Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Abu Dhabi ... Settling in

I’ve adjusted better to the weather here. Yes, it’s hot … today it almost hit 50 deg C especially when we were having the site meeting … the heat just hits you in the face like a blistering sledgehammer. Everytime I leave the hotel apartment, my glasses gets fogged up and it’ll take a couple of seconds for it to clear itself again.

Food wise … now that’s sad. I’ve been having ALL my meals at the same restaurant since I first arrived. That’s right, you heard me … 2 days … 6 meals … all in this South Indian restaurant. I think it’s called Sunlight Restaurant or something of that sort. Why you ask … I don’t really know how to answer. Convenience perhaps … afterall, it’s just located opposite where I’m currently staying but then again, there are so many other restaurants around the area. Hmmm … I’m puzzled too but somehow, the people I work with tend to head there for every meal. Taste wise, it’s ok la. Really nothing worth mentioning but pricing is reasonable.

Oh, I’ve found a gym I can go too here. It’s located 5 minutes away in a hotel which belongs to the same group of hotels which I’m currently staying in. Hence, I’ve been granted free access there. Woo Hoo!!! … but it’s a small gym le … something like 2 treadmills and 2 bicycles. Alas, beggars can’t be choosers. Also located where McDs, KFC and Burger King is. Found two oriental restaurants located nearby. I now know where to get a haircut and pharmacies are aplenty. So survival shouldn't be an issue. :p

Work load is rather heavy at the moment. Not complaining though … at least it’s a productive way to pass the time. Beginning to adapt to the working lifestyle, the culture in general and hopefully, this exposure will equip me with better knowledge and experience once I’m done for good here.

The photos above are taken at my site. Blistering I tell ya.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Abu Dhabi

I've arrived!!! Touched down at Abu Dhabi International Airport late last night. The journey over here was ok except for the couple seated behind me who yacked and yacked throughout the entire 7 hour journey. Couldn't really sleep on the plane ... well, never could anyway. Watched a movie starring Ryan Reynolds called Chaos Theory (I think). Nothing worth shouting about ... so not gonna bother. Major turbulence experienced.

As you can see, not really in the mood to blog now. Workload is tremendous here with deadlines after deadlines to meet. Still not totally over the jet lag factor yet. Had breakfast and lunch at the same Indian cafe across the street. Price is reasonable but the same can't be said about hygiene level though. Seems like a party place for roaches and flies. Hopefully dinner will be some place else.

What else, oh ... had a good dinner with the family and SY before I left last night. On the menu were nasi lemak, satay and roasted duck. Yumms ... but it was the company that mattered more. Gonna miss them really.

Back to Abu Dhabi, I'm temporarily being put up in a service apartment. The place is small but clean. Doesn't really matter as I would be tired and just needing a place to crash.

No photos to upload now coz I ain't got a camera now. Am hoping to get a good deal here. Apparently electronics are a real bargain in this region. Shall see about that.

I apologize for this messy entry ... the brain not really functioning properly, down with a li'll bit of throat irritation and flu and that dreadful feeling of missing my other half. Just gonna take it one day at a time.

Pray for me k peeps.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sigh ...

Feelings ... stirring. The clock ticks two minutes after 1:30 a.m. as a whirlwind of thoughts swam inside my head. Experiencing a nauseating blend of contrasting emotions. Not entirely sure why. A li'll bit of frustration, a tad of restlessness, a pinch of sadness, a dollop of disappointment ... all of which can be pretty much summed up with a very heavy sigh. The tune of 'Yesterday Once More' playing in the background isn't helping. :(

I'll be leaving soon ... leaving with a very heavy heart. Bidding goodbye to the life I've very much grown most comfortable with recently. I'll be going off to a land of oil, sand and sun. I foresee myself leading a rather different kinda life there ... something that will take a whole lot of effort, patience and perseverance if I were to make it through. I tell myself that if it doesn't kill me, it'll only serve to make me stronger. If life deals you with lemons ... make lemonade but alas ... I'm not feeling any better.

