Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Camera



After selling my old camera Sony F717 to my colleague, I bought a new Sony again 3 days ago – DSLR-A300K. Gosh… I look quite professional when it hangs on my neck though it was heavier.

I was thinking to buy a Canon or Nikon, but the price of the same spec costs 25% higher. I hope this new piece won’t disappoint me…

China Trip

Couldn’t sleep well on the first night (04-Dec-08) back home… too warm.

The next morning, I carried the big black round eye bags to the immigration to renew my passport. The photo was horrible… looks like an inmate.

This morning I have collected my China visa… YES!!!… I’m ready to explore China again. The first 7 days I will accompany my friends, hope they would have chance to experience snowing winter, and I can shoot the winter sceneries of Forbidden City and Great Wall with snow clad.

I will move to the south alone after departing with them. The route is not finalized yet… only a rough plan in mind. Will concentrate mostly on the minority tribes… which means I have to travel to the remote area, expecting less hygienic living environment, and the primitive toilet…

I will depart from GuangZhou on 13-Jan-09. Teddy, can we meet on 11 or 12-Jan?

Going Home (03-Dec-08)

The moment saying goodbye to colleagues was quite hard. The ladies cried too much… was contagious… my eyes were drenched too.

Back home, finally… the trip from Kyustendil till I arrived at home consumed 26 hrs… tiring.

The flight from Kyustendil to Frankfurt was fine. 2 Bulgarian seamen besides me had their mini fiesta on this 2.5 hr journey. They played music with their mobile phone and drained their half liter whiskey bought from the duty free shop (they ignored the warning given by the stewardess).

The flight from Frankfurt to Singapore was a disaster. Lufthansa was using the aging Boeing 747-400 for this 11.5 hr long flight. I was given the seat on the last row, which was against the wall and cannot be reclined. I had to sit straight up through out the journey. Worse there was no screen (entertainment) in front of me (unlike the Boeing 777 or the new Airbus 340), boring! And the flight was packed!!! I won’t choose Lufthansa for this route in future.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Birthday

Wow… this year I received many birthday greetings from family, friends and colleagues… no one could guess my age right except my secretary – she ordered a cake with writing on it reads “Happy 28th Birthday”.

Reputable Lufthansa

My flight back home on Wed is scheduled to have a stopover at Bangkok. Worrying the prolonged siege of Suvarnabhumi Airport would change the schedule, I asked my colleague to inquire further info from Lufthansa.

Surprisingly, the feedback was Lufthansa would divert the route to Phuket Island (Thailand) and assume no further responsibility to send me to the final destination Kuala Lumpur. They offer to reimburse my air-ticket if I’m not satisfied with this arrangement. What the heck’s this reply? It doesn’t sound like the reputable airline that I’m familiar with.

Probably I will change my flight to Singapore and purchase an additional ticket to Kuala Lumpur. This would be not so fine… because I have to collect my luggage and re-check-in again, and to pay overweight AGAIN!

In fact, the logo of Lufthansa has already given the hint “There’s no better way to fly.”

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai

BBC live broadcast of this terror attack occupied most of the airing time since yesterday night.

Just recall my short stay in
Mumbai in Jan-06. The city has not much to offer to the tourists. The hostel where I was staying was just a stone’s throw from this landmark Taj Mahal Hotel (which was targeted in this attack). Offering the panoramic views of Arabian Sea and the Gateway Of India, the hotel was apparently frequented by the riches and elites. Elegantly dressed guests hopping in and out from the big luxurious cars, world famous fashion brand like LV and Gucci have their products displayed on the windows…

A few km away, the Chowpatty beach is lively at night. Locals spend their leisure evening strolling along the beach. The water is seriously polluted (but no awful stink), swimming is not recommended. A small food court to serve some snacks, a mini manually operated London Eye (ferries wheel) to cheer the kids, vendors are selling tea, groundnuts, corns… people is just satisfied to enjoy a serene evening hangout.

(manually operated ferries wheel)

On my way back to the hotel, an uniformed young man tried to strike a conversation with me. He managed only a few English words. Only I knew that he was asking me to snap a photo of him with my digital camera (such case happened quite common in India, especially in the rural area), with the beautiful night view as background. Technically it was not easy in the night time, to please him, I snapped one (of course no background can be seen).

Not far away… some homeless people were preparing their sleep on the bench, under the chilly starry nights… not only old folks, kids too… shivering. What an eye-sore in the city, and the Taj Mahal Hotel was just like a complete different world.

The grand Victoria Railway Station buidling was huge… I had never seen a public toilet with so many urinals. The sea of passengers flooded every corner. Somehow there was lacking of discipline and control in this railway station. Very often the overloaded wagons force some passengers hanging outside of the trains. For the convenience to the foreigners, we were allowed to enter the railway station before the office opening hour, and foreigners were allocated separate windows to buy train ticket. This saved lots of hassle to queue up with the locals.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thailand Political Unrest (again…)

Ever since the Thai people succeeded to topple their Ex-Prime Minister Thaksin from the office, Thai people seemed to gain good experience in organizing massive protest. They are calling for a change, crying foul of corrupted politics… The unstable political situation has shaken foreign investors’ confidence.

