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/u:bæ∫Ik/[n] The greatest, most superlative of its kind;[n] Elegant and stylist;[n] amalgation of German-Franco lexicon, describing hypercool translinguistic supracultural phenomenon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Andrews Hall. My room isn't in the picture, it's further to the right, beyong the perpendicular wing.

Two Views of my room.

My walk-in closet!

Me having salad for lunch.

More photos from Providence. Soon.

I'm finally in the USA!

It's 2 a.m. here, but thanks to jet lag and a grand total of 19 hours in the air, I think I'll pass on some sleep now.

I just got my internet connection up in my dorm. Man, my roomie and I could probably rear a few elephants inside here. I'm 90% unpacked, and I still can't fill out all the space. I've got a clothes drawer, a desk with drawers, a bedside rack of shelves and a WALK-IN CLOSET. It can't get any better.

Thank God He's brought me this far safely and soundly. Thanks to Louis and shireen and the others for fetching us from the airport.

I think I'm gonna sleep. Need the energy to remember new faces and pronounce new names tomorrow.

Sunday, August 28, 2005
Yeah. I'm feeling it now. Had it in my chest for the past few days actually.

They haven't quite coined a word for it yet. It's "the-weird -mixture-of-sadness-and-euphoria-when-you're-leaving-home-for-a-loooong-time".

COUNTDOWN TO DEPARTURE - 25 hours 7 minutes.

Monday, August 22, 2005
I thought we're living in the civilised 21st century. Apparently not quite yet.

Sunday, August 21, 2005
I took an MRT train to the airport yesterday to send Sarah, Lihao and Yuyun off. I stood up to give up my seat to the older folk streaming into the train at City Hall. So did another senior Malay man for a young mother and her kid.

As the train emptied itself of its human baggage futher down the line, he took a seat and invited me to do the same.

So I found myself at the end of a monologue about the government's failure to prevent price hikes and to protect the man-in-the-street, all the way to Tanah Merah.

It seems he was an ex-PAP member and once a loyal public servant too.

"I tell you, not everyone likes our PM! I tell you!" Hearty but almost-contrived laughter.

"Well, then what should we do?" I reply knowingly.

"Pray to God!" More characteristic laughter.

"Yes of course. We'll see the rally tonight then," I remarked.

So I found myself scribbling Sarah's farewell note on the long tunneled ride to Changi. And boy, was it an tear-soaked emo goodbye.

Part of me rationalised it away. You got 4 girls flying together to America, and each of them has a sizeable band of good friends bidding goodbye. All it takes is one teardrop to taste the cold airport air around aching eyes, and the avalanche of lacrymosity descends.

It did hit me last Saturday night, and again in church on sunday. I'm going to leave all this for quite a while.

And it hit me again last night as our PM Lee unveiled plans for the rejuvenation of downtown Singapore. When politicians talk about their plans for the future, I always feel left behind; nostalgia pulls me back to simpler, familiar days, but wanderlust and whimsy turn my gaze towards an uncertain future, full of possiblity.

Eight more days. I really have to start writing more farewells.

Friday, August 19, 2005
Had a longdrawn conversation about today's youth, today's schools, today's church and today's popular music over a couple of teas and baby potatoes at Essential Brew.

It's something I haven't had in quite some time, and something I've (of late) come to find only in Lucas and myself: the honest musing of Christians about how this faith of ours must be authentic and engaging, yet remain pure and holy.

I am truly humbled by the steady numbers that peruse this plain 'ole blog. Please do read through what I call The Gospel according to U2's Bono.

I'd like all of your honest comments about it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005
Just back from a 01s70 reunion. There was a good turnout; I believe 20 of us showed up, including our dear Miss Wong and those first-three-months people? Jesse treated us all to a Japanese buffet. Of course, I wasted little time with rice and indulged in the sashimi. Thanks Jesse. =)

Jeff sure snapped a lot of pictures with Debi's camera. He burned up the diskspace and the battery, and she couldn't capture the big group shots at the end.

We then trooped over to his place and enjoyed choc cake (courtesy of Wendy) and TV. It was a nice simple night.

Least there was no alcohol. Else, I suspect, the night would have been so different.

Monday, August 15, 2005

heard over pizza
carry on blogging, because
this one's a stuffed crust.

Sunday, August 14, 2005
A big thank you to everyone who came for my 'lil party. Good to see everyone together before I see each one of you at the airport. And good to see so many relatives I rarely ever meet.

I really appreciate all the gifts you guys got me. Haha. Aunty Beng Hwee and family gave me a cookbook. Sarah got me a Delirious? chord book. Uncle Freddie and Aunty Angela got me a prayer book. Kangyi got me a CD of orchestral renditions of cinematic soundtracks. Jesse got me a nice coffee mug. And Veek just had to get me a shirt that freaked my mom out.

