While signing in at the cybercafe, signed in as Grace Kelly – yes, really! – and made up a random IC number, on the spot. The person behind the counter didn’t so much as bat an eyelash at this. However, I got placed at a computer terminal right next to three loudspeakers blasting a CD (pirated, of course) by Megadeth.
My entire block was held back again last night, but for only 10 minutes. The soldiers shouted, OK, thief, give it up by 1.00 am tonight, or the entire block lines up again at 1 am.
We didn’t have to line up at 1 am. Either the thief did give it up, or the soldiers didn’t wake up.
Found out that on Monday night, a block in Kolej A was woken up at 2 am, and had to line up until 4 am. Right after our session in Kolej D ended.
And last night, a boys’ block in Kolej A had to do push-ups at 3 am. Some boy’s sijil premium (we get our RM 300 allowance in the form of Sijil Premium BSN) got stolen. That’s just silly. You can’t claim the money unless you have the owner’s identity card. Stealing a sijil premium is pretty useless, except for revenge purposes.
On Monday night, by the way, one of the things the soldiers yelled at us was the fact that 12 girls in Kolej D are pregnant, di manakah kehormatan kamu semua?! Hah? Kamu tak malu ke?
I was shocked to hear this, but Vera next to me simply raised her eyebrows and remarked, “You mean you don’t know?”
I knew one girl was pregnant, but I didn’t know about the other 11.
Vera tells me, back in physical camp, some of these girls would go into the boys toilets. And then – well. The boy boasted to his friend, and his friend told Vera. And Vera told me. Apparently some boys also managed to enter the girls’ camp area at night for some action. (There are a few empty camps, by the way.)
“So some people here are parents – together?” I spluttered. Vera confirmed this with a nod of her head. I felt like someone had just hit me on the head with a volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Other stories from Vera – some girls were caught fighting the other day. It started with just two people, who both happened to be, respectively, a karate black belt and a taekwondo black belt. “The sparring was very cantik one,” said Vera. The room was turned upside down, water sprayed all over (from water bottles), chairs upturned, clothes thrown all over.
The fight soon expanded to seven against one, and the one girl somehow hid in the ceiling rafters above her room. The seven searched for her, and when they left, she quickly scurried down, ran down two flights of stairs, got spotted by the seven, and jumped from the first floor to the ground. Ran to the faci’s room, tailed by the seven. And all eight got caught.
Vera also explains the concept of “cinta kontrak”, a phenomenon unique to NS. A boy and a girl get together, both knowing that each already has a boyfriend/girlfriend. And they agree to be an ‘item’ throughout NS, and after NS … habis kontrak.
Today’s bun on the way to Community Service at the UMS Library was pretty good. Yesterday’s wasn’t. I don’t bite into my bun, I tear off pieces and stuff them into my mouth. So, by doing this, I spotted black fuzzy stuff on top of what little filling there was. Mould. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have eaten the bun … but I hadn’t had any breakfast. Hungry people can’t afford to be picky. I scraped off the mould with my nail, and ate the bun. Tasted funny, but didn’t get stomachache.
Was knocked speechless by the UMS Library. Best library I’ve seen yet.
We were led to a mini-theatre room and a librarian explained the library to us. The rules, the fees, the number of days a member can borrow books, that sort of stuff. I caught myself nodding off a few too many times. Finally, they showed a video about UMS – how it began, Mahathir doing the groundbreaking ceremony, the convocations, the rising number of graduates, telling us that UMS is the prettiest university campus in Asia, the programs available at UMS, that sort of thing.
And then, given the grand tour of the building. Very nice. And very cold air conditioning. Also a really beautiful part of the building, “Nobel Laureates” – dedicated to Nobel laureates, of course.
For community service, we formed a human chain, passing up student theses from the ground floor to the first floor. I don’t know how many books I passed, but my arms hurt slightly by the time I was done. Felt good, though. Felt like I had actually achieved something. This is the nice thing about throwing yourself into Community Service – you feel like you’ve actually done something, though it isn’t much. When you don’t cooperate and just stand back, you tend to ask yourself, What was that for anyway? Why am I here?
Some friends went to the Botanical and Zoological Park today. “Lagi teruk dari kem oh,” she told me. “Tanam anak pokok balak! Naik bukit curam lagi bah tu, punya gila. Mau terjatuh-jatuh kami naik bukit, sampai terpeluk dengan orang lain. Punya panas sana. Tambah hitam lah saya ni! Apalah diorang tu, mengambil kesempatan dalam kesempitan kami.”
On to the Sabah State Library in the evening. Didn’t do any community service, but got a tour of the place. Very nice. And a very nice exhibition on Czech children’s books illustrations. Too nice. I promised myself that I’d go back to visit before the exhibit ends on the 5th of May.
We were supposed to have rehearsal for our closing ceremony today, at 5:00 pm. We were all ready, then suddenly someone announced over the PA system: ditangguhkan to 7:30 pm. Gah! Oh, well. Look on the bright side: More free time.
Kolej A received their YES2NS cards last night, and some trainees wore them around their necks today during Community Service. (The cards can be slotted into blue cardholders, and attached to lanyards.) Kolej D is, naturally, very envious. Wonder when we’ll get ours. Only four trainees out of the 600+ Kolej A trainees have their pictures on their cards. The rest just have their names.
We’re not allowed to wear our celoreng pants around anymore. Sarjan Misai yelled, I don’t want to see anyone from Kolej D wearing celoreng pants until majlis terima sijil on Friday!
What about the celoreng top? asked someone.
Pakai baju celoreng dengan seluar kelas? Gila kah? said the soldier, and we all laughed.
We have to return the baju celoreng before leaving for home. We all wanted the pants, but oh well, looks like it’s not going to happen.
We may get our baju kelas and seluar kelas, but nobody’s keen on them. The pants are awful – “carrot cut”. Huge at the top, and taper at the end. But the belt is nice. Don’t care about the shirt or pants. Would like to keep the belt.
Five more minutes left in the cybercafe. Got to run now.