Sunday 13 June 2021

Old Buddies

Old Buddies

This dream involves some of my old OCS buddies, esp those who are more active in our current Whatsapp group.

It starts with us in the room we share. It's a compact bedder, and there are roughly six to eight of us. 
We are discussing what to do next, where to go, etc.

I take our empty kettle and head for the water dispenser at the end of the corridor. It is a "T-junction" where a folding table is put up against the wall. The table, with its pearl colored top and aluminum trim reminds me of a hospital. In fact, a nurse is found there and she tells me this hostel we are in was once an insane asylum. The place is brightly lit, so any notion of it being haunted seem remote.

I don't give much notice to what the nurse says and head back.

Once inside the room (it is dark) I am surprised by a prank the guys had installed. There is Chew, Alex, Ling, etc. Poh shouts a forewarning and I quickly leap. Some kind of fireworks go off that seem like a bunch of weeds striking at my groin. In any case, no damage is done and I laugh it off. We all laugh. Fun times.

We then make preparations to leave.

We are now on the outside and looking back I can see that our room was part of a long shed. It is made of wood. Tong was behind and hurried behind a row of bushes. He either wanted to use the tap there or to relieve himself.

The security guard makes a passing remark as we head out.

Soon we find ourselves walking in an area that's dusty and full of rock outcrops. It reminds me of the rockies in Colorado. Gerard and I are in conversation and we commend on how the moon looked spectacular this particular night.

In no time we reach a village with congested wooden abodes squeezed haphazardly by each other. Somehow it feels Chinese, like maybe a mining town back during the time of California's Gold Rush. I am wary and tell the guys to watch out. The sense is that someone might leap out of a window and rob us.

Behind, someone approaches, a young man in a dusty mackintosh. Tong too appears and is moving in a stealthy fashion behind the stranger, darting into doorways to avoid being seen. I feel good to have a buddy watch our backs.

I catch up to the guys and see them in a kitchen that sells cut fruits. Their backs are to me as they help themselves to the tasty treats. A lady boss speaks to me - a middle-30s PRC sort - and extols the virtues of her fruits, how fresh she keeps them, etc. I just feel glad that my guys are having a good time.

Next, I see myself arriving at the edge of a city, a parking spot where a grass patched kerb and big tree stands. Beyond that, a network of highways and flyovers.

The dream ends here.

Sunday 13 August 2017

An Old Friend in an Old Town

I was surprised by this dream. First of all it's long. It also has some elements of an old dream involving an old friend I have not met for a long time. I'm surprised I recalled and dreamt about it.

The dream is unusual in another way: it is multifaceted. To understand, let's begin.

**The Jade Car

The dream starts with me in a semi-detached bungalow. It appears to be my mom's home (in real life she stays in a small, cozy flat). We are all getting ready to leave. My mom has been invited to an old friend's place and we are to travel there in two separate cars. I leave and brush past the MPV parked in family driveway. On its back D column, I could see that the surface of the van is made of dark green jade. The jade is streaked in blackish cloud lines commonly found in expensive jade. The cloud patterns are regular and paisley minuscule in shape.

The other car parked outside by the kerb is a wide saloon reminiscent of something Chrysler might have make in the early-70s/late-60s.

My ex-GF is waiting there and so is tall, lanky guy with 70s hair, pants and shirt. He reminds me of some party guy from a band who is out to annoy folks because, well, he could.

I pile into this second car with them. The lanky guy decides (purposely) to get in-between me and my Ex in the backseat. Throughout the whole journey, with every roll of the car, he would pretend to lean exaggeratedly on her making her feel rather violated. She would then hug her handbag tighter and squirm further deeper in the corner. Finally, after the umpteenth time, I decide to get in between them. My Ex is relieved and rests her head on my shoulder. The tall, lanky guy makes no fuss and whistles away as if nothing has happened.

I notice my girlfriend's ear and remember the countless times I've whispered sweet nothings into it, not to mention the affectionate nibbles I've bestowed upon it. The scenes outside the window roll by, seemingly wistful.

