Writer: Jonathan Chan
Photos: Lee Khar Suan
F-block broke convention this year by holding its first supper post-IBG, a final bonding session between the all F-blockers before the term started proper as well as a thank you from the block committee to all who had contributed to the Inter Block Games.
A combination of experienced seniors and talented freshmen this year led to F-block winning tennis and netball, not to mention also a resounding victory in the touch rugby round robin, while finishing in the top three for sports such as soccer and table tennis among many others, leaving us much to celebrate about.
Tuesday night, for me, started as I puffed back to my room after dinner, when I heard the banging of pots and pans in the F4 kitchenette punctuated by voices raised with agitation. A quick insertion of my head through the doorway of the kitchenette then revealed the new F-block comm preparing food, with Simon, Jerusha and Daqi inspecting a tray of fruits on the table, Jeana washing something in the sink, and Khar Suan with a large camera in hand snapping pictures. Mae Yue was curled up on one of the couches at the side of the lounge eyeing the food with the same predatory focus she displays during badminton matches. Cun Zhi brushed breathlessly past me into the room, having just come back from a day in the hospital. With the Block Comm busy with preparations, I beat a hasty retreat back to my considerably quieter and more well-ventilated room to await the inevitable yells that would follow.
I was not disappointed. “F-block suppperrrr!” came ringing up to my room, as Mae Yue’s voice split the night like an air-raid siren, biding me to grab my key, leap into my sandals and negotiate the different staircases to the dining hall, where many of the F-blockers were already gathered.
Dr Seow, our Resident Fellow was already there and he, together with Block Head Jerusha, gave two quick speeches welcoming the residents back to hall and F-block. The popular RF, always there for us and quick to give a kind word and smile, as well as the friendly Block Head, a familiar figure from KEWOC days who had run herself ragged during IBG making sure everyone got to their venues on time and cheering all of us tirelessly on, who could infuse all around her with her infectious cheerfulness, both received loud applause as they gave their addresses.
Fletcher then got onto the stage and was about to start ice breaker games, when he must have remembered the cardinal rule of “Come not between the stomach of a hungry resident and his supper”, or had caught the disapproving glances of various hungry F-blockers, for he hastily decided to allow us to get our food first before he conducted further activities. Needing no further encouragement, the hungry residents trooped over to the tables where the Block Comm was ready with the food.
The line shifted slowly as we filed alongside the trays of spaghetti, omelette, brownies and fruits, not to mention some home-made chendol and red bean soup. Would there be enough to go around? There were certainly some fears, especially when I reached the spaghetti tray manned by Cun Zhi, who looked up and saw a still-monstrous line snaking out from behind me, looked down and saw his dwindling stock of spaghetti, and recoiled in mock horror with a strangled yell “Help, Jerusha! Still got a lot of people!” But one way or another, all were satisfied and we settled down at the tables to enjoy the supper. The food, naturally, was good and we were all generally satisfied when Fletcher bounded resolutely back onto the stage to try and get the games going.
The first item was a trivia game centred around how much one knew about F-block and hall in general, from the easy (“What is F-block’s colour” – Not knowing would perhaps force immediate ejection from the block), to the slightly more esoteric (“What is Jerusha’s room number”) to some which were rather sensitive (“Who are the oldest F-blockers, academically”).
Contrary to popular belief, the answer to the last question was not, in fact, “Jon Chan”, and the brave soul who ventured to give that answer received a yell of outrage and a dirty look from yours truly.
The second game was slightly more interactive and would probably go down as one of F-blocks highlights this year. It was a Bingo grid filled with various categories (see below) that only certain people in the block would fit. The aim of the game was to find the people with these characteristics and gather enough of their signatures to fill a row, column or diagonal line.
Naturally, given some of the categories, scandals, slandering, controversy and other dastardly things sprouted from nothing (the way lizard sh*t does in an unattended hall room), as F-blockers spread across the dining hall asking total strangers if they wore G-strings, or if they had crushes on anyone in the block, while others happily declared that they had gone commando in public, amid howls of laughter whenever someone signed a particularly scandalous box. The fast and furious action was over soon as we returned to our seats for Fletcher to conclude the game.
With great pleasure, Fletcher went through the grid calling for public recognition (or defamation, depending) of those who fitted each box, and so the following was revealed, among others:
That Cun Zhi had crossed dressed (during a previous KE D&D)
That Mae Yue, Adriel, Deshawn, Andy and Jerusha had all participated in paegeants before (hence F block being very hot, though now Deshawn and Adriel are less so, having cut their hair)
That Xiyu had been a YOG volunteer (and that she found the German guys especially cute)
That Garrick loved FBT type of shorts
That Fletcher had piloted a plane
That Huang Rong had a crush on someone in F-block (who may or may not have loved FBT type shorts)
That Hao Yang was the sole non-medic to have ever administered an injection
That Jiuru had been to Africa (specifically, Egypt) before
And what, one might ask, of that question about the G-string? The wearer of this exotic attire is an inhabitant of F3 and took part in Float Dance (Was it worn concurrently, one wonders. It would have been a hindrance, especially given all the jumping around – a single slip causing structural compression might have been a little painful, no?), and his frank admission at the diversity of his underwear was greeted with much laughter and applause, to say the least.
And with that, F-block’s first supper of the semester came to an end, with good food eaten and new friends made. Seniors and freshmen alike had battled it out side by side on the courts during IBG, and now enjoyed supper together, bonds formed and strengthened through the shared experiences of the last month. As Jerusha said on one of the last days of IBG, “Even though we don’t shine as brightly on the scoreboard, we still fought hard and I’m very proud of you all!” and so we can look forward to the coming year with our Food, Fun and F-block Family!