26 December 2005

my little bit of xmas

i'm not a christmas fan, not a subscriber in the christian faith, but i really appreciate the christmas holiday for what it really is. it's a holiday !!since my return from overseas, i've been trying to catch up with my friends, many of whom have assumed i'm awol ... and i've managed to latch to one group ... my former rotaractors !

me & kenneth

we had a gathering at fong's bakery in seri hartamas on xmas eve. saw all my old friends there, had a good time. happy to hear that many are about to end their days of being single. congrats to them. the ones who've got hitched and are living miserable married lifes, i managed to see their little ones - a reminder to myself that i'm not really into having kids. (but they're so adorable !)

anyways, that and some high calorie mamak meeting too. haven't had any high calorie meeting for some time now.

the people (and ex-people) from avaya who're not on leave (or who have nothing better to do on xmas eve)

earlier in the day, i was with my colleagues (and one ex colleague who defected) at Chili's in KLCC. had a good time, talked a lot of cock, and had a splendid time. we should do this more often. also had a good time after that checking out lcd tvs .... i wanna get one to put into my study room post renovation.

yes, i'm thinking of renovating the study room. put aircond, put nice shelfs, put some study desks, create a little bit of an atmosphere in there. should be good.

21 December 2005

cold, dark, taipei

i was in taipei on business in early december, when winter was just starting ...

now i understand the hype of winter fashion. unlike the malaysian idea of cold weather clothing, which is just some sports jacket that makes you look very uncle or auntie, winter fashion is actually cool. people dress up in dark shades, with jackets, boots and scarfs that really look good once you're somewhat competent at color coordination. but how hard izzit to coordinate black and black, seriously ?

taipei 101 has now surpassed klcc's petronas twin towers as the tallest building in the world, so i couldn't help but visit the observation platform on level 89 ... you pay NT 350 (RM 39) for the visit ... just don't visit in the winter when the skies are normally cloudy and somewhat hazy. i had one good day of sunshine in taipei, but work kept me away from visiting. you can even go to an outdoor observation deck on level 91 (but must pay extra NT100 ~ RM 11) when weather permits.

on the one day when i was free from work, the weather wasn't all that good, and visibility was restricted to the surrounding areas only. still, it was a good and worthy visit ... highly recommended and definately topping the petronas sky bridge visit (which is only at level 41 vs taipei 101's level 89 + 91).

david took me and raymond to the pub districts near the shangri-la far eastern. not too bad. ended up having some nice beer at this place called carnegie's where the patrons dance on the table top ... it's ok .. for a place like taipei, i expected a wilder pub scene.

david also took us to a very nice taiwanese restaurant hidden away at a basement. it's so different ... unlike most other restaurants, its doors are locked away and you need to know how to get in there ... :-) ... most unusual place i've been to.

also visited the shih lin night market. like most night market nowadays, it's mostly food and clothing you'll find there. i couldn't find a single store selling taiwan tea :-(. the cold weather didn't deter the locals from turning out in force, and there was plenty to see. the local vendors can pack all their goods in 30 seconds ... it's amazing to see how quickly things can be stuffed and packed and ready to go when the police comes a calling. i need to ask the taiwan girls how come they all so slim and tall one ... what they eat ?

the weather this time of the year reminds me of the british isles ...somewhere between 10 - 15 celcius. not seriously cold, but still chilly enough to make my round the city walk very pleasant indeed. i took a walk from the taipei 101 down to my hotel at jen ai road via zhong hsiao east road, walking past the old haunts i used to frequent when i worked in taipei. so much have changed, yet so much stayed the same.

i regret not being able to visit the news room at UDN, but being a working trip, there really wasn't much time for any social activities.

taipei 101 at night looks .... cold ... you can see the chill blowing off its face ... soon after this photo was taken, they actually put up lights for X'mas. too bad i didn't get that.

and during the day ... 101 looks different. opinions in taipei are divided over this tower. some say its unnecessary, some like it, some think it'll be good for taiwan, some don't ...

the sinyi district from the 89th floor on taipei 101. taipei is just crowded.

here's the famous zhong hsiao east road. looks very docile, but looks are deceiving - it's one of the hotspots in taipei after dark. the lanes behind this main artery has a lot of good eating places and also some entertainment.

02 December 2005

tribute to my grandma

my maternal grandmother passed away on tuesday, 29th november 2005.

while we all in the family are sad and misses her terribly, we all take solace in the fact that with her passing, her sufferings on this world has passed too, she is now free and cured of her illness.

my granny was a mother to 9 children, all of whom were brought up under difficult times in difficult situations. my mother, her first child, was born during the times of the japanese occupation in malaya. those were desperate times and it must have been tough.

i remember the stories my mother used to tell me about life back in the tougher times in the 40s and the 50s. granny migrated to malaya from china with my maternal grandfather. he was a coal miner, and she was a mother, housewife, maid and farmer. earning a living in those days were difficult, and grandpa toiled for days and weeks at the coal mine in batu arang, selangor, while granny was a maid in an english rubber plantation manager's home. they lived in a makeshift house in batu arang. they were so poor, the house didn't have any real walls - they couldn't afford to buy enough planks, so there were gaps all around the house.

grandpa wasn't the best of providers, so at a very young age, my mother, my second aunt and my third aunt all worked in various jobs. my mother was a maid in her early teens, and later, a rubber tapper. 2nd and 3rd aunt all did rubber tapping and odd jobs such as grass cutting and washing clothes. due to the hardship, non of the first 3 children ever got much formal education.

my 4th aunt, and 1st uncle, the eldest son in the family, all got education thanks to my grandma and my mum's far sightedness.

things did not work out in batu arang, and grandma moved away to find a better life.

she ended up in a new village in mengkibol, kluang, where she set up her own food and drinks stall. she stayed there ever since, with my 6th aunt.

my half-uncle, and two half-aunts were all born and raised with proper education there.

in her time, my granny was a tireless worker, who provided for the family. it's no wonder there are so many strong woman in my family. from my mother to my half aunts, i respect all my grandma's daughters, who are strong willed and street smart people.

my grandma's compassion and unconditional love for all of us is a benchmark i don't think will be surpassed. when my mother ventured into the food business for the first time some 10 years ago, my grandma didn't think twice about leaving kluang for an extended stay with us. she taught my mum everything she knows about running a restaurant. and while she was here with us, she loved us all dearly, always dispensing advise to me and my sister generously.

