Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Street paddlers hustling a gwailo

I was in Hanoi sometime in September. This was a personal trip. I did know much about the city, and this was my first time to Vietnam. Hanoi was almost like every other ASEAN cities, with dusty roads and crowded building filled with shops and the roadstalls, where the Hanois eat their daily meals, perched on low stools.

Midday meal by the roadside

I've also discovered that Hanoi retained some of the French influences in its everyday life. From the casual manner in which baguettes are sold by the roadside, to the small French cafes dotted around the city and the exquisite embroideries on linens.

Halong Bay
On our third day, me and mum visited Halong Bay. The journey takes about 2+ hours out of town. The roads were bumpy once we get closer to the countryside. Then we took a junk out to Halong Bay, which was maybe about 45 minutes out from the jetty.

The junk

Our junk inching closer to the entrance of Halong Bay

Voila! Halong Bay.

Oddly this is a scenery that I've set my eyes on before. If you've been to Langkawi at Sg Kilim, this is the exact scenery that you can see.

Fruit paddler catching up on us via bot, then my mum bought some bananas

Fruits paddler at the makeshift jetty, using a traditional boat.

Fresh seafood for our lunch onboard the junk

Bevy of activities as tourists were ushered to the smaller boats for cave exploration

Same like in Langkawi!

Island of Man

The famous fighting cocks island

Halong Bay

Too bad I didn't have the chance to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Next time, I would like to visit Ho Chi Minh city, I hear the embroideries are much cheaper than Hanoi.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

New Moon

I've read the book, and I've seen the movie. I hated both of it. The movie was too long and to many mushy moments that made me rolled my eyes. But being a fan of the original Twilight movie, I forced myself to finish both the book and the movie.

Twilight defies all the typical traits of a vampire such as sleeping during the day and hunting at night, they become creatures that never sleep and that if they were exposed to the sun, their skin twinkle like diamonds. New Moon just takes the absurdity up a notch. Jacob turns into a werewolf, joining a pack of werewolves, who were to protect the area from vampires. Bella is so clumsy, you could not believe how a pretty girl like her is so dumb and weak. She is the typical damsel in distress, waiting to be rescued. She got both a vampire and a werewolf vying for her love, but she loves the undead even more. Bella's father, Charlie the Sheriff, is so clueless about Bella and what's happening with her life. On his defense, how was he suppose to know that vampires exists? Heh.

I am still a sucker for vampire stories/movies.

By the way, Taylor Lautner/Jacob Black is hot.

Go Team Jacob:)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

My Sister's Keeper

Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper

I have just finished reading this book last weekend. Verdict: Awesome! Can't wait to see the movie version. I especially love the style of writing - light and fast paced, even though the whole book revolved around issues like family relationship, lawsuit, designer babies, organ donation, sickness and death. Yes, all in one book.

Contain spoilers.

The story is about Anna, conceived as a perfect DNA match for her sister, Kate who suffers from a rare form of leukemia. Anna, who is 13, wants to seek medical emancipation from her parents because she feels that her body was being used to save Kate without her total consent. She is torn between saving her sister and also saving her own life. She is torn between loyalty and love to her family but freedom to her own body. What brought her to this decision was because Kate's condition grew worse and the only solution is to harvest a kidney from Anna. Anna feels a violation of her own body but have no choice but to go along with her parents' suggestions. This is basically the premise of the story.

The story gives the reader a lot to think about. Saving a life is important but one must also think about saving oneself or should we put these selfish thoughts away and save the one we love selflessly and unconditionally? Perhaps Anna feels these things because she is young and felt that life had been unfair to her, all she wants is a normal childhood and that her parents would love her rather than just look at her as a cattle for harvest.

Being parents are hard. But being parents to terminally sick child is hard work. They have to make hard and unpopular choices just to save their child. But will this be a conflict of interest when they use their other child to save their sick child? Would you have another child just to harvest her organs to save her sister? Isn't that ethically wrong? I feel that this was not explored thoroughly in the book, but was covered by so much drama going around with the lawsuit, the complexity of the trial because Anna's mother, Sara was a lawyer and became the defence attorney against her daughter, everybody's emotion in the story, the subplot about the lawyer and guidance counselor, etc. I feel that Sara is concerned only about saving Kate but neglect both Anna and her oldest son, Jesse, who become rebellious and started to become an arsonist.

