Monday, August 16, 2004

It’s 11.31 am now, approximately two hours and 15 minutes since I came into the office. My first day back since my two-week Europe holiday… and I’m still feeling unbelievably happy. The first colleague I greeted upon my arrival noted that I appeared happier and gave it half-an-hour before I would return to my normal self. I’m happy to report that he was wrong.

On my way to work, having decided to walk to the nearest MRT station since I was – as usual – running late for work, and also in an effort to get some sun in order to get over my jet lag, I found myself walking with a spring in my step, singing “Summer Sunshine” and “At Your Side” (both by the ever-so-talented and cheerful Corrs). I was determined to ensure that this good mood of mine would last more than just the morning, which, given my office environment, is a greater challenge than it would seem.

Another colleague of mine, having just returned from Hong Kong after going there for the weekend for her father’s birthday celebration, bestowed upon me a gift: a little coffret of Two Girls Brand Florida Water (also containing some towelettes and a small jar of rose cream), a local specialty from Hong Kong, and once featured in the September 2001 SELF Magazine as one of the great beauty finds from around the world. I haven’t used anything yet (duh!) but they smell great.

Incidentally, I had approximately 180 e-mails to clear once I had logged on. It took about 20 minutes for my laptop to start up completely and load my Outlook. Still the same. I don’t know why I expected it to be different, but having experienced so much in the last 16 days, it just didn’t seem possible for nothing to have changed during my absence, if you get what I mean.

And I’m really looking forward to tonight when I’ll be seeing my Sec 4 class for the first time since December, which was the first time I saw them ever since early 1999. One of my friends will be leaving Singapore on Thursday and another friend – my oldest friend, since we’ve known each other since primary school, so that’s… 18 years now? – will be leaving to return to Australia to work at the end of this month. We’re both Catholic, learnt French together for a bit, went to the same schools for ten years (which is a bit of a hard act to follow, because we were the only two from our first primary school to transfer at the age of eight to our second primary school. The only person to beat that is my best friend in London; we’ve been in the same schools for 12 years.)… I’ll really miss her. On the bright side though, we’ve made a pact to meet up wherever we are in the world when it comes to our 20th anniversary of knowing each other.

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