in our youthful callousness, we often dismissed such advise as nags, more irritating than educational. little did i realise that in the years to come, i've started dispensing advises such as those to younger members of my family too ....

grandma had her health complications later in her life. she had some operations to her hips, where she had screws attached to her hips. she had hypertension. she had diabetes. yet through all her pain and suffering, whenever i find time to take mum to see her, she smiled happily at me. it's like the pain was never there. still, the wrinkles don't lie ... grandma was clearly not in perfect health. i now sometimes regret that i did not make enough of the 3 hour driving trip to kluang with mum to visit my grandma.

it was easy to see that grandma's happiness was all in the simpler things in life. seeing her children getting married, holding her grandson, seeing her grandsons visit her unannounced.

after her passing away, i had some time to reflect while her funeral arrangements were made. i know i've inherited her knack for making the best maggi mee kering ... my mum has that too. and i inherited her dark little toe nail ... (for some reason, my mum's family all have dark little toe nails). i'm happy and proud to be of her bloodline.

through her hardwork and her strong will, all her 9 children have grown up to be law abiding citizens who are contributing to the society. some, like 4th aunt, hit the bright lights in singapore and is now a successful businesswoman. some, are simple housewives. some are executives in public listed companies, some own their own metal plants.

however, they have all made lasting impressions, and their children, in return, are all doing well. i think for grandma, there is nothing like knowing that we have all made it in our own ways.

i wished i could have written a better tribute to my grandma, but i really think you have to know her to do understand what i'm trying to convey here.

the last thing i could do for her, was to observe her last rites and ceremonies the best i can. i only hope she realises how dearly i miss her.

i'm hoping she would now be happy where she is, free from her pain, free from her diseases and free from her worldly worries. we all are sad she had departed this world, but i take solace in my believe that she is now enjoying her time up in heaven, where she can finally take a rest and just enjoy.

23 November 2005

left or right, stay or leave ?

the impossible do happen .... things like tmnet actually solving my streamyx problems, import duty slashed for cars but car prices still going up, etc. ...

now, by professional standards, the impossible happened. i have been made a counter offer by my new boss. i was under the impression all this while if i had wanted to leave that these guys won't actually be in my way. i was surprised to hear that they are making me another offer to stay....

what to do? should i take the opportunity to jump from technical to sales? should i stay on and enjoy the regional work?

this is a journey i need to walk alone. i don't think anyone has even the slightest clue what i feel when given both choices. how? what do i really want to do?

on one hand, the regional work still has appeal for me, and there's something sexy about speaking mandarin with a taiwanese, like a taiwanese in a train in kl ... on the other hand, there's the stability and probable bright lights with the sales job.

decisions ... decisions ... i'm hoping for devine intervention, but that's probably more unlikely than unlikely ... what to do ?

19 November 2005

streamyx sucks big time

my work is increasingly encroaching into my life, as is the case with many people who working in the corporate world out there. nowadays, midnight conference calls are not that uncommon, as are things such as overnight assignments, stand-bys, etc. etc.

my neighbour, who works from home gave me some very good feedback with regards to streamyx at one of our get togethers, so i was thinking ... hmm ... what if i can do some of my work at home, from the comfort of my airconditioned room, while sipping my favourite chinese tea .... not bad, sounds like an idea.

with that in mind, i finally subscribed to tmnet's streamyx service last week. after my service activation on 16/11, wednesday, i was able to start using broadband internet at home, which made my work and life so much easier. i thought i was finally able to get some work done at home without waiting for the tiny 28.8 kbps phone line to transmit the MBs and MBs of files i normally send and receive.

well, streamyx chose a fine time to show how 3rd world we really are in malaysia.

on 17/11, there appears to be a large scale authentication server failure ... no one could really authenticate, and thus, log on. the fine (*&)(*$#& at their call center first told me ... no problem, 1 hour sure solve ... just need to reset the password. (btw, what FUCKING rights do they have to ask me for my IC number and phone number to reset password. reset, reset la ... need password la, this la, that la ....)

ok lor ... wait 1 hour and 30 minutes. then ... ? cannot. call again to call center. this time, the girl said ... wait another 2 - 3 hours lor ....

ok. wait. then ? still cannot. still cannot authenticate. still cannot logon. don't care, postponed my conference call, and then went on to sleep.

next morning, still problem. still cannot authenticate. ** PISSED OFF **. still, no time to do much, just went to work instead.

then at night come home .... (this is 18/11 already) ... SHIT ... the dsl light not on, not blinking, actually, just simply not on. FUCK.

call call center. asked me to do stupid things such as plug modem straight into phone jack, test phone line quality, pinch my nose, close my eyes, bend down, extend my right hand and turn 5 times. still no work. how ?

call again. now, this fine fellow told me to be patient, he filed report already, must wait 24 FUCKED UP HOURS - 48 EVEN MORE FUCKED UP HOURS before can resolve.


at 25% success rate, i'd probably rate my internet experience when i was in sudan to be more reliable. SUDAN INTERNET BETTER THAN FUCKED UP STREAMYX SERVICE.

in thailand, where i worked for 1 year, i probably had internet problems for what ... 2 days in the whole year. no service interruptions, immediate support, no downtime because of upgrades, etc. etc.

i wanna know how i can wriggle clear of my 2 year sign up. the whole thing is just so FUCKING unreliable.

and you wanna know what's even better? no customer feedback hotline one, you know. you not happy ah ? write email or snailmail la. where can call one ?


i'm sad to be a malaysian. we are nothing but a magazine with glossy cover, but no contents.

