Sunday, October 05, 2008

Episode 13: Lower Ford Street Baptist Church & Natalie's 19th

So we finally made it to church this Sunday, but not without a fair share of drama. To begin with, it was raining for the first time since we've been in Warwick. As in actual rain, not just some anaemic drizzle that clears up after a while. It wasn't very heavy, but it was enough to soak me through and wish that I wasn't shivering. At first, we couldn't find the shuttle service to the church. We contacted the lady who was driving, and we made our way to what we thought was the correct place. Turns out, in a replay of last week, we turned in the wrong direction again and she was actually waiting for us further down the road from where we had been standing. If I didn't feel that it was actually important to attend a church regularly while I'm over here, I'd probably have given up and just gone back to bed. Sigh. I miss the convenience of church being just an MRT ride away! Stop me if I ever complain about that again when I'm back in Singapore, okay? Doesn't mean I'll stop wanting to take a taxi back from COGS when my dad's not in town though...

The actual service was really traditional. It was a baptism service this week, which is generally fun to watch. I think COGS should go back to doing complete immersions. Sprinkling water from the font just doesn't have the same dramatic effect. Anyway, I thought the service was nice, but if I had to attend it regularly, I don't think I'd be able to take it. They only had an organ and a piano for musical accompaniment, although I recognised most of the songs that were sung, and the ones that I didn't recognise were tuneful and lyrically meaningful. They even did 'Shout To The Lord', and it was way faster than anything that's ever been heard in COGS. I was flipping through the hymnal instead of listening to the sermon, just to get a feel of what sort of stuff they sing there. I didn't recognise most of the songs, and for the ones I recognised, some of the lyrics were different from what I'm used to singing. I was reading through the rationale for the alterations, and I'm afraid I don't quite see the point. The hymns I like, I like precisely because they sound slightly archaic. I feel it gives them a sort of gravitas that contemporary Christian music tends to lack. So while I enjoyed today's service, I think next week, I'll be visiting another church. Probably the one that Chernise attends?

After the service, we stayed behind in Coventry to shop for Natalie's surprise party. By the way, I managed to get refunds for my three Topman rings and my Primark hoodie. I love how the stores here will just give you a refund, no questions asked. I wish Singapore did that! Probably says something about our culture that we don't have such a customer-friendly refund policy. Surely it can't have that much of an impact on sales? We bought a Disney Princesses cake, and then spent a good deal of time trying to find a place that sold balloons. Along the way, I bought three roast pork sandwiches because I was hungry. They were pretty good, although I wish the applesauce hadn't been so bland! I was expecting a mix of sweet and savoury, but that didn't happen, so I'll admit I was a little disappointed. Randomly, can you believe that I still haven't had fish and chips here? Signature dish and all, but yeah, not yet. It'd better be good when I do! Otherwise, I'll be sorely disappointed and feel a bit cheated. Some stereotypes have to be true, don't they?

Got back to Warwick and went for my interview to become an Arts Centre steward. I really hope I get it, as it doesn't seem like I'll be becoming a STAR. Stewarding doesn't pay well, but that's not why I want to do it anyway. I'm more in it for the free shows, and getting to do something that I'll never have a chance to once I start working. Fingers crossed again! Then I went over to help with party preparations. I wasn't actually expecting to cook anything, but I somehow ended up being tasked to sauté the sausages for the pasta. The results were apparently satisfactory to everyone who tried it. Except for Keegan, who after tasting a slice of sausage, told me that he can see why I don't cook for myself. Like, what the hell? Thanks Keegan, seriously. If I ever whip up something decent, you're probably not getting any. I think I could become pretty okay at this cooking thing. Just give me time. Haha! The food overall was great, but then again, it generally is when a bunch of Singaporeans get together to make a meal, isn't it? Haha...

So what's a party without some games? A bunch of people started playing bridge, which devolved into some random game that Wayne taught them, before we all sort of ended up in a big group playing Mafia. Very JC orientation. We kind of got busted for throwing a party, but the resident tutor, while annoyed, didn't really lecture us at first. Nonetheless, she was quite the killjoy. We told her we'd probably be done by 9 pm, and she actually came back to check on us when it was approaching that time. She was a little bitchy then, as she was going on about our self-imposed timing and how we should be cleaning up. So we cleaned up and left not long after. I headed to The Graduate@Cholo with the usual suspects, where stuff happened that was both funny and scary, if you can believe that possible. Suffice to say that the rest of the night was something that shouldn't have happened, and we shouldn't have allowed it to anyway. Perhaps more importantly, it must never be allowed to happen again. I'm serious.

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