Wednesday, June 08, 2011

About the Terrible Food, and the Spoilt Handphone (ICT FOC Day 1; Part 1)

I began writing this in a book during the second day of the camp, the 17th of May 2005.

MAY 17, 2005 AROUND 11AM

There shall be a little section in this Book written about Malaysian civil engineering. Quite atrocious stuff. Unfortunately, now it is time for brunch and I'm not in Malaysia. The section devoted to this subject will be kept for later. But it deserves an honourable mention. Now, I shall elaborate on the aforesaid brunch.

This brunch is just one of many meals served during the Freshman Orientation Camp of the Singapore Polytechnic Info-Communications and Technology Club I am currently attending. The absence of a proper breakfast was due to our unearthly sleeping hours the night before (which was due to the compound activities of a NightWalk (sort of) and a certain battle game.) Therefore, brunch.

As usual it is not good.

The food (if you could call it that) tastes like metal, plastic, and wood respectively. There are also strange shades of green in the vegetables. It is generally agreed that the food is tasteless. At least the breakfast is more decent, consisting of bread, jam and nyonya kaya.

However, the opposite could be said for drinks. The drink for breakfast is terrible, whilst the ones for lunch and dinner are good, though a bit bland (what do you expect? They made it themselves), and consisted of grape cordial or lime cordial.

The drink for breakfast was some substance made of Ovaltine, sugar, and warm water. It is an experiment not to be repeated.

Grape cordial wasn't so concentrated. It would take more than 1 bottle (which was what they used) to sweeten the amount of water in the drink canteen. Quite bland.

The lime cordial was much better. It was more concentrated than I expected for cordials sold in that kind of bottle.

On the first day of the camp we were told to create a name for our group. There were lots of proposals, but none sounded convincing. Our group was singularly silent, and names like Crystal Ballz and Bratz and 4u2c did not sound right. The other teams were buzzing with excitement, but ours followed the maxim of "I see you, you see me", to the extent that our Group Leaders pleaded us to speak.

Only a few of our members put forward names for consideration. We were reminded that the name chosen would be the one we were to use for the duration of the camp, and therefore must be concise and memorable. The other (newly-formed) teams had finished and were permitted to enter their bunks.

Finally it was just us.

*Other* Group Leaders (or GLs) noticed our plight and stationed themselves around us, giving encouragement.

Our GL, peculiarly nicknamed Bash, suggested Blazerz.

Blazerz it was.

Then came the part about the cheer. Our minds were completely drained. For lack of ideas, our *other* GL, Sonia, gave us a cheer, which we promptly accepted.

After clearing our bunks of the tables and chairs (it's actually a classroom), we went for lunch. Vegetarian. Out of the 50 sets, 40 were vegetarian! There was some error, so we ended up eating rice with vegetables.

There is a running joke amongst us, which began when one of our eight camping groups decided to call themselves Bull Shit. It was received with great amusement, and started off a great series of jokes. It is now presumably still in circulation. Even the seemingly serious Organizing Committee (OC) members could not stifle their laughter. Bull Shit also created an equally Bull-Shitting cheer (one of those jokes.)

Oh yes, during the aforesaid brunch, there was a Highly Singular Occurrence! It involved a spoilt handphone speaker. The phone was owned by Jia Xian, a member of our group. The problem was noticed in the morning, during which only the vibration alert was working but the ringtone was absent. Later on during brunch, someone suggested that he blow into the handphone, as if playing an instrument. Miraculously, it worked! He blew into the speaker itself, and the music started only when that happened. When he did not blow, it stopped. He proceeded to demonstrate the anomaly to the rest of the group.

Suggestions were then propounded. Some thought it was a neat trick; some thought he was operating the Pause button; but no, he was not. We were in amazement.

It may be that the speaker was compressed (in some way) and could not vibrate and produce sounds. Therefore, when air pressure was applied through blowing, the speaker was free to vibrate. It would not work if you press it with your fingers; then, the speaker would not vibrate.

He has yet to switch to another phone.

View more images from ICT FOC 05/06 here:

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