Inspiration struck at…


I’m a bit slow on the Daily Prompts, mostly because I get the notifications that the Daily Post has given a new prompt, only late at night, because I live in Singapore and the time difference between me and them is huge.

So today I’m going to write about Simply the Best. That is,

When and where do you do your best thinking? In the bathroom? While running? Just before bed, or first thing in the morning? On the bus? Why do you think that is?

This was the daily prompt for the 6th of Jan 2014, and I’m 3 days late. But anyway, I only choose the prompts that are related to topics on writing, to write about in this blog. I use some of the other prompts as ideas for my other blog. Not always, just sometimes. *Guilty*

I felt like I had to write about this because I always get the best ideas in all the difficult times, when I won’t be able to write them down immediately. As a result I either tell myself to keep the idea in my head till later when I can write it down and then forget it for all eternity, OR I run off to write it down in the middle of whatever I may be doing. The latter can sometimes be very embarrassing, especially when I’m talking to someone and suddenly stop dead in my tracks with a funny expression on my face, which I think looks like “Eureka!”, but more often than not ends up looking like I got struck by lightning. Most of the time, I manage to creep the hell out of my husband like this, and I’m rather proud of it. He’s gotten used to it now.

My brain seems to work the best almost always when I’m sleepy and in bed, after I’ve found my comfortable position to sleep in. Until then I can just sit and stare into space with absolutely nothing going through my head. Once I’ve hit the bed and gotten all cozy and comfy, my brain decides to come up with all kinds of awesome, brilliant and creative ideas… But by then, I’m so lazy to even move from the position I’m laying in. Falling asleep is not always an easy task for me because of this. Most of the time, because I love sleep so much, I don’t write the ideas down and will regret that decision as soon as I wake up the next morning.. Sigh..

The next best situation is in the shower. There I am taking a hot bath and TADA! I get great ideas. There have been instances where I stop bathing halfway, wear my clothes after haphazardly drying myself, go to my room to write down the bright idea and then get back to continue bathing. Many a times, my family members have watched me in awe. Of course it goes without saying that they made fun of me as well.

I think this happens because I’m so preoccupied most of the time, constantly thinking about what to write next and stuff like that, that I burn myself out sometimes. No matter what I’m doing, I always have this thought at the back of my mind. I’m always thinking of ways to write and things to write about. Too much of anything is never good, and maybe that’s why my brain just shuts off and decides to be blank sometimes. And then, without realising it, when I divert my mind to something else that I enjoy or which makes me feel comfortable or relaxed, my brain fires up again. When it’s active again, I’m able to generate better ideas because the brain is fresh after getting some rest for a while. I am no scientist or an expert, but I do feel that this is a logical explanation. It can lead to funny circumstances but I like it when it happens…  🙂

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Daily Prompt : A close call


I am going to deviate from writing about writing today. As most of you might already know, the daily prompt for today (or yesterday? Time difference is confusing.) by the daily post is close call, and I have a perfect story to share along that line.

Back in 2007, when I was 19 and studying, I was sent to a Nature Reserve here in Singapore, for an internship sort-of attachment. It was just a 2 month stint that was deemed compulsory by the Polytechnic where I was studying.

This Nature Reserve is an offshore island called Pulau Ubin. For those of you who are not familiar with Singapore, if you look at the world map, you can find a little red dot just below Malaysia, named Singapore. That’s us. Tiny. And we have even tinier little islands surrounding us. One of them, is Pulau Ubin, also known as the last village left in Singapore. It was a small Island of about 11 square km with a population of about 100. It’s not a modernised island, although there are roads.

This is how most of the island looks like. Filled with greenery and serenity... Photo taken from Wikipedia

This is how most of the island looks like. Filled with greenery and serenity… Photo taken from Wikipedia

 

Abandoned Quarry in Pulau Ubin. Picture taken from Wikipedia.

