Sunday, November 15, 2009


With all the hoopla over the APEC Summit and President Obama's inaugural visit to Singapore, I've been disappointed about not being able to get myself on the medical cover teams.

Not sure why, just wasn't asked. Maybe 'cos I was away for most of October?

But at least I've been fortunate enough in the past few months, since despite being at the ER doing mundane shifts, I still had the opportunity to meet people from a couple of high-profile events.

During the F1 race, Jenson Button dropped by in the wee hours of the morning, with model girlfriend and a small entourage in tow. I stood next to him for a few minutes, listening as he conversed with his manager(?), and no-one in the waiting room even knew who he was!

I also met two F1 crew members from Britain, who were a pleasure to treat and chat with.

Last night, I was slightly taken aback when the nursing officer on evening shift with me suddenly mentioned that a Secret Service agent was in her office, as part of the SOP for President Obama's overseas trips.

After settling my cases and handing over to the incoming night team, I introduced myself to him and we ended up chatting for 45 minutes.

Didn't get his name - not sure if agents are allowed to reveal such details - but he did say he's 41, that he migrated to the U.S. from Korea when he was 3, and that he's been in the SS for 7 years after switching from police detective work in Richmond, Virginia.

He's extremely friendly and answered all my questions as thoroughly as he could. If my queries were deemed a little sensitive, he'd tactfully withhold certain facts and figures and I'd get the hint.

The time really flew by as we discussed a wide range of topics, from his work to our views on politics and even Hollywood movies like In The Line Of Fire and Guarding Tess.

He was decked out in a full black pin-striped suit and tie, with a walkie-talkie sitting next to him on the table. He stopped in mid-sentence a few times to listen whenever someone conveyed a message ( usually to someone else on another w-t ), but our conversation remained mostly uninterrupted otherwise.
One of the messages I caught a snippet of sounded like, "We're rolling, we're rolling out."
Cool. :)

Can't really post too much about what was exchanged, but suffice to say, it was wonderfully enlightening, and the most interesting thing I discovered was that the SS is regularly approached by police departments to assist in difficult investigations of everything from fraud to murder to child pornography.

No, the SS does NOT limit its work to White House-related matters. In fact, quite a few police departments dislike the FBI, and it seems the SS agents feel the same way.

All that glamour bestowed on the FBI? Pure Hollywood imagination.

Last but not least, I couldn't help noticing how good-looking the agent is. He appears to be my age rather than 41, and I found myself checking out his left ring finger, which was bare. Not that it necessarily means anything, but that's what I do when I meet an attractive guy - I look for a wedding ring. :)

Sadly, I had to cut things short as I finished my shift and headed home. Would've been nice if I had been on call, 'cos I still had so many other questions to ask.

Today, I had the opportunity to speak to another agent, named Larry. He's been in the Secret Service for 12 years, and specializes in counterfeit U.S. currency. Our chat lasted an hour, before President Obama's departure on Air Force One cued Larry's exit from our department to head to the military plane which will take the agents to Korea.

I found it interesting how different both men are in terms of personality and how they steered the conversation. Lee, whom I spoke to yesterday ( Larry kindly provided me his name :)), let me ask most of the questions and enjoyed discussing politics. Larry, on the other hand, prefers to ask ME questions about myself and Singapore, although he did fill in the blanks when I quizzed him on aspects of the job which I didn't have time to ask Lee last night.

Another fascinating chat, with these little tidbits that're probably harmless enough to share.
Presidents Clinton and Obama are usually late, but Reagan and Bush are ALWAYS on time.
Hmmm... :)

Clinton stayed at the Raffles Hotel when he visited our island, while Obama was at the Shangri-La.
Come to think of it, I'm attending a wedding dinner there tomorrow.

The best part about meeting Larry? He gave me his Secret Service name card, and asked for my email address so he can contact me the next time he's in Singapore. This is his 2nd time here, and he fully intends to return 'cos he absolutely loves this place - believe it or not!
He's also promised to bring me some Secret Service stuff, woo! :D

Would be great if I can bring a group of agents around. If anyone wants to join me, let me know. :)

More Conversations

Am in the midst of watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona (VCB), after a huge delay in securing the DVD from the Tanglin Club library.

I've never been a Woody Allen fan, but softened somewhat after Match Point scored with its young, vibrant cast and snappy script.

Hated Scoop, but love VCB.

And I'm only halfway through, heh!

Why do I love it? Definitely not because of Scarlett Johansson, whose compulsive hair-tossing and pouting get on my nerves.

Rebecca Hall is the main draw for me, especially since I saw her in The Bridge Project's production of The Winter's Tale.
Javier Bardem is also perfectly cast. Not conventionally handsome ( think he needs to correct his ptosis a bit ), but swoon-worthy for a variety of reasons.

I find this film captivating because of its insightful analysis of relationships in their many forms. How a sensible woman does something completely out of character when the conditions are just right; how a man can still love an ex-wife who once stabbed him; how one chooses to stay in a marriage because "I still love him, I'm just not in love with him."

VCB strikes a chord with me. I was once at a crossroad contemplating a choice between 2 men, and picked the wrong one who made me the cynic I am today. I also have very fond memories of the time I spent with a charming European gentleman I met on a Bavarian tour, who unabashedly propositioned me one night as we sat in the corner of a cozy restaurant. For the record, I politely declined, though I sorely regret it. :)

A lot of things happen when I travel, most of which I don't write about here. ;)

I'll finish the movie after my shift tonight. Don't think I'll be able to get any sleep otherwise!

True Blood Season 2

FINALLY finished watching this today. Fan-freaking-tastic!

I just can't believe how mind-bending the whole storyline has become. Especially the romantic rivalry between Eric and Bill. Delicious!

Also, there's a chilling cliffhanger.

Can't wait for Season 3. :)

Sex And The City

Took me eons to start liking this series, but cable telecasts of Seasons 1 & 2 - which I've never seen before - have me hooked.

Pity about the censorship rules. I've seen episodes in the U.S. and Australia, and honestly speaking, the nudity and simulated sex scenes are actually vital plot components.

Chris Noth, who plays Mr. Big, and whom we're familiar with from his days on Law & Order, is gorgeous here.

My mom wants me to order the original version from Amazon. Ahh, I'm so proud of her. :D

Right then, it's time for dinner. Have a busy week ahead. Feeling tired already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm going to switch profession to yours if I get to meet cute SS guys *lol*