Friday, October 29, 2010

Seeing The Mekong Again

Strangely, I'm not particularly hungry or into the food by now. I've a serious craving for pasta, or sambal something. I've had quite enough of rice and chicken. Seeing both simply turns me off the food and I rather concentrate on the scenery, the conversation, the humans and all other interesting manner of stuff, and try to be very politically correct in viewpoints or opinions voiced aloud.

While the other colleagues can return home earlier or head out for some sightseeing, the Boss and I are stuck in meetings all day. The other night, the colleagues and I merrily abandoned him while he continued a lengthy discussion for an inexplicable 3 hours. Poor Boss has no stable wifi in his room. I almost considered offering him my room for a few hours just so he can get some proper time online. He's as fidgety as I am without internet access. Ha.

The meetings are punctuated by picturesque lunch breaks with tables overlooking the Mekong. These are definitely a good break to the monotony of negotiations, discussions and presentations. I was a little self-conscious about taking so many photos. But when the other members in the group were obviously using their cameras more, I also merrily followed suit.

So while my brain cells are dying from being under-utilized here on one level, they're fairly active on another level. Again, I remind Singaporeans to leave your friggin Singapore notions behind. As a group, we adhere to group wisdom, however unwise it might be. Once we can do that and stop comparing, then we can totally enjoy the now and learn the nuances of country-to-country relations that no protocol nor diplomacy classes could ever hope to impart. This is the wonderful facet of my job. This should be the final major work trip I undertake before I leave. There's no reason for me to go on another of these developmental trips again. I will miss this terribly.

I've had the opportunities to learn so many things, and through my interaction with counterparts, while I don't deny our little island's achievements, I try to play down the seeming arrogance. I leave no legacy, nor do I care to do so. But in these few years, I've tried to have show another side of Singaporeans and hope that they won't think too badly of us in general.

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