Monday, February 26, 2007

le signs

Maybe it's just me but these past few weeks I seem to keep coming across signs that I should be learning French.

Some of these signs are quite reasonable. A whole bunch of the people I hang out with are learning the language for example. Some of them are so into it they're buggering off to France for a year to eat canned salad, jump subway turnstiles and tell clueless gendarmes about life in China. Heck even some of my cycling mates are taking French classes privately. At a birthday party some weeks back the conversation turned to internships and interviews and made me realise just how much a knowledge of French would contribute to me getting the jobs I want. It would be pretty cool to be trilingual I have to admit. Well ok 2-and-a-half-lingual for me considering any attempt on my part to carry on a conversation in Chinese I usually give up halfway.

There have also been a few slightly less lucid signs. For one, a book that I thought perfectly appropriate for the book review that one of my modules requires turned out to be, after much searching and misplaced relief, in French. And then just a couple of hours ago while I was eating dinner, my eyes caught one of the articles printed on the newspaper my mom had used for a placemat. There, right next to the one about how Kim Jong Il's merry men finally came to a resolution about the nuclear issue. "HIJACKER FOILED BECAUSE OF INABILITY TO SPEAK FRENCH". It seems some aircraft hijacker had gone and gotten himself screwed because the pilot and passengers were eagerly plotting against him and he couldn't understand a word they were saying. Wouldn't be surprised if they popped a few Yo Mama jokes too.

On another highly disorganised and completely unrelated note, it totally slipped my mind that February only has 28 days so the book review that I thought was due next Monday is supposed to be handed in this Friday!!!

Sacre bleau....

Friday, February 23, 2007

i tawd i sawr a....

You know how us army boys almost always have some kinda ghost story to tell which we would then bring to climax by spinning a yarn about how we were so darned tired from days of arduous, tortorous training that we just didn't give a rat's ass? Well at least I do. And it's 100% true dammit. But anyway, this morning something happened that sent an absolute chill down my spine.

About a month or so back I was walking past the row of houses that line the road directly opposite the Casuarina prata place when I came across a tiny house that seemed decidedly out of place squeezed in between two much larger houses. Unlike the other houses, it also didn't have its backyard walled off. Just an open fence so anyone standing outside could have a full view of the compound. Not that anyone would really bother. The place was dilipidated, infested with overgrown vines and weeds and pitch dark. Not a particularly welcoming sight. But as I walked past the house I saw a pair of arms sticking out of the grille seperating the interior of the building from its backyard. Turning, I saw someone standing there, a young woman I think. I couldn't tell which way her head was facing and her features were completely obscured by the dark. I started a little, but then as I reached the bus stop I felt a tad embarassed at my own jumpiness. "Ahh probably the crazy maid...", I told myself.

I was flipping through the papers to get to the sports section and read the article about how Liverpool came from a goal behind to beat Barca (no I will never get over that) when an article on the first page of the Home section caught my eye. They'd found a skeleton sitting on the toilet in a house along Upper Thomson Road seven months ago and still didn't know who the deceased was. There was a picture of the house too and when I saw it I had to make a conscious effort not to go spewing my pineapple tarts all over the floor. It scared the fucking daylights out of me. All of a sudden I wasn't even sure if I was alone in my own home at 9 am in the morning.

The address was printed in the article and against my better judgement I grabbed a street directory to find out if I was just being paranoid. I looked up the street and when I flipped to the map my heart was pounding like that Dreamtheatre drummer's double pedal. The house was right opposite Casuarina!!...but...not the one I saw the figure at. According to the map at least, the house featured in the article is a few units down from the other.

I can't be sure but I'll be darned if I'm gonna go check it out anytime soon....

Thursday, February 22, 2007

balls shrink

Half time now and Barcelona is scaring me to death. The last time I saw a match with possession going 64%-36% was Liverpool vs Watford but now it's Liverpool thats on the wrong end of the numbers.

Come on guys make me proud.....


Saturday, February 17, 2007

happy new year again!!!

Year of the pig. My year. Belly full of pig's stomach right now.

My dad's irked at me because I buggered off to play football at the Cage instead of cleaning.

I can't find anymore matching bedsets so now my mattress is yellow, one pillow is green and the other is brown.

Oh and this just blew my mind.

I resolve to learn how to make all these cheesy mambo sounding songs cool again by doing em acoustic.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

happy easter

save the cheerleader

Probably as a consequence of one too many episodes of Heroes, I started having mild delusions yesterday.

As I got off the bus a huge tractor trailer went blazing by with its horn blasting a cacophony as it narrowly avoided a collision with another truck that had slowed down in front of the bus stop for some reason or another.

Maybe the uncle was just a good natured ol cheekopek trying to kua zabo but a veritable video sequence suddenly popped in my head depicting what it'd be like if the trucks had collided.

"The hero (thats me!) recoils in shock and then dashes towards the wreckage with no regard for his own safety. He pulls one person out. It's the driver of the truck that got rear ended. Battered and bloodied but still alive. Another one, this time the other driver. His right arm has been wrenched off and his head hangs at an odd angle. He'll never have to be bothered by the amorous antics of his peers ever again. The hero (thats me!) goes back one more time. He thought he saw something move while he was pulling out the body. He pushes through the smoke praying who or whatever's in there hasn't already been asphyxiated. He hauls himself up to the open door and grunts in surprise. There's a kid in there! Unconscious but breathing! It takes all his strength to haul the child out but he manages it. He cradles the little bundle in his arms as he turns...and then he notices the flame. It happens so fast it's all he can do to dive to the ground and shield his precious cargo as best as he can. When they find the little boy he has some mild burns and a broken leg but he's young and he'll be good as new soon enough. It's gathering what's left of his rescuer that's going to be the hard part...."

