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Discover that they’ll be screening movies at the camps, too. Maybe not all the camps, but they will. Some camps are camping-style, some are dormitory-style. Those at Shansui Resort in Tawau, emphasis on the word Resort, will be having dormitory luxury. While I’ll be melting underneath the hot dry midday sun in a humid olive green canvas tent, ground cracking with the heat, lips parched and bleeding with the dryness, skin turning into scales, dry dust everywhere, in my mouth, in the air, more dry dust than oxygen.

But hey! This has got to be an experience of a lifetime. I will enjoy myself. And I am overreacting – surely they won’t plonk us in a desert, because Malaysia doesn’t have any deserts. Just tropical jungles….which I adore.

* * *

Leftenan Adnan, meaningful movies! They’re going to screen meaningful movies at National Service! scrolls across an Internet chat room.

You know what, you should boo when Adnan gets heroic, and cheer when they corner him and start killing, ha ha, types someone.

Types another chatter, Everyone knows that Malay movies are utter crap, especially the latest spate of telemovies. Look at Cinta 200 Ela, or whatever the title was, 201? 101? 102 Dalmatians? A coupla months after the cinema release, and it’s already in Speedy Video’s discount bin.

Really? I type.

Go and check if you don’t believe me. Only decent Malaysian show was a couple of those Odisi shows, the one with the guy selling rambutans, and maybe even the one where the guy gets stuck in some crazy old couple’s house.

Another interjects, The one about the perfect girl, Piala Untuk Mama, Trophy for Mama, first episode, macam tahi, like shit. Dayem. Damn.

Oh, and yeah, maybe the first season of Kopitiam was okay, but they should really stop, crap and bullshit they’re producing with that Jojo Struys and her wooden acting. Pretty, but wooden. Hey, you, whaddaya think?

More chatter goes on. I don’t understand, because I can’t watch TV. I have only half a channel, a snowy TV2, the picture’s barely there, what’s the point?

Wah, teruknya, that’s awful shit. Hey, get Astro, getting cheaper now. Three mini packages for less than fifty bucks, bargain.

I wonder why there’s not a single day that passes by, that I don’t see or hear the word crap or bullshit or bloody or hell or shit, and maybe even fuck.

* * *

Maybe after the first batch goes in, there won’t be anymore news about National Service, I say to my mother.

My mother says, No, there’ll be plenty. Pictures of kids in places like Selangor and Pahang. And of course, none from Sabah or Sarawak. And surely interviews of how much they enjoy it, you know how biased the media is here.

They are?

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