Well I'm back from the Aranda Country Club at Pasir Ris after a lovely 3 day 2 night chalet stay. It was alot of fun, and we did many other things. But I did not take alot of photos, in fact far less than I had expected, but out of what I took this should summarise what we did with the majority of our time.
Sigh every player's dream. Except we decided to be idiots and plop all the 'flowers' on top, which is possible with too much luck in your hands. Memorise the combo people. Might very well come in handy in a matter of weeks.
Met Ryan at Tampines Mall. On the train it so happened that we met Elton. I noticed that I was the only one carrying two bags, one of which was bulging awkwardly and the other weighing a ton and big enough to be a bolster. We hung around White Sands for awhile waiting for Graham, and then we set off for Aranda together. We took bus number 3.
'So where is this Aranda?'
'We'll probably pass it along the way.'
'Huh, like that ah?'
'Hang on I'll get the fare stage info.'
'Uh guys, Aranda doesn't show up anywhere here.'
'I'll ask the driver, 'scuse me...'
'Down down! Get down now!'
And so we were stranded opposite Pasir Ris Primary School. I called Kaiyan.
'Eh Kaiyan, where exactly is this Aranda?'
'I dunno exactly where leh.'
'Where are you now?'
'Opposite Pasir Ris Primary School.'
'Pasir Ris Primary School...'
Next thing I knew I heard his mom yelling at him asking him why he did not tell us it was at Downtown. Thanks Mrs Leong. And since it was on the same side of the road, we decided to walk back. Ryan and Elton and me took turns carrying that dreadfully heavy bag. Ryan lasted the longest. The first person to insist carrying heavy stuff. We were so out of breath when we got to the clubhouse that I could barely curse Kaiyan. Finally got to the chalet... Being the smart boy I normally am I immediately boiled water while the others were busy chilling out. Kaiyan had brought his friend's bike and one of his own for me to use because I had complained about the crazy rental rates there. $20 for a day, $15 for a night.
Poor Graham brought his xBox for nuts, because the tivo with THIRTY FIVE channels didn't have one single AV channel. Graham was super sian diao. We were waiting for Kaiyan to get his friend's bike fixed. The gears were running out of order, and he had paid $40 to get it fixed. So I decided to do a little moving in. I picked the master bedroom and set up my speakers on the table, with my CD player and Zen Micro and their respective chargers at the ready, as well as a couple of test songs to adjust the damned bass. When Kaiyan came back he collected his due money and then he and Ben cycled out to get food for our BBQ.
It's nice to know when your friends have prepared everything to go before hand isn't it?
Later Ben called to get us to go to Cheers to check out the charcoal and wire mesh. We got the mesh, the charcoal, plates and cups, utensils, and drinks. But just after we checked out, we found out that the other two idiots did not have enough sense to get a lighter, when they had already gotten firestarters. I conveniently picked up a Doritos Salsa, as well as some moderately nice mini currant cookies because I was hungry. Look I somehow eat less than you guys ok, so don't give that stare. I only had two packets of Myojo noodles. Fattening but not filling. First thing back in our apartment I dumped the chips in the freezer like I always do. Graham was like, 'Is that normal?' I'm never quite normal, so... Soon we were down starting the fire... C4 was the pit we chose...
And we started out with this.
The pink shirt's Sining, Graham's standing in front waiting to get his face fried, that slipper is Elton, and that little triangular white bit of fabric in the lower left corner is Ryan. It took quite alot of hard work, a very frustrated Sining, and quite some time to get the pit glowing orange. But it paid off, because unlike a normal BBQ fire, we happened to have a slow cooker, so our sausages and chicken were BBQed to unseen perfection. Ben Chen and Kahyee, who came later, went to Cheers to get us a six-pack Carlsberg and a six-pack Tiger as some sort of payment for having some of our food. And shortly after Kaiyan came down with his Merlot I think it was... I frantically yelled at him when he tried to pour the wine into the styrofoam cups. When will you ever learn that alcohol does not go with foam? Its worse than Vaseline and rubber dammit. Sigh anyway we used the cups provided by the chalet. Graham poured less than a quarter of the cup for me, but I didn't really like it undiluted, and I wasn't particularly in the mood to get drunk either, so I used Pink 7-Up to fill the rest of the cup. It was quite good after that. But I think I perfer port.
Ben and I went up early. I bathed and got into more comfortable clothes, and waited for the rest to come up (I am such a slacker). Meanwhile Kahyee was complaining to Ben that her hands were itching. To play mahjong. Sigh... True blue Hongkonger. But only Ben knew how to play, Sining wasn't up yet, Elton only played two times in his whole life, I only played on my handphone. Graham and Ryan have no idea. So, she said she would come back the next day around 12 to play. After that she and Ben Chen left together.
When we finally settled down to play it was Ben (with Jill) Sining and Ryan. Sining and Ben was teaching us. So the first round went smoothly. We were building our walls 18-19-18-19. When we finally washed and rebuilt, there was 18-18-18-18.
What the hell?
We counted our tiles properly. No extra tiles. We searched all around the floor. No tiles. Sining went into the room. Ben said, 'Eh if you find it in there, I will run out of this place sia.' Haha, hum ji. We grouped the tiles to see what was missing. North winds - all here, south winds - all here... Not one tile was missing.
