The Long Engagement (Meaning Week)

4:15 PM

Let me warn you first before you plan to read this entry. This particular entry is most probably gonna be pretty long 'cos this was the first week of school and I am only allowed to reflect on it on weekends when I can switch on the com. Don't ask me why! These are just the House Rules... As dumb as they seem, I have to obey them. Therefore, I think that it is my duty and courtesy to warn you that I have TONS to write about. tehre's the first day of school and CAMP. Goodness! I have tons to write about THAT. So, I think I should get started. You have been warned...

The first day of school wasn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be but not as eventful as I had hoped. By the way, I was wrong about me not knowing anyone in my new class. I do know afew people. There's Keetha, Diyana, Shamini... Oh, MY GOD!! Dheva is in my class!!! I mean, I thought that he would go for triple science or at least Physics. He looks the physics kind of person. I was so FREAKIN' shocked when I saw him lining up where my class was lining up. I was thinking, "What the HELL is HE doing in my class??" I thought maybe he got mixed up at which class was supposed to line up where... Even if there were signs stating which class goes where. It could be just an honest mistake. Alas! I was wrong again. HE was part of 3/6. My class. So was Hakimah and many more.

But I'm not gonna talk about my class and who's in my class again. The thing that made the first day of school so Bearable and even passably good was none other than... MR ARI!!!! I caught sight of him while lining up for assembly. My spirits were immediately lifted to soaring heights. I have almost forgotten how good Mr Ari looked. He was wearing my fave shirt. The dark Blue one. He looks especially good in that. I thought maybe he was here only to be with us for the first day of school and also to supervise the new Principal. In my heart, though, I was praying hard for him to be able to stay longer. I sort of knew that it was not really possible. But can you imagine how OVERJOYED I was when I found out that Mr Ari's gonna stay longer as our Vice-principal!? I was on top of the world. I looked around, trying to find Dinah MZ 'cos I know she would share my joy and absolute bliss. I couldn't find her, sadly. I really missed her. Still, I knew that I'll see her soon. Let me just announce this: Mr Ari has the Perfect Hair. And I am not joking. It is the best aspect of him. I have always said this and I will say it again. Any guy who has the exact same hairstyle as Mr Ari will definitely look handsome. It's a very classic Armani look. It's gorgeous. It's styled and gel-ed to perfection.

There are actually afew other things that I wanted to talk about. Like the guys being in long pants, our new principal and her scraping all our priveliges. But I guess I have to talk about it later. I have very limited time to type out this entry as fast as I can. So, I'm going to move on to the sec 3 camp.

Our camp was situated at Labrador Adventure Camp. Sounds impressive, right? Don't let it's name fool you. It is in fact an old school (Pasir Ris Secondary). They didn't even renovate it or whatever. They just added some adventure-ish things like a rock wall and stuff like that. I must say though, I was expecting something much worse. I was imagining this deserted campsite, surrounded by the jungle and we have to take our bath water from a cold well. Okay, so I may have let my imagination run abit wild. But it made me relieved when I saw the campsite. Let me start from the first day, all of us assembled at the carpark. Dinah's dad sent me to school. Which was really nice of him since if he didn't, I would have died carrying my 2 heavy bags to school. I tried to bring as little things as possible. But then the school gave us this 'revised' list so I had to pack more stuff and I end up bringing 2 huge bags. You see, my biggest bag isn't very big. And I am not prepared to waste more of my parents money on a proper camping bag. I'm not a camp-y girl anyway. So, I squeezed my camp stuff (like the sleeping bag and shoes) into my big Esprit backpack and my clothes in my Converse bag which I have to carry by hand. When I reached school, i saw so many people with such small bags! I was abit worried that they would think that I don't know how to pack. Which is partially true but that's not the point. I saw Fauzi with this teeny-weeny sling bag and his sleeping bag in his hands. It wasn't even a proper backpack. He can't possibly squeeze in all his clothes, toiletries and camp stuff into that tiny sling bag! Well, maybe he brought only 1 shirt of something and no toiletries. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. He didn't look like the hygenic kind.

