24 August 2016:

PM Lee collapsed during the National Day Rally.

That was on Sunday night. By now, of course, it is somewhat old news, especially since he has repeatedly assured that he is all right. He did, however, bring up the topic of succession planning when returning to complete his rally speech.

At about the same time, I too 'took ill' (to quote PMO), but at least it was not in front of a live audience, with almost the whole Singapore watching in shock. Long story short, I apparently caught a particularly nasty strain of influenza.

I was feeling the pre-sick symptoms on Sunday night, and went to sleep at 2230. Which was why, in fact, I did not get to watch PM Lee's second part of his English speech. True enough, I woke on Monday early morning with a high fever.

One suspected diagnosis by the doctor was, in fact, dengue. However, as I did not have rashes and nausea, she was more inclined that it was merely influenza (albeit a strong one). Since then, I have been having an on-and-off fever, which is sickening yet alarming.

Whilst all this was taking place, I kept thinking about work. Calling a workaholic, or wayang, or whatever, but I was really worried that there were outstanding items. In particular, one part of my job has periodic submissions which cannot be missed.

Thankfully, I settled everything the week before. Yet, I was still very afraid if my case did turn out to be dengue. Of course, by then I would be more afraid of my diagnosis than work, but then if it were to be dengue, I will be out of action for much longer.

All this is not to show that I am indispensable. No matter what, my office will still be able to cope and move on. It's just that, again, I would prefer to cause the least inconvenience when they do so.

As such, when I returned to camp, I began teaching essential skills to someone that could help cover me whilst I recover fully. The thing is, his role in my office is not permanent, just like me a year ago. Technically, he could be posted out tomorrow.

(Afternote: did I jinx myself? The very next day after this was posted, that person received his posting orders. In the end, he wasn't able to help cover me.)

Which brings me to consider my understudy. According to the official schedule of 3 months before ORD, I would be getting one by September. However, I certainly could use some help at present. At least if this guy comes, I can impart to him as much as possible.

And another issue: WK has expressed interest, in part due to his boss' recommendation, to take over me. As I mentioned to him, I am not against it because of him - i.e. it is nothing to do with his work ethic or other qualities.

In fact, I think that he deserves better, so to speak. A plus point for him is that he stays pretty near camp, all the more so when you compare it with me. But with the current state of the office, I really feel bad if I were to 'trap' him here.

I don't think I want to make any further comment about how dysfunctional the office is currently, but just that I seriously don't think WK should stay and suffer. Having been through almost a year by now, I know how it is like.

In the start, things do not seem that bad. In fact, you may subconsciously filter out only the good points. But once that filter fails, motivation drops. And when that happens ...

I'm not saying that WK is the type that will rage-quit once motivation drops. I trust that he will soldier on. But why choose a potential living hell (in time to come)? Already, the general consensus is that NS is a burden. Therefore, I really think that one should try to get the best out of it.

As of now nothing's confirmed, though. To be fair, there will be a few potential candidates coming over, which is the more 'traditional' route of selection. Not sure when that will be, though, which again links to the issue of time.


To be honest, this whole week has been rather awful. Basically, my sickness made me shut out quite a lot of people / things. It also made me lose track of my sense of time, as I kept sleeping. I really hope to recover soon.

And to get an understudy.


7 August 2016:

Insecurity and impermenance

If you are a Buddhist, you should be no stranger to the Four Noble Truths, one of the foundations of Buddhism. Very loosely, they are:

  1. There exists suffering (dukkha) in life.
  2. Dukkha arises due to a desire or craving, i.e. tanha.
  3. There is a way to be free from dukkha, which is nirvana.
  4. The way to attain nirvana is to practise the Noble Eightfold Path (aryastangamarga).

As a Buddhist myself, I must confess that I know of these Truths, yet in daily life I find it very hard to comprehend and put into practice. And the one aspect in which I know I haven't been very Buddhistic, would be the fact that I still cannot face impermenance.

From a Buddhist point of view, impernance is associated with the Four Noble Truths, in particular dukkha. One of the earliest concepts one would come across is that tanha is often targeted at that which is impermanent (anicca). Thus dukkha.

