Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Your smile of honey gold

teddY turns 19!

I just turned 19 :) thank you everyone who’ve sent my birthday wishes through blog comments, the tagboard, my Facebook account, my Plurk timeline and in real life! I must say that I’ve the most meaningful birthday this year -  but it doesn’t mean that everything went smoothly on my special day! My birthday was filled with a period of blue, happiness, surprise, excitement, anticipation and contentment.

Day -1: Ladyluck, where art thou?

2nd Oct. The night before. Toil and trouble!

Signs of the first trouble before my birthday was losing my handphone! It was quite a bad thing because I knew my parents will be calling me at night to tell me their birthday wishes for me and that I’ll get a few messages from my close friends. I couldn’t remember which hour of the evening did I lose the phone but I only came to the horror of realisation at 11.30pm. A little too late eh?

And then in the night I got a last minute notice to collect money for the mid autumn festival lantern dedication. Actually it was sent 10am in the morning but it wasn’t until twelve hours later that did I have the time to check my email. Thank God (or lady luck, or both) that not a lot of people dedicated messages from my hall so the job was done in a matter for a dozen of minutes. Phew!

Day 0: Surprise, and then life as usual

3rd Oct, my birthday. Happy birthday to me!

After 12am, I was still frantically searching for me phone. I rummaged through my table top, the drawers, my wardrobe and even the most unlikely places – the toilets and corridors for the nth time but to no avail. At around 12.15am I heard a big plop and saw a big orange slipper in my room. Instead of being puzzled by what on earth was happening, I immediately realised that Chongx was visiting me! I must admit I was half delightfully surprised and half touched!

Chongx was preparing for his tests on Saturday (yes, his lecturers are mad) and so he brought his notes over hoping that I’ll study with him. Being moved by his kindness lured by that huge pack of potato chips he brought, I spent my first two hours of my 19th year on earth studying organic chemistry. Oh wow, what a life I am living! And Chongx really meant it when he said he was giving me chewing gum… and thanks for ignoring and making fun of the fact that people with braces like me cannot eat sticky gooey stuff. LOL, he and his humourous sarcasm!

Thank you Chongx for giving me a surprise visit! I’m touched!

After sending that rascal off, I continued searching for my mobile until I convinced that any person would’ve just taken the phone and sell it to a handphone stall when found. It’s sad that I was so pessimistic about human nature but isn’t greed that partially defines us as mortals? I’m not surprised.

At 4am, I went to sleep.

I woke up at 7.45am, took a bus to campus and only to discover that the lecture theatre where I suspected I might have dropped my mobile in was OCCUPIED. Dammit. I decided to give up searching for the phone actively and I told myself to check with the Lost & Found department on Monday. Well, that phone was pretty old (it’s a Nokie 6610i, considered an antique by today’s technology I guess?) and maybe there was some divine intervention that encouraged me to get a new phone. In one way or another, I need a new phone – my parents were nagging the other day that I am in a dire need for a new functional phone whose battries will not run dry after a 15min phone call and whose keypads will not zone out all the time.

Met up with Mingyun and Jaslyn outside McDonald’s today and we decided to settle for Canadian Pizza for our breakfast. Thank you both for your birthday wishes!!! I’m touched when they said they wanted to treat me breakfast but I decided to decline their offer politely – I’m not used to being treated especially well on birthdays. I used to live a life of isolation and self-containment that birthdays meant nothing to me but painful reminders of how anti-social, unwelcomed and distant I was from others.

I’m glad that in university, I no longer lead that kind of life – special thanks to all Xomurians and Chongx (he explicitly says that he’s not part of Xomura – he’s a Sutakuian!). *Xomura and Sutaku are names of our freshmen orientation camp groups.

Nearing the end of breakfast I realised that both Mingyun and Jaslyn weren’t wearing flipflops. It then struck me that we’ll be having a wet practical / lab session today, which mandates us to wear covered shoes, long pants and labcoats. Guess what – I wore flipflops, brought no lab coat and was wearing shorts! I had to make a trip back to my hall to get my things before heading back to school to realise that I’ve missed the entire lab briefing session!

During lab our reaction was fraught with problems and delays. I had that strong feeling that everything was destined to go wrong for me this birthday. I prayed hard that no collateral damage is done to people around me. I was on an unlucky streak!

