Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Heboh Siul!

Okay, I survived. Made it through the company's carnival in-the-middle-of-no-where Nilai 3 in Seremban. I managed to skip the first one in Kedah but I decided I should go to the Nilai one even though I still have a bad cough.

I decided to drive to the Carnival on Friday afternoon, gave my host a ride there. Didn't feel like taking the company's bus as I was coughing really badly. A lot of people might have been infected too (then again, I didn't think about it when I gave my host a ride).

My host was staying at Allson Klana in Nilai while I was staying in The Empress in Sepang. Took us an hour to drive there, would have been faster if we didn't get lost and took ALL the wrong turns. At least we got to see the surrounding areas of Nilai quite a fair bit, though we didn't actually drove into Nilai town. Was quite surprised the infrastructure was pretty good. Wide open four lane highways with little traffic. I was quite amused to see 4 massage/reflexology shops right opposite the Allson Klana. Must be a lot of stressed out customers there. Finally drove of heading towards The Empress from Allson Klana in the dark. I had a rough idea and I map I printed from the internet. Took 2 wrong turns but I made it to The Empress eventually.

Upon nearing the hotel, I saw the only tall building in a small commercial area in the Sepang suburbs. I then remembered I have visited this hotel before for a press conference. Some guy tried to press a few hundred ringgit into my hand while shaking my hand a few years back. Anyway, I parked the car in the basement near where the guard sits hoping he'll keep any eye on it. When I wanted to check in I was surprised I didn't have to share a room with anyone. One of the benefits of working with an almost all women's team, woohoo! All my colleagues don't like sleeping alone for fear of things that go bump in the night. I'm scarred too but I rather sleep alone than with an office colleague where the only thing in common we have is sharing the same office furniture. A little personal for me to be waking up next to some stranger even if its not the same bed.

I personally don't like sharing a room with any of my male colleagues. Most of them smoke and I was already coughing badly, even if they didn't smoke in the room, the smoke in the breath they exhaled would have made it worst. Was impressed the room was quite good. Simple but looks like nothing was broken and no peeling wallpaper. Sheet covers had a slight cigarette smell but was okay after I fluffed it a bit. I took a cocktail of medication and when straight to bed early.

Didn't sleep much, I think the medication and sleeping in a new bed gave me hallucinations, kept waking up in the middle of the night. Eventually decided to give up sleeping at 4am. Walked down to the lobby and they don't serve breakfast till 5:30AM. Great, so I walked out of the hotel to have a look. There was a row of shop across and there was a small sundry shop that was open. I walked over and bought an almost expired loaf of bread and cup of kaya.

Ate a few pieces of bread and read my book, Angels & Demon. Finally when back to bed at 5AM and woke up again at 6:30AM to get ready for the Carnival.

Walked down to the lobby at 7Am and found quite a lot of the carnival staff already digging into the breakfast buffet. Found out from one of my colleagues one of our staff got robbed of her handphone near the Allson Klana. She was talking on the handphone outside a restaurant and some guy slapped her and ran of with her phone. Crazy.

One thing I kept forgetting to bring to the carnival is sun block and this one of those carnival that I need it (I keep wanting to spell carnival as karnival, that's how the company spells it). After a 20 mins ride in the bus, we reached Nilai 3. I was right, it was in the middle of nowhere... at least there were signboards though Following the signboards to Nilai would have lead you away from Nilai 3, weird. The grounds were quite wide and it was hard packed soil and a long straight tarred road, so I knew it was going to be hot with not much cloud cover.

When to check out the women's booth. New lay out looked better, more open and bigger. Had a peek at the toilet, as usual it was one of those portable toilet. Never those portable ones, was disgusting. When to see if the nearby shops had better flushing ones and thankfully they had clean ones.

I don't know whether it was the medication or whether I didn't sleep much the whole night or the extreme heat but the whole day I was nodding of and sleeping in the back . Even my boss saw me sleeping and woke me up. Wasn't too good but was funny.

Rained later in the afternoon so quite a lot of people got stuck in our booth while waiting the rain out. Didn't each much at the cafeteria, the caterer's Malay food was spicy as usual. Only had veggie and rice. Lately, I've been going vegan because the dishes in the office cafeteria is always spicy.

