02 January 2009

Here we go, yet once more ...

What did I do on 1st Jan 2009? Nothing unusual - there were no wild celebrations, no countdown parties, no resolutions, no partying ... I think age does that to people ... done it once, done it all ... it's just the start of yet another day, really. And if we didn't live in a world of western influence, it would have been just another day, you know. The Chinese Lunar calendar says that the new year is still nearly a month away ! =P

I did have a little drink myself in my room, just because there's a lot of liquor there I haven't touched for a long time now.

2008 was a great ride ... here's a short recollection of the things I want to remember from 2008 ...

Releasing turtles into the South China Sea

This trip nearly didn't happen ... and I don't quite remember why already ... but boy, was I glad I went anyways! The feeling of releasing precious little turtle hatchlings into the sea ... I think I caught of glimpse of the feeling a parent will feel when they put their child at school on the first day of schooling. There's pride, mixed up with some uncertainty, with a prayer thrown into the equation. It's a nice feeling, really.

The food is quite good too - look out for Pak Su's restaurant in Kuantan - and just order crabs - and lobsters if you don't have budgetary contraints!

Taking a boat ride in the storm from Penang to Langkawi

[Sorry, no photo for this section, was busy hanging on for dear life in the boat !]

Alicia and I had this short trip to Penang and Langkawi, and the plan was to drive to Penang, then to take a ferry over to Langkawi. The weather wasn't supposed to be bad that time of the year, but we didn't really factor in the global warming situation - cyclone Nargis hit Myanmmar just days before. When we boarded the ferry, we didn't know we were going to be in for the worst boat rides of our lives. Nearly from the start of the journey, the boat was rocked side to side in the stormy seas. An Arab couple on the boat who had prepared themselves for a smooth, comfy rides (with Pringles and other snacks) found themselves hogging the rubbish bin instead, furiously throwing up. When the boat crew started handing out vomit bags, it really hit home how stormy it really is.

Alicia slept through the whole ordeal, while I peeked around from time to time. Once, the boat rocked so far (or the storms surged so high), a school of fish actually slammed into the window next to our seats. We were both really pleased to be back on terra firma in Langkawi, as is, I presume, the rest of the boat !

Penang & Langkawi !!

Finally took Alicia to Penang & Langkawi ! We enjoyed the food (three cheers to Char Kway Teow & Assam Laksa), walked the historic Georgetown, visited the hills in Penang, and then drove around in a ricketty Proton Wira around Langkawi ... food is great, scenery excellent, the experience - simply unforgettable.

One thing's for sure, we'll be back! Penang for the food and the history, and Langkawi for the natural beauty. Just don't make me take a boat to Langkawi anymore !

Hong Kong Meet

I met a whole bunch of my peers in Hong Kong, part of a leadership programme meeting. My job takes me travelling to a lot of places, but I normally meet customers and other technical people. They're all great, and I am thankful for that experience, but meeting people in the company who're all in the same leadership development program is such an eye opener.

It's great to learn that corporate giants are humans in the end, and that there isn't really a substitute for hard work, common sense and decency. It made me feel a lot better about my own ambitions, that it won't necessarily turn me into some cold corporate monster !

I definately felt re-energized after this meet!

Sydney !

Spent nearly a month in Sydney - and got reacquainted to its sights and sounds. This time, I decided to venture further, and also visited Hunter Valley as well. It's always good to be back in Australia. I really consider Australia a home away from home after my uni days there.

Other honorable mentions:

The Cameron Highland vacations was quite good too - I just had to over do it by going twice - and the experience we had on our second trip wasn't all that good. Someone explain to me again why did I pay high prices for hotel rooms when the whole place was choking with traffic and school holiday crowd?

My decision to put together a workout plan and to stick to it is starting to pay off. I'm definitely feeling more energetic. This means better concentration at work, and better all round personal life too.

I've always voted, so voting on 8rd March wasn't a big deal in that sense. But when I cast my vote that day, I did it with hope. I could sense the quiet discontent, and I decided to vote with a clear mind instead of with fear. I hate to say this, but previously, my votes have been swayed with fear - certain people have always told me if I voted differently, the whole country will descend into chaos. Well, it looks like it's going to descend into chaos no matter how I voted, so I might as well try out something new. I am still feeling good about it !

In 2009, I decide that I will put my own health as my first priority. I realised in the past year that I am not that young anymore, and I definately can feel the body giving me messages, telling me to look after it better. You know, it's cliched - but there is but only one me. Better look after that me better. In a way, it's my responsibility to the ones I love - I'd hate to see them suffer because I'm not in good health !


Che-Cheh said...

Happy New Year 2009!

You had a wonderful 2008.

I know how you feel when you said you were hanging to dear life in the ferry. What I encountered was in a boat... open-aired boat, stormy, raining heavily...AHHHHHHH!

Yes we better take care of our health. Without that we can't enjoy the company we have and every other things.

Anonymous said...

Gong hei fatt choy!!