24hrs at Marina Barrage, playwriting, supposedly… quite randomly

Big Bag – Small Bag

I got there at around 3pm, joined the queue at registration. There was a young lady in front of me, filling in her particulars on the indemnity form, with only one little backpack next to her.

“But where are the rest of her things?”, I thought… and I laughed to myself, slightly embarrassed.

Yes, I was one of those who came lugging a huge bag, stuffed with items, many which remained unused, untouched even as I lugged it back home.

First Time?

I believe everyone would be asked at least once – “Is this your first time?”; “Have you done this before?”; “Which year? And where did you do it?”.

Asleep / Awake

2-6am. This was my favourite time.

Indoors, many were curled up on the carpeted floor, some in their sleeping bags, some in deep sleep, snoring. A few were still writing, sometimes rather furiously. Some slept, waking at random intervals to write, feverishly with eyes glazed, and then back to sleep again. The sound of typing never stopped.

Downstairs, some had red-bean soup (courtesy of Soo Mei). Outside, some were chit-chatting, joking, laughing, clapping at the mosquitoes. Further out, others were bonding over smoke breaks.

A few wandered alone, walking up the spiral park, expecting solitude, intruding into private moments of unsuspecting couples.

Still, there was space for all. The night breeze up there was sublime.

I was surprised to read (a few days later) what I wrote during that time-frame, and thought how bizarre it was what I was writing.


The bamboo-bow for our first kite broke, so we opened another pack, and had 2 rolls of kite string which we tied together to fly our kite twice as high as everyone else’s.

I shan’t wax lyrical here, but the experience was really memorable.

It did, however, because of our extra-length of string, take much longer for us to get our kite back. That wasn’t so fun.

But the weather was nice.

Final Stimulus

12pm. It gets exciting, you can hear the typing, like thin-plastic raindrops pitter-patter, in surround-sound, filling the room.

For some of us, fatigue suddenly set in, and in spite of the lessening time, crashed.

Submission – Reception

The result of 24 hours of thinking, plotting, vexing… a memento of completion, like a trophy in itself, a script in our hands.

And of course, the people, especially those we’d normally never expect to meet in our daily lives. That was a smashing bonus, and perhaps a great motivator for future participation.


And then we were home. Quite abruptly.

~AikWee, 23 July 2009


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