Friday, August 10, 2007
ian's parents very kindly invited me to watch the national day parade with them! i elegantly accepted their invitation by shrieking "marikitaaaa!" and jumping up and down. thank you auntie and uncle!

i have lived 21 years in this country without once going to the national day parade! i have performed in the preshow of one ndp with my friend, the tinsel-strung hula hoop, but after we performed for them and ate lousy catered food, they chased us away before we could even smell the real parade. so of course i was very excited to go and i dressed up like a singapore flag for the occasion.

the pre-show was very good! i didn't get to check out my fabulous goodie bag properly because i was busy watching all the acts. we passed by the dim sum dollies prepping backstage on our way to our seats, and ian the chicken refused to profess his love to pam oei even though she was only 10 metres away. later the dollies sang one of my favourite national day songs of all time, Singapore Town!


they rearranged and did awesome new versions of old national day songs, which was a nice surprise. i especially liked the shiekh haikel and friends' versions of chan mali chan and bunga sayang and singapura.

then after that they sent out the red lions and everyone went mad! there is nothing that lifts our patriotic spirits like a man jumping out of a plane. the winds were quite strong, so i am most impressed that they landed gorgeous landings on the platform and not somewhere on the top of the maybank building.


after that we had the 3D demonstration of our defence forces' prowess. the MCs told us to listen to the sound of freedom as the fighter jets flew past, and now i know that freedom has the power to rupture eardrums. one of my favourite bits were the boats doing something called "the donut manoeuvre" to surround sea criminals. i also do something called the donut manoeuvre but it usually involves standing in a line for 2.5 hours and throwing things at all the people who try and cut the queue.


"mummyy! they're after me! i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry i never cross the river kwai and still don't know why!"


the most beautiful terrorist bridge-bombing we will ever see.


awesome jets generating the sound of freedom.

after that the president came in to inspect his troops in his impossibly-shiny troops-inspecting vehicle. i want the name of the company that waxes that car. the parade commander was shouting the usual commands at his men like "walk left! march faster! don't anyhow poke people with your bayonet!" and a kid behind me asked "mommy, is he angry? why is he shouting?"


"eh quick quick president come already, better stand up for singapore now."

after that the mps all put on their blinking animal hats, and the real parade started! rollerblading dragon-seahorse hybrid creatures introduced a swarm of children dressed as starfish, seahorses, jellyfish and other assorted marine life. as cute as they are, i feel really sad for the kids dressed in the starfish costumes. if they ever got an itch inside their costumes, or if they fell on their backs, they'd be really screwed. i like the seahorse kids the best, and i resisted the urge to abduct one of them from the parade grounds, because not only would that be very unpatriotic, but nowadays kids eat a lot and i would have no money to feed him.





all in all, i think this year's parade was very classy. they also succeeded in making ndp cool for everyone again! in primary school it was cool because you got to sing songs in all sorts of languages that you didn't understand and you got a holiday and an excuse to paste singapore temporary tattoos all over your body. then in secondary school it became uncool to be patriotic because we saw green green grass sprouting all over the world except for our little island. and now that we are all grown up and we appreciate how safe and clean and friendly and familiar singapore is, being patriotic sounds good all over again. and it doesn't hurt that this year's ndp features homegrown singaporean acts that we already know and love, like wicked aura batucada, the dim sum dollies, and the zouk djs right at the end. and of course the potong pasir CC bhangra troupe, which is gaining a huge local following as we speak.


being a true singaporean, i also took lots of photos of fireworks, so as not to waste gahmen's money.

me and ian are very happy parade-goers indeed.
i am proud to be a chilli-crab-loving, frequently-holidaying, donut-queueing, mrt-seat-giving, karaoke-singing, hardcore-shopping, feverishly-studying, national day song-singing Singaporean!

i only have one complaint :

BASKET! WHERE IS MY MUNNERU VALIBA? WHY YOU PARADE PEOPLE THINK IT IS NOT IMPORTANT TO SING MUNNERU VALIBA? I WAIT ALL YEAR TO SING MUNNERU VALIBA WITH THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND YOU JUST TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME? WHY? WHY??
since you all don't want to sing it during your atas-atas ndp, i will sing it myself.
Munneru valiba munneri
Endrum thoduvan nok ku vai
Kan the riya they kar irullil
Oli rum vin mee nay
Thanimaiyalay payantha
Nadugal Irullil oli pera
Unnai nadum, mail nok ku valiba
En drum mun ne ri thodu van nok ku vai

i feel satisfied now.



| mando | 5:48 AM

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Monday, August 06, 2007
there are those times that you feel like you have bitten off more than you can chew. when so many people knowingly or unknowingly say things that tear you down, that make you feel like all the time, effort, thought and emotion that you have poured into something is as significant as a soggy piece of chewed gum lying sad and abandoned on the floor of an mrt train. these are the things that slowly lower you into whirlpool of self-doubt. it makes you so sensitive to any kind of criticism that even an "okaaay.." said in a disparaging tone is enough to make you pull out a box of kleenex.

in times like these, i sing this song :

Why should I feel discouraged
and why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
and long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion
a constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches over me

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
and I know He watches me

and i tremble, yet i feel peace like i've never known.



| mando | 8:45 AM

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007
it is the season for birthdays.
today is carol's birthday! happy birthday, awesome birthday girl! i have said what i wanted to say in your card, but anyway, i love you carol! i hope you enjoyed your small surprise - sorry the donuts weren't hot though. (me and wayne attempted to hide in the corners of our dark teaching room at 7.45am this morning and give carol an early morning birthday scare, but we almost wound up scaring our lecturing doctor who has MBBS, FRCS, FRCS(Ed), FRCOpth, and a whole bunch of other scary letters behind his name.)
put it at the top of your to-do list to give carol a birthday hug today.
it was also waynus von yap's and prof chen jiawage's birthdays last week! happy birthday to my wonderful cg mates, you guys making coming to school at 7.30am a happy thing, and you so deserve a great 22nd year. everyone, give them some birthday hugs too!

ben hardworking raptor khoo displayed an impressive ability to lie and operate under the cover of darkness and deceit to plan this huge surprise party for the prof and von yap. i would have never thought this possible of ben, who up til now seems to walk around with a halo hovering above his head. it is a sign of ben's great friendship that he would break his moral code just to give his friends a big birthday bash. many thanks to the lovely caring cooking dota boys like weesoon and vicksliang and daniellim and ben khoo and bentung etc, who were churning out bbq pork and sausages and fishballs and strangely posh bbq canapes faster than see pai por orthopaedic surgeons churn out people with fully functional total knee replacements. and randal the mandal, who flew all over singapore in his randalmobile to get food and stayed up late with a team of hardworking boys to get all the food prepped. we and our stomachs have never felt so loved.



| mando | 7:59 AM

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