about make-ups and relationship problems (I only know a little in such topics compared to the rest of them and for relationship wise, I don’t think I am the correct person to give sound advises). Despite that, I’ll sit alongside them, listening quietly to their conversation and secretly judging them observing their thought process and also, the knowledge of make-up. Like what Viv said, I doubled up as their ‘temporary boyfriend’ (of those who are single, obviously) – well, which isn’t a bad thing because hey, I’ve got all the pretty girls.
I feel that once everyone found their perfect other half, I can be relieved of my duties. I think I should assume the role as their guardian angel before their permanent guardian angel comes along. I have a dream, a dream that I could continue to live and watch each and every one of them walking into the wedding ballroom together with their destined partner.

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Yes, I know I made myself sound too great to be true but that’s what I think my duty is as a friend. In fact, I’d like to see everyone I know – whether from this clique or from Pedoro or from my lower Secondary clique – I can’t wait to see them settling down with a family. I really would like to imagine if we got the chance to meet up 10 years later (when we are all 30 year-olds), maybe their other half and even their kids could join us and it is going to be a very grand affair.
SMILES (clockwise from left: Yap Qi, Clarice, me, Nicole and Wanlin): It’s only smiles when we are together.

SUPPORTIVE (from left: me, Michelle, Peishan, Wanlin, Yap Qi and Nicole): We make sure that when one of us (in this case, Wanz) has a performance, we will go down and support!

BIRTHDAY (back, from left: Vivian, Clarice, me, Nicole, Yap Qi; front, from left: Michelle, Wanlin): We also make time to celebrate birthdays — taken during Mish’s birthday this year.

CANDID MOMENT (from left: Peishan, Michelle, Charmaine, Yap Qi, Nicole and me): That basically sums up our relationship ya?

BLESSED: Didn’t expect them to wake up so early to celebrate my birthday this year.

If I were to choose my greatest takeaway from my JC life? I think Queen Nic deserves the crown. I couldn’t end this post without mentioning her. She’s probably the only one who will write me a long letter every time during my birthday and I admit I love receiving letters from her. She is like one of the best friends you can ever ask for, although she can be a real bitch.
She is the person I could count on when I need a place to stay when my house is undergoing renovation works. Back in August this year, my entire flat underwent renovation, all the dust is making me really unwell so I asked Nic if she could let me stay over at her grandma’s house (which is vacant), but then, she invited me to her house instead, because she said “I rather you stay at my place than at my ahma’s place also”. Damn sweet right?

Furthermore, you can’t find anyone who will stay awake until 0330 in the morning to help your group out with what supposedly OUR own group project. Just in August this year, she helped my group proof-read our slides and giving us suggestions on how to improve on it — slide by slide. Where can you find such friend? 


THE ORIGINAL GNC GANG (from left: Nicole, Ratna, me): These are the people whom I spent the last half of my JC life with.

She is currently enjoying her holidays in Taiwan now at the point of writing, which I really think she deserves this break. Sometimes I just feel bad for not being able to help her while she is struggling through the ordeal that she is currently facing. I read the Dayre post, ‘witnessing’ her struggles yet I am helpless. I failed as a friend, let alone being one of her closest male friends. I just hope she will survive this ordeal and become that cheerful girl I used to know.
Nic, if you happen to read this, I just want to let you know that when it’s time to enjoy yourself, go ahead and enjoy. It might be difficult for me to tell you not to think about things that makes you stress or unhappy, because I can’t control what you think. However, what I can do is to tell you: Look, you have a very strong support from all of us. No matter what happen, you can count on us as a pillar of support. We might not be the best psychotherapist, but we can be your happy pills. I admit that I am not very good at words, but you know what I mean. We will still love you for who you are.

On the 11th November, 2013, I left SR officially and I start embarking on the next phrase in life.


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Farewell to Teenage Years: Looking Back At My Past 10 Years (Part 1)

I am back to writing a long blog post. 
Ever since embarking on my internship, I have basically barely any time for myself. My life is more of like work, meetups, workout, sleep, eat and repeat (according to the level of importance), every week. I am drained, I am tired, I am exhausted.
Despite all the shits I have to go through, yet I’ve been looking forward to this day – the day when I will finally bid goodbye to my teenage years, and to move on to the next decade on my life.
But that comes the very contradictory feeling arises deep inside me…

(Image: Jezebel)

Exactly. (Insert blasphemous use of words). I am in my twenties now. Of course, I still have one year to go before I become fully legal – having all those legal rights and the right to vote. Maybe I should say that being 20 means that I am given that additional year to adjust before becoming “full adult” in the eyes of the law.

(Image: economyedecoded)

Before I start on the main topic of how is it like being a 20-year-old, I would like to spend some time reflecting on the past decade. From turning 10-year-old (the first time when I have 2 digits in my age) in 2006, till when I

2006 – The year when I am still a child yet feeling youthful.

I am sure everyone still have the fresh memory of watching High School Musical right in front of your television set and singing to all the songs when the sing-along version was released (actually, nope, we were already singing the songs – especially my favourite “Breaking Free” by the next time the Disney Original was repeated on TV.

Back then, as a Primary School student, I wished that time will turn fast enough so that I will be able to head to high school like Troy and Gabriella. I would imagine how it is like to be dancing and singing in campus compound like what was shown on TV.

Reality check: Over the past 10 years, I actually did dance and sing in school before. I still remember doing that for one of the Council’s investitures in Secondary School. Talk about those memories made.

2006 was also the year I started watching football.

Yes, it has been a decade since that final – that night when Zidane headbutted Materazzi, when instead, he could have won the World Cup for France. 10 years later, Zidane is now the manager for Real Madrid.

Previously, I do not understand football at all – my first impression is that how ridiculous it is for 22 grown ups to be chasing after one bloody ball for a duration of 90 minutes. As a lazy and non-sporty kid back then, I thought how stupid and hilarious that is.

So FIFA World Cup came, I saw the final and it became my favourite sport since then.

That also mean that I’ve been a Liverpool’s supporter (a Kopite) for 10 years already. Many people asked me why, a kid of my era – the era when Manchester United and Chelsea were dominating English football – decides to support Liverpool – the team that was once considered formidable in the world of football during the 1980s. My answer for them is always: I have no idea why? The name just echoed in my mind, and I found the team so familiar even though I never watched them play before 2006.

Sometimes, things just happen without a reason.

2008 – Leaving Primary School

It is a shame that at that period of time, social media is not as widely use as compared to now. There was Facebook, but we used it in a way like how we use Twitter right now. We really post updates back then – but not too much on photos. There was no Instagram, no Dayre, no Snapchat. I remembered I did not own a handphone until I reached Secondary school – and it wasn’t a smartphone. It was a Nokia.

Thinking about it makes me realised how fast technology has been evolving. We are technically playing catch-ups with the improving technologies every year.

