The COVID-19: Where has humanity gone?

I believe by now, everyone knows about the new coronavirus, COVID-19.

Over the past month, many incidents took place, and I’m really pissed. So, I’ve decided to rant about it here.

It all started before Singapore announced that we’re raising the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) to orange, which you can read about it here.

“I am more critical of Singaporeans than of the Government. Many of our people don’t give a damn for the environment when they should. Many of our people are selfish and unkind. Just look at the way they drive,” – Professor Tommy Koh

I think by now, we all know that Asia is running out of masks, and I’m really disappointed to see people trying to take advantage of this crisis to earn a fortune by jacking up the masks!

I understand that there’s a low supply of masks, and I find it reasonable if it’s priced higher than the original amount. But here we are, people jacking up the prices to at least 10 times the price before Singapore issued a warning to several online platforms and even retailers against profiteering.

Next, people hoarding supplies! Singapore has yet to go into an emergency state, but people are all behaving like they’re shooting a zombie apocalypse movie. They started hoarding supplies from supermarkets around Singapore, and I’ve even seen a picture of a granny buying a whole trolley of instant noodles!

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I can understand if they’re worried and want to get some stockpile on food, but they didn’t even spare items like condoms and toilet rolls! Please enlighten me on how is that going to help you prevent the virus? Are you going to wrap yourself in toilet rolls like a mummy and a condom over your head when you go out?

This matter isn’t that big of a deal except for unnecessary alarm? Well, I thought so as well until someone starts selling them online! $20 for a single toilet roll!

I mean, I can understand if you’re trying to stockpile on masks, soaps, and other hygiene items, but are things like toilet rolls really that necessary? Are they afraid of not having any paper to wipe their bums when they do their business in the toilet? But that brings up one question, what kind of bums do they have to buy a full trolley of toilet rolls!

Moreover, people are also hoarding disinfectant wipes! What the hell can you clean with a tiny little small wipe? Diabetic patients need them!

“A first world country with third world citizens.” – Professor Tommy Koh

But those aren’t the real reason for my frustration, and the actual cause is because of discrimination!

We have people discriminating against health workers openly. Yes, health workers.

I’ve seen news here and there that people are discriminating against health workers, treating them as walking viruses!

They’re fighting on the frontline, putting their lives at stake to save lives, and yet, people are discriminating against them for it.

There was also an incident where emails among students from a certain university in Singapore being spread around, blaming and discriminating against students from China.

I asked myself this question, “They’re definitely one of the most educated bunch in Singapore, and some of them might be the country’s future leaders or even the educator of my child. Am I really going to leave my child to them?”

I’m a Singaporean, and I’m utterly disappointed by these black sheep. I thought that as a first world country, we should be better than this.

Other than all the anger and frustration, it’s also comforting to know that aside from black sheep, we also have people acting as a citizen from a first world country by showing kindness to others.

It put a smile on my face when I read an article of a family buying meals and going around the hospital to give them to the health workers along with some supportive notes.

Finally, this is just me ranting out my frustration, and it’s not directed at any particular individual. But if you’re someone profiteering from the virus or someone who discriminates against our brave health workers and finds this post offensive, too bad for you.

Back to Camp Life!

Yeah… thyaeria had diarrhea.

Sorry for the long hiatus! I was swamped watching a drama(should I post a drama review?) and got food poisoning thereafter.

It’s kinda tough writing these journey stuff as there are a lot of things to consider.

So back to the story! So we were all dropped off my our families before the camp, and all of us were queuing back to enter the camp. Heh, queuing to have our freedom taken away from us again, and you ain’t got a choice.

Well, all of us were pretty much resigned to it at this point.

So, the main reason why he had to queue to enter because we’re not allowed to bring in any prohibited items. [Camera phones, earpiece, snacks, cigarettes, alcohol, etc…]

PS: We’re not even allowed to bring phone chargers into the camp. So we have to live with one entire phone’s battery life for the entire week.

