November Rain (1)

On the 27th, 28th and 29th of November, I attended an NCC (National Cadet Corps.) cmp in school for a whole 3 days and 2 nights. “Nevember Rain” chronicles these 3 end-of-the-month days as I underwent, uh, events and stuff during this camp. So, yeah, here we go.

Woke up at 5am on the 27th, to pack my stuff for the camp. I had received an E-mail from a kind fellow cadet (a junior one at that) listing down all the things I needed to pack. Why didn’t I do this yesterday, then? I was at the country club with my family last night, having a great time at the karaoke lounge.

Had a quick breakfast before setting off to school. Arrives at 7.30am, just in time, though I wasn’t exactly obliged to do so, being a specialist and all. Yes, I’m very ‘special’ all right.

After falling in and registration, the camp kicked off with the Part As (the secondary 1s) occupying an empty classroom to take a certain badge test, while the Part Bs (secondary 2s) grabbed mock rifles from the NCC store room for an arms rill training session. I, being an administrative officer, didn’t have much of a specific task to do as we had already done our part prior to the actual camp (writing, planning and recording stuff), and as such I was pretty much free to do anything I wanted to. I decided to tend to the Part Bs.

There were a bunch of food packets at the cafeteria when we got there, after everbody had done their stuff. Upon checking what was inside (assorted yet tiny muffins, one in each packet, a tiny slice of raisin cake, a tiny spring roll) (too tiny for my liking, but it’s better than nothing), we decided it was a complimentary breakfast from our teacher-in-charge (complimentary yet surprising, since I never expected such a guy like our TiC to give us something like that), and finished them all. Those who didn’t want to eat their muffins gave them to me. I felt pretty full after that.

Later on we discovered the food had actually belonged to the school’s Symphonic Band, who was having a camp of their own here in school as well. They just laughed it off when they heard about it. Guess that was nothing serious.

Free time! I pull down my sleeves and headed for the school field along some other cadets. While they played soccer, I did the obstacle course (window, parallel bars, vertical ladder, low wall) and leopard/worm-crawled a bit in the grass. It felt good to work out like that. It’s not something I got to do everyday.

Lunchtime was the usual hustle and bustle. You can say it’s almost like an exchange plaza. People’ll be putting up their extra food on offer and the guys around them would bid for a portion of it. I ended getting extra carrots and chicken.

Each one of us also got a tiny cream puff for dessert. They would be passed down from the ends of the tables, hand to hand. And if you knew what us NCC Boys usually do with our hands, I doubt you’d relish the idea of eating a cream puff that had been touched by at least 5 NCC Boys either.

And then it began to pour. Hoo boy. The rest of our time was mostly spent slacking around under the shelter of the school. This went on till dinnertime, where the same food business ensued.

I headed for the showers after that. I was so eagerly awaiting a chance to freshen up and change out of my uniform. Unfortunately, the Band boys had beaten me to it. T’was slightly crowded, the floors of the cubicles were slightly flooded (hey, it rhymes! In haiku!) (anyway, the main reason I try to get to the showers as fast as possble is to avoid having to shower with dirty water slushing about my toes).

Fortunately, I found a vacant shower at the end of the row of cubicles, whose floor was fairly dry.

Unfortunately, there was no shower head, just a tap in the wall.

Fortunately, clean water still flowed through it, and that was good enough for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pack my soap.

Fortunately, I had shampoo. I used the foam from shampooing my hair to scrub meself up (ew, you might say, but that’s recycling).

Unfortunately, I only had stick deodorant, and you know what they say about not using stick deodorant on your armpits when you haven’t soaped them up properly.

Fortunately, I didn’t smell much, after my shower. As such I didn’t have much of a use for it.

Unfortunately, I had already finished me shower.

(Musings: Don’t you find it irritating, when the bathroom floors are wet, it makes your feet wet, and those are the same feet you have to put through your track pants so you can wear them? The mere thought of it feels so damp and dirty.)

The Band guys were preparing to watch a movie in the AVA Room, and their teacher-in-charge had invited us NCC Boys to join in. I don’t particularly enjoy horrow movies (it was called ‘Fragile’), but I was only in it for the air-conditioning in the TV room. I whiled away my time lying on the cool wax-wood floor, facing away from the projector screen, and listened to the movie audio, and the laughs, chatter ans screams of the audience. It’s quite fun doing that; it kept me occupied the whole time I was lying still at that position.

Movie ended at around 10pm. Time for a nightwalk! Us specialists were tasked to numerous checkpoints around the dark corridors of the school (all the lights to the corridors are purposefully left off for this activity). A good friend of mine, Joey, and I were stationed at a 4th floor corridor, adjacent to a pitch-black pathway that ended with a door leading to a stairwell that goes down. Light pours in eerily from the door windows into the corridor; the atmosphere in there was perfectly spooky. To boot, there had been rumours flying round that the bathrooms connected to this corridor were haunted.

Joey and I decided to avoid that place. We stayed a good distance away, where the surroundings were still visible, and awaited the juniors’ teams to pass by us and get directions from us.

By the time everything was done, and everybody had had their suppers and had turckered away in their bunks, it was 12 midnight. Next day. Time for post number 2.

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