Abandoned Quarry in Pulau Ubin. Picture taken from Wikipedia.

I was assigned to the park rangers’ office and basically my duty was to run around with all the rangers and help them in their duties. An assistant of sorts, I used to help with paperwork as well as field duties, like birdwatching, hiking through the forested areas in search of abandoned houses or buildings, checking on the abandoned quarries left behind after granite mining stopped in the 1960s etc. So it was a very interesting and fun job. I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t even mind getting suntanned.

One month passed in the blink of an eye, and on the same day that marked one month of my working there, I was assigned to follow 2 rangers on their trip to find and identify all tall trees in the island that had been fitted with lighting conductors. They had a list and this job had been done before, but we were supposed to check on them and use a GPS tracker and create a map of where these trees were standing.

We were required to cycle around the island. Everything was going well until 12 noon. We had to cycle down a steep downhill slop, and turn at a 90 degree turning with a speed hump right at the turning. We were cycling like pros and the other two went ahead of me. The wind in my face as I went down the slope was thrilling and the usually careful me decided against breaking in between to slow down.

Down I went, and then came the turning. “That’s ok”, I thought. “Done this thing before.” I took on the speed hump and the turning at top speed.

And before I knew it, my bicycle was on the other side of the road and I was among thick bushes and trees. My first concern? “Please tell me there are no spiders nearby.” There weren’t any. All I wanted to do was to just gather up whatever pride I had left (although there was no one else around) and catch up with the others. About 100 metres ahead of where I had fallen down was a cemetery. I just could not wait to get up and get going.

While wiping the dirt off myself with my right hand, I tried to push myself up with my left hand, but for some reason, I couldn’t feel my left hand. It was numb. I couldn’t get it to move at all. I glanced to my left and realised that my hand had somehow shortened in length. My forearm was half the length, fingers were turning purple and I couldn’t move them at all. There wasn’t a lot of pain, but I could see that the portion just below my elbow was bulging. I was very confused.

I shouted for help but my voice didn’t travel far. Checked my pockets and, glory be to God, I had taken my mobile phone with me that day. In my one month of working there, I had never taken my phone with me whenever I went for field work. That day I was lucky. I quickly called my co-workers and they came back soon after. The senior ranger took one look at my hand and went “Oh dear, I think you broke your arm!”, and proceeded to call the police stationed on the island. He looked like he dealt with this kind of stuff on a daily basis. -.-

After some waiting, the police arrived and helped me to stand up. My knees almost gave way but they held on to me, did some basic first aid, called the ambulance and rushed me to the boat jetty. The only way out of the island was through a boat. I was given VIP treatment as they loaded me on a stretcher into the police patrol boat.

After arriving on the mainland, we waited a while for the ambulance to arrive. I had gone into shock. I wasn’t crying, I wasn’t feeling pain and I was chatting with the police and my senior manager who was in charge of me while I worked at Pulau Ubin.

I still hadn’t believed that my arm was broken. It was later on after I was brought to the hospital and had the x-rays done that the doctor confirmed “yep, you have  broken two bones in your upper left arm.” They gave me two options:

1. “We can pull your arm back, place your bones back in position and put up a cast around it,” or

2. “You’ll need to have a surgery done.”

I chose the first option and the moment they touched my hand I regretted it and told them I’ll go with option 2.

So I had my surgery done and the rest is history.

The reason why I wanted to share this story for this prompt was because of something I found out some time after my surgery. Three people had fallen down at the exact same spot where I fell down – all cyclists. I was the second person to fall and hurt myself there. There was one person who fell some time before I did, and one lady who fell shortly after I did. And both of them had died from head injuries sustained from the fall. After the 3rd accident, that road has been officially closed down and no one, except officers, is allowed to travel that way.

I wasn’t wearing any protective gears apart from mosquito repellant the day I fell. I consider myself extremely lucky that I escaped with just a broken hand, which has healed completely and is functioning well now.