CHEESE: That a very rare photo with Jiawei that I managed to dig up from Facebook
(Image: Kah Sheng’s FB)

2008 was the year I took my Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). I don’t have much memory of it but I still remember those close friends I used to have at Townsville. I remembered how Jiawei, Kah Sheng, Zi Hong and I were always together. Of course, I will never forget Kah Sheng’s mum who would buy us chicken rice for lunch almost every time when we had to stay back in school for supplementary lessons.

I would also not forget about Gavin – although we just stayed a block away from each other. I remembered he was the biggest fan of High School Musical. So we would talk about HSM 1 and 2 in school and on the way back to school. Still remembered how he always welcome us to his house and the guys will start playing Maplestory. I can even still remember that his mum will fetch us from school back to his house back then. HAHAHA

It’s also a shame that I have never catch up with them face to face ever since we last went back in 2009. But still, thank you guys for the memories for the early part of my teenage years.

2009 – Entering a New Environment

After completing my PSLE, and obtaining a score good enough to enter a good neighbourhood school, I walked into Ang Mo Kio Secondary School for the first time during the registration day. As a vivid young football fan, what attracted me was the large football field.

I was allocated to Secondary 1/4 – basically what they claimed to be as the second-best class in terms of PSLE aggregate scores (But then what does PSLE results mean if you don’t continue to work hard?)

A REVERSAL OF GENDER: The Chairman (Stef) and the Vice Chairman of 1/4 seems to have a reversal of gender roles. HAHAHA 
My two years with 1/4 and 2/4 has been really really wonderful. I was in the class which I get to forge close friendships with people like Stef, Yong Kang, Junwei, Weihao, Andrew Tham, Elyssa and so on and so forth. Talking about these group of friends, I think Stef and I looked the most different now, as compared to 7 years ago. 
2012: A photo of us during our graduation from AMKSS
7 Years Later: featuring me, Elyssa, Stef and her boyfriend, Ash.
I am still glad the few of us are still in touch despite splitting class in 2011, graduating from AMKSS in 2012, going to our respective Polys and JCs in 2013 and now, at our respective internship, NS and Universities.
Science Project 2010: I still remembered this group of us who try to do about the amount of kinetic energy that can be found in different kinds of nuts. 

To be honest, it is really fortunate to be able to keep this friendship going strong over the past 7 years. We really have seen each and every one of us grew, from the childish, naive and physically small (apart from me obviously) Sec 1 kids to grown-ups who have our own thinking, dreams and passions to chase after. Some of us even got ourselves someone whom we foresee that will take care of us for the rest of our life – aiming at you, Stef! 
Of course, the group of us do not only meet up with the same group of people we had like 4 years ago. Mutual friends are included, their boyfriends are included. To think back, the group actually evolved over the past few years, as you can see from the pictures above.
But it’s okay. Maybe next year I might want to plan a great reunion – where those who were part of the group and our extended friends can join us for a big celebration – the celebration of the 8 years of friendship between us.

PUNCH ME PLEASE: That basically sums up my friendship with Junwei over the years.

While speaking about the lower secondary life, there is one person I would like to highlight. That is LIM JUNWEI. Talking about Junwei, I remembered we used to call him Fish, because that’s what all his Jingshan Primary School’s friends (who also came to AMKSS) called him. According to Yichen, it was because he kept opening and closing his mouth unconsciously like a FISH.
LET ME KILL YOU: During one of tthe BBQ sessions, probably the only one at East Coast Park.
SLANDERMAN: This bugger just gets taller and taller each year.

THE DIFFERENCES: That’s basically our friendship over the past 7 years.

I MISS HOME: That’s him on the way to Home Team Academy (HTA) during his enlistment.
Yep, we grew together over the past 7 years, seen each other’s shit and got annoyed by one another. From knowing each other in class till sending him off to HTA for enlistment last year, I really think that time flies really fast. It was like not so long ago that I first knew him. He has really been a good friend, someone whom I will share basically all my secrets with. He is like my secrets vault. He knew me – both the self that everyone knows and the self that filled with darkness. We share secrets like how inter-governmental agencies do. I knew his secrets too. 
If I need someone to write a biography, I think I can approach him because I think he might just know me more than I myself do.


We shall look forward to more years of friendship ahead.
Remember to organise my funeral if I die uh. HAHAHA. 

The Three Friends: Deming, Brendan and me
Apart from people in my own class, my lower secondary life was about making friends around. I got to know Brandan Pang, Haoze and some others during Drama Club trial sessions. We were basically called down to take part in Drama sessions and see if like it or not before officially joining a CCA. I can’t believe that day, that random chat and friendship is forged. Especially between Pang and myself, the chat that constitutes to over 7 years of friendship and counting. Pang and Haoze eventually joined NCC (Air) and we had our respective achievements in our fields.
Deming was promoted to the Express stream in Sec 2 and so he joined our class. I could still remember that we were rather friendly with our new classmates and plus he was from NCC (Air) which made it easier to talk to him because we have common friends. Oh, and not to mention that he was Junwei’s classmate back in Jing Shan Pri – so orientation with this new classmate was definitely easy. It didn’t take long before he really became a part of us.
Now, let’s move on to Pang. A fellow Kopite. I don’t know what made us hit off so well in the beginning that despite being in different class in lower sec, he would come to my class occasionally to chat and bullshit. He used to be damn gangster and I could still remember his results in Sec 1 – something I shalt not mention. We eventually went to the same class in 2011 because we chose the same science combination – the Pure Physics and Combined Biology and Chemistry class. We even chose to take History. History lessons with him can be quite fun since we share the same interest in the subject.
YO BRO: Pang and I back in 2010 while waiting for the Youth Olympics touch to bypass our school.
IN COMMAND: Pang in 2014 when he was the commander during a community National Day celebration.

