I’ve read and heard things along the way about the US and Afghanistan, terrorists, Talebans and Osama.. Being far away from all the action makes it seem quite unreal, although I know somewhere, these are real pressing issues. I develop strong opinions about issues raised from the war and the Taleban regime, and am of course a strong supporter of anti-terrorism. But after the news stopped publishing, it went out of sight, out of mind and life went on..
I got to meet a Marine recently who was deployed to Afghanistan a few years back. He brought the reality of actual “war” happenings closer to me and it felt kinda surreal. I’ve watched movies like “Saving Private Ryan” and they are so heart-wrenching. But movies are vastly different from real-life accounts because you can’t dismiss them as something that is possibly fabricated. Naturally, I was curious and had a load of questions to ask. (How often do you get to meet someone who actually went to war?!)
His perspectives are different, shaped largely by experiences as a Marine. At one end of the spectrum, there was love and sympathy for the locals and the other end, was violence and death. It’s tough trying to imagine the emotional turmoil. Having lived so close to death and being the “lucky one” that survived while watching his buddies die gave him more courage to live, to enjoy, to have fun because the foundations that he’s threading on is so fragile. He claims his sense of humor got him through his darker days but I’m not so sure about that.. Not everything can be simply laughed off.
Then there’s the question of religion which created a cloud of grey. It’s really a blessing and miracle to be alive but having witnessed so much death and destruction stirs questions. Should we base faith on our own singular experience and outcome or from what we see that’s happening all around us? He admits to being agnostic which I really can understand where is he coming from.
It’s all so intriguing. Question is, do I subscribe to his beliefs?
My big boss “volunteered” my service at the recent Attraction Expo in Singapore as an Ambassador. I wasn’t a happy volunteer because I had a pile of work to clear and emails to reply. Anyway with a grudging heart, I went to report for orientation on a Sunday afternoon. My first impression was Uh-oh! Excluding the gang from my side, the rest of them were young poly students and super enthusiastic people from our island neighbour. All the squeals, giggles and enthusiasm were kind of overwhelming on the first day.
It’s the whole thing about being in the attraction business. Enthusiasm, happiness and the desire to provide good service just comes naturally to us. I got the privilege to speak to some leaders of the industry and they were all so friendly and passionate in what they do. Despite waking up everyday at 5.30am with less than 6 hours of sleep for 6 days straight, I found myself increasingly looking forward to the program day by day. I’m surprise that I managed to form such close bonds with all the “young punks” since I usually look at them in disdain when they make too much noise in public. Heehee.. When the expo ended yesterday, it was with heavy hearts that we bade each other farewell with promises to keep in touch. They are all so endearing :) And to our island neighbour, the exchange of knowledge was inspiring. Their passion and enthusiasm is what I hope to see in myself as well as in our front-line staff. I hope we will bump into each other on the island! Listening and interacting with the team and industry leaders makes me feel proud to be in the amusement and entertainment industry.
When I think back to my job on the island, there is a reason why I don’t mind going staying back late on weekdays or even heading back on weekends / public holiday to do some island operations work which are over and above my main portfolio. I will be running around all hot and sweaty but at the end of the day, its fulfilling and worthwhile. I never doubted that I am a service-oriented person, since my uni days as a waitress. Providing good service to all guests and ensuring that everything is operating smoothly feels like its part of me and when that is achieved, viola! Sense of satisfaction and pride.
I’m so new to this industry but the mentors I have met, my colleagues and team mates have been very patient and so nice. When my team mates visited me at the expo, they told me I am greatly missed! In my absence, the office was quiet and they miss my “quirkiness”. I am glad that I am able to bring my “quirkiness” to my workplace :) Not many people get to PLAY as part of their job and I’m blessed that I got it in my first job!
JOIN THE ATTRACTIONS BUSINESS! It’s great fun, almost everyday!
Big thanks for this opportunity!
