yep yeps.. i went out with tjow and claudia today to shop for paper!! sounds wierd eh. but of course we need nice paper to print the wedding cards. imagine cream texture paper with a translucent cover sheet tied up nicely with a maroon ribbon and slipped in nicely into a cream coloured envelope. niceee. it could have been nicer actually but some things we wanted (tjow i think u'll never forget the translucent cover sheet splattered with small shimmering spots or the pretty bamboo-looking weighted paper) were either out of our budget or they simply didnt have enough stock for us!! and we cant wait for the next shipment cos we've to churn out the cards by this wk. wat a pity. but no worries..the card is already nice the way it is. and hence this gal here is satisfied.
tjow actually noticed that i'm darker without me 1st saying so. urgh. 'you know you should stay fair cos it makes you look weak. guys like the damsel in distress look.' haha that was really funny. dunno whether its true anot but i'm working out my stomach muscles just typing this. actually i've been trying to avoid the sun so that i'll quickly resume my fairer skin tone. but obviously its not working cos i cant help being in the sun, esp during ndp. oh well, damsel in distress look or no damsel in distress look.. its all the same. anw inside i'm definitely no damsel in distress. i'll start fighting for the map when i see one instead of wringing my hands up in agony and crying out 'i'm so lost, i need help!' ok that was a really random thot that came from god knows where. probably cos tjow stopped over at borders to buy a map for his upcoming honeymoon.
it was my cousin soen ming's wedding today. i had to wake up very early in the morning to go to the groom's house for the tea ceremony. to show support for the newly weds of course. false firecrackers were set off, and the bride and groom arrived in a jaguar adorned with freshly pick lilies. never knew my 'er gu' was so superstitious. she said something about those born in the year of the rabbit not being able to witness the arrival of the bride and groom, cos the groom was a mouse!! so a few relatives got chased to the backyard to wait. wat logic is there in that?! anyway, after the bride and groom strode into the house in a celebrity fashion (because there were like 5 camera and videocamera men), the traditional tea ceremony began. wah i realised that there's still alot of things i do not know about the chinese culture. the bride and groom had to spoonfeed each other this sweet soup, where there were berries and egg, each symbolising different things ranging from health to babies to watever. then there was the usual serve-tea-to-older-generation gesture, and later when we congratulated the couple, we cousins actually got hong baos!! not bad.. its not every wedding couple that gives. oh and for the 'finale', they had to put a baby boy on the bed.. haha wat that symbolises can be guessed quite easily eh ;p
there was buffet lunch at the same place, catered from peach garden, a chinese restaurant. food was good, esp the wasabi prawns. mmmm. i expect the catering to be expensive cos apparently there were waiters from the restaurant, not a common sight when one caters food. we went home after that, to prepare for the dinner at night. stopped by at tampines mall to grab a shirt for han loong. haha he actually asked me to go up with him while dad waited in the car. he ACTUALLY values my opinion. -smiles doubly wide- anyway so i was the nice loving sis who helped him out.
dinner was at ritz carlton. the cousins sat together and talked alot of crap of which i could only rmb the part where yizheng said that the rich shouldnt marry the rich.. cos that will mean that there's still only 2 rich people, instead of making it 4 rich people. n zen rebuked that no..then there will be 4 mediocre people, which is worse. then they started saying it depends...on whether u're talking about 'bill gates rich' or jus RICH. haiya..who are we to say who should marry who..wat a load of crap that made just a fraction of sense. oh and if you're wondering why we started talking about this.. its cos both the bride and groom's family are very very very rich. i mean.. who gives like half a million in cash PLUS an apartment in orchard as dowry?! u've got to be really rich.
i jus realised how funny han rong actually is. his humour is really different - subtle and definitely not lame =) zen was really a joker, which reminds me of my jc class. (which i miss a lot a lot) the food was good, though not spectacular. ambience was very good of course. (i mean what else can u expect) i spent most of my time at the grand piano outside the ballroom playing the piano. funn. (although it made me realised i should learn how to play a few more tunes) and i concluded that i'm very thick-skinned too. the guests were all streaming out and i still continued playing. my cousins said i shouldnt stop cos i was entertaining the leaving guests. whoa.. felt like THE piano player. like i was hired. wheeeeee. i love playing the piano.