HELLO, SIR: Not everyday you can take a photo with the parade commander.
I knew him before he officially become an NCC (Air) cadet, and ssaw him progress through the ranks and become a parade commander during one of the school-community National Day parade. He is now on his way to become an officer in SAF, something that none of us are surprised about. His passion in military has been well known, especially amongst our Upper Secondary clique (which I will introduce later in this post). I really can’t wait till the day when he is commissioned.
BEST OF LUCK, PANG!
LAST TIME TOGETHER: The whole lot of us from 2/4’10 posing for an informal class photo together on the last day of school
Good time together doesn’t last. At the end of Sec 2, we were ‘forced’ to make a decision for our future: whether which science stream we would want to take up. Honestly speaking, calling a Sec 2 kid to make such a major decision – something that might be life-changing (especially for those who aspire to become a doctor, chemist or a bomb maker… er… I mean nuclear scientist) – is rather cruel. I used to aspire to be a doctor but that was like years ago. I wanted to place Biology as my Pure Science subject initially because like most Asian kids, I wanted to be a surgeon. 
(Image: Pinterest)
But then dream changes, of course. I’ve already lost track on how many times I’ve actually change my dream career. From astronaut to surgeon to singer to historian to actor to director, from the more mainstream career choices to the less mainstream ones.
At that point of time, I was in dilemma. My results was not good enough to be considered into the Triple Science stream. It felt like choosing a major but then, making a choice at the age of 14. I could remember that I used to recite physics formulae during Drama sessions and I realised how practical physics is to real life. Hence, I decided to take up physics.
And so, I was allocated to 3/1 the following year and a new chapter of my life started.
DRAMA CLUB
Before I continue on my academic life from 2011 onwards, I need to mention about my CCA – which occupied a third of my time in Secondary School – apart from academics and the Student Council (which I will also talk about later).
AMKSS Drama Club was my first choice when opting for a CCA back in 2009. As a former Cub Scouts, I had no idea why I decided to venture into the art scene instead of joining a Uniformed CCA. The only thing I could remember saying was: “If AMKSS has Scouts, I will join. But too bad, they don’t have it.”
Initially, I was called to have a trial with the Symphonic Band and was allocated the Tuba. I ain’t a music person, so I actually struggled with all the musical notations and the beats. I had trouble playing the instruments. Although my seniors back in the Tuba section were rather patience and helpful, yet I did not help myself.
Concurrently, I was also called up to attend a one-month trial with the Drama Club. I could feel the different in culture between both. Maybe the differences did not lie with the culture, but my mental thinking instead. I found that I was much happier with the drama people as compared to in Band. My interest also played a big part in me withdrawing from Band despite the instructor rapidly trying to secure my stay. Back then, I had zero interest in music and the only musician I know was probably Mozart. In contrast, acting seems to come so naturally to me that I required little effort to immerse myself into a specific character.
Looking back at my decision, I am glad I joined Drama Club instead – all the memories and friendship forged are something that I really treasure till date.

SMILE!: If I didn’t remember wrongly, this picture was taken in 2010 during the Open House. (From left: Yichen, me, Hong Kiat, Apple and Kai Hao)

HOLD ME: This was taken probably during my last year in Drama Club, before stepping down as a LEGEND.

GUYS ASSEMBLE!: The three brothers from Drama (Yichen, Hong Kiat and I) sharing a moment with the up and coming three musketeers (Sheng Da, Bukhari and Issac)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: We celebrated birthdays together – even for our trainer Mr Thomas.

Talking about the friendship forged, there are some people I need to highlight. Without them, my 4 years in Drama will never be the same. They were the ones who brought laughter, fun and also troubles to my life. HAHAHA

I first knew YICHEN and Hong Kiat during one of the trial sessions in Drama. I don’t know how and when we started speaking but I know one thing for sure, I talked to them because they were the only few guys who joined drama – the rest were girls. After the trial sessions ended one month later, I found that there were only 3 male members from my batch – Yichen, Hong Kiat and I. We hit off almost instantly – maybe because we knew we won’t be awkwardly alone during sessions when we have support from each another.

I could remember that in 2010, Hong Kiat, myself and our another senior, Melvin were all playing this game called Dynasty Warriors. We would bring our PSP to school and started playing it after drama sessions at the coffee shop opposite the school. Dynasty Warriors is a game based off the epic Chinese historical classic Romance of the Three Kingdom. And coincidentally, it was Yichen’s favourite novel. We started discussing the story plot in both the game and the novel and as a result, we created our own version of the classic. Yichen is Liu Bei, Hong Kiat is Guan Yu, while I am Zhang Fei. Although initially we positioned ourselves in terms of whose birthday comes first, but later we realised the characters that we’ve chosen actually do reflect our real personality.

Yichen is like a leader to us, a big brother as well – if you’ve seen how he took care of both his siblings. He is just like the doppelganger of Liu Bei. He eventually became our Drama Club President between 2011 to 2012.

Hong Kiat is the smartest among us all. He is similar to Guan Yu in a way that he is smart in academics while Guan Yu was smart in battles.

I am one of the loudest and probably the most impulsive one. Hence, this makes me similar to Zhang Fei.

There was once, during a NOMAD Fringe event (one of our school’s Dance and Drama event), we took an oath during our dinner time. It was an oath that say that despite being born at different times, yet we are willing to die at the same time. Till now, I still am loyal to the oath – our relationship is more than friendship, it’s brotherhood. They are the only few people who I can really proclaim as my brothers.

Fate really brought us closer together when we were allocated into the same class during our Upper Sec years.

OATH OF BROTHERHOOD: Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei took the oath in a peace garden, as depicted in the novel, Romance of the Three Kingdom. (Image: 086ljh)

BEFORE ENLISTMENT: This was the last time I met Yichen, before his enlistment.
BROS FOR LIFE: The three of us gathered for a photo while attending a band concert on our last year in school.
Apart from Yichen and Hong Kiat, juniors were also there to make my life more interesting during sessions. On my second year, Tricia came in. On my third year, we had Audrey and Tan Ting. The few of us were able to click together in the end because we all are a bunch of morons. Actually, till now, I am still quite surprised how all of us managed to click together. But I think it’s our passion for drama and our will to bring the club to the next level brought us together. In the entire clique, we have 2 ex-Presidents (Tricia succeeded Yichen and Audrey succeeded Tricia), 1 ex-Vice President (Tan Ting was the VP under Audrey) and 2 ex-Treasurer (Hong Kiat succeeded me after I was being ‘sacked’ after one term). 

HOMECOMING: A group photo taken during AMKSS Alumni Homecoming in 2015 (From left: Tan Ting, Auds, me and HK)

THE STORY OF 3 GENERATIONS: If I didn’t remember wrongly, TT and I watched a movie with Trish before the Homecoming last year.
DADDY & DAUGHTER: Although I had adopted a few daughters over the past few years, no one came closer to TT, who is my ‘authentic’ daughter. She’s now studying culinary, so that means I’ll get to taste more good food?
A BUNCH OF MORONS: I don’t remember how Kaihao came into the clique but I am so glad he became part of us! I know we all damn step. Check out the full story here.

WHITES AND … BLUE?: I think that’s the most recent photo we’ve taken, but too bad Auds and Kai were absent.

My time in Drama couldn’t have been same without them. They were passionate and really do things to make sure that the club ran well during my time and after I’ve stepped down. No offense, but the club would have been dead without them – although they are still a bunch of morons.
Trish eventually continued her passion in theatre by joining SR Drama – a year after I left Serangoon JC for good.
EDDY OR BRUNO MARS: Yes, I still keep that board that the juniors have done for me during my batch’s farewell. I think I looked like Bruno Mars here though – the fatter version.
FAREWELL: Probably my last photo together with the rest of the Drama Club. Thank you guys for making my memories at the club so sweet and wonderful.
COUNCIL
Up till now, I still don’t know how I was able to balance academics, drama and council concurrently during my Secondary School days – yet able to make it out alive in the end. Being in the student body has been one of my greatest achievement over the past 10 years, from running a mini-campaign to being elected into the council and then to being selected for EXCO camp to being elected into EXCO. The entire 4 year journey is a bittersweet one. There were definitely challenges, yet it was the fun times and the milestones that we achieved together that makes this journey a worthwhile one.
OBAMA ANYTIME: Can’t remember which joker came out with such a masterpiece, but I will vote for Obama anytime man.

