Sunday, September 23, 2012

When Legal Minds Meet

you'll find the dullest group of people. Kidding! Well, half kidding :P So two weeks ago I hopped on a plane to Singapore for our annual Axiata Group Legal Conference. I wasn't too keen on going this year as compared to last year and the year before where the conference was at Bangkok and Sri Lanka. But hop on a plane I did. As expected the topics of discussion presented by Axiata's OpCos this time were not exciting for me. Except for the talks and workshops done by Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith LLP, I find the conference to be quite dull, and I will not bore you with what the topics were. Trust me, you'll thank me.

For some reason I don't find Singapore particularly appealing. There was nothing much for us to do. Granted, our hotel was located right smack in middle of Orchard Street (we stayed in Hilton) but unless you've got a stash of money and have no qualms about spending them, then you won't enjoy Orchard Street at all. I also think (forgive me Singaporeans, I may be wrong about this) that Singapore does not have much culture for us to explore. Unlike in Sri Lanka where we had the chance to watch the locals perform their traditional dance and in Bangkok where we got to visit their temples. But then again, to be fair we were only there for three days and didn't have much time to explore.

As soon as we got to Singapore, we (there were three of us who came with me) checked in, freshened up and hit the stretch that is Orchard Street (seriously how many shopping malls can a place have in one street?). And then we met up my best friend, Eon, who works with Schlumberger Singapore who took us to Zam Zam Restaurant where we had their famous "murtabak Singapore" and Al-Tasneem where we had "sup tulang merah." She then took us to Haji Lane where quaint shops lined the streets. Now that's what I'm talking about! Not some fancy shop in a fancy mall! After dinner, she bade us goodbye and we headed back to the hotel where we quickly showered and went downstairs to the lobby to regroup with our boss and three of our colleagues for a short discussion for our presentation the next day. Snoozefest...

Murtabak Singapore. Filled with meat. Yum!

Sup tulang merah. Good eaten with bread :)

Such is the life of a lawyer. Zzzz...

The next day after a full day of presentations and seminars, the whole Axiata entourage had dinner at Gunther's, a restaurant which specializes in French cuisine. I didn't really enjoy the food (probably because I'm not used to such fine dining :P) For starters we had the cold angel hair pasta with caviar, the grilled scallop & mushroom consommé and the roasted Carabinero sambas with tomato rice (I like this one). For main course we had the oven roasted blue-eyed cod with couscous of vegetables and for dessert we had fine apple tart "a la dragee"with vanilla ice cream and petit fours. The only good thing about dinner was the good company we had. Since it was a meeting with all the operating companies, I had the chance to see old friends from our sister companies in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Cambodia. I also got to make new friends whom I didn't get to meet from the last two conferences. It was great fun and the restaurant was filled with loud conversations and roars of laughter. I was lucky that I sat with some of the most fun people I've had the pleasure of meeting in my life. I think my table was the loudest of them all!

Cold angel hair pasta with caviar

Scallop and mushroom consomme

roasted Carabinero sambas with tomato rice

Oven roasted blue-eyed cod with couscous of vegetables

Fine apple tart "a la dragee"with vanilla ice cream

Petit fours

Our table. Sorry for the bad lighting

On the final day we went over to Allen & Overy's office in Marina Bay for a final seminar. By this time nobody was paying much attention the speaker since we were all tired. 

Allen & Overy's office. Wouldn't you kill to have this office view?

After the final presentation everyone except for me and my two colleagues headed to the airport. The three of us decided to hop on the MRT (the MRT system is pretty impressive I have to say) and head over to Clarke Quay. By this time I'm proud to report that I'm pretty good at reading maps. Sign me up for Amazing Race! It would have been nice if we went to Clarke Quay the night before coz it's a nice place to hang out and have drinks while watching the boats float by on the river.

Clarke Quay where we had our late lunch

In a nutshell, the trip wasn't too memorable and I was so glad to be home with DH. There were talks about having the next conference at Mauritius. Now that I don't want to miss. 

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