2013 Finale

As the year draws to a close, I have found many things worth remembering and reflecting on.

1. Church
I must admit, it is with a heavy heart that we have to part when we are put in our CGs. The wonderful company I had over the past 3 years is very difficult to replace and I thank God for making me feel accepted and comfortable in YM.

I had no impression of Teens until the end of Y4, during Teens camp. There, I started to feel closer to JT and SY, esp. after an emotional moment. The trip to USS started to bond us closer.
Entering YM then was an awkward period of time–the atmosphere was more stifled, but probably most ppl there were young adults. We were familiar with SJ and B (they were with us in Y4) but not SH. Thus I didn’t have much of an impression of her back then. SJ’s wide knowledge on apologetics left me in awe, as he gave me a new perspective in looking at things. But what stuck to me was the pep talk I had with him when I mentioned my school problems. The fact that he talked to me made me feel at home as a result.

As 2012 went by, I started to know my fellow L5s more even though we had been together for many years. Through the jokes and banter from SY, I saw him as the glue that helped us bond together– you could feel the presence he brought. JS was the thinker, he clicked with SJ easily. K was the epitome of creativity and we marvelled at her various drawings. The children’s camp that year was one of many events where we bonded together. Pretty soon, we discovered that SH had her warm side and somehow we began to treat her like one of our own.

C came in this year after B and SJ left. Initially she didn’t warm up to us, but as the year went by I saw how she made the effort to know us better and even surprised us with the pre-As letter.

There are so many examples of how we managed to remain close together even though people in other batches stopped coming after entering YM. It has been a fruitful time with you awesome people [lunches at our ‘favourite restaurant’, outings…] and if anyone of you are reading this, I ❤ you to the moon and back!


2. School
This proved to be of conflicting emotions to me as I had both good and bad times.

First up, it was A Level season and one inevitably feels the stress from such a high-stakes exam. The work comes in, first a trickle, then a flood. It was common for me not to complete revision packages, because it was impossible to do so given the short time span. But more insidiously, the feeling that you had not studied everything gets into you. It permeates your consciousness and keeps you awake every hour. You start questioning yourself whether you have studied enough to take down the monster. Even after you finish the paper, you question whether everything was correct. I was aware that I was slacking away time on the internet and tried my best to knuckle down to business, but I was hindered by 101 distractions. Overall I thank the Lord for guiding me through the papers, even though I may not be so sure of the quality of my work.

I am thankful that I managed to get over my dislike of the class to being closer to them, esp. with the group of guys that made me feel welcome. Special mention goes to D who took the initiative to talk to me during this time and I am grateful to him. It was not easy for me to reach out to the class but I managed to temper my dislike, and this was the sliver lining in an otherwise gloomy time.


3. Others
This year has been one of discovery as I found out my own weaknesses, through the various exams and what my friends said. I have tried my best to rectify these mistakes, but I do wonder why I try so hard to please people sometimes. However, what kept me going was the grace of God. Many times I fall at His feet and plead for help, and he granted them in ways that I didn’t expect. A defining moment was the run-up for the mission trip, where I constantly asked Him to change my parents’ heart about the trip. E and SH even talked to my mum, so I was crushed when I could not go. The succession of events in PH didn’t help in convincing either. It was so bad that I started to wish secretly that the trippers would be denied from going …only aunty MI helped me to look at the situation with some positivity. It showed me that the Lord is not a God that provides benevolently all the time, but that He can deny me in order for me to trust in Him more.

Finally, on this very last day of 2013, I am glad to look back at this year and marvel at the things I went through. How 2014 turns out to be depends on my actions and attitude to life. Here’s to a Happy New Year!


Post-A Levels

It’s been a long while since I wrote anything, and since the A’s are finally over, I can collect my thoughts.

1. Wanderlust


Right after A’s ended I went on a road trip to the east and north before returning to the south. Sounds incredible, but it was something that I had always wanted to do months ago.

–Dropped by someone’s house in Tampines [above 2 pics] before going to Woodlands via 969. Cool scenery as it travelled on the expressway, and it didn’t stop at any bus-stop for the first 20 minutes. [At the end of the journey, the bus driver posed for my photo but unfortunately I couldn’t take that shot.]