After the successful temporarily occupying Government House some months ago, the opposition party is launching another wave of protest and besieging the Parliament and the airport. This morning news said Bangkok Airport is closed, and all flight schedules are cancelled. I hope it won’t affect my flight back home next week because it is scheduled to stop over in Bangkok before en-routing to Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Yoga Ban

A top Islamic cleric in Malaysia said may ban yoga for Malaysian Muslims, saying the practice is engaging “Hindu religious elements” during exercise which is contradicting Islam and eroding their Islamic faith. Obviously they have no clue at all what is yoga, but somehow relates this exercise which is nothing more than a physical healthy pursuit to the religion threat.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How I Wish…

Came to Skopje last Friday, I don’t want to, but I have to leave Bulgaria for a few days due to the expiry of my working permit. I stay in a small family-run hotel (I always oppose to spend >EUR100 for a night in a 5-star hotel, even though on company cost), my room is <20m2,>

C’est la vie

The main construction works of this project have been completed now, our office starts retrenching manpower. 2 colleagues have left this week, a few more will follow, including me (within the next 3 weeks). Office is getting roomier gradually. A mix feeling of joy (going home), sadness (goodbye to colleagues) and uncertainty (next job) is emerging in the office. That’s the nature of our freelance contract – job’s done, bye bye with a handshake from the employer “Thanks for your works, we appreciate your efforts!”

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Racial Issue



Extracted from
Malaysiakini, showing the protest of some racial fanatic against the nomination of a Chinese woman as the head of a state institution linked to the economic management and development of the state of Selangor, the PKNS, of which the post has been traditionally assigned to Malay.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Congo Unrest + Rwanda

The plight of tens of thousands refugees fled eastern Congo has concerned me a bit… traced back to the Rwandan Genocide incident in 1994 when mass killing of Rwanda's Tutsis by Hutu militia. This unrest has provoked the tense between these 2 tribes again. Recently we are discussing about the project in Rwanda. I was told Rwanda is like Switzerland in Africa, in which aspect I have no idea. If the unrest is worsening I really have to think twice to work there, though I wish to see gorilla and visit the nearby Serengati (Tanzania).

Wider Spread

For the first time the Chinese government acknowledged the abuse of Melamine is found infiltrated into wider sectors, mainly on the animal feeds. Eggs are found contaminated, chicken too of course, fish and pig and all poultries are highly risked. What should we eat then? Turn to vegetarian? Worried about overdosed pesticide? What about genetic modified crops?

US Presidential Election

A big show. Both candidates have been campaigning months, traveling to almost every state, giving speeches repeatedly, debating opponent’s policy… the whole campaign is consuming billion of dollars. This election aptly boosts the weak economy in the US amid of financial crisis. I didn’t pay attention on what they have promised… I think Obama will win. Do you observe that when McCain is giving speech, he likes to stamp the podium with his fists?

Youngest F1 Champion

The nail biting F1 race in Brazil was trully entertaining. The last 2 rounds had almost sunk my heart when Vettel surpassed and pushed Hamilton to the 6th position, which he would barely lost his driver champion crown to Massa. Fantastic, at the last corner of the last round, Hamilton managed to overtake Glock in a split second, this clip was not clear on the live telecast. Ferrari team was jumping wild and screaming loud, the frame suddenly turned quiet when the screen showed Hamilton was back to 5th position again which granted him just additional 1 point to claim the driver champion title. Yahoo!!! The atmosphere of disappointment immediately enveloped the Ferrari camp… I keep laughing till now…

Friday, October 31, 2008

Losing Confidence

Was a little disappointed that the pressure from the opposition party is diminishing lately to exert greater pressure to the government.

The outcry to overthrow the incumbent government has forced the present Prime Minister to announce his stepping down in the next election, and his successor would be the present Deputy Prime Minister, Najib, if nothing goes wrong.

The recent statement of Najib has placed his political stand is parallel with the main opposition party leader Anwar, of which they both announce the present advantages enjoyed by the Malay and the New Economy Policy which is said harboring the cronies of the politicians have to be liberated gradually.

Najib’s announcement has been deciphered in mixed reviews. Some said his action is governed by expediency, to save the losing votes and halt the threat from Anwar in this very moment. While the optimistic comment is that Najib has foreseen the urgency to integrate the citizens of all races. The 2nd comment definitely won’t please the fanatic groups. Personally I don’t believe this idea would be realized too, considering the present political structure is more racial orientated rather than the benefit of the country.

The delayed action of Anwar to oust the government has granted the ruling party sufficient time to re-position themselves and exert different strategies to counter the attacks, it has also shaken the confidence and faith of the middle voters.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Formula 1 – Superb Ideas!


