Friday, April 07, 2006 :
I Miss Outward Bound School part 1
Congrats to the DU school team for reaching 3rd place in this year's MSSD district tournament.
Although untrue, I'd like to think that I would've been the difference between 3rd and 1st place.
One and a half years ago, I attended Outward Bound School or OBS in Lumut.
To you people living under rocks, who wear the same clothes everyday and have lost all connection to the outside world, OBS is a 10-day camp by the sea in Lumut.
There is a variety of courses to choose from such as the ACC (Adventure Challenge Course), YAC (Youth Adventure Course) and the OYP (Overseas Youth Programe). The one I attended was a mix between OYP and ACC.
That meant that people from other countries (when I say countries, I mean Singapore and ONLY Singapore) were also attending it.
The price for attending OBS is friggin costly (600 bucks, thank you very much) but damnit it's worth every single cent paid for- yes, it was THAT fun.... but it wasn't my money anyway.
To tell the truth I wasn't really feeling very good during the first 3-4 days of the course because I came down with a nasty fever on the second day. And to make it worse, without any medication... But I had not fallen sick at all ever since (til last month)...
So here's my journal on what happened.
A little warning though, the first time I ever shaved was a day after the course, so please try not to panic when you see me with my premature facial hair (and really bad hair cut). If you can't refrain yourself from panicking then i suggest that you go see my older posts IMMEDIATELY so that you'll be reminded of how handsome I am now... haha...
Day 1: New friends...
I arrived at OBS at the indicated time at the hall.
At the entrance to the hall were some course assistants taking the attendance of the people who came. After taking mine, they told me that I'd been placed in the Tahan watch (a watch is kinda like a group or 'team'. Probably a cooler name).
Well, firstly, I had no idea I was going to be split up into groups... but then again I didn't know what to expect.
So I proceeded to the table where my 'watch' was already seated.
After the rest of the watch had arrived, a woman with a tudung and freaking scary look on her face showed up and introduced herself as
Mrs Frankenstein Kak Su, and indicating she'd be our instructor for the rest of our 10-day course.
But as it turned out, she wasn't so bad after all. She then took us on a tour of the entire OBS showing us the canteen (where we had to do everything ourselves except the cooking), the dormitories, the boat shed, the beach, the sea and the trees.
She then showed us the way to our dorm. Since our watch name was Tahan, it was only logical that we receive the Tahan Dorm, named after the tallest mountain in West Malaysia knn...
Why couldn't we be Taman Tun??? OMFG! About 200 steps to our dorm! (I pittied those people in the Kinabalu Dorm though. Muahahahaha!!!)
At that time, i made an early conclusion that OBS was gonna be one helluva torchering camp with a view so nice that it can only be matched by the number of facial hair I had on my face.
The view of the dormitories at sunset and sunrise were magnificent. So magnificent that you'd want that moment to last forever.
That night, the entire Tahan was to group at the hall
for some group bonding to introduce themselves to the rest of the watch...
Ladies and gentlemen, this was to be my family for the rest of the course.
Behind- Kuhan (dark guy hidden in the dark XD), Desmond, Jeremy, myself, Gary, Paula.
Middle- Ben, Alesha, Alvin.
Front- Tong, Austin, Tham, ZiYan, Kim, Yun Xin.
And not forgetting our Course Assistant, Chai...
Day 2: Prince Phillip..
The next day, we woke up at 5 o clock. Nowonder curfew was important. knn...
It took me quite some time for me to register in my brain what exactly I was doing when I was washing up, brushing my teeth and showering myself with cold water (yes, there is no hot water in OBS).
We then went down to the main field for assembly to sing the national anthem, warm up and jog.
I wondered to myself how far could we jog, since OBS was too small for such a big group of people to jog. Then we were told we were going to jog around the entire area outside OBS.
OMG!!! The scary thing was that we were told that we would have to do this everyday.
Luckily for us there were expiditions (aka mini camps) in between.
After lunch, we were instructed by Kak Su to go to the boat shed and bring out some supllies for rowing practice.
So what were we going to row? A whaler. WTF is a whaler? HTF should I know?!?!?!?!
Actually, a whaler is an 8-horse powered row boat that has sails and looks really really ulu to use, but what to do OBS not for relaxing, OBS for working your ass off.
So happened that that day, Prince Phillip (the brother of Prince Charles of England) had come to visit so we had to look extra impressive, extra cool and extra clean.
Needless to say, everybody succeded... except for me since I woke up with a slight fever that day and was feeling sick.
Prince Phillip's bodyguards and Bentley at the bottom.
That night, we were told that we were going to be setting sails for our Sea Expidition the next day with another watch, Mulu. Whoopee...
Day 3: Sea Expo...