Why camera phones? Well, they ‘claimed’ that there are sensitive facilities in the camp that cannot be revealed to the outside world. I mean, it’s a police training camp and not a secretive army facility. I’ve not seen anything sensitive that may affect the interest of the nation/police force. Camera phones are even allowed in army camps(70% positive)! Well, they’re the boss, and they can set whatever rules they want.

Then again, we definitely have those clowns that tried to challenge the rules.

So, returning to our bunks after two days, all of us were still basking in the excitement of the outside world! We were busy chatting with what we did for the past two days.

Finally, when it’s 9 p.m., we were all gathered as we head for supper.

I think I did mention the ceremony that we had to do every morning and night, right? Water Parade?

So we had the water parade after our supper, which all of us were hammered again. They just had to break our beautiful holiday-mood and slammed us with hard, cold reality.

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But then again, I have to admit that all of us became slack with our discipline after enjoying two days of freedom outside.

Thankfully, it wasn’t a long one, and we were soon allowed to return to our bunks to shower and sleep.

I was fit!

The keyword here: was

My life in the camp was probably the fittest moment in my life. So what training did we go through? We practically had three sessions of training a day! Not your average gyming session, but it’s more like tactical training with the clear objective of draining every ounce of energy out of your body and make you fit by hook or by crook!

Schedule:
– Water Parade
– Physical Training
– Breakfast
– Rest
– Bunk Inspection
– Physical Training
– Rest
– Dinner
– Rest
– Physical Training
– Rest
– Supper
– Water Parade

Rests are about 1 hour each, to make sure that we’ve digested our food to begin our training and to cool down for us to have our meal.

I have to say that it was a boring life. Here’s a brief schedule of our life for the first two months…

We were unfit, and we had to be made fit. I mean, there’s a reason why I called myself a fat panda, right?

Just imagine our life for the next 2 months going through physical training, physical training, and more physical training…

It was boring, and at the same time, horrible. The training would increase gradually, so they’re not giving you any time for your muscles to get used to the training schedule. Just imagine the muscle soreness…

At this moment, I was wondering if I could become Saitama from One Punch Man after the entire training…

I know… these are all boring stuff. You guys want the juicy stories, right?! Stay tuned for the next post!

First week out of camp

Usually, new enlistees are required to stay in the camp for 2 weeks. But thank god! We only had to stay in the camp for 1 week since it was a public holiday on the weekend. So that means that we get to leave the camp!

man in maroon tank top

Constantly marching for a week was brainwashing, and I really mean it.

Whenever we walk, we could hear someone muttering, “Left, right, left, right…” in our minds…

At that point, marching was engraved deep into our bones.

We finally waited till the day that we regain our first 48 hours of freedom. At the same time, we also experienced our first bunk inspection.

So for bunk inspection, we must clean every nook and cranny. There must not be a speck of dust found anywhere in the room. Be it the roof, behind your cabinet, or anywhere!

It goes without saying that we failed. We failed terribly because we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t know that we had to clean the roof of the door, outside the window, and every secretive location.

Naturally, we were punished for our very first bunk inspection. I can’t exactly remember what we did, but I remember that it was horrible. At the same time, our commander let us off easy as it was our very first inspection.

When we marched out of the camp, all of us were excited. When everyone left the camp and saw our families waiting for us outside, our emotions were in turmoil.

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Some of us cried when we saw our families. Imagine how much hammering we went through the week for a grown man to cry.

We weren’t tortured, but we underwent intense training. Most of us never trained so hard in our entire life, but we were practically squeezed out of our last energy in our bodies.

Every single muscle in our body were practically screaming in pain. There wasn’t a single part of our bodies that isn’t sore.

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone…

When we stepped our feet out of the camp, we noticed that we had taken our freedom for granted. We only knew how precious it was when we lost it.

Seeing my father waiting for me outside the camp, it felt like we’ve been apart for years. The moment I stepped out of the camp, I realized that I’ve taken things for granted.

Guess how I spent my first night of freedom? Yeah, drinking. xD I got myself dead drunk with a dreadful hangover the next day.

