27 October 2005


Just now our fire alarm bell went off like crazy, and what do we as Malaysians do? That's right, sit tight on our asses.

I reasoned it was probably just some smoker setting off his room's smoke detector. Countless fire drills in secondary school have made me treat fire alarms as mere annoyances. But when the alarm didn't die down after a minute, I poked my head out of the door. Looked left - no smoke. Looked right - no smoke either. So I went back and sat down, feeling a wee bit annoyed. Soon enough, the bell stopped.

I felt relieved and went back to reading my magazine. It wasn't long, however, when I heard frantic foot steps upstairs. Soon, the sound of people running was outside my door! And what do we as Malaysians do? That's right, be a busybody and see what the fuss is all about!

I can't deny my KPC lineage and I quickly put on my shirt and went outside. It seems a few guards, 5 maintenance staff, and several people from the Accommodation Office have been running around to look for the fire. They seemed kinda funny and disorganized, running up, coming down, and then going to the other end of the block, etc. More staff kept pouring in, and they soon found the source of the fire.

Then this motley crew of fire fighters ran all the way down again to put out the fire - a burning piece of cardboard at the bottom of the stairs. By then, they have evacuated about 1/4 of the residents on my floor. All for a piece of cardboard. I'm not sure how the fire got there in the first place - those particular flight of stairs are rarely used. I'm thinking it could be a diversion to shift the guard's attention while performing dirty deeds.

A thought to ponder indeed, but I don't have that luxury. In 25 minutes, I'll be sitting for my one and only examination this semester. I feel pretty confident about it, but I can't help feeling a little nervous at the same time.

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