Announcement: Singapore Vintage and Classic Cars has moved

Dear all readers,

I have moved all the vintage and classic cars pictures to my new website over here. This is because I want my blog to be less cluttered. I hope you have enjoyed looking at pieces of history, please go to my website: www.sgclassicrides.blogspot.com for more!

JimmyF

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HBD

It’s been a long and arduous journey but hocc has finally ended I’m so done with it

When wx asked me whether I wanted to participate in ho, I unhesitatingly agreed. Joining hall dance at the start of the semester was sth I had wanted to do ever since going for the hip hop classes during work. During the open house, the dance item was not bad and I just put down my name. Yet, I didn’t feel connected with anyone, partly because I did not know anyone in the og who joined. During the exam welfare practices, there was a disconnectedness as I was always slower in learning the dance moves. It was not as easy as i thought because the songs weren’t hiphop music. I pulled out of the performance as I only went for 1 practice (lol) and coincidentally i had a test that day.

However, I had also heard of hocc and how it was a big thing among the halls. Since this was the main event, i decided to sign up for it. After all, how often do you get to perform in front of so many ppl?! I knew that other halls were already beginning their practices in dec, but ours happened on like the 3rd last day of the month. The theme was Odyssey and our concept was a train journey from pasir ris to bugis, city hall, redhill and ending at nanyang audi. Throughout the practices in January, we learnt the moves and i admit I was often slower than others. I was chosen to dance the contemporary item to Gentle Bones’s ‘Sixty Five’ and the finale item of hip hop (Icona Pop’s ‘We Got the World’). The couple item was ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ and the waack/lock item was surprisingly an eurodance song ‘Around the World’ by ATC. There was also a street jazz item featuring some pseudo-chinese traditional music. I never expected one to be able to dance to such classics. It was demoralising to see how other ppl could pick up the moves almost effortlessly. This caused a lot of frustration for me and also for other ppl as they had to teach me slowly.

It was only in February when we actually stepped out of 64fr to other places to practice. I had once hitched a ride on I’s “magic school bus” (an 8-year old yellow Honda Jazz) to nanyang house and had asked her about her driving experience. On another day, 8 ppl actually squeezed into the car: 2 ppl in the boot, 4 behind and 2 ppl on the front seat. There was this time where we didn’t really progress much during practice when we saw hall 12 doing their full run. It left us speechless at how precise and good their moves were. We gathered in a circle, demoralised, and the seniors started to cry. They were saying about how we were too bad compared to the other halls and how they were also quite bad last year (2nd last). We also had sharings with some other halls where we rate their item and they would do likewise for us. Comments were somewhat mixed but generally they liked our concept. For some reason, props development moved slowly due to lack of materials and uncertainty of the design. It was only the deadline that got us sourcing for photocopy paper boxes and painting of the backdrop. There were structural problems w the backdrop and we experimented with bamboo poles before we got ppl to hold for us.

As all evenings were occupied for dance, grades took a tumble and I found out the hard way during the quizzes. Despite being on track for the lessons, it seemed that I wasn’t as prepared as i expected myself to be. It got me hating dance and many times I asked myself why I was in this shit. There were instances where i left class halfway to go to the auditorium, but I resolved not to skip classes totally like what some people did–i could not bear to not know anything about the class. We sneaked into nanyang audi at 1am once to mark the stage and we had to be silent since it was clearly illegal. Furthermore we had received news that 15 had been caught not long before. Upon reaching the stage, i was awed by its size. I remembered looking at the silent rows of seats and thinking how surreal it was to perform in front of so many people.

On the last week before ho, we did full runs with our props. The choreographers had unexpectedly changed the order of the items, catching us off guard, but we decided to see things with “an open mind.” It was a bitch carrying them as they were rather unwieldy and there were teething issues with costume changes. We had to sort it out by coordinating our quick change partners to make it in time for the next item. We had practices everyday and very soon it was D-day.