And so, we assembled with our bags and waited for the buses to come. And it was a very long wait. I was getting tired just waiting for the bus to come. I can't imagine how tired I would be when I actually reach the camp. Anyway, I caught sight of the trainers. I thought that maybe each class will assigned one. I saw that everyone of them was in track pants except this Malay guy. And then, I saw this guy with a very shapely body and short spiky hair. Then, I realized that the guy was a girl. She looked really the enthusiastic type and the guy looked like the really slack type. So, I was thinking to myself that I would want one of them. One of the two extremes. I wouldn't want this serious looking guy up front(Faizal). Our class got the slack guy and we (Diyana, Shamini and I) cheered accidentally. Wrong move. Embarassing move too. Nevermind that though. Our class was split into two teams by Ashraf (our trainer). Whcih is really illogical, you see. If the camp is supposed to instill class spirit, they really shouldn't split us up like that. It's really good that our trainer was so young. It felt easy speaking my mind to him. I told him that it was really dumb to split up the class like that and he was telling us that he didn't have any say in that. He was simply instructed to do so. I was about to tell him that he should fight for the logical rights but thought against it. And so, we appointed our team captain, Benjamin. After that we were off to the campsite. It was a pretty long ride. I think the driver got lost 'cos he did a number of U-turns. Still, we got to the campsite in time. When I first saw it, I was slightly relieved that it wasn't as rural as I had imagined. But then I saw the gigantic rock wall. My heart began to beat faster. I got quite nervous. I was thinking to myself, "We have to CLIMB that thing?!" I think I have mentioned before that I am terrified of heights. So, you can imagine how freaked out I was. Turns out Shamini was just as terrified of heights as I was. I thought that I was the only one! Thank God I wasn't Alone!! Over there, we got briefed and we were split into our teams. We were given Anderson caps and were told to create a team cheer, flag and name. I loved the cap. I never liked wearing caps outside. Unless I'm doing outdoor-y stuff. So this camp is the perfect time to wear a cap. After God knows how long, we finally named our team Hellsing. I immediately volunteered to do the flag and afew others helped too. While some of us did the flag, the others made up cheers. Which was all fine and dandy for me since I am rubbish at making cheers. We took quite a long time making the flag. But it turned out totally FAB!! Even if I do say so myself. I loved out team flag. It's really pretty. My team mates did an awesome job at painting it with me.

Next, we went to our dorms. It turns out that we have bunks and matresses. I was relieved that we didn't have to sleep in tents. Still, I'm gonna sleep using my sleeping bag. Who knows how many people have slept or wet the bed?! And the amount of bed bugs living in it. Plus, I already brought a sleeping bag so I am gonna use it no matter what. After dumping our bags, we went on to our activities. Our first station was The Trolley. Five of us had to stand on a plank and pick up the balls on the grass. While we're doing this, the others would throw water bombs at us. I got hit right at the head and was pretty drenched. The trainer in change of that station was Farah, She was the enthusiastic looking girl whom I thought was a guy. Of course I didn't tell her that. But I was right about her being enthusiastic. She taught us this really funny cheer. Goes like this:
__(Insert Person's name)__, you sexy! You look like oooh!
__(Insert Person's name)__, you macho! You look like Oooh!
__(Insert Person's name)__, you power! You look like OOOH!
Ugajaga, ugajaga, __(name)__, __(name)__!
Ugajaga, ugajaga, __(name)__, __(name)__!!

Okay, it sounds better than it looks. Just trust me on that. Farah was tons of fun but we had to move on to our next station which turned out to be the Challenge Rope Course. I completely freaked out. The Challenge Rope Course is this set of obstacles that we have to get through. The catch is that the obstacles are hanging 100 metres in mid air, supported only by gigantic poles with staple-like steps on them. I noticed it when I was looking around outside my dorm. I knew at once that I was going to DIE. I made my way there slowly. I began to sweat but I was shivering. When I reached the station, I could see people tackling the course. There was this giant swinging log that we hanve to cross, a broken bridge made of tyres and planks, a wire that we have to cross while hanging on to bouys and three short, thin logs that are hung by two pieces of wires on each end. I could see the people shaking as the wind blew them around, the logs were shaking and the wires were swaying. I could see them hanging on for their dear lives. I almost fainted at the height of those obstacles. I neck ached just looking at them! Seriously speaking, I didn't have to do it. It's all by choice so if I don't want to, I don't ahve to. But then I thought to myself. What was the point of coming to a camp like this if I don't try and conquer my phobias? Sure there's class spirit and all but this is something that I should tackle by myself. to make myself a stronger and braver person. I was sitting on the gravel, encouraging myself. Psyching myself up for one of the most terrifying things that I have to do.

