Saturday, July 22, 2006


Well, it's done. Pending confirmation from ICA and MINDEF, I'm American.

Was trying to see why I suddenly had an attachment to my Singaporean citizenship, and I think I know why. Essentially, for two and a half years of my life, that pink IC was one of the things that kept me going. (The others being weekends, the threat of DB, girls, my buddies inside, and well, just making sure I did a good job for God.) But I digress. So anyway, most of us guys 'suffer' for those 28 months, before we are finally reunited with that little piece of plastic when we ORD. And when we finally get it back, we gain a great deal of satisfaction, even though for me, the mug shot there is of a significantly chubbier me (which certain people remember me by, but I digress again.)

So that's it. I didn't like the idea of giving up that pink card. You can actually see how much I managed to change through army here:

Now, just in case you are a total sot, the picture on the left is me in my university matriculation card, which, though I know is no Brad Pitt, is significantly better than the one on the right, which is what is on my IC, lately of my possession. And A didn't recognize me until she saw my IC photo.

So anyway, I went down to ICA on Thursday to give up my citizenship. My parents said the guy at the counter seemed rather cold when I went there and told him I was renouncing. And personally, I wouldn't blame him, since most of the people who came and saw him about renunciation (please note the spelling, it's not renounciation, much as pronunciation and denunciation are the correct spellings) are the guys who are trying to escape NS (like a certain pianist who deserved a whole lot more than a measly $3000 fine). But anyway, he said I needed to clear with MINDEF. And I gave him a 'huh?' look and asked why. And he asked if I had done NS. So of course I told him that I had.

This of course changed everything, and he started talking normally. (You must realize, however, that this is what my parents said they noticed. I can be very dense when it comes to certain things.) And then when it came to the question "Why are you choosing to emigrate?" in the checksheet, all the reasons there were not exactly positive. Things like "The cost of living in Singapore is too high" (which is one of the milder ones) and "Singapore is too rigid" (Wonder what they're referring to. Go figure.) So I ticked "Others". Reason filled in was "Because I can't keep dual citizenship", which is totally true.

So that was that. I met the lady who was dunno some registrar of oath or something like that, and essentially, she watched me sign the document, and far from what I imagined, I did not need to say an oath or anything.

So that's that. I'll be an American foreign student. How appropriate that I'm in the VCF's International Friendship Group.

And God has been gracious in that the people at NUS are helping me, so that hopefully, I can apply for the Foreign Student's Grant before the application closes. God has always shown me His mercy and grace, and I find it sad that I've not really been able to live a life that's pleasing to Him. Bother the fact that I'm a fallen being.

OK. But I'm just glad God's with me.


Thursday, July 13, 2006


I thought I had a big decision to make when I had to choose between majoring in History or English. (I chose History, by the way).

But now I have an even bigger decision to make: Should I keep my American citizenship, and become a Singapore PR, or should I just keep the Singapore citizenship?

It's like, for quite a while, I could keep on joking about being American and having Singapore citizenship and stuff, and it was so easy to say I would like to be American with Singapore PR. But now that I actually have to make the choice, it's not quite so funny anymore...

If I take my American citizenship, I will retain the rights of an American. I will not require a green card to go and work in the USA, and I can sponsor people to have US citizenship as well. As a PR in Singapore, it's still not so bad, since I will lose out mainly in the elections part, and in buying HDB flats. Which basically means that as long as I marry a Singaporean girl, the HDB thingy shouldn't be too much a problem. But but but, in all probability, I will lose my status as an officer of the SAF, which, while may not be anythign really big, is still, to a certain degree, a source of pride for me.

If I keep my Singaporean citizenship, I will gain the rights of the Singaporean. Adminstratively, it will be a whole lot easier for me, and my uni tuition fees and stuff will all be easily settled. I will be able to travel relatively safer on planes, and I probably have more chance of entering into Afghanistan (not that I'll go there in the near future, or the future, for that matter). But but but... I would be turning my back on my homeland. While I may have lived there for only the first two years of my life, I still feel a connection to the US.

My homeland, or the land I've lived in.

They both mean a lot to me. But I will need to give one up.

Which one?

Friday, July 07, 2006


Long time since I wrote. So I will be lorsor and talk abit on some of the stuff I've been doing.