Wearing that council tie on the neck every day seems to be a very ‘cool’ thing to some people. Okay, I shall admit here that I did have that thought when I joined the school. However, it was actually a reminder to me that I actually had a duty to serve and was an ambassador of the school. Hence, I was extra-cautious over my actions outside of campus. It’s like I was being tied by this thing called responsibility but of course, I did enjoy the process and the things I had to do.

Being an ambassador of the school, I got a chance to be exposed to leadership camps and also, a change to forge bonds with student leaders from other schools. 2011 seems to be my most active year in Council. After being elected into the EXCO as Head of the Earth Committee (basically I was doing what NEA was doing – helping with the school’s Reduce, Reuse and Recycle project), I represented AMKSS at two leadership events that same June holiday – one Convention and another, a leadership camp.

The 17th Student Leader Convention (17SLC) was jointly organised by Hwa Chong Institution and Nanyang Girls’ School. It was one of the few opportunities that I got to be in touch with other student leaders – local and abroad. We had friends coming from Indonesia and, as well as, Australia. We got to discuss on issues and submit papers, making it like a small UN meeting (it is still a pity that I did not take part in Model UN back in the days, I mean I was that perfect person to actually represent North Korea :D).

At least this convention gave me a chance to go Hwa Chong for 4 consecutive days.

DIVERSIFIED: Participants from different schools coming together in one conference.

THE BIG BOSS: Not sure what was happening, but I was like staring at everyone like a big boss. That’s me 5 years ago. Damn son.

IUVENIS: As much as I could remember, we were all allocated into the same faculty called Iuvenis, which means ‘youth’.

WE ARE ALL Ds: Iuvenis was a faculty under Youth Assembly D. I would still feel funny with that letter being used. HAHAHA

If I didn’t remember wrongly, it was a week later after the convention that I had to represent the school at this leadership camp. I swear that was the best camp I’ve ever went to. For the first time, and probably the only time, when I got to camp in a chalet with room for two, sleeping under the comfort of the air-conditional. I am sure you would not get that kind of treatment anywhere.

WHO’S OUR BOSS: Our Vice President Meichoo (most left) was part of the delegation for the school, together with (from right) me, Ken and Paige. 

HEY THERE, MY ACS FRIENDS: Through this camp, I also got to expand my network – by befriending these three representatives from Anglo-Chinese School! Putra (the guy beside me) and I still get in touch by commenting on each other’s Instagram’s post occasionally.

Good times don’t last. After 2 orientation camps, 4 Council Camps, 3 Exco Camps (twice as the one being tekan and once being the one tekaning others – although I decided not to) and 4 investitures, it was time for me to finally step down.

SERVING WITH ONE HEART: Me sharing a light moment with Luo Zhi, who got elected into the council with me when we were in the same class during lower Sec.
THE 11TH EXCO: The graduating batch of the 11th EXCO gathered together for a rare photo shot.

WEIRD COUNCIL: This photo actually clearly reflects the kind of people we councillors were, secretly. We were clearly a bunch of weird people – even Meichoo was judging me.

Despite leaving the council and the school, my heart is still with the school. Sometimes, service does not end when you leave, but when you die. I once said before, “AMKSS will be the only school that I will serve wholeheartedly for because it’s my alma mater and it always will be.” During the Orientation Camp in 2013, responding to the calls for us seniors to return and help out, I went back to make sure those newcomers did not give my fellow councillors problems. Those kids didn’t give us too many problems and I did have a great time – just like my previous camps.

SENIORS AND VERY YOUNG JUNIORS: So Meichoo and I were one of the few seniors who went back to help out. I think the juniors like us eh. HAHAHA
AMKSS taught me about the important of the spirit of service, and I found passion in lending my service. That was me, 4 years ago, the Eddy who would give his everything for the school. Looking back at this, I really wonder where my passion and spirit of service went. Ever since leaving the school, I have never stepped onto any leadership position again, neither did I run for councils or even, student unions.
Maybe one reason is that I am tired and wanted to take a break. But then again, the break I am taking seems to be really long. However, I am sure that one day, I will be able to pick myself up and show the world that I am still capable of serving the mass – and to do it better than when I was with the Council. One day, I’ll be back. A leader and also, a servant.
2012 – The Year of Farewell
2012 marked my last year at AMKSS, it is also the final of the 10-year mandatory education in Singapore. We were all busying preparing for the greatest examination of our lifetime at that time – the GCE O’ Levels. It also marked my last year with my class – Sec 4/1’12. That was probably the only time when I am in a class with an overwhelming majority of guys, 32:4. 
I was so glad that most of my close friends from my lower secondary years ended up in the same class as me – Yichen, Hong Kiat, Pang, Junwei, Haoze, Andrew, Weihao and Chen Yu. And of course during the course of 2 years, more friendships were forged, and thankfully, most of these friendships lasted till today.
DON’T CHASE SUCCESS, CHASE EXCELLENCE: A quote from one of my favourite teacher in AMKSS, Ms Han.

SIMPLY A MASTERPIECE: You are right, Mrs Cha! We are all masterpieces and we are still being mould at this moment.

With Chen Yu (left) and Leon (right). Leon is also my classmate back in Primary School.

WITH THE MUSIC MASTER: Chen Yu is a genious in music and of course, over the past few years, we got to collab a few times. His musical creations are just always on point!

THE THREE FRIENDS (SENIOR YEAR): Still remember the photo featuring the three of us? Here’s the most recent photo featuring us all.

SHOOT YOUR HEAD: This is Meiqi, still as jovial and loud as 4 years ago!

RILAKKUMA: Wan Qing with her Rilakkuma phone cover. Qing eventually enrolled into Serangoon JC with me the next year.

POSING WITH A… FRIEND?: With Weifang (the hamster, as we used to call her) and our friend from the Science Hub. I am sure that friend looks way happier than I was HAHA

GAY FAGGOT: Ao Yang and I take gay-ness to the next level by doing it right in front of our form teacher, as she walked into the class. Ao Yang has been the one who made sure that I’ll have some fun during boring HCL classes by playing Football Manager with me. We were just so rebellious back then.

ENDORSEMENT: Andrew Tham, my vice chairperson in 2010 and then chairperson from 2011 – 2012. My favourite Chairperson, second only to Stef.

HERE COMES CHOO: Of course must take a photo with Meichoo, right? To be honest, she is like the only person whom I am comfortable speaking to in Council. Yes, I was an introvert back then.

TOGETHER, WE PUNCH: When the NCC guy and the class chairperson join force to attack our drama club president…

FAVOURITE SEAT, FAVOURITE SUBJECT: Junwei and I were table partners in Sec 4 and the thing is, we were able to stay at the seat despite not being allocated the position under the seating arrangement. We are too cool to follow laws.

THE STRONGMAN: With Xiangchou, the Volleyball spiker and also our class gardener. HAHAHA. I mean, if it’s not for him, all the plants outside our class would have been dead.

CLIQUE NO. 2: I consider this my another clique I am part of back in 4/1, the first being Pedoro (which includes at least 20% of the class population and 70% of the class core leadership). 
(From left): Xuanzhao, Ao Yang, me and Yichen.