09 November 2005

back in bangkok ... in STYLE

i had to come back to bangkok to support some very urgent project that is going to go live very soon. i was a little sad i didn't get to spend too much time back home before travelling again, which i would very much love to.

however, this time, baby, i was travelling in style .... don't believe me ? look at this ....

the seats on the thai airways 777-200 is RECARO ... wah ... expensive car seats in an airplane. but it was really comfortable ... and the covers were in colorful thai silk, not the boring boring stuff MAS or SIA puts out.

i like thai airways more than MAS or SIA becoz:

they keep giving you wine - at least they come 3-4 rounds. MAS kiamsiap .. only serve drink one time when they serve the meal.

they SMILE at me. even if sometimes that's becoz of my clumsiness and really bad color coordination when it comes to clothes

when i ask for extra beverages, they actually get it without any problems. MAS ladies put on a face ... like as if they don't get paid to do the job

and i was put up at ... jeng jeng jeng ... the conrad, which is quite nice, especially after 12 months staying in a mid end serviced apartment

the room when i came in ... HUGE. and with full amenities. no expenses spared.

the room was littered with nice decorations, and i especially like the wooden motive thru the whole room.

and here's the workdesk, mini bar and behind the desk is a walk in closet ... full amenities. i could have left my entire toiletry bag at home, and will still be well groomed to meet my customer. grooming set - check, shoe care set - check, hair care set - check, branded perfume - check .. macam macam ada

here's the washroom ...

i didn have a wide angle lense, so you couldn't see how spacious it was. how spacious ... ? it's sooooooo big you could put a few rumah kos rendah inside. really. there's a bathtub, a large standing shower - with rain style shower that has - check this out - pressure control *hooray*, and a large toilet and again, full facilities. luv the toilet ...i should have done this at home ... i love the wash basin.

and the bed .... heavenly ...

i wish i had a girl with me ... you can't see it, but there's a pillow menu - can even select your pillow.

now, let me see what i can do in the system to make sure i stay longer .... :-)

08 November 2005

sheesh ... back to bangkok ... lagi + klcc view

sometimes, the harder you try to escape, the harder it is to escape. like me and bangkok. i was just getting cost here, with my ass warming my nice leather seat in my klcc office nicely when i got a call yesterday evening.

and just like that, i'm back in bangkok ... and will be there till the end of this week. which means i'll miss muz's farewell, and also miss my normal saturday routine. sigh. no driving range, can't pretend the golf balls are my boss and hit them into oblivion and beyond ... sigh ...

and this is what i will be missing this week ...

just because i have the view ... :-)

here's one view of kl, overlooking the jalan sultan ismail - jalan ampang junction from level 70 on petronas tower 2

the financial and shopping districts are all viewed from here. see times square? it's raining when this was taken, so the lighting is bad.

mbf tower, kampung baru and batu caves in the distance. jeles le ...

the infamous and always jammed jalan p ramlee and jalan ampang junction. if it's not jammed, it must be (a) chinese new year (b) hari raya (c) closed because got vip visit (d) in your dreams

07 November 2005

first day back in office ...

it's my first day back in the office today in klcc .... not much have changed, except that my cubicle is like a mini store for unwanted hardware ... and my african violet is on the verge of dying ... tsk tsk ...

the first day back at work was a breeze, i didn't get much to do, not much in terms of phone calls as well, so maybe it was a slow way to break me in back to the rhythm of a desk job. i'll miss the fast and furious action associated with a job on site, but after the hustle of last year, i'm more than happy to get a little 'break'.

i took a whole week off last week, and people weren't informed - intentional - because i wanted to have real peace. if i was telling people, i'd probably had a busier week in bangkok. i was up to my neck with work, and i didn't even had time to pack until saturday. lucky for me i had been planning this home trip for a while now, so i had been bringing things back bit by bit.

still, i had to leave some stuffs in bangkok. dee was the lucky receipient of my in-house fountain, and my memo pad and the old iron. thanks to him for the 100 pipers box ... (just the box, but the immigration officer @ klia really tot that i'm bringing back a box of whisky) ... and for the ride to the airport. i've never taken so many stuff on my flights before. so i needed the ride ... thanks loads.

now, it's back to the grind here in msia, i hope. i don't expect to be travelling that much over the next month or so ... i hope to get some time to organize my house. traffic to work today wasn't so bad, got to work (albeit by breaking the speed limit) within 30 minutes, which is a record for a non public holiday. hope that will stay the same at least for the time being. my ageing car is starting to drink petrol like a hungry irishman drinking guiness.

31 October 2005

selamat hari raya

i went thru the motions at the immigration, waited for 25 minutes for my 4 pieces of check in baggage and got myself an airport taxi home .... i returned after finishing a whole year's tour of duty in bangkok ... another year in my company. this one, not even mentioned, although this is my 5th anniversary with the company on 23 october ...

my luck was good ... i remarked to myself when i saw the empty queue at exit 3 at the klia arrival hall. better still the fact that i am getting one of those newer daewoo taxis, not the dilapilated proton wiras ...

anyway, since i had so many bags, including 1 humongous golf bag, i had to sit in the front passanger seat .. the back seats were all filled with luggage.

immediately, i struck a conversation with the old pakcik who's driving ....

driver : sigh ... another bandar kinrara trip
moz : uh, what's wrong with that ?
driver : nothing, just that i'm not going to make the quota
moz : really, what's the quota ?

and thus we started a conversation.

it turned out that he had been driving airport taxis for the last 6 years, and the month of ramadhan has always been poor, with very few passangers, but this year was doubly bad.

he had been driving since 6 in the morning, and only had 3 trips, and the total fare is not sufficient to cover his rental, maintenance and fuel costs. it appears that you need to make around rm 230 daily to start making profit. and even with my trip at around 8:30 pm, he is just on around rm 160.

we started talking about how expensive the daewoos are to maintain, how the rent and maintenance eats into the profit, and how the darn airport limo company and government doesn't give a damn about the driver's welfare (which they pay on their own ... i think around rm18 is charged daily into a welfare fund).

and he went on to tell me how he won't be able to return to his kampung in besut, terengganu this year because he doesn't have any money, that he only has enough money to get new clothes for his 2 youngest children.

he went on about how expensive it is for him to put his eldest child thru uitm's nursing course, even with government help, which he gets since he is a bumiputra.

i couldn't really do much to console the pakcik, who must be feeling quite bad about missing his family during the raya. i know how it feels, i have been away from the country very often myself, and i miss the family gatherings, the family weddings, the mid autumn festivals and the winter solstices ... but i really feel bad for him. he kept telling me that when he left besut, his daughter was only 1 year old, and now she's 7 - and he feels guilty for missing all her growing up years, but he had to feed his family of 6 children.

he complainted about his ungrateful sons who seem to be spending away his money with reckless abandon.

i shared some of my own experience of hardship in my younger days, though i don't think i come close to him in terms of troubled times experience. i hope it will make him feel better, that we all will go through our share of bad times, and hard work is the only feasible way for us common people to make a better life.

our conversation ended when we reached my home. home sweet home to me, another trip for him to hope to make some money today.

to him, and all the others who won't be able to celebrate raya in their kampung, selamat hari raya, maaf zahir dan batin.

to those who are fortunate enough to be spending time with family, drive safely on your way home, cherish the time with your family, and don't forget to be thankful and grateful for what you have. what you don't have you can get by working hard for it, as long as you dare to dream, the will and good health to pursue your dreams.

29 October 2005

the bow: final blog from bangkok

i'm suddenly becoming nostalgic ... after all, today is my next to last day in bangkok, and after a year, i'm suddenly facing up to the fact that i'm moving on. and i've finally downloaded a song i first heard in college that i've had in my download list on emule the last 4 months ... but it's worth every bit of it ...

while this is not the first time i've spent so much time away from kl ... i did spend 1.5 years in brisbane at university, then 9 months in taipei in my first job, bangkok is probably the first city where i actually develop a strong attachment to ... like a place i can call home away from my dear malaysia.

my first impression of bangkok when i first came around in 1999 was a hectic place with very fast pace of life, strange speaking people and deceiving tuktuk drivers.

those impressions held up in this trip. i did a very hectic job - achieving quite a bit in a pretty short time, but i do realise that the people here can have a very nice lifestyle, with plenty of parties, little tea (or coffee) sessions. the language does sound strange, but i've learnt enough thai since to carry at least the very basic conversation. i sometimes sound like a broken dvd, since my thai vocabulary is still very limited, but i understand enough to not get fooled by tuktuk drivers who are trying to tell me the grand palace is closed and they will take me to another place instead to visit some impressive temples.

i love bangkok for the mix of things that seem unlikely ... the traditional thai values, like the friendly wai, surviving in the megapolis amongst the sky-scrapers. the humbling traffic jams that cap the pace of life. the great food you can get in a small family restaurant next to a klong, at a price you thought was impossible.

in my little more than a year's stay in bangkok, i've grown so fond of this place i'm telling people bangkok is my second home. i know i will return time and again, if not to bangkok, then to some other part of thailand. i know the place by heart. i am more familiar with some places in bangkok and the surrounding areas bettter than some locals do.

i'm so glad i got this assignment, i'm so glad i came, i'm so glad God had in this plans to have me here to see the things i saw, do the things i did and know the people i call friends.


you can always tell my mood by the songs i keep repeating on my ipod mini. i've always had this thing where if i find i song i like, i'll repeat it incessantly, like no other songs existed. through my life there had been some number of songs that had this effect on me ...

during my younger days, when all the family had was a battery operated radio and pirated music means cassette tapes from pasar malam, michael jackson's beat it kept looping. i was, of course, in primary school.

and then i graduated to more mature stuff, new kids on the block. i still cringe those days when i kept playing step by step over and over. how was that possible in me ? this was in my secondary school days. i didn't have much interest in music and looping songs over and over since i still subxisted on the battery operated radio.

then college came, and i discovered the walkman. i had an aiwa walkman ... it was the pride of my possessions in tar college. and of course, then, i discovered canto pop. can't avoid cantopop when you're surrounded by chinese schooled people. it was such a culture shock to me.

the song was already a classic by then, but i discovered jacky cheung very late ... and kept repeating the wait till my heart is broken. and other jacky cheung classics. today, he is still my preferred chinese artist, but i think cantopop is in decline, and now is the time for taiwanese pop star.

the next big star to capture my imagination was david tao, in this breakout album, also called david tao. this was long before anyone else in malaysia even knew he existed, when i worked in taiwan. his song, i love you was recorded onto a cassette over and over and played in my car while i drive. my ex girlfriend actually once told me to burn that cassette, that she was sick of it.

i also had such craze with songs like enter sandman, metallica's claim to fame; michael and victor's zhang xing; jay zhou's ke ai nu ren (cute girl); leo ku's oi yu chen;

lately, i've fell in love with 2 thai songs. doobadoo's mai chai poo chai (not a man), a charleston big band, swing style song with a very upbeat tune to it. it appears to be a very humorous song, but i don't know enough thai to fully comprehend it ... sounds like a song about how a girl can't make the first move because she's a woman, not a man ...

and bird thongchai mcintyre's oh la nor .. my love, the latest craze in thailand. it's a very upbeat song with a great dance track and a music video featuring 5 top thai models/actresses. what's not to like about that?


i'm suffering from thai food withdrawal symptom. any real good thai restaurants in the puchong / cheras / damansara area ? i mean thai restaurant serving real thai food. not the watered down, localised thai stuff? appreaciate any suggestions.

27 October 2005

favorite thai memory #2: friends

you won't be able to convince me that there are rude thais .... the people are simply polite to a tee.

and once you learn to mingle with them, and know how to strike a conversation with the thais, then you have a verey good time.

thais are simply friendly, no question.

see if you can spot my real good friends amongst these pictures ...

to all my team members, be they from my own company or be they from the customer, the lessons i learn from each one of you makes me a richer person, wealthier by the experience of knowing you.

for you thai friends, you can be assured that if you find me in thailand, i'll definately look you up. if you find yourself in malaysia, the least in can do for you is to return the hospitality and show my how beautiful my own country is. i'll look forward to seeing you folks ...
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26 October 2005

memories of thailand #1: ayutthaya

one of my favorite places in thailand is the ancient capital city of ayutthaya.

located some 80 kms from the present day capital, bangkok, ayutthaya recalls the glorious days of the thai kingdom. it has an air of dignity and glory, although all that is left today are mainly ruins of temples and palaces.

sacked my an invading burmese army after a long siege, when ayutthaya was recaptured, it was too badly destroyed for rebuilding, and the thai king taksin moved the capital down to thonburi, across the river from present day bangkok.

the king after king taksin, king rama I, moved the capital to bangkok.

row 1, l-r (1 & 2) wat yai chai mongkon built to commemorate a victory over burma, (3-5) wat phra si sanphet the former royal temple. the chedis here are duplicated in the present day grand palace's wat phra keow.

row 2, l-r (1) wat phra si sanphet (2-4) wat mahathat the largest ruins visited, home to the famous buddha head in the bodhi tree root, possibly the most photographed antique in thailand (5) wat chai wattanaram an angkor styled temple, a curiousity in an area filled with ayutthaya / sukhothai styled temples, simply the best of the historical ruins in terms of atmosphere

row 3, l-r (1-3) bang pa in palace a former summer retreat favored by the late king rama v, a complex of palaces and buildings of various types, one reason why i hope to be a royal family member ... (4) wat yai chai mongkon's famous reclining buddha (5) king naresuan monument dedicated to he who liberated ayutthaya by winning a cock fight (no kidding)

row 4, l-r (1) elephant ride, ayutthaya (2) wat na pramane here's the oldest buddha statue in thailand in a working temple, the 1600 years old buddha was brought in from sri langka (3 & 5) wat chai wattanaram (4) the central chedi (phukao thong) a thai chedi built on a burmese base

row 5, l-r (1) sai mai, the sweet snack made of flour pancakes (like roti biasa) with sweet, colored candy, an ayutthaya must taste (2) the traditional thai house converted into a restaurant that all 3 of my different hosts coincidentally took me to for lunch in ayutthaya ... it must be really good (3) wat panan cheong a giant buddha in a 800 years old temple (4) more elephant rides (5) tuks tuks in ayutthaya are very different from the ones in bangkok
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24 October 2005

last week working in thailand

i'm posting this with very mixed feeling .... this will be the last week i spend working in thailand. after this, who knows?

here's what i'll miss really really really much about being in thailand, working, vacationing and all that action here ....

  • the friendliness of the people. it's amazing how much a smile can do to the weary soul, more so from total strangers. even bargaining sessions are pleasant, and best results come from being friendly and having a sense of humor. isn't that how it should be?
  • the bangkok sky train and underground ... they have served me extremely well. i'll miss the days when i can use public transport and be relatively reliable in predicting when i'll reach my destination. it's back to the dreaded drive when i'm back in kl.
  • the cultural heritage that is preserved. it's amazing to see girls with shocking pink hair having a prayer in a thai temple. and how they have embraced western culture while keeping their own undiminished. i wish i can do that better with my own culture.
  • the food. while i don't think i have the stomach for all the spices in some of the thai food, i generally had a good food time in thailand. my favorites include tom kha gai, tom yum goong, pad thai goong, hor muk, som tum, tod man goong. you will see that i really enjoy mildly spicy stuff .. nothing with the kee mao stuff.
  • songkran - the sheer exuberence of this country-wide water fight celebrating the thai new year is really a nation wide party. in the height of summer, when the weather is so unbearably hot, a water fight is god-sent. plus, you get to see lots of girls in wet tee shirts.
  • thai temples. i know this is a little strange, but those who know me will agree that i'm really nuts about some of the temples in thailand. once the center of community activities, today, they are religious schools and pillars of the buddhist faith in thailand. plus, some of these places have so much culture and history in them. i absolutely love wat phra keow and wat po in bangkok.
  • the up-country visits. in thailand, up-country simply means out of bangkok. i've had numerous little trips over my weekends here to places that are simply amazing. river markets, temples, beaches, islands, mountains, animal reserves ... you name it. thanks dee, nuclear, surin, goong, kai and the others for your generous time and hospitality.
  • the pubs and partying. i'm not a party animal, i stay at home when i can. but i'm still very impressed with the pubs down in bangkok. of course, dee's pub i spent a lot of time in, but the places in khao san, thonglor and near ram intra areas are great.
  • my friends .... while i leave with a heavy baggage, thanks to all the shopping, i'm equally heavy in the heart. my friends, dee, nuclear, goong, surin, p' nung ... thanks for the generous hospitality, the time, the patience and the unconditional acceptance of me as a friend. how can words express my gratitude and friendship. i'm already missing you guys already ...

i have some work to finish tonight, but i'll put up my favorite memories of bangkok in my next post soon.

25 September 2005

bali report card - day 1

bali day 1: 11 august 2005

[warning - lots of pictures ahead. slow download is a real possibility]

too much work and not enough play had made my life miserable lately. the people are nice and the places i get to go is great, but even machines have preventive maintenance. we have not found perpetual motion machinery, because everything is meant to have a break every once in a while.

i decided that i needed a break when i started becoming grumpy and stressed out from all the work i've been doing. true enought that the professional part of things is going well, but at a personal level, i'm all messed up, and this break was godsent.

< leaving kuala lumpur. here's the kl i left, haze and all. it was literally choking down there in kl. the haze from sumatra forest fires pushed the air pollution index up about 500 points by the time i left. i thought i was leaving bangkok, where i was based to cleaner air back home. yeah, right.

taiko also had a lot of free time and decided to join me at bali. since he had been in bali only about a month back, i'm counting on him to be my bali guide, or at least, bali advisor.

> mt rinjani? and here we were nearly in bali when a volcano peeked out of the clouds. i believe this is mt. rinjani, over lombok, an island to the east of bali. i'm making this assumption based on the shape of the crater lake (not visible from this picture). rinjani is a major attraction, and supposedly a good track. maybe i'll do this someday.

we arrived in bali on a full air asia flight around 2 at noon. a quick taxi ride to our hotel in legian, followed by a quick check in and i went about happily for a quick snack at a small restaurant opposite our hotel.

damage assessment:
taxi ride = 30,000 rp from the airport to legian.
quick snack = 90,000 rp for a pizza, 2 desserts, 2 deliciously delicious fresh fruit juice.

< snackerlicious: my snack ... the great banana flambe @ la monde restaurant opposite my hotel. the hot banana went very well with the cold cold ice cream, and the orange + cognac sauce sealed the deal. i'm sold.

the slogan for the restaurant? "helping ugly people have sex since 1892". yes, those who can't get sex, remember: la monde restaurant, jalan padma in legian, bali.

ayu at the reception remembered taiko from his previous trip to bali, where he stayed at the same hotel, and we took the opportunity to make our transportation arrangements for our trip.

and also the dinner for tonight at jimbaran. i heard it's good, taiko says it's good, so it must be good. looking forward to dinner :-) we stayed at the cheapest hotel in the air asia go holiday package, the saphir mabisa hotel in legian. i figured i won't be spending much time in the hotel, and i was right.

saphir mabisa inn hotel, legian. a simple hotel for simpletons like me.

< low rise. saphir mabisa inn from across the street, taken from the la monde restaurant. one thing i admire about bali is the distinct lack of high rise development. there is a lack of high rise clutter that characterises gold coast or hawaii.

Saphir Mabisa Inn Hotel < $12 view. i suppose for a dirt cheap price, this is about as good a view as you'd get. here, the view from the room. if you squint really hard and if you're a trained forensic scientist, you could just about see the sea off the beach in legian. when the waves are strong, you can hear the boom when it hits the shore.

< ventilated lobby. here's the open air reception lobby at the saphir mabisa. it's very cosy, like most of the hotel. i must say that the staff is friendly and do make you feel very much at home.

< blue blue pool. here's the pool at saphir mabisa. small and cosy, it makes the place look much classier than it really is. it's a low rise hotel with a very family feel to it.

then i went out to the beach at legian near our hotel. near is a little deceiving.

i can hear the booming waves from the room, i can peek out and see some sea between the trees, but walking to the beach involves walking.

first, walk along the main road on jalan padma, then turning into a small lane (small == 2 people walking side by side) towards the bali niksoma, then turning into a smaller lane (smaller lane == 1.5 people walking side by side), then turning into an even smaller lane (even smaller lane == single file. if you're a fatso, don't attempt this lane).

amazingly, the lanes are all shared with motorcycle traffic. for variety's sake, there are a few 90 degree turns thrown in. nice.

< natural litter. shells litter the entire shoreline, along with corals, crabs and surfers ! that bali is a volcanic island (with active volcanoes) explains the blackish sand

< my favourite bali pic. a piece of coral on the beach. the beach has brownish sand that turns dark brown when it's wet.

< checking out the surf. that's me before i started to fall into a hypnotic trance induced by the waves. i ended up taking a plunge although i was not dressed nor prepared to swim. this is at legian, just next to kuta. i later read that this is a friendly surf suitable for beginners

< all the sand in the world the long stretch of beach you see here is from kuta at the far end to legian where i stood when i took the photo. the surfing season is almost in full swing, around september.

< wave power i fell in love with the booming waves @ the entire beach. i was telling myself these are pretty powerful waves i am seeing, but i would later learn that these are in fact genteel things compared to the uluwatu monsters.

what a world of difference from the smoky haze i left behind in malaysia ! just the feeling of sand between my toes, the gentle winds on my face, and the sound of ocean waves pounding the beach made my entire day. all my worries disappeared that instance. in bali, beaches either have black or white sand. the beaches in kuta, legian and seminyak (which is really a single unobstructed stretch of beach) are all black because of the volcanic soil. in fact, beaches along the western coast of south bali all have black sand. beaches on the eastern coast have white sand. nusa dua is the most famous eastern beach.

we made it in time to catch our 5 p.m. transfer to jimbaran for seafood / sunset. we were driven to jimbaran in the famous indonesian kijang to our dinner. we arrived at around 5.40 p.m. and promptly selected our dinner - 2 fishes, a very stubborn crab and some mussels.

our table was the facing the beach, looking into the setting sun, the sea and the beach. i set up the tripod and got myself ready for some dinner / photography session.

< strolling kevinchai walking along the jimbaran bay beach, near the seafood restaurants. the opposite shores in the background is where the intercontinental and four seasons is located.

< enjoying balinese beer tripod all set, and seafood ordered, the next thing to do is to sit down to a bottle of bintang beer.

< before our seafood, selected fresh. two fishes, a crab and mussels. the crab fought hard for dear live, and nearly gave the handler at the restaurant a nasty bruise.

< after finally, the food got here. looks delicious, doesn't it? unfortunately, looks are often deceiving. in this case, the fishes were great but the crab was crappy, and the rest so-so.

< glowing till the end sun setting at jimbaran beach, and some sea lovers took the last opportunity for a dip before sun's down. the small strip of land in the background is the runway of the ngurah rai international airport in bali. there's a small fishing village next to the airport, the source of all the seafood consumed along this coast.

< kaleidascope sun has set, but nature's display has just begun ... the colors of the sky reminded me that there's plenty of reasons to live a full life.

< calm there's no better way to end a day than to see a beautiful sunset in a beautiful setting. the sound of the waves lapping the shore had a calming effect on me.

< natural show off this is what i call a natural show off. i only wish i chance upon show offs like these more often.

while waiting for the food, i walked along the beach, which had a brownish sand of fine consistency. the waves were big as well, probably good for some body surfing. all along the beach, there were seafood restaurants, all with views of the sea (of course). i discovered that jimbaran is famous for it's grilled seafood, reputedly the best in bali.

seafood arrived before sunset, so i set myself on the food, which was so-so. the famous grilled fish turned alright. what they do is they cut the fish in half, then grill the fish with some mildy spicy sauce. the 2 fishes we ordered turned out a little dry, and the sauce, imho, did not go too well with the fish. the mussels were baked in their shell with a sweet sauce - also so-so, and the crab was boiled - turned out terrible - they probably overboiled the crab - resulting in a very salty, very shrinked crab.

seafood damage assessment:
so-so seafood = 400,000 rp. not very so-so price. not for the food i've been served. :-(

sunset turned out much better than the food did. we had a clear sky, void of clouds, so it was just up to the sun to work up an amazing sunset. the setting sun and the reflections from the sea made a very colorful day's end. a good sunset always make my day. thank goodness the sunset made up for the food.

we were driven to the main street in legian (jalan raya legian), where taiko and i walked along the street, looking for things to shop or photograph. the street is full of shops targeting aussies and surfers, the main visitors to this island. you'll find rip curl, bilabong, quick silver wares all over the place. and tonnes of circle k (our 7-11 counterpart) and also lots of polo shops. i wonder if all those polo shops sell anything? there's probably 1 every 100 yards. taiko bought himself a pair of shade to look cool for the trip.

he broke his pair in the luggage. and then we walked, walked, walked, walked, walked, walked and walked to get back to the hotel. the whole place is all commercialized. hotels, resorts, restaurants, pubs, and discos. you get the idea.

and then - lights out - and i started dreaming about the next day. can't wait to explore the bali i've been sold.

20 September 2005

travelling again

i need to be very careful what i ask for. i was asking as a young child to have plenty of travel experiences.

i am flying so regularly the last 2 years i am a little numb. the experience is so bland nowadays, it's like going thru the motions.


i'll wake up, with a little panic - the bag's not packed yet. the cab's already in front of the house, waiting. i pack em all in, jamming as much clothes as i can, making sure my work shirts won't wrinkle badly, and of course, don't forget the toothbrush and toileteries.


next time, when your child makes a wish like i did, you'll do well to coach him/her to make a more 'solid' wish.

me: i wanna fly a lot ... <- results in a job that requires you to travel lots, work lots and not enjoy the travel.

your kid: i wanna fly a lot, but not because it's a work requirement, not because i'm escaping from the law enforcement agencies, not because i'm escaping creditors, not because i'm a cargo plane pilot .... etc. etc.


here are some snippets of my usual commute to work ... here i am waiting at a flight gate #4 at bangkok international airport. this is one of the few major international airport i've been to where you still need to be driven to your flight (on some, not all flights), and you still enter the plane on a staircase on the tarmac.

i dunno, maybe they ran out of airplace parking spots. or maybe they just have too many employees and need to give them some job. i really don't know.

here, the uncle looks a little like a deer in the light. there's nothing to see behind me. maybe he's just admiring the beautiful ceiling.

i average 2 hours at the airport everytime i take a flight from bangkok international.

bangkok is down there, somewhere. i absolutely love to fly at night. and i absolutely must have a window seat. all these years of flying have not changed my love of gazing out of the window.

most of the time, you really see nothing but clouds or sea, but there are rewarding sights as well. i have flown over uluru (ayers rock), the great barier reef, countless great cities, volcanoes, some pretty beautiful mountains. most of all i love to see the lights of a city when a plane is approaching the runway.

i'm blessed because bangkok happens to be one of the brightest cities in the world, and i do travel there often. i also love hong kong, although now, the airport's pretty far from where the lights used to be.

the worst part about a flight is ... airline meals.

unless you're fortunate enough to always fly on business or first class, you probably never get any haute cuisine experiences.

here's what i typically get on my flights. i avoid rice where possible, i always get myself wine, lots of juice, seafood where available and i drink tea with a small wedge of lemon.

malaysian airlines absolutely suck in my opinion as far as food is concerned. i'm impressed with thai airways and emirates. the much talked about singapore airlines is pretty bad too.

and the best travel companion lately ... the ipod. portable music players have made my travels so much more bearable.

nothing beats the ability to listen to the songs i want when i want where i want and as many times as i want.

on shorter haul flights when the only thing shown on the airplane av system are mr bean re-runs or happiness on earth (thailand) promotional videos, having my own ipod mini is godsent.

not sure how my travel experience would have been without the ipod.

15 September 2005


just completed all my outstanding expenses claims. i'm like, sleepy.

hope the money will fill up soon in my bank again ...

13 September 2005

thank you, my inefficient government

that sunny june day, i popped into cyberjaya's national registration department office on 1st june, after taking some hard earner leave, to make my mykad. it was quite fine, no large queues, no hassles, quite pleasant actually. then i was told as i was leaving the mykad will take about 1 month.

yeah, right, 1 month in pluto maybe. not on planet earth, and definately not in malaysia.

am f(*&ing disappointed at the efficient government machinery which had either:

not updated the jpn database on the status of my mykad application OR not processed my mykad application

all this after MORE THAN 3 F(&(ING MONTHS ...

is it all that surprising that we are no way near the top in terms of government efficiency ? i don't think i have to add more to this. the following excerpt from thestar is not surprising.

excerpt from articled 'malaysia's world ranking drop to 28th', The Star

i would like to thank the efficient malaysian government for only taking many many months of delay. i'm sure they have no idea why they have slipped from 16th most efficient government to the 26th place. i mean, surely it must take more than 100 days to process your multi purpose government cards. why should someone like me complaint about that?

i think when the civil servants have to be told to cut down on their tea breaks, maybe we're missing the real points, aren't we? and when you need 100 + days to process my little mykad. if there is a commercial entity doing this, it would probably have folded ages ago.

12 September 2005

the tiger city

i'm doing this piece not in response to any pieces out there on the net. more like a response to a conversation i've had with a few folks over dinner a few days ago. so, there, this is independant from other threads of similar discussions elsewhere.


somewhere tucked at the end of the main continent, there lies the world's most efficient city-state. it's a small island just a short swim from the main continent. we'll just call it the tiger city. tiger = "think i greater than eveli-one in the region-ma."

tiger city is a small city. no resources. doesn't mine gold, doesn't have oil wells, doesn't grow marijuana or poppies. like i said, no resources. this city doesn't even have its own supply of drinking water. its water comes from filtered piss and from a nearby nation. so they have to be trading things they don't have a business trading anyways.

its people, who are its treasures, are also the greatest liabilities this city-state has. the efficient people are exactly that: efficient.


my few travels to this city-state/shitty-state revealed to me that they don't smile because they are efficient. smiling requires muscle movements and it's also not in the standard-operating-procedure document. i know, it takes even more muscle movements to frown, so the efficient shitty-zens don't frown as well. not only is that not efficient, it's also a no-no. so they remain expressionless.

same thing applies when they speak. they speak in monotones, and use monosyllabic responses where possible. the inefficient use of slang language is tolerated in this shitty state that prides itself on perfect english (yeah, right). general rule of thumb: every 3 english word must be punctuated with at least 1 hokkien word. no, that's still perfect english hor. you don't know meh?

too comfortable?

the efficiency of this shitty-state creates a comfortable zone for its people. all needs are looked after. buses stop where they should, arrive when they should. trains zoom in and out of their stations on the dot. taxis observe meters all the time. there's a 7-11 everywhere, there are co-op shops everywhere. no one is found wanting, nothing is left to chance. in a country where land is scarce and thus expensive, tiger city has public housing. when the poor suffer, shitty-state government officials give money away. all is well, all are happy, all are looked after.

the consequences of these is that the people don't know how it is like to live in the real world. really. outside this comfort zone, they can't fend for themselves. i can vouch for that.

they whine about other countries they go to that are lesser than they are. in some countries, they don't dare to wear their watches, and change into less branded clothings - they're afraid they will get robbed. in some countries, the roads are crappy, the police is always corrupt. in some countries, they're no queues to board the plane, the toilets are less than clean. the water elsewhere dirty. the food unhygenic. the people rude and inefficient.

tiger-citizens don't understand that they are highly priviledged people living in a small nation controlled by a pretty autocratic, control-freak government. pissing in a lift is an offence there. so is plucking flowers from a public park. or chewing non-prescription chewing gum.

theirs is a society with ob-markers that are only starting to loosen up.

they live a place which has, through the years, transformed into a world class place to stay in. i think now they need to look outwards. they should be thankful and happy about what they have, but it doesn't qualify them from

world: imperfect

the world is not perfect. it is not fair. not every government is relatively corruption free. not all can afford to build all the facilities shitty-state has. few governments in the world pay their civil servants salaries that are on par or better than their private counterparts'. not many can build a water distribution system that is clean and perfect all thru their nation. or a train system that traverses the entire shitty/state/nation. the scales are simply different.

while this country has been very successful, i think their people have a lot of growing up to do. they have to open up to the fact that they live in a world of many inequalities and much problems. when some countries are still struggling to eliminate hardcore poverty, i don't think they can put a streetlight along the entire country long highway that the shitty-zens complain about. and if they're going to speed and pretend they're not, don't complaint about getting booked. and if they are willing to pay the cops bribe, can you honestly just blame the cops?


i have been caught up in debates at times about the shitty state's relations with its neighbours. all i can say is that they are again, efficient but shitty. they are courteous, friendly, but they are pushy. they are always right. they always want to win and get the final say. and the others are always wrong.

yes, that's the mentality you need to succeed, but that's how you piss people off too. a little bit of tact hurts nobody (i know i lack that, but that's besides the point, isn't it?). what's wrong with admitting that you can be wrong too. or that you can't always be right? ada apa dengan ego?

if tiger city hadn't had alliances with the world's super bully, i think it would've had some very hostile situations over some of its behaviour. and of course, there's the jealousy thing its neighbours might have.

tiger city

i understand how tiger city works and respect and admire what they have achieved so far. while they are far from perfect, they have achieved thru their own efforts what many nations can only dream of. they are a society built on meritoracy. my own country is someways behind that. my country will no doubt, someday reach the heights tiger city reached. still i love my country, warts and all, now and forever.

i wish for tiger citizens to understand that they don't have the right to always be right. the world is not perfect and not an extension of their perfect little comfort zone. a bit more international understanding will go a long way. and please, we have better food. when was the last time we folks from the mainland went to your island for food?

10 September 2005

tired, sick and happy about it

my body is my best friend. really.

i have been working late for the past week, all trying to get a demo out to the customer in time and create a good impression, that will, hopefully, make things easier for my transition out of this country to another project.

my body reacted to all the work and lack of sleep. i'm currently having a sore throat and a nasal congestion. i'm down with flu. gosh. and i'm happy. i missed my orphanage this morning because of this; i really wanted to visit the orphanage, but i can't - the flu forced me to stay in bed.

and that's why i'm happy. next to the normal 21 days of vacation i have every year (which i have plenty of left - still have something like 36 days of vacation), when i get to slow down, i have been working myself down to a grind all the time. that's why i'm happy whenever i'm sick - it's the only times when i get a break from the routine.

so here i am blogging away instead of writing reports and chasing documents.


i took 3 friends to the bangkok marriot resort on the chao phraya river in thonburi, across the river from bangkok. we took the sky train from ari to saphan taksin, then took a short walk to the central pier where we boarded a converted rice barge to the marriot resort.

the resort is beautiful, and on the river terrace restaurant, you have a dinner buffet and traditional thai dances on show.

the buffet spread was amazingly generous, not the normal ku-hon hotel fares you'll find in kl. i mean, not even the mandarin oriental spread can't compare to this. it takes 5 minutes just to walk the entire spread - bbq seafood, mongolian hotplate, teppanyaki, italian, indian, thai, chinese, sushi & sashimi, noddles, sweets, ice cream, fruits and confectionaries. it's food heaven.

i had 5 courses of food, plenty of drinks and some ice-cream too. good stuff, excellent atmosphere with music and traditional thai dance shows plus good food and company. so i had a good time. the boat ride to and fro was excellent as well.

damage is a modest thb 4994 ~ rm 450.


dee's arundo restaurant opens today. well, not exactly, it's the grand opening today, but it's been open like forever. there's an alcohol buffet, which i intend to participate, so i'll try to nurse myself back to health for that. :-))

07 September 2005

life or something like it

i'm just beginning to get life back. the laptop i have previously failed last week and there was a huge void created. no games, no blogging, no working, no surfing. emptiness prevailed for a weekend.

immediately after getting it back from ibm techsupport, the ol' lady failed on saturday. guess it was time.

i was issued this replacement, but this laptop was incompletely configured, so i struggled for another 2 days before i got it to work.

so, life i now back to a little normal. things are better. but i'm still missing the old lady. she's got more meat. i heard that the old lady's hard drive might be ... ** gosh ** ... corrupted. praying hard that it'll be ok. heard it support is backing up my data even as i blog.

now, once i'm done with the backlogged work, i'll migrate the bali blogs. this time, i'm for real.

05 September 2005

replacement killer

sigh ... i am issued a replacement pc for the time being. i'm on a stylish portege 3480ct toshiba that was formally the country director's.

it's a nice simple pc, like that new expensive vaio. but it's painfully slow. i think you gain some and loose some. i'll miss my t40 while its back in ibm for servicing.

my logon is so long i can walk from klcc to avenue k, get some ice cream, then come back and still see the logon process on-going.


this means my bali blog migration will take longer. the pictures are all on the other pc.

pc out again

sigh ... my trusty t40 had died again. she would come to life ever so soon, but would die all too soon too. sigh.

would resume my blogging once that's fixed and all the work backlogs related to this incident has been cleared.

02 September 2005

back from the dead

she's back !! i mean the laptop's back after a bit of tender screwing about, had its internal ripped out and replaced, and will a bit of lube, oil and wax, the t40's back from the dead. thank you, ibm support !!!

there was an emptiness in my life, one that felt like knowing the universe is ending soon, the feeling of void so obvious multiplied by infinity and plunged into the unending depths of a black hole. that's what the laptop means to me.

my hands were shaking, lost without the keyboard underneath it to stroke. my nose ran so hard, i only found it 20 minutes later, buried in a pile of used tissue paper. my eyes turned misty when i thought of the empty space on my desk where she would normally be on. oh, my t40, i miss you more than words.

this morning when tech support handed her back to me, the first touch sent shivers thru me, i felt a small spark just when i was about to caress her smooth cover. when i finger fumbled and found her power button, i shudder in my thoughts ... what if she's not back. had she changed? had she undergone trauma so great her former self will be lost forever? would she be an empty shell in her former body?

alas, i think too much. i thought too much. she came back to life with a small flicker. she's back. she's here with me. she was responsive, but like her old self, teasingly slow at times. she was there for me, at my command, but just once in a while, she reminded me she's there, she slowed down.

that i am even typing this blog this moment is a testament to the will and strength of the ibm tech support people. as i walked away from the tech support, i gave a small sigh of relief, and held her tightly by me. you're not going anywhere soon, girl.

and, welcome back.


so it's back to the grind for the moment. my next project would be to try and put in my bali adventures into this blog. just wanna compare the speed with the other blog i keep.