But read the book to find out more about the story and how it ends. It has a surprising twist , but still a sad ending. The ending is a convenient ending, I must say, because everything just falls into place. You either love or hate the ending. I did not like the ending, but I suppose it gives hope to something which feels impossible at first glance.

But Cameron Diaz as the mother??? I don't think she is suited to play a mother, but I might be wrong. I still want to see the movie and see if it is as good as the book.

Now reading another of Jodi Picoult's book: Second Glance.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Frolicking in Firenze

Santa Maria Del Fiore - front

Firenze or Florence is a dream destination for any tourisst who loves art. It has gothic bulidings and rich with history and culture dated back during the time of great artists like Michelangelo, Leornado Da Vinci, Boticelli. The great Galleria Uffizzi which housed the works of arts such as paintings and sculptures by those great artists was already functioned as a gallery sometime in 1550. Its amazing to discover that some works of arts were done as early as 1100, to see those life like paintings, its very eerie and magnificient at the same time. Those days people don't have camera or video, so they value works of arts that capture the imagination and the life like qualities.

I was there attending a conference in early November. It was already very cold and windy, less than 10 degrees during the day and at night maybe about 1-2 degrees. The wind bit my skin, and I had to cover my face with cream and scarf. I was wearing long johns and had to bought some scarf and mittens in Florence to keep me warmer.

Santa Maria Del Fiore

The three buildings above are part of UNESCO World heritage buildings
Left: Baptistery (minor basilica) is one of the oldest building in Florence, was built in 1059-1128
Middle: Facade of the cathedral of the Santa Maria del Fiore made from red, white & green marble
Right: Giotto's companile (giotto's bell tower)

The dome was designed by Fillipe Brunelleschi in 1296
We had to pay Euro8 to climb up to the top of the dome, which contained more than 400 steps!

To reach the dome took more than 400 very narrow steps to reach the top for a breath taking view of Florence. Not advisable for those who suffer from claustrophobia and acrophobia.

Enjoying the view from the height...

Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" 1486.

I have seen this painting upclose and it is magnificient and more beautiful than this replica. The actual painting is quite huge, covering more than 1/3 of one of the wall at the Galleria Ufizzi in Florence.

Street artist recreating Vermeer's "Girl with A Pearl Earring"

Across the river Arno

Our dinner - halal kebab everynight! Costs about Euro5 each

Leather jackets made from lamb skin can be bought at Euro120

Ponte Vecchio, "ponte" meaning bridge used to be a butcher's market but now turned to a shopping are especially on jewellery.

Replica of the statue of David by Michelangelo at Palazzo Vecchio (city hall of Florence). This is the orginal place where the statue was erected. The orginal statue was moved in 1873 to the Galleria del Academia to protect it from deteriorating.

Yours truly in front of another naked statue in Florence :p
The Fountain of Neptune

Florence is the best city that I'd ever reached in Europe. To me it is ideal as a tourist destinations because everything is within walking distance, the gallerias have superb art collection, and everywhere you walk you feel that you are transported back in time, and can totally imagine the great artists working at their new paintings or sculptures...

I would love to go back to Florence for another visit...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Pardon my French

I was tied up with work. Work has drained all the creative energy in me. After the long hours at work, I don't have any more energy and ideas to write about things.

Work, work, work...hubby's been nagging me for going back from work so late every night for the past few weeks. Its funny, both me and Ms Shazsha has observed that our real work began when its time for everybody else to go home. That's when we have our peace and quite from the outside world, that we are able to sit tight and do paperwork or research. Things that needed our concentration and thinking.

