I have achy, breaky thighs today.
Reason? I walked from Cititel Hotel on Penang Road to Midlands One-stop in Pulau Tikus yesterday! All 6km and more. (Penang roads are really NOT meant for pedestrians… so freaking dangerous!)
And all for a treasure hunt.
The walking type. (And I forgot my camera! Hence, no photos! What a pity huh!)
The type where I had to think and walk, which taxed both my leg muscles and my brain muscles. The only consolation I got was the sun was not merciless – I didn’t know if I was happier for the haze that shrouded Penang or not. I sure sweated a lot during the 3-hour walk-a-hunt organised by Bio-Life.
The last walking hunt I did with Cecilia was in Gurney Plaza so that wasn’t too bad. At least we had air conditioning inside the mall.
This Bio-Life hunt was terribly tiring because of the walking! I mean, I do walk quite a bit on a weekly basis – I try to make it 3x a week of brisk walking around Tasik Aman in USM so it’s not so bad. Still, I don’t walk for 3 hours straight so it was crazy!
Cecilia said she had never seen me so red and sweaty. Neither have I!
The humid Sunday aggravated me too. We didn’t win because we got penalised 27 points for being late for 27 minutes!
Was I disappointed? Not really. I learn from this failure, if it could be called one.
I’m a leisurely treasure hunter. I don’t take it too seriously. Of course I am committed to finding answers when I am hunting. But if I win, I look at what helped us win. If I lose, I try to dissect it too and remember not to do the same things in future hunts. Each hunt teaches me a little bit more about myself.
Actually a treasure hunt is a game of strategy. It’s not a race and sometimes the questions don’t make sense and at worst, some answers are arbitrary.
Hunters often scrutinise the hunt organisers because there’s a pattern hidden somewhere. Hunt organisers do repeat themselves inadvertently – even if they are not conscious of it. So “doing” or “studying” past hunt questions helps reveal the mind of the hunt organiser. And most hunt organisers (or COC) have a pattern in their questions, whether they know it or not.
I don’t know if I am a newbie or not but I’ve done a few hunts up till now and since I’m not nuts about it, I can take a step back and laugh at myself and my little foibles. I can analyze how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ I was in each hunt.
Here’s what I found out:
1. A strategy helps.
Like any NFL match, a quick team huddle is needed before shooting off like headless chickens. It’s like sitting for an exam. You get the exam paper, you read all the instructions first before you start answering the questions. Just because other teams are running off does not mean we need to.
2. Splitting up helps too.
If we have 4 people to a team, splitting up into 2 teams of 2 each with each ‘mini team’ working on different questions makes a lot of sense. No point having 4 people’s brain juices working on the same few questions right?
3. Managing time is everything.
In a hunt, we’re racing against time. Answering 30 questions, buying ‘treasures’, etc. in 3 hours or less is the objective. Without getting penalised or disqualified, that is. All the effort will be wasted if we get marks deducted by submitting answer sheets late. Or taking 2 hours for the first 15 questions and leaving the last 15 questions for 1 hour or less.
4. Go with your gut.
I’ve always relied on my intuition each time I’m stumped for an answer. I know that’s not very scientific but it works for me most times. It’s better than trying to be proper and logical about it. (Actually most hunt questions aren’t very logical either. You can justify just about every which way anyway!). So why not?
5. Don’t over-analyze
As adults, we tend to over-analyze answers especially when we get them at first glance. That’s too easy and direct, our little voice tells us. But the over-analyzing does make matters worse. That is why hunting with newbies or people without ‘hunt preconceptions’ are refreshing. They’re innocent babes. Their answers are pure and straight. They don’t try to outsmart the organisers. They don’t try to ‘read’ the organisers and wonder if the organisers are trying to be extra conniving/extra sneaky/extra naughty.
Finally, I check myself that it’s a game. I take part because I love practising my observation skills, I like anagrams, I like solving puzzles that are not related to real-life. I know I can make mistakes in hunts and still live to talk about it. I can sharpen my keenness of sight and know I shall never be able to look at words without anagramming them.
Above all, I like teaming up with different people and ‘reading’ them. Call it my dose of sly psychology!
By the way, if you’re the armchair sort of treasure hunter, try out WebMazers which organises online hunts. Same taxing questions but in an online format for lazy bums to try. Did I mention cool prizes are in store for each hunt?
More hunt adventures:
A-hunting we will go!
My first hunt experience!
I have achy, breaky thighs today.