Next Change: 13,000 km Trip


 

CapeVerde

(Image Source: Cruise Mapper)

Yes, next change coming up:-

  • 13,000 km flight
  • 20 hours of flight
  • 14 hours of transits
  • 4 different airports
  • 2 different airlines

It has been some time since I last visited this blog.

The last few years have carried me away from the blogging and more towards others like social media, health and gaming.

Anyway it is time for another long trip and 3 months overseas assignment and it will be a good opportunity to use this time “away from office” to blog about this up-coming trips. Let’s see how much time I can spare and how much information I can squeeze in the coming months.

To be continued…

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Starting The Year 2015


Wow, one can only plan but the outcome is determined by the Al-Mighty

I thought I would have time to blog when we “walked” into 2015 but unfortunately that has not been the case. I am back on overseas assignment and things have picked up. Time is shorter, expectations are higher and working hours had been getting longer. It is cold these days and it gets worse at night. We usually finish our job (or rather I should say we take a break from our job) well after midnight for past one week. So imagine how cold it gets when we are waiting for our taxis (bus service have ended by then). Sometimes we are lucky, the taxi is waiting at the taxi stand. Other times like yesterday (rather this morning), we had walked a bit far in the cold and managed to grab one.

2015 will be a challenging year for me, personally because of the expected 1-2 trips to overseas for projects (one would be to a new country). Which also means I am going to miss my kids even more. But what one can do when work calls and one does not have any other choice, right? Besides I love my job too – challenging, always testing your patience and forces me to come up with creative ideas and keep up with out of the box thinking.

As for this blog, well, I won’t say that blog posts would be more regular – just see how far apart this first blog of 2015 has been. Perhaps I would do shorter blog posts akin to “tweets”.

I don’t foresee the situation of the country will improve in 2015 – we still have dumb politicians hanging on to powers and 1MBD still waiting to blow up on taxpayers’ face (they have changed the CEO but I don’t think the young guy is going to change anything). If holiday going PM is sent off on his permanent holiday and a major sweep of the housekeeping is done on old, stone-age thinking politicians and the religious & racial radicals in this country, then perhaps the country has a chance.

In the meantime, please enjoy this from Man Bai (the song that I listen on daily basis now as it gets colder on the outside)

I will catch up with you soon and have a good weekend ahead

P.s. belated Happy New Year

Living Longer


(A food for thought but it is bad news for me if there are more people on the road early in the morning)

(We all need our 8 hours of sleep – sometimes more – but waking up early has it’s advantages too. Image source: here)

I had an interesting chat with a colleague of mine almost a month ago who noticed me coming to office very early in the morning. He mentioned that by doing that I would be living longer by doing this.

I had forgotten about it until last week, when I read Glenn Bland’s Success – The Glenn Bland Method and there was an interesting passage on leaving to work early.

Today, I arise each morning at 5.30 and slowly begin to prepare myself for the day.

As the shower’s warm relaxing water flows over my body, I had formed the habit of thinking good thoughts. I look forward to the day with the great expectancy that good things are going to happen. I slowly eat a moderate breakfast and drive to the office arriving at 6.30.

Going to office at this hour of the day creates within you a tremendous feeling of power and authority. The beauty and peace of the early morning hours become a part of you. You literally feel that you are out in front of everyone else and you are!

In the olden days, when our forefathers were confined to agriculture, they will wake up very early to milk the cow and collect the eggs for breakfast and for sale before leaving for the farm to work on the land all day long. In the modern days, we no longer need to wake up early to work on the farm but we nowadays wake up early to avoid the insane traffic jams. I guess that is the “curse” of the modern world – better technology to ease our activities but in the same process increased our stress level.

No doubt, I am losing some sleeping hours by waking up too early and it may sound like a workaholic when others see me coming in early in the morning and late in the evening. But admittedly, the stress level is certainly at all time low because I leave the house early. I nowadays enjoy the music better and with fewer cars on the road, I arrived in a rather calm mode (except instances where some pesky motorcyclists wanting to be under my wheels so early in the morning). The air in the morning still fresh and I enjoy winding down the window and enjoying the fresh breath of air.

