With the clearance forms signed, items dekitted, stores returned, certificates collected, well-wishes accepted and handshakes shaken, I am now officially an NSman of the RSAF. However, its a half-happy and half-sad event for me, I guess. Knowing that you have been through tough and good times with other guys of your own age, and disbanding our little band of brothers makes me feel uneasy about the future of each of us. Will we see each other again? What interesting things will your platoonmates do? The world suddenly seems like an intimidating and scary place, compared to the sheltered confines of a camp and seeing familiar faces everyday. It’s as if I were an uncivilized barbarian who left his home in the polar north of Faerun and headed down south to the temperate lands where civilized people and claustrophobic cities are found. What happened over the past 26 months of military service now seems like an old film playing in Technicolor. The greens of the grass and trees, the browns of the soil and sand, and the blacks of the roads and waterlogged grass now all seem to lose their colour. Some things that are still clear in my mind are the reddish orange hue of dawn breaking and dusk setting, the pitch-black darkness of the night being colorized by the grey moon, the feel of the cool breeze as it blows past your wet face and sweaty body, the merciless hot yellow light during the day and the freezing pale grey world of the night. Not having to feel these for a long time suddenly makes me feel detached from something that feels familiar – it has been replaced by a sense of strangeness and wierdness about it, an imbalance that must somehow be corrected.
Additionally, it happened today that things didn’t turn out normally as well. My friend’s brother was keeping his elder brother’s MSN session open so I could send him a photo (which is what you don’t see everyday), and a Malaysian (whom I have an inkling of the notion that he is a “colleague” – no, wait, its more like “coursemate” for the job that both of us signed up with HP for) just added me to his MSN list just because we happen to be in the same group of people who are going for an on-the-job training course tomorrow. Sheesh. Can’t today be an uneventful but joyous and normal day for me?