I had dated this Ex because we shared an interest in photography (she introduced me to Henri-Cartier Bresson) and were from the same dialect group, Cantonese. After we broke up, I've often wondered how she got on. We've never met again.

**A Wooden Town

After a while, we arrive at my mom's old friend's place. It is in the middle of an old street (Chinatown?) which is itself in the middle of a warren of houses that looks rather Dickensian in structure and haphazardness. The facade of this old friend's home is paneled with curvish wood the color of teak but lacquered to give it sheen. Some of the other nearby buildings have beams that are painted black.

The curved panel wood reminds me of those half logs popular in Chinese carpentry. You know, those that follow the semi-circle geometry common in, say, Chinese coffins. Used on buildings, they look robust and strong.

I size up the facade but has no idea as to how big the home is or how wide. Buildings in this particular warren seems to mesh into one beast with no apparent beginning or end.

Inside, the home is surprisingly not unlike any semi-detached bungalow with its tiled floors, pastel wall paint, semi-French windows, guest hall, dining room, etc. It even has a round pedestal Chinese vase standing in one corner offering up a spread of tall, pink spring blossoms.

I look out of one of these windows and expect to see a garden. Instead, the whole ground has been turned into a wading fountain calf-deep in water filled with carp, lotus, and lily pads. In the middle and commanding much space is a black marble slab carved and shaped into the Chinese word "sow" for longevity. It lies horizontal and faces the sky. Water flows over it and off its edges and into the pool below.

I've been in this home for a while and get bored. I decide to leave to explore the neighborhood and see what kind of shops there might be out there.

I look around for an exit and see a flat panel door by the indoor staircase. I intuitively think it will lead to the outside. It does.

**Into the Rabbit Hole

Ok, it is not exactly Alice in Wonderland but as I stepped through the small panel door that's half my height, I stumble into a corridor that's more like a crawlspace. Perhaps it is a chute that exists between buildings. It is made of plywood and box-like and one could sit upright in it.

I see a similar panel opening opposite and so crawl into it. Didn't look like I have much choice.

**An Old Friend

Because of the awkward height of this panel door, I had some difficulty extricating my leg and so stumble my way in. I fall back and immediately, someone pins me to the ground. It is my old friend, Loon.

He has the same shaggy hair and those "far-away" eyes.

He doesn't speak. In my dream he looks at me as if staring  up close into a camera. His eyes are moist as if remembering something painful. It is pleading too, asking if I feel the same pain. I watch, transfixed.

Then his lips purse up an earring. It is one of those small ones that curve round the lobe. It is gemstoned in pastel colors. Lilac and pink. Was it from a past love that he is recalling now?

In a moment, the other half of the same earring, as if to answer my question.

After a while he retreats and I raise myself up. Resting on one elbow, I chat with him.

Loon and I had done projects before. Once, it was a rotating head with arrows of mental illness types stucked into it. It was for a national exhibition to promote mental health. Another time, it was woodworking, costume making and game design for a live role-playing game. We were both into sci-fi then.

Loon's room is quite the same as the corridor. Plywood and box-like and he has to stoop his head to move about. I think that's the image I remember Loon of most. Stooped, as if having worked long hours, but his eyes betray a brain that's constantly thinking, creating. His eyes were kind though.

After some chitchat, Loon points me to a shop whom he is working with. Loon is an illustrator and stage designer. He did Singapore's first digital comics panel for a local Sunday paper.

Where is the shop? I ask.

We both exit his capsule room and end up in a shop that reminds me of a perfume showroom, you know, the kind that you find at shopping malls? The ones with counters of particular brands of make-up and parfum?

I chat with the girls there and found them to be a conviable bunch. They are young and eager to share. I wanted to return the hospitality by showing them a funny video I saw on Youtube.  It was a ROFL kind of video from a Learn Japanese Through Exercise class.

However, no matter which computer or laptop we used, it was not possible to get online.

In fact, some of the keyboards they showed me looked decidedly like Victorian steam-punk gadgets. Or some would be made of colorful plastics. But still no access to Google and Youtube. In fact, some of the gagdets were not unlike calculators or cash registers that are part of their countertops.

