Archive for October, 2007

colleagues @ rp!

Friday, October 19th, 2007

i’ve become annoying and used the ubiquitous @ xxx that government bodies and organizations seem to love these days. the spelling proficiency of our nation has a strange inverse relationship to literacy rates. just think of smartass “convergent” names like “skindulgence” which i saw the other day and the like. anyway.

PR a bit… haha

i’ve survived my first week of work and i actually think i may have chanced upon a happy niche for myself! things have been great, largely thanks to a team of “same wavelength” colleagues. to illustrate, our office is now known affectionately as “base camp” and sabrina, one of the managers, refers to the stickiness of problems in terms of climbing lingo: “i think that’s a 6b+ problem ah; wa lau! this one 8a man!”. here, people actually exemplify the oft-touted but less practised “work-life balance”. training is encouraged and everyone went play floorball before lunch today (i’m sat this one out to rest for my 20km run after work–it’s not an excuse to nuah btw. jane isn’t superhuman! =P). it’s totally cool that everyone’s passionate about the outdoors, physically fit, into sports and has a particular “pet” adventure sport where their expertise runs! it’s such a far cry from my last job, where i felt uncomfortable not doing voluntary O.T like everyone else and left on time instead to go for training. it’s great to no longer be the weird odd one out. =)



this is pringles, my rp bear. he resides permanently in my harness bag and he doesn’t tend to do very much except stare pensively into space, through his little mesh peep holes. in the forseeable future, he’ll make a good fish tank algae scrubber for the office. i’m sure he’s pretty absorbent.

assorted fishies!


the office pets! there’s the tank of angel fish that just stay motionless alot, sort of like pringles, plus 1 x sucker fish that was seconded from a tank in the pantry to do the job of eating the tank algae. so far, it has been rather inefficient, which is why pringles may have to be activated very soon. there’s also a landscaped tank of teeny fish that no one can see, or pays any attention to.


seung joined rp at the same time as me, but as you can tell, for some inexplicable reason, he’s experiencing some preliminary work stress. it could be because he’s the honorary office “receptionist”, since the open door literally bangs smack into his desk. i’m not too sure if it’s the work stress, or if he’s manifesting some sort of disturbing psychotic tendency. he’s actually an avid biker. both the engine type and the manual huff-and-puff kind, hence explaining the weirdass bike part he’s holding. i’m sure load-testing on parts has achieved a measure of technological advancement, so he’s still a little old school here.


this is sabrina, who deserves special mention as the FIRST BUYER OF THE TEAM’S 2008 FUNDRAISING CALENDAR (btw, if you should require a super gorgeous wall calendar replete with awesome climbing shots taken by the team, which we ALL do, since calendars are such an important staple of life, contact us to purchase a copy and contribute to the everest expedition! more shameless PR. =D) since she was the VERY FIRST BUYER, sabrina received a totally cute yellow “hug me” teddy bear wall hook. she’s into collecting wall hooks. people have all sorts of collecting hobbies these days: stamps, antique toys, college degrees, random bed partners, and now, wall hooks. so i thought cute bear wall hook was really sweet, until the warped recesses of sabrina’s mind popped to the fore and she had to remark:

“eh the bear like a bit obscene hor?”


said offending bear.

and that, from the person who has been asking people rather coquettishly: “do you want my buns? they’re sticky and sweet”…

wall hooks aside, sab is the culprit behind all the dive gear clogging my work space, but since she’s also a contact rugby player, i try not to whine too loudly about that fact:

fortunately, i thrive in mess, sort of like log moss and leaf litter insects, so i’ve pretty much settled into our storeroom of an office.


this is david, better known as “giant david”. others get lazy and abbreviate that to “GD”, which is rather unfortunate, since that acronym has been misinterpreted before as “GoonDu”. he’s also my reporting officer, so i try not to be too blunt about the fact that huge people should not wear size S t-shirts for the sake of everyone else’s optical comfort. david’s the antarctica man, having skiied to the south pole in 2000, but his “waaaaa” factor is severely downgraded by his obsession with the “salted egg superman”. i guess too many years in OBS instills a sort of strange ultraman idolatry.


this is michael. he’s the damn zai rock climber in the dept. in real life, he’s pretty hamsum and lean (0% fat content! don’t play play…), but he has ruined his image here by choosing to take the “sensitive new age guy” thing one step too far. i maintain that guys and cuddly bears don’t go together. those cuddly bears should join pringles in the tank algae cleaning brigade. one might even mistake michael for a hongkong superstar, especially since he insists on speaking in a faux hongkee accent, ala glenn ong’s long dead and gone honky-tonk man.