the public is soooo much more difficult to handle than noisy pri 5 kids. 1stly they want to choose seats. they want to seat at the sides and can come up with all sorts of funny reasons for us to let them have their way (ranging from elderly and kids to..its more windy *duh but then everyone would want the sides). its kind of natural having got tickets, but the fact is that we are supposed to pack them, and fill from bottom up. this bunch of act cool teenage guys who were initially seated right infront asked me to let them go to the top to seat. of course i said no..just sit where you were. but there is strength in numbers.. and in overcoming the opposite sex in this case.. and they were persistent and relentless. the tricks guys have up their sleeves.. old tricks tho, one has seen too many a drama serial. the check-out-the-person's-id-tag-and-start-persuading-her-by-name one.. or the whine-and-use-lots-of-please one.. all wun work on me please. i had all the time in the world to wait for them to give up. (they came rather early so there was no crowd) haha finally one gentlemanly soul said not to '弄她难做人'. kudos to whoever that was.. i mean it was kinda fun to be in the situation cos it did break some monotony ;p but i was kinda glad to get out of it too. oh otherwise i had to call the police. i mean not dial 999 but jus get anyone of the police stationed around. anyone who refuses to cooperate will be thrown out. dunno if they're serious tho.
did i mention this 30 smth yr old lady actually asked me to accompany her all the way to the toilet and back? that's not within our job scope. and usually ppl just ask for directions. but she said she was afraid she wouldnt be able to find her way back to her seat. so anw i did upon delegating my task to someone else. felt like a babysitter while i was with her.
the parade proceeded as per normal. i think i can remember everything in sequence already. got disinterested in the show and started talking to this army guy with the word 'guard' printed on his sleeve. i was curious as to why he was holding this stick-like thing. later found out it was a drill stick carried by only Regimental Sergeant Majors. it opens out like a pair of callipers and has markings on the inside. INTERESTING. so i asked him how come he was a guard AND an RSM.. cannot have 2 ranks right. he told me tt being an RSM was his appointment for ndp and a guard his vocation. AHHH.. the ignorance of being female. oh well...* in addition, his 2 daughters were very very cute.. and i could tell he was a loving dad.. he kept pointing out stuff to them during the parade.
fireworks were longer this time (felt cheated for the previous 2 week's pri 5s) and more beeautiful. i'm in awe when i see them. everytime. (thats the plus point in joining ndp) i still like the most the one i name 'golden rain'. it lasts the longest and is always the very last 'spree' of extravagance. but i still dun wanna be like a firework - brilliant but shortlived.
there was quite a long debrief after the crowd dispersed. to trash out the flaws with the arrival and dispersal plan and its execution. well there was an obvious flaw with the dispersal plan. people wouldnt wait for their turn to leave just because u ask them to. and even more not so when the police, the uniformed personnel with authority, let them leave. some army guy was conducting the debrief and he told us apologetically that the police have been briefed (apologetic cos we complained that there were conflicting orders from the 'higher authorities' which made our job very difficult... and which he knew was very true) but quietly added 'but there's always been something between the army and the police'. which, well, the guys would know is kinda true. the army and police do not see eye to eye i guess. the only time u see the 2 parties working together is during ndp. bet they're being forced to. haha. the funny thing was when one smu guy called out 'sir' before stating wat he wanted to say. i guess its pretty normal for us to call sir and 'mam cos tts wat we call our lecturers. but the army guy immediately said 'oh you dun hav to call me sir.. can jus address me by name.. cos we're not related in any rank sort of way'. haha so political. i think he didnt realised we wouldnt know his name. it was very funny cos he sounded so humble. later i noticed all the other army guys around him called him sir. no wonder he thought that way =)
camp was at 2 locations. 1st at cdans then at chinese gardens. i must say the camp started out quite depressing because of the intermittent rain and because i did not like the way the facils handled some of the icebreakers and team games. they made me feel that smu was not as competent as rj despite the fact that they were an institute of higher education. games like the 'murder case' were more professionally handled by rj. and by professional i just mean that more effort was put in. the characters dressed and acted their roles and there were props (think barricaded crime scenes) and all. not to mention, many of the games were stale and old. repeated from other camps i've attended. but for that matter maybe its just me - i've attended one too many camps.
at the end of it all i still did take home something. i learnt that i could rise up as a leader and lead effectively if i wanted to. josiah praised me for a good job done but he also said that i seemed afraid of taking up responsibilities. hmm i denied tho - just think i dun see the need to rise up unless the ocassion demands for it.
