First of all, I apologise for the lack of updates. Not that I have nothing to talk about but I was quite busy with my own commitments and helping a cousin in need and when I wanted to use the PC at home to blog, my pesky younger sister needed to use it for her school project. So I thank you for being patient enough to wait on my next posting.
Before I move on, I would just like to thank each and everyone of you who had commented on my last entry, the supposed experiment on my usage of Malay, which I had long wanted to do. Contrary to what most of you had complimented, I think I’ll be the first to admit that on hindsight, the entry sounded a bit exaggerated, it was not natural and it ended up sounding like a poem. You might say that I should have used street language instead but I’m the kind who prides myself to pen my thoughts either in proper English or proper Malay, as opposed to speaking it orally. Since most of you felt that the language used was a bit too difficult to comprehend (even though it sounded normal to me), I guess it will be sometime before I pull off such a stunt again. It’s like striking the lottery if I were to do it again… *grin*
Singapore is quite a “carnival” country ain’t it??? There will always be some form of carnival going on like once every 2-3 months somewhere around the country. Then we being so family-oriented or curious over what’s in store, would set aside time, just to savour on whatever games, freebies, displays and exhibits they have in store. Well I’m sure you will know what I would be talking about next. Yes, it’s about the Carnival @ Marina event from 6th-14th August. I had commented about how I was disappointed most of the games stations had closed when I went there with Aida and my colleagues on the eve of National Day, so Aida and I went there again last Saturday to savour what we did not get to see the other night.
We reached the place close to noon, only to find those stations that I had badly wanted to try out, notably the Flying Fox was out of bounds, as in there was no one manning the station. The Bungee Trampoline station had an age limit I think, judging by the kids who were seen playing on it. In the end I had to make do with playing the X-Box console at the X-Box Gazebo station. Played my favourite Winning Eleven 8 football game against some guys who joined in. From there, we made our way to the Static Display area.
There, we saw some of the vehicles and equipment used by our Army, Air Force, Navy & the Home Team. I even met two of my ex-campmates who were there on duty. After three and a half years leaving the Army, I was surprised there were new things that have been incorporated of late to the service. Mobile equipment like Field Kitchen, Field Refrigerator, Field Laundry and Field Sanitary are some of the new things that have been recently adopted. These equipment are basically used on long deployments or missions and came into prominent use when the Tsunami tragedy broke out last year. I dunno if they are also used during in-camp trainings. I hope they do cos I cannot stand without bathing for three days out in the fields. Below are the pics I took of the mentioned equipment:
As the weather was hot and we were perspiring, going into the Battle Command Centre was a welcome change as the tent where it was situated, was air-conditioned. I enjoyed cooling myself more than looking at the command centre. There was even a booth showing satellite photos of our residential areas and I was impressed the satellite feeds captured the details of my area down to a T. What I was most impressed about was the feed of the football field next to my block. Like normal neighbourhood football fields, it was damaged. “Was” because the feed was captured in January and the field has since been returfed. The feed showed the exact shape of the damage done to the field. Impressive huh??? By the way, the research team and the captured feeds are based at the research centre, situated at the National University of Singapore.
From there we made our way to where the sound of firing machine-guns were heard. Keen to rekindle memories of my National Service days, I participated at the Urban Fighter station. Here we were divided into groups of four and we had to shoot the other team and seize our flag which was erected in the middle of the obstacle course. Using the Singapore Assault Rifle of the 21st Century (SAR-21), we had to shoot the sensors attached to our opponents. Likewise we were also wearing them for our opponents to shoot us. I was shot but I was still the hero who seized our team’s flag when our “adversaries” had their guard down. I felt like a kid at the obstacle course. The pictures below don’t lie…
We left the place quickly as we had another carnival to go to. After washing up and saying our Zuhur at Moulana Mohd Ali Mosque, we took a cab to Fort Canning, where RIA 89.7FM & Warna 94.2FM were organising “Karnival Muzik“. To tell you the truth, I was only there to watch hip-hop group Bonafide Vintage F’lava and the Unsangkerables, made up of our own comedians Ishak Ahmad, Arif S Shamsudin, Alias Kadir and Hamzah Adon. Aida and I left once Unsangkerables‘ slot ended which was about 6:10pm. I was also rushing home as I did not want to miss the opening match of the Barclays English Premier League season featuring Everton and my beloved Manchester United. A good thing I did not stay long at the carnival, as something “eventful” and shameful happened after the concert ended. How I wish I could describe what happened but as I was not there, it is not fair to relate nor comment further. All I can say is that it was a shameful incident, one that should not have happened in full view of the people who were there.
Oh yes, Aida and I went to savour the last night of the Fireworks Festival after all. And we watched the show from the Esplanade Bridge along with my colleague Azhar, his darling Farhana and his mum, whom we bumped into straight after Maghrib prayers at Moulana Mohd Ali Mosque. Azhar had been coy about his partner prior to the meeting, but he could not hide this time around. I was surprised that since it was the first time we met, Farhana did not look out of place and was very friendly, chatty and affable throughout. They look meant for each other and we all had a great time getting to know one another through dinner after that.
Nothing eventful happened this past week… Well actually something did happen yesterday morning. The RIA listeners fraternity was rocked by the apparent exodus of arguably the “most popular” group of listeners to have been formed in RIA‘s 15-year history. Though we do not know what transpired the apparent walkout of half the group, it is widely believed that it has got something to do with the shameful incident that happened last Saturday at Fort Canning after the “Karnival Muzik” had ended. Those who used to be close to the group predicted months ago of a self-disintegration waiting to happen and happen it did, though we do not know for sure what were the reasons behind it.
I don’t think it is fair for me to comment but since the remaining group members chose to wash the dirty laundry on air yesterday, then they were just allowing others to talk about it, which is what yours truly is doing right now. As a listener, I’m quite peeved for the fact that the remaining members of the group sounded cynical and vengeful towards those that left the group through the dedications and sms-es sent, whereas I did not hear one single bad word coming from those who walked out on the group. Which made me wonder, perhaps there could be more than meets the eye, that lead to the mass walkout. Which then made me ponder and reflect, thinking perhaps the comments I made about them in my blog back in March, could be justified and vindicated after all on hindsight… I dunno but I’m not one to gloat over somebody else’s grief, nor be pompous to say, “I told you so…” I sincerely hope that either parties could pick up the pieces and move on, rather than harbour any grudges against one another.
I just hope that whatever has happened, could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, in that it would signal the end of the cold war between the listeners that had started when the group was first formed last year. I still loved the first 2 months of the getting-to-know period when everyone was close to the other and nothing could go wrong. The friendship and bond was justified when about 50 of us listeners swarmed Singapore General Hospital to visit one of the listeners who had undergone a surgery. It showed the camaraderie we used to have, like one big happy family. But sadly, it was not to be and till now, most of us felt the emergence of such a secluded faction divided the listeners in friendship, ideologies, attitudes and mentalities…