My first post. I have been wanting to keep a weather blog for some time, because after working for a no. of years in this field, I find that there are quite a lot of memorable events I'd like to record down.
I didn't plan to be a meteorologist initially. I did physics at uni & wasn't sure what I wanted to do after that. Most of my classmates planned to teach, or join something related to the electronics sector. In my 2nd yr, one of my lecturers, Dr Lim Hock, gave a lecture on meteorology. I found it interesting; Lim Hock had worked for 8 yrs in the Singapore Met Service & when I met him later to ask him about the job, he wasn't encouraging. However Dr Mark Hogan, who was in the Atomic Lab with me, laughed when I mentioned this & said that it wasn't surprising, considering Dr Lim had chosen to leave the Met. Service.
I applied after graduating and when I received the phone call telling me I'd got the job, the EO asked me when I wanted to start work. I was surprised, because I thought one is normally told when you are required to start work. I decided to take a holiday before embarking on working life, so I said, June 16.
I went to Tioman with Beetle Bailey, whom I'd known since Pri 1. We flew there by Pelangi Air, which owned a fleet of decrepit propeller planes. On the day we were to leave for home, we discovered at the airport that all the Pelangi planes had broken down. This put us in a spot; I had to get back by the next day to start work. Some of the passengers were cabin crew from KLM, and needed urgently to get back to Singapore as well.
In the end we took a motor boat to Mersing and from there a cab down to Singapore. I remember the boat ride well - it's exciting being in a small boat speeding out in the open sea. I kept thinking that if I fell off the side into the water, no one would ever find me again. There was a thunderstorm nearby as well and bolts of lightning kept bisecting the sky. Quite spectacular.
On my first day of work, I got lost in the airport trying to find the Met. Office. It's tucked away on the top floor of terminal 2, and you go thru this winding set of passageways to get there. I remember Masturah (from the admin section) coming out to look for me.
The first few months were uneventful. I couldn't start operational work until I'd been trained, and the training consisted of a 1-yr MSc in Weather, Climate & Modelling at the University of Reading in UK. The term started in Oct, so I spent most of my time before that lurking in the office library.