Sunday, July 23, 2006

With my rifle and my buddy and me


First glimpse of Tekong and its cookhouse food.


All my bags are packed and i'm ready to go. Parents say good-bye.


No turning back now. Where boys become men.

I'm back, finally! After my two week adjustment period in Tekong, which actually felt more like two months since we had to wake up so bloody early that one day seemed so bloody long. One day in Tekong is equivalent to three days, three dreaded long days. So if you are longing for expanded days, join the army and we welcome you to Tekong!

The training has been "shiok" so far. Shiok as in "shiok". I'm sure you've got a rough idea of army, enough so I need not explain in detail, the amount of physical training our bodies have to endure, marching be it rain or shine, shouting... You can list out all the shit and we've most probably been there done that.

Even in the army, I keep a small little log book in which I "try" to enter some entries before I sleep or sometimes even after lights out. Here are the entries in original context, typed as written. Read on...

11/7/2006 Tuesday:


5th day of army life. I'm writing with light only from my handphone since it's
pass lights out time. Training is already starting to get strenuous but i
suppose that's army life. I received my gun, the M16, today and sergent says to
treat the gun like your own wife. So i guess i'll start by thinking of a name
for it. Alright, i better get some rest. Training is only going to get more
tough or so they say, "progressive".

13/7/2006 Thursday:


Just woke up and my body is aching all over from yesterday's IPPT category test.
I managed to pass with silver because in the army, you have to do more than 10
pull ups, which I only did 8, to achieve gold and for the 2.4km run, we have to
complete it within 9.45mins, which is nearly impossible at this stage. I failed
my swimming because I don't know how to swim the breast stroke. I will
be having swimming lessons...woohoo but damn, no free admin time for
me.

14/7/2006 Friday:


Today we had our first 4km route march. The distance may sound short but we
had to mount our full battle order which includes the SBO, field pack with all
the items inside of course, rifle and helmet. Now my body is definitely getting
more accustomed to the training but I still suffer from the aches, blisters and
bruises. Army life has been good so far. We are starting to crave for our
weekend book out day.

Lights out now. The instructors and sergents are very strict on
discipline.

16/7/2006 Sunday:


I could not sleep last night. I was awoken afew times by some sounds in the
bunk. The sound was that of someone trying to fit his keyinto the lock and
trying to open the lock but failing to open the lock on the locker...banging
noises. It felt strange only because it was in the middle of the night. I didn't
open my eyes.

We are sitting in a first aid lecture now. Some of the rare few moments to
sit in a lecture room with air conditioning. It can get pretty hot here in
Tekong and marching around the camp makes you sweat even after a shower. I just
realised that 2 others from my section share the very same birthday as me!

18/7/2006 Tuesday:


We had another road march yesterday but this time, it was increased by another
2km which meant the total walking distance was 6km. Sleeping for the past couple
of days was easy since I was totally drained of all my energy. There's a NE
(national education) talk now but i'm super tired after lunch and after the run
this morning. They make us run for 15 mins without stopping, around the parade
square. I'm trying to stay awake.

19/7/2006 Wednesday:


It's already pass lights out but movement cut is not until 11pm which leaves me
abit of time left. The sunsets at Tekong are spectacular and I can see the jetty
from my bunk. Every other 10 mins, a commercial airliner will fly above us and
the sight of the plane gives me added hope and a glimpse of the outside world.
Only one more day before our first book out and we are all enthusiastic. Tmr, we
will be going for our computerised shooting range.

Those were some of the entries that I managed to log. I hope our Sirs and Sergents do not grow horns and tails over the weekend. Sigh... I will be booking in tonight.

"Show me the leader and I can tell you about the soldiers, show me the soldiers and I can tell you about the leader."

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