Friday, May 1, 2009

can business and pleasure ever mix? yes it can ^.~

I just got back from my trip to HongKong, to take the NCLEX exam. and boy... that was quite an experience. First off... I just took an exam that i spend hundreds of dollars just for the application cost alone. That didn't include the money i spent on the review program which i enrolled in to prepare myself for the exam, the daily expenses for food, diesel and other stuff, and the books I've bought as supplementary review materials. But let's not count how much I spent for it. I wanna talk about how I mixed business with pleasure. Haha, sounds a little raunchy, but it was all innocent out there. I swear... Though haiz... how I wish i had a bit of fun when I was there... *wink wink*

I didn't know it was still Spring when I left for HongKong. When I went there before for a vacation with my family, I remember it was fairly warm, just like the weather out here. So I packed summer clothes, tank tops and short skirts and all... I checked the weather forcast, but I really don't know why I didn't pay much attention to the temperature. I remember checking on the forecast for Macau, but i didn't pay much attention on HK weather. The minute I got off the plane, a really cool and chilling breeze welcomed me. It felt like death's hands grazed my cheeks and welcomed me. It's quite melodramatic and a bit grim to come up with such a metaphor, I know, but man... I come from a tropical country, where it's hot and humid all year round. 20C is not a comfy weather for me >.<" That was absolute torture! I was freezing, and my coat was on my luggage so i had to endure the cold air from airport to my hotel. brrrrrrr

First night - First Taste of Spring

I was all alone in my hotel room and I couldn't bring myself to sleep at all. I was tired alright, but I can't get over the paranoia of someone barging in my room. I wouldn't mind if he was cute and he smelled nice, in fact, I would let him have his way with me without so much as putting up a fight but what if it's some deranged lunatic who's out to kill me and cut me into pieces? Dozens of horrifying scenarios were playing inside my head and I kept turning on the the side table lamp just to check if i really bolted my door. Plus, I have this fear for the unseen... My fault too for indulging in all those crazy Asian scary movies. I slept on a twin bed, alone, so yeah... It got me all worked up and scared that some ghost would come and scare me to death, or smother me while i was sleeping, or just plain terrorize me til my face was all twisted and I die of a heart attack.

Day Two..... Reconnecting With HongKong 

Didn't get enough sleep, but I woke up earlier than expected. I woke up right before my alarm went off. Eyes all puffy but no worries... There's always make-up haha I joined this complementary City Tour because I never got the chance to do that the first time I toured HK. It was a very pleasant experience. The tour guide had quite a sense of humor, and he was knew exactly how to entertain his group. He spoke good English too and since I was the only one touring alone, he was all kind to me. He wasn't cute, and he was married, so yeah.... It was all strictly tour guide-tourist between us lol After the tour, I was dropped off to my hotel and thus, and after freshening up, I went to do my dry run, for the "main event", my exam the next day. I traced my steps, checked how long it took for me to get from the hotel to the exam site via subway, noted which exit I should take that was nearest to Grand Millenium Plaza (the building where PearsonVue's office is located) and basically just familiarized myself with the their transportation because I had to switch train lines. I didn't want such small details, such as to which train stop i should take to switch trains or which exit to take, bother me on that dreaded day. The gravity of the exam was looming over me like a raincloud, I can't let such juvenile things stress me out even more. After I made it to PearsonVue, I took the train back to the hotel, and just then, I realized it was a 40 minute travel time. My God.... that means I can't afford to slack off or get all airheaded the next day >.< I had to be keen and be mindful of the time... And I needed to sleep early! haha But all that touring the city and doing my dry run got me so tired that I took a "nap" from 5-7pm so yeah.... I just pawned myself. I totally screwed up my body clock (=.=)

