Archive for November 2013

Aquarium Team Build and Charity Philanthropy Event

Amex continues to focus on team builds and it coincided with a community philanthropy event, which focused on helping under-privileged enjoy life. On 29th November, we took a group of children to the Aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

You may recall that as part of a smaller team build, where my team visited the same venue in October – bringing together colleagues from Korea, Australia, Japan, HK Malaysia and, of course, Singapore to spend time together. But this division team-build and combined charity event was on larger scale and included children. The challenge was we (4 groups) took the responsibility of almost 50 children, 9 were assigned to our group, and I was assigned as team leader. They ranged from 6 years old to 16 years old – what a range indeed.

Throughout the event, I continued to keep tabs on the 9 heads and had to keep a watchful eye on which and every one of them, and tried to assign them to individuals so that I could spread my gaze overall. What a task it w, but it was certainly fun, albeit very stressful!

I do like these charity events and they certainly showcase our community spirit – and overall are certainly rewarding for all concerned. I definitely want to do more of these types of events in 2014, where possible.

Wild Honey Cock-Up + Freebie

After visiting Wild Honey with a friend for coffee, it kinda ended a bit of a mess. It started as a pleasurable visit, and we tried to order some pastries/desserts, to accompany our coffee.

20131227-151531.jpgHowever, after we ordered the waitress returned stating that our first choice was not available (had run out) and to choose something else. We did so, re-ordered and continued to chat. About a few minutes later the waitress returned stating that our second choice was also not available, at which point we then asked what actually was left on the menu. After explaining that only a couple of desserts/pastries were now available, after all it was late in the day, we decided to go with a late brunch snack.

This then arrived and we tucked in; it was indeed very tasty. We continued and then asked for the bill to leave, as I was with a friend, I glanced at the bill, settled it and we left. When I arrived home, I took a closer look and then realised that the bill was incorrect, as they over-charged me. They still kept the dessert on the bill, even though we had cancelled it (as they had run out). Anyway, with true Aaron style, I emailed the place, to ask for a refund and for an explanation, advising that they should remove an item as soon as it is cancelled.

20131227-152049.jpgA couple of days later, I received an apolgetic reply from the Co-owner/Director – and I actually felt the email was quite comforting that they decided to put their hands up and admit the cock-up they made and remediate this by agreeing to send me a voucher. Subsequently, I received a S$25 voucher from the guy. In fact a few days after that, I received another voucher, so in total I had received S$50 for the mess-up. Not bad, after all. I hope they simply accept and deal with the feedback, as ultimately that was the aim of complaining :)

Wild Honey Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road #03-02
Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 6235 3900
URL: http://wildhoney.com.sg

Escape Plan Movie with Friends

Well the are a few good releases out at the moment, and the next movie in line for viewing is the Sylvester Stallone and Arnie Schwarzenegger hit called Escape Plan. It was about Stallone’s job entailing testing out the security of prisons to see if they are escape proof. His current assignment was in a new tech prison complex and he was there to test it out, not knowing that he was in a trap, and the Warden had other ideas.

Anyway, the story line was pretty good, a bit far fetched at times (like most movies in this genre), but the chemistry between these two lead characters was always going to be fun and entertaining. The issue I have with these types of films, is the the plot can be slightly unbelievable. The main one related to Stallone being stuck in an isolation cell/chamber, usually meaning that there are “no way out”, but as per usual he finds a way – apparently there were bolts on the floor leading this (of course, a lucky discovery) a secret chamber/ladder that leads to another area of the prison…hmmm…

Film was okay, and the ending was interesting, but as I said it was the fun of Stallone and Schwarzenegger that made the movie :)

Dirt PS3 Game

Well I was invited around to a mate’s place and he was playing Forza Horizon on the Xbox 360, and after viewing the amazing graphics and the gameplay, I decided that I should ‘invest’ in a similar but competing game for my PS3.

I looked at Grand Turismo 6, Dirt 3, Grid 2, Need for Speed, WRC 3 and GTA5. I believer that Grand Turismo 6 and GTA5 are in a class of their own, but their game play relates to their classic gameplay style. What I wanted was more of a racing game but similar to Forza Horizon had a of road-race challenges in the mix, so I found that Dirt 3 was the closest on offer on the PS3.

The next challenge was to find a place nearby in Singapore, I did a quick Google search and found a few putty close by…well close as in Orchard area. FunzSquare was down Scott’s Road in Far East Plaza, another called Qisahn.com in Far East Shopping Centre and lastly another one called FunzCentre in Orchard Centre, the last two both in Orchard Road.