Well, first would be the Youth Day worship stuff. Cos this time round I was playing bass guitar, and it did take up quite a bit of time... ok well, definitely more than a Yachad practice, since we had like 3 big practices. And I found out the new best way of getting bass riffs. Used to be I would plug in my iPod to my dad's speaker system in the study room, since that one has a sub-woofer. But it takes quite a bit of straining to listed to the bass lines, since the speakers are really good quality ones. But the new best way, is to disconnect the two speakers, so there's only the sub-woofer to listen to. So although it sounds kinda muffled, it is alot better, cos I don't have to try to cut through the rest of the music.

So anyway, I managed to get most of Let Creation Sing, and Evermore. And I had to go and modify a couple other songs a bit. As in like modify it so that I can play the songs with my lower order skills. But the worship services were really good. And I'm glad that I put in all that effort, cos it's not right to give God sub-standard work. And the Open Sunday after that was really good too. As in like it was well-planned, and the games were fun. And we had refreshments. Heh.

Next major event was the prep for the VCF FOC and the IFG vid. Which was on Monday. So I headed down to school, and we had a short briefing, and I met my OGL I, before PP had to grab me and JS to go and do the vid. While there, we had lotsa fun laughing at each other, esp since JS looked like a psycho in her video, where she was acting as a student from India. They wanted me to do the Japanese bit, since I can speak a little Japanese, tho JS thought I could have sounded like an Irishman if I wanted to. However, since I definitely look more like a Japanese than Irish, it was pretty much vetoed.

Then there was FOC proper. To be frightfully honest, I wasn't that keen when I woke up at like 0545 in the morning. I really wished I hadn't signed up for the camp. But well. Went down and met I at Clementi macs, where we picked up A. Then we went to school and met the rest of the group. Who were really fun. There were ice-breakers, and then the faculty orientation, where I met JS sister who looks like N. Haha. Anyway, we showed them green tables, and then wandered around campus. Me and D. With GS and LJ. Yeah. D and LJ were in my group anyway.

After that was the exodus to SU campsite at Sentosa. We went on a shopping spree in the co-op before we left. Oh and the weather was really hot. Like burning kinda hot. Like I-will-sweat-even-though-I'm-standing-still-in-the-shade sort of hot. yeap. But we made it there without any casualties, and then had theme talks by E from Covenant.

Oh must tell of the good news. Cos WEFC youth leaders' retreat was there, and well, the SU building is still the same lah, but the Palawan Beach has been renovated. Yeah, I know. A renovated beach, such a novel concept. But the toilets there are like really nice now. It's open (not flashing kinda open lah. You get what I mean), and it's clean, and the showers are like mist-sprayers, so you get water coming out in a big mist cloud. If you don't know what I'm talking about, one day you just go there lah. And the restaurants and 7-11 building has been landscaped into something really good. But ok.

So yeah. The games, esp Lost? was really well-planned. And we had fun running all over the place, even though as I have said over and over again, the primary objective of Group Solomon was to get to Ben & Jerry's and eat ice cream. Which we managed to do. I was so happy to be able to get Chunky Monkey... But anyway.

The theme talks were really good. E is a really engaging speaker, cos I managed to stay awake even when I was sleepy. And he was talking about being witnesses on campus, and about how we need to walk our talk, and how to stay away from evil, and about how we need to have initiative to reach out. And I felt it was applicable, even though I'm pretty certain it'll be a challenge for most people (inc me).

Then we had finale night where we had to do an act based on the movie The Matrix and the concept of humility. So we had quite a lot of characters. Like...

Bunny girl and the Dean of arts! (I'm pretty sure you can tell which one is which)

And Trinity! (The one in the center at the back) And fyi, this is half of Group Solomon. The other half is sitting on the floor, taking the picture, or had to go home.

Well, that's about it. We broke camp earlier today, and we left for Harbourfront to eat lunch, and ice cream (a pity we couldn't get B&Js, but NZ natural isn't too shoddy), before heading home, where I got to speak to Db cos she's one of the quieter members of the group.

Oh and what's this? I have to really wonder...

What in blazes is the Power of Bun?! Can someone please explain to me?

Yup. Now I think I need to go and sleep. I took a nap at about 4 and woke at 1940 so I didn't go for the JPM, though I did have a small spot of P&W and QT just now.

I'm just glad everything is in God's hands. And that He's sovereign. And I'm also grateful for the blessings He provided for the camp, and for the friends I've made. I kinda miss them already, as in like the fellowship that is everywhere, cos at home, there aren't quite that many people. Though I don't miss the lack of air-con in the un-ventilated bunk at SU.

OK bye.