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A day of fun, excitement and close call…

Our department had the annual department retreat today.  Our itinerary was:

8.45am – meet at McDonald’s at Plaza Singapura for breakfast

9.45am – head to Singapore National Museum

12.45pm – move to Xcape to play mystery game

3.45pm – high tea at Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scott

5.30pm – home sweet home

So the morning started off with a little panic.  I forgot my shoes were green/white.  Me and a few female colleagues were going to wear our past year’s retreat t-shirt which is red in colour.  I thought it wouldn’t match so I Whatsapped two of them for a little SOS opinion.  They said it was ok, so here are my shoes 😛

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Then it was off to meet TK at the CCK MRT where we took 190, direct bus to Plaza Singapura (PS).  Traffic was a breeze despite the morning rush hour and we got there in good time.

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– Sculptures outside Plaza Singapore

Colleagues slowly trickled into the meeting place but instead of McDonald’s, we ended up eating breakfast at the KFC next door.

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After that it was a brief 15 – 20 minutes walk to the National Museum…

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We stood at Fort Canning Park and deliberated on which way to go.  In the end we took the footpath by the road.

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Found it!  Singapore National Museum…

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We were too early for the museum so we sat outside the History Gallery until we were allowed in.

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We were given Audio Visual Guides, some handheld devices that provide information on the exhibits, before entering the gallery.  Since the museum were expecting big groups of visitors (there were many student groups), we were told to share the device, 2:1.

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– TK staring at the exhibit.

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– KL clowning around in the Singapore Living Galleries

I took quite a few photos of the exhibits so that will go into the Gallery instead of here.

Here are some pictures of the gang…

First, the conformists (those wearing the department t-shirts 😛 )… Can you spot a Diva in there? 😉

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Next, the non-conformists…

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The whole gang…

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Deepavali Open House displays being set up by the lady…

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On our way out of the museum for some mystery fun…

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– Part of the facade of the museum

Passing the Singapore Art Museum on our way to Xcape at Purvis Street…

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After another 20-30 minutes of walking we were there…http://www.xcape.sg/  It’s a place where you play an escape game which requires you to solve mysteries and clues in order to escape the room within an hour.  I was in the group that took the Catch Me If You Can room (http://www.xcape.sg/catch-me-if-you-can/), the other group took the Chamber of Secrets (not Harry Potter) room (http://www.xcape.sg/chamber-of-secrets/) .

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– Display on the table at the reception room.

The place is surprisingly quite small, situated on the 4th story of a shophouse.  The room we were taken to was upstairs and it was dark and small.  We stood inside what looked like tunnel, with metal gate at the entrance and another one at the end of the tunnel.  Below our feet were metal grilles with ‘skeletons’ in the dungeon below.  We were briefed inside here by one of the staff.  Basically all items found inside the room are clues but first, we had to open the combination lock on the other gate at the end of the tunnel to get into the room.

Needless to say we couldn’t solve the puzzle which was on the wall that we felt would provide us with the combination lock numbers.  20 minutes into the game we had to flash one of 2 bonus cards we found at the CCTV to get help.  The staff came in from the other side to guide us on how to get the correct numbers out of the numbers we saw on the jigsaw puzzle.  The gate was opened and we had to jump down into the room.

Inside the main room was a dungeon to one side (with all the skeletons) and a closet on the other.  There was also a lock on the gate of the dungeon.  There were alphabets and numbers written on the wall and a stack of documents on top of the closet.  6 heads couldn’t crack the number lock on the dungeon gate where some clues were hidden.  Time was ticking.  We managed to piece the sequence of events presented by a stack of pictures but couldn’t find the number for the lock.  Nor did the writing on the wall helped.  The 2nd bonus card was used to get help.

With that help, the dungeon gate was opened and that set off the laser beams.  Someone had to switch off the laser beams by pressing two buttons on the other side of the wall simultaneously.  At first we thought two people had to go through to the other side in order for the buttons to be pressed at the same time because one button was set high up on the wall and the other at the bottom.  But RL couldn’t get through the beams without setting it off.  Being the smallest built in the group, I had to try.

So right leg over the first beam, then right arm over, all the time I was crouched low trying to avoid touching the beam on top and below me.  Then the other set of limps got over the first hurdle.  Phew!  Another repeat of the first action for the second set of beams and the last set required me to belly crawl.  Success!  Luckily I could reach both buttons by stretching both my arms.  Took me a few tries before the beams got switched off because I had to really press the buttons together at the same time.  Slight deviation wasn’t tolerated.  That was my only contribution 😛

Despite switching off the beams and getting help twice, we were still unable to solve the mystery and in the end, the staff came back to help us out because time was running out.

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–  Catch Me If You Can team

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– Chamber of Secrets team

After the game, we had a little tea break at Killiney coffeeshop opposite since we didn’t take lunch and high tea was still more than an hour away.

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We took 2 buses to reach the Royal Plaza on Scotts hotel.  We were too early for high tea so we sat around in the hotel lobby.

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– Wax sculpture at the lobby

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Some pictures of the food at Carousel, the restaurant.  Didn’t take many pictures of food because we were distracted by something more serious…

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This is what happened.  A chandelier at one side of the dining hall fell right in front of my colleague ACB, then another fell behind him within seconds of the first one.  It was a miracle that he came out of it unscathed, not even a tiny cut from the flying shards.  A young girl wasn’t that fortunate though because she was taken to a nearby hospital.  It wasn’t serious though, from what we heard.  Another lady had the cut on her leg treated in the restaurant by the staff.

The hotel staff and manager went around talking to guests, especially those who were directly affected by the accident.  They didn’t know what happened, wasn’t sure if it had anything to do with the renovation that was going on at the facade of the hotel.  The manager said the renovation had stopped 3 days ago so it’s hard to say if that was the cause.

Anyway, they quickly went around telling the guests that their meals are on the house.  The remaining 4 chandeliers were taken off as precautionary measure.  The police were called.  CCTV footage viewed showed clearly that the first chandelier really did fall right in front of ACB.

Before we left the restaurant, the manager spoke with him and offered him another meal ‘with his family’.  So immediately, we were elevated to family status with him LOL  The manager said it doesn’t matter if we were all of different family names since the restaurant doesn’t check guests’ ID’s LOL

ACB said he wasn’t traumatized and was just trying to figure out what caused the chandeliers to fall.  Well, he could be having delayed reaction.  We’ll see if he turns up for work on Monday 😛

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