The whole place has a candy Japanese "kawaii" feel about it. Not too garish, but fun and comfortable with make-up lights et al.

I then want to use my phone to access the internet and realise that I've left it at my mom's friend place.

I meet the boss, who is a kindly lady dressed in a pink jacket blouse and black skirt. The fashion looks decidedly Korean.

Seeing how handy I was with the gadgets and stuff, the lady offers me a job. I feel it has more to do with the Communications aspect of my work experience. She confides that she does need someone to look after the marketing of her products.

At that, I wonder about the whole place and what it is like. Well, a marketer does need to know his area and base of ops!

Next, I leave the shop and find myself outside where we had first arrived earlier. I am now standing on a cobbled street and looking up at a house with black painted wooden beams and a room that juts out....the kind that reminds one of Dickensian times.

Am I in old London?

The next scene flits to an afternoon tete-a-tete with another ex-GF. We are sitting round a small red foldable table and having coffee. It reminds of a scene that leads to another dream. But no chance. I wake.

The end. (Here it is, the hilarious "I Have A Bad Case Of Diarrhea" Youtube video.)

Sunday 26 June 2016

Of Dead Leaves and Gummy Leaches

This is an interesting dream. And like most of my dreams, they seem to come from left field with no ties to my present state of mind or what some dreamiesters would attribute to "stress" in my life. Really, if you are not in my shoes, I feel you will have a hard time trying to solve the puzzle that are my dreams.

Ok, this dream came after watching three Euro matches two of which went to extra time, one that even began at 3 am and ended close to 6 am. Did fatigue have something to do with this particular dream?

I must admit. To avoid feeling like a zombie in the morning, I actually sleep-watched my football games, napping when my eyes are tired and waking (usually) later in the match. Amazingly, I did not miss any crucial parts of the matches, nor any goals (or replays of them, haha).

The dream started with some kind of fun chase. We were running along a narrow boardwalk that lined a beach front that had folks sitting down for evening coffee or light meals. Above them were strung the usual ambient light bulbs giving the place a bit of a festive air.

Why were we running? I think an earlier part of the dream had us accosted by some person or dog at a kampung area (a 'kampung' is an Asian rural area of wooden houses with thatched or zinc roofs) where I believe someone was  thrusted against a wooden wall. I know, it sounds kind of violent. Maybe it was. I would have to recall more.

In any case, as we ran, in a presumably joyful mood, I then climbed a ringed staircase, you know, the sort found on antenna towers for service folks, I bumped into a drain gutter and roof. I was then showered with all kinds of detritus - dead leaves, dust, soil bits, etc. I was totally plastered, as if I had rolled in the stuff itself.

Getting back on the ground, I tried to get the stuff off. But to no avail. The more I tried to shake it off, the more the stuff would come back. Imagine ants crawling all over you and the more you brush them off, the more would come back.

However, what's coming back is not ants but soil-like dust. Or dark, wet Chinese tea-leaf bits, you get my drift. Or black volcanic sand, the kind that's found on the southern beaches of Bali. The ones that will stick to your wet body.

Then there were also the gummy-like patches in the color of tanned skin. At first I thought I was suffering from some form of measles, but as the patches grew darker (and raised) I picked up courage to peel them off. And glad they came off without tearing my skin. I would do the same with the other drier, scab-like patches.

In the end, I was finally free from this horrific skin condition and sat down for tea with someone who felt like my mom (or an actress playing the part of my mom). We sat outside a kampung house and had teh-C orleng, my kind of teh-C beverage. The scene reminded me of the Chinese kampung along Jalan Cheng Hwa or even the one in present day Pulau Ubin kampung.

There were scenes of an earlier conflict, maybe a gang fight even, but the memory is foggy. And sitting there enjoying the tea, we seemed to be watching a rally of some sort.

The end.

Sunday 18 October 2015

Batik Shirt

I am in a meeting with a couple. They are Thai, skinny and youngish looking. Why, I am surprised when they tell me they are both 27 and 33 respectively. I had thought they were just in their late teens or early 20s.

