22.10.01

I find it peculiar that the Catholic Students' Society at the local university is organising an ''Exam Mass", subtitled "In Gods [sic] Time". Seeing a bold banner for the event made me smile --- how thoroughly Singaporean it is. There are so many dire world needs at the moment --- starving Afghan refugees, world peace, jobs for local families whose breadwinners have quite literally lost everything, the frequently neglected environment that is certain to be compromised further in the wake of the world's reordered priorities --- but let us pray for our exams that are with us now and forevermore.

The thing is, I remember what that was like: when exams were paramount, their results an oracle of my fate, and when I scoffed at those who brought Bibles and other relics in, but I made sure I offered God an unbeatable bargain in the ten-second pre-exam prayer too. Exams are everything here, but staring at the Exam Mass banner made me realize how horribly wrong and incongruous that is.

I am writing this on my Palm on the shakiest MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) train in the world. Starting and stopping procedures are smooth, but once it accelerates to full speed, it rattles with the ferocity of a Chicago El train. The other thing I noticed is that the new station (Dover) on the West line outside Singapore Polytechnic is open. It's a smashing station --- all glass and minimalist in design --- and those of you from/in Singapore may be relieved to learn that they found the same woman to record the public announcement of the station name, so it sounds as mechanically feminine as all the others and they didn't have to redo all the recordings, the way they recolored the maps (new train lines opening next year) and renumbered some stations.

Either that, or when the poor woman was hired, they made her record every possible station name that the subway system would ever need.

1 Comments:

At 8/11/2006 11:05 pm , Anonymous Kim said...

Hello Tym ... just chanced upon this post of yours. The Catholic Students' Society's main function is to cater to the students' needs. If you want masses for things like World Peace & refugees, these are held a-plenty elsewhere within the Singapore Archdiocese.

 

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