You have some breakfast before you leave the house for a seminar which is supposed to start at 8:30am. But 8:30am actually means plus the traditional 30 minutes delay to about 9:00am. After the numerous speeches and the opening ceramony by the YB, the first session begins.
At about 10:30am, there is a tea break. And that means some fried noodles, cakes and sandwiches, popiahs, and several other snacks. Not to forget the hot coffee and tea.
The tea break which is supposed to be for 30 minutes only drags on for another 10 - 15 minutes at least. The remaining morning session continues, and before one is able to begin digesting the so-called "tea" consumed during the mid morning, it's already lunch break.
And lunch break entails glorious, glorious food comprising more fried noodles, plenty of rice, a variety of dishes of the highest calories, all to be followed by cakes fruits and ice-creams to one's content.
You get to enjoy the fellowship of fellow professionals, exchanging ideas on what is really happening to the economy. And everyone seems to know exactly how to solve the current crisis if only...
But you also talk about golf, and other recreational activities. Then you continue talking about how lucky your friend is, now that all his kids are already at the Australian universities. And there's that interesting stories of one's career in the City Hall etc. Of course all these talks eventually inevitably encroaches into the afternoon session by at least 20 minutes.
The afternoon session then starts way behind time, and while the speaker tries to rush through the slides, you notice that everyone is struggling to stay awake, and then before you know it, voila! it's the afternoon tea break!
More fried noodles and the finest snacks of anything but healthy food, which can live up to the standard of a 5-star hotel. And more coffee and tea too! Even further delays going into the final session of the day. And then you notice that by that final session, only a third of the morning crowd is still there. The rest have all found dubious (albeit creative) excuses why they can't be there for that last session.
Such was the scenario of the seminar organised by The Institute of Surveyors Malaysia, ISM, with the theme:
MOVING UP THE VALUE CHAIN
The theme was intended to focus on what surveying professionals should do to "move up the value chain" to remain relevant in the face of the ever-changing market place.
But I can't help wondering if the theme is also apt for the amount of food we consume during the breaks...