this is xinyi. see what i mean by guys and cuddly toys don’t go together? and notice that the office is filled with an incongruous mix of outdoor equipment, fish and stuffed toys. xinyi is my carbo-junkie partner in crime, but it’s less bad for her than it is for me, since she’s about the size of yihui divided by three. together, xinyi, michael, david and sab make up the “lim” family, cuz they’re all of the same surname. xinyi is the young lim, sab is the old lim, david is the dinosaur lim and michael’s the punk lim, all for rather obvious reasons. haha

the fallen comrade!

then there’s jean, the adventure racer of the group and i haven’t seen her yet cuz she’s on mc from a burn! aieeeee… i hope she recuperates soon and comes back to work before my image of her gets increasingly distorted… for now, she will have to be represented by her bike!

the boss man…

finally, there’s wilson, the boss man. he’s the owner of all the fish in the office. i should hold my peace about him, for fear of future repurcussions. well, but if door decorations make the man, then he is damn cartoon. hurhur. 

so that’s more or less my dept and no office can be complete without it’s very own, totally out of point, banana-shaped door sign:



Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

i haven’t yet fallen off the face of our planet, i’ve just been tardy in updating.

which WAS a teensy problem that i WILL rectify. =)

i’m dying to have a long blog post about the wondrous adventure that was cho oyu, but until i get my hands on the team’s entire library of photos, i shall restrain myself.

training woes…

i’ve actually been busy with training since i got back. i think i’ve become slightly paranoid. to my great horror, my running has dropped more than i expected as a result of the rigours of cho oyu and 2 months of not having done any running. last week, i did 50km over 5 days. sounds like pretty normal, pre-cho oyu standards right? like, NOOOOOO.

before cho oyu, i was clocking 50-60km a week, on top of stairs, bukit timah training, spinning and gym and i was ok. in contrast, by last sunday, i was complaining of full body aches when there wasn’t even intense weights-training to speak of. last saturday, i did a 10km run, followed by 5km of intervals and then retired home early, thanks to cramping calves. i repeated the same thing on sunday and voila! the completely intense aches and pains.

one of the not-so-great things about climbing, is the fact that i can feel like the bionic woman just before i leave and about as fit as a pack of McDonald’s fries when i get back.

so the stan-chart marathon is under two months away and there’s absolutely NO WAY i’m going to let kyo “i have been clocking billions of kms while you were climbing in a bid to outrun you” tan beat me to the finishing line.

i shall start doing “secret remedial training” without his knowledge and he’ll have to wipe his smug smirk away when i leave him in the dust (like, sure). haha.

work it…

i actually love my new job!

i started work at rp’s adventure learning centre yesterday and so far, it’s been GREAT! my office is cosy and totally looks like my room at home: there are 5 mountain bikes sticking out of cubicles, coils and coils of climbing rope heaped on a desk, helmets, harnesses and hardware just beside, running shoes on the floor and a pile of BCDs and boxes of diving regulators and masks behind my chair.  

I LOVE THE MESS! especially since it’s made up of all my favourite stuff and i’ll add my backpack and climbing boots to the stash very soon. =)

my colleagues are totally cool as well. i’ve known my manager since some years ago, cuz he climbs with the team’s mentors (they’re all from the same lao chiao group)

there are 6 ccas under my department, split between the group of us. there’s scuba diving, kayaking, adventure racing, mountain biking, trekking (mine! duh…) and strangely enough, astronomy.

the best part of all this is, part of my workplan is to set up a mountaineering club! so now i’m in the happy position of sourcing for equipment and planning for skills training. how cool is that? i shall propose expeditions based on where i want to climb next! bwhahahaha.

on a more serious note, one of the things i like best about the job is that i’ll be able to constantly upgrade my skills. as it is, i’ve already been slated for a wilderness first aid course in november and next year’s training plans include a mountain guide course overseas. the ultimate best thing of all, is that i’ll be able to get together a group of young people, train them up and then bring them on climbs! yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee fresh blood for the mountaineering circle!

anyway… my colleagues are great! 4 of us (including 2 managers, no less) spent our lunch time running together and thus, i finished my run plus intervals with company. where else will i find ppl crazy enough to willingly run in the noon day heat?


guilty as charged, i’ve been eating truckloads of food the past week! although strangely enough, while i spent two months in tibet/nepal with a paltry ONE day of diarrhoea, i’ve been having the runs every single day since arriving back in singapore! ack! to think, towards the end of the cho oyu expedition, i started getting totally lazy with the whole hand-sanitizer thing, with nary a tummy rumble!

but having said that, no amount of post-gastro-indulgence suffering was enough to deter me!

