Monday, December 8, 2008


PENANG 29 Nov 08: Despite running up and down the checklist several times, like all FTPs (First-Time-Parents: Parents bringing their kids to treasure hunts for the first time), I was apprehensive on the morning of the Nissan Treasure Hunt, unsure of whether Cameron and Zoe would survive the 8 hour journey. I could tell they were very eager beavers (for this hunt), but still I dreaded the thought of seeing them bored out of their wits.

Actually, I no longer qualify as an FTP as Cameron and Zoe have been to motor treasure hunts before. But that was many many years ago. They were so young then that they slept right through the entire hunt. So you can't blame me for being nervy that very morning.

Zoe monkeying around on the morning of the hunt

So, this was Backup Plan A:

A portable DVD player with a collection of the kids' favourite cartoons

And this was Backup Plan B:

A collection of the kids' favourite books

After our number was called up during the Final Briefing, I quickly stripped opened the envelope containing the hunt materials after picking it up from the marshal, and distributed the tasks. The kids were tasked to work on the Word Search (of Nissan models) during the drive from Petaling Jaya to Bukit Beruntung. And while waiting for the rest of the participants to receive their envelopes, the four of us decided to spend the time to browse through the treasure list.

Before I could finish reading the paragraphs for Treasure 1, Cameron had tugged at my arm and proudly exclaimed that he had solved Treasure 4. Never mind that there were some big words like "unravelling" or "affection" that sounded foreign to him. In fact, he hadn't even read the paragraphs. One look at the picture, and he had confidently solved the treasure. Outstanding! So who says junk food is bad for the kids (smile)!

Treasure 4: Twisties Lurve Multi-grain chips - French Onion flavour

Together we breezed through the rest of the treasures while waiting to be flagged-off and didn't have another peek at the treasures for the rest of the hunt (which we would regret later as we had missed a key requirement for Treasure 1)

The kids were oustanding with the Word Search too, successfully identifying 9 out of the 10 Nissan models hidden in the grid. Dad had to help out with the last one. Can't fault them for missing the Fairlady as it is certainly not a vehicle from their generation!

The kids' scribbles on the Words Search

The kids were on their best behaviour for the rest of the hunt, keeping their eyes peeled wide open for answers during the hunting sectors. Proud to exclaim that I had not needed to invoke any of my backup plans. In fact the kids, together with their Mom, were an excellent help especially with the eye-testers (becoming annoyingly trendy these days) - picking up teeny-weeny signs during the hunt, in particular Alf, Epal, Baby Bottle and Harvest. And Cameron especially was a dependable general knowledge resource for the cartoon characters. The kids did take short naps during the long stretches on the highway but were wide awake to help out in the hunting sectors.

And we had quite a chuckle learning how Zoe had solved supposedly the toughest question of the hunt by employing the oldest trick in the book - people watching!

Q20: Secret tactic is left askew here.
Ans: Straits Eclectic

This was a sector that Zoe and I chose to cover on foot. It was a narrow street in Taiping that was rather unfriendly to cars, and had shops on both sides of the road for a 150 metre stretch. I explained to Zoe that this was clearly an anagram type clue and gave her instructions on a few key letters to look out for. Shortly afterwards, she ran to me and pulled me towards a very small sign discreetly placed above the entrance to a coffee shop. After confirming the answer, I asked her whether it was the t's and the c's in the sign that had caught her attention (just as I had instructed her to look out for). Slyly, she shooked her head and exclaimed that it was in fact some hunters' actions (two ladies in particular) - pointing animatedly at and discussing below the sign, that made her look in their direction.

So folks, the next time you choose to discuss an answer under a particular sign board, do look over your shoulders - there just may be a kid standing around watching your movements.

Fast forward to the end of the hunt. No, we did not win the hunt! We ended up dropping one of the four treasures due to pure carelessness on my part, which proved to be costly. But we did finish a respectable second to a very seasoned team. And if its any consolation, we were told by the HuntMaster that we were the only team that was perfect on the road.

Hunting with the family can be a very sweet and rewarding experience indeed.

Kids, (if you're reading this) Dad is extremely proud of the both of you! And you too ...... Sylphy, for keeping us comfortable for the entire 8 hours.

Zoe and Cameron posing with the mock cheque

Winners of the Nissan Treasure Hunt: Ahmad Zahrol, Sharifah Nur Laila, Mohd Asri and Mazri Muda (not in photo)

Nissan Treasure Hunt 2008 Results
(full score: 100 points)

1st: Ahmad Zahrol, Sharifah Nur Laila, Mohd Asri, Mazri Muda (96)
2nd: Chong Voon Kiat and family (95)
3rd: Lee Chong Kiow, Tay Siang Hui, Lily Loh, Margaret Sha (95)

1 comment:

BlogCe5nT said...

As a concerned parent myself, I must remind everyone that junk food is still bad for kids (everyone in fact)... but I will add that familiarity with this category of food, is excellent for Treasure Hunting!

I aslo heard that it was botol, botol MANis sanGAT!

"Well done, Keluarga Chong!