Monday, June 06, 2005

Wushu Chalet

What a fun day overnight at the Wushu chalet. To sum it up before I describe it, it was quite an experience.

I arrived at Pasir Ris MRT station a few minutes before the actual time to meet. There, I found Yiren and Eunice waiting already. A little while later, Xiaoye and Yan Zhi arrived too. Soon, Zhigao joined in, and... oh well, the point being, there was a large group of people, but the skaters went off first. I played the Petals Around The Roses game on Xiaoye... And boy did he have a hard time solving it. Bit by bit, he tried to unravel the mystery, but it would be hours more before he would solve it.

Then I joined the late party (as opposed to the advance party) to arrive at the chalet. Guess my shock when I saw it.

It was small. It was narrow. It was dark too. But people seemed to love it. Guess I didn't at first glance, since I had already been to another chalet that was a bungalow, rather than a small terrace. Still, there were some salient features that I could notice.

There was only one bedroom, on the second level, and one toilet, on the ground level. The TV was perched high up in a corner, supported by a metal shelf that hung from the ceiling. Bags were strewn all over the two corners of the floor; a mahjong paper was spread out, and people were already playing it. The small dining table had bags after bags after bags of chips and soft drinks - and goodness, that was a lot of junk food! The bedroom was small too, with but two single beds next to each other, a small cupboard, and a small table. The only thing comforting about it was that the air conditioner was on when I arrived; Yin Chu had already been inside reading his book.

A little while longer would have to pass before the real activity started. That said, we went in-line skating around the park. I decided that, oh fine, I'll spend the money on a little bit of fun - fair enough. $12 for two hours of skating at the park. Quite fun, but... poor Brent, I had to support him for an entire twenty minutes before I finally decided to "abandon" him to join the other group of skaters who were far ahead of us. Xiaoye happened to be a bit more patient with Yan Zhi; he stuck with Yan Zhi for another 10 minutes, before Yan Zhi had to return his skates. That was when the real fun started.

Xiaoye and Jingzhi skated off to join us, that is, Yiren, Zhigao, KC and myself, at the bridge connector to Tampines park. After going round and round and round the Downtown East park, it seemed pretty logical that going to explore someplace new would be a better idea. So the six of us went off, into Tampines Park. That is where my 'pro-ness' in skating came into play. Xiaoye had problems coming up the slight slope onto the bridge, so I helped him up, skating backwards in the process. Then, he and Jingzhi had problems going down the slight slope on the other end of the bridge, so I guided them down slowly halfway before letting go. Haha... upon release, one could hear the great "wah" of relief, and amazement, from the two of them, experiencing perhaps a speed they had never experienced before. So the six of us skated along the pathway in the park, and I zipped along between Xiaoye, KC and Jingzhi (who were far behind), and Yiren and Zhigao (who were far ahead). A little while later, I repeated the entire process of crossing the bridge - it was like deja vu, having to guide Xiaoye up, and the two of them down again. It was at this point, that Yiren saw that I was able to guid people up and down a slope slowly, thus proving his older statement wrong.

Jingzhi left early, because she rented the skates for only one hour, and KC was nowhere to be found, but Xiaoye and I continued skating with Yiren and Zhigao. We practiced some tricks, like turning 360 degrees, jumping and rotating 180 degrees; I did some other stuff, like cross my legs and skate, one-legged skating, and hi-speed skating. It was all pretty cool.

After about an hour and a half of skating, I decided it was enough... but I didn't return the skates immediately. I found the other gang of skaters, Glendon, Jo, Kelvin, KC, Julian etc. somewhere just outside the chalet instead, and I saw that Glen was in quite a bad state. He had overstretched a tendon in his lower leg, which was smarting quite badly. I helped him retrieve his shoes from the shop, which weren't too far off, and then returned his skates for him. It was the most I could do for him, 'cause I didn't have any way to handle such a unique injury. So he went back to the chalet, and so did I, but I still had my skates on.

When I went back, I saw Yong Ming around, and he expressed his desire to try out the blades. So he put on Aaron's blades, and I helped him skate up and down and up and down the stretch of pavement just outside the chalet. A little while later, Ying Tang wanted to try it out, so I helped him too. Ying Tang's route was a bit longer, since he was less shaky and more confident than Yong Ming; he got the chance to go on a pavement that surrounded a grass patch.

Soon, I returned the skates, and went back to the chalet. I then found that they were already trying to start a fire. Hungry, famished and craving for sweet foods, I opened up (with authorization, of course) a packet of marshmallows. Mmmm... the soft, slighly spongy texture, and the sweet taste truly made my day. Better still, I went to warm it over the still-burning charcoal, prompting a strong reaction to the possibility of killing myself with carcinogenic marshmallows. Haha... so lame...

I promptly declared that I wouldn't eat the sausages, the chicken wings, the sotong balls, nor the prawn balls - which essentially meant eating nothing. Or so I thought, until Jingzhi revealed the presence of chicken fillet! Wahahahaha... honey mustard, which they all (the juniors) marinated. Even better, the fire was more or less done, so it looked like pretty good timing to start roasting it.

So there I was, happily cooking. Aaron, the ex-scout, and Yin Chu were fanning the fire, Jingzhi was placing meat on the roast, and I was buttering every piece that went on. Zhigao, Bryan and Yiren were handling the 'junk food' - the sotong and prawn balls, and the sausages, which I vehemently refused to eat. It felt so good to be able to resist the food; I felt like I could accomplish things... The only rule I broke was that of not eating past 8 pm. Haha... Well, can't help it; it's a chalet after all.

Halfway through, I asked Xiaoye to come upstairs to the bedroom, to continue playing Petals Around The Roses. Soon, it got boring, though, so I asked anybody downstairs if they wanted to come up to play. Soon, follwing up were Yong Ming, Yun Ting and Jingzhi. Jingzhi is amazing. Another Cheryl, I'd say. I rolled the dice, and said the rules. Within under 10 seconds, she caught the trick. I was like... oh my gosh, another Cheryl! To deflate her ego, I went onto say, "Oh I just recalled that the higher your intelligence level, the longer you'd take to solve the problem of the petals." Wahaha, so evil... but the ensuing argument that followed ensured my victory when I qualified my statement, "You see, education has done something to all of us. It has muddled our brains, so we cannot think simply. If one can think simply... then well, we know what that person has done with his or her education over the past ten years..." That ensured that I got a very bad mock beating. :P

After a while, Yong Ming asked if I had brought any guitar or some sort... but I said no, because I had brought my harmonica instead. while Xiaoye tried to solve the puzzle that Jingzhi had solved (and was now being the gamemaster instead), I grilled Yong Ming on his key recognition. He always had seemed to be one note

Playing games, music, jokes, drinking water (Jo)
midnight walk, walk to beach, stargazing, buy apples
mugging at night
solo morning walk
bowling game - top scorer/2nd top scorer, team thrashing