Finally made it back to the hotel at 9PM. Took a long hot shower and when to bed. Woke up early the next day 6am and finally finished reading Angels & Demon. Had a wierd ending, just when you thought it'll end on a happy note, the author had to trow in a psychopath ending. The hero jumped out of a helicopter without a chute and survived. How's that for an action movie ending?

Anyway, hitched a ride in another colleague's car to the carnival instead of taking the company's bus. As usual, we took ALL the wrong turnings again and got there almost the same time as the damn bus instead. At least I know what Nilai Spring looks like and where Inti College in Nilai is.

Was hot as usual, had time to chat with the other people in the other booths. Was chatting with one of the ladiess at the booth and she asked me if she knew a friend of mine and turns out she was dating the guy. What a small world.

I realized that my way of thinking has changed after doing this women's program. For one, I start thinking in Malay now. Don't think I dream in Malay yet, but I actually find myself more comfortable speaking in Malay to people who don't speak Malay very well. When I catch myself doing it, it's really funny. I was talking to one of the personalities at the booth and she doesn't speak Malay very well but I tried talking to her in Malay and after awhile I realized what I was doing and walked away laughing. I've been poisoned! Now I listen to Misha Omar and Ning Baizura in my car. Crap... at least I haven't reached the Mawi stage yet, though it's pretty close. Mawi gave me an autographed CD which I chucked somewhere under my PC.

Anyway, the second day at the carnival I wasn't that sleepy anymore so I had more time to help with the events. When it rained again, I took the opportunity to feed some stuff into the minds of the masses trapped at our booth. We talked about Muslim women and poligamy. There was a lot of seething anger in the crowd, I could sense that a lot of the women who were with their husbands wanted to say things that weren't meant for their husband's ear. The husbands too were quite vocal about what their rights under Islam to be poligamous. I for one don't agree with poligamy. One of the host asked me during the discussion that man have nafsu (lust) and that was why Islam allowed men to marry 4 wifes. I told her than animals too have basic instincts such as lust like men, but men are not animals and we have brains and self control. Its the distinction between learning to say no to what our genes are programmed to do that makes us humans.

Anyway, the rain stopped and I we finally packed up the booth at 8PM. They announced that they were finally changing the name of the carnival to Jom Heboh. I personally perferred "Heboh Siul!" or "Alamak, Heboh gila!"All that crap they've been receiving about murdering the malay language with Sure Heboh finally got to them. I remember receiving a call from a caller who wanted to chew my ear of because one of the guest who appeared on the show didn't speak malay very well. I was pissed but I just keep saying okay every few minutes, eventually I put the phone on the table and let him ramble on while I ran to get a fax. Came back and he was still talking. Sometimes people just to complain. The guy eventually knew I was giving him the answering machine treatment and gave up and said he was going to call my CEO instead, thank goodness... someone else he can bother.

Had dinner at the cafeteria at the karnival and walked to the bus and reached the parking lot at 8:45PM only to find the bus driving of. I was quite pissed and I was told the bus will not leave till 9PM sharp. Some idiot must have pressured the driver to drive of again. Walked back to the secretariat and ran into the the corporate communication people leading the personalities to the bus. I asked if I could hitch a ride even though they were going to Allson Klana. They said okay, turns out I was the only one going to The Empress hotel.

Woke up real early in the morning, I guest I'm used to waking up early now. Checked out, had breakfast buffer and drove to work at 8AM. The drive was 45 mins to the office, not bad. Ran into the morning rush hour at the Damansara toll. Good thing I only needed to go along it for a kilometer before turning of. I actually got to work early before everyone else, now that's a rarity.

Spend the day tidying some loose ends up. Was going to have dinner with Chui Yan but my cough really started getting bad. When to the pharmacy to look for different medication. The ones the doctor at my office clinic has been giving me doesn't seem to work. Bought this Rhinathiol from Caring Pharmacy in One Utama. One of my colleague recommended it. Right now, I'll give anything a try. Anyway, the pharmacist recognized me and asked weren't I there the other day buying medication for cough too. I said yes but it didn't worked. She recommend I took Copastin took. Its round green tablets.

Anyway, I slept through the evening and woke up and decided I'll blog a little and get my mind of the cough. Going to try and sleep again and see how the medication works. The pharmacist says it'll make me drowsy and I'm not sure I want to take it tomorrow as I need to be wide awake as I have a show to run.

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