It's still difficult to genuinely smile when I look into the mirror these days. Maybe it's because I've not been getting the rest my body and mind is screaming ever so loudly for. Work have been a li'll crazier than usual of late. Working at home till the wee hours in the mornings ... no prize for guessing that this is a practice I do not favour.

Missing my other half so dearly as well since she's travelling for work, thus cutting short what's left of our time together. I'm hopefull though that what we discussed might actually fall through. NOt gonna tell what's it all about ... don't wanna jinx it. Hahaha, so can only keep my fingers crossed here for the time being. At least she's coming home soon ... will be picking her up from the airport in a couple of hours more to be exact. Funny how one individual can crave for another so badly ... to be in constant need of the other's presence. Is it a good thing to be in such a silly 'predicament' ... I don't know.

Mom's in the hospital ... just under went a minor surgery. She was all ok when I visited her earlier today. Just praying for a speedy recovery. So used to seeing her being so steadfast and strong ... and yet, watching her lying down on the hospital bed ... so vulnerable ... so fragile. Never told her this before but she is the pillar of my life. Her undivided love and care had brought me this far in life ... through the many downs experienced, she was the one who always stood there by my side, ever ready to help me stand up when I fall.

Finally did my video certification for my Body Combat. Alex C and Su Yee generously offered to help me out on this. So to the both of them, please accept my sincerest ARIGATO! The members were also most supportive, they gave me the intensity, the spirit and support I needed. I wouldn't be the instructor I am today if it weren't for them. Was the shoot good ... well, time is not a luxury I can afford now, so I'm just gonna send it in and hope for the best. Hehe.

After class, the bunch of us headed to Nic's place for a scrumptious supper. On the menu were roti jala with curry chicken, spiced fried rice, angel hair with herbs, stir fried asparagus and the star of the night ... baked sole fish. Super yummilicious this one. Wonder how much would I need to offer Nic for him to part with the recipe. :p Anyways, desserts came in the form of sinful chocolate cupcakes and Alex helped with the caffeine brew. It was good fun to enjoy delish foods as well as the excellent company. I'm gonna miss this bunch of peeps when I leave. *sniff*

I guess that's all for now. Gonna try to catch 40 winks before the drive to pick up the missus. At least that's something to look forward to. :)

Pleasant dreams fellas.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Kenko Fish Spa, Red Cliff, My Thai & Haagen Daaz

After passing by the place one too many times, SY and I finally decided to give Kenko Fish Spa @ Pavilion a try. RM38 to last 30 minutes, we were basically required to wash our feet before submerging it in the ‘fish pond’ where little fishes nibble on your dead skin cells … leaving behind newer, clearer and cleaner skin or so it claimed. Anyway the moment our feet touched the surface of the water, the hungry fishes just started doing what they do best and it tickled the hell out of the both of us. SY shrieked at every single nibble experienced. I laughed more from looking at her antics than from the ticklish sensation felt at my feet. Hahaha. Even managed to catch a video of the ‘shrieking SY’ but that’s for my eyes only. :P

After a while, we began to get comfortable and the ticklish feeling became somewhat bearable. 30 minutes later, we dried our feet and recovered from severe stomach cramps due to all that crazy laughing.

Also managed to catch John Woo’s latest epic RED CLIFF. Really AWESOME movie. Superb cinematography ala John Woo’s style, sufficient gore and bloodshed, intricate detailing on screen shots, big names being casted … and the sheer magnitude of it being a 40 million Pounds production. Just too bad that they split it into two parts here where as some other countries are being screened as one whole movie. Nevertheless, it was a great watch and I’d personally rate it an 8.5 / 10.

After such a good watch, we dined at My Thai @ Starhill’s Feast Village. As usual, the food there did not disappoint. Service was fantastic and the ambience … excellent. The dim soft lightings, the accompanying soothing music, the exquisite décor, the scrumptious gastronomic offerings … a perfect dinner for two.