During the day, we'd be busy entertaining calls, attending meetings, clients, emails or running around to get things done. Some people think that we only service their ONE event, therefore they demand our undivided attention and expect us to answer to their beck and call, even to the silliest of enquiries like " what is the size of the poster that you are giving us". We service hundreds of events, please don't bog us down with time wasting enquiries. We have given you the items, its up to your intelligence how to utilize it the best way you can. Resources are limited, please don't expect us to baby you.

Tips in dealing with us:
1. It would help if you are nice to us, maybe we won't mind the silly questions so much. We are here to serve you the best way we can;
2. Please be patient with our service time. We also need to get permission/approval from various other parties before we can actually deliver the service;
3. Do not expect that we can provide everything for you. With the economic downturn, nobody can afford to be Santa Claus, not even the F1 teams;
4. Do some homework before you start thrashing us down. If not it will make you look stupid, and we will despise working with you.

One client came in demanding us to give her a Meeting Planner. When I said we don't produce it anymore, she asked what is the government doing to support the industry and started blaming all sorts of things. Wake up, lady! Don't expect us to feed you with a silver spoon. Other countries' private sectors are proactive in pooling their resources to compete with the rest of the world, and here you are still bitching about why the government doesn't help you? This type of attitude is a testament why Malaysia can't move forward. Always expecting to be spoon fed, and when they don't get enough, blame the government.

We need a change of mentality, to move forward. Till then, I'll work as much as I can take it.

Elvis has left the building.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sementara tengah free...

Tag ini boleh dibuat untuk mengisi masa lapang...

Bila kali terakhir anda cuci toilet? Tak ingat dah...
Pencuci apa yg anda guna? Dettol
Dalam 1 minggu berapa kali anda mop lantai? Err...biasanya sebulan sekali jer...har har
Apa tugasan anda sebelum menjelang malam? Tak banyak masa siang pun sebelum menjelang malam sebab sampai dari office dah pukul 6++, rehat jap tengok tv, pastu dah magrib solat, pastu fix dinner.
Apa menu hidangan makan malam anda yg paling simple? Salad + dressing. No cooking required!
Minuman yg anda buat setiap pagi? Tiada. Biasa kat opis minum mineral water atau order teh "o" kalau makan di "Cafe by the river".
Sebelum tido apa yg anda lakukan? Biasanya tengok TV sambil jahit manik atau blogging, atau tengok tv sambil sidai baju. Kalau ada potluck esok, malam dah start memasak. Menu biasa: pasta goreng.
Kena tag 8 bloggers : Aza De Kaza, Kerabu Jantung, Noreez, Adianez, Salfaryna, Hanani, Emmii, Shazsha, dan sesiapa yang rasa nak buat tag ini...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Anything that Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong

Last Saturday I had to work. It was a congress dinner at one of the hotels in KUL. I had to go since the Minister is a Guest of Honor at the function, and will be delivering a speech. Had to make sure everything runs smoothly, eventhough this is not our function. The Minister being a Minister, will turn to her officers and asks what's wrong, if anything happened to go wrong. So, we as the officers of the government must strive for perfection just for the sake of Minister's happiness.

Anyway, my job was to make sure that the promotional DVD runs smoothly before her speech. Its a perfect window of opportunity to show your video as you have a captive audience. Thus, it is very, very important not to have any technical glitch during the actual screening of the video. I'd handed my DVD to the technical person there, who happened to be a mass comm student from UiTM, as managing this event was to be included in their final project. He was supposed to play the congress video first after the first speech, and then play my video before my Minister gave her speech. We tested the video while everyone was milling about the ballroom and foyer. It worked beautifully.

Then, we'd to change my DVD back again to his DVD since there were no additional DVD player or laptop available. I was standing by at the technical area, waiting for the time to play my video. Together, we waited for the emcee extraordinaire aka stage manager, Dato' Dale to give the cue. He gave the cue. Then the guy played the video, but...silence. The video didn't work, it was stuck. He panciked and started to curse, "shit, shit". Dato' Dale came over and said, "tell me can the video work? tell me now, can you do it or not?". The guy panicked, the other commitees also panicked, a few seconds have relapsed. Then Dato' Dale said you guys should've tested the video and went back to the mike and said something to the effect, "if anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, that is Murphy's law" and smoothly covered the glitch. And on to the next speech, my minister's video and speech. Everything turns out smoothly.