THE COOL DUO: Of course we are cool, who dare to say we ain’t? Really glad and privileged to be acquainted with Pang. We’ve experienced 7 years of interesting friendship.

PEDORO YEYE: From 1/4 to 4/1, Weihao has been really a great friend. And up till now, he seems to be always the one who plans activities/meet-up for the clique.

THE 90+ KG CHALLENGE: You’ll know how heavy I was just by looking at Pang’s face.

MS. LEW!: Almost half of the class surrounding our favourite Physics teacher, Ms Lew. I am still guilty now for scoring a pathetic C6 for Physics for my Os because she’s really been very helpful and patience with me and really motivates me to strive for my best.  

KILL THE CHAIRPERSON: The original Pedoro clique sharing a light moment. I am sure we would like to kill our beloved class chairperson for not able to meet up with us almost all the time. HAHAHA

THE SMILING CLASS-TEE: A prototype of our class-tee, the shirt that I still wear with pride even till now.

GOODBYE, AMKSS: As we threw our ties into the air, we knew that we are about to end another chapter of our life. There are things that cannot be replicated, only to stay permanently in our memories.
Before I ends this chapter of my life, there’s one person I want to mention. Although he is now in Czech Republic pursuing his dream as a doctor, leaving me and all his other friends for the past 3 years, he is still in our hearts.
PAUL PEI-EN.

From knowing him during Sec 1 in Higher Chinese class, taught by the legendary CHEN LAO-DA, the Singapore-Taiwanese relations seems to hit off very well. He’s my automatic partner when it comes to pair work or even group work. We even thought about making fictional evil characters such as Hitlin and Staler (you can see who we based these characters on). 
I know one day, we will able to meet again, and doing all the shits that we used to do back in the days. When you come back as Dr. Huang, I hope I would be able to meet you either as Lt. Chua or Prof Chua – depending on how my next 10 years go.
Words can’t explain how much I miss you, but really, all of your friends here in Singapore will be waiting for you to return so that we can go and have some tea and play a round of chess, just like what we did in AMKSS. Better still, we can bring you around to those new Singaporean place of interests that popped out during your absence.

4 years in Secondary School are the times which I really grow. It builds my character and molds me to who I am right now. It is the time when I get to learn something new and get to understand what subjects I am really interested in – Chinese and History.  It is the time when I get to forge long-lasting friendship – knowing those people who will be my friends not only for one year or two, but forever. The 4 years in AMKSS have been the most memorable, it is also the favourite chapter of my life.

Like what I said earlier, there are moments that can’t be replicated, whatever that happened in the past will stay in the past. It is more of whether the memories will be engraved deep within your hearts. I am proud to say, these memories will be one of those that I will not forget. It will stay permanent. All the shits that we’ve done together, will never be forgotten. 4 years might sound long, but actually, it passes so quickly that I didn’t have time to catch a breather and to know all of y’all well enough. But it’s okay, we have the years ahead of us, and as long as we seize the moment, we will never be parted.

4 years just ended like this. I didn’t do really well for my O’s but still, I managed to get enrolled into Serangoon JC – although it wasn’t my first choice. And that opens up another chapter of my life. A short chapter, yet bittersweet. Stay tune to the Part 2 of this series, where I will look back at my life from 2013 to now (that’s a good 3 – 4 years of memories).

(Read Part 2 here)

It’s Drink, Food and Henna: The Adventure To Geylang Serai’s Ramadhan Bazaar

It is the Ramadhan month. And for those who don’t know what Ramadhan is, it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. It is narrated from Imam ar-Ridha that “Verily, the month of Ramadhan is a month in which the holy Quran was revealed. It was in this month that the Prophet of Islam was infirmed of being a Prophet. The Night of al-Qadr which is better than a thousand months and therein every matter of ordainments is decreed is in this month.”

So what happen during the ‘Month of Fasting’?
Muslims all over the world will observe As-Sawn (fasting), that means to refrain from food and drinks, throughout the daytime – from morning Twilight after the Fajr prayer till the evening twilight after the Maghreb prayer). Fasting is an obligation of the Islamic religion, where it is being constituted as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Why do Muslim fast?
The reason behind the rationale of fasting is simple – self-restraint. It is definitely not easy to fast for more than 11 hours, yet Muslims, during this holy month, are able to achieve such feat. As some scholars have put it, fasting acts as a mean of giving up haraam things, hence avoiding things or actions that Allah forbids.

As stated in the Quran (2:183), “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may observe al-Taqwa (self-restraint).”

Living in multi-cultural Singapore has its benefits. Since we live, work and play together regardless of race, language or religion, we get to celebrate the culture of different religions here too. We get to have days off during Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr) and Haji (Eid al-Adha), Vesak Day (Buddha Purnima), Deepavali (Diwali) and Christmas.

Since during Chinese New Year, we have a carnival-like bazaar set up along the streets of Chinatown, it makes sense when we also have a bazaar being set up along the Malay heritage area of Geylang Serai. Being Singaporean, such bazaar should not be missed because everyone is talking about it. Even The Smart Local called the Ramadhan bazaar ‘The Largest Pasar Malam of All Time‘ – which I have to kind of agree on it.

Two days ago, my JC clique (Clar, Mich, Nic and Yapz) and I decided to head down to the bazaar at Geylang Serai (apparently there are more than one Ramadhan bazaar around the island) to check out the food and drinks that were being sold there.

AND OF COURSE TO DO HENNA.

We reached there before the sunset in order to avoid the after-work ‘whole world appear suddenly out of nowhere’ crowd. At 5.30PM, the crowd at the bazaar seems to be ‘just right’ – not too many people but also not too little. We were able to find our way to every store and destination with ease.

CAN I HAVE ONE PLEASE: Michelle ordering the crispy squid from the makcik manning the store.
We started off by buying Crispy Squid from this Yum Yum store because I swear CRISPY SQUID IS THE SO DAMN ‘IN’ THING NOW. Most of us came to this bazaar with the thought of having to try this newly-adored delicacy. Hence, when walked past this store and some of us wanted to walk around first before buying, it was met with a certain resistance. Of course, such defiance does not last long because who would say no to food huh.
We were lucky that we got our hands on the food first because once the peak hour arrives and the queue starts to form, you will be wondering how long more will it takes in order to fill both your stomach and curiosity. 
Verdict: Quite well done, the meat was tender and juicy. The downside to it is that the flour (aka the crispy part) tend to be ‘detached’ from the squid meat. So when we were eating, we were eating the crisp and the meat separately. At $7, it might sound a little expensive but hey, it’s the festive season. CAN TRY.

THE W-CUP: It is so big that some of us consider it as a bra-size.

The another highlight of the bazaar. The Watermelon Volcano is the sex. It is the solution to all those heaty fried food that you will get to enjoy while you are at the bazaar. And of course, we got it because we want to look hilarious holding a big round thing at our chest level while walking around the bazaar in search for more food taste it for ourselves how wonderful this critically acclaimed drink can be. Served with ice-blended watermelon juice and numerous watermelon balls in half a watermelon, we, or at least I, could feel a sense of liberation from the Singapore heat and humidity. One of us even commented with, “It feels like summer.”

