Now here's a trick question...if you were planning to invite guests over for a weekend, what's the maximum number you would invite? 4? 6? 10?
Try 13! That's the total number of my colleagues who bundled into a convoy of cars and headed to Johor Baru last Friday. We were headed to the home of Kon, Julius & Lucinda - the most generous hosts in the world!
After a long tedious week, we could hardly wait to get out of the office. Even the long queue of motorists at the Woodlands checkpoint was a welcome sight. TGIF, man!
When we got to the immigration checkpoint, I realized what a diverse group we were. There were passports of myriad colours: Singaporean, Malaysian, Chinese, Indonesian, American and Brazilian. I knew then that we were going to have FUN! That's the beauty of working for a multinational company. Now, what sort of a house do you think would fit in 13 guests, 4 hosts and 4 cars? A very BIG one...that's what we found when got to our destination.
The hospitality of our hosts was astounding from the moment we stepped into the palatial living room. Fruits, cookies and murtabak awaited the hungry travellers so we plopped comfortably around the dining table and helped ourselves to the goodies. That was followed by a tour of the house, which was done in 3 shifts - did I mention the house is big?
A sumptuous dinner awaited us at a seafood restaurant and we happily polished off the plates of fish, prawns, crabs, tofu,pork and vegetables as if we hadn't eaten all day. We then proceeded back to the house for more food - this time durians, chocolates, jackfruits, wine and liquor. This strange combination caused us to tell some funny stories about bus rides, showers, comfort foods, favourite countries and potential love interests ;-)
The next morning, we were treated to an authentic Malaysian breakfast before being taken on a tour of Danga Bay, the Sultan's palace and some houses even BIGGER than our hosts'. Then it was massage time! I enjoyed a blissful 90-minute session during which I fell asleep. But some of my colleagues weren't so lucky - "painful" being the most-used word that morning.
After a lunch of fishball noodles, the girls headed for a manicure/pedicure session while the boys headed to the DVD shops. The kids (myself included) headed home to play Nintendo, tinkle on the piano and make funny faces. Thanks Lucinda and Nicole - you girls were really fun to be with and I'll post the "funny faces" story soon. When everyone got home, we all sat down and watched Slumdog Millionaire. Then, it was off to dinner (yes, more food!) and home to Singapore.
On behalf of everyone, allow me to say another big THANK YOU to Kon, Julius and Lucinda for their wonderful hospitality. We all had a wonderful time and many happy memories were made and friendships strengthened last weekend.