In retrospect, I felt sorry for the student, I really do. Maybe it was my fault, coming to add the additional video an hour before programme starts. I'd re-examined this in my head, maybe justifying this to myself. I'd to have the vidoe played, if not the bosses will slay me alive. Maybe the student was inexperieneced enough to deal with ad hoc programme. But then again, I recalled during the panic time, one of the committee asked which video was supposed to be played, since they had two videos to play, additional to my video. Why are they still debating about which video to play at the eleventh hour? According to Dato' Dale they'd attended meetings to discuss about the videos. Well anyone can play the blame game, but on my part I am clear that I was supposed to ensure that the video played without any glitch. Whatever happens behind the scene, everyone was suppose to play their part. No matter what happens, be it a an ad hoc request or a technical glitch.

Let a lesson be learned, no matter how good or bad you are in your job. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. That's Murphy's Law.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Propa aje!

Sick of people trying to run my life. Being so manipulative about it. Give it straight to me (but with tact to soften the blow). I can take it. But when you go behind other people's back just to get the message to me, I'm going to intrepret this as you don't have enough balls to tell me yourself. The message is lost in translation. Some people just take pleasure in twisting other people's knickers into knots, manipulating them. Maybe they don't have enough work in the office, that they start to mess with other people's head. It's just a game to them. Why can't people just let be with themselves, don't try to step on other people's toes on your way up. Get more things to do, have a life outside the office, take up a hobby, do whatever it is to keep your sanity. An idle mind goes to waste, if not used regularly. But it must be used in a correct way, not just for yakking and gossiping...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

KL As I See It

I've lived a nomad life, the first 18 years of my life. My dad was a government man, and he was transferred every 4 years or so to different branches. I grew up around Malaysia since I could remember- 3 years in Kuantan, 5 years in Kelantan, 3 years in Kedah and 3 years in Kuching, all in that order.

It was time to leave the nest. I'd accepted to enter a local Uni based in KL. It was like a dream, both going into Uni and living in KL. I was giddy with excitement.The first thing that I noticed about KL, was the hustle and bustle of the city life. Cars honking, people walking, buses speeding in and out of the traffic, everything a mad rush. For me, those pink mini buses was the epitome of the first year of my life in KL. It gets me where I needed to go around KL, either to Sogo or Bukit Bintang to window shop or hang out. Sunway or Suria KLCC or even Midvalley weren't built yet in the mid '90s. The Mini buses were always full of people, with no air condition, the windows cranked down to allow in some air. People were crammed like sardines. Maybe I learned some survival skills to look out for myself being in one of those buses. A girl has to protect herself from perverts and pickpockets. Getting a seat in the mini bus was like winning a lottery ticket. If I do get a seat, I'd make sure to give it to those in need. Despite the conditions in the mini bus, I was almost sorry to see it abolished one year later.

The new line of Intrakota buses were introduced; bigger seats, with better service and was air conditioned. The drivers are more courteous and cautious on the road. By now, mini buses were a distant memory.

The Commonwealth Games was held in Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil. My sister was a volunteer for the games. So my mum and I decided to show our support to her by going to Bukit Jalil. The first time ever I took the Star LRT to Bukit Jalil. To me, the ride was a bit rickety but it was safe enough. I wasn't used to the movement of the train off the ground.

First time on the Putra LRT to Suria KLCC. This line runs straight from Gombak to Kelana Jaya. I like Putra LRT as the coach was smaller than Star LRT, and it was cool that the train was computer generated, means there wasn't any driver on board. It only took us about 15 minutes and about 7 stations or so to reach KLCC. It made more sense as we don't have to take a bus and go downtown to all the jam, and change to another bus just to reach KLCC.