One of the four instructors came to our group and began to brief about how to go about the course. About safety and stuff. I drank in every single word. I mean, if I miss one thing, I could just fall to my death. This is not just some useless briefing on school rules and junk. This is Life and Death!! He told us how to put on our harnasses and helmets. Dheva was our model. I would have seen the humour in that if I weren't so darn terrified. The instrustor was asking Dheva if he drank alot. I managed a smile. It was kindda funny since his stomach was practically spilling out of the harnas (I don't really know how to spell it)! And then, just as he finished his briefing... It began to rain. I was... Actually I don't really know how I felt about it. Part of me was really disappointed since I wanted to try and destroy my fear of heights but another part of me (which happens to be a rather big part of me) was unbelievably relieved. The instructor told us to go into the shelter and get into our harnasses. "Maybe the rain will stop. Just wait awhile," he said. I obediently did so. There were five instructors. I don't really remember all their names. But I immediately began to chat with them while I was putting on my harnas. I didn't want to seem like I was sucking up or whatever but I like talking and I like getting to know new people. There was this really fair chinese guy and this really friendly other tall chinese guy. the really fair chinese guy was wearing this shirt which said, "For my next trick, I would need a condom and a volunteer." I read it out loud. Perhaps I shouldn't have done that but too late to take back my words. And I read pretty loud. He was like covering his chest and saying, "Sorry! I forgot that it was a school camp and wore the wrong type of shirt." I was like DUH!! A condom and volunteer!! Gosh! But he was a really funny guy. And he was asking me if I was a malay or chinese. I'm used to thst. People are always asking me that. At times it gets irritating but after awhile you get sort of used to it. I told him that I was Arab Indonesian and he was like, "Wah! No wonder, lah! So fair!" I guess I should be flattered or something but it seemed sort of wrong coming from that guy. He was tons more fair than me. My friends were saying that he has some sort of skin disease. I wouldn't be surprised, it was kind of like a 'ang-moh' patchy sort of fair. Not the usual chinese sort of fair. Anyway, it began to rain harder and I was thinking to myself, "Maybe God didn't want me to tackle my fear just yet." After all, everything happens for a reason. And so, the instructor (whom I chatted to as well) told us to go inside their cabin. He entertained us with this 'optical illusion game'. Which I found the trick to! Hehe! And then the Condom guy did card tricks for us and told us this really lame but sort of funny story. In the end, we didn't do the Challenge Ropes Course but I made some new friends so alls well ends well.

We washed up and went off for Dinner. This was where Halim really pissed me off. Fauzi was serving the rice while Halim was serving this weird fish thing. I presented Fauzi with my very orange plate and he plopped some rice on it. I told him that I wanted a little more. Instead he plopped an enormous portion of rice onto my plate. Typical Fauzi. I told him it was too much and as he was removing some of the rice, Halim just plopped his weird fish thing smack in the middle of my rice, causing the sauce to dribble all over the rice. So now I can't return the rice on my plate. I just glared at him. I was yelling at him, "Why'd you do that for?!" Then, he gave me that 'Halim smile', you know, the half-smug, half-shrug smile. He said, "Makan banyak kan bagus." Means... Eat alot means good. Rough translation. I was about to poke him with my fork if it weren't for the fact that I was holding up the line. I moved on. Let me tell you why that pissed me off;
a) He practically forced me to eat a large amount of food which I do not like
b) He wasn't sorry about it
c) He called me fat like tons of times and now he was telling me to stuff myself?! Isn't that so Confused?!!

I stormed into the canteen. Ready to complain to whoever sitting next to me. Then, I saw Taufiq and Suffian eating together. I didn't care if I was invited or not. I just slammed my plate full of camp food and sat myself down on the bench. They were slightly startled but before they could say much, I immediately launched into this massive complaint. Dinah Bee joined us. But by then I felt much better. After I complain and get it off my chest I usually feel loads better. Taufiq was describing all the gory details of what he saw in the guys toilet since the guys had to bathe without a door or curtain. It was one of the most disgusting conversations I've had but it was tons of fun. I ended up laughing with them and forgetting about being pissed. Plus, Suffian helped me finish off my fish.

After that was the night walk. It was really nice. The air was cool. And the walk was paced. It gets tougher and tougher until it became almost like a workout. I was infront with Diyana, Shamini and all. Ashraf (our trainer) was infront with us, listening to all our conversations. It really isn't eavesdropping since we talked pretty loud but by the end of the walk, Ashraf was much more warmer and talkative. At first he was all brooding and stuff. Anyway, I was really tired and wiped-out after the walk. I just wanted to hit the sack, in this case, bag. But when we got back, I saw something... or should I say someone that immediately made me forget how tired I was. He was none other than Mr Ari!! I waved at him. Said Hi. Talked and waved to his kids. And said goodnight. I admit, it wasn't much of a conversation but I felt SO much happier. I looked out for Dinah MZ. And when I saw her, we just looked at each other and immediately KNEW what each of us were thinking about. We squelled and began blabbing. GOSH!! I miss her!!