For the morning run, we had to tell the helpers what to do as we were unable to find sufficient ppl to help us. The afternoon run was good and before the actual one, we ran through some minor modifications. As the hour drew near, nervousness kicked in-it was all or nothing. I was pleasantly surprised that the Christians in the team, including I/C actually got together to pray for good luck and for “23 jesuses to dance with us” lol. However, as N succinctly put it, stage fright meant that you still have emotions which was good. In the dressing room, we wished each other well amidst cries of “let’s do this”. When hall 10 went up to perform, we were on standby backstage. The cheers of the audience got so much more real and tbh it was nerve-wracking. It was too late to do anything else alr so we just went on. I must admit that it was only during the actual performance that we were able to feel each other and feed off each other’s energy. It was unfortunately marred by a costume malfunction, which may or may not have affected by the final score (last place). The other halls were indeed better, but our concept was markedly different from the rest–a particular judge failed us for some reason and it was what killed us, even though other judges gave us average scores. We were in disbelief as we had wanted to get a position better than 2nd last–the seniors had left abruptly to clear props and we surmised that they were also upset by it. Yet, we agreed that it was the best run we had. I went to look at the video recording and i admit i fked up some of the moves-it was shockingly glaring. The lights, the cheers, the music–it was an incredible feeling but bittersweet knowing that the sweat and tears for the past 2 months were gone in a mere 7 mins. The audience will never know what we sacrificed to be where we were that day.

Even though all of us were a crew, I still felt that the divides between different ppl came back to haunt us. It was made worse by the presence of alpha individuals who were unable to de-clique when necessary. I never felt close to anybody and the seniors didn’t really make an effort to bond us closer, except for I, the dance captain, who actively tried to engage everyone. Our choreographers (I’s seniors back in poly) often complained about the lack of vibes. We started having suppers after practices but it was too little too late. There was also this letter writing thing for each other that died as soon as it was born. We were just too disparate for us to be tighter. It was probably the difference in personalities, but if you want to succeed as a team, you should start by working together and be more tolerant of others as well. It was a small regret for me and maybe everyone but oh wells. For some reason, our jcrc wasn’t very supportive of us, especially during the back to school dinner. There were conflicts with the scheduling, props and even on the day itself, we had to ask them to shift the tables for more space. Also, they failed to provide sufficient helpers and they only came at the last minute. Compared to what other halls received and even the hall cheer team, we were disappointed at how we were regarded. This made us change our mindset to dance for the other 22 ppl with us rather than the hall.

I certainly had enough of hall dance and I don’t forsee myself joining next year, especially as a non-dancer. Yet, dance has been somewhat therapeutic and I will have withdrawal symptoms of not going to 64fr after class every 7pm. I’m also surprised to see myself liking dance in itself and N also said that you will always be a dancer by virtue of having performed before. It has also increased my knowledge of dance lexicon (blocking, cleaning etc) and the various styles as well. This is really a case of 台上一分钟,台下十年功 and the effortless moves on stage comes with much effort off stage. I’m still proud of being the pioneer batch of HBD (H13D if you dk, the seniors had changed the name). I/C would always like to conclude practices by asking someone, “so what do you want to say?” and the person would reply, “thanks for coming!” I don’t know how this came about but i would still like to thank the rest of HBD for coming for this HO. It has been a crazy odyssey, but “it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.”

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its so easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself against others–isn’t it human nature from the time we lived in caves? what’s more insidious is how your mind/consciousness seizes on your doubts to twist it into horrible stuff.

i have seen far too many travel posts for comfort and i’m constantly reminded of how circumstances have not availed me of this chance to take a break during the holidays, either through lack of lucre or companions. i have seen far too many friendships and i wonder why they have so much more connections than i do. i see the fun they had and i also wonder. i see musicians and wonder how are they able to memorise songs and their chords. why do they have so much more fun than i do? the ideal, politically correct ans is not to think so much and to be grateful for what you have. easy to say, difficult to do though. many a times i have visualised myself going overseas to take street life [shopfront with ppl/cars in the foreground]. i could say i’ve become self-conscious abt this and it keeps grating at my mind. to sum up this sad state of affairs, i started to read next sem’s stuff alr ha.ha.ha.