PS: I was so brainwashed that I marched everywhere I go… Imagine going into a club marching…

But happy times passed in a blink of an eye, and it was time for me to return to the camp…

First Day of Hammering

typical-modern-bunk-in-army-camp.jpg

So after our parents left, we were led to our bunks where we will be staying for the next six months.

It’s a 10-person bunk. Each of us has a locker, bed, and a pillow. It looks something like the photo below…

So this will were we will be sleeping for the next 6 months; the place we call home.

Each of us has to carry our water bottles and raincoats with us at all times.

Our first activity was some introduction and some talks by our Field Instructor. We were all taught how to march and some simple commands before we went for lunch.

Never in my life, I’ve eaten a meal so healthy. A single portion of rice, meat, and vegetables. The food was all cooked with less or no oil at all!

After lunch, we were brought to do some admin stuff like getting our photos taken, that will be used in the future for our Officer Warrant Card. Oh god, I have 101 complains about that. Why do you have to take a photo of me, bald? Just why?!

We were also brought to collect our bedding, and we were all taught how to arrange our bed. The linen and blanket must be so tight that not a single crumb must be seen. Otherwise? Push-ups! 20 push-ups for every mistake you make. After all the explanations, we were brought to have our dinner.

Boring stuff after that, so I’ll fast-forward it to after supper!

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We finally met our company commander. He wasn’t tall, but he looks like a mini-Dwayne Johnson. I’m not kidding here, his biceps are probably bigger than the size of my head itself!

Before we rest for the night, we have this ‘Water Parade,’ where it’s implemented so each and every one of us stays hydrated.

But it was our nightmare. They knew they had to hammer discipline on us and make sure that discipline is engraved deep in our bones. As everyone knows, discipline is vital to every uniform group, especially in the army.

It Hurts GIF - Hurt LeonardoDicaprio GIFs

So we held a 1-litre bottle with our arms raised to 90-degree, horizontal to our chest level. Why? Because we weren’t loud enough in our response. When the commander called for ‘Bottles’ Up,’ we had to be swift and uniformed. But it was our first day, so how uniform can we get?

PS: The feeling of raising a bottle at 90-degree felt like doing a push-up when you go down and hold it there. The sore was insane!

Thus, we were hammered. I had no idea how long we raised the bottle up for, but I remembered each and every single one of us held our bottles till our arms were sore.

Everyone wanted to lower the bottle in their hands, but we knew that we had to persevere. Otherwise, more hammering awaits us…

Every single reply from us, they expected it at the top of our voice. “YES, SIR!”

Imagine that we have to carry our raincoats at all times as well? It was usually clamped under our underarms. Every single one of us were sweaty, and due to the material used to make the raincoat, it was pretty slippery. *YIKES* So every single one were practically clamping our underarms as hard as we could to keep the raincoat from falling.

Can you imagine putting on the raincoat that probably stinks with your sweat in the future? But at this moment, hygiene was the last thing on our mind…

We had to keep repeating everything until it was up to satisfaction. I remember that we were doing it for at least an hour before we were allowed to return to our bunks.

Despair and New Life

We’re done with the summary of my life in the previous post, but it’s time for me to share my life in the past 3 years!

So, the older readers of my novel might know by now. I was posted to Singapore Police Force for my mandatory/conscripted service to my nation shortly after joining Wuxiaworld.

Today, I’ll like to talk and share about it! Personally, I considered it my journey as a boy to a man.

Somewhere around April 2017, I received a letter that left me dazed for minutes. It was a letter requesting me to fulfill my national service as I graduated from college about 5 months ago.

Despair ransacked my mind. I wanted to keep translating, and I don’t want to stop doing what I love. But there were over 100+ chapters before catching up to the latest chapter at that time. In Singapore, you are required to undergo training before you’re posted out as an officer, that goes the same for the Army & Civil Defense. That means that I will be spending my weekday in the camp and less than 48 hours out on the weekend.

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At the same time, that means that it will have a significant impact on my career/hobby as a translator!

For the next 2 weeks, I spent all my time in my room translating. I slept only 4-5 hours a day and never left my computer desk. I even ate before my computer, and only left my computer for the bathroom… I want to translate as much as possible, even at the cost of cutting down my resting and eating time. At that period, I was translating under sheer despair because I don’t want to quit translating!

