The piercing sound of the fire alarms going off at a rather unusual time about 7.00pm or so this evening. Unusual or usual it was good a time as any to get out of the office! I was still at my desk and so were six other staff members in various parts of the office building when the fire alarm went off. I gathered everthing near me and my coat and ran down 3 flights of stairs – my office is on the top floor. But that is the 3rd floor. This reminded me so much of another time in Honolulu on 24 December, 2005 when the fire alarm went off just when I entered the bathroom after an early swim on the beach at Waikiki. At that time I ran down 16 flight of stairs (could have been more) with a Japanese family – tourists like myself. It was a false fire alarm. Well fastforward to this evening. Some amongst our small group observed that the fire alarm going off in the evening was most unusual and so did I. There were two others but they drove away once in the parking lot. The rest of us, 5 that is, ran towards the back of the building which is where we usually assembled during fire drills. Most of the time when the fire alarms went off these were the ones we were warned about and didn’t require us to zip out off our chairs and go scuttling out of the building and on to the assembly point. The fire alarms would go off for about 2 seconds or so and stop. This evening was the real thing! We duly assembled and no sooner had we started chatting and wondering what caused the alarm to go off, the alarm stopped bleating. Diehard international civil servants on a Friday evening? well we all stayed back for various reasons – finishing off the week in our own kind of way. I guess we were a bunch of colleagues who really need to get a life! I left for home from the assembly point – as I looked forward to dinner at Nandos – Portugal’s answer to the chicken supremo KFC, I think. Anyway, TGIF and, it was a false alarm! Be happy.