You must be out of your mind

Scene: G-Max Reverse Bungee at Clarke Quay.
Yours truly and two friends securely strapped in, equal parts excited and nervous.

Guy In Charge: (grinning wickedly) Okay you want countdown or surprise?
Me: (gleefully) Surprise! Surprise!
Somewhat Scared Friend: Countdown!
Guy In Charge: Okay ah, I give you countdown. Ready?!

And suddenly, without warning (countdown, my foot), we were shooting straight up into the air at 200 kmph, our breaths snatched by the whistling wind and the glittering Singapore night.

What. A. Feeling. (Though it was marred slightly by light rain and the fact that I had to take off my spectacles to prevent them from flying off into the Singapore River.)

While we were still being secured in the harness, the guy had asked us if we’d come there to let out the “stressfulness of college life”. I don’t know what to say, except that with a score of quizzes (most of which didn’t go off well), lab submissions (which I still have to start and complete), assignments and reports, and two weeks of finals starting in two weeks, it’s definitely been the hardest semester so far. Add to that all the meetings, events, endless emails and scattered outings, and I don’t think I need to ask myself why I fall asleep every time I take my hands off the keyboard.

I don’t quite know where to start. Should I talk about the three quizzes I had to give take yesterday? The freshmen orientation camp I helped organize when the semester hadn’t even started? Or the Red Cross elections that happened soon after? How about last Wednesday night which was as good as it was unlike any Diwali ever?

It’s been a strange semester.

It all started the morning I reached campus. There I was, trying to figure out how in the world I was to lug over forty kilos of baggage (yes, forty; don’t ask) up two levels to my new room after the cab driver unceremoniously dropped me off at the wrong spot (well, it was my fault but hey, it was a Chrysler and I’m a student with no money) when, as is Singapore’s wont, it began to rain. Strictly speaking, it didn’t so much rain as try to convince me that I was surrounded by a gigantic waterfall.

After three trips, a sopping yours truly finally entered his room to spend the next couple of days scrubbing the insides of the wardrobes (among other things) with some strange cleaning spray provided by FairPrice.

Then just as I was trying to catch my breath, along came Milaap, closely followed by the first week of classes, a crazy few weeks during which every hapless international student had to run around for elections (I got lucky again), along with an atmosphere of tense gloom settling over campus life.

Recess Week showed up for a few moments, but it didn’t attract much attention except towards the end from a group of college kids celebrating Dandiya Night in Woodlands.

I went for the Singapore Grand Prix – for free! I signed up as a First Aid volunteer, which meant that I actually didn’t see much of the race, but just being in the middle of all the Australian acrobats, Singapore artists, famous acts like Rick Astley and Shaggy (neither of whom I could care much about), women on stilts dancing to records played by a guy who looked strangely like Jimi Hendrix (!), and the noise of engines roaring past every few seconds (after a while, earplugs began to look like a natural part of everybody’s heads) was quite an experience. I did lose my phone on my way back after the second day, though.

More quizzes, a tottering pile of academic work that could easily substitute most skyscrapers, signing up for a part time work-study thing, giving my name for the Hall 13 Production again (they’re doing a musical and I can’t sing to save your life, so I wonder how I got pulled in at all), and what do you know – this semester is nearly over.

Exams are in two weeks.