We then strolled along Jalan Bukit Bintang under the glittering neons of the bright city lights. Along the way, we parked ourselves in the Haagen Daaz café and ordered some delightful desserts to satisfy our sweet tooth. It was such a beautiful night out … one very much worth remembering.

How was your weekend peeps ???

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pangkor Island Beach Resort (Part 3)

On our final day here, we woke up to a glorious morning. A quick wash up and down we went to the resort’s coffee house for breakfast. Sitting at the al fresco, facing the wide emerald sea, the welcoming morning breeze, the calming sound of the incoming waves ... simply heavenly and it works out an appetite too.

After breakkie, we decided to re-live our childhood days and rent bicycles to tour the resort’s massive grounds. However, that plan did not materialize and we took it a step further by deciding to go jet skiing. The fee was RM90 for a 20 minute ride. I hopped onto the front while SY rode pillion. Boy was it FUN!!! Bobbing and crashing on the sea surface at high speed, it gives one the adrenaline we both crave. Soon after, SY the speed junkie took over control of the wave runner and steered the machine expertly. The wind, the water and the rush ... so wild and free!!!

After all that, we dipped ourselves in the pool before heading up to the room and pack up. Checked out and headed back to the jetty to be transported back to mainland.

As the ferry left the island, we took a look back to bid this beautiful resort goodbye. I foresee myself returning here one day but for no ... I’ll hold on to all the cherished memories which Pangkor Island Reach Resort had blessed us with.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Old, The Young and The Ugly

Disclaimer : Profanities included. View on your own account.

Am swarmed with a shit load of work. No time to blog. So enjoy this clip ... it's the funniest I've seen on the Tube so far. Enjoy and lemme know what you think bout it k. :p

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pangkor Island Beach Resort (Part 2) ... She said YES!!!

(Continued from previous entry)

As I lead SY towards the resort's restaurant, I suggested that we detour to the beach for a bit on the pretext that I wanted to take a couple of sunset photos. On the way to the beach, we came across a tree branch with pieces of bread strewn all over. Soon it became clear that the bread crumbles were meant to feed the resident hornbills. At one time, there were four of them perched on that little branch, feeding themselves hungrily ... totally oblivious to the surrounding local and foreign tourists admiring this feeding frenzy. Later, the hornbills had an unpleasant visitor in the form of a bold monkey. The monkey too staked his claim to the speckled breads and even shamelessly tapau-ed some when he left. His brazen antics brought smiles from all of us and as he went away, he suddenly caught sight of something glittery placed on a beach chair. Immediately, the monkey dropped all the take-away bread, grabbed the newly found bling and ran. The ang moh owner, who was previously admiring the hornbills with the rest of us gave futile chase and evntually gave up. Seeing all that made me wonder who the real 'monkey' was. :p

Anyways, after snapping a few glorious photos of the spectacular crimson sunset, we walked further up the beach. There it was ... a beautiful table for two set up on the sandy white shores. Our waiter in waiting, Vasu was already there ... preparing for our arrival. The table, draped in gardenia white linen was elegantly ornamented with some wild flowers, a solitary classy candle, bread in a basket with virgin olive oil and vinegar. The chairs were also chicly dressed up in similar shade of white linen to match the grandeur of the occasion. Surrounding the perimeter of our table were stakes of lighted torches to help emanate the essence of romance in the air.

SY was in utter shock and disbelief. Initially she kept repeating to me "Don't joke, don't joke ... don't play around". I had to reassure her that it's all ok and that this beautiful setting was pre planned. When SY finally took her seat, she suddenly became very embarassingly aware that we were being stared at by every single passer by. Again, she needed to be calmed and reminded that this was 'OUR' moment ... so let's just enjoy every li'll bit of it. She soon settled down comfortably and as if on cue, Vasu came over.

