Of late despite all the grumblings and mumblings, providence was kind and I have managed to squeeze out time to have a little fun myself.
I never dreamed that I would become a globetrotter but the fact is that it is happening more and more which does make it a little scary. I would rather have my feet firmly rooted to the ground for I fear heights, i fear water, I have been known to run away from crowds and I like to be alone.
Travelling to foreign places inevitably brings me to all of the above: tight confined spaces in planes and in proximity with lots of strangers, that high in the sky feeling flying over large expanse of ocean. Let us hope nothing goes wrong
In the event that things do go wrong, I have as always, covered myself with ample life insurance and travel insurance. [This time round i bought an annual travel insurance policy] should there be a mishap, at least its a small windfall for the family.
Now i am not being pessimistic. I had a number of losses these 2 months. Talk about being sued for the 1st time in your life, i have to shelve out time and money and energy to entertain a frivolous claim [More on this on a separate blog post]. My other expenses included further repairs to the Suzuki GSXR 400, SGD700 in repairs so far. A couple of parking summonses to be dealt with – talk about bad luck. Even worse, my favourite El cheapo bike service shop folded up – never to be seen again and without a trace of how to find them. This resulted in my first ever servicing on my Honda Shadow 400 using 3 litres of fully synthetic “Motul” engine oil – a costly affair compared to my Honda Phantom 200 and Yamaha SR125… and so on.
I also think it was in this month that I …. hee hee that I…. well … maybe i should not say anything for now… [this can also be subject of an entire blog post altogether]. In any event, in short it was a money wasting exercise once again.
Now to make this trip, i had to buy travel insurance $320/-, i had also to spend $222.30 + $300 on filing fees for my Defence in the High Court, I have changed some USD200 for a start. Due to the unusually high expenditure for the coming month, I also had to make a number of provisions for my absence. One of my amplifiers has been put on sale, one is on trial with a friend. Its about time i let go. Life is truly indeed about letting go. May i find deeper satisfaction amongst the many still left. Yes i must admit, i have quite a few.
Still, I have to thank the Department of State, Government of the United States of America for this sponsored trip to the States. Being an invitee to their International Visitor Leadership Programme, i will travel a number of places meeting officials and people who would be teaching us more about how the USA is being governed, their NGOs and how their political system works.
It is a never thought possible opportunity to have a closer understanding of one of the greater democratic systems which is an influential player on the world scene.
The State Department besides wanting to educate is also aiming to promote cultural and social exchange the representatives chosen from the Asean nations under this programme. This is a noble objective. I sincerely hope that the programme will be fulfilling and enriching for all participants with hopefully minimal disruption from any H1N1 infections
I had my flu jab taken at the eleventh hour only yesterday evening. It was Dr Wong jabbed me hard in the left arm. Its been 24 hours and I still have a sore arm from the injection. Side effects include difficulty lifting the arm up sideways, a slight sense of disorientation, a sleepless night. But all in all i felt well. Still i can feel that the butterflies in the stomach have started to flutter.
I also had to take time to arrange all my other affairs for the period when i will be away – 3 weeks in total. Now rescheduling cases and hearings and clearing up work in preparation to be away for 3 weeks is no easy task. I regret that i have to discharge myself from Jufrie’s matter. It is unfortunate that a vacation of trial dates was not allowed. It is my regret that I cannot carry this trial to the end.
On a brighter note, I think i will have alot of reading done on this trip. The officers at the Embassy had given me a number books to read – all on the US political system, country, geography etc. and all delivered on a silver platter. The reading is not compulsory but since this is what i have dreamed of doing, i might as well get it done right correct? :)
Lest ballless PAPpies cry foul of foreign funding, foreign interference and influence on this occasion, let us join hands in mutual encouragement and exhortation that we strive to behave like grown up men and not sissies. Let us not throw wild accusations simply because one lacks the testicular fortitude. Let us not cry wolf unnecessarily. Let us be mature enough to recognise that this is US diplomacy at its subtle best. For if your feeble PAPpy brain cannot comprehend its existence and purpose, it does not mean that it necessarily takes the form and substance of your wild imaginations.
For matured and thinking minds, and for fact, diplomacy can exist at the Governmental level, the agency level and at the individual level. I am a participant at the individual level, so i will be representing myself I hope no one will have any issue with that.
I have come to realise that my heart is beating unusually fast as the day of departure draws nearer. For the first time in my life i will be away from home so far and for so long. 21 days in US and 23 days in total including travelling.
I also understand that I will be in San Francisco and Sacramento, California [Arnie is the Governor - Yes the one who said "I'll be back" in Terminator] for the final leg of the trip. I will be unusually close to our Singapore dissident Mr. Gopalan Nair. Its been some time since his troubles in Singapore ended sometime last year. A courtesy visit to Mr. Nair is a must if time permits.
Yes I’ll be back in San Francisco. And again I will be leaving US via San Francisco….. I was there almost 6 years ago. I never thought i would be back. Hmm ….. Nostalgic memories once again.