i’m also reminded of the unspoken privileges that we have as chinese and christians as well. we can talk to each other in mandarin even though other races feel left out of the joke or commentary. even during christmas, how we celebrate differs wildly from gatherings, dinners to just reflecting on what a birth 2000 years ago signify. ‘xmas’ has become an ubiquitous greeting, but then christians would argue why is christ removed from christmas all because of a social/economic/linguistic need to  simplify/abbreviate everything? see, with the added knowledge of our races and religions, we view the world through many lenses that may or may not cloud our perceptions. will we see the world as it plainly is one day? maybe not in this lifetime, not ever, unless the human condition undergoes a drastic change.

also i find it quite interesting to see what others think of you. this has been evident in the many detailed birthday wishes. being a welfie who plays the harmonica and ‘steady’/onz abt the og/funny when drunk etc is alr v common for me. there is this social condition where the well-wisher would try to think of sth they share in common or have seen in their wishes, and the birthday boy/girl would show appreciation in like manner. so one could see how much you thought/regarded the person and in reverse, what the birthday person felt abt you as well. of course there is a difference in length of the wishes. on one hand you could be heartened by what the person thought of you during normal-time interactions, or you may feel that the person may not be sincere enough. ppl would comment if it were exceptionally good but how often can that be? it can be interesting to think of what to say to each well-wisher but you would have a tougher time for those whom you’re not close to. somehow or another someone would remember its your birthday and everyone follows suit–idk why i’m caring so much and somewhere deep inside it would be better off to not forcibly remember birthdays–if you’re close enough a private message can mean the whole world to the person. well fk this superficial shit.

how fast is 2016?

have things turned out the way I hoped for at the start of this year? after finishing army and getting a job, have i really fulfilled what i set out to do?

from the start of 2016 to the middle, i unwittingly found employment in iras. first real-time working experience–what more could i expect? it was scary at first, listening to real people talking about their taxes–sensitive topic! most were quite reasonable and there were a few memorably kind/nasty ones. tbh, very soon i would be like them calling in abt my taxes, but hopefully there won’t be any need to be nasty as well.

i still wonder what it could have been for us–so many firsts for me and yet it was neither here nor there. and that trip incident is still there: like a mole that reminds you of its existence. it hurts to see things turn out that way but so far things are ok for all of you i believe? it was a first for me and i believe it isn’t the last.

learning driving was a whole new ball game. of course men are expected to operate w 3 pedals, but there lies difficulties too. varying instructors left impressions on me and i’m grateful to have experienced friendly ones who were more tolerant of mistakes. driving the 2014 toyota vios was a blast despite failing the practical test once. i guess i got lucky on the 2nd try as i still made mistakes but scraped through fortunately–thank you mr TP! now i haven’t touched a vehicle in 4 mths and i’ll probably shit bricks if anyone asked me to drive now.

i didn’t know how i ended up on the apsn project, but though it wasn’t as successful as we hoped, i was impressed at yl’s dedication to see the project through. i wasn’t on the actual exco, but i was privy to many intricacies of the prject which culminated in a carnival. interacting w mentally challenged clients was nerve-wracking as i didn’t know how they would be like. life lesson: people are nt what they appear to be! however, their actions sometimes felt too familiar and hit home repeatedly to the point where i felt displeased. after all was over, i also found that it was my emotional detachment that prevented me from doing more. but could i have done thing differently? i felt overwhelmed by the various tasks but it was an important lesson in project planning. being exposed to a hidden side of society was a humbling experience.

now on to ntu…

first contact was actually cru. it felt comfortable to learn each other’s struggle and encourage each other onwards. also my first experience staying up late to play resistance [another first]. going for pre-camp right after cru was a sigh moment and being absent for the first part, the revelation of fake freshies was lost on me. i genuinely felt uncomfortable and didn’t stay [cos also need to submit hall camp video bleh]. i had felt better during hall camp–first experience communicating w others intensively and exposure to orientation games/traditions/cheers etc. sp date was tense–i may have committed certain faux pas but was v surprised that i had guessed who she was at the first try. yup and throughout hall camp the nbs chat was noisy af–i couldn’t be bothered to care about what they said.