He took our beverage order ... I had the white wine while SY (still feeling very concious about all the blatant staring) opted for the ice lemon tea. As the sun began to set, the crowd lessen. Perfect. We gazed and talked about our past, present and future. How we first met, what we went through to get to where we were today and what is in store for the both of us. Nibbling on soft bread dipped generously in olive extracts and spiced condiments I summoned the courage and took her by the hand. With a deep inhale of fresh oceanic air, I popped the question ... I asked if she would allow me to make her the 2nd happiest person alive. With dreamy eyes ... witnessed by the crescent moon above, she gently nodded and said softly ... yes. I then proceeded to slip the solitare into her finger. It was B E A U T I F U L ... just beautiful.

It took a couple of seconds before it hit the both of us that we were in fact now engaged to each other. At that particular moment as well, a peacock ... yes you read right, a PEACOCK walked by our table. The both of us were astonished and thought the hotel staff had planned this but checking later with the staff, he informed us that this occurence isn't unusual. Nevertheless, it added something unique to that special moment. I signalled for our other waiter, Shahril and he brought out the gorgeous hand bouquet I ordered. I presented the single dozen red roses to SY and she took it ever so gladly. (There's another story to this bouquet and I shall tell you peeps about it in a separate entry .. a rather funny episode this one). Oh yea, the resort's house band, The Silver Shadows (from the Philippines) also came by to serenade us with beautiful melodies ... it made our time that much more extraordinary.

Soon after, our starter was served. It was roasted lamb salad and it tasted wonderful. The lamb cutlets were roasted to medium perfection and the sauce complimented the meat and greens superbly indeed. A great way to awaken the tastebuds still very much drunk from all that lovey dovey feeling earlier. :P

Next up, we were presented with a bowl of creamy seafood chowder. Very yummy this one with kind chunks of crab, prawn and fish meats. The wine went very well with the soup.

Coming up, the chef gave us some sour lime sorbet with sweet chocolate rolls to cleanse the pallet in preparation for our main course. A very thoughtful chef resulted in very appreciative guests. Happy happy. :)

The star of the dinner finally came in the form of cheese baked lobster with mash. It was nothing less than magnificent and it tasted just as well to match the presentation. The combination of thick quality cheese, tender pieces of mushrooms and the succulent lobster ... simply divine.

To top it all off, we had desserts. Tiramisu drizzled heavily with rum was on the menu and it came with wild berries and tropical fruits. Coffee and tea to wash it all down brought this magical night to a sweet conclusion.

The oh-so-romantic atmosphere ... dreamy musical notes floating in the air, the fine food servings and most importantly ... the answer I wanted to hear ... it was truly an extremely fanscinating night for the both of us.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pangkor Island Beach Resort (Part 1)

The cheeky morning rays peeked through the curtains as my hated radio alarm clock blah-ed noisily … shattering the serenity of the otherwise tranquil Saturday morning. I turned to my left as SY indolently opened her eyes. We greeted each other with lazy smiles, got up and prepared for our trip.

Bags all packed, we had breakkie at a nearby coffee shop. I had a fulfilling plate of Malaysians’ staple nasi lemak while SY satisfied herself with some claypot egg noodles. Bellies filled, we began our journey. Heading towards Bidor, we cruised steadily along the North South Highway. Chatting about practically everything under the sun with fine weather and smooth traffic, we soon reached the Bidor interchange and exited the highway. From then on, it was a relaxing drive to Lumut passing by lots of scenic greens. From palm oil and rubber estates to lush green paddy fields … it was all very pleasing to the eyes.

Upon arrival at the Lumut jetty, we parked the car at a multi storey parking building before lugging our baggage to the jetty. There we checked in at the Pangkor Island Beach Resort’s counter and waited to board our ferry. At 2pm, we happily hopped onto our transport to the island only to discover two large groups already in it. Apparently, Citibank and Hewlett Packard were both having excursions to the same resort. Damnit! So much for a peaceful getaway.

The ferry’s air conditioner wasn’t working initially and only came on mid way through our journey. It wasn’t that bad though as it was only a 30 minute ride. Furthermore, the sea gods must be in a jolly mood as the waters weren’t choppy at all.

Arriving at the resort’s jetty at the island, we jumped onto the awaiting mini bus and took a 5 minute drive to the resort itself. There, we were joyfully greeted by the hotel’s staff and a 3 piece band decked in very authentic beach clothing. It exuded a very tropical island feel. Me like! :) Cold rose syrup juice was also served to quench the thirst from all that traveling under the scorching afternoon sun. *Gulp gulp gulp*

Service was prompt and excellent. Before we knew it, we were already ushered into our lavish sea facing room. The resort is indeed beautiful. Tall coconut trees being lullabied by the cool bayou breeze, the hypnotic sound of lapping waves gently caressing the soft white sands, children laughing, running and splashing merrily in the big blue pool … a li’ll piece of heaven by my standards.

Our room was splendid too. The king sized bed sits majestically on brown earthly tiles. Lush white pillows and soft thick duvets ever so inviting for one to jump onto them and dream your way to Lalaland. The bathroom is HUGE. Marbled washbasin, a shower area and a bathtub filled up the space pretty tastefully. The live green plant provided a nice touch to the entire setting. The hotel is also generous with their towels providing separately, both bathing towels and beach towels.

Standing at the balcony, one is rewarded with the panaromic regal view of the Straits of Malacca. The emerald waters meeting the sapphire skies at the horizon, I was once again humbled by the sheer beauty and extravagance of God’s creation. One must however note to lock the door opening to the balcony for resident monkeys are known to intrude and ransack your room, searching and taking whatever items then deem valuable. We experienced it first hand when two of such buggers came and roughly try to open the door from the outside.

We had lunch at the coffee house facing the sea. It was a disappointment to begin with. Service was slow and our orders of Malaysian Fried Rice and Chicken Burger … well, lets just day I’ve had better … MUCH MUCH BETTER.

After lunch, we toured the resort grounds. There a mini golf course as well as a spa for those wanting to rejuvenate their tired mind and bodies. There are two swimming pools altogether and also a pool bar that is actually open. SY and I shared a fresh coconut and it even came with a li’ll umbrella. :)

Come evening, we strolled hand in hand by the beach … whispering sweet nothings every now and then. The evening wind lightly blowing through your hair, the skies above radiating in a perfect blend of orange and pinkish hue … it really was like a scene picked out of a romance novel. Later on, the calling from the sea was too great to resist … we splashed around like kids and later on … we allowed the incoming waves to ‘pound’ our backs resulting in a very very good massage. What else can one ask for when you have Mother Nature doubling as your personal masseuse. :P

We showered and got ready for dinner. SY was expecting us to head down and join the rest of the guests for a BBQ dinner but I had something else planned. Something special …

(to be continued)

Station 1 Cafe @ Taipan, USJ

Hey fellas, it’s been a while eh. Well, I’ve been busy. Busy having a good time that is. Heh heh. :P

Well, Friday night’s BC was a BLAST. It was super ‘interactive’ to say the least. Wanna know what I mean … come and see for yourself this Friday.

Went to Station 1 Café with Alfee, Juls, Ping and SY after class. We ate, drank and laughed the night away to the melodies belted out by the 2 piece live band. Ping even ended up having her face washed with some ice cold Carlsberg that night … good times peeps … good times indeed. Next round … Las Caretas … just like the ol’ days. :D

Friday, July 4, 2008

Congrats BRO!!! :D

Peeps, meet my younger bro, Shaun. As of yesterday, he's just not my bro, he's also the recipient of a FIRST CLASS HONOURS DEGREE IN ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE.