2002-mid 2008
Spent the next 6 years of my life commuting from Putra LRT Terminal Putra to Masjid Jamek, then interchange at Masjid Jamek to take the Star LRT staright to PWTC station. Learnt that it was smarter to use the monthly pass as it was more economic. My daily ride for the two trains is RM7, to and fro. It will cost me about RM140 per month if I buy regular tickets. With the pass its only RM125, and beats queing up. Learnt to use underground tunnel at Masjid Jamek from Putra LRT to Star LRT, as one of my collegue was hit by a motorist crossing the street at Masjid Jamek. Much safer to use the tunnel.

Mid 2008
Finally decided that I'd enough of commuting. Everybody's on the train, it feels like I'm in a mini bus. So, with the new and affordable Proton Saga BLM, I'd decided to become a motorist and brave the KL traffic. My route begins from Danau Kota, Setapak and cut thru Jalan Genting Klang. Famed for its congestion, I'd to leave home at least 7.15am to be able to reach the office comfortably at 8.30am.

DUKE Highway opened. Jalan Genting Klang less congested and my driving time to the office was reduced to considerably. Now I can leave home at 7.45am and made it to the office at 8.15am. Better conditions especially after the public holidays, the roads are a breeze to go thru. Happy to say that the road of Jalan Genting Kelang is being upgraded now, from 2 lanes to three lanes. Driving is less a hassle now. I might actually like the city, jam and all.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Of being philantrophic and managing your finance

I was at the mall last Friday, just walking around doing some shopping. I felt a bit hungry and decided to buy one of those Auntie Anne's pretzels sour cream & onion. As I was sitting down beside the kiosk, I saw this chinese lady peeling some nuts with her employee (I guessed she was the employer). First they were quiet, then suddenly the aunty started to talk him and telling him how she was involved with her church charity groups, reaching out to the poor, giving donations and help to those in need.

It started me thinking that I haven't done much charity, that maybe I've been selfish with my quest to achieve the ultimate comfortable state of life. The only charity I'd done is giving away some old clothes and monthly donations to MAKNA, which I can say is quite meagre. Behind my apartment is an orphange, but I'm ashamed to say that I've never donated anything to them, be it in cash or kind. I don't know, maybe it's hard to make the first move to approach them and tell them that I want to donate something. My mum always say, if you want to donate to those kids, bring them food. She'd brought some food over for supper and she said that the kids were very delighted to see it.

I guess that's why I never have enough money in my hands. Maybe I make more than some, minus all the debts, some contribution to the family, I have enough left. Always just enough, never in abundance. Also I am quite the spendthirft, so that's the more reason. Maybe my money is not berkat, coz I don't give it away much. It is said that a portion of your money belongs to someone else, maybe a friend in need or giving to charity. I think the lesson for me is: I need to give more to charity. I should start somehwere, no matter how small. The first step is the most important.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Poetry in Motion

Warning! A very indelicate entry about constipation, hemorrhoids and such.

A few days ago, I'd come across a colleague who looked sickly.I asked her if she was okay. And she said she's had hemorrhoid, that's why she's not feeling so well and was on mc for two days. This condition was something that I have close connection.

Since I was small, I've had severe case of constipation. I'd go for days without passing motion. I'd tried to force it out by staying in the loo for hours. This continued on till my school years whereby I'd experienced blood dripping when I was "processing" in the loo. I had a scare. I thought I had hemorrhoid or buasir. In my uni days, I'd to take teh orang kampung to ease my troubles. It worked for a while, then my tummy got immune to it, and it didn't work anymore. I went back to the days without passing motion, sometimes 3 days, sometimes 5, I think maybe one time I'd gone 1 week without doing my business. It was discomforting. I'd felt toxic. Back then I was quite active in sports, drank loads of water, ate less.

Alhamdullilah, things improved when I started work. Kerabu Jantung said I need to force myself to do my business early in the morning. I didn't believe her at first. Then I tried it. Over a period of a few months, while diligently sitting at my throne for hours, I'd discovered that I began to pass motion regularly. Then my hours in the loo decreased to half an hour of waiting, then some more. It came to a point where I'd get the morning call. You know, like when you are still asleep but suddenly u had to get up and run to the loo because feel something about to come out! Now, I'm happy to say that I don't have that problem anymore. In my case, it wasn't my diet, but it was something to do with disciplining my body to function properly.