Verdict: The $6.90 Medium-sized definitely can quench the thirst of more than 2 people because 5 of us simply just shared that big ‘bowl’ of watermelon ice-blend and it seems to be just enough for us. Either we aren’t that water-deprived or they are really generous in their serving. Of course, for those who thinks that they want to make queuing for the drink more worthy, you can try getting the large one (supposedly for 3 – 5 people) at $12.90. MUST TRY.

CHEESY & BEEF-UP: Look at how delicious those nacho chips are.

As we continue on in our exploration of the bazaar, we walked past this store selling nacho chips. Yapz and Nic stopped in front of the store and decided that they wanted some nacho chips. So they ordered Beefy Cheesy Nacho Chips. I did not get to taste it because, well, I cannot eat beef due to my religious obligations. But looking at the girls’ faces, it seems to be a delicacy. The beef sauce, filled with meat, was drizzled above the chips coupled with both mayonnaise and chili sauce. It looks heavenly and at $3, it is just so worth it.

HELLO CLASSIC: One of the most classic food in every pasar malam and we understand why.
In every Pasar Malam, we get to see Ramly Burger being sold. Over the years, it has slowly become the must-eat food in all pasar malam. Hence, when I walked past one of the few stores selling Ramly Burger, it is an involuntary action that brought my legs to the front of the store and to order a chicken burger.
Verdict: Just like every other Ramly burger. But then again, it is the must-eat in every pasar malam. Just need to find whichever store that has the shortest queue and get one from them. You wouldn’t regret until you hit the gym the next day. SHOULD TRY.

THE ART OF HENNA: A handful of henna decorations that Wendy had done for us! Featuring (from left) Mich, Nic and my hands.
How can we claim that we had patronised the Ramadhan Bazaar without leaving a mark of proof on our hands? So the girls went on to find their friend, Wendy, who has set up her store ‘Wendy Peaches Henna’ at the bazaar. Since they had patronised her before in the past, they were searching for pictures of their hands (with henna designs on them obviously) from the ‘catalogue’. 
Like us, a lot of people were there to have their henna done. Each henna has its individual characteristics that fit just right with each individual hand. We were lucky that when we got there, Wendy was almost done with her previous customer and we need not wait long before the first person from our group (Nic) got her henna done. 
We sat around her while waiting. Although I felt peculiar initially because there weren’t much guys there wanting to do up henna on their hand. Most guys were there to accompany their girlfriend while I was there with my girls and to join in the fun together. 
I was the last of the group to have it done. It was my virgin experience having someone to draw henna on me. 

Wendy: How do you want yours to be?
Me: Just freestyle.

For me, I think art can be portrayed in its finest form when you give the artist the freedom to do anything, not to constrain him/her to a certain theme or design. Freestyle is where artists can utilise their creativity and to create something unique and exclusive (I love everything to be sui generis). Wendy then went on to tell me that she will do something like Nic’s but more masculine. 
That sounds like a good idea.
It took about 10 minutes before the artwork appeared in its complete form on the back of my left hand. It was pulchritudinous. I love it!
A photo posted by Yeo Wendy (@wendypeacheshenna) on

See, these henna design just look elegant and graceful. So do support Wendy by dropping by her store – Wendy Peaches Henna (Booth MV232A) to have your henna done while you visit the bazaar! Oh, you might also want to follow her on Instagram (@wendypeacheshenna) (and remember to ‘like’ that photo above alrights! HAHA)
FOR THE SAKE OF INSTA: The extend we go just for that first henna photo posted above. I swear we were attracting attention HAHAHA. (Image: Yapz’s Snapchat)
While we were waiting for our henna to be done, Yapz and Nic were talking about a gigantic cup of drink a random guy was drinking from. They were wondering where did he get that drink from. I think they were deprived of water by then.

Me (staring at them): What?
Yapz: We were thinking where that guy bought the drink from.
Nic: Ya.
Me: Ohhh
Yapz: Eddy can you ask him?
Nic: Don’t exploit my Eddy.
Me: Ask what.
Yapz: Where he buy that from. HAHA
Nic: Don’t exploit him.
Me: Oh…
Nic: See, he will go and ask one. Don’t exploit him.

Of course in the end, I didn’t go and ask him because Nic said no need.
But then, it didn’t take us quite long for us to locate the store selling it. The pakcik was damn loud and his touting was audible from far. He called the drink the ‘Knock-Out’. We got a huge cup of mocha after a rather long and ‘tense’ discussion because Mich is lactose intolerant. We were trying to get something with less milk content so that she wouldn’t suffer the aftermath of it.
After taking the first sip, we understood instantly why they called it ‘Knock-Out’. It was so sweet that you might knock out.
Verdict: No doubt value for money. It’s like the pasar malam version of Starbucks but much more worth it. If you need some caffeine (although they also have other non-caffeinated drinks), you might want to buy from this store. MUST BUY.
SATISFACTORY: Look at how Nic was so satisfied with the mocha.

We didn’t explore the entire bazaar because we went to Nic’s house for a ‘Make-up Tutorial’ session – ok, basically to just lepak at the house while using that chance to ask her to showcase her make-up collection.

I think I should be returning to the bazaar again one of these days before hell resumes and before I fly off for Hong Kong.

The Night is Ours: Sundown Marathon 2016

28 May, 2016. It was a night that I will never forget. For the first time, I am running a 10km race with a group of friends (Let alone Will Run 2013 since it was a school event). The Sundown Marathon 2016 marks my second 10km long distant competitive run (after 2XU Compression Run in April) since I returned to running after taking a short break last year.

Initially, I signed up for the run alone. It was until Yapz told me that the other girls and her were also running the same event (except Viv – she participated in the 21km run) on Twitter when I was complaining that I did not have much training leading up to the actual day.

And so, we decided to run together in the end.

It kind of reminded me about running Will Run back in SRJC and the trainings we received almost every PE lesson.

We took a photo before we headed to the 10km starting point.

Oops, I think my shadow had kind of eclipsed Charmz face.

The race supposed to start at 10PM but because there were too many participants that they dispatched us through different ‘waves’. I think by the time we started to run, it was already 10.20pm. The 4 of us basically ran in pairs: Charmz with me while Mich with Yapz.

By the 1st KM, Charmz and I were separated from Mich and Yapz. Despite the early human congestion, we managed to squeeze our way to the front and avoided the bottlenecked route. While Charmz ran all the way, I needed to make a few timeout during the course of the race. Despite that, I was in a much better condition to run compared to during that 2XU Run. This time, maybe because someone was there to motivate and pace me, I managed to only brisk walked for just about 1KM.

Maybe it’s beneficial to have a friend to run beside you during such event.

We continued running and didn’t get to meet the other two girls until when we were on our final kilometer. While we were heading towards our final 100m, we decided to sprint all the way. I swear if I used that speed throughout the race, I would have been on a prize-winning journey (of course I am not that disillusioned into thinking that I could be a road champion). To be honest, I almost ran out of breathe and consciousness.

