Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Curse of Treasure Hunts

About 2 years ago the Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (ISM) here in Kota Kinabalu organised a Charity Treasure Hunt. I've heard of treasure hunts before that, but didn't really know what was it all about. Back then I thought it was something like searching for stuff hidden somewhere or buried in the ground. My company decided to send a team, and I was chosen as one of the members in our team. I wasn't interested, but reluctantly signed up anyway for the sake of doing charity.

The day before the hunt, there was a briefing conducted by the Clerk-of-Course. I didn't bother to attend that briefing. My plan was to go for a joy ride during the hunt, but not really to participate in the games. That night I played mahjong up till 4 am in the morning.

Then on the day of the hunt, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't about digging up buried treasures after all. Instead, it was mainly about cracking clues and cryptic riddles, answers of which were found on signboards along the routes. And I fell in love with the game almost instantly!

After a few months, I myself set a closed hunt for my company. It was mainly for the fun of it. I was obviously not qualified to set hunts. I can still remember the very first question I conjured up:

Q) We are no longer small; now we have periods. Who are we?

Many teams gave the names of beauty saloons found within the question sector as their answers, thinking that the question had something to do with women. But the answer I was looking for was:

A) S. M. All Saints

After that I've joined several other hunts. Then in April this year, I undertook a major assignment in clerking an open hunt for Sutera Harbour Resort and Angkatan Hebat. I invited 2 elite teams from Kuala Lumpur— Hunters "R" Us and Semua Boleh Masuk. Our very own Main Tembak also participated. In the end Hunters "R" Us got almost perfect score (failing in only 2 route questions) and won the hunt. Semua Boleh Masuk would have been second, but they got the time penalty and fell to third place after Main Tembak. The rest of the teams were miles away, and I was criticised for setting such a "tough" hunt.

But we don't have many hunts here in Kota Kinabalu. So I've broadened my horizon to Kuala Lumpur where hunts are aplenty. My friend, KK Chai, a member of Hunters "R" Us, introduced me to Michael Pang's blog; and then from there I found my way to RiddleRaiders Blog. Very soon, I found some hunter friends in Kuala Lumpur.

Before long, I set my mind on joining the infamous STFOGA hunt. But that hunt was postponed a few days before its scheduled date. I was disappointed, although later I was relieved not to have made that hunt after all due to this. The next hunt I set my mind on was the Sun Hunt. Apparently this was "the mother of all hunts" in Kuala Lumpur. But that hunt too was subsequently postponed to November. I was beginning to think that I was cursed as far as treasure hunts were concerned. Of all the many hunts in KL, what's the odds of the very two I wanted to join getting postponed?

But no, that was probably all in my mind. So recently I signed up for Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Building Fund Hunt. It's to be held on the 18th of November—this Sunday. And this morning, I received the news that it has been cancelled. Now what's the odds of that happening? Amazing, huh?

And that is not the end of the story. After I found out about the cancellation, I quickly contacted some friends to try to join another hunt scheduled for the same day in KL— the Lebaran Challenge. But by now, you know what's going to happen, right? Yes, folks, that other hunt has also been cancelled. What's the odds of that happening?

Is there any feng shui master out there who can advise me how to remedy this curse upon me? Should I forget about treasure hunts altogether?


Moon said...

I think, why all these are happening to you, has nothing to do with feng sui...I think you're not destined to become a hunter anymore. Your destiny, as far as treasure hunting is concern, is to be the question setter. hahaha... No need to hunt anymore lar...in KK nobody can beat you already lar... :p

Cornelius said...

My dear moon, have you forgotten, I am kiasu mah! Even if it's indeed true that nobody can beat me in KK, I still want to improve — if only to maintain my lead... hehehe.

But the truth is that I am not even the best yet in KK. Still a long way to go. Main Tembak will scold you for your comments here! DBKK hunt is in a few months' time, so I need to start practising on coconut bowling soon.

By the way, good try my dear moon, but I am not giving you a raise — at least not so soon! Go for the TPC soon and become a registered valuer; then I will give you a big raise. Deal?

Julie Tan said...

Be patient ckoh, maybe this is just pure coincidence. You are at the right place but the wrong time.

Anonymous said...

Serve you right for leaving us and going to KL. Your place is in KK and not KL lah. You are suppose to set some hunts for us in KK and what happen???? Our brains getting 'brain dead' lor waiting for the next hunt.

Cornelius said...

Please don't be alarmed, j, my friend. I have no intention to leave you Sabahans. I have spent 13 years of my life in Brunei and in the end I've come back to the land of aramai-ti—I am here to stay!

I will keep setting hunts for as long as I can. And don't worry, I've got some more tircks up my sleeves still! But I am dying to hunt too. I make short detours to KL for field trainings...

And I will be back!

Besides, Alvin (of Main Tembak) and I have come up with some sort of implied understanding—we will take turns to set hunts here in KK. After my KK Challenge 2, it's his turn with his Trash Hunt 3. Let's hope he will have it in December. It will be nice to wrap up the year, huh?

As for me, I'm having some more tries in KL. This Friday I'm flying there to do the MAH on Saturday. Then Sunday I'll probably spend the whole day looking up to the ceiling of my hotel room.

Then 2 weeks later, I'll be there again for the Beautiful Gate and the AMC. And who knows I will be back in good time for the Trash Hunt 3?

After that I'll give you people KK Challenge 3, fair enough? In the mean time, brush up on your maths—there will be a bit more numbers this time!