Graduation ceremony

I've decided not to attend the graduation(commencement) ceremony. My grandma and my parents say that I should go, since it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And also, since I'm the first person in my close family to graduate from university. But you know what? I'm not going to go to some stiff ceremony to listen to "motivational words" and wait in line to receive my fake degree. I'm also surely not going to pay money to rent some graduation robe and take some nice pictures (the only purpose is to show my grandkids in the future).

What I hold dear is the four years of ups and downs in the university, and of course the degree I'm going to get, as well as the feeling of graduation. That is good enough. I do not need some ceremony to tell me that I did well to graduate and to signify the commencement of my career. I hate formalities. I'm a straightforward and practical person.

The four years I had cannot be summed up in one graduation ceremony.

Cycling history; Buying a new bicycle; got cheated

It has been a long while since I cycled. I still remember those good old days. I would cycle to school, to town, to everywhere. I even cycled to places like Tampines, Jurong and Bukit Batok (I live in Serangoon North). I remember the days when I crashed, the times I almost crashed and burned, and the moments where I rode happily in the gentle breeze. Good times. And of course, I will never forget the number of times my bicycles got stolen. 4 times, over 4 years. There was even once when my bicycle got stolen the DAY AFTER I bought it. That was too awesome. Well, I was kind of careless myself, locking only using a chain lock (Locking in public places/bike racks doesn't help. In fact, it may be more harmful). This time I will use a U-Lock/Chain combo.

Anyway, so to togoparts.com, where there is an awesome marketplace for bike and bike components. Saw this cheapo Aleoca bike for $65, and also a Raleigh bike for $200. The Raleigh bike was a good deal, but the Aleoca was super cheap and the ad also stated 9/10 condition. That was a lie, but I wouldn't know until it was too late. The deal location was nearby, so I checked out the bike and rode it a little. I sensed something wrong with the pedal, and I didn't check the bike thoroughly, since the guy said he was in a rush so we just dealt quickly. Then I discovered the problems as I rode it home, and thereafter.

1. The left pedal was broken
2. The rear brake had a broken spring. Both the brakes were not adjusted properly.
3. Rusty cassette and cable housing
4. Both the front and rear derailleurs were faulty
5. Both the shifters were basically unusuable (stuck)
6. Turning made a lot of noise -- the headset was broken. When I opened it up, I found that bearings were missing and the adjustable race was screwed in the opposite way (which made it a pain to unscrew at first, as I had to use penetration solvents)
7. Front wheel hub was a little loose

I don't know if the guy that sold me the bike was in a rush, but that was surely a good tactic, man. It was my fault too, of not checking the bike properly. But that guy definitely lied. 9/10 condition, MY ASS. More like 4/10 condition, if I wanna be lenient. That guy should be lucky a sucker like me bought his bike for $65.

Well, it was a good learning experience. Older guys are always smarter at selling things. I'm too naive. Well, it's also a good time for me to learn how to fix a bike. I just learned how threaded headsets work, and I also re-learned how to remove pedals and adjust brakes. I'm gonna buy the parts from Amazon and Ebay and make the bike work again. Shall not go to local bike shop since I don't really like the (money-grabbing) auntie there.

In the end, I would have been better off buying the Raleigh bike. Less trouble, less total cost. Morale of the story: 1. cheap bikes are usually not worth it (unless it's cheap bikes that are actually good). 2. I have to be more vigilant when buying/selling things.