Letter # 6

Well, to sum that up, nothing came out of it. Except that my character probably had changed one way or another. For the better? I’m not so sure. Instead of being an introvert, I was gradually changing into an extrovert. Not much, but slowly inching my way there. Over the course of time, there was a few people that did not like the change and protested vehemently. There were more than a few arguments because of that.

After I quit work at that pool bar, I went back to my studies. Cliche as it is, time really flew very fast. In no time, I was a soldier. It was quite an enjoyable two years and four months of my life. I really learnt a lot from that phase. From boys to men, they said. Certainly, it held true for me. I began to notice changes in those people in NS too. They began to be less conscious of their looks and dressing, perhaps because there were no babes around to dress for. There was also a certain sense of maturity in their behaviour. It’s very easy to differentiate people that had completed their NS from those who haven’t. In short, it’s good for all guys to go through NS once in a life. But if you ask me, I wouldn’t want to go through it again. Once is enough.

After I came out of national service early (Mindef shortened the timespan from two and a half years to two years four months for our batch), I began looking for work. Somewhere along my old line will do. And so I began to scout around. My old workplace wasn’t hiring, and besides, my manager there had been sacked. So I had no more contacts in that place anymore. My friend and I went scouring the advertisments together, from restaurants to pubs. I was very sure I wanted to go back and work as a bartender or if not as a waiter. But my friend had no experience and it was kinda hard for us to look for bartending jobs together. The same goes for waitering. I had no prior experience as a waiter while he had. In the end, we managed to find two vacanies at Clarke Quay at a pub. No, it was not the one I was working for. This pub looked sleazy from the outside. When we first stepped into it in the late afternoon, there were people with tattoos playing pool there. The guys absolutely looked like the stereotypical bookies to me.

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