By the time I crossed the finishing line, two things came to my mind: toilet and water. I needed to use the latrine and I was very much dehydrated. Here comes the horror story: the queue to the toilet was the longest queue (apart from the one during Lee Kuan Yew’s tribute last year) I’ve ever encounter. It felt like gravity was so strong that it was pulling everyone’s blatter and the contents in it.

Charmz and I went to the toilet at Promenade MRT instead before we returned to wait for the other two to complete their race.

We managed to meet with the Mich and Yapz back at the starting point. I went straight to the water station to gobble down a few cups of water before we find an area to lepak while waiting for Viv and Yapz’s bf (and his friends) to return from the 21KM race.

It was a little past midnight.

While prostration had taken over us, we tried to squeeze that remaining energy and zest to enjoy the rest of the night. Because, as the organisers said, “The night is ours”. We didn’t want to waste the night.

And so, it became a night of cheerleading, dancing and photoshooting.

Ya. Cheerleading. I wasn’t even kidding. But I swear they looked legit though.

We were so loud that the guy beside us decided to just take out his earpiece to isolate himself while he was reading his book. We were semi-conscious of our surrounding but I think our lassitude made us a little zappy.

Despite that, I almost fell flat asleep in the middle the road where a Ferrari or a McLaren would have speeded past every September. Before I really fell asleep, Yapz’s boyfriend and his friends joined us after the run. I could here every pathetic whine they made because of their strained muscles. We couldn’t help but to laugh.

Viv joined us a little later and she seems to be alright. Perfectly alright. We applauded her for her completion. And that means we can take a group photo with our medals finally at around 3.30AM.

We just spent the entire night with one another.

We might just decide that this might become our annual run, where we will all run for Sundown every year. I heard someone said that we could try 21KM next year. I am holding my breathe.

Reaching 20: My Reflections for the Last 5 Years of My Life

It’s the graduation season. But this year’s a little different. No, I am not part of this batch of graduating Polytechnic students. No, I never attend any of the Poly graduation this year. So why is it ‘a little different’ for me this year?

Scrolling through my Instagram and Facebook feed for the past one week, I realised one very harsh fact: Most of my friends and acquaintances from my Secondary School – or to be exact – people of my same age have just donned their graduation gown and were handed their graduation certificate.

And here is me, staring at my laptop screen while reflecting on my 4 years of tertiary education – one year more than most Singaporean teenagers. I am presuming anyone who is reading this right now knows my story – how my one and only year in the Junior College education system ended up in tragedy. I left what I felt didn’t suit me – it’s like trying to mix diet coke with mentos. I enrolled into my current course two years back in 2014, very confident and sanguine that my interest in Chinese-language film making will bring me the success that I’ve being deprived of since being able to squeeze into Top 10 in class in 2011.

I think it’s important to do some reflection about yourself at a certain part of your specific journey. Looking at my ex-peers posting their graduation photos one after another over at Instagram, I think it’s finally a perfect time for me to reflect upon my life decision so late into my teens.

Many people had inquired if I regretted my decision being enrolled into JC then dropped out and to choose my alternative with my current course of study. It was an assertive ‘No’ for me. I did not regret because of the people I’ve acquainted there in Serangoon JC. Friendships were made and lasted even till today. I could still recalled how much I dreaded school before the first day of orientation. I was grumbling to my mother that how I wished my Secondary School friends were there with me. How am I going to survive without those people whom I used to meet almost everyday and create trouble with – of course, the friendships I’ve forged in Secondary School are irreplaceable. From Junwei to Weihao – the guys who were remained in the same class as I from Secondary 1 to 4; from Yichen to Hong Kiat – the brothers to the extend that we’ve even taken an oath together; from Elyssa to Yong Kang – the group of friends who love politics as much as I do and probably the only few that I am open to discuss politics and world issues with; from Audrey to Tan Ting – my Drama Club juniors who made me feel that Drama Club is indeed a family. Of course, there are still many more people whom I didn’t mention. I love my 4 years in the school, serving the school with my blood and sweat and probably the only school that I am willing to do so. From running for Student Council elections to working with my seniors on school events to being appointed an ExCo member myself and to lead my juniors. I’ve never felt so enriched, not even till now – an augment to my schooling experience.

To be very honest, I missed my past self. So spry yet tireless. I could balance school activities, leadership, academics and tuition simultaneously. While trying not to be a narcissist, but I had to marvel at my abilities back then, the abilities that seems to have worn out from my DNA within the past 3 years.

My first month in the new learning environment was marked with uncertainty and confusion. I have no idea of what is going on for the majority of the time. I didn’t really make friends during the initial stage because I am still in denial of the fact that I had to learn to accept transition. Wan Qing and Elyssa were my pillar of support back then, because at least there were the only two I really know at the time – they were my classmates and friends back in Secondary School. Even though I was the CG Representative (something like class representative), against my will anyway, I failed to communicate well with the rest of the class. I felt there was a wall that segregated me from the rest. A psychological and mental wall. As I slowly opened myself as time goes by, succumbing to the fact that living in denial is never the way. I knew at that moment in time that I have to start making friends.

I sticked to a group of girls from my class who were always hanging out together during breaks and lunch time. From Wanz to Mich, I slowly become a part of them even though there was a radical contrast in our appearance – I was the only guy. The academic effects start kicking in. Homework and tests are slowly becoming parts and parcel of our life. While everyone struggled during the initial stage, I was struggling both mentally and physically. I refused to believe that I am failing my tests, whether it be Economics or General Paper. Gradually, I withdrew from the original clique and went into isolation.

I am someone who adore nothing but my own personal pride. I am someone who believed in myself and hence setting high expectation for myself. When I see that my results were at all time low, it crushed me completely. Scoring 9 rank points for my mid-years was akin to a professional side getting trashed 11-0 by an amateur side. There was no where I could hide my embarrassment.

However, to think about it now, the combination of constant denial, lack of goals, pride and ‘homesick’ might have constituted my ‘downfall’. Pride was that I refused help, I refused consultation, I refused tuition classes. I thought I could have cope with the enormous workload that was going to come right towards me. But there includes a little uncertainty. I was not that sanguine by then. Aghast by my academic performance, I lost all interest. I’ve lost my fighting spirit I once possessed. I believed strongly that even tuition couldn’t have help me and I might be wasting time and money into this investment with no return.

I hide into The Study – a designated study area with freezing air-conditional system in the campus. I stayed there every break, sitting there trying to understand every single Economics terms and theory. I sat there alone, realising that it has been a mistake. I’ve made a mistake choosing the path.

I could be wearing my graduation gown this year if I’ve chose Poly education right from the beginning.

(To be continued)

*You may take this post as a mini-autobiography of myself, but I think I just need to do some reflection and recollection of my thoughts as I embark on my final year in my current course of study. I am just using my blog as a medium to put that voice in my head into words. If you are interested, read it. If not, I am okay with it. I just am not sure how many parts there will be to this reflection.