I decided to venture to Far East Plaza, and after walking around the mall for about 10 minutes, I located the place. The item was around £30 on Amazon.co.uk and it cost around S$64 – so around the same price, a few quid more, but not too bad.

I just hope I have time to play it and improve :)

Gold Class @ Golden Village

As part of the Great Singapore Sales (GSS) promotion between May and July this year, I managed to get some free tickets courtesy of Standard Chartered Bank. They had a prize draw with 96 prizes awarded daily, and I won Golden Village Gold Class cinema tickets.

Awaiting for the opportunity to redeem, I knew I had to redeem the letter for the cinema vouchers by 30th November. I decided to take a colleague from work, and we decided to go see ‘Enders Game’ (which ‘okay’ – nothing special, but fun to watch…) in VivoCity on 13 November, thinking it would expire at the end of the month. When I went to exchange the letter for theatre vouchers, they then told me that the cinema ticket voucher was actually valid for 12 months – grrr…. That wasn’t clear was it :(. Anyway, since we we there, we decided to make the most of it and enjoy the time at the Gold Class theatre.

It was the first time I went to this Gold Class theatre, it was quite nice, reclining leather chairs, a nice selection of food that they deliver personally to your theatre seat, and an intimate sized venue. It usually costs S$39 per seat. Ouch! But at least I saved almost S$80 worth of fine tickets. Next time I should take a fine lady – rather a bloke … Haha!

Apparently, Cathy Platinum is meant to be slightly better (not that I had the opportunity to try it yet) – I guess that is the difference between Gold vs Platinum – haha! But either way, it was enjoyable, and more importantly free :)

Boracay Holiday vs. Typhoon Haiyan – Typhoon Won :(

Earlier this year, a group of us from work (and an ex-colleague) decided to go to Boracay in the Philippines – what is known to be a magical island towards the centre of the country, north of Palay Island.

We were all looking forward to it, as the months and weeks counted down. A couple of weeks per, we heard of a depression that was forming towards the east seas of the Philippines, when it turned into a Typhoon. As it formed and approached the Philippines and it’s many islands on the east side, it gained in strength, we knew it would be close to the Philippines when we were scheduled to leave for holiday, and then we noted on the reports that it was actually going to go across a wide span of the centre belt, and looking at the planned route, it looked like it was going to hit just south of Boracay island. Then our holiday came within a couple of days, and then we looked at the timing of when the Typhoon was about to hit, and you guessed it, on the actual day we were scheduled to leave, it was scheduled to hit Palay Island and Boracay. In fact, our flight was arriving on Friday, 8th November at 3pm local time, at the exact hour when it was meant to be at its fiercest.

What annoyed me most is that Tiger Airlines made no attempt to contact it’s many passengers who were affected but this human nature disaster, we only heard word of move and it was only when someone referenced us to the Tiger Airlines Philippines Facebook page, did we get the full score. Their Communicates and Operations Director basically stated that all flights on Friday 8th had been cancelled to the central Philippines, including ours to Kalibo airport. Luckily, we didn’t just risk going to Singapore airport to find it out there, rather we slept on it, and decided to go back to work – I know get the small violin out, but I think it was the right cause of action to cancel the flight and holiday, noting how fierce this Typhoon ended up being. The last thing we want is to be in the middle of a massive natural disaster.

My hearts and thoughts remain to the Philippines and the Filipinos impacted by this event, as looking at the news, it really was very bad indeed!

Life is more important, and there is always the possibility to re-schedule a holiday, that can’t be said for replacing a life.

Halloween and Glenn’s Birthday Party

Well it might have been a few days after Halloween (31st October), but a friend had arranged a dual Halloween and his Birthday party for 2nd November. And to mark such a occasion, it was a fancy dress one :)

I had been searching for a costume for a while – and didn’t really want to spend over the top, so after a few visits to a few places, I found one In Toa Payoh, it was called Number 1 Costume and was a huge place in one of the business units, but I just didn’t find one that I liked. I then decided to get a last minute purchase at another place in North Bridge Road, called Global Mascot – this place had a few costume sets all wrapped up, and I decided to get one of these. Only cost me S$50 as well, and yes I know – you get what you paid for. Last time I dressed as a Grim Reaper, so this year I brought one which was meant to have been a Vampire, but personally, it was quite poor, and the cloak didn’t have the proper attachments to hook onto my shoulders, so I ended with tape, which didn’t stay for long :(. Hey-ho, it was worth a shot!! Moral of the story, spend more effort to select a good costume, more time planning, and spend a bit more money to get a better quality and more complete costume!!

There is always next year … eek!!

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