A much less hazy day today, which put me right in the mood to swim more than usual. Yesterday’s weather was pretty darn horrible. I woke up to find everything outside the window blurry, and a distinct smell of burning trees in the air. I was ready to call it a day after 32 laps, but pressed on for 4 more, and ended up nursing a very dry throat afterwards.

Anyway, weather aside, I just got back from reading Gerlynn’s blog, which was entertaining as usual. Her comment about my playing the national anthem as my wedding march (because, as you know, I’m more patriotic than the average Singaporean teenager – people just don’t realise how lucky they are to be living in this country) reminded me of a random call I received yesterday afternoon. Because my essay entry won me a pair of tickets to NDP 09 in the competition held by mypaper, this journalist, Victoria Barker, called me up yesterday for a brief interview of sorts.

Here’s how it went:

VB: Hi, Joyce. My name is Victoria Barker and I’m from mypaper. You are aware that you’ve won a pair of tickets to the NDP?

And blahdiddyblahblah.

VB: So who will you be going with?

Me: My dad.

VB: Is this your first time there with your dad?

Me: Yes, it is. (Wondered if I should elaborate, but could come up with nothing else.)

VB: So it’ll be a sort of bonding session for you two?

Me: Totally. (Decided that I had to get over these short answers.)

VB: Do you know about the Pledge thing?

Me: Yes. (But wondering why 8:22pm)

VB: So what does the pledge mean to you?

Me: (paused for a moment while my brain scrambled for a coherent answer) well, mainly, I think it’s a promise.


VB: Hello??

(problem resolved)

Me: Is this clearer now?

VB: Yes, it’s much better. Go on.

Me: As I was saying, to me, the pledge is a promise. Because when I was younger, I didn’t understand the significance of reciting the pledge everyday. But as I grew older and learnt about Singapore’s history through Social Studies, despite what everyone says about it being propaganda, I, on the contrary, came to better appreciate everything our government has done for us. So to me, the pledge is a promise they make to us, and we to them.

And then she asked me for my age, occupation and where I was studying at the mo, and thanked me for my time.

It was a good thing it was a phone call and not a face-to-face interview, because I was going so red and sweating buckets like I always do when people pay close attention to what I say. I remember my Oral exams in school. I’d be trying to mop up my sweat discreetly and maintain eye contact with the examiner, hoping she would pass off my blushing as a reaction to the weather.


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