Sunday, 16 November 2014

18 years old once again...

I went to an army mate's wedding last night. Being the only guy from my anti tank platoon in what is essentially a scout platoon wedding, I didn't expect myself to fit in their conversation. However, it turn out to be quite an experience.

It has been a long while since I last saw this guys. Though we were from from different platoons, we have lived together for 2.5 years during NSF and served 10 years NS together. There were a boisterous and fun lot and now even at almost middle age, they still are.

The dinner began as other wedding dinner goes. Trading of talks about work and marital status. Not to mention the flashing of children's photos on our smart phones. Guys in shirts, long pants and dinner jackets. Stuffy things.

Then the talk on old missions and overseas exercises started. The shared experiences starting flowing. From the sands of Thailand, the rolling hills of Taiwan, the brutal jungles of Brunei to the wastelands of Lim Chu Kang. The stories kept going... Stories of incredible long walks, great escapes, amazing navigational skills and near misses kept coming. The horror of the Silkair MI185 disaster was also relived. Suddenly, I don't see the guys in their stuffy clothes. I see them in their camouflaged and fatigued faces, their jungle hats and their sweat soaked uniforms.

The wedding dinner went on and concluded but we remained seated and more stories flow on. When the last guest have left, one of the guys let lose a tirade of full military spec expletives. We laughed out loud. We were really back to those days.

Finally it was time to go. The whole lot of us went to the toilet and suddenly childish pranks broke out with water and wet palm prints on each others shirts. This culminated with a game of "catching" as guys began chasing each other around the ballrooms. This guys are middle-aged men and some of which are fathers of  children, mind you.

Someone muttered, we are 18 again. We laughed.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Monday, 7 April 2014

Saying Goodbye

Call me a sentimental man.

Goodbyes are never easy for me. One of the hardest goodbye  I had to gone through was saying goodbye to my first car of 8 years. Marchie.

Lots of memories in this car. I may have shift houses 3 times in the past 8 years but Marchie remained constant. He was the car which picked up my wife the first time we went out. He was the car that did the shuttle between her home as mine as we dated. He was our wedding car. Etc...etc...

It was September 2013, Marchie was getting sick that year. Visits to the mechanic was getting more frequent and the repair fees were getting higher. The high mileage from my teaching job did not help the situation.

I contemplated my options. Given the crazy prices of new cars in Singapore, it was not logical to get a new car. Carrying on with Marchie was going to make costs very high in the long run, not discounting the fact that I may not be even be able to arrive on location to teach.

I looked at the used car ads on the internet and decided to go to the 2nd hand dealers for a look.

The Whisperer wasn't exactly love at first sight as Marchie had been. Yes, it was slick looking and fairly luxurious. But it was a common Honda Civic shape. Black. Not exactly my favorite colour for a car. I love the technology behind it and the fact that it drives like a space ship. But looking at it externally, it looks normal, very normal.

The down payment was ludicrous. It took me a long while to decide on taking the Whisperer. Luckily with the help of wifey, we managed to pay it and am now driving it with only a little loan to service. Put it simply, it cost 1/3 of what a new Honda Civic Hybrid would cost us.

The excitement of driving a hybrid got to me before we took delivery of the Whisperer. I devour all technical literature available on Honda Hybrids and other hybrid techs.

But as the day towards handing Marchie over to the dealer gets nearer, I began to be more and more uncomfortable. Thoughts such as I will never see its cute shape waiting on the car park for me. I will never get to sit in its cockpit ever again. What will be its life after this?

I began to get insomnia as my mind constantly thought about the times I had with it. From the first day I pick up Marchie from the dealer, to my wedding, to the numerous trips to Malaysia in it.

It was nerve wrecking and wifey knew about it. I was tossing and turning in bed.

The day finally came and I ask my buddy YL to come along for the hand over. He was a Honda Civic driver and could guide me along as I took delivery of the Whisperer. Marchie wasn't packed yet when I drove to the dealer car park. I stopped the car and turn to YL, "Bro, can you help me pack Marchie. I can't bring myself to do it."

He nodded and went about helping me to do what I couldn't.

Thursday, 3 April 2014



It has been an amazingly long time since I last wrote for this blog. Life has its queer way of making one so busy that he loses time for himself. The constant working and teaching has taken its toll and I was only half as fit as I was when I was constantly writing on this blog. Remarkably in extraordinary circumstances, fate dealt me a holiday and I am suddenly given ample time to run and rest.


“Why don’t you start writing again?”


My wifey asked me out of the blue the other day. I was surprised. I never thought she really bothered about my ramblings since it was mostly on cars and other mechanical stuff which I like.


“Perhaps I can try”


I answered and my mind began making plans on what to write and when are the pockets of time I could sit down and write.


There has been plenty of changes in the running robot’s life. Life has gone from a struggle to stay afloat financially to a more relaxed outlook. There is now time to contemplate and to plan.


As for my dear ride, my trusty and cute Nissan March “Marchie” was gone and replaced by a Honda Civic Hybrid “The Whisperer”. Both of which are miles different in character.


Saying goodbye to Marchie was one of the hardest things I have done.


More about them in subsequent posts anyway. I don’t know how long this holiday will last, but I will try writing again.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Taking Stock

While dabbling under the hood of my engine bay, I came to the realisation that if my little Nissan March/Micra K12 is a race car and need to paste sponsor stickers all over. It will include the following:

Nissan: Chassis
AichiKikai: CR14DE engine
Jatco: Transmission
Bosch: ABS, EBD, BA, Braking System, Wipers
Kansei Calsonic: Electrical System
Michelin: Tyres, backup navigation system
Renault: Wiper system
Sharp Plasma Cluster: Air-Conditioning System
Varta: Battery
NGK: Spark plugs
Mobile1: Engine oil
Caltex: Coolant, Fuel
Tokico: Shock Absorbers
Kenwood: Sound System
Nokia: Main GPS and mobile phone
Jabra: Bluetooth
Vosonic: Onboard Video Camera
Meguiars: Wax
Fairprice: Eh... tissue box
Mercedes Benz: Multi Tool
D&G SAF: Maglite

That's quite a lot of stickers ain't it...