But not everyone is lucky as I am. My colleague still have hemorrhoid, and so many other people out there. Kak Safinah, the owner of Malay Tea House had actually recommended my colleague to use virgin coconut oil. It is reported to have healing properties, and she said you can see immediate result within one week. Maybe you can also try to eat more veggies and fruits that are high in fibre, like bananas, prunes, etc. I would advise to use two prong approach, visit the doctor to get proper medication and then try some traditional cure. Whatever works for you since everyone is different.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Beijing Express Sightseeing: Forbidden City & Tian An Men

(...Continued from last post on Beijing Express Sightseeing in Great Wall of China.)
Right after our trip to the Great Wall, we set out to visit the Forbidden City. It was a about one and half hour journey back to the city. The sun now is truly hot, and I'm still fasting (Sayang dah nak berbuka sbb dah pukul 2.30pm bila sampai ker Forbidden City)
Our visit to Forbidden City was an express one as I was feeling very-very tired and very-very thirsty from the climb at the Great Wall and the scorching sun. We basically walked the length of the Forbidden City from the North Gate to the South Gate and straight to Tian An Men Square, which is situated just outside the South Gate of the Forbidden City. To truly explore the Forbidden City, one should at least take 2 days to finish exploring all the artifacts and buildings. It was helpful that we had a tour guide, so we managed to capture some of the history of China, and its emperors and dynasties.
Tian An Men - literally means "Heavenly Peace Gate". This is where the ruler of China gather for the National Day on Oct 1. He will address the public on the gate just on top of Chairman Mao's pic.

The statue of the guardians that we normally see in front of Chinese establishments. It is actually the statue of a lion and lioness. The lion is recognizable by the ball under his right paw, whereas the lioness has a baby lion under her left paw

The Emperor's palace and the place where he recieve guests
North gate entrance to the Forbidden City. Entrance fees is RMB60

The Forbidden City was built around a moat to discourage enemy to attack the city. It was told that when Qing Dynasty, the last Dynasty of China fell, the Eunuchs committed suicide into the moat because they couldn't bear to live without the emperor and the special privileges

The inner wall of the forbidden city is on the right of this pic with the red door. Right in front is a small hill with a resting place on top where the emperor and his concubines spend their time

One of the palace where the emperor and his concubines go to relax which is just in front of the North Gate

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Earthquake 30 Sept 2009

I was still in the office around 6.15pm yesterday with 3-4 colleagues when I felt the tremors the first time. I thought I was probably dizzy because I was having a headache due to exposure to the sun and I was fasting sunat Syawal, so I thought it was just me feeling malnourished. My chair was shaking and I thought it was the wheels moving. Then I got up to make sure that either I was dizzy or the building was moving and said to no one in particular, "Is it just me or is the building moving?". Assured nothing happened, I sat down and continued iwth my emails. Then Tasha came and asked me if I felt the building moved, and I said yes, I thought it was just my imagination, and then wham! Both of us felt the tremors again, this time around more visible than the last because we were aware of it and we saw the leaves of the office plants moving. I said to Tasha let's get out of the office, now! We switched off our PCs and collected our bags and quickly went to the lift, praying that there won't be any tremors. A lot of things were playing in my minds, would I make it out alive? would there be any more tremors? I was scared. The elevator came soon enough and it was packed with people. I met En Wan, one of the Directors and asked him if he had felt the trmors, and like me he said, I was having a headache and I thought that was it. Alhamdullillah we reached the lobby without any incident. Later on, I heard on the radio, an earthquake had hit Sumatra with 7.7 richter scale and its tremors were felt in Malaysia, including Angkasapuri. Tsunami alert for Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

Lets pray for the victims of the earthquake in West Sumatra and the tsunami victims in Samoa.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Tunai, Touch 'n' go & Smartag: Mana Satu Pilihan Anda?