it was only during 2nd pre camp that i felt better? they turned out to be a great bunch of ppl to be with, from mud games, pool games, esp beach day [telematch was shag af]. we also had to rehearse the dance and be initiated up to 4am the next morning–> had to be up at 5 freaking 30am?! i remembered we were zonked out for the rest of the day, performed our item and managed to win 3 awards but no best og why?!!

credits to D who ensured the og’s continued survival w a series of activities. how we were tighter than the rest i have no answer but the crucial difference was that everyone played a part. of course the cracks started to appear a month later but hey, who ever said that such a thing won’t happen? it’s not like everyone would gather in a circle and sing kumbaya lol. personality differences are certainly the main cause. i won’t say 2016 was a perfect year, but i made myself interact w the quieter ones. things didn’t really work out with A as much as i hoped. but, using snapchat was somewhat effective in striking up convos which i would find trouble to initiate.

schoolwork? heh. i guess its true that group A suffers first and chills later and vice versa. the few of us were in the same group so we naturally got closer and stuff. it also helped that we were in the main comm so we knew about foc and shit. tbh, being somehow admitted into the main comm was a serious stroke of luck–i fear to imagine how peripheral i would become if that had not happened [and this is alr happening to some others]. seeing how others managed their workload was quite interesting. being in nbs, it is v natural to be a small fish in a  big ocean. yet, the most stressful part of sch was actually the avalanche of assignments that threatened to wipe you out of your miserable existence. you learn how to finish essays/projects that usually take a much longer time to complete back in jc within record time haha. coupled w teachers who are not v helpful to you, i guess why uni is called the wilderness at times. friends do play a part in keeping you sane, but have i remained so myself? i also took up quite a few commitments which i seriously wonder whether i could pull it off especially w one hell of a semester coming.

one qn which a friend asked me was my persona. who do i want to portray myself as? shockingly, i wonder who i am. an nbs student? immature? fking strange? i do despise my identity but changing it is another issue altogether. how do i reconcile my inner self w what i display to others? i do realise that being in the main comm only helped to push my prominence up slightly and many times i fantasise being a deputy to govt ppl coupled with remarkable entrances and departures. so who tf am i? i wanted to see the number of wishes i could get without sharing any info but that would be hard with well-known J right after me 😐

i hope the finals treat me well and i’m so fking envious of those who can travel overseas. background is so different huh. you never know what its like to be less off than your peers.

can i say 2016 is a good year? in some aspects maybe. do i hope for a better 2017? i just want to survive and build relationships one by one on solid ground let’s hope it’ll be better.

 

 

 

Mega update 3

I can safely say that I have found a home in NBS, given its fked up culture and work load. Like I mentioned previously, we somehow got together, everyone of different backgrounds, education, circumstances whatever. All of us knew we could have been placed in a different OG, even orientation camp. I see this as more than a coincidence–I trust that this arrangement was planned by God and I hope to make use of what He has given me to the fullest.

Our seniors strongly encouraged us to meet up everyday for something, so the onus fell on D who was the best freshie. Credits to him for doing it well even though it was stressful and tiring for him. After a chicken rice dinner on that Saturday itself, we did the chew-and-chew [nsfw] and things kicked off from there.

Sunday: playnation. Monday: lunch. Tues: uniqlo lol but since P was working there, it made sense [not many people went, but still counted lol]. We went for bash on that coming Saturday and D&D as well. There were also lunch/dinner outings here and there and I thought these were instrumental in keeping almost everyone together. There were driftwood but we felt it was better to just let it go.

With school staring proper, it was hard as I tried to get my NS brain into gear again. Most topics were rather ‘fluff’ ie no concrete facts to study except stats/math. I can’t say I’m better now since I am but a small fish in the ocean. It has been an incredibly draining first quarter as the work kept on coming. Coupled with my many commitments [harmonica, handball, IIC subcomm and even next year’s FOC], I really dk how I can survive.