It is very simple and easy to comprehend, isn't it? Yet, the painful part (no meta-pun here) is really that till now, some part of me refuses to face this truth and as such bring upon misery to myself. A very common field in which I am struggling with this is relationships.

And I'm not even talking about romantic relationships (although that'll probably apply too). Simply on friendships, I am constantly faced with insecurities. Let's just say the whole thing with YS affected me quite a bit. And by quite a bit I mean a lot, given that I am already sensitive to begin with.

Along the way I hear certain things about what happened vs what I thought happened. It slowly strikes me, time after time. That there could be someone that was, the whole time, faking it, for lack of a better word. I am really stunned and simply do not know what / how to react.

I'm not saying that I had no part to play in how things turned out. WK has explained to me where I gone wrong and yes, what I did was not entirely correct. But still. When I explain what happened (at least from my viewpoint), people say that it's almost as if I went through a break-up.

Obviously, it wasn't a break-up. But no doubt, it certainly did feel as if something was ripped off, especially in such a situation. It's been 2+ months since what happened but it still affects me from time to time.

Like currently, I am seriously hesitant about getting to know more people. There are a few people in camp who are really nice to me, but I am constantly afraid that what if this ends up just like what happened. That when I think this person would be a good friend, suddenly, no friend.

And this insecurity is breeding a whole vicious circle. When others take the initiative, I end up clamming up or responding badly for fear of recurrence. And obviously, which I don't blame them for, people retreat.

This quandry is really, really draining and I really don't know what to do. I would love to take a leap of faith but if this means experiencing the whole issue with another friend ... 我真的不知道. Of course, through all this, it has made me all the more thankful for those by my side.


Another thing that's in a way affecting me is the impermenance of the people around me. Given the nature of my office, I have soldiers-in-transit "flowing in and out" throughout the months. These SITs aren't meant to stay; they're just here for the time-being.

Which is really what gets to me. Those nasty ones of course I don't care (and wish they'd leave sooner). But the nice ones? It's very 揪心 to spend time with them not knowing if tomorrow may be their last day in the unit.


If you feel this post is very fragmented, that's because this was written in two parts.

9 July 2016:


The Chinese have a belief of 亞健康, a state between 健康 (healthy) and 不健康 (unhealthy). It doesn’t exactly have an English translation or equivalent, mainly because Westerners do not have such a concept as well.

As an amateur explanation, 亞健康 is when you are physically healthy, but not so much psychologically. This is, however, different from when one is mentally unsound. That is considered as 不健康 as well.

What people are referring to is a state in which you are at the brink of falling sick (physically), due being psychologically unwell. If you want a ‘scientific’ example of it, it is somewhat like why stress leads to flu or other illnesses.


Since the start of 2016, I have fallen sick in 4 out of 6 months (not counting this month to be accurate). Truth be told, these aren’t major sicknesses – merely flu. However, to me this already indicates that I have been firmly 亞健康.

I still remember in Feb, I looked (and actually was, lah) so sick that my encik ‘ordered’ me to go home and rest. But because I live so far away from camp, taking MC is actually less desired than usual.

This state of affairs is, obviously, very alarming, at least to me. Even during pre-O or pre-A levels period, I have never fallen sick this often. And back then as with now, I have been taking vitamin C tablets regularly.

Which makes me worry: am I simply too weak to take on stresses? What happens in future, in university or even when I start working?


My situation in camp now is slightly more stabilised and resolved. I won’t say it has improved, per se, but I guess I am less affected by certain things. Maybe, just maybe, after ORD I will write a long expose-all post, if I still bother by then.

But of course, from time to time, past memories and experiences still come back to haunt me. I am very afraid of the same scenarios happening but with different people. And sometimes this makes me act weird, which doesn’t help.

Still, I guess I can only live day by day and see how things go from there. And I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.



From Singapore. 19 years of age. Blogs as and when inspiration comes, in British English, Traditional Chinese and (hopefully) Russian. Interests (more or less in order): forensics, theatre, Taiji, modern world history, typography (including style and grammar), visual design, Chinese language and literature, singing, sociology, United Kingdom, Apple products.


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