Fortunately, my hard work paid off. I translated over 100+ chapters before I got enlisted. I was translating at an unprecedented speed, a feat impossible for me to repeat now. Mind you, that was translating under pure despair itself, and you can say that I was draining myself out.

PS: I take about 1.5-2 hours for a chapter now.

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Call me the Prince of Despair! Yes, I was translating under despair. Perhaps you might think that it’s insignificant to feel despair, but do keep in mind that I came from a low-medium income family. I stopped asking for money from my parents for years, and was self-sustaining myself with what I earn through translating while contributing the extras to my parents to help them out with the household bills.

So just imagine that I have to lose all my income for $500/month, which was my allowance for national service.

National service was inevitable for every healthy and able male citizen in Singapore. So, I soon welcome my new life in the training camp. For the first time in my life, I had to shave off all my hair. How did being bald felt? I could feel the wind blowing against my scalp.

I resigned myself to fate and reported to camp on 17 May 2017. Walking into the camp with my parents, the first thing I felt was depression. The depression of losing my freedom for the next 6 months. We had a tour around the camp with my parents as the instructors introduced the various facilities to us. Shortly after, I was separated from my parents. While they’re attending a talk, we were instructed to form up and register ourselves before going through all the procedures.

Roughly two hours of hassle later, I arrived in the auditorium that our parents were at. Standing before the audience, we took the pledge to serve our nation. At that moment, the depression I felt was swept with pride surging my chest, for I knew that it would be a transforming journey.

Instead of welcoming a new life with depression, why not embrace it with joy instead? What an optimistic fellow? xD

And thus, I welcomed a new journey of my life. A journey that I taught me so much; it was still engraved in my very soul even after a year later.

Light novels coming into my life…

You may know me by my handle; you may have read my translations. Now, it’s time to know me as a person.

The very first life lesson that my parents taught me — independence.

I was taught that nothing comes free, and you have to work for it. They would always tell me 先学会赚钱才学花钱 — learn how to earn money before learning how to spend it. Perhaps part of it was because I came from a low-medium income family for that to be the first life lesson that they taught me. They were loving parents, and I love them!

But like any other teenager, I underwent the ‘rebellious’ phase when I was a 14. Getting myself into fights and having my parents invited to school was the norm.

Katekyo.Hitman.REBORN!

Not long after, a good friend of mine introduced me to anime. I still remember the very first I watched was Kateikyoshi Hitman Reborn, and I soon found myself spending my time every day after school watching anime. Before I noticed it, I watched every single action/shonen anime out there. Thirsting for more action, I dove into the manga community.

After 2 years, I completed reading all the action/shonen manga out there. At that time, I was already 17, and I was about to start a new phase of my life in college with a part-time job.

It takes 2 hours for me to travel from home to college and vice-versa during the weekdays, and working as a laptop salesman on the weekends.

Imagine the amount of time I have traveling… 4 hours traveling back and forth to school. So I soon started reading light novels. The first novel that actually got me into addicted was Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, which I wound spend my journey staring into my phone reading like a geek.

But if anyone remembers, there was a small episode about LMS, which was put on hiatus. Thus, I gave Coiling Dragon a try, a novel translated by the Renwoxing. Back then, CN novels weren’t that popular compared to Japanese and Korean Novels.

Despite being a Chinese, it was a shame that  I can only converse in Mandarin and couldn’t read. Thus, I thought that translating novels myself might be an excellent opportunity for me to brush up on both languages.

I started learning how to read Chinese all over again from scratch. Getting myself familiar with the words and learning how to read novels in raw.

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Then, I finally made the decision to translate when I was confident with my command in Chinese, both verbally and written. I picked 妖神记 (Tales of Demons and Gods) as my very first novel. At that time, the thought of translating novels as a career never crossed my mind. At most, it can only be considered as a hobby for me.

But thanks to the passionate support from readers, I quitted my job as a computer salesman and became a part-time translator, typing away on my keyboard behind my screen. It was the beginning of my journey in the Dao of Translations…