A gift reveals so much more about the giver than the one who's receiving. =)

I was actually late for my own birthday party. Went to a Brown freshies' welcome party before that. Got to meet my alumni interviewer from way back in November. It seemed that she also interviewed this year's President's Scholar who's going Brown too.

Brown has an insanely social atmosphere that spills over into every undergrad there. That's no problem for me. And the students there are blessed intellectually and physically (I humbly exclude myself out of the latter classification).

I just need to get 3.8 GPA. Hmmrumph.

Friday, August 12, 2005
"Truth is often so precious she needs to be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
- Winston Churchill

We must remember he said that in the context of WWII, as the Allies made covert plans for Normandy.

I think this one leaves a stronger aftertaste (and a deeper hunger) in our consciences.

"...you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
- Jesus

Anyone who understands how Truth can become flesh and blood, must be God.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
East Andrews Hall. My home for the next semester (at least). Looks distinguished and all... with the classical architecture and all.

I'm getting my plane ticket tomorrow.

19 more days left before I fly off. It seems a lot of events have been invading my first few hours as an adult.

First, a revelation that this humble blog has got visitors in high places. Not that I mind or that I've got anything to hide. Anyone's free to hear my muse over God, girls and guitars. If I've got a really big axe to grind, I'll do it at the blacksmith's, not here.

Second, I've been reading the oracles of the prophet Jeremiah. He was the last prophet to the nation of Judah in 629 B.C., before Nebuchadnezzar came, invaded and deported many of the Israelites back to Babylon. The exile was God's judgement upon Judah, and Jeremiah was given the unenviable task of warning the complacent people of impending doom.

It is stomach-churning and heart-rending reading. What kind of a congregation will stand being called "harlots" and "unfaithful" to God?

The irony. The young man seeking education abroad, soaking in the (weeping) prophet of doom's foretelling of exile in a foreign land.

Monday, August 08, 2005
I was fortunate (and crazy) enough to go TWICE for Festival of Praise 2005: once last friday, and again yesterday. It was anchored by Delirious? and Hillsong, arguably two influential forces in recorded worship music.

Delirious? was fantastic. Like Jovian said, "10 outta 10 for showmanship!" They also introduced a new song (I believe it's titled Here We Come) that has a Jet-esque anthem-rock riff.

We're gonna paint this big old town red

Here we come!
Here we come!
Here we come!

OK. The lyrics are slightly outta whack, but the tune's SOLID.

I guess we gotta realise that all the jumpy, rawked-out loudness still pleases God. He delights in us dancing together as redeemed saints. His joy descends when we sing our lungs and hearts out to Him.

But that's not all there is to musical worship, right? Strip away all the emotion and passion, and we find a Man who revealed His glory (which, I must add, was given to Him before space and time existed) by kneeling down and washing His disciples' feet, just hours after he had basked in the triumhphant applause of all Jerusalem.

I can't fathom how the King's glory can be found both at His throne of grace and at the foot of the cross. But I know it's found in equal measure in both places.

OK. it's the Augustine birthday bash tonight. Hannah was just over here, and I milled 'round the kitchen with her, prepping the pasta sauce.

"I do hope tonight won't be that serious..," she said.

It's doesn't matter, does it? But the people still do. =)

Friday, August 05, 2005
Midnight at the Oynx.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I was at Biopolis on the afternoon of Tuesday. Mr. Philip Yeo wanted to meet all his departing scholars over a little tea.

The director of A*GA spoke to us first. He put things into perspective, reminding us all about the fact that all of those aged 19 and 21 years were now full-fledged employees of A*STAR. That, of course, entails a lot more that simply paying us to study overseas. :-O

A*STAR's legal director also gave us a (hugely insightful) look at the whole saga of AcidFlask's blog and A*STAR. To my delight, they did save some of his posts for them to prove their point (and for us to have a little devious entertainment). I had always wanted a chance to find out what Mr. Chen had blogged about, because by the time the whole incident was splashed over the local newspapers, the blog had been taken down.

I found these two directors in A*STAR to be good orators. Both spoke flawless English, and had clipped, measured tones, typical of the intellectual Indian. It is rather pleasurable to listen to them.

This is in contrast to the famously rapidfire rattle of Mr. Yeo. He liked to interject during the legal director's presentation about the blog and throw in little details. Besides reminding us about the mandatory 3.8 GPA and not be racist, he did say blogging was as public as you could get, and told us to be careful.

Haven't I always been? =)

Monday, August 01, 2005
I have finally got my laptop. It's a spiffy ThinkPad T43. I'll finally get to live out the much-touted mobile lifestyle young people my age are supposed to live.

Sigh. 29 more days before I fly off, and I've still got quite a few things to settle.

I think I'll start on my farewell letters. Now.