but sometimes i really admire josiah. he has great EQ that allows him to know the needs of the individuals and the grp, and he actually makes the effort to get to know each and every one of us personally. i noe he felt lousy about us not fully reaching our full potential as grp (read: slack) as he felt it was because he din do a gd job as a facil. but in my opinion he has already done a superb job. i mean, for one to leave an impression on me, got to have some standard one u noe. haha. so dun be discouraged, guy!
sometimes leaders themselves need encouragement too.
i like the rain, especially the dawning of rain. everything about it. the dark and overcast sky with its grey monotone clouds. the cool and refreshing breeze caressing my skin. the melancholy smell of rain. it really feels like something out of an 18th century photograph, and i feel brought back in time, if not frozen in time.
everything is disrupted when the rain suddenly approaches. umbrellas are opened. people start running for shelters, frantically. no one wants to get drenched, especially when they're meeting others. its irritating. but then a girl stands in the street solitarily, her eyes closed, face raised to the heavens, hands outstretched, really soaking in the rythm and soul of the falling rain. she's lost in time and space. oblivious to the hustle and bustle, oblivious to the rain soaking to her skin. her plan has not changed. she wants to be calm and still despite the rain, to be enjoying the rain. she didnt care if people thought she was crazy, if she stood out from the crowd, alone. someone walks up to her and taps her gently on her shoulder. 'i'll join you' he says. it wasnt a question, it was a statement. that decisiveness caught her, attracted her. she knew she didnt have to, but nonetheless she replied, 'ok'. even though they had barely known each other, she felt connected to him in a special sort of way. this was someone who, like her, knew how to appreciate things that were different and unexpected. who was willing and daring enough to come out of his comfort zone to be with her. who knew that though she looked strong and comfortable being alone, actually longed for someone to spend such moments with. and not just anyone. but him. she looked on as he mimicked her previous stance. 'i never knew this could feel so good' he agreed. 'being with me?' she teased. 'no, being in the rain' he rebuked with a smile. soon, they were splashing each other and laughing genuinely, delighting in the rain and each others presence.
matriculated in the morning at smu. they had many stations. one involved taking a pic and making an electronic card. quite cool. but i look super ugly in it.. oh. and i ordered a laptop on impulse. the salesman was too good. i decided i could cancel my order anw if i see better deals, after i've looked around and seen wat the market prices for laptops are nowadays. not my expertise tho. n i signed up for alot of things too. like 2 orientation camps. 5 ccas. and 2 cip projects. of which one was helping out at ndp. which means i might not b able to go to church for a few wks consecutively. hmmm. kinda sucks tt rehearsals are on sat.. but anw i think this cip is gg to be fun. different. 'because smu is a different kind of university' =)
eh wait. why am i doing publicity for them. heh. sch pride jus naturally sets in. whichever sch.
PLUS did i mention that the people there are very very very friendly? no airs. at all.
anw after the 3 hr long matriculation, i went to orchard with serene and rebec. met jiaying at orchard, what a pleasant surprise. so in the end we all had lunch together at coffee club. din noe they had such nice main courses. i love the garlic prawn pasta. mamamia!!! mmmm... and the muddy mud pie is really really great too!!! beats nydc's. for one, it is 2 times the height of nydc's mudpies =) after lunch, we rushed like mad to catch 'war of the worlds'. i had v high expectations for the show, probably cos of the great publicity it had. hence i was disappointed. i mean its good, but not THAT good. the book's probably much better, as critiques have commented.
and after that, i met up with the rest of standtall for dinner before fever05. i really had a fever gg on after fever05 =) metaphorically i mean. can occ adopt a village in east timor? can we can we? i wished all the youth of gj had gone tho. its hard to spread the fever when everyone else is not infected with the bug. but i still rmb the night, clear in my mind. the majesty of God as the stage is litted up with singing and dancing. the victory in Christ as the banners and flags are lifted and waved. the unanimous raising of hands to the Lord. the joining of hands as a body of Christ as we broke our hearts (andlightsticks) b4 the Lord, and litted up the darkness with the multicoloured lightsticks. may we be the light of the world, shining for Jesus. what perfect symbolization. WOW.
i'm still trying to find a picture of the event. to recapture the moment. it will go here when i've found it.
it all ended too soon, but after that i still had 'eventful' moments to come. after walking to the mrt, i realised that my wallet was missing! rushed back to the expo hall to look for it. heng...it was right where we seated. felt very chuan3 after all that running.. but i was also v touched by the concern of all the other standtallites who actually ran all the way back to help me find it, so tt not a minute is wasted. u guys are really really really (times infinity) great. thanks soooo much. -smiles-