Monday, May 30, 2005

Bintan getaway

The balcony outside the conference room. Picture taken from the Mana Mana resort website (I forgot to bring my camera)

Despite the rain everyday, the early appearance of that time of the month, the lousy food, the too-soft beds, the return of my vertigo this morning (probably due to yesterday’s ferry ride), I had a great time in Bintan. I went there over the weekend with my cell group for our annual retreat. Some time for unplugging from the real world, reconnecting and getting deeper with God and all that jazz. It was my first time in Bintan, and I was really looking forward to it.

We stayed at the Mana Mana resort, which wasn’t too bad. The rooms (or rather the beach huts) were very basic but at least they were clean and there was air-conditioning. I liked the day-beds which came with the rooms. In any case, we didn’t spend a lot of time in our rooms, just in there for showers and to sleep. We held our sessions at the resort’s one conference room, on the second level above the bar, overlooking the sea. The beach in itself wasn’t too fantastic, lots of brown sand. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by all the lovely white beaches at Gold Coast. But it was a lovely view and it was good to just sit and look out onto the horizon. All cell group retreats should be held by a beach.

During the day, we were all holy-holy, but come night time, that’s when the reeeal fun started. The whisky and wine came out, as well as a rollicking game of Balderdash. We got better with each round, as we got used to the game and our creative sparks kicked into high gear (aided in no small part by the wine). Some examples (and you can have fun guessing which is the correct answer):

1. Abbreviation: D.P.B.A.
a) The Department of Psychotic Behaviour in Adults
b) The Dr Pepper Bottleless Association
c) The
Danbury Pilsner Beer Association
d) The Defence and Protection of the British

2. Movie: The Adventures of Sara Fraser
a) A shipwrecked girl scout survives by eating insects
b) A porn flick involving clowns
c) A shipwrecked couple indulge in acts of cannibalism
d) A romantic tale of love about an English girl waiting for her sweetheart to come back to her, set during the time of World War I

3. Word: Storge
a) Storage space for stones
b) The stamen of a flower
c) Parental instinct
d) A soft cheese

4. Word: Tittilomania (this one elicited huge guffaws)
a) The tendency for blue tits to converge onto a tree branch
b) A phobia of the ringtailed dormouse
c) The obsession teenage boys have for boobs
d) The abnormal urge to scratch

After a while, we realised that the more ridiculous the answer, the more chances that it was the correct answer. Balderdash is game that walks a fine line between sheer brilliance and sheer insanity. Yes, much useless information was gained, like I now know that the upper lip of a camel is a chiloma.


Woof! said...

haha.. I love Absolute Balderdash too! If only they had a version that's more Asian..

Li-er said...

I had been to Bintan last year, and I was staying at Nirwana Resort, very near to Mana Mana. It's a beautiful place! Glad that you had fun there. It's always good to get away for a while. =)