This is going to invite derision sue me. I'm entitled to be crazy.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Sometimes I don't know why I even try. There's always going to be something that I'll screw up and bring me to my knees again.

I tried so hard for the mid term today. Finished all the readings almost a week in advance. Did research over and above what was required so I'd have a better understanding. Prepared my notes meticulously so I'd have no problem sorting out the information when I in.

And it happens.

I thought the test was 2 hours. It was only 1. I barely finished a third of what I was going to write. And to make matters worse I think I answered it wrong too.

Oh look now its raining cats and dogs and I can't go home..

Saturday, February 10, 2007

mind your language

One thing about being a student of the humanities is that more often than not, the things raised in class really get you thinking. I’m taking a class on minorities in Southeast Asia and the discussion today was centred on a reading about creolized Chinese societies in said region. If you don’t know what “creolized” means (I didn’t) it’s basically the outcome of a mixing and melding of cultures and languages that eventually exhibits some properties of the originals but is something else altogether. Think Babas, Peranakans and how we’ve ended up with half the goodies we eat during Chinese New Year being of Malay origin.

Language certainly played a huge part in the formation of these creolized societies and it wasn’t long before the topic of Singlish came up. Can Singlish be considered a full fledged creolized language and not simply classified under the government-censured moniker of “bad English”? After all, societies in places like Louisiana in the United States and Mauritius in Africa have melded French, along with their respective native languages, into an amalgam that is now recognised as a language on its own; a language known as Creole. Are we not entitled to label Singlish as our very own language as well?

As it turns out, Singlish cannot be considered a distinct language because it is still essentially English, albeit with a very different grammar structure and a whole lot of words wrangled from other languages. The reason why it hasn’t made the leap and, in all likelihood, will not is everywhere on our little island state. On buses, trains, taxi-cabs, walls, websites and God knows where else. Many of them exhort us to speak good English while others feature Hossan Leong telling us that “hua yi cool”. They are, in large part, the reason why we haven’t gone the way of the Nawliners or the Mauritians. Well at least that’s what I’ve garnered so far.

Really makes you wonder doesn’t it? What kind of impact would a language of our own have on a nation whose people find themselves at a loss when it comes to thinking about their cultural heritage. From my perspective, it seems like so many of us call ourselves Chinese but identify far more with an archipelago on the edge of Asia than with the Middle Kingdom. We seek to distance ourselves from the colonial moniker and yet we are encouraged to learn to speak “proper” English. I don’t know enough about the Indians and Malays to be able to make anything other than sweeping statements but to me, the idea of a language all of our own is something that is really exciting. What if we’d let nature take its course and developed something of our own. English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil in their pure forms would still be learnt of course, but as accessories to something we could truly call our very own Mother Tongue. After all almost all of us Singaporeans are at least partially bilingual. I really doubt it would be much of an aberration.

Ok I’ve somehow allowed this to get really long and anyway, my nasi lemak’s here.

But just think.

Friday, February 09, 2007

no way usa

Call me prejudiced but the very second I heard about it all I could think of was

"How can they sell Liverpool to a bunch of guys who play football with their hands!?!??!?!"

I wonder if this means I now support Liverpool Soccer Club.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Sitting up late listening to Lush and getting immersed in my comics has to be just about my favourite thing in the world now.

Monday, February 05, 2007

darwin yo

As if it's not enough having dozens of posters plastered all over the school walls exhorting guys to burn a hole in their pockets and buy their girls handheld bee-farms to remind me that I'm probably gonna be spending v-day slugging it out with the Covenant in Halo, my class on animal behaviour has to start talking about natural selection.

Basically the theory is that nature leaves only those animals that would produce viable offspring and eliminate the rest and one aspect of this theory goes something like this.

The solid red line represents the steady stream of females going for the hunks of the species and thus explains the need for the little black box so they can take a queue number. The dotted line represents those females who got tired of waiting and decided some is better than none. The ugly ones die out and their ugly genes with them. Then the cycle repeats itself so things become somewhat like this.

Now even the hunks get split into grade A and grade B and the queue ticket dispenser has to be upgraded to computerized one.
I realized how relevant that idea is even today and how much it parodies real life. Take my own situation for example.

**Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality. If you’re not fooled and know exactly who I’m talking about, tell them they’re famous the next time you see them**

Once again the red lines represent the flow of female attentions. There are some differences though. The three oblong shapes represent an Altis, a RAV4 and a BMW 7 respectively and the kidney shaped thing behind is supposed to be a swimming pool.

Ah well I guess one less Tan isn’t that much of a loss.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

not funny

Today was one of the rare days I could get the car so I decided to make full use of it and not only send my groupmates home from Sungei Buloh after we were done playing Jack Hanna but went all the way down to Sentosa to meet the guys for dinner as well. My dad says the car's the only leverage he has over me so he won't let me use it until he can milk the opportunity for all it's worth. I wonder what the 160km I put on the odo today will cost me.

But thats peripheral. While we were on the way off Sentosa Cai suddenly asked me to stay calm and not make any sudden movements.

"Haha Cai, what're you..."

"Isaac, you know Seng Liang right?"

"Yeah? Huh wha.."

"He passed away over the weekend."

It's all over the biz fac now. Motorcycle accident. I saw and talked to him mere hours before it happened. In the canteen having lunch when Cai managed to walk off and leave his latop lying unattended on the table. And again during the OM lecture when we were surprised to not have noticed each other in 4 weeks of class. And I think as we were leaving the LT after cos I remember noticing one of his friend's and thinking she looked hot in her outfit. This is happening way too often for comfort.

I didn't have a chance to say goodbye.