So now we come to this week’s topic – The Best Business Trip You’ve Been On!
Singapore, January 2000
As I work as a tour guide, it’s important to define my terminology here. Essentially, I do not class any travelling I have done as a guide as business trips, as the travel IS the job, not something extra to the job, if that makes sense. So I am restricted to business trips in my other work, in fact we’re going back to the time when I had a “proper job” – set hours, in an office in Birmingham City Centre!
The trip was to Singapore, and was for only three days, for training on a project I was working on – our software development team and boss all worked there, the trainer was there, so they flew me and another UK-based chap over. It is a short time to go to Singapore, especially with the jet lag issue. I flew from Gatwick in the late morning, and arrived there early morning, just in time to check in at my hotel and go to the office!
That day was a blur, but I made it through and got back to my hotel, intending just to sleep for as long as I could. That was when the phone rang, and it was my colleague from London, who had just arrived and was keen to go out for dinner and see something of the city. Never one to turn down an evening out, and realising it would probably be my only opportunity to see more than hotel and office, I accepted.
Really glad I did, as we had a great time. We saw some of the traditional markets, marvelled at the high-rise architecture, the discipline and cleanliness of the place, drank at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel, like true British colonial gents, and had a delicious meal on the waterfront.
The remaining two days of training were mind-numbingly boring, and a total waste of time in terms of my work. After we’d done, the trainer said he would take us for dinner and the airport. This was another highlight, as dinner turned out to be a local place on the beach, with a variety of different food stalls, cooking all kinds of tasty dishes over open fires. The best satay I have ever tasted, in beautiful surroundings. A fantastic end to a whirlwind three days, which it took me a week to recover from.