Here’s Lamia accepting an award for me on March 24 during a company event.

I had participated in a competition to illustrate the diversity in our Singapore Innovation Center. I had drawn a number of different elements of our everyday diversity, which naturally stood out versus other entries that basically consisted of nicely arranged photos. I am not saying the other contestant’s didn’t have better ideas – I did not see their entries -, but I was told that my entry was the one that at least appeared as if it was the one where most effort had been put in.

Here it is:

Now, why wasn’t I there to accept my prize?
Well, when there’s an evening event, Lamia and I always have to decide who is going to be home to take care of the kids and put them to bed. That night it was me. A few days before the celebration I was told that I had won something. Furthermore, the rough timing when the award was supposed to be handed over was 9:15 pm or so. This sounded manageable: put the kids to sleep, have a quick bite and then rush to the event location. That’s what I did. But alas, the event turned out to run a little ahead of schedule and even though I gave constant and frantic updates where I was to Lamia, and even though Kumaresh who MC’d, tried to delay as much as possible, I did not make it on time and arrived 2 or 3 minutes after the prize had been awarded.

Jennie and Lamia (who both had also contributed some of the ideas on my poster) jumped in for me and graciously accepted the award on my behalf. Which maybe is a good thing. Lamia is much more made to stand on a stage than me and she always looks lovely. So, more power to her!

Oh, the prize… that’s the other reason why it was maybe good I wasn’t there personally. I am not sure I could have disguised how little impressed I would have been by receiving a 50 ml pack of SK-II Whitening Power Spots Specialist. If you don’t know (and I am guessing you don’t), SK-II is a skin treatment. A cream. Or some treatment mush like that – I don’t really care. I mean: yes, SK-II is huge in Asia and it’s in fact insanely expensive (the thing I received retails for 180 to 220 SGD or so). But it’s also really nothing I am interested in. “Whitening Power Spots”. Seriously! Have a look at me! Do I look like someone who needs whitening of his skin?

The other thing was that, besides being late anyway, I felt very lost arriving at that point in time, which was basically the end of the event. Everybody was wrapping up, taking photos after having a nice evening with their colleagues. I had not been part of this, so it was a weird feeling of being utterly out of place.
But when you have an awesome wife, there’s always an upside: we had drinks at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen afterwards.

So, all considered, it was still worth coming…

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