Speaking of FOC, I had applied the role just for fun and lo and behold I got it. I don’t know whether it was really easy to get the role but oh well I have to make do.

I have been advised to drop activities for now as next sem is going to be a fking killer I think. Here’s to more shit along the way!

Mega update 2

Tbh, I didn’t know how I got into NBS camp. I replied the form as soon as I received it at work and even though selection was supposedly more random rather than looking at your social media, I thought there was an element of fastest fingers first. When I look back, I considered myself very lucky to have been put in this OG called Thanos 🙂

My reaction was like ‘meh’ when I received the msg from the CGL. I had to perform the ‘running man challenge’, with other options as dubsmash or the bottle flipping challenge. I was at a wedding when everyone started sending in their introductory selfies and on pain of a forfeit, I sent the only one that I had during NDP as the trishaw rider. So during the first pre-camp at Vivocity, everyone chipped in some materials to build the mascot but as mentioned previously, I was late. I got a few questions on the Cru shirt I was wearing and I felt fking awks initially. Especially when they were announcing the fake freshies, I felt lost as I wasn’t around for the first part. It was quite shocking to see them do the ‘photo formation’, where the girls piled on top of the guys at the bottom. A tourist tried to take a photo, but was stopped by a senior. At that time, I felt quite uneasy about the ppl I saw and I basically didn’t bother myself reading through the whatsapp msgs during the hall camps. The second pre-camp was 1 day before the main camp proper, so there was a potluck and tying up of loose ends. From there, I started interacting with others and felt more comfortable.

First day: some talk by the dean of NBS with all the orientation camps there, followed by introduction of the CGLs and many other main comm ppl from each of 16 OGs!! I realised that there are 8 clans, and 2 OGs in each. It is supposed to be a symbiotic relationship of some sorts.  We played typical games such as 猫抓老鼠, 皇上,5+5, and Nippon [random names but they were quite fun to play]. P was my partner for that day and we got along quite ok I guess. It was wet games but it wasn’t very tame either! We had a SSM session before we tried unsuccessfully to decide what dance moves to learn for the finale night. 2nd day was pool day and I swear it was quite shag. Pushing someone on a float without wearing life jackets was the stupidest thing ever. I felt like a burden as I was unable to help A get the ball during captain’s ball. Night run was also quite taxing–we had to run around to finish the tasks and avoid being caught. QN was quite on as well as we ran around the south spine.

Next day was the much-hyped beach day. The seniors kept mentioning it and emphasised the importance of winning the telematch. After sleeping at 2am and waking at 5am to go to the beach, everyone was conked out on the bus. The beach games were way better than the hall ones, possibly because there were more ppl around? I can safely say the telematch was indeed no joke. It was physically intense, especially with running from one end to another and the human tunnel/centipede as well. Many grand seniors turned up and they sort of  ‘assisted’ us to victory, because other OGs were doing so. The crucial difference was that we had more seniors to help than the rest, and everyone had their game face on. Right after beach day we went to Fairy Point chalet at Changi and played ‘the bus of lust’: just passing sweets from mouth to mouth and it was quite hilarious. After a good BBQ, we were put to the test by doing the bowl clan cheer in front of the seniors. Apparently they found mine quite funny and D couldn’t keep a straight face. JH’s one was all the more amusing because he forgot the lines lol. We had to practice the dance after that and I believed everyone were quite tired and sian. Everything ended at 4am and we had to wake up at 5.30am zzz. There was another round of games ie water bombs before we had to go to the audi again to listen to the talks. After the obligatory Insta account sharing, by that time, everyone was ‘gone case’ already. Dance time came and we tried our best. It was still comforting to know that we won the beach telematch, best mascot and waterbomb telematch despite not winning best OG. During the best freshie dance, one of them dropped his pants while the senior school management was watching. It got terribly awkward as damage control ensued while the teachers were left bemused. Since the next day was welcome day, we stayed up again to chill and have fun. After getting to know ppl in the welcome day group, we then proceeded to meet up for dinner at Lenas, where the freshie chat was created and we talked about the whirlwind 5 days.

