My first summer school just ended, and the more I look back at the pictures and all the things people are writing about it, the more I realise how much fun I had. It’s kinda like an acquired aftertaste. So by now I’m like OMGIWANNAGOBACKNAO. I think 5 weeks is a very suitable length. It’s not too short so you have enough time to bond, and it’s not too long such that one gets tired of his roomie’s face.

Speaking of roomies…

I’m not that much of a traveller. It’s not very wise to travel when one fails at map-reading in secondary school geography class. I could be poring over a map of the country upside-down without realising it until I see the big, bold inverted “CHINA” some 10 minutes later. And, first thing I know upon reaching Tianjin… I got a roomie who has an equally bad, if not worse, sense of direction. We ended up getting separated from the group and lost in the middle of nowhere umpteen times. And after 1 month of schooling we failed in our attempt to navigate to one of the less-frequented canteens by ourselves. Jerome thinks it helps his navigation abilities by parading in nothing except boxers, in order to show off his newly-purchased cap and shoes. Plus screeching loudly to emo songs every day. It doesn’t. My happiest moment during summer school might possibly be that morning when he lost his voice. (I’m still trying very hard to think of other happier moments.)

But one redeeming virtue is that he has muscles (or so he believes). Some brawn would have come in handy at the very beginning of my trip. When Cerlyn and I reached Beijing airport, it was an unearthly 2am plus. Somehow we just assumed that the airport overnight lounge would have an infinite number of rooms so we didn’t bother making prior considerations about accommodations. So when we saw the sign that read “Full – Closed for the night”, the shady female figure who apparently apparated conveniently right beside us didn’t seem that shady after all. She announced that she was from a nearby hotel, whose name she rattled so fast we didn’t really catch it (probably her intention) and offered us a room for a price which was quite atrocious but our fatigue was screwing with our mental faculties so we didn’t really care. 2 seconds later she whisked us onto this equally shady-looking cui white van with the hotel name printed on the sides. At this point alarm bells started ringing crazily in our heads and Cerlyn went to the airport reception to check out the hotel on the pretext of going to the toilet. Several minutes later, the very helpful lady and driver very helpfully loaded our luggage onto the van and I was whisked onto it as well, with the door left open. By then I was wondering what was keeping Cerlyn (I know girls take longer in the toilet but with the length of time she was gone she could have been giving birth) and started contemplating the best way to escape in case they drove off suddenly – Should I throw out all the luggage first then make a Schwarzenegger jump out of the van, or do the aforementioned jump while simultaneously grabbing as many pieces of luggage in one sweep of the arm?

I was very glad when Cerlyn finally reappeared and told me that this hotel was one of those underground unregistered ones, and we hurriedly scrambled off the van. No Schwarzenegger jump, no mega arm-sweep (admittedly my arm wasn’t that huge anyway).

Ah, I just recalled another serious contender for happiest moments – it was the time when all of us waded through Milo to school and back.

If you need help in visualizing this absolutely tantalizing prospect, refer to image below:

Ok lah actually it’s not Milo but the effects of a heavy shower – most of the roads were flooded and we were splashing through several puddles. But hey, it helps to imagine that you are weaving through Milo, instead of brown sewage water which has been in contact with god-knows-what-I-don’t-want-to-imagine.

Now for two other random but still very memorable moments.

One. Truth or dare. Thinking up of a dare. I remember walking past a room earlier and hearing people inside having sex (no I’m not giving details), so I suggest a dare involving ringing the bell of that same room. We were deciding on whether to run away after ringing or not, when the doorbell in our room rang merrily. We either:

  1. screamed collectively
  2. Isabel screamed and grabbed my arm and I screamed
  3. Isabel screamed and grabbed my arm and I made a weird face expression
  4. Isabel screamed and grabbed my arm and I made a weird face expression and screamed

or something else…I can’t remember. Epitome of 做贼心虚.

Edit: OK Isabel claims she didn’t scream – she just grabbed my arm and I screamed. But she still screamed more than me when we were watching Nightmare on Elm Street anyway.

Two. My roomie in Pingyao (there was a reshuffle) got drunk and was in danger of puking any time. We were sitting on this buggy transport thingy, and I learnt that besides using it for protection against the sun, sheltering against the rain or poking would-be assailants in the nether regions, an umbrella can also be used to block puke. Isabel whipped out the brolly when we made jokes about Imran puking during the ride (therefore she, who was sitting right behind, was within splash zone). Thing is, after we finished laughing at this, SHE KEPT THE BROLLY UP!

It wasn’t a joke!

Terrible girl can.

5 weeks…before it started it seemed like a long time, but now I realise it isn’t. Good times don’t last forever eh. Now it’s back to reality, and getting pumped up and raring to go for the final year of school! (That’s a lie, I haven’t even started on my summer school papers)