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I just woke up, after an afternoon nap. And, like most other people who wake up at night – I feel very icky about myself right now. Even though it was thanks to cough syrup.

Came home from National Service on Saturday, at 11 pm. Immediately went to sleep, thanks to the previous night’s late late late bedtime. And when I woke up, I said hello to a runny nose, a headache, and a cough. I guess I should be thankful it didn’t start while I was still in UMS. I should be even more thankful I didn’t get sick while in physical camp.

I know. I keep mentioning sleep. That’s right, I haven’t gotten enough of it yet. I’m home, but still sleeping only five hours a day! Partly because I got so used to it, sleeping only four or five hours a day during NS …

… and partly because my family had to bring my Americanised uncle around. I privately refer to him as “vegetarian freak of an uncle”, although I myself am semi-vegetarian (which means that I’m vegetarian whenever I want to lose weight, or whenever it’s convenient.) He’s a vegan – no eggs, no fish, he doesn’t eat anything with a shadow. I think I the reason I call him a freak is because I’m jealous that he can live without meat. That’s right – I envy him.

Brought him to Kinabalu Park on Monday, where he started snapping pictures. He hasn’t been back home for 7 years, you see. Also stopped by the roadside stalls so he could buy souvenirs. The souvenirs are, of course, a bit expensive. For example, ordinary sarongs you can buy for RM 10 at the local tamu – you find them selling for RM 20 there.

It’s kind of painful to see a guy wrapping sarongs around him, to try and figure out whether or not his fiancee in the US would like the pattern. The sarongs he were trying on were the really bright and colourful batik type – and he was wrapping them around his chest and tying the ends behind his neck. In the style that only women wear. (Ow, ow, my eyes!)

We also brought my uncle shopping at Karamunsing and Centre Point on Sunday. I took the opportunity to run off and do my own thing, and bumped into five friends from NS! It’s nice to do things by ear, and it’s nice to be spontaneous. Joined them, and went to the ground floor’s food court for drinks, nasi lemak, and roti canai. One of them actually wanted KFC, but the others said they couldn’t live without rice.

At the food court, bumped into another friend from NS! Decided to go to the movies. Then agreed that there weren’t any nice shows. Cancelled, and decided to go bowling.

I lost horribly at bowling. Winner had about 110+ points, while I trailed at 48. I like bowling, but bowling doesn’t like me.

And to the library today! Who cares about having a cold? One must suffer in the name of art. (The Czech art exhibition was, by the way, terrific. Though I wished that there had been more to see.)

Naturally, all this travelling has me sitting in cars for quite a while. And when in cars, just like in buses – you entertain yourself with your thoughts. I “dated” a guy I hardly liked in NS. I never told the guy I really liked, that I liked him. Oh well, too late for that now. Too late for anything now. They’ve both gone home – far, far away.

Ahh. Starting tomorrow, I can finally – finally! – sleep in. No more having to wake up early to bring my uncle around the place – his plane left for Kuala Lumpur this morning.

I can’t believe how much I miss playing the piano. Three months of not even touching a music instrument. I never knew I’d actually miss it. I usually hate practicing. I usually hate the piano in general.

Glad to be home. But after three months of using a squatting toilet – it feels strange using a sitting toilet bowl. And it feels strange not having to sing the national anthem and Khidmat Negara theme song every day. And whenever a patriotic song comes over the radio, my memories of NS don’t just come flooding back – they immediately hit me over the head. I think I’ll remember NS whenever I hear a patriotic song. Over three months, I kind of got overexposed to those songs.

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