In the early years, when I used to wake up late and then rush to work – stress level is all time high and that usually get me in near fights with other motorists. Like one instance when I was queuing up after paying the toll when I noticed a queue jumper. I was like a possessed demon when I saw this queue jumper. For no good reason, I cut out and blocked this queue jumper. I kept blocking him until he was forced to join back to the correct lane. In that instance, I was lucky. The queue jumper was probably too scared to confront me and decided not to hit or overtake me. I may not been so lucky in the next time around – the next, I may be confronted by hardcore criminals with fatal consequences.

And in the journey to the office, I would be cursing those queue jumpers and road hoggers and that was not doing any good for my karma. And as I arrive in the office most of the time so stressed out, it does not go down that well with the rest of the day. Body aches and getting sick was prevalent – it comes and goes without warning.

But thankfully that was history. In my endeavor to beat the traffic jam (and avoid another close encounter with queue jumpers), I forced myself to wake up early and in doing so, I managed to avoid the usual queue jumpers and other “pests” on the road. It was not easy to wake up early – at first, I had 2 alarms to wake me up but nowadays, I can wake up before the alarm goes off. I can now afford to take my breakfast on a casual pace and whenever necessary, enough time for a quick nap before starting work.

So, what my colleague said last month make sense – he said that I am probably live longer with me taking the trouble to wake up early. There is less stress and something in the morning makes me “feeling of power and authority”

Read Also

2010 Reflection: Sorry, I’m An Idealist

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Feel Like Steam Rolled


I am in a dire need of a good massage…

(Steam rolled, ya we go through at one point of our life. Image source: http://dougsamu.wordpress.com)

Over the last 2 weeks or so, I have been working on a project with another 20 or so people at work. We have been working over almost non stop and on weekends too, leaving only couple of hours on Sunday for sleep and recovery. And by the time I get ready to leave for home, it will late and it will be raining very heavily.

Now, here is the part that I don’t get. It practically pouring out there (after all we are in Malaysia and we are in midst of a tropical thunderstorm season), there are idiots who still take a big risk and poses danger to others by speeding on the road, exiting from no-entry lanes and crisscrossing the lanes without giving proper indicators. It is one thing when you get this nonsense when you are driving on the dry but when the roads are wet and slippery; it is a whole new ball game out there. How many times I have prayed for these idiots to hit the emergency brakes and due to the slippery road, overturn couple of times and end up in a deep ravine, severely maiming the idiot (death would have swift and painless) and ending his / her days of reckless driving.

It may sound too violent but here is a thought for you – imagine the situation when you drive out from the basement parking after a long day at work and looking for seeing your family at home, get pass reckless people crossing in front of you in heavy rain (Indonesian factory workers who don’t care to see left and right when wanting to cross the road) and when you get on to the highway, the traffic is very heavy (chain reaction from the traffic jam in the city center) and then you have to spend whatever concentration that you still have on these idiots on the road. Suddenly your level of tiredness sky-rockets beyond the red line and you arrive home with an almost dead battery.

But here’s why I feel like I have been steam-rolled – I finally caught the flu bug and I am oozing from cold, backache and sore-throat.

Damn!

No Access Lor


This was rather interesting…

In Thoughts

Last Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of Iran’s storming of American Embassy in Tehran and taking 52 people as hostage for 444 days. Apparently this event is celebrated on yearly basis in Iran. However this year, such ‘celebration’ was also used by the oppositions here to protest against the ruling party.

Our driver told us that there will be protest when he came to pick us in the morning. He said that it is a yearly event here in Iran. Then when we were at work, news of the protest getting violent began to filter in.

ABC News reported:-

Iranian protesters took to the streets today as they do every Nov. 4 to mark the 30th anniversary of the U.S. embassy takeover.

But this year, opponents of the Iranian regime used the government sanctioned day of street demonstrations to challenge the hard line administration.

We had no interest on Iranian politics but the problem was strange things began to happen.

Mobile phones began to lose its coverage. Access to certain websites like Gmail, Twitter, IM Chat sites and some news agency sites began to be denied. Somehow access to blogs was still allowed but we did not know for how long this access would be allowed.

Mobile coverage came back online sometime late in the evening (depending on which operators, of course)

Whilst we understand why certain websites are being denied access by the Government, what we don’t understand is that why access to our office mails are also being affected. Some flash based web pages are also failed to work. We had a hard time communicating with our colleagues back in Kuala Lumpur on system related issues.