After lab I called mom. I’ve decided to head back home this weekend to collect my dSLR from home (it was sent for repairs), my signed tuition grant and my backup calculator. Then I was telling her how frustrated I was to lose my phone and everything to go against me on my birthday. I thought birthday boys and girls are supposed to be blessed with extra über good karma and luck. Not for me I guess?

I spent my birthday afternoon sleeping from 4pm to 8pm. I was just exhausted from looking for my mobile. I kept telling myself to give up but there’s this little voice that tells me it’s somewhere. Bleagh. As a hall manager I went to the amphitheatre later in the night to help organise the MSA mid-autumn festival celebrations. Of course just like what I did to my organic chemistry lab session, my presence brought bad luck – it started raining when our celebrations were just about to start and the hopes of having a lantern walk around campus were dashed. Dang!

However, in replacement of the walk, we had so much fun playing in a sheltered area and I believe that’s what Lady Luck gave me as compensation… thanks! And the best part of it is that the rain stopped at 10pm so we were able to organise a short lantern walk! I got to knew a few people better along the way – Suyun, Carmen, Grace, Kaiming and a few more. Oh and I met up with another 2 birthday babies – Rachael and Meimei! Happy belated birthday to Rachael and Meimei!!! And thanks everyone at the gathering who gave me birthday wishes!

After the celebration I headed over to Chongx’s room. He will be having two tests the next day so as his best friend (bwahaha!) I should give him some moral support. And as instructed by Mr Tysern I wrote him a note on his behalf as well for Chongx, wishing him all the best! Good luck Chongx! At the time this post is being typed, you’re still in the midst of your test…

I left his room early to let him concentrate on his revision at 12am. Walking back to my room I realised that my birthday was over. I sang myself Other Side of the World by KT Tunstall. Goodbye birthday!

[Edit]: Chongx told me today during lunch that he shoo-ed me away because my friends were waiting for me at the surprise party venue!

Day 1: La grande surprise!

4th Oct. I thought it was over!

12.30am. I arrived at my room and when I was just about to turn in, I heard a knock on my door. To my greatest surprise, Soon Leong was standing outside the door! He grabbed my hand and brought me to the TV louge which is diagonally above my room… and I saw all my friends inside there! I was so moved and surprised, really. I’ve never had a birthday party thrown for me before, by my friends. At that instant my nose just stingy and my eyes welled with tears. Of course I didn’t cry! Birthday boys are supposed to be happy!

I was greeted by the sight of almost every single Xomurian! Thank you people for coming! I couldn’t express my gratitude better and I was loss of words, literally. I didn’t know what to say except for thanks for coming!!! What a dong I was! And they bought me this chocolate cake which proved to be too hard for the poor plastic knife. Handsome Kiat broke the knife in the midst of cutting and I brought a buthcer’s knife from the kitchen – well, I couldn’t find another knife so I guess we’ll have to settle for that!

Thanks for throwing me a suprise party Xomura! Thanks for coming (in no particular order) Chongyen, Chongjyn, Bregitt, Youliang, Soon Leong, Hongkiat, Xinyi #1, Xinyi #2 (we have two people with the same name!), Yongzhen, Kokxian, Adeline, Gilbert, Chop, Liyuan, Yicheng, Dezien, Jackson, Eeshieng and everyone else! Sorry if I’ve left out your name! There were just too many people there heheh!

Your smile of honey gold

It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had in my life – thank you everybody for making it so wonderful – it was so terrific that I forgot that I lost my mobile until today morning!

Your smile of honey gold – that’s a line from the lyrics of my favourite song, Seven Days in Sunny June. I thought university was going to be worse, and closer to what real life is. But I was wrong – in fact, I’ve met so many wonderful people in university that sometimes I suspect I’m either self-delusional or in a dream *pinches himself on the thigh* maybe not, but I really, really love this place. It’s the place where I should belong to. Your smiles of honey gold – my friends never seem to lack them. They never fail to brigten up my day, or give me a good pat in the back when I needed help. They’ve made me love every single bit of university life, despite all the tutorials, lectures, projects, finals and whatnots, I can still feel that happiness and sense of belonging on every single inch of myself.

Thank you, everyone! *bows*

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