Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cerita Pasal 'National Service'

Over 2 months plus of disappearance from the 'open world', I can say now that I'm finally free and definitely back. National service was over on March 11 and since then I've been tv-ing but dvd-ing but mostly resting, sleeping, and recuperating. Why recuperating? Something happened to me 3 weeks before NS ended. And in that case, my national service experience was totally different to most people. Well, I'll leave that for the next post.

My NS camp is Kem Terkok, Sungai Siput (U), Perak. My friend, Su Ling, gave me a comment on my last post warning me that my camp is actually quite 'ulu'. And u bet.. she wasn't wrong. Haha! On the journey to the camp, we went deep into the outskirt of Sungai Siput; moving on empty roads; moving through oil palm and rubber plantations and hardly seen any civilisation around. In a glimpse of mind, I thought we were about to be 'abducted'. On second thoughts, I'd tried to change my thinking to the brighter side since the government had granted me a two months plus 'vacation' in such a secluded location. I can't.

National service wasn't really a life-changing experience but it was an interesting one. It did helped me to realise how comfortable my home is. My comfy bed, the air-cond, my comp, family, my mum's cooking, clean bathroom, ah yes... the washing machine and EVERYTHING ELSE. I realise how different life can be away from home. This is the situation there. The guys are refered as 'wira' and girls as 'wirawati'. There were 4 companies which we were divided into - Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta. I'm in Delta, the craziest and uncontrollable company around.

~Dorm 8 (Villa Meranti) - my dormitory~

~Padang Kawat~

Morning Exercise
On weekdays, we usually woke up around 5.45-6am because we were suppose to gather in padang kawat before 6.30am. Better not be late if u don't want to get in trouble. There was once when the night duty fellows played a prank on my dorm. They came in and changed the time on the clocks in my dorm. Nicely done. We didn't know the exact time and we ended up being almost late. Anyway, about morning exercise, I believe my experience in scout did help me a lot to adapt to the training. Exhausting exercises at times but instead of fussing, I got though it.

CB/Integration/'Kenegaraan' class
At 8.30am, we had to attend Character Building/Integration/Kenegaraan class. I never clicked with all these classes. Sorry to say, CB class is bit like kindergarten. At least i improved a little in my juggling skills.

~Alpha Phoenix Company~

~Bravo Scorpian Company~

~Charlie Chameleon Company~

~Delta Dragon Company - my company, the craziest, wildest and uncontrollable company~

On Sundays, Christians are allowed to leave the campsite and go to church. We were divided into our divisions - Catholic, Chinese Methodist or Indian Methodist. I was a bit puzzled at why they split the Chinese and Indians who will go to Methodist church. Besides that, the number of Christians in my camp were incredibly low. I can even count the number of those going to Methodist church with my ten fingers. Anyway, I found out later that the Chinese will be sent to Chinese-service (Mandarin and Cantonese) church while Indians go to Tamil-service church. Apparently, there were only 5 Chinese and an Indian going to Methodist church. But we did get more friends to join us to church somehow later. A few of us did appeal to go to English-service church because there's a few 'bananas' among us. Wasted effort. Nothing was done. Anyway, we settled in with what we got.

At 2pm, we were sent to Sg. Siput Chinese Methodist Church. Yea, it's evening service. The church is relatively small with mostly middle-aged and elderly people. Got to say that they were quite glad to see a bunch of teenagers joining them. Well, we did stared at each other blankly during worship and service because it was just 360
° different. It was quite an fruitful experience. After church, we kind of hanged out; delaying time; before returning to skip riadah. We did went to KFC once just to buy dinner.

The best part of NS was, of course, meeting new friends. My camp consists of people coming from Selangor (mostly peejays), Kelantan and Perak. I came to this camp initially without knowing anyone. Everyone around was new. Now, the one thing I really miss from NS was the times with my NS friends. How weird?.. Haha.. On the last day of camp, everyone became emo and even the biggest guy cried.

I wouldn't say I fully enjoyed everything from my national service experience. To be frank, I can say that some guys ( so-called wira) in my camp were quite troublesome. Apparently, there were some issues in my camp. Some guys just like to fight and quarrel even for the smallest and tiniest reasons. Shameful. We, humans, are a whole bunch of sensitive and yet iron-headed people. That's why we had to keep on reminding each other to be patient. Ah! Patience, Patience, Patience.... It is part of the programme, isn't it? Meeting new people with different background and mentality. That's the tiny part that disrupted the whole interesting experience.