Jill unleashed such a scream that we were stunned into silence. Then Ben said, 'Don't ever do that again.' Finally Ben solved the mystery by remembering that his set did not have the four bonus tiles. Cat mouse centipede (don't ask why, don't ask) and rooster. Someone had counted wrongly, and we were too engrossed to notice. We could have killed him for scaring us, but we were too interested to learn mahjong. Later Elton and Graham picked it up too, and that's that. Sining and Jill had gone home, so it was Kaiyan Ben Elton Ryan Graham and me. We ordered Macdonald's home delivery, and had quite a feast while playing. Kaiyan dashed to bed at 1am, so it was the five of us until 4am, playing without betting chips (but with my Salsa chips) and loser out. Ryan had choped the single bed, Kaiyan was in the other, Ben and Elton slept together in the Queen bed (saucy hmmm?), so Graham and I slept on the sofas. It wasn't long before I noticed that Graham had shifted to the floor. The two-seater was simply too small for him. And he said he didn't need a blanket yet. I was not surprised when in the morning Kaiyan greeted me and informed me that Graham shifted into his single bed. I went to the loo to wash up and change.
When I got out Kaiyan was gone. Then Ben came out and with Kaiyan's blessing we took the two complimentary breakfast coupons to the poolside deli and had a lovely breakfast of egg mayo on some sort of grilled dough, and the strongest coffee I have ever had since dining in Triple 3 (madly expensive buffet restaurant in Marina Mandarin with musicians and a $50+++ bill per person. Their coffee is heaven). Kaiyan had gone to Elias Mall to get breakfast for us.
They were playing mahjong when we got back so we joined in. Shortly after Kaiyan and I went to play pool, but it was two freaking dollars per game, so after one game at my expense we went up to play a dual car racing game which invariably left me 4th and Kaiyan 3rd. But he was right about one thing. Manual transmission is better, and I am never choosing automatic again. We rented an xBox station after an hour. We were allowed to choose 2 games, and we picked Dead or Alive Beach Volleyball (more for Kaiyan's fantasies than anything else) and Fatal Frame 2, which I insisted we try. Fatal Frame is a horror game. It tells of these two sisters who find a haunted house and a special camera, the Camera Obscura, which captures supernatural things that the human eye won't normally catch. Kaiyan was bitching about how it was the stupidest game he's ever seen. Then he watched the mini-movie about the power of the Camera Obscura (this guy was taking a picture in front of some sort of deserted altar when translucent hands flew out and closed in on the camera/him) and clawed his face with his hands. Later he was making noise about where was my 'sis', who was supposed to be behind me, and I finally turned round just to shut him up and found that she was not there. I went back the way we came, and found her staring at the wall opposite. I went near and pressed a button, and my character asked her what was wrong. She pointed over to the wall and whispered, 'Someone was standing there...' My character went over and slid the door and inch open, and found this face staring at us. At this Kaiyan yelled fearfully and I was so startled by the combination of the face and his yell that I yelled too. Lucky the others were too busy with their game to take notice. After that Kaiyan covered his eyes everytime I walked through a door or rounded a corner.
After our hour was up we went to have lunch at the Aranda Restaurant, I had Fish and Wedges as usual. Not that I've been to Aranda Restaurant alot of times, but as a habit I order Fish and Chips everytime I step into a new restaurant. Kaiyan settled for Bolognaise. Kahyee went havoc the previous night, so she wasn't playing after all. We went up to change and get Kaiyan's friend's bike repaired. The previous day Ryan was riding it when the gears and chain jammed suddenly and the back gear just fell off. Kaiyan was devastated. It cost 400 bucks. Another of his bike pro friends suggested he removed the gear that had fallen out. That'd make it normal again. He had it done for $5. And just then Ben rang up and got us to get lunch for the three of them. Basket. What was worse, our friend Kaiyan insisted on taking me to a coffee shop to get it, saying foodcourt (at White Sands) was too expensive. And never again am I cycling with him. He does all the crazy nonsense on the road as if it was his father's. Like cutting across four freaking lanes to get to the opposite side of the road. No wonder, of course, I was left far behind. And when we finally got to a coffee shop there was no chicken rice! I was very tired, and rather pissed at Kaiyan. So he got duck rice for them in the end. And when I asked for an easier route, he suggested the park connector. Within five minutes he had to stop for me. But we got back really fast, and going downhill into the club was cool. When we got back they were at mahjong again. Graham had already left. And we played till Ryan had to go, and then it was the four of us. We played till dinner, where we went to Downtown East foodcourt. After that we played at FunkyballPool which freaking cost $7 per hour. Shortly before that Elton's slipper strap had broken, so they went to buy glue for it. While it was Kaiyan's turn, I opened the glue and put the strap back in place. It was strong glue, no one could deny. And it must have been a reaction that caused a little smoke to puff up from the contact point. Either way his slipper got fixed, albeit a little loose. We toyed with the idea of KTV, but the lounge required smart casual, so we went back for MORE MAHJONG. That mad Kaiyan turned drunk and so hyped up after the three of them agreed that loser (the one who gives out the tile needed for the person to game) would have two sips of beer. After 2 or 3 cans were finished on this basis (I think we all know who drank the most), we retired to the room to what would be an intermission of Tai Di. But after one game Elton and I plopped down on the bed and refused to get up. So they had no choice but to go to sleep.
The next morning when I woke Elton was still sleeping. I was lying on my side thinking about Kaiyan yelling at Fatal Frame, and Elton chose that moment to turn around and open his eyes to find me grinning voyeurishly at him. I shall have to be more careful where I face next time. In time we started packing up and eventually (after the housekeeper came to check around the house) we left the chalet. Kaiyan's mom drove Ben and Elton to the MRT station, and since bus 3 went to Tampines, and since there wasn't anymore space anyway, I decided to walk out.
So there's it. Our chalet. I just realised that I had left my jeans hanging in the cupboard, where I had put it up the first day, as well as my facial foam in the bathroom. I've contacted Aranda, and the receptionist has taken my particulars and promised to call me back tomorrow. Ryan had left his charger there, and I took it with me. It was supposed to be Ben, but he was so sian diao when I reminded him to take it that I put it in my bag instead.
orchestrated by Renhao at 4:24:00 pm
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