It’s been exactly a year since we left for Germany to participate in the Choir Olympics 2004 and I do so miss that trip.
What I remember:
* Lying half-drunk on the EFB’s bed during the debriefing session with Nelson in Nellie C and EFB’s room. The whole room smelt of alcohol after the few of us started the party first.
* EFB lying half-drunk on the floor, singing O KANINA at the top of his voice, in mangled mimicry of the Hwa Chong soloist’s rendition of the Hainanese song.
* Grace throwing up outside their bathroom due to the over-imbibing of vodka. EFB subsequently took off for a pub crawl with the rest of us, leaving poor Nellie C to clean up the mess
* While waiting in the lobby for everyone to gather for the last night of pub-crawling, EFB turned into a slut and started chasing girls around, telling them he wanted to kiss them
* Yokie getting drunk during the pub-crawl and started crying/mumbling/giggling inconsolably on the bench. I had to guide him back to his room, with the help of others, and put him to bed. He promptly developed asthma the next day, and almost missed his train but for the help of his courageous roommate.
* The weird sounds coming from the room I shared with Popartgirl. She swore she heard me getting out of bed late one night and I swore I was fast asleep.
* EFB’s most accurate summary of our trip: “The most difficult question we face everyday was, what flavour of ice-cream should I have today?”
* Our crazy ice-cream binges. One minute we are huddling against each other in the bitter cold, the next we are shivering in front of an ice-cream palour, deciding between mango, strawberry, chocolate or pistachio.
* Walking from our hotel, located right in front of Bremen’s Hauptbahnof, to the competition grounds. The weather was always unpredictable, with the wind howling at us one minute and the sun pounding upon us the next.
* The long summer days – night started at 9pm while the sun rose at 5am.
* The food of the moment was roast pork, or fondly known as seor bak to some of us. It was a succulent, thick piece of pork wedged between a hotdog bun. Wurst was relegated to a distant second once we discovered seor bak.
* We staked out the nearby supermarket, going crazy around a rack full of Ritter Sport chocolate. Just because there were more flavours than in Singapore. Just because it was only 60 Euro cents. We almost wheeled the whole rack over to the cashier’s. On average, everyone bought at least 10 packs of Ritter Sport.
* The Armenian children’s choir that sung in unison during one of the finals. We started giggling, and with each song, I realised that the chances of them ever breaking out into harmony was diminishing.
* We decided to go barefoot just minutes before the Folklore A Cappella finals because some of us will wobble violently in heels in our last pose, an acrobatic act which involved a body bent in prayer, hands clasped over the head and one foot on the ground with the other hooked around it.
* Toh Chai’s loud garang-guni horn sound during the parade. It was madness, like a carnival. Half the choir disappeared before the start of the parade, only to throng down on us halfway through, letting out whoops of joy.
* Sandy and I cried when we realised that we had reached the finals. It was vindication for the last Choir Olympics, when we merely bagged two silvers.
* The entire choir was screaming “Oly!” during the announcement of the results at the prize-presentation ceremony. Whenever it came to the champions of each category, Oly the dinosaur mascot would appear on stage to pose with the representative of the winning choir. When our name was called and Oly didn’t appear, we went deathly silent, hardly believing that we were not going to sing the national anthem. We were second, not first.
* Each of us held hands whenever it came to the announcement of results for our category. Our first worry was that we didn’t get gold (they announced the results in descending order, from bronze to silver to gold). Then we panicked that we were behind Hwa Chong Choir in terms of points. When that was done, we fretted over whether Oly was going to appear afterall.
* Eugene, the salt lover, was walking around leisurely in berms and tee-shirt, when the rest of us were covered from top to toe in jeans and jackets. His rationale behind his warmth: “Salt is an anti-freeze.”
And we were happy as can be, lalala~