Comida Mexicana por primera vez!

You must be thinking why the title to this post is written in Spanish.

When translated to English, it means “Mexican food for the First Time”. (Well, if I got it wrong, blame it on Google Translate)

Personally, I’ve never tried Mexican food before. I mean, hey, I love my Bak Chor Mee, Kway Chap, Chicken Rice and Prata. I seldom will try fancy, non-local food. Okay, with the exception of Japanese, Western and Korean food.

It was Michelle’s birthday on the 2nd of May. After KTV with Peish, Charmz and Yapz, Mich, Yapz and I travelled down to Clarke Quay to meet the rest (Viv, Clar, Nic and Wanz) at this Mexican bar called “Señor Taco”.

We took the menu, and I stared at it and was at a perplex state of mind almost instantly.

(Image: Señor Taco)

There was hardly a dish that I recognised. Because, since this was the first time that I was inside a Mexican restaurant. I felt out of place – being introduced to a culture that is so stranger to me. Hence, like what I always do, I left the decision making process for the rest to worry about.

I just sat there and stare at the rest of the girls.

Well, I love to do the easy stuff.

It didn’t take long before the food were being served.

Apparently, one should never trust the photo above. We ordered more than these nachos. We’ve even got some tacos, some chicken wings and etc. (Look, I can’t even remember what we got in the end. All I could remember is that the food filled up any available capacity of the two round tables that we were occupying.
We ate, talk and watching people doing some sort of line dancing.
I left a random statement, “Guys, I felt like I am in a club. Community Club.”
After eating, we wanted to take some photos together and with our birthday girl. We tried to take along the river side but realised that the quality of the photo is rather pathetic. Nic suggested that we should take them inside Central – the shopping mall nearby.

Is it 7 princesses? HAHAHA 

Someone smile until cannot see eyes one…

That’s it for now! Not sure when I will post my next blog post again because you know, semester is starting and I am on the verge of dying – I know it rhymes. Okay I won’t die because there are people like these girls who will always make me realised how blessed I am. Geez.

Muppets and the Atas Night Out

Holidays are ending for the Poly kids and the Uni kids just started with their holidays. It was probably a rather emotional night for Nic, Wanz and myself but an exact contrast of feelings in Ratna. I am unequivocally sure that Ratna felt so ecstatic because her exams just ended that very morning.

But then, we all have something to celebrate.

Celebrating our 3 years of friendship, which I can’t even conjure up how this friendship actually forms. (To be fair, I can’t even recall how all my friendship with my friends actually develops. I always thinks I am suffering from some sort of hypomnesia.)

Celebrating that we get rid of all the toxic people in our lifes. Some of us were really going through a rough and troubled period of our lifetime because of some fuckers that are as noxious as, if not worse than, the radioactive isotopes that were released during the Fukushima nuclear disasters. Of course some of us are lucky enough to not have met pernicious nincompoops, but still have our own individual struggles. At least when we encounter problems, we know who we can really count on.

When you hang out with the right people, you’ll get the best support. 😀

Yea man. Look at the chat and you’ll know we are the people that are worthy to be friends (That’s one level of self-promoting).

We decided to have our dinner at this Coleman’s Cafe located within the premises of Peninsula.Excelsior Hotel. Thanks to Groupon, we managed to spend around S$27.50 each instead of the usual price at S$41.20. It’s at a discount of 33%! (Great deal to be honest) o/

Of course there are more food than those I’ve captured here.

We settled down almost instantly once we were there because we were all very hungry by then. It was already 6.30PM and we seems to be like some ravenous teenagers (and it’s a matter of months for us to enjoy the term ‘teens’ before we are being relinquished from that term). We initially wanted to get some plastic bags to tabao food home from there because since it’s buffet and free flow.

Of course, that’s what Ratna facetiously suggesting. We would be nuts if we were to do that. HAHAHA. But, we took something back home. Nicole’s gifts for us that she got all the way from England, Iceland and Sweden. No one could not not love her for the things she do for her close circle of friends. She even got me three bars of 70% cocoa chocolate (of different flavours) from London because I am thick-skinned and asked her to help me buy chocolate from overseas. <3 Love ya a lot muacks! HAHAHA

She also got us more chocolates and candies from the Nordic and a smooth rock from one of the beaches there.

And mine ‘package’ came in a Sephora bag. It’s quite interesting to see a guy walking down the downtown carrying a Sephora bag. But I did not mind it. Because I am carrying the love and thoughts from Nic.

Let us go back to the delicacies that were presented before us when everyone was back at the table after contemplating so hard on what to get for the first round. There were cereal prawns, which Wanz was agog with excitement upon seeing it, sushi, sashimi, salads, roast beef, braised oxtail, mini French pastries, shaved ice, waffles and many more.

As usual, we discussed about our lifes and rant about it and also ranting on behalf of one another during the course of fine dining. 😀 Although sometimes we did actually acts like we ain’t inside a hotel. The food there is really not bad except of that faulty light bulb on top of us that flickered every now and then. But then again, we were too lazy to complain. HEHE.

We thought we could eat until 9.30PM but no, we were all rather full after 8.30PM. And since the girls wanted some alcohol, we headed down to Esplanade — to the venue where Wanz recommended to us. We wanted to go to Nic’s house since Ratna was staying over that night, but then we walked all the way from Coleman Street to Esplanade Drive — which we had to cross over the Padang that allowed me to reminisce about the National Day Parade (NDP) that I took part in last year. By the time we reached Esplanade, it’s already 9.30PM.

We got an outdoor seat and the menu was being served to us. I took a glimpse at the menu. I was immediately attracted to the ‘Party Shots’ section.

I am not even kidding. I wanted to order a shot of Fifty Shades of Grey. I wonder if when one is drunk in that kind of shot, will he/she be interested for a session of BDSM.

Ok let’s not even go there.

Since there’s an offer where ‘Any 4 Bottles costs $49’, we decided that since there were 4 of us, we should get them. As cheapskate as I am born to be, I chose the most expensive one. I mean, hey, make the offer worth it. After I ordered the Wychwood Hobgoblin, Wanz asked the waiter which bottle does he recommend.

Wanz: Which drink do you recommend. (Obviously this kid was indecisive as hell)
Waiter: Fucking Hell. (wtf is with that name)

I took a gasp.

Then I broke out into laughter.

She accepted his recommendation and Nic followed suit.

We ordered and it was quite soon enough that 2 bottles of Fucking Hell, a bottle of Hobglobin and a bottle of Woodchuck Hard Cider (Amber Apple) appeared on our table.

We toasted and wished that our lifes are free from toxic people and to be happier. HAHAHA. While we were drinking, the girls wanted to recreate the photos that they took 3 years ago in SR.

DAMN. They grew up well. I am tearing up while trying to figure out how a grotesque guy like me are fortunate enough to be friends with 3 gorgeous ladies. I really wonder what makes me so fortuitous.

We continued to chat until it’s late enough for us to go home.

I shall end off this post with a series of selfies that I’d taken with the girls.