literalizing pigging out…

food’s only so-so. at least the portions were satisfying =)

check this place out! it’s a newly opened dessert bar at holland village (on the second floor, opposite the subway sandwich outlet) called 2am:dessert bar. it’s owned and run by gracie (mir-team mate)’s best bud, who’s a totally talented 24 year old chef! how cool is that? it stays open till 2 am btw. duh… that’s daddy kyo sitting by his lonesome self at the counter (actually, he’s just blocking yihui, gracie and mao mao on his left). he isn’t very space-efficient.

the dessert’s almost too pretty to eat! all the ice-cream is homemade and trust me, they have THE BEST hot chocolate you will EVER taste!

with my team mates, partaking in our third most-favourite-activity (climbing and training come first and second!): eating. loads and loads of food. we had a send-off dinner for amok who was flying back to shanghai to work. my team, plus amok (expd doc), kb (base camp manager) and chu (from the other singapore team who was at cho oyu), gathered at geylang lorong 9 for a feast of numerous pots and plates of frog-leg porridge, grilled sotong, grilled stingray, pig’s trotter vinegar, fried oyster omelette, beef hor fun and boring vegetables (mostly for joanne who has given up on decimating animal numbers). damn shiok! i didn’t realise how much i missed our local fare.

met up with my gorgeous darling babe, miss lee wanyi last friday! we had dinner at hooter’s before going to barfly at clarke quay. btw, miss lee was the annoying culprit who had me going, “THIS IS JANE! YOU KNOW? JANE! YOUR HWA CHONG FRIEND JANE! THE ONE CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN!” at abc on the satellite phone, cuz she couldn’t hear me and because of the lag time, we were talking over each other. grrr.

anyway, barfly is a pretty nice place! i didn’t realise they have a live band that plays jazz (standards) and bossa nova beats.

kyo came along too. men. they’re like puppies. can’t leave them alone at home or they’ll whine…

…and once in a while, you have to let them believe that they’re somewhat attractive with the ladies.

speaking of delusional arrogance, kyo deserves to be bitchslapped once in a while. he’s going for reservist this thursday and two days ago, he remarked, “i have my ippt on thursday. i’m only worried about my pull-ups…”, to which i was like, what the hell? 

“…i’m worried that i won’t be able to make up my mind on how many i should do. just 12? or until they make me stop?”


so after listening to all the hype on radio, kyo and i finally went to try out botak jones at toa payoh last saturday. here, i’m shamelessly advertising for them (since i have no idea where my food pictures went) cuz the food is actually really good! they serve great value, no frills, more-than-decent-sized western food.

plus, i like their slogan: “if you don’t look good, we don’t really care”.

found this uber pretty candy store at vivocity on sunday!


i developed a taste for lassi in kathmandu. it’s great! i was going on and on about how i missed the naan and tandoori chicken in kathmandu (chu brought us to this hole-in-the-wall place, “annapurna restaurant”, in kathmandu and they serve extremely yummilicious tandoori chicken and freshly-baked naan!!!). so on sunday, kyo brought me to this apparently famous place that i have never heard of, “muthu’s curry” in little india. so they did have lassi and tandoori chicken and naan and (god forbid) CAULIFLOWER IN CURRY (our most-hated dish in cho oyu base camp…), but the food at annapurna restaurant is still waaaaaay better!  

my face looks damn red cuz it was a super hot day and earlier on (post run/gym/various forms of self-inflicted torture), kyo and i went to sentosa where we stood under the hot sun watching some animal show where macaws had a foot race with each other.

for some reason, kyo the animal-hater was enraptured with the concept of macaws on a foot race.

i digress. back to food.

yday was yet ANOTHER day of more pigging out. it’s hard to avoid pigging out when us girls get together. calvin, the boss of campers, one of the team’s partners, treated some of us to dinner at whampoa market. you have got to try the grilled seafood at stall no. 150! it’s how hup grilled seafood (or something…) and it’s awesome! we had grilled halibut, cod, squid and best of all, grilled prawns with garlic and cheese! amazing stuff!

this is precisely why whatever weight loss sustained on a climb never stays off. oh well.

hit me baby…

last saturday, kyo and i went to watch a couple of live muay thai fights for the contender show. it’s some reality tv competition that will be airing on axn on cable. there were three events, with the main event as the last. the first event was more or less a crowd warmer with the two fighters dancing around each other for the alloted 3 round; the second was the women’s championship match between thailand and australia, where it also took pretty long, finishing the alloted 5 rounds. so imagine our surprise, when during the main event (determining who gets into the quarter finals), the fight was over in less than 2 minutes! the losing guy was floored in less than 2 minutes, literally knocked out cold. paramedics rushed on stage and doused him with water and oxygen and whatnot and he was just out cold in the ring. from ONE punch! wow. looks like all that crap on wwf is more fake than i thought it was.

shall (abruptly) leave off with a super “awwwwwwwwwwwww….” picture…

















staring incident… uncle vs nephew