After an attempt at sleeping, which was around 5 hours total, I went down for to try this new meal called Breakfast. My stomach was still raw from all the stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of water, too much smoking etc, but I still managed to push down some fruits and croissants. It felt weird having energy before 10 AM. I normally start my day with a strong diet of a black coffee and a cigarette so this felt weird. Weirdly good.
After this we began the first day with the CSC team and our facilitators, Pyxera. We started out with some ice breakers to learn more about each other. It was absolutely lovely to see how many people have a rich culture, exciting histories and backgrounds. I sort of figured this was the case given the range of countries all these IBM’ers came from but regardless I was surprised.
What I found interesting was the respect and love that Canada has worldwide. A few of the team previously lived in Canada or had at least traveled within Canada. One of team members from Japan even lived in Toronto for a few years in the early-mid 90s. Unfortunately during his time in Toronto he became a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Poor guy has had to deal with an awful team forever.
Sports bias aside, this was quite a fun day of activities and learning. In a short time I learnt so much about my new teammates and it was quickly evident how much all of us had in common, even though we are from very different places and cultures. We shared some snacks, laughs, smiles and our stories. It was around 11 AM that I had this feeling that we have all been friends and colleagues for years. It’s like when a really good friend who moved away comes back to visit. You just instantly click and it feels like no time has passed at all. Suddenly all my anxiety and stress about this trip was washed away and my stomach grumbled like it hadn’t been fed in almost 2 weeks (pretty accurate). It was also quite nice that our facilitators (Congming, Shruti, Chirada from Pyxera) joined in so we can learn more about them.
One of the exercises we did was to write a story about yourself, including any major milestones and cross roads that may have led us to applying to the Corporate Services Corp program.
As some may know my history is a tad bit confusing, so let me do some explaining. I was born in Hong Kong to Canadian parents. We then moved to Australia for a bit then finally came to Canada when I was around 2/3 years old (If this is wrong, ugg outlet orlando store I’m sure my parents will correct me). Yes I am a Canadian citizen. No I don’t have a Chinese passport. Yes my name is Nader. No not Nayder, Nahder. Don’t worry, I’ll correct you every time you pronounce it incorrectly.
Even though my history is a bit different than your average Canadian I felt at home with all the new people I had just met maybe an hour or two ago. After we went through all stories one thing became evident to me and that was that every person in this group was a strong minded person who was looking to challenge themselves personally. That is the main reason I applied to CSC and to see that the other 14 had a similar reason made it that much better.
After sharing our stories and some other team events we did a walking tour around the hotel to get familiar with our surroundings. A portion of the group were hungry so we went to a small restaurant just across from the hotel. In classic Nader fashion (aka stupidity) I told some friends we had gone for Thai food that night. Yep, that’s right. We’re in Phuket, Thailand and we went for Thai food. Who would have thought!
We ordered what seemed to be an endless amount of food but it was devoured quickly. Guess we were all hungry! Back in Ottawa a Pad Thai will cost you about $12-15, even at Thai Express. One of the best Pad Thai’s I’ve had in my life (up to this point, more to come in another post…) cost around 70 baht, or about $3! As you expected the food was delicious. From the seafood to the other dishes I don’t even know what they are called, this is a food paradise. Not only was the food delicious but the company was my favourite part. We kept learning more about each other both in personal lives and business.
After dinner a few of us went to the rooftop terrace to enjoy a few pops and take in the beautiful landscape of Phuket City at night.
As my eyes became heavier it was time to try another round of sleep.
PS: I have no idea what day it is anymore at this point in the trip