We are in a cafe in a shopping mall, the kind with a large atrium. A few floors up and sitting at a cubicle table along the corridor. It is day, and very bright. The shopping centre feels familiar, like the one I had visited in a dream before. It has three high-rise circular sections, each with its own atrium and information counter.

The meeting starts. The couple are concerned. At this point I learn who I am. I am their English tutor and they are about to go overseas for studies. They wonder if they are making the right decision. I tell them it is never too late to study and it is always good to have a degree - for reason of career and personal advancement.

I ask if they are engaged; they both nod. I said "Really?" and they both nod again. I am not sure why I have to affirm this bit of info. There seems to be some kind of family values involved. 

I then recall being at their family home and being with their family members. It was a happy, casual occasion.

After this first meeting I return to Singapore. I remember going via the Causeway so I must have landed in JB and taken the land road home. I did, after all, lived in nearby Marsiling before.

I also remember leaving the cafe and browsing over some clothing shop. The shirts there had patterns similar to Indonesian batik. I checked my wallet and realised I had a few notes left and just enough foreign currency to get home.

We are now at our second meeting. It's at the same location. Everything is cheery, and it appears that much have been decided upon. The couple are happy and give me a brown batik shirt as a gift. It is not cotton but one made of polyester and cotton mixed. Maybe rayon. But it fits me nicely. My shoulders and chest look buff.

Later, I meet MH and Set on the taxi home and they compliemented on my shirt. I told them I was on work assignment in Thailand.

At the shopping centre after my meeting with the couple I leave. But there seems to be a commotion downstairs at the atrium. People are fleeing and I am being swept along. We run to the back of the building and find ourselves in some back maintenance/loading area with big pipes running along the walls. They are painted in a dirty mustard yellow color. The whole place looks a bit grungy.

I escape to the outside and walk along a kampung road. It is a dirt road with a grassy stream running beside it. Ahead are padi feilds and coconut trees. The scene reminds me of a kampung from my godma's condo on the outskirts of Malacca.

I get into a taxi and meet MH and Set. Not long after they compliment me on my batik patterned shirt. I again look into my wallet and find few notes there.

The end.

Sunday 7 June 2015

Spiderman and a Demon

This dream is rather unusual flying one. It starts off at the screening of two Spider-man movies in a gym (the old tall secondary school type) and the teacher - a pretty one looking businesslike in shirt and tight skirt, colors actually looking like a casino croupier - grilling us on the differences between the two.

The movies were about a good and bad Spider-man. It was also about the abilities of the superhero. I somehow feel indignant and think I could do a better job at 'flying' (Spider-man was more about swinging). I suddenly begin to float like I often do in such 'flying dreams' of mine - this time floating in a gentle but uncontrollable way like a drone ascending uncertainly.

Weirdly, the teacher doesn't seem to notice and I do more calisthenics in the air before exiting the hall and floating outside.

We are in a small godown area by the sea, all very Greece-like in sparsity, colors (sea blue) and sea.

Or in some deserted seaside industrial part of Malaysian town such as Pontian.

The dream then changes focus and we are suddenly haunted and hunted down by a possessed being which is both male and fierce.

I am running through this unruly field next to an industrial part of town and ushering a young girl along. n my arms a baby. We appear afraid of what might be following us. That it might catch up and take over our spirit and body.

We reach two old but tall blocks of HDB flats. Those built in 70s with shops below. A rather old and familiar scene. Provision shops with tarps extending to shade sundry goods spilling out from the corridor.

I go for the lift. An old man on a grandfather bike approaches and appear ready to fight the demon.

I tell him we need to go to the hall.

The baby, girl and I reach the hall, but the old man cannot be found. His bike lay sprawled in a stairwell. Has he been battling the demon?

The girl and I wonder if we can tell if the demon has possessed someone. Just then the old man appears, his demeanor now changed and looking like he could eat us up.

We retreat as we consider our options as to what to do. The room grows dark and menacing.

The end.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

A Bike Light

An old dream revisited. Recurring dreams haven't happened to me in a while, so I was rather surprised by this one in the dawn hours of the morning.

