Monday, May 31, 2010


I've finally been voted off the island. (Which, contrary to reality television, is a good thing.)

Yes it's almost been a week since, but I haven't gotten round to updating this blog since I've been reacquainting myself with some fascimille of civilian life before I get posted to my new unit, which I sincerely hope is MDC.

I've got a lot of stuff to say about the army, but since there's that whole information blackout regarding what I say in public to people who may or may not be listing, I have a convenient excuse not to publish any of my opinions on this blog. Which saves me the trouble of writing it down.

I do have something to say though. It's about the people. You meet a lot of different people in the army, and it's a whole new life lesson, learning how to communicate and interact with them without getting beaten up or arrowed into doing IC stuff. It's a delicate art, beign friendly enough to get friends who are willing to help you, yet un-famous enough to not have your name called whenever sergeants ask for volunteers. Inconspiciously under the radar, that was my life in BMT. I can count the number of commanders who knew my name on one hand.

That being said, I did everything I was asked to, to the best of my ability. Enough such that in the dying weeks, my section (what remained of it) started noticing (and mocking). Still, when I look at all the people who chao keng through the seven weeks of modified, less physically strenuous, freaking slack BMT, I wonder how these people survived life this long. Obviously, whatever social system we have in place is failing horrendously.

In the army, I saw both extremes of the human condition. There were sergeants and commanders whom I could really respect, and I don't respect people easily. They were fair, just, and did the best they could in whatever they did (as far as I could tell). Then there were those, mostly recruits, who make me ashamed to be part of the human race. Selfishness is the only word. Nothing could inspire these people to give something of themselves for someone else. Not the best characteristic for a fighting fit army. Probably why this was a PES C company.

But enough about the painful past. I will probably never see many of these people ever again, and in some cases, hopefully I never will. (I also now have a deep hatred for toilets in general, and dread the day I next have to clean one.) Let us, instead, turn to more delightful news.

Three MGS Primary OM teams went to the US last week. They will return over the next fortnight with a 4th, 11th, and 32nd placing. I'm really proud of them all, doing their best at such an international competition. I can't wait to see them when they get back to this island!

The Edna Man

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fighting a Losing Battle

It must be Fate. Either that, or whatever heavenly power up there doesn't like me.

My last OM finals was way back when I was just fourteen. It was such a blast. As the years went by, it seems like it was going to be my first and last OM World Finals. Then I started coaching. Maybe I could have gone again. But for the past three years I haven't gone. I missed the first one because I had to go to the FPS World Conference. Not too bad, that was a nice trip too. Then I missed one last year because of H1N1. Sigh. And now, my request has been denied by the military, so I'm stuck in Singapore for this year again. Three strikes: I'm out.

I have a lot of suppressed emotions which I know shouldn't go on a public blog like this. So let's just say that if I have to recourse because of my Attend C, I'm suing god. For irony.

They say you learn a lot of things in the army. I have to agree. I learn a lot about the society that is confined on this island. The more I see, the more I wonder how the island manages to stay afloat, when the pillars supporting it are cracked and rotten.

Fighting a losing war,
The Edna Man