Do I Know My Fair Isle?

This has been a strange week. For one, I didn’t get much work done due to a couple of things.
Headache (major freaking one), meetings, friends popping by (not that I minded really…good distraction) the office, visiting bookstores (MPH and Borders both in a week, am I having a grand time or what) and a full day workshop on setting business goals.
I AM tired out.
But the week isn’t officially over. Not by a long mile.
I have a treasure hunt tomorrow morning.
Damn. I hope I can crawl out of bed at 6am.
It’s a treasure hunt across Penang heritage sites and I hope all my site visits with PHT have been worthwhile. Anyway, this was a last-minute decision to join the Charis Hospice treasure hunt because my gal pals were missing a fourth person. I know most of my treasure hunt friends are joining (after all this is Penang!). I didn’t want to barge into their already formed groups until Ai Lee invited me on Monday.
Frankly, I’m not a big crazy hunt kaki. I like the prospect of a good challenge but that’s it.
Actually I can be a bit snooty now that I’ve chalked up some hunt experience (by paying ‘tuition’ – well, hunt fees are usually considered tuition fees anyway – you pay to learn, geddit?). I actually hunted with the professionals once and did they enlighten me some. They came well equipped to win!
Ai Lee and I spoke on the phone on Monday evening and she exclaimed that 6 hours for a hunt was long.
“My dear! When you’re frantic for answers, time just flies by!” I said.
It does seem long – 6 hours. But wait till you’re in a car with 3 other people, frantically searching for answers and googling your own brain till its juice dry up. 6 hours seem more like 6 minutes!
Here’s what I learnt from the pros:
1. Always have a 5th person stationed at home, in front of a PC with Net access. This will be crucial in helping you win. Call this person to get facts checked and answers compared if you are dumbfounded.
2. Calm down. It pays to be still like a Zen master in the car when all your team members are going crazy with tension you can smell.
3. Equip yourself with good general knowledge. Everything helps! (Bring all the necessary dictionaries, laptops, world book you can find)
4. Bring lots of water and snacks. You will get hungry while thinking. Load up on sugar so your brains work properly.
5. Have your mobile phone fully charged and ready to speed dial all the people you know to ask for help.
6. A good thesaurus wouldn’t hurt either. Make sure it’s nice and thick with lots of words. Duh!
7. Get a paperbag. You will be sometimes asked to buy items from supermarkets or shops and you certainly don’t want to give the other teams big ideas what you’re buying if you carry them all in transparent plastic bags. This is a competition after all.
8. See #4 but don’t overdo the water. You don’t want to stop all the time for toilet breaks!
9. Eat a full breakfast. Nothing annoys more than a gurgling tummy when the brain is trying to think.
10. If you cannot get the answer the first time around, panic not. Jot down ALL the visible answers (usually signboards of business premises or road names) and do the brainstorm later. No point hyperventilating at the street junction and blocking traffic.
11. Bring a sense of humour. This is not a life-and-death matter. If you win, great. If you don’t, you can always join another hunt later to redeem yourself. Don’t bark at your team mates.
12. Being relaxed is the best way to solve hunt questions. Sometimes the very answer is right in front of our eyes but being tensed makes us all raving blind.
13. Hunt in a spacious car (try an MPV). Nothing peeves people if they’re cramped, hot, frustrated and sitting in a tiny car! What with all those books and thesauruses lying around, people DO get annoyed!
How about you? You enjoy treasure hunts? Got tips to share? Or your own two cents to add?

7 thoughts on “Do I Know My Fair Isle?”

  1. 6 hours isn’t long. We’ve organized treasure hunts for kids before (also a heritage trail) and it took them around 4 hours to complete it. (Imagine 8am to 12pm)
    Does the race involve only inner city of Georgetown? Or round island?
    *HUGS* It’s been a tiring (and weird) week for me too – but weeks like these are probably the most interesting ones.
    I miss bookshops. I miss the smell of books. ๐Ÿ™

    • Vern – you are right. It isn’t. The furthest was Penang Hill for the Charis Hunt. The rest were in inner city of Georgetown. Ah yes, our addiction to books and the smell of books. I always go to Borders now. Popular has wrapped up all their books and no browsing can be done.

    • Dez – that is true but you see, husband dear does not have a phone with Net access. Have you seen his basic Nokia phone? For a tech geek, he is totally strange when it comes to phones. But his logic holds true too – he just needs a phone to make calls and send SMS. Other than that he has his PC! ๐Ÿ˜‰ He still cannot justify to himself if he needs a Blackberry. I told him a Blackberry is just too intrusive (and he values privacy above all else so he’s hemming and hawing on this one).

  2. I like the concept of hunting but then hor….whenever I enter, I end up to be the one reading the map upside down or sleeping off a hangover. hahahaha! and you’re right, it’s so darn tiring! never thot that sitting down in a car and running around looking for things, names and stuff can be THAT tiring.

    • Marsha – yes, that sort of stuff is tiring but winning is fun. Nic of course hates to go on hunts so I always find my own gang and own teams to hunt but I am not MAD over it. If I join, I will do my best but if not, I’m OK too. This time, I had fun. It’s good hunting with friends who are as relaxed and cool no matter what the outside temperature is…also one who drives like the wind. Gotta have a speed devil as the driver.


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