The dream starts of with me fixing a small bike light that's a clip-on (belt) the size of a cigarette lighter pouch (i.e. the Dupont GI lighter kind), than a full-sized head lamp. It is quite flat and rectangular and newsy with its blue LED light. I am trying to fit two wires into their respective wire posts (a technical term such things); I am trying to fix it with one hand, the other hand not quite sure why not free.

There are three wire posts and I've gotten one wire in; I'm struggling with the other two and trying to twist them thin to fit, not so easy with just one hand. The blue LED light works but I have to get the other two wires in to have the white light come on.

All this while, I am walking to a gathering area that seems to be a small cultural plaza with a raised modern art area (at where some students are sitting and in discussion). I think a movie of sorts is being screened as well. My god-sister Carmen is there (she's not in the original dream though) and she asks about my well-being. We then chit-chat a bit.

I continue to fiddle with the bike light on my belt.

I sit with my god-sister for a while. The next scene see me getting up and walking the corridor at the edge of the plaza that is leading to a supermarket. It is night and the s-mart is closed. I reach the end and enter what appears to be a small theater. My friend CK is there seated at the back. He gives me his typical smiley hello. He is wearing a yellow headscarf over his bald pate, not something I've seen him with before. It looks like a kind of temple scarf with red Taoist rune letterings.

I sit down and wonder about what's going on on the movie screen.

Again I fidget with the bike light to try to get the wires in.

Watching the movie, I am transported back to my NS days. I see myself in a new green field uniform, of a camouflage pattern I have never seen or worn before. In the old days, we wore the old patchy "camo-pattern" ones, not these new pixelated ones that's common to most modern armies now.

In the next scene, I am climbing down from a tank. Must have been a tank on show as everything looked clean and posey. I am reminded of the night I had spent at the local officer cadet academy grounds in Jurong enjoying the midnight quiet and starry sky, and wondering what I would have become if I had signed-on (i.e. joined professionally) to the army. The academy grounds did once have a display tank there.

In the next scene, I am returned to the plaza and back to wearing the same windbreaker as before. Again I fidget with the bike light to get the wires in. Again, without much success.

The end.

Thursday 11 December 2014

A Tent Dinner

This dream is a follow-up to the one I had before.

A big outdoor tent dinner has been planned and I am now going there to check if things are running smoothly. 

Buntings have been hung up from nearby street lamps. The whole place reminds me a well-landscaped industrial park with gentle grass knolls and quiet streets.

For this assignment, I have been given a nearby and smallish studio flat to stay in. It has some kind of water issue at the place.

The shower with shower head is in the living room (that shows how small the place) and so I move the mattress I sleep on to a raised platform to avoid getting it wet. 

I also take care not to wet a pile of my everyday clothes nearby, especially my underwear which appears to be of an expensive brand (haha).

(This 'do-not-wet' theme was in my original dream too!)

Outside it has just rained and now the streets are rather cold, wet-shiny.

Next, I am on my way back from checking the dinner event site. Across the road is a nondescript office building. The office on the ground floor has glass walls all round. Inside is a state-of-the-art photocopier. 

I then take the lift up upstairs and end up in an office where people are preparing to print the dinner reservations. An older woman appears to be in charge and giving orders. She peers out from a pair of reading glasses perched on her nose. We exchange an acknowlegdement and that's that. All around, tables are littered with cut paper sheets and such.

I look for an empty space at one of the long tables and sit down for a while. A while later I exit this workroom to go to the rooftop. The walls all round appears to be really grey and boring.

Back on the street I notice a black MPV parked by the road. Inside is a father and his kids.

I approach to invite them to the aforementioned dinner as they appear to be tourists and I wanted to do the hospitable thing. But half way there, I change my mind. Meanwhile, their car has started up at the same time and making a u-turn to get back onto the main road.

So be it, I say to myself.

It has been a wet day but I am confident that by evening everything would be dry. The sky, though grey, appear to be clearing. It feels like dusk at about 6 pm.

I meet some older members of the Association at the dinner and we chat. An assistant arrives - a big chap who reminds me of an NPCC (cadet corp) schoolmate I once knew. Can it be that we have organised some big event in school before and this is what this dream is all about?

The End