Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
Weblog about cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore.
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Sun 02 Jan 2005

New Year's eve

Category : NUS

New Year's eve used to be hustle and bustle in campus, followed by pizza or a fight for parking nearby during lunch with some marine biology friends before we made off. This year it was quite different.

The canteen and most of campus was deserted on a drizzly New Yer's eve (31 Dec 2004) but Spinelli's was a warm and pleasant surprise. I ordered coffee and a bite without thinking and discovered I had no money on me. So I called WYT who was patiently waiting to start work at the museum. She came down to bail me out and after we scrounged the contents of her wallet, she even had enough left over for a muffin.

We looked at the last issue of Streats - for once a pile was available as no one was around. They usually disappear by 8am. Pity it's going, as I'll miss its human interest stories and coverage of cycling and environmental issues. I'll miss Channel i too, especially its news at 8.30pm. They'd all been helpful.

We talked about the Tsunami Disaster and I told her about what I had been doing the pat week with the Habitatnews directory on how we can help, and how it turned out to be useful to many. As I worked on more updates on my iBook (NUS Science Canteen has wireless), WYT decided she wouldn't work but would instead help at one of the collection centers. She left when the rain stopped.

I went up to the museum and hit the lights. Still worked on the webpage, thinking it'd just take another hour. Shortly after, I heard voices. An Indonesian Chinese family of six adults and children had decided to drop in, not realising the gallery was closed. I let them in, and turned on the gallery lights, and shifted my iBook out to the office next to the gallery and continued. They seemed to really enjoy themselves, chattering non-stop in Bahasa about the exhibits. Each one shook my hand and said thank you as they left more than an hour later. So that was fruitful.

I finally finished the webpage amidst many phone calls exchanging updates with friends in the field. It was 6pm and my eyes were throbbing. Turned out, I hadn't left my chair since 10am, except for two frantic sprints to the toilet. And never did venture down to Spinelli's at 2pm for that last drink before they closed. Not that I had any money but the guys would've sprung me a free drink on New Year's Eve.

I felt quite silly - I could have made all the webpage updates at home, without freezing in the aircon, and with less frantic sprints to the loo. I had actually come to look at crab specimens but the webpage was useful - the constant number of calls coordinating justified it as many friends were hard at work, contributing very useful help at various places. Last night, I emailed NVPC about their page - it looks set to take over after the first rush of supplies are sent off and I hope they will take information updates there by phone and email. They seem to be moving in that direction anyway and have a lovely webpage.

I rushed off via NUH and looked in on the NUS Medical Society Room on the way out (we'd publicised that in NUS). A medical student was there, on duty, and the setup was clear enough. They already sent off a container and will get more in the new year.

After an ATM withdrawal, I went to Ghim Moh to collect my bicycle from its annual maintenance just before the shop closed. Waiting out the heavy storms, I grabbed a window in the downpour and rode home in the rain. It's going to be a tough year and I'm looking forward to riding again in 2005!

Posted at 2:00AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .