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.

01 September 2005

what gender is your brain

bored outta my brains, so i surfed around and found this .... apparently there is a test to see what gender your brain is. and i'm mostly male, but that's if you don't factor in the compulsory margin of error.


Your Brain is 46.67% Female, 53.33% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve


so what does that make me? and does it mean if i'm more f brain than m brain i become a gay?

i'm not sure i consider a mix of m and f brain to be healthy. and i'm not sure how can one be rational and wear his heart on his sleeve. how? how? how??

and goodness gracious me, i'm only 6% from becoming more f than m. maybe it's time to reconsider the hormone tests dr soon prescribed for the annual checkup.
and no more soya bean drinks. and i'm going to throw away all those pink t-shirts el pronto.


wtf man? what'll they come up with next? what gender is your penis? what gender are your boobs? like:

Your Penis is 45% Female, 55% Male

Your penis is a healthy mix of male and female (yin and yang)
Your penis are both sensitive yet hard, tense yet pulsing with lurve
You make love like a man, but you scream like a woman
And you tend to come waaaaay too early

Your Boobs are 67% Female, 33% Male

Your boobs are overwhelmingly female, which is expected
Your boobs are hard to arouse, requiring plenty of licking and bites
Since it's still 1/3 male, your boobs are unbalanced
And yes, the 1/3 male-ness accounts for the nipple hair


sprucing up my site

the laptop's out till next morning, at least, so now i'm surviving on a pc in the corner of the thailand office, right next to the printer. i'm reminding myself not to blog anything stupid since i'm like a sitting duck when i'm sitting here.

i am starting to dress up this blog site. just registered for a traffic counter. now, there's good and bad things about adding a counter for a freak like me. on my other blog site, the moment i added my counter, i started tracking it day and night .... i'll be addicted to traffic stats. and the sobering thing about that is, i don't get any bloody hits. of course you don't get hits. my other blog site is meant for close friends only. i never had any expectations that the whole world would see it.

let's see if i can break the other blogs record for daily visitors. i'm expecting 30 visitors in a single day here. let's see. venti latte to anyone who becomes the 31st visitor. (collect your venti latte at a starbucks near you, quote dubya bush when you collect the latte).

so i'm hoping that'll be the case here - that i won't be getting internet withdrawal symptoms if i stop getting traffic stats for this blog. i really don't expect much people to peek in here anyways.


i'm wondering if there's any health warning about sitting next to the office printer. perhaps noise pollution warning ?

everytime someone stops by, i spend 5 minutes talking about the same old things, you know, how's work, how's life, how come your in thailand for 1 bloody year and still don't have a girlfriend, how come you look so dark when you claim to be working only?

it feels like i need to call a town hall meeting to update everyone before i can start doing anything. or maybe i should direct them all to this website. maybe that'll make 30 visitors daily.

laptop out of commission

the faithful t40 has its main board broken, and thankfully, ibm thailand is a short walk away. i'm hoping i'll get the laptop back trow morning.

in the meantime, i'm surviving on the good grace of laptops that are parked around the office without passwords set on their screen savers or when people leave their laptops about without locking the screen.

me thinks i'll be in the office today instead of being on-site.

yes, i am old now

yes, i'm officially old. i'm 29-fucking-years-old now. not today, on 31 august 2005. my birthday is my country's national day.

what a landmark. i feel every bone in my body creaking. every time i fall, i might need hip replacement surgery. and if i don't start to play chinese chequers daily, i'll soon loose all my mental faculties.

i started working early, when i'm 21, so i didn't appreciate the experiences that life can throw at you that will toughen you up and build your character. you know, they say what don't break you will make you stronger. uh, not always true.

29-fucking-years-old, and none the wiser. my family thinks i'm doing decently at work. my friends think i'm pretty successful at what i'm doing. my colleagues happen to think i have brighter days ahead. what do they know? i'm actually still struggling to find my own way around ... i still don't know what i want.

i'm not sure if i'll plod along in life and soak up the whole journey and not care if i don't find what i want. after all, life's supposed to be a journey, not a destination, right? what do the people who say that know?

i'm actually desperate to know my reason for being, my calling, my destiny. i want to know what the hell am i supposed to be doing here anyways? am i a small cog in a gigantic wheel? am i a big fish in a small pond? what the hell am i?

shit, i'm thinking all these things, and i'm just 29-fucking-years-old. most folks my age will be trying to figure out how to buy a house, a car or that shiny 2 carat wedding ring. i actually don't care about those things. i want to walk the path less travelled.

i want to life an interesting life. one that is full of discovery and surprises. one with adventure. yeah, right, maybe i should be a national geographic photographer. :-) ... that's something i can do :-)

maybe i can be a treasure hunter. imagine all the industry contacts you'll have - lara croft and indiana jones. i'll bet i can make some guys jealous just by having coffee with lara croft at starbucks.

maybe i can be a sailor. yes, you've got it - a woman at each port of call. problem with that is all that time i'll have to spend with my hand between ports.

maybe i can be a fireman. i used to wear my potty on my head and run around the house putting out imaginary fires when i was young.

maybe i can be he-man, master of the universe. perks of the job will include very casual working attire and shiny sword. and of course, you might become guest speaker at the annual super heroes conference.

heck, as far as job is concerned, the practical chinese guy in me is saying that a desk job is just fine. the boy in me wants to break free from the confines of the office cubical, the glass ceiling and the corporate rat race. maybe i'll find out in the times to come, maybe i'll plod along until i find my true calling.


i keep saying it's not important, but for some reason, deep down inside, it appears like some nerve, gene or something in me is pleading for miss right to appear. can't explain that.

actually, it's not all that important to me. i don't have a target or timeline to meet miss right. i've never rushed things like these since it's going to be one of those decisions that will stick around for a long time. and believe me, it's unfair to the girl too if you rush things thru. the girl deserves the security of love and caring, and ought to be cherished for life. the guy needs to be very sure he'll be sticking around here thru thick and thin, and that he won't be burdened, come what may. i'll let things be, and i''m kinda sure in due time, she'll turn up.

to my buddies who always ask me why i'm so nonchalant about this whole thing, here's what i have to say:

you can't grow these things - otherwise the us people will be trying to create gmo love. you can't buy these things, otherwise, the happiest people in the world would be all those middle east oil tycoons. you can't compromise these things too, because the hurt will be twice the initial ecstasy. i'll stick to my own pace, and i'll love myself in the meantime. you know, that's not a bad thing to do.


shit, it's really late and i've still got a stack of claims i want to do. catch up later.