Yes, it’s tough to blog when you’re trying to peel the skin off your raw flesh and wincing every few minutes form the pain. But I’d best put down the last few day’s experiences lest I forget.
Right then – I suppose the highlight of my week has been the NUS biathlon. That’s right – I actually completed a biathlon! I am, of course, proud of the achievement, though in reality the thing I did was really only a half-biathlon and I was really slow.
We(Nick and I) went to Sentosa for the thing. I believe I woke up at six to get there early, having planned to meet at seven for some breakfast. I was late, of course, having been plagued by problems such as my goggles breaking and the lack of safety pins in my arsenal of stationery. Luckily Nick had spares of everything, and we met up not too late at the Jarbourfront hawker centre for food. The place was crawling with biathlon people – you could tell them from label sporting equipment barely covering muscular tanned bodies. And the jibes about fainting, heat-stroke, prizes and other biathlon-related stuff. Needless to say, I was rather cowed by the whole testosterone-filled environment, though Nick seemed unfazed. I suppose if you’ve been in one sporting event you’ve been in them all.
The event itself was a nightmare – we queued for around two hours for registration, and waited another two before our turn to run. That’s right – we arrived at around 0845hrs, and only ran about 1255hrs. The result – a sunburn from trying to fit in(ie. being clothed in as little as possible) and stupidity(ie. trying to fit in but not having sunblock). It turned out that somehow our pre-registration was never logged, and our records weren’t found. It was the same for a couple hundred other people, so I was feeling rather misery-loves-company, but there were some pretty pissed-off competitors around.
In case you’ve never been in a biathlon(or similar sporting event) before, let me elaborate a little on the procedures. Competitors are split into waves and flagged off at different timings, so that there is little congestion in the track/swim lanes. And so it was for this one, except that there were over 150 people in my wave(the wave of lost people). I was kicked, flailed, scrathed and crashed-into by a whole lot of people(I lost count when I started drinking sea water). Of course, I gave as good as I got(unintentionally, I assure you) and managed to make good time. Even beat Nick, who’s usually faster than me, as he got lost somewhere in the ocean and bumped more than I did. The run, though, was awful. I’d spent most of my energy swimming and couldn’t go at more than a gentle jogging pace. Nick overtook me. Well – almost everyone in my wave overtook me, even the little girls who didn’t look a day over twelve. I finished one of the last, in front of this girl called Shumei(spelling guessed), whose friends were cheering her on in the most enthusiastic manner. It was so sad when I overtook her, with all her friends screaming “COME ON SHUMEI!!! WHOOO!!!” Yes, it’s sad for me too, but if I don’t take some pleasure home from all this I don’t think I’ll ever want to go back, no?
Then it was a rushed trip back to hall to change and then Talentquest at Jurong Point, where I was supposed to do something for the website for publicity. I was quite lost, really, and sister’s stupid camera ran out of juice after about a hundred clicks, which got me into a frenzy(not to mention that by then I was smarting from the sunburn). I had thought I’d interview some of the contestants at first, but then it made no sense to me because it was only the quarter-finals and most of these guys wouldn’t even be in the final show. I settled eventually for just using some of the snaps and a song list. See what I can do, though in reality I haven’t planned anything yet. Thought I’d finish it on Monday, but…
Monday was spent a with the Computational Science Society with a meeting and then a visit to the Institute of High Performance Computing. It is ironic(yes, this time I’m right!) that the visit is supposed to draw talent to join the organization, but the people who visited lacked either drive or the qualifications. I was of the latter – they only wanted PhDs, and it was painful and insulting at the same time to have to sit in a room and have some HR manager explain to you logically why they do not want plain-old-graduates. I nodded obediently, of course, because I am an obedient person, but it smarted as much as the sunburn.
Yesterday evening I watched Constantine with Gary and Francis. It was… okay, I suppose. Was chastened as to the meaning of the word Irony. I am well-informed now. Argued about randomness. Am also convinced that I should not get a job in the IT line, though it is my second-last fallback(next to teaching). I shall list the fallbacks someday.
And today – well, today was spent playing some silly games and then heading off to Jurong EAst to watch Hotel Rwanda with Ben. At last – someone who actually wanted to watch it with me. It was good, too. I can’t recall why I didn’t press harder for it the last time I went to watch a movie with someone. Ah well. Am relieved that there was no comment on the by-now peeling skin.
And now I’m just tired. And peeling. Will refuse all outdoor activities for a while, meaning the next entry will probably be a philosophical reflection.
It will be! Just you wait and see!