Monday no blues. It’s Easter holiday!
8am. Rise and shine. Woke up to read in bed. Lee Kuan Yew’s feature story on Forbes Asia is an inspiring piece.
11am. Lunch is ready. I got out of my room (finally) to have my brunch. Boy our helper can cook! Love the soy sauce fried fish, simple and nice.
12pm. Catch up with my recent favourite TV show – Fresh off the Boat. Similar to Modern Family but with lots of Asian humour – I find it very relevant and funny!
2pm. Chilling in my room. Noon’s weather is terribly warm and steamy. Had to switch on the AC. Browsed piano jazz recommendations. Besides Bud Powell, today I discovered that I really love Duke Ellington for his slow jazz pieces and Jim Hall for his jazzy guitar tunes – have a listen!
4pm. Head out to the stores to process my film and to grab a snack. Feeling very hungry and I don’t think I could wait till dinner time! Decided to drive-thru McDonalds. All were fine … till the moment I collected my order, my window (on the driver’s side) decided to break down (for the first time ever). It wouldn’t shut.. and then it started pouring!
5pm. Home. Finally. Half drenched. Ate my snack and spent some time with baby Xavier on his play mat, while his mum is still at work.
6pm. Documenting my day here. Tuesday blues kicking in, after the 4-day Easter Weekend, not sure how am I going to get up for work tomorrow! It always turns out fine anyway. Avoid negative thoughts for now.
Before I start off narrating a day in my life undertaking the Semi Live Crisis Exercise, here’s some context of my job, which I prefer not to reveal, but it involves a fair amount of diplomatic and political objectives. Thus it’s significant to have these exercises to prep for real crisis. In this case, any time of intense difficulty or danger could be considered a crisis – eg. terrorist attack, natural disaster etc.
After several sessions of workshops and briefing, the day has finally arrived. We are about to go through 4 hours of Semi Live Crisis Exercise – with paparazzi, victims, mock telephone numbers and email addresses for communications etc.
Almost everyone has a specific role – eg. a member of the field deployment team, a log keeper or to role-play as victims etc. But not me. I was told to be on standby and assist the core team whenever required. Without any background on Crisis Management, and not knowing what to expect, all I feel is anxiety surging through my veins!
It started off with a loud speaker announcement in the office saying that we have received breaking news of a fire outbreak in a hostel nearby with 35 x-country Nationals involved, the Crisis Leader then called for a meeting with the Core Crisis Team. I decided to remain calm at my desk, but around me, the Core Team Members were giving orders to each other and dashing into the conference room which has now transformed into a Crisis Operation Centre. Stress is building up! And it is extremely hard to keep calm and do nothing.
Minutes later, another two crisis take place – one being an Ebola outbreak and another kidnap case in KK (Note: these are just mock cases for the exercise). I was asked to assist the Consul Team to send email updates to the Crisis Management Head Office back in country-x. The exercise was so real I was shaking while typing those emails.
Hours later, I was assigned to take over the log keeper’s role in the Information Management Team – to gather information from various parties and log them on the boards in the Operation Centre. It was a daunting role – as you will be the ‘go-to’ person for information. i.e. the Crisis Leader/Manager will gather information from this team and release statements to media/back to the head office.
15 minutes into the role, it was announced that the exercise is officially over! Everyone cheered like their favourite team scored a goal! It was such a huge relieve! I was screaming joy in my heart! 4 hours went by so quickly because things are moving at an enormous speed and to keep up with the pace is just insane! I can’t imagine being in a real crisis situation, it might go on for days, and definitely not a matter of 4 hours. But at least this has given me a flavour of how stressful and tense a real life crisis could be. And I hope it gives you a flavour too by reading this post.
After the exercise we were treated with O’Brien’s Sandwiches and fresh juices, followed by a post-mortem session with the trainers. The Consul Manager gave me a pat on my back, praising a good job done and would like to have me in the core team. I personally thought I would require more training and experience to take up any role like this, and do not enjoy the adrenaline like some others do! Nevertheless I’m very thankful for the lessons learned this day.
Months ago I was shopping at Royce, preparing little goodie bags for my ex-colleagues as farewell gifts. J tagged along and insisted to buy a box of Nama Chocolates for me.
These chocolates are so good they melt in your mouth. Heavenly! It’s now one of my favourite chocolates. The Nama has to be refrigerated and cannot stay outside the fridge for more than an hour. I’ve only tried the Ecuador Sweet Flavour, it’s very rich and chocolaty. Gotta try the rest, especially Champagne or Au Lait! #cravings
Yuki bought me a little gift from Hong Kong sometime ago.
A very unique espresso cup from the Nu Design Gallery in Hong Kong. It’s a branch-themed cup, the stirrer and handle are designed as branches, and there is another branch growing out of the plate. I dream of a day having my very own espresso machine at home and I’ll be able to use this. Meanwhile, lots of training to boost my caffeine tolerance. Thank you Yuki!
Over the years, my social patterns have evolved, especially having a busy work life, I tend to dedicate my little personal time left to a few true friends and family. Nevertheless, I still feel loved with all the incoming birthday wishes every this time of the year. Thank you everyone who thought of me, and sincerely wished me on the week of 22 April 2014. I really appreciate. Also, a special thank you to everyone who wished me on Facebook, which I did not respond personally, so terrible, I know.
J has been really sweet for this occasion, spoiling me in many ways. Big hug! One week before, I was pretty stressed out at work and he sent me this bouquet, code name Operation Grey Skies.
Birthday dinner at my favourite steakhouse Las Vacas, but instead of our usual hangout in Mont. Kiara, we decided to try the KL branch at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.
On my actual birthday, I was sick and feeling meh. J brought me to Busaba Thai Restaurant at BSC to cheer me up.
Thank you J for the memorable surprises and celebrations, they made me feel very special. Will be writing more about my birthday celebrations in upcoming posts, stay tuned!
Restoran Seng Lee which has been around for over 30 years in the Damansara neighbourhood closed down last December.
I’ve recently discovered that the famous wanton mee and curry laksa stalls have moved to a corner shoplot at Sri Hartamas, while the char kuey teow and pork noodles stalls have now moved to the corner store (same row as Seng Lee, near Hock Lee’s Minimart). Credits to J for the discovery! Love having these local delights for brunch. True Malaysian.
Restoran Jie Mee at Sri Hartamas. Read more about it here.
Flavourful bowl of Curry Laksa! Although I must say I prefer the other one at the corner stall near Hock Lee as they have an option of pan mee, and I prefer pan mee. Plus, they serve curry chicken in your bowl of noodles! Meat-eater.
Mui Chea Pork noodles, the broth is really good! Love all the innards and pork lard.
I am extremely hungry while typing this post!! Shall make a trip to these stalls soon.
I had to detangle a triple-tangled, extremely fine necklace
15 minutes later and, I am still trying
my thoughts gathered, I am trying
feeling warm and impatient, dumb and silly
pulled out needles from the nightstand’s drawer
one needle, two needles
trying, trying, keep trying
on the verge of giving up,
I do not have a single thought
and I succeed
I felt an almost supernatural power, quite superficial, yet true
of not trying, and just doing