Saturday, June 25, 2005

Adventures of Private Khor

I never expected my maiden entry to the soon-to-be-completely-abandoned-but-not-sure-what-they-will-do-with-it City Hall to be donned in a green smart 4 uniform instead of a suit. (They officially moved to the brand new S$208 million Supreme Court on monday, but not everything and everyone moved as it seems). I was on 24 hour guard duty at the Padang premises, ensuring no one tried to sabotage the National Day Parade.

Yes, let it be known that the site is protected 24 hours, so don't try anything funny, but its being served by national servicemen earning a paltry "allowance".

I have little to complain about the nice fact that our meals are sponsored by Tricon (which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell), except that wouldn't it make more sense that we could collect our rations from Funan, instead of making us spend nearly an hour walking all the way to Suntec to get our rations?

It was this trip to Suntec where I first got to meet the partner I would be doing my prowling duties with. As it happened, I was a reserve guard, only needed when someone couldn't make it, so it happened one guy from another company couldn't make it, so I was called into action. My 4 friends were one detail since they would be there permanently, so I joined the other detail, not knowing what lied in store for the 8 hours of duty with private Khor.

Yes, so for starters private Khor is a hokkien peng, completely versed in Hokkien of course and seemingly mandarin would be my way of conversation with him since I would probably be Potato (no, not my dog) if I spoke english to him all the time. Not much of a problem, 95% of people in the army (or maybe its Singaporeans) are like mandarin speaking. I never expected to find someone who could actually be worst off than my platoon-mate (who inadvertently volunteered for a strip search last time around), but he found me. Seriously, Pte Khor just left me flabbergasted most of the time, and I'm glad to have came out of it with my sanity intact and not having committed a heinous crime of whacking him with our truncheons or dumping him into the Singapore River.

For starters, he might just have been hibernating in a cave in Bukit Merah (no offence to people living there) most of his life. Enroute to Suntec to collect our rations, he finally finds out where is Marina Square and reveals he never knew where Padang was till that faithful day. Alright, maybe I'm being mean since its not a sin not to know? As we needed to get back to City Hall, we were walking along St. Andrew's Road since the pavement itself was full of seats. Suddenly, Pte Khor decided the phlegm in his body was liberating, and he spat on the road, in full view of all the buses and cars carrying the working crowd finishing work. I had never been more embarassed to be dressed in green, and really it was really my first time walking anywhere in public in uniform.

Duty starts and he is actually blur enough to want to follow the other detail down their route, seriously I don't know if he is perhaps just slow, or maybe just an alien from Mars, but sometimes I really wished I was doing the prowling alone. Somehow or rather, he kept bumping into me, yes I know you are hot and sticky, but I'm not interested in getting sticky with anyone other than my girlfriend. He would proceed to follow me exactly whichever step I took, I mean we are prowling the area you don't have to walk exactly where I prod right?

I thought I've heard some of the dumbest questions you can ask, but he gave a whole new meaning to a quote my mum likes to use, you ask stupid questions, you get stupid answers.

(Most of the convos. are in mandarin, translated)

"Is that the Singapore River?"


"So how deep is the river?"

(Like hell I would know!?)

"Why don't I throw you in and then you can let me know thereafter?"

(Taking off his beret and looking at the size)

"Hmm, is 7½ bigger than 7¼?"

(Myself, agape, DUH!!! After thinking for a while)

"Hmm yah its bigger hor."

(Looking at men from our battallion constructing seats on the stands, after like couple of rounds of duty)

"Hey, what they doing on the stands ah?"

(Subsequently answering his own question since my wide-eye stares wasn't gona answer his DUH questions)

"Oh, they building seats for people to sit ah?"


Since we need to cross Connaught Drive to get to Esplanade Park (which is part of our prowling route due to props being placed there), we happen to be crossing when he looked left for traffic, not knowing that a car to his right was about to move out and I had to pull him away. Nothing wrong with that actually, except for the fact that Connaught Drive was a one way street! Yeah, and there was no traffic coming from the left! I do apologize to all tourists and people that he had barged into, and bless those whom I saved by dragging him away at times. Perhaps, he justs needs to get a new pair of specs.

6pm Thursday, and I was happy my duty was finally over, that I didn't have a recruit hairstyle (sometimes I really felt like pulling my hair), that I had doused myself with perfume beforehand, and only one more day of duty before I hope, I had never ever have to do duty with Pte Khor, EVER again.

BTW, for the VIPs or whoever gets a seat in the red grandstands (at City Hall), do note that strangely there are palm trees in between the seats, so viewing would be oddly obstructed, especially so if you sit in the seat right behind a palm tree.

Stay tuned for more adventures as I resume my last and final rites of duty with private Khor on Saturday evening. .

PS. If you would like to catch the adventures of private Khor live in action, feel free to drop by at the Padang at 8pm Saturday, and look out for a sane looking person (that's me) prowling with a guy that erm, hmm just imagine how he would like (donning spectacles)

Published @ Linus' Daily Antics


syamil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
syamil said...

hello..i'm just a student and i would like to know what is prowling..perhaps what they mean by tt in the army? what do you actually do during prowling?

daniellekris said...

this post is really funny.. got me laughing =)

Hai~Ren said...

Syamil: Prowling is patrolling, i.e. you have a fixed route to walk around and around for the length of your shift to ensure that no one is up to mischief.

syamil said...

hai-ren: gee..thx..patrolling the streets? tt kinda cool..

crackhead said...

i never liked doing prowling when i was on guard duty in my camp. 2 separate shifts of 2 hrs each standing in the hot sun and still want us to prowl at night. i rather twang somewhere.

lun said...

i pray for CAT 1 all the time.

jk said...

i rather prowl than sentry...esp @ nite....

anyway the post abit evil army u realise that the world is bigger than u think... got ppl who actually drop out from primary 2...then cannot fold smart 4 properly..cannot do anything properly..blur like sotong..n they post him to wear...armament tech trainee...good luck

Little Superhero Girl said...

It could be the only funniest post I ever read of the week!

Linus said...

Yeah I acknowledged in my post I might be a little mean, but sometimes they were to a point of irritation more than anything

Anonymous said...

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