I am not a big fan of department offsites. Not rightfully, by the way: while I hate large scale company dinners, I’m always bearish on department offsites, too, but they consistently turn out to be from pretty okay to super nice.

Today was one of the cases where it was really super nice.

At 8:30 am we gathered at a bus stop close to the MRT next to the office from where we were taken to a place at East Coast Park. There was breakfast (well: what Asians call breakfast – so more like an early lunch), then there were some announcements and business updates and then we got into the activities.

This time it was pottery. Hum – or let’s say a kind of pottery where you do not work with that spinning disc but more like a toddler with play-do. Still very nice and our team had lots of fun to make this – erg – amazing piece of art:

Don’t make fun of it…

Lamia: This looks like something I made for my mom when I was 8!

I said: don’t make fun of it!
I presented this sculpture with a mesmerizing story and we got a lot of serious pitying kudos. The guys who guided us will put our works in an oven and later paint them for us. If everything goes well we should see them again in 3-4 weeks.

Then there was lunch and after that I went outside and… man, I had this epiphany: sometimes I’m so much distracted by so many things that I simply forget I am sitting on an island in the tropics.

How cool is it to be in Singapore! Really!
Next, the whole department took a group photo in front of this boat (I hope I’ll get the photo later and I hope I can share this here, too):

And then we formed new groups and everybody did an “Amazing Race” game. In German we would call that “Schnitzeljagd”, so it was sort of a scavenger hunt. Anyway – it was quite nice. My team’s first mission: find a guy who is willing to take off his shirt and take a photo with him.

Boy, did we deliver on that…

After that we had to collect bikes but only got them by finishing some ice cream (check!) and also completing walking on some terrible reflexology stone path (the f***!). Then we raced the bikes to a skate park to complete some physical challenges, then we went to another location along the East Coast Park where we had to collect a bunch of items and take another group photo:

Next station was a bloody difficult group challenge on a nearby jetty (you know, numbers on the floor which had to be stepped on in sequence with everybody holding hands doing it – aargh!) and then we were on our way to the final station which was a BBQ pit.

It was a tough race with the bikes (and each team had one of these “family bikes” which are really shitty to ride).
But my team made a proud second place!

The crowning mission was to take a photo of the group jump.
I really like this one! I am right there in the center:

Now we were just waiting for the other groups to arrive and for the meat and drinks to be delivered (in fact, the first groups were 1-2 hours earlier than what the organization team had expected). We killed the time with playing games (Gel, Krishna, Duc and I were throwing us water bottles over longer and longer distances) and taking more photos of group jumps.

I love the one below: Esther on the far left has a very special jumping style…

The food arrived eventually.
There were steaks that some of us threw on the BBQ and – bloody hell! – the  meat was absolutely amazing (from QB Food – need to keep this one in mind)! There was also Sashimi and some sausages, but nothing beat the meat! We had beer, Japanese vodka and self made wine by Raphael:

Raphael: How do you like it?
Leo: Will the answer have an impact on my career?

At one point our lead team took a group photo of what we call internally the “Pao Pao Pose”:

And of course they did their jump, too:

The locations were not special, but the food at the BBQ was excellent and we all had just loads of fun, even when we had to wait quite long for the drinks and meat to arrive. It was just a great day.

While I am currently mostly annoyed by my work, it’s activities like this which just reminds me of the great culture of the place I am working at.

I am incredibly privileged and it’s far too easy to forget that.

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