terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Meulaboh Sunset

Meulaboh Sunset
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Still not ready to blog about my week in Meulaboh. Here's just a little shot of the sunset as the RSS Endeavour sails from Aceh.

Friday, January 28, 2005

For want of an entry

Before I get down to the business of talking about my experience in Meulaboh, here's the Mercy Relief team:

Mercy Relief Team First
Originally uploaded by Terz.

(clockwise, from top-left: Reimi, Kim, Danny, 'Uan)

Mercy Relief Team Second
Originally uploaded by Terz.

(clockwise, from top-left: Imran, Sham, Eddy (Junior), Tahar)

Mercy Relief Team Third
Originally uploaded by Terz.

(clockwise, from top-left: Naz, Sam, Eddie (Senior), Ming)

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me,
Shall be my brother..." Henry V, IV, iii, 60-62

Thanks for everything guys. It's been an honour.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I don't mean to be rude.

I know people are trying to be nice and/or concerned, asking after me after my return, asking how it was and how I'm feeling. What I saw, smelt and experienced.


Please. Not yet.

I'm not ready to talk about it yet.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005


... I'm back."

Won't be posting regularly yet, though; I have a couple of things to complete and some thoughts to resolve first.

But it's good to be home.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Cut, Part 3 / Summary

"At least, we dinnae get dressed up for nuthin'." - Hamish Campbell, from Braveheart.

So, it's confirmed. And since there's no way to talk about this without sounding like a gloryhound, I'll just state the facts and leave it at that:

1. The haircut on Tuesday (for a completely unrelated reason) became appropriate when I found out that there was the possibility of an overseas assignment on Wednesday. I had known something was afoot, but until I got confirmation, it wasn't worth the speculation.

2. I leave today for Meulaboh, in Aceh, as part of a team of 12 sent from Mercy Relief, which, in turn, is part of a larger group of 60something, gathered from other relief organisations.

(2a. I'm really happy that the departure time got bumped back. Otherwise, I'd have had to report 5 minutes ago.)

3. I had my first boosters for typhoid and tetanus in a long while. The tetanus jab still makes the arm sore, after all these years. And I'm supposed to finish a course of 30 doses of antibiotics, one dose every day.

4. I should be back by the 24th.

5. I may not be contactable - despite the availability of mobile connection in-theatre and a free phone and prepaid SIM card in the goodie bag we're all getting - and therefore, will not be updating this blog for a while.

6. It's sea state 3 where we going right now, so I'm also looking forward to a helluva time enroute.

7. And no, I don't know what I'm thinking or expecting.

So, um, signing off now. See y'all in about two weeks.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Cut, Part 2

"At least, we dinnae get dressed up for nuthin'." - Hamish Campbell, from Braveheart.

Checklist, Wednesday night:

1. Charge all batteries ... check

2. Find passport ... check

3. Ready clothes in laundry basket for washing ... check

4. Write Update obituary ... check

5. Buy personal items ... check

6. Free up space on hard disk and backup old jobs ... check

I'm ready. I think.

Updated 13/01/05, 0310 hours:

7. Pack the MOHAA CD-ROM, for the possibility of boredom en route and games over the wireless connection ... check

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Watch your front...

Looks like the cease-fire's over:

You know, I'm so not going to be bothered by your sighing and clucking and your shaking head since you were the one who chose the route. I would have chosen the AYE/ECP personally, but that's just me - had always found the ECP to be a more pleasant drive than the PIE.

Then again, you're not getting any sympathy from me because you're one of those assholes who would speed up and tailgate the car in front the moment you see someone else signalling to get into the lane, but otherwise you're content to coast right up to the red light.


And what's with the damned rubbernecking today?

Had slow traffic on the PIE to and from where I was meeting a client/model all because some poor sap had an accident and the other stupid fuckers were slowing down to look.

What. The. Fuck?!

And the ludicrous part about it: the first time I was stuck in the traffic, I was westbound on the PIE, but the fuckin' accident was on the eastbound lanes.

Fucking drivers in Singapore too bloody free. Can slow down to enjoy schadenfraude.

Cut, Part 1

"At least, we dinnae get dressed up for nuthin'." - Hamish Campbell, from Braveheart.

Cut my hair yesterday (getting a bit unruly, and Singapore really isn't the best place for leaving it long); now I look like Mike Myers - a fat, Asian Mike Myers.