I would say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it is quite curious how we, strangers, from 1 August until now, have grown together in this journey so far. The little sleep and anecdotes we shared are still somewhere in our memory even though we may start to forget as schoolwork swamps in.

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Much love to everyone here!

Mega update 1

It’s been a while since I wrote anything so here goes…finally had a chance to catch a breather during non-recess ‘recess week’ bleah

First up: passed my driving test after 1 bad attempt haha. I had done everything well but struck the kerb during vertical parking, and I just got so sian and didn’t pay attention to my surroundings. So I drove out and almost hit the car from the other side lulz. The TP had to brake for me and I knew I was screwed. Yet, he was already lenient by not awarding immediate failures but 28 points…

The next test was about the same–almost screwed up the vertical parking again. Yet nothing much happened, just that the tester was quite naggy: he kept reminding me to watch out for traffic etc and once had to lay the horn himself on an errant jaywalker. Basically, he expected me to do the horning myself when I wasn’t even sure doing so would brand me as a troublemaker. I was nervous that I would fail yet again, but luckily the free counts offset the actual points. Screw 18 points-a license is still a licence. I had to watch a safety [read:nsfw] video of traffic victims etc but it felt so good leaving CDC once and for all. Throughout my time there, most instructors were nice enough chaps [Mr Jonathan and David] but there were a few that were fking pressurizing–Golem effect taking place here huh?! Surprisingly, there were quite a few Arsenal fans too–had a good time chatting about soccer during dreary driving.

Cru camp: not bad, most chill camp ever! Learnt about Cru in general and activities were quite ok. Virgin experience playing Resistance till late and interacting with the ppl in the group as well. For some reason we changed locations from Cru HQ to St Andrew’s village, but overall it was not bad. We tried the famous chicken rice at Bishan before I had to rush off for NBSFOC pre-camp [more of that later].

So after submitting the obligatory video of me doing some weird shit for hall FOC, I had to pack and checked in on 23/7. The pre-camp before that already exposed me to the ppl that were inside Cama–quite a decent bunch. I remembered playing dirty games where they turned an area of field into an uninhabitable, squelchy swamp through a quirky mix of paint, water, shampoo and god knows what else. There was also pool day [jumped from 5m platform, landed badly] and beach day [didn’t really do that well]. Oh and did I mention the Secret Partner? Basically everyone were paired up with the opposite gender on the second day and you were supposed to know your partner as much as possible without revealing your name. Right after beach day, the guys were subjected to rounds of embarrassing shit [fked up pledge and stunts]. I considered myself lucky as I was able to guess my SP correctly on the first try–I had asked a specific question, but everyone raised their hands in an attempt to throw the guy off. I just felt that the girl I was looking at was the correct one and hey presto, I was right! We went out to watch Ghostbusters and then chatted at the skating rink–it was an interesting experience but it remained where it was. During the Amazing race, we went to laser tag and a trampoline park–it was quite enjoyable as I simply camped at a corner to pick out the opponents. There was also this segment called NG100: it was seemingly simple tasks that had to be completed in 100 seconds. The most frustrating part was the constant repeating of the actions, hence the term NG. Most of these games were luck-based, and it was incredibly demoralising for us to be denied time and time again. We spent some 2 hours on it before we completed it with much jubilation. On the last day, we had cheer fight and though we didn’t win best OG, it felt good to scream the cheers. Some people had UOC/sports camp the very next day so it was quite shag for them lol.

I quickly realised after NBSFOC, it was draining to focus my energy on two groups and so I had to make a decision. It sucks not being as involved as before, especially when I was v reluctant to go for hall D&D and even other activities. Yet, I also noted I had almost faded away to a ‘phantom’. This bred a new question: should I carry on or not? The drifting away is real af and a lot has to do to the people that you are with I guess…