Day two was much more eventful. And I already took alot of time typing about the FIRST DAY. So , I may not be as detailed as before. Breakfast was this tasteless bee hoon thingy. We did lots of things. I don't really remember which went first and which was second and stuff. We did the Commando Crawl. It's two pieces of ropes parallel to each and we have to cross them without touching the floor. I went on it countless times. I desperately wanted to score points for our team. In the end we scored 3400++. Pretty good, huh?! But we paid the price. Our hands were sore with rope marks on them and our track pants were muddy as hell. We went for Abseiling and Zipline. I began to get really nervous again. It's height oriented. I couldn't help it!! The instructor was a different one. He told us what to do while abseiling and the precautions we have to take while doing the zipline. Because we were a small group and we weren't paired with any other teams so it's most likely that we get to do both. I knew that many of them wanted to do Zipline but abseling was quick and we would get to score more points. So against my better judgement, and due to my new logical way of thinking, I went for abseiling first. While I was walking up the steps, my heart began to race. At the top, I was close to collapsing. I looked down and my legs turned to jelly. The instructor at the top was wearing tinted glasses but I think he could clearly see that I was freaking out. He asked me to turn around adn asked me my name. Asked me if it was my first time. I was like DUH!! I told him that I had a Major Fear of Heights. He nodded and guided me through the procedures patiently. I forced my hands to stop trembling and did as I was told. Next, he told me to step on the rocks placed beside the balcony-like thing I was standing on. I looked at him straight in the eye and said, "No, I can't do that." He replied, "Trust me, you can!" He told me what to do. I obediently did as I was told. I was practically to tears while I was stepping on the rocks. Finally, he said, "Okay, now loosen your right hand and go down slowly. But keep your knees locked." I listened to all his instructions. It was a long way down and the journey down was pretty long. But I did it!! I DID IT!!!! I went down really well 'cos I did all that i was told to do. I was glowing with pride. I talked to the other guy. Joked and chatted with him. I looked at the score sheet and decided to go once again to put our team at the top. The guy with tinted specs went like, "I recognise those pants!!" I laughed and went, "I'm back!!" The second time, he made go down using my left hand instead of my right. HE said he wanted to challenge me . He guided me through everything. It was much harder than going down with my right. He met me downstairs and he was rumpling my helmet. Saying next time he would make go with only one hand. He kept rumpling my hair. It was a very brotherly thing to do. He helped me be less afraid of heights. I managed to do Zipline as well. I was TONS OF FUN!! Like I was flying!! But the trip back was horrible. My track pants were caked with mud and my poor Lotto Sport Shoes were turned from Blue to Brown.

Next was The Wall. We had to help our fellow team mates to get over the wall. I tried my best to go up using most of my own strength. It's a Girl Power thing. I can't help it. But I got lots of bruises around my thigh. Good thing I played Tennis and have at least SOME upper body strength. After that was lunch. They served us really disgusting veggies. This is really something coming from a veggie-lover like me. I can only imagine how Dinah MZ may feel. It tasted like rotting plastic. Literally! I am NOT joking. I managed to swallow everything and finish even the plastic veggies. I was chanting to myself, "Chew and swallow! Chew and swallow!" It was like Fear Factor or something. Shamini and Gayathiri were laughing heartily at the faces I made while eating the plastic veggies. Dinah MZ, Shahidah and Raihana joined us. Turns out she didn't even take the veggies. Lucky her. If not she would have definitely puked. I washed my plate while they were all talking. When the rest were washing their plates, Ashraf came and joined us. He was talking about the Campfire nite performance. I was very nervous about that. So I steered to a different subject. As we talked, Farah (the long-haired one, 3/5's trainer) came and joined us. We talked about school. Which JC I planned to go. Turns out Ashraf was from VJC! I was so surprised. Perhaps I haven't mentioned but I am very set on going. I have targetted that place to study the Arts. He was telling me that it was gonna be really hard for me since I stay in Yishun and VJC is all the way in East Coast. We were discussing the other options like ACJC. Then he asked me if I were Malay or chinese. I told him promptly, as if rehersed that I was Arab Indonesian. We talked somemore about other things. Farah was really nice. And funny as well. They got drinks (out of nowhere, I might add. I never mnoticed anyone getting them anything). It looked SO good. I suddenly felt so thirsty. I haven't drank really drinks for AGES!! I was eyeing their drinks with envy. And then Ashraf offered me some Ice Lemon Tea. I was like YAAAY!! I took a grateful sip from the straw and tingles went down my spine as the cool refreshing tea slipped down my throat. I wanted to drink more but I was careful not to drink eevrything up. Still I was so grateful. I realized that this camp had made me appreciate the little things in life. We talked some more till the rain stopped and we had to go to our stations. My next station was *dum-dum-dum-DUM*... Rock Climbing!