Ketika umat Islam di Malaysia sibuk ziarah-menziarahi saudara-mara di kampung sempena menyambut Aidilfitri, kita semua tak boleh lari dengan kesesakan lalulintas dimana-mana saja. MRR2 ke, Jalan kampung ker, highway ker. Terutamanya di highway. Tp ada pilihan, kalau nak cepat gunakan laluan fast track Smartag atau Touch 'n' go. Kalau tiada kedua-duanya, maka terpaksalah gunakan lorong tunai yang queue nya panjang berjela-jela. Saya terdengar komen hamba Allah mengatakan bahawa lorong Smartag ini untuk orang kaya-kaya sahaja, dan kerajaan tidak telus dalam pembahagian sama rata untuk kemudahan pembayaran tol. Yang ironiknya, hamba Allah ini mempunyai Smartag! Ada pulak komen tambahan yang mengatakan tunggulah kerajaan yang baru...?! (wtf??)

Saya tak suka berpoliticking di dalam blog yang tak seberapa ini, tetapi saya terpanggil jugak untuk komen pernyataan di atas kerana saya merasakan ianya sungguh kontradik. Kemudahan Smartag itu kesan dari kapitalisme, siapa yang kaya atau ada duit lebih dan bencikan queue yang panjang, boleh gunakan lorong tersebut. Ada juga guna Smartag sebab mereka dah plan perjalanan mereka dengan baik. Ini pemandu yang bijak, takder kena mengena dengan kerajaan sekarang atau yang akan datang. Pendapat saya, sesiapa yang gunakan lorong tunai pada masa perayaan atau cuti sekolah, memang tidak bijak sebab mereka dah tau queue akan menjadi panjang dan mereka masih tidak merancang perjalanan. Kalau tak mampu beli smartag, pakailah touch 'n' go. Bukannya mahal sangat, RM 10 pun dh boleh dapatkan satu kad. Kalau nak berjalan jauh, segeralah top-up di kaunter tol atau di mesin ATM. Sekarang ni Smartag dan touch 'n' go bukannya satu kemewahan, malah satu keperluan.

Semua kemudahan dah ada, anda buatlah pilihan yang terbaik untuk diri dan keluarga anda. Kalau tak kisah beratur panjang sekali-sekala, apa salahnya gunakan lorong tunai Tp kalau anda tak suka kesesakan macam saya, gunakanlah smartag atau touch 'n' go. Senanag cakap, ini pilihan peribadi (its a matter of choice). Bukannya nak menyalahkan kerajaan sekarang atau yang akan datang, tak kisahlan kerajaan yang mana pun. Kalau nak komen pasal kerajaan tak adil, janganlah kemudahan smartag dipersalahkan. Kalau semua orang haknya sama rata, baik kita jadi negara komunis, macam China. Itupun saya perhatikan semasa di sana jurang kekayaan besar, tak jugak sama rata. Mana ada benda yang adil dalam dunia ini. Allah sahaja yang adil!!!

P/S: Aku pun golongan marhaen, tetapi pengguna jalan yang bijak sebab ada Touch 'n' go.

Disclaimer: Posting ini bukan tujuan untuk mengiklankan Smartag atau Touch 'n' go, tetapi menyedarkan betapa pentingnya untuk merancang perjalanan anda.

Eid Ul Fitri Mubarak

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin kepada semua...
Jangan terlebih makan ketupat/rendang/lemang/lontong..nanti sakit perut..
Berhati-hati di jalanraya ketika balik kampung/pergi beraya...
kecelakaan boleh menimpa di mana2 sahaja...

Happy Birthday kepada Kak Shira, ibu kepada tiga anak, bakal calon Phd, kawan sekolah dan geng Taekwondo masa zaman Uni. Mudahan persahabatan kita kekal sepanjnag hayat walaupun kita semua dah sibuk dengan kehidupan masing2.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Beijing Express Sightseeing: Great Wall of China

I only had just the Friday after finishing the tradeshow and seminar on Thursday. So I had decided to do express sightseeing to the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tian An Men Square. Morning we started our journey at 8am. I was joined by Peter the tour guide, a surly lady driver and May from Sunway Resort.