This day, I woke up feeling as sick as the last. But at least I didn't have to jog or sing songs.
We left Lumut after lunch for a 'secluded' place on Pangkor- a 'private beach'.
The guys and I had secretly packed rambutans for the trip there earlier... and since we were rowing so hard, it was kind of a relief to us that there was something to eat after all that hard work. But at least there were some winds to make the journey a bit more enduring.
When we neared the 'private beach', we were asked to pull the whaler to shore. Being the stupid (and sick) hero I was, I immediately jumped into the freezing cold sea and started tugging the rope to shore, together with the other guys.
Since our supplies (clothes and food) were going to come to us in another boat (since the whaler was too small to fit EVERYTHING. ccb...) I was freezing cold and was jumping around, rolling around and running around like a mad man trying to keep myself warm.
An hour later, the supplies had come and I was all stripped down to shorts waiting to get on a pair of dry clothes.
The view of the place wasn't actually to shabby, if it weren't for the demolished quarter-built hotel. Towards the jungle were long grass growing indicating a sign of possible snakes and in the long grass were random pillars that stood. At night, when the moonlight hit the pillars, it looked like an abandoned temple.
That night, thunderstorms and strong winds blew half of our camp away so we decided to chill and sleep on the whaler (not all of us la! just those who had our tents blown off)
BUT! Instead of sleeping on the whaler, I 'forgot that I was sick' and stirred some life into the watch.
The best bit was the course was arguably this exact moment- hanging out, telling jokes and stories and laughing our asses off to the great scenic view; the bright moonlight reflecting magically off the sea water, the hills echoing with the sounds of the jungle...
The Tahan watch, posing on our beached whaler... this was life, i tell you...
Day 4: Monkey Attacks...
I didn't sleep at all last night. And I don't mean that as in I had little sleep but I really mean that I didn't sleep last night! The knnccb tide was coming in and the knnccb whaler started rocking.
Funny though, one guy from Mulu who was sleeping on the beach was stung by a jellyfish XD...
So the agenda for today was to leave the beautiful and scary island for Lumut. That wouldn't have been a problem for me who was itching to get back since my cold got (predictably) worse.
Furthermore, i could have sworn I saw something move in the long grass or in the trees that night.
Sorry I digress. So I was happy to get back to Lumut. The shitty thing was that we had to row back since there was no sign of winds... and even worse, we were scheduled to row and tour around the entire Pangkor Island to see the sights.
Needless to say, the sights wasn't what I was focused on the entire time we were rowing- it was my hands, my energy and my eyes (since I didn't get any sleep last night).
To make the trip any more
fucked up interesting, THE SUN WAS SCORCHING HOT THAT DAY!!!
More than 8 hours later, we finally reached Lumut. The tanning-lotion obviously not enough to prevent me from getting sun burnt, but I was releived to be back. My fever felt high that day (the cold water and the hot sun obviously not doing me any justice) so I passed on helping the Tahan-ians keep the whaler to go to the dorm to take some Panadol (obviously this fever wasn't going to fade by itself if I kept on screwing myself hard).
The minute I walked into the dorm, I was shocked. Someone or some instructor had thrashed our bloody dorm!!! The clothes had been thrown all over the place, the towels all on the floor, the bags in a mess, rubbish all around.... what kind of sore loser would wanna destroy our dorm?! That was until I stepped in a small lump of brown stuff. SHIT! It was SHIT!! I STEPPED IN SHIT! WITH MY BARE FEET! But fuck this wasn't dog shit or human shit, this was familiarly MONKEY SHIT!
Our dorm was invaded by monkeys! KNN! CCB! OMG! WTF! BBQ!
They must've come in through the windows. SOMEONE had not closed them properly...
I quickly washed my feet (with soap..LOTS OF IT!) and then jumped into my slippers and ran to my visibly forced-opened locker door and found my medicine all over the place! Noooooo!
I then ran down and warned the others. The look on their face upon entering the dorm was priceless, if ONLY I had been staying in another dorm then maybe I could've laughed at them!
I was on the verge of crying because this day was clearly turning out to be a shitty day- sick, sun scorched, tired, sleepy, stepped in monkey shit...
When I thought about what happened, I really did cry. I'm such a sissy boy...
Sorry for the lack of pics for Day 4... but tell me, who in the right state of mind would be so happily snapping pics if their dorm was just invaded by stupid monkeys that were probably high on drugs. Someone did sneak a pack of ciggies in, and looking back on that day, when the tobacco was smeared all over his bed, I guess it was pretty funny to immagine the monkeys dancing around smoking ciggarettes, getting high and stoning themselves crazy while playing with Tham's razor and hair gel XD.
Anyway, this entry is a bit too long to post as one post so I'll finish it up next week. Doesn't it feel good to be kept in suspense?