I guess for now we just have to get used to the unannounced web access restrictions whilst we are in this country. We just hope that there are no future demonstrations planned for the next few weeks, otherwise it is going to have serious implications on our communications back to Malaysia.

As at today, the access to certain sites is still restricted….a dreadful thought if this is to happen in Malaysia

Working Late Again


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It was Day 13 in Bangkok (read further what I meant by “was”)

I was typing this at…hold on (checking the clock at the office wall)…2.00 in the morning. There are about 10 of us here (including the security guard who looks a bit surprised at the high number of half-asleep Malaysians at this time of the hour), holed up in the office as we are preparing to cut to live the system that is being implemented.

Staying up late at crucial hours of the deployment period is nothing new. In fact, I endured the worst when I was in Ghana – we finish work every day for weeks at 1.00 in the morning and when it came for the cut to live, we were awake for a continuous 48 hours. Staying awake whilst is necessary to ensure that things get done on time and properly, it is no doubt that it also leaves us looking like a zombie once it is done. Luckily in Bangkok, at most of the time, we were able to be in bed by 12.00 am.

Being away from Malaysia only meant one thing during our work at wee hours – we can’t simply take a 10 minutes break from our work and go off to the nearest mamak shop for the good old teh tarik and roti canai (missing the dhal banjir already). Shops are either closed (most of the time because of security issue) or shops don’t sell hot drinks. In Bangkok, I peeked out from the window of our work place at 10th floor and guess what, the roads are jammed pack with cars and people. Yes, at 2.00 in the morning.

Despite that, we opted not to go out – we had water and enough work to sustain ourselves for now. We wish that there would be a short break, for us to sneak out for a beer or two (in absence of teh tarik, beer is the next alternative drink but at 2.00 in the morning, I rather give it a skip).

Fast forward to the current time…it is now Day 18 in Bangkok (just another 2 more days to go before I say goodbye to Thailand)

I could not believe that it has been almost a week since I touched on my blog. It has been a very tiring week or what my Project Manager said, a tiring marathon. The system went live smoothly. There were some hiccups here and there (but again when it has not been so?).

We moved again for the last time to Montien Hotel Bangkok, which was built in 1966. It was an old but expensive looking hotel. It takes about 10 – 15 minutes of fast paced walking from the hotel to reach our work area (and crossing 2 main roads). Guess what? It takes us right through Pat Pong (plenty of night clubs here – use your imaginations, so does Mat Sallehs who are looking for some fun at night, if you know what I mean)
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* Doesn’t this remind you of the movie Titanic? I guess you now have a good idea what I meant by an old looking hotel.

Due to the hectic work, my camera has been lying idle in my bag. I am just too tired to looking for good shots. The great thing about our latest hotel is the breakfast – there are just way too many choices. The bad thing though you have to pay for movies. So, imagine coming back from a hard day’s work, switching on the TV to relax and I find myself watching the news. Not exactly of what I would call great shows for relaxing. Yes, there are others shows like National Geography, MTV and Star World but it has not been my cup of tea. Damn I miss my HBO.
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* No matter what, having a very comfortable bed is certainly a good welcome after a hard day at work. Hmm, I have 2 beds in my room – so I guess I will take turn sleeping in each of the bed.

It is funny to note that as the time to go back draws nearer and nearer, we get busier and busier. Users who have been relaxing in the beginning started to panic and “book” us for discussion and refresher trainings. Some system bugs will decide to show up at these last minutes, causing us to rush for quick fixes and reorganize the operation flow. There will be some talks of extending our stay both from our clients and sometimes by ourselves (ya, it is a crazy idea but sometimes we are too “professional” to leave things hanging half-way)
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* This is unique! How often you get your room key with a small bell? At first, we were excited to see this cute looking thing but once I placed it in my pockets, I realized how heavy this “cute” thing was. Luckily, it did not stay for long in the pockets.

Anyway, another 2 more days in Bangkok and I will be back to KL. Despite the hectic hours, we managed to sneak out for some shopping. Managed to buy a lot of T-shirts this time, they are damn bloody cheap. On the last day in Bangkok, we are planning for another trip to Chatuchak flea market – there is no better way to spend the balance Thai Baht that we have.
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(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Other Trips)
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