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Friday, October 26, 2007

XM Away Day 2007

Group picture
A colleague remarked that I would have things to blog about regarding this year's Away Day. I suppose I shouldn't disappoint her (even if it's one of less-than-five non-work statements she's ever had with me this year).

This year's Away Day was held at Rasa Sentosa Resort, with activities organised by Anergy. I took the resort's bus with two colleagues from HarbourFront directly into the resort. The day's events were supposed to start at 8:30am, but this being Singapore, things were delayed by almost an hour. In the meantime, we dug into breakfast and chatted with one another. Oh, and cameras started appearing too.

We were soon asked to sit at tables according to our teams (seven teams, about 10 people per team). After a short introduction by our MD, we proceeded with an ice breaker game. Each team had to send a member to relate a unique experience. The other teams would then decide if that story was true or false. While we got to know a few more things about our colleagues (ever heard of nipples bleeding during a marathon?), we were also amused by the creativity of others.

The next game consisted of "Surviving the Desert". It's supposed to be a team game, but I didn't appreciate that aspect fully. It was more of a general knowledge quiz, where you had to arrange 15 items in order of importance if you were lost in a desert. My and my team's score: don't get lost in the desert!

Next up was a series of question-and-answer games that tested different aspects of our natural abilities (logical, spatial, musical, etc.), general knowledge and knowledge of colleagues. We played these as teams, with the theory being that each team consisted of members with different abilities, so when you pooled them together, you could get a winning combination.

Of course, in this game's case, there was only one winning combination and six losing ones.

Lunch consisted of a buffet at the resort's restaurant. Then at 2pm, we had our outdoor activity. It consisted of going to several checkpoints within the resort's vicinity, which we had to determine based on clues, then performing team challenges. My team's challenges, in order:
  1. Each member is given a raffia string, which is tied to a marker pen. Together, we had to draw: a circle, a triangle, a square, a star and a five-petal flower.
  2. Trust fall (no explanation needed).
  3. Put 20 ping pong balls in up to 15 balloons, with each balloon blown up to be big enough to just fit in a small pail.
  4. Use a blowpipe to shoot 20 rubber darts at a target about five metres away.
  5. Toss a beanbag twice into a hula hoop (placed about two metres away on the ground) using a nylon sheet.
In the end, my team was placed fifth overall. To be fair, not all of us were particularly competitive. And besides a mild suntan, we had some fun interacting with one another. And, of course, taking photos.

Dinner wasn't till 7pm, so I went up to my room with my roommate and another colleague to relax and bathe. I enjoy staying in hotel rooms because it's one of the few chances that I get to watch cable TV, especially HBO. Unfortunately, HBO was showing some B-movie at that time. Boo.

Sunset BBQ buffet
My dinner
At about 6:45pm, we went down to the beach, where I chatted with another colleague. The barbeque dinner commenced soon after (we ate, the resort's chefs did the cooking). At a rumoured $130 per head, we were treated to steak, grilled prawns, satay, other good food and crayfish. And unlimited soft drinks and beer and wine. Someone brought vodka, so soon we were drinking that as well.

BTW my glass of vodka-and-orange juice was apparently not strong enough, so more vodka was added. Later that night, as I was searching for my toothbrush, I cut my finger on my razor and bled for almost an hour. I blame the alcohol for this. Thanks, Kelly!

Eventually, as would happen to any party with bodies of water nearby, people were thrown into the swimming pool and the beach lagoon. Clothes were wet, hair was disheveled, and cameras snapped away. And there was more drinking and photo-taking on dry land as well. Yeah, we were all just hanging loose and enjoying the night.

Live band
We adjourned to the open-air lounge for more champagne, more vodka, more beer, tequila shots. There was also a live band that, I thought, specialised in more Latin American-type music. They were nice enough to do some requests, including "Stairway to Heaven" and "Hotel California", which is probably a staple for every live band. We stayed till around midnight. While the others went to someone's room for more partying, I returned to my room (which is where I promptly cut myself and applied pressure with toilet paper while watching Cartoon Network).




Kelly said...

my fault!? hey, blame it on johnny, his the one pouring your drink!

Yuhui said...

Ya, but you were the one who said it wasn't alcoholic enough! :P

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