Great Wall is about 60km from Beijing, a journey which took about one and half hours drive because of the traffic. Traffic is quite bad in Beijing but it is moving traffic, plus Beijing have four ring roads, which all roads will take you about half an hour to go to any main area of Beijing.

We went to one of the nearer Great Wall entrance, the North Pass which is called Badaling, which literally means "arriving from everywhere", or so I was told. The walls were built such that people can arrive at the 8th tower from any direction. This entrance was the most popular and visited by most tourists, apart from Mutianyu or the Southeast pass. The Great Wall was built from the 5th Century, most famous when China's first emperor, Emperor Qin built it, continued by the Ming Dynasty. It was built as a fortification of the emperor's new frontier and against invasion from the North and Mongolia.

Gondola ride up to the 8th tower, much like the gondola going up to Genting

The 7th tower on the top was cut off by the huge mountain stone, so they built another way at the side for people to access. Below left is the 6th tower and front is the foot of the 7th tower

The climb to 8th tower starts from here

Fortunately the weather was cool, I guess about 15-17 degrees. I was fasting but I was determined to climb to the top to reach the 8th tower. We began climbing at the foot of the 7th tower, at first it was kind of easy because it wasn't slanting till we reach half of the way and it began to become very steep and angle is about 70-80 degrees...scary!

Going up...up

See the angle up? My guestimate it's about 70 degrees angle

I made it!!! The 8th tower at the backNow...how to go down eh? Very steep!!The Great Wall branching out to many different directions

Coming up, Beijing Express Sightseeing: Forbidden City & Tian An Men. Also, Beijing's handiwork.


6 Sept 2009, D-Day: 2200 hours at McDonalds' KLIA

I just came back from Beijing last Saturday. This week has been crazy, didn't have time to update sooner on my trip to Beijing. But the week before departure was the craziest, I had only 3 days to prepare for my traveling arrangements - express visa from the China Embassy (cost RM130), my flight ticket, my hand-carry items - 14 boxes containing promotional items and one clothes bag that I checked in which totaled 174kgs! Lucky I got a warrant. Phew...

This trip had me worried for so many reasons:
1. I had so little time to mentally prepare myself for the appointments and other work entails;
2. I was traveling alone for the first time, but still lucky that I have colleagues to wait for me at the other end;
3. and the current health situation with H1N1, naturally going to China had me worried eventhough there were no death reported.

Hence, the mask. Mak and Ayah advised me to wear the mask, which I did. And throughout the 6 hours flight. I was the only one wearing the mask in business class. Well, better a freak than dead because a passenger had some kind of flu and I got paranoid. However, once arrived I noticed that only the Immigration people wore masks. But in Beijing, nobody wore masks. Even in the newspapers, H1N1 was not yet a cause for concern because it only attack the rural area and mostly in schools. It was almost unheard of in Beijing, people weren't concerned. Plus, China was to produce its own antidote. So, China boleh!

After about half an hour's drive, I arrived at the Chaoyang area. It is not exactly the city centre but its the area where Tourism Malaysia and the Embassy of Malaysia is located. I checked in at the Westin Chaoyang Beijing. Awesome room! Includes Osim foot massager and a nice view of the city.

See thru shower stall, people from the opposite building can see me shower. Lucky I realized in time that I need to push the automatic button for shutter down for complete privacy!

Next day I head on to China National Convention Centre, the venue of the tradeshow. The CNCC is located nearby the Bird's Nest Stadium, where China had the opening for the Olympic 2008. Basically I had to take care of the booth and attend appointments normally with travel agents or meeting planners, advertising houses (more for soliciting ads space), and some trade visitors.
Bird's Nest stadium BeijingIn front of the CNCC
Malaysia booth at the show, back viewKorea Sparkling was our neighbour booth
I love Thailand's booth because of its simplicity and cute signage and ultra-cool lamps
Beijing's booth was the biggest, this is only half size Phillippines booth

Incidentally, Malaysia just won the best short haul destination as voted by TravelWeekly. We were against Philippines' Cebu and Boracay as well as Japan. So, Malaysia Boleh!