It’s almost 20 years since I first stepped into Tengah Air Base. In all that time (well, mostly just the two years of active NSF service), I’ve been to all over the air base, either on wheels or on my two feet. But there is this exclusive piece of real estate that I’ve only travelled on for less than a handful of times, and until now, never actually stepped on with my two feet. This piece of real estate is actually quite huge, and is, in fact, a significant part of the air base. It’s the runway.
The occasion? FOD walk. I could not understand why, during my active NSF time as a medic, people would report sick to get an “excuse FOD walk”. Back then, I’ve already heard what the FOD walk was about, and I couldn’t understand what was so bad about it that people want to be excused.
Well, I got arrowed for FOD walk. I still don’t understand why people want to be excused. Maybe the early morning sun is too hot for some people. There is no shade on the runway, obviously.
But I thought it was a nice walk. Despite this being inside an air base in Singapore, you could almost imagine like being in a foreign land. A scenic countryside. Huge expanse of flat land, rolling mist across the fields, hazy landscape of trees in the distance. As the sun shines on, and the mist starting to lift, you could make out structures of HDB flats in the “horizon”. It’s a unique view you don’t typically see in Singapore. It’s a view I’ve been familiar with in the past, but now I’m seeing it from a new angle.
As the morning wears on, the heat from the sun starts to get uncomfortable. Ah, maybe that’s why people want to be excused. The sun has been scorching the last couple of months, and it was no different for this walk. There’s the funny feeling of hotness on one side of your body, but coolness on the other. We (or at least a few of us) were suitably attired for the walk, so it wasn’t all too uncomfortable.
So how is FOD walk? Hmm. It would have been great to start on-time.