Day Three.... Doomsday

I woke up, again, earlier than expected, and oh boy... I was feeling so woozy. I fell asleep at around 1am, all because of that dumb "power nap". My eyes were, as usual, all puffy and I had this look... No matter how much I smiled and indulged with happy thoughts, I can't shake off this scared look in my eye. I prayed, like I never prayed in all my 27 years of life, that God bless me and help me keep my focus and remember all the things I've learned in nursing school and during my review. And I prayed, that He be kind to me and help me pass my NCLEX. I took my breakfast, put on my make-up, dried my hair, checked my handbag for the last time to see if all my identification and documents are in place, and I made my way to Shuen Wan. I can't explain how I felt while I was on my way to Pearson Vue. I had this calm feeling, something that scared my wits out, because I'm not used to it. I'm used to having turbulent feelings, close to having panic attacks really, whenever I'm about to take on such a monumental undertaking. But I don't know... I kept checking my watch to see if I was right on schedule (which I was) in fact, I was ahead of schedule really, so everything was going smoothly so far. The moment I arrived at Pearson Vue, I hesistated, for a split second, to go inside the office. My hand froze on the door handle... Like I didn't want to push the door. But that's perfectly normal, I guess. Everyone who's as nervous as I was would've done the same. That fleeting moment passed, and I made my way in. I sat down, said a little prayer, and I took the exam. I didn't notice the time, I didn't even notice that I was answering questions quickly. All I know was that I was being careful, but i didn't linger on a certain question. The first 10 questions were relatively easy, and it was getting more difficult as I went by, and then finally... I was on question # 75. The make or break question. I was expecting for the computer to pop up the 76th question but it stopped. I was like, OMG, 11 months of preparing for this exam, countless sleepless nights worrying about this dreaded day, and i don't know how many milliliters of tears I've shed whenever I couldn't take the magnitude of pressure this exam's putting me through, and that's it? I'm done within less than an hour?? Up to this day, I don't remember what 75th question was... That exam was all a blur to me, I was careful, but I didn't dwell on each question, once I'm done with one, I'm over it. It's time to focus on the question that's being asked at the moment. I went out of the exam room, collected my things, turned in the key to my locker, took the lift from the 15th to the second floor, took the escalator, made my way back to the train station, and went back to my hotel room. I felt like i was floating. A mixed feeling of relief and disbelief was running through me all at the same time. Relief, that finally I'm done and over with this exam, and disbelief, that all that preparation and hard work was measured and weighed by a 75 item exam, and I finished it in less an hour. Once everything sank in, what does a girl, all alone in the shopping center of Asia do? I went to get something to eat, and I made my way to Nathan Road to do some shopping hahaha

Day Four ... Side Trip

Once again, I woke up early. But this time, I didn't beat my alarm, I woke up just in time as my alarm was blaring this annoying beeping sound, telling me to get up and ready myself, I'm going to Macau! Yaaay ^^ haha I was in high spirits this time because finally, I'm done with my main itinerary, now it's time to let my hair down, chill and let loose. The trip to Macau was a totally different experience. If HK is such a bustling district, where people are always on the move, Macau is the total opposite. The place was so peaceful. Most of the people I saw that were moving about were tourists. I hardly see any locals around town. The tour guide explained that since 70% of the people living in Macau are working at the casinos and hotels, it's either they're at work, they just got home from work, or are at home preparing for work. So it makes perfect sense that the streets are practically empty, save for a few people running errands or are on their day off, and taking some time to walk around. Macau was colonized by the Portuguese, and you can see the influence of their culture through the architecture, the lay out of their sidewalks and their streets and every street, building or office sign had a Cantonese name with a Portuguese counterpart. The fusion of Asian and European culture and architecture was everywhere. The streets of Macau were quaint, and it felt like I wasn't in Asia. And being Asia's capital for gambling, the sightseeing was put on hold as we took our lunch at a Casino. haha That's quite fitting eh, when in Macau, have your meals at a local casino's restaurant. We went off to do some more sight seeing, and finally... the day was over and the tour has reached its' end. But I refuse to let my last night in HK pass without me exploring Tsuen Wan. Even though I had a long day touring Macau, my feet hurt and it felt like i broke my ankles from all that walking in the four days I've been there, I sucked it up and went sightseeing. It was a lovely night, and even though I had clothes and souvenirs waiting for me to pack in my hotel room, I stopped by and sat on a bench at that little square below my hotel. I looked back at my experience, and even though that trip was meant for business, I somehow managed to interject a little bit of pleasure into it. And in all my 27 years, that was the first time I was all alone. And I somehow, managed to keep myself together, I managed my time and I can say, I took pretty good care of myself. I took an exam that would shape my future, an exam I sacrificed a lot of things for. I guess daddy's girl is really grown up now. I can't help but smile and give myself a nod of approval for a job well done. Now, it's time to finish up my cup of coffee, and get back to my room and face another huge challenge.... how to fit all of the things I've amassed within 4 days inside my luggage. haha

1 comment:

Blackswan said...

Wi, we've so much in common! None of my girlfriends watch horror movies & I'm a big fan of it. LOL! Thank God I've a sweet hubby who'd always accompany me to the movies or download for me to watch. LOL!

You went to HK to take exam, I left my poor hubby alone in S'pore & went to Japan to study for 3 mths. Hahaha! The phone bill was so ex to the extend that my hubby decided to fly to HK to stay with me for a week during that period. That was before we had our kid.

It was really tough then as my Japanese was still very basic. People just don't speak a word of English there. Now I've no problem surviving there. LOL! I travel to HK & Tokyo almost every other year. Love shopping there!

Did u try the Portuguese Tarts in Macau? It's really yummy!

Well done, gal! What an experience u got here!