I feel tired today. Those bone weary, emotionally down kind of tired. It’s the exhaustion that makes people simply throw their hands up in surrender. That no logic can comprehend. It’s a tiredness that perhaps a night’s rest can cure, that makes me feel like a fool in the morning. Cause I know, I already have it better than most.
(some battles are not meant to be fought)
Well.. HELLOOOO 2013! My first weekend in 2013!
I love new years :D Full of anticipations of new beginnings..
2012, as with every year, has been a learning journey for me. There were ups and downs, lots of changes and experiences. I say, 2012 was an intense year.
Jan – Feb: Internship at OCBC Bank.
Feb – early Jun: Last semester at University – kind of relaxing even though I had to go through the toughest accountancy module. Time flies.. 4 years of university life just zipped passed. I miss all the familiar faces that I get to see in school! Now, I’m forming a new set of familiar faces at work. Life just pushes you on and on.. Hardly get the chance to tell it to slow down.
Late Jun – early July: Grad trip to Nepal! Woohooo (see previous post)
Late July: Graduation ceremony! Wheee.. throw hat!
7 Aug: Officially, another year older :)
Late Aug: Started on my FIRST job!!! I like my job and my colleagues. It lets me be myself! But I daresay, I have to make a mental note to maintain some level of professionalism and seriousness.
Dec: December was just partying and partying, feasting and feasting.
It’s not easy trying to summarize a year worth of happenings in a blog post. 2012 was a turning point of my life as I moved on to another phase of life. School -> Work, 360 degrees change. I had to make a huge decision to accept the current job I have as an alternate job had a more generous salary. But I can’t bear to sell my youth away. I hope I made the right choice!
Its the everyday things we experienced that molds us into our characteristics.
Next up…. ! NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!! Wooohoooo! (nope, I have not given up making them yet)
On 1 January, despite a severe, terrible hangover, I dragged myself out of bed and plonked myself down at a Starbucks to scribble some resolutions. The resolutions will feel more concrete after I’ve written them down here. To put what I’ve learnt in school to good use, my resolutions shall be SMART! (Specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, time-based)
- Do at least 2 charity work (i.e. 1 at least every half a year)
- Exercise at least twice a week (HOT MODEL, here I COME!!)
- Have vegetables in every meal
- Have dinner at least once a week with my family
May I have the discipline to achieve my resolutions :) Have a great 2013! Let’s live 2013 without any regrets!
What I realized from my travels is this: I love the culture and heritage of developing nations, the architecture grandeur and mesmerizing scenery from developed nations. Nepal, it has both the culture and scenery that you will fall in love with.
It’s been close to 2 months since I returned back from Nepal. When I think about Nepal now, I remember the mountains, tough treks and the ferocious leeches. Despite all this, I remember the calm I felt. When God’s creation is placed so magnificently before me, my own existence pales in comparison. I’m so insignificant but I have a God who’s as huge as the mountains, and have blessed me bountifully. It’s amazing. The snow capped mountains, the villages we had to pass through and all the smiles we received. The high level of achievement I felt as I reached Annapurna Base Camp (4130m above sea level). I can still feel all these in me now, and I doubt I will ever forget it. It was so peaceful and I was at ease with myself. We were right in the heart of nature. (It could be because we were totally cut off from civilization because my phone had no reception for 12 days that we were trekking)
The treks were never easy, especially since we went during the monsoon season where torrential rains poured down on us every single day. Rushing down on us as we trekked up and down treacherous slopes all totally soaked through, combating the leeches with every step we took. It was the wrong season to visit Nepal, but still this entire experience enlightened me and pushed my boundaries. Don’t ever go during the monsoon season because you will get trapped in the fog and have to simply imagine the supposedly magnificent view in front of you. Thank God when we reached the Base Camp, we had a clear morning and we had a superb view of all the various peaks, snow-capped in pure whiteness.