It is my second feared activity here. Next to the Challenge Rope Course which looks like Death. We got into our harnas and split into two more groups. One in each rock lane. The Instructor (It's a different one) was really friendly and kind. There were two lady instructors as well. They were asking me why I looked so nervous. Was I really that obvious? Maybe I was. I told them I was scared of heights. They nodded their heads and reassured me. Fiona was before me. I thought that maybe she would take some time so as I supported her, I said, "Go on. Take your time! Relax!" And I looked away for ONE moment and the next thing I knew she was three-qurters through and practically jumping from one rock to another. In a second, she touched the top and was abseiling down. Before I knew it, it was my turn. I asked, "Am I on belay?" My Rope person (one of the lady instructors who has my life in her hands) answered, "Belay on! Squeeze Check!" I'll squeeze the 'caripiner' (I have NO idea how to spell it. It's a metal thingy that svaes me from falling to my death) and when it's fine and sturdy I say, "Check! Climbing!" Finally, the Rope Lady will go, "Climb on!" Just like that I have to go up the rock wall. I tried my best and used more of my legs than my hands. Still, some of the rocks were really high up and I had to use my arm strength to move my legs. The rope lady helped me and told me where I should place my feet. There was one moment when I had to reach up for this high piece of rock and move my lft feet to this tiny piece of rock simultaneously. I yelled, "I CAN'T!! CANNOT!!" The Rope Lady was screaming back, "YES, YOU CAN!! I GOT YOU!! GO DO IT NOW!!" I jumped for the piece using my left hand and lifted my body while I adjusted my feet to the tiny piece of rock. The Rope Lady was yelling below, "Well Done!! Now, go on to the top!" At the three-quarter mark, my arms were trembling, not of fatigue, but of fear. I was SO HIGH UP! My palms began to sweat but I held on tight. I closed my eyes for a while and told myself that I came this far and if I don't complete this activity and go to the top, I will regret it. I drove myself forward. Below, my fellow team mates were cheering me on. I kept going until finally, I reached the top and touched the plank. As I did that I shrieked, "YES!!!" and they applauded below. I felt amazing! I had conquered my fears and managed to reach the top. When I reached the bottom, the Rope Lady gave me a high-five. My team mates patted me on the back. I was so proud of myself. This was really an important event in my life. I know that many would just dismiss it. But not me.

Campfire night was fun. I guess. I'm not too sure. My play didn't go so well. There were'nt enough mikes to go around and so most of them didn't get what it was about. It's really a funny play. If executed properly, it would've been really funny. But lots of things went wrong and after our performance, I felt like crap. I hid behind my cap through the rest of the performances. I couldn't bear to look at Ashraf. I felt as though I've let him and the class down. Then, Farah (the short-haired, enthusiastic one) asked for each class to send a representative. Hakimah was all ready to go. But Diyana and someothers were screaming my name. I didn't want to make anymore of a fool of myself. But then I saw Dinah Bee go up and I felt better. I stood up and stepped forward. My class cheered. I felt better again. It's been a long time since I did something crazy with Dinah. I missed it. We were blindfolded and told to dance. I was like OH MY GOD!!! I couldn't see a thing 'cos the other Farah tied my blindfold for me and it was a tight double-knot. The music began to play, although it was abit muffled 'cos the blindfold was covering my ears. The crowd started to cheer and I go, "What the heck!" and began dancing. I began to move to the music. Like I always do when I go dancing. The crowd began to cheer louder. I think it's probably because someone was doing something outrageous. So I wanted to top them and began to move even more. I bumped into Dinah and she told me to shimi and shake. I did as I was told. We did the bhangra. And moved around as if we rehersed it. It was easy with Dinah since I know her so well. It was so natural for me. By then I felt more relaxed and I began to dance more. I shook my ass with Dinah. Then we seperated. All the while I could hear 3/6 cheering after me. And Dinah as well. What I never knew was that one by one we were taken off the stage. Until apparently only Dinah, Louis and me were left. I never knew that. I couldn't see a thing. I was left with Louis and Louis won. He was doing the weirdest things. I laughed and cheered with the crowd.

It was probably one of the most embarassing things I had done EVER. I neevr imagined that I would be dancing all by myself like a retard. What was worse was that my friends told me that I went right infront of the new principal and shook my butt right infront of her!! I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THAT!!

**Ok, ok! My mom and dad are screaming at me to swtich of the com. I have to continue next time!!!

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