A Night In The Orient - Telecom Christmas Party (28th November 2008)

One thing’s for sure about Telecom people – when someone says "party", we always do what we are told. This year will be no exception, especially in the four main centres where we are having our big Christmas parties for the end of the year. This year's theme is A Night in the Orient – technically, that’s everything east of the Mediterranean, which means there are endless possibilities when it comes to dressing up! I've got mine packed in my bag to work this morning and I can't wait to see what the others in my team are wearing :) I highly doubt the Wellington Telecom staff would be in the mood to do work today - the weather is sunny and warm, and if it was the same as last year, my colleagues and I would be bar hopping all the way to TSB Arena where the party is held right after our team Xmas lunch!

Because it is such a huge event, Telecom staff flood and colour the town on this day in full costume and noise - an absolutely sight. Like last year, we each had to wear a coloured wristband at the party. Some idiots in the company thought it was a smart idea to give their wristbands to friends and family members who weren't staff members (the party is a private function for Telecome staff only) and as a result, the organisers made all attendees wear their Telecom ID as well this year. :/

8am and haven't seen anyone walk in with their costumes yet...

Quick stop at the pharmacy around the corner to buy a red lipstick and black eye-liner for a more dramatic look to match the costume. Hmm, 10am and still nothing happening in the office...

About 11am, all hell broke loose. Scully and Nicky both changed into their Bavarian costumes (so anti-theme, those two!) and shortly after, my manager, Chris, was found in his karate/judo uniform. And then Jonesy turned up in our usual Friday team leads meeting dressed up as a tiger hunter. Camila and I were the only 2 in the room still not in costume and were feeling so left out! And as you can expect, the meeting was cut short and not very work related but us laughing and teasing each other :)

By noon, most of us had changed into our costumes and went photo crazy! It was so funny to see us all dressed up in all sorts - tiger hunters, Chinese costumes, Bavarians, kimonos etc. Camila looks so cute in the short qipao! And I do think I look very much a Chinese princess...hehe...Oh, but Luke had the most amazing costume! He made and painted the ramen instant noodle box himself!! I DEFINITELY think he should be awarded for best costume tonight :)

"Hey Sam, I don't mean to be rude or anything, but do you have a pillow tied to your tummy as part of the costume?" I 'innocently' asked Sam about his protruding tummy to which he smacked me hard on my shoulders and called me evil. "It's muscles!" he retorted. Hehehe...

We slowly plodded over to Thai Chefs Restaurant on the corner of Blair and Wakefield Streets where we had our team Xmas lunch this year. Fits the Oriental theme, doesn't it? :) People were staring at us as we walked through the busy CBD - cool! Former work colleagues Mike, Mindi, Claudia and Steve came to join the team at lunch and boy were we one large rowdy lot! Such a pity that Francois wasn't here with us - he would have loved to dress up and go crazy like the rest of the boys! As usual, I was the team photographer, taking photos off all our silly antics and great memories together.

I had their Bangkok Showtime for $26.50, a mixed seafood dish of prawns, squid, scallop and fish fillets sizzled in Thai whiskey and tomato sauce with pineapple chunks, cashew nuts and vegetables, served in half pineapple with rice. Hmm, a sweet and sour dish that I found myself finishing so quickly as I was feeling so hungry! Photos taken at the office and during our Xmas lunch: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157610405443417/detail/

The drinking started from lunch and most of us ain't going back to the office to do any work - not going to be very productive today...Around 3pm, a large group of us walked over to Mac's Brewery for more drinks. I love this weather - so nice and warm!

Hahaha, we got woof-whistled as we walked past the construction site opposite Te Papa! The party hasn't even officially started and we are already loud and obnoxious!! Not sure if many will last BEFORE the party actually starts :P

We got ourselves a table outside, just chilling out chatting and laughing over drinks while we waited for the others who went back to the office to turn up. Oh my god, I could not recognise Kirsty when she turned up looking like a geisha! Tama really suited his sushi man costume and someone please take that blow whistle off Steve Wong - it's SO annoying!! Chris, Sam and Luke were singing their hearts out in public - dear god...Photos taken this afternoon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157610476984500/detail/

At 5pm, we headed over to TSB Arena. More and more people were found walking towards the same direction dressed in all sorts. Cool! It was still quite empty when we got to the venue but that didn't deter my workmates from enjoying themselves - more drinking, finger food and the first lot of people to heat up the dance floor! The place was nicely done up to suit the Oriental theme. They even had a karaoke lounge and sumo wrestling ring set up! What fun we will have tonight ;)

I spent most of my night flitting around the place, hanging out with different friends. It was AWESOME! As I moved around the venue, I had people comment on my cool costume and nods of approval. Thanks :) Luke was one of the 4 finalists chosen for best costume but none of us could believe he got beaten by a fortune cookie! That was so unfair and you should see the look of his face (I got a photo of it haha)!!

NZ band, Opshop, played for us live around 8pm and really cranked up the party! James and I did the usual of pushing through to the front of the stage, only this time he didn't run off with some blonde chick...hehe...I was hopping up and down with James up the front of the stage! Even had a few dance with boys Mark, Colm and new found friend, Adrian, over the course of the night.

Adrian is hilarious! He dared me to sumo wrestle him but I couldn't thanks to my fitting dress so instead we had a thumb wrestle!! I wasn't going to give up the fight (even though I lost in the end of the struggle) :P I had an AMAZING time at the party this year - guess it was because I knew my workmates better plus gotten to know several other friends within the wider team so I was able to hang out with the different social groups. Can't wait to see all the photos taken today! Photos taken at the party: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157610512476395/detail/

About 11.30pm, a few of us headed over to Southern Cross Bar to meet birthday girl, Karen - she was having her birthday celebrations there. Had friends Scott, Ron, Alicia and Hayden come join us (where did Karen and her crowd 'disappeared' to????). Of course, the usual photo gang went photo crazy with the rest of us in costume. Photos taken at Southern Cross: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157610574215450/detail/

Few of them went into town after while Scott and I headed for home around 1am. I walked Scott to his door (yes, I WALKED HIM, not the other way round), went to my office to pick up the rest of my gear and headed home. A couple of Asian boys were hanging in the Telecom carpark, trying to get me to talk to them by greeting me in multiple Asian languages. Ignore, ignore!

Walked down the main street towards home and saw several really drunk male geishas. Should be quite an interesting night for the Wellington crowd with people dressed up mingling with them. Was home, safe and sound by 2am to change, shower and hit the sack. Ah, what a night!

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