The guides we had played a very crucial role in me being alive today. We had the best guides that we could entrust our lives with. Mine brought me across fallen avalanches, through the dense and wild forest, down treacherous pathways, gave me his down feathers sleeping bag (it was clean, thank God!!), gave me first aid for my blisters, fought off the leaches for me and most importantly, carried my little puny backpack. He is a life saver! We played monopoly deal, made a ruckus with “heart attack”.. I learnt a great deal from them – their culture, families and at the end, I have 3 new amazing new friends.
Lastly, it was an amazing 18 days spent in Nepal with my 2 awesome awesome friends who went through 4 years of university with me :D
Nepal is somewhat like India, but it’s not. The traffic wasn’t as bad.. and it seemed like there weren’t many beggars around. Indians are the scariest and most daring drivers I’ve seen. Though, at the border south of Nepal, bordering with Uttar Pradesh, poverty was more rampant.
Pokhara, a major tourist destination in Nepal, has a huge lake that reflects the mountain range that can be seen in the far far distance. It has one of the most beautiful sunset I’ve witnessed. We also did paragliding at Pokhara, up Sarangkot Hill! My first time! Now I know what a bird sees when its flying free in the sky. I love it! :D Not to mention that I had a hot ex-paragliding champion from Romania. Hahaha! I really liked how high we were and the wind on my face. We made a really crappy video, it’s hilarious!
We did a safari tour and cruelly rode an elephant for 2 hours!! I felt terrible about it. Poor elephant. Pats pats. We saw wild crocodiles, deer and spotted a tiger paw print! Man.. I was so disappointed that we didn’t get to see a real tiger or a rhinosaurus. Hrmph. It was a nice experience though the heat was unbearable!! After getting cold and wet up in the mountains, we were hot and sweaty south of Nepal. Truly an adventure!
We are now toying with the idea of probably, Mount Everest Base Camp, next year? ;) Definitely not during the monsoon season!!
Now, I know what it means when people tell me “don’t lose yourself” – because it’s so easy to do so. We all had dreams about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I’m not saying about those essays we had to write as kids where my ambition was to be a mama shop (provision shop) owner. Nope, not that. In growing up, I meant working.. stepping foot into the world of paying income taxes.
I’m still a freshie in this new areana, with big plans in my head. What frightens me the most is when I hear my older colleagues saying things like “I wish I had… (done something differently)”. Leaving a life with regrets because you didn’t dared take that risk, and comfort is where they are right now. I really hope that’s not gonna be me when I start taking stock of my own chronicle.
That said, life is pretty decent now :) I’m learning a fair bit, here and there. Getting to know my colleagues and environment better each day. My colleagues think I’m quirky but I don’t care because strange is me. I am strange. Aren’t you too? I’m not gonna let social norms depict my behavior because frankly, my ego is kinda huge and I’m secretly in love with my own personality. (Ok maybe not so much on days when my hormones are imbalanced)
Other than some big plans I have that seriously needs execution, nothing is really going on right now. Oh, I am now a Samsung devout convert. Seriously, Apple, you got to watch your back.
I still owe that write up on Nepal. A procrastinater is never never gonna make it big. That have to be changed! Nepal, here I come… it’s easy to recall something that’s so unforgettable.
Heart palpitations! Butterflies in my stomach! *flutter flutter
Gulps. I AM IN LOVE!!!
Ok kidding. Hee.. Tomorrow I am … officially stepping into the “real” world. I will start contributing to our GDP, a huge promotion from a social parasite. Yeap. It’s gonna be my first day at work! My entire system is a mess! I’m a whole bunch of nerves and excitement. *shivers
I hope I’m prepared.
- New bag, packed (check)
- New working shoes (check)
- Outfit (check)
- 2 alarms set (check)
- Documents (check)
My next concern is … What’s for lunch???
All the best to me! I hope my colleagues and bosses are nice. I’m turning in early tonight because I’ve been having 10 hours of sleep daily! Loads of readjustments for me. Ok goodnight folks :) *shivers again