Friday, February 18, 2005

I Love Fire-Drills

Just a few days back on 15 Feb, Singapore commemorated Total Defence Day. Especially on this day, fire-drills are not uncommon. In my previous employment with a big corporation, fire-drills were conducted periodically. I got to confess I LOVE fire-drills. Apart from learning how to 'run-for-my-life' in an orderly manner, fire-drills were also a good break from the monotony of work. But truth be told, there's another reason why I enjoy fire-drills. Remember watching movies with scenes of mice scurrying out from a flame-engulfed building? The fire smoked out the mice. But In the case of a fire-drill, the mock fire smoked out the babes. Yes, THE BABES.

My office was located on the third floor of a four-storey building. I hardly had any reason to go to the first, second and fourth stories. Hence, it was basically seeing the same old faces day-in-day-out. During the first fire-drill of my employment, my colleagues and I darted off to the exit at the sound of the fire alarm and made our way down via the staircase. We proceeded to the car park in the next block which was the designated assembly area. The fire-drill was a visual feast as the company had engaged the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to conduct a mock rescue operation complete with smoke, fire attack vehicles and 'trapped' victims being whisked away to safety by valiant members of the SCDF. It was as good as watching a TV show.

After the mock rescue operation, appointed fire wardens started marking attendance, department by department. Looking around the crowd gathered at the car park, I could not help but notice that my office building was actually a hive of pretty girls, many of whom I hadn't seen before. Real eye candy I must say.

There's that elegant executive in the grey suit to my right:

Then there're two cutie-pies to my left. Good heavens.

It's unsurprising that some people would mysteriously 'disappear' during the fire-drill. Probably off to buy coffee or something. Needless to say, those who failed to be present at the car-park were considered as 'casualties'.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Finding Neverland

It's the second day of the Lunar New Year and my nose is running like a broken tap. I've run out of cold medicine and I decided to get some Panadol Cold tablets. Fortunately, it's business-as-usual for the mama shop just a block away. I was walking past the multi-storey carpark when I encountered a family of three: mother, daughter and son. No sign of the father, probably parking the car and dispatched the three as pathfinders. True enough, the mother gestured to me and enquired in Mandarin: "KIDDO, may I know where Block 27 is?" I pointed out the block to them and off they went.

'KIDDO?' Hey obasan, I'm old enough to be your son-in-law.

Some people say I have a youthful appearance for someone in his 30s. My brother calls it 'The Peter Pan Syndrome'. Women would kill to have such a quality but being youthful looking for a guy (coupled with the fact I'm skinny) can be a real pain-in-the-arse sometimes. I get a 70% chance of box office staff asking to see my I.D. to verify my age when I watch a R21 movie.

I remember buying a ticket to the Lord Of The Rings exhibition sometime last year at a SISTIC booth. As usual, a personal I.D. is mandatory for purchasing tickets. That obasan sales personnel who attended to me had an astonished look when she inspected my age and glanced at me. She did that twice. She asked me:"You don't look your age, how do you stay so young?" I told her "Drink adequate amounts of water". She chuckled and replied:"Drink too much, then have to go toilet very often." Maybe I should have spat on her face and tell her to spread the saliva evenly over her face with her fingers as though it was some moisturising cream.

Exaggerated? Yes. But my point is, sometimes people don't take me seriously because they perceive me as a 'KIDDO'. No kidding.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The patient

Flu season it seems has arrived. Unfortunately, this frail body of mine loves to embrace the bug. Saturday morning - I dragged my lazy ass to the clinic only to find the entrance thronged with people. Not a good sign. I went inside to register myself and was issued a queue number. The receptionist told me:"Your turn in about 45 minutes, can wait or not?" "Can't wait also must wait" I replied with a wry smile. Honestly, what else could I do but wait?

Visiting the clinic helps a patient cultivate patience. But one's determination is put to the test when the doctor happens to be a paediatrician by practice. However, the good doc attends to patients ranging from those who have not achieved self-awareness to those needing help to 'rise' to the occasion. Crying babies are understandable but screaming 2-3 year olds who abuse toys and turn magazines belonging to the clinic into kachang-puteh cones is another matter. "Hey doc, I think you'll flip over your magazines."

Then we have the 'family outing' category. A mother entered the clinic with her son. They registered, took their queue number and sat down. Shortly after, the husband entered the clinic with the kid's sibling. Not too long after, the grandparents showed up. "Hey Miss Receptionist, you may bring out the mahjong tables now and don't forget the cough mixtures from the freezer." There's only one patient in the family but seats are being occupied by others who don't really need to be present.

Seats? I'm not seated down at all. I'm standing outside the clinic with a bottle of mineral water tucked under one armpit and flipping through a free newspaper (while constantly monitoring the queue display). I'm at the clinic to get rid of my illness, not my sanity. But waiting outside the clinic was no solution either. Especially when the convenience store next to the clinic has one of those noisy coin-operated kiddy rides. 20 cents for a minute of "Kang-Ding Love Song" sung by children. Good grief.

Doc, I need to see you right now. Waiting is such a pain.

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