Well done bro ... you deserve it. Now go get a job, earn some decent moolah and buy me my long overdued Starbucks. :p

Oi, not joking k. Starbucks ... hurry up!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Daiki Cafe @ SS15

A rather new place in SS15 Subang Jaya. Daiki Cafe, operated below a budget hotel. Air conditioned with complimentary wi fi servive provided, it's beginning to prove popular with the Subang folks.

Pricing is pretty reasonable and food quality is rather good. Nasi lemak is a must try and so is their Nasi Berlada sets (comes in a variety of fish, chicken or beef). I've only managed to try the beef one so far and it was yummilicious.

Apart from local offerings, Daiki also specializes in fusion cuisines ... mainly Japanese and Korean. Their desserts of cendol and ice kacang (with or without ice cream) seemed to be a crowd favourite. I've personally given their roti jala c/w chicken curry a go and it tasted delicously authentic.

The simple yet super fragrant garlic fried rice gets a double thumbs up from me too.

So if you're in the area, do give Daiki a try and chances are you'll probably find something to satisfy your tastebuds there.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The simple things in life

People say sometimes ... the best things in life are free. How true is this??? I personally don't know really. It seems everything has a price ... everyone's expecting something back for something done.

Lately, I've been trying to simplify my life in general. To take things one step at a time. With all the extra financial burden due to the fuel price hike, it's time to cut down on the unnecessary luxuries.

Lavish dining experiences are now mostly replaced with simple economical ones. Shopping sprees practically came to an uncomfortable halt. Driving aimlessly in the middle of the night to clear the mind is a BIG NO-NO now.

Does cutting down makes me less contended with life??? The answer is a resounding 'No'. Somehow being able to 'adapt' equipped me with a certain sense of achievement. A meal for instance, it's not so much what you eat, it matters more to me who I eat it with. My dinner on Sunday with SY cost less than RM10. We walked around Pavilion ... people watched and happily window shopped whilst enjoying each other's company.

The best things in life are free ... agree???

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

MY Fitness BC36 Launch!!!

At 7:15 p.m. yesterday evening, Simone, Phui See and I kicked off the launch of Body Combat Release 36 at My Fitness, Sri Petaling.

Simome led the pack for tracks 1, 2 and 3. A cruisy intro in track 1 followed by an attacking track 2 and a crazy uppercuts infused track 3. By the time she passed the aeromicto Phui See, most if not all of the members were panting breathlessly. I smiled and thought to myself, 'they have no idea what's coming up ... the worst ain't over yet' Muahahaha.

Phui See drilled track no. 4, Zombie. The re-introduction of the 'Claw' technique seemed to have gone down well with the members. Killer lunges and double back kicks in tracks 5 and 6 respectively turned the members blue.

I stepped up for tracks 7, 8 and 9. With no less than 168 repeated knees in track 7 alone, the crowd went wild. With the addition of the uber cool intermission of the front kick and jinga combo, this is my personal favourite. Track 8 brought back the heart rate ceiling high. The final phase of repeated punches sent everyone into an adrenaline packed frenzy. By the time the music stops, everyone had an ecstatic expression plastered on their exhausted faces. Track 9 ... conditioning of the abdominals. Crunches through and through with the soundtrack from the movie, Rocky blasting through the speakers ... my precious 6 packs ... here I come. :)

We closed the final chapter with a beautiful and meaningful cooldown track. The title ... World In Union blends in the Maori culture of brotherhood and the true essence of Combat.

We (the instructors) then chose 3 winners to come up on stage to claim their prize (goody bags containing Equal sugar, Health & Beauty Magazine, New Balance Socks etc).
Phui See chose the winner for best 'Smile', Simone for best 'Shout' while I went for the one with the best technique. There were no losers though as everyone else went home with Equal sugar and the magazine as shown in the photo above.

It was a great launch. Good atmosphere, high intensity and most important, ALL OF US had a splendid fun time. :D