Monday, December 24, 2007

A Holiday Prelude

Oh great! I missed the bus.

I thought to myself when I saw bus Service 72 left the bus stop as I was approaching it to get to work this morning.

So I had to catch the next one and was late for work. My bad.

I spent a lot of time with my morning gym workout and left the house a little late than usual. I guess I deserved it, but somehow was not feeling all that guilty for my lateness. I felt refreshed body and mind instead.

Body, because of the extra bursts of energy I seemed to have during the workout that got me late of all mornings, and mind, because it is the eve of a Christmas holiday! My spirits was high and I was happy.

It dawned on me...

The next bus came a tat earlier than usual. Yes, I have been late before, but come to think of it, so did that bus that I missed!

I believe it was because the usual morning crowd was not present. Many have left for vacation and many more must have taken leave off work today and most probably on Wednesday too, to stretch the weekend-holiday days to 5 solid days!

I realized this when the bus I boarded was almost vacant.

I got to choose the many empty seats by the window which I would be only happy if I got a seat at all on a normal day, by the time the bus had traveled and picked the morning commuters before my stop.

I am in "I am legend" scene...

The scene was also all too familiar when I reached the office. It was quiet and cold.

Again... quiet, because only a handful of us were around and cold, because there were not enough human body-heat to defeat the air-conditioning blast.

The canteen was bare too. The usual familiar faces in clusters in their own groups that normally flocked for morning break were left with a few, scattered across the canteen.

Too small in numbers, too depressing to be alone, 3 groups became one when the 5 of us sat at the same table today... like the usual, unofficial ritual during festive periods.

We made a day's pack together to drive out to a nearby Cheng San hawker centre for lunch too.

And like unofficial tradition too, there was this nagging need by dwindling staff to leave early than the stipulated 5:30pm. Some were aiming for 3:00pm to call it a day, while others gave it by 4:30pm latest.

Understandably so, unlike MNCs, our company does not practice early release or half-day work-hour on eves of major holidays or New Year.

Most of our Customers and vendors would have closed for the holidays, so there are limited things left for the office people to do... and if there were tons to do, I think it would be a rather unproductive time to be doing work at all, for there would be very little mood to concentrate on work.

My electronic spring-cleaning...

To stay positive, I thought it was a great time to take full advantage of the quiet time in the office for me.

While some became zombies, sucking-up air with their chats, I managed to tie some loose-ends with some work matters and did an extensive spring-cleaning with my emails. Cleared and filed-up softcopies on my PC... compacting and defragmenting my harddisks.

Cleared my desk of the clutter that had accumulated during the year and was satisfied of the job done as if ready to bring-in the New Year.

Like Spongebob, I'm ready, I'm ready...

As if on cue, Wifey read my mind and called my cell phone just after 5:30pm to ask me where I wanted to go for dinner. Yes, some braved the guilt and left earlier, I worked until 5:30pm.

Anyway, going out on the eve of a holiday or the weekend makes the whole rest days seem that much longer. It is my unofficial way, well customary nowadays to make the most out of it. Yeap! I am that desperate.

"Changi Beach Park!" Was my answer as it has so many choices of great-tasting Malay food.

"I have about a 40-minute bus ride, so you guys get changed now and be ready to leave the house when I reach home." I told Wifey.

Wifey was a step ahead. She suggested we brought along our tent to set camp at the beach after our dinner. Excellent idea! Love that woman.

That moonlight-walk by the beach...

Once I pitched the tent, all 3 of us set down eating Rojak Bakar, our version of desert, well supper was more like it.

Looking at the sea with the moonlight glistening on the water, it was a perfect time. No rain amid this December monsoon season. Instead, clear skies that let the moon to shine so bright with a cool sea breeze.

Reminiscent of our romantic courting days, Wifey and I walked along the beach under the moonlight... just talked and enjoyed our time alone. As always, there were many Malay campers already setting up camps and barbecuing. Lots of children running and playing about.

This park is popular with Malay families, while a few Chinese families even had log-cakes to celebrate Christmas there.

Our son stayed in the tent with his closest buddy... the notebook; frantically pressing the keypads trying to go to the next level with his online game.

Obviously, the island-wide free Wireless@SG access was available at the beach too. A surprising 4 out of 4-bars reception strength! Shish!

Our childhood revisited...

Our courting-couple's walk led us to being children instead of being in our early twenties again. It led us to the children's playground.

To our surprise, we spontaneously got on the swings and had a blast of a time!

It had been that long a time since I last sat and played on the swing, I could not remember when. Then again, I do have very bad memory.

Anyway, Wifey and I swung hard and high. Higher than the children there. I laughed so loud, I had no idea why. I only knew it was so fun.

We were children again. I liked it.

Good thing that our Son was not there, or we would have embarrassed with our childish escapades.

Laughing hard while swinging, somehow exercised my stomach muscle too. Fun gym workout, it turned out to be...

We left the beach an hour before midnight and reached home all spent, 20 minutes later. This short Christmas eve outing was like an extraordinary "out-of-body" experience for both of us.

Yes, we will have body aches tomorrow...


  1. An exquisite day of astonishing contrasts Imran. Happy Christmas back to you and your family.

  2. Hello MP,

    It was a great day spent at the beach. The eve of a holiday with so many campers and children there, all happy and enjoying themselves, kept us all in high spirits.

    Have a great 2008!


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