More to follow once things firm up...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Sometimes, parents will let boys be boys. And sometimes, they let boys be girls:

Jan 11, 2005
Put an end to this dangerous JC 'game'
I AM a parent of a boy studying in a premier junior college in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area. Recently, it has come to my attention that rowdy behaviour is threatening to compromise the safety of the students.

According to my son, the violent act is dubbed 'taupok', a reference to a highly compressible piece of brown beancurd. A student would shout 'taupok' and other students would pounce on the targeted person, drag him down forcefully and climb on top of him. Due to peer pressure, more and more students would join in until the stack of bodies is about a metre high.

This violent act is supposedly done in the name of fun but, as a parent, I feel that it is potentially dangerous and even life-threatening.

Furthermore, the 'taupoking' is not a rare occurrence. It can happen up to five times a day, anywhere and to any person.

During the orientation programme for Year One students, even a person standing on the stage during a performance could get 'taupoked'.

Supposing that an average person weighs 60kg, a typical group of 15 would weigh almost a tonne. Just as a person cannot survive without air for three minutes, I am very sure that the human backbone cannot bear the sheer weight of a thousand kilograms.

What happens if the victim's spine breaks? Or if he sustains any other injuries? Who will bear the consequences?

Fortunately, my son has not been a victim of 'taupoking' yet, but he still feels rather uncomfortable about this dangerous act. Also, he feels obliged to join in due to peer pressure, as everyone else is doing it.

Some would say that 'taupoking' is perfectly safe if one assumes the correct position, with one's elbows and forearms touching the floor so as to support the weight, like in rugby. However, not everyone knows the correct position to take, and when surprised one might also forget to assume that position.

I write this letter in the sincere hope of preventing a tragedy. Hopefully, we can keep 'taupok' where it belongs - in that delicious bowl of noodles.

Justin Situ Ren Jun

But most of the time, they can't help telling the whole world how bloody smart their preciousssss is supposed to be... "...a premier junior college in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio area..." indeed.

Friday, January 07, 2005

And yes...

Good luck, Kenneth and Samson (and others who may be enlisting today, but who were not named on Tuesday), make us proud.


... from the past.

We were given this poem for our first Practical Criticism class all those years ago (17 to be precise) and I'm still able to find a special place in my heart for it:

Philip Larkin

I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
--The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused--nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear
--no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

Just don't ask why I'm posting this now.


From yesterday's ST:

"His performance drew rave reviews from Peter Velappan, general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation. Describing Indonesia as a fast and disciplined side, he added that they have at least three players who can light up the stadium. He told Timesport: 'One of them is Boas. He's like a jumbo jet. Give him the ball and he'll leave you five metres behind.' "

Er, right. Jumbo jet? Okaaay, those are real fast...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Is it just me or does the song used for the 'Red Sea Riviera' resort/condo project (in Egypt) ad on CNN sound like the Thai national anthem?

Monday, January 03, 2005

No Eye

I chose not to take part in Eye é City 2004 (or would that be 2005?). There were too many things going on in the world, in the region even, taking up most of my time and attention.

I'm not being morbid; call it some kind of helplessness at the level of destruction and loss of people's lives. Which is why, I guess, I volunteered to be sent to any of the affected countries, and not even in the capacity as a photographer.

On my own expense even.

So, in lieu of new stuff from Eye é City 2004, these are the images that didn't quite make the cut (my own and the selection committee's) from last year's:

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Originally uploaded by Terz.

Originally uploaded by Terz.


Sunday, January 02, 2005


... what a few sleepless nights can do for one's attempts to clear one's backlog.

So I'm back.

In fact, I had time enough to attend two parties on the Eve, go to a karaoke till 4 in the morning and meet people I haven't seen in a while (well, a year actually, since the last party at X's). Even managed to point out to the missus the fugly woman who's so far potong'd my cabs three times. I am to learn later that the makeup is apparently in the mould of a certain administrator in a certain west coast mission school for smarter boys - so Dan's had to deal with some fugliness for a while too. (I mean, there's only so much fugly any one can take and certainly not when there's a bit of a power thing going on.)

Still haven't watched Kungfu Hustle though.


Some latest stuff:

Originally uploaded by Terz.


In other news:

Press Release
terse & at large suffered a huge setback with several analysts urging their clients to ditch the stock as it suffered a public relations disaster. The exact nature of customer dissatisfaction was not known but Yuhui was rumoured to have had a hand in it. Industry insiders suspect a Stud (artefact) was involved. terse & at large share price dropped from B$270.34 to B$173.20

Yuhui had the following to say:
'Gotta go lower, gotta go down.'

Ah, fun with Blogshares...