–Traversed the whole of wdlnds on 912: it passed by a friend’s house and even near Wdlnds checkpoint

–Returned home via 960 & 130

Total time taken was 7 hours but hey, I had all the time in the world!

2. Teens camp

-it was awkward the first day since I was the only one in my level [the rest started coming later]. movie screening starring “Up.”

-things got better on 2nd day with josh tan and silas [other josh was in mission trip]. They had this underground church game where the police [me included] had to catch ‘believers’ and prevent them from ‘knowing God.’ Apparently, almost everyone were ‘converted’ despite our best efforts. there was pizza later.

-we did a children’s program on the third day and there was finale night…not as exciting as Avengers last year.

-sent off the mission trippers on 4th day early morning.

Tbh, I was jealous that they had the opportunity to experience life in a foreign land, esp. when they recounted what they did there. it sounded fulfilling and meaningful. yet I guessed that it was a blessing in disguise–I fell sick after the camp…this shows that I’m not physically ready for a mission trip yet zzz..

But I will wait.

3. Prom night

It was odd seeing everyone dressed up to the nines and you start to see your friends in a different light..I mean costume. Some classmates were almost unrecognizable… I had the weird feeling that everyone was trying too hard to act above their age; there was a sense of artificiality around them.

2013-12-09 21.32.02 2013-12-09 22.13.00 2013-12-09 23.02.15  some pics from prom

I was quite surprised to see S as a waiter…he was the last person I expected to be there at our school prom!

2013-12-09 21.27.53

JT came after prom ended [another surprise] and we talked for a while.

Overall, I admit it was bittersweet, seeing everyone dressed up so well and the memories of the two years we spent as a class. This becomes all the more true given that the split is almost complete.

4. more random trips

–took 171 from school to Yishun…1 hour trip that took me past the zoo, the crematorium and endless forests

–boarded the 975 which allowed me to see the ‘oldest bus-stop in SG’, cemeteries, military camps, forests again, and the sea!

2013-12-19 12.39.36

This is a DAF bus with its odd exterior..makes it look glum. Only 2-3 bus services still use this bus; apparently it is quite old!

One of the oldest bus-stops in SG. More accurately this is a replica but it's close enough. Concrete seats and metal backing, anyone?

One of the oldest bus-stops in SG. More accurately this is a replica but it’s close enough. Concrete seats and metal backing, anyone?

Lim Chu Kang Road--no surprise why it doubles as an emergency runway.

Lim Chu Kang Road–no surprise why it doubles as an emergency runway.
I love the country feel in this ulu area..the solitude is amazing!

I love the country feel in this ulu area..the solitude is amazing!

The bus brought me 100m away from the water..I never bargained for such a sight!

The bus brought me 100m away from the water..I never bargained for such a sight!

I didn’t know that the bus terminated there until the driver told me to get down. After 10 minutes or so I boarded the bus again and the driver asked me where I was going.

“Bukit Panjang,” I replied.

“Then you have overshot!”

I said nothing because I just wanted to go back to civilisation.

–went to Bukit Batok, then to Jurong, and then near Jurong Island

2013-12-23 15.25.25 2013-12-23 16.06.13 2013-12-23 17.16.50

I missed the chance to snap a photo of the checkpoint proper, so this will have to do.

2013-12-23 18.15.12

–Bedok: buying a Christmas gift


I managed to walk along the track route from Bukit Timah Railway station to Rail Mall–thank God there was no mishap or anything cos the trek was unnerving, being the only walker out there. #achievementunlocked

Bukit Timah Railway Station: waiting for the 14:67 train.

Bukit Timah Railway Station: waiting for the 14:67 train.

2013-12-27 14.27.32

2013-12-27 14.29.03

Levers/switches used to switch the tracks

Levers/switches used to switch the tracks–I have no idea how it is supposed to work

Made in 1929. A piece of history.

Made in 1929. A piece of history.

Possibly living quarters for the train workers.

Possibly living quarters for the train workers.

This summarises my trek along the railway.

This summarises my trek along the railway. Left corner: pedestrian bridge to nowhere. Bottom centre: bridge made in 1861

It was quite an experience, being at one with nature. The only grievance was that the ground was muddy…

I have done quite a lot this holidays, but since enlistment is only 30+ days left, I might as well make the most out of it!