[DEDICATED ONLY TO THOSE WHO WILL UNDERSTAND]
These days there is so much to do with so little time and so much to spend on and so little money that there are many things which i have to give up….
“But i want…” said the little voice … “This will have to wait” said the bigger voice.
I have of late also discovered the rigours of 400cc biking. I had on the verge of running into the kerb whilst turning out at one car park because i had oversteeredthe bike was headed straight for the kerb.
Instinctively I placed my foot down to push the bike off from the direction of the side strike as well as countersteered towards safety. I heaved a sigh of relief as my trusty steed powered out of the carpark and towards free open roads. This occurred just in front of the LTA office in Sin Ming…. where the traffic police styled LTA mobile squad would take off from…. i was there well for…. hee hee…. I will only reveal in time to come.
I wondered if i had fallen right in front of the LTA office. Would that not have been a spectacle? and If i had mistimed my footdown and the countersteering was not fast enough i might have ended up with an injured foot and ankle. But as it is all was fine… the danger had been averted and I was on the way back home.
I had a throbbing pain in my left knee a few hours later. Not too serious i guess. There is so much to do to be bothered by a little pain.
I had wanted to sell some of my bigger speakers, but there were no really keen buyers. I guess I had no choice but to keep them. I had also similarly spotted an extremely compact and cute amplifier which in my opinion would have been a good match with my unwanted speakers. I would have wanted to pair them up rightaway but since i would have to be away for almost a month in the United States, I just thought i had better keep some money with myself. [and again the little voice lost]
I also spotted an almost new kup of very fine lineage…. a yamaha X-1R full of accessories and unique performance enhancing parts going for somewhat 65% of its original sticker price.
“But I want … ” said the little voice. “and this is a little bike…. lighter on the pocket and also lighter on the arms and legs…”
Now, it was true that in the past month i had almost dropped my trusty steed at low speeds for 3 times now. On each occasion i managed to recover the bike by putting down my feet and fighting the weight will all my might. 240kg in all. I did feel a strain in my arms but thank goodness the 18 years of moderately disciplined exercise and 13 years of taekwondo training did pay off in terms of fitness. I did have a slight phobia at slower speeds after that. pulling up 240kg is no joke.
In this situation the little voice was in fact right, somehow, it might be better to have something smaller and lighter but then there are other considerations….
Of late, Jufrie’s trial and Gary’s defence weighed heavily on my mind. I did spend much time trying to sort things out. There was also a number of distractions.
There were also other matters which ought to have been exposed long ago. Which though could have embarassed many, they could if done at least set matters right for Singapore – yes Singapore.
Similarly “But i want…. ” said the little voice.
and again “This will have to wait….” said the bigger voice.
“Lets see how they handle Gary and Jufrie… ” said the bigger voice.
And once again …. the voice of reason and measuredness triumphs over the little egoistic mind….. war had been averted …. at least for now.
To borrow an analogy from GPMG training whilst in service, it does not mean that when the enemy platoon is spotted do you have to open fire.
It does not mean that if the weapon is loaded and cocked do you necessarily have to discharge it.
Precious time can be spent allowing the enemy to fully expose himself. While you lock in the traverse and angle of trajectory… then wait for the moment to spray.
The voice of reason does not always win. Likewise the egoic mind does not always lose.
Let the music play on.
Gary’s medical report of his examination in 2006 was received from the DPP John Lu on the day before the return date for Gary’s PTC on 30th June 2009. As it turned out, Gary was diagnosed as not having any mental illness. Thank goodness I strongly objected to his remand in the IMH on that day of trial 3rd June 2009. This was so even though i was ill and Gary was supposed to conduct the trial himself.
3rd June 2009 was spent largely in Court , after which I was tied up with my so many other matters and I fell ill the second time in a month that i could not prepare Gary’s representations on time.
My whatever little time was also made even more scarce as I was also dragged into a lawsuit. As it turned out, some idiot has chosen to sue me for grounds which are very much frivolous. I was surprised to find out that the documents to be served were in fact for a civil suit.
Very often many others who would shiver and urinate even before a writ is served, I however could not contain my amusement when i was served the writ. I was smirking and giggling as i signed for it and i actually had the cheek to ask the plaintiff on what grounds an action should be taken against me. She did not reply in substance but still insisted on her course of action. I decided not to argue with her over her intended course of action.
I was then put through the paces of entering an appearance to this action for the 2nd time in my life as the Defendant – and not the lawyer
Perhaps i have had enough time playing lawyer in the Courts, God’s trying to get me immune to appearing as accused and Defendant so as to ready myself for the hotter things to come.
Still it is not a laughing matter seriously – the Memorandum of Appearance cost me SGD220 which partly explains why i only smiled, giggled and smirked i did not burst out laughing.
As it has turned out, the SPF has not taken action against me yet shall i ought to be eternally grateful? Should i then withdraw my article? Well i think the answer is no.
Principles of Intellectual honesty and integrity mandate that i keep the article uploaded because if they do take that step, the article would then be well justified - I would also be put through the trouble of logging in to put that article up again.
So i guess, better leave it up – since it looks good on the blog site anyway Till then… there is still so much to be done….