I’m not a big fan of Formula 1, but just enjoy the crowd when making jokes with colleagues. There is not a team or driver I like particularly. Since most of the people support Ferrari and Schumi (ok, he has retired), naturally I have to support the opponent to demise the red team spirit. Good that Hamilton (McLaren team) is leading by 7 points on the driver championship now.

I couldn’t figure out how F1 hypnotize the diehard. It’s not a sport in my opinion, just a driving race circling the circuit for 50ish rounds. I do agree the drivers need extreme high concentration… what else? The same title and function, the F1 driver could earn astronomical figure, while the ordinary taxi and bus drivers are making pitiful.

After watching Malaysia has the first F1 circuit in South East Asia, of course Singapore “must” also have one with a good idea of night race. I felt like being cheated by Singapore F1 organizer. Why? They advertise “night race”, I was expecting the race should be run in pitch black environment… that would be damn exciting! In fact the street race was brightened up like day time.

I wish any Africa country would organize a safari race in future… imagine a school of elephants cross the track, the cheetah or leopard jumping out suddenly biting off the hands, chasing by the raged buffaloes… hmm… exciting… more exciting than rollercoaster.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tabloid


On 04-Oct-08, we arranged a gathering for all of our staffs in a local restaurant. It was fun… of course after some drinks it was getting wilder… Unexpectedly a journalist from local tabloid came in and made a short brief interview. This is the report…


(Translation)

The team of Mr.Hans-Dieter Spiegel from company SAG chose to chill out at Pizzeria “Bordeaux”. The representatives of the management personnel who are coming from different places all over the world were noisy and happy and they have proved that who can work hard also can have a glorious fun.

Teoh from Malaysia was the attraction of the party with the complicated steps and movements on the dance floor. For him they say that he is the brain of the German company. He is not married and he is looking for a Kyustendil girl who will fascinate his tender soul.

Bart from Scotland in a distinguished way gentlemanly made advances to the female attendance of the table.

The owner of the elite restaurant Emiliyan Angelov was looking for the comfort of his elite guests in a skilfull and professional way.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

USD 700bn Rescue Plan

So excited to watch the live telecast of the US House of Representatives voting on the USD 700bn financial rescue plan to the ailing financial sector. Apparently the proposal didn’t convince 1/3 of the congressmen. Somehow the majority has the opinion that measures have to be taken to cease the deteriorating US economy, which threatening globally.

Guess the published economy statistics this week have deepened the worries of some congressmen. Dropping of payrolls, home sales continue diving, climbing of unemployment etc have definitely persuaded some voters shifting their stands.

In fact no one could tell if this astronomical figure is sufficient to revive the teetering economy. I was expecting the US share market would leap high immediately when the news announced. It wasn’t, but pointing downwards? I couldn’t understand why.

Personally I doubt this decision would improve the status quo, I do think it would ease the breath of financial institutes. But how long would the effect last? The speculators would be please to learn that fresh capital to be injected into the market and it’s a great opportunity to gain fast money again.

What I hope is… the share market would stabilize to save my investment.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where Is Your Conscience?

Have been observing the tainted milk case in China. The Melamine which has been detected and “known” in the production and to the authorities surprisingly was not curbed in the very early stage. What a shit bureaucratic and corrupted system. The head of the Chinese agency that monitors food and product safety has resigned amid the scandal. Does it help?

This case certainly tarnishes the image of China food products, “unsafe” and “poor” will be labeled. To the people add this Melamine into the milk, where is your conscience?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Photos Uploaded - Hungary

Photos of Hungary trip are available in my Travelogue.

Damn Lehman & AIG

The recent financial storms are staggering… Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy, the turnabout rescue of AIG by the Fed, the merger of Lloyds and HBOS, Russia stock market shut for 3 days after plunge, Morgan Stanley is in talks to sell part of its stakes… any one of these news would have shattered the financial industry in the normal days, but they all happened concurrently within a week.

To prevent the disastrous financial turmoil worsening, US swiftly introduce measures to rescue the teetering global markets, with Central banks inject huge capital to reinstate the confidence of the investors. Major share markets bounced back today, how long would it last? If the root problems are not tackled, the effect would fade soon.

The present financial system has to be monitored and controlled, short selling should be curbed. The share market is not a safe heaven for investment, but a huge gambling pool instead.

Damn Lehman & AIG… made me lost in my investment!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spirit


I came back to the hostel (in Budapest) late night on Friday, met 3 Norwegian young men in the same dorm. Seriously they asked if I felt safe in this hostel, I replied absolutely yes. “No no no… I don’t mean security… I mean if you observe any spirit in this grungy building.” They showed me a photo taken in the room, with 1 suspicious blurry white spot on it, apparently that was no mirror reflection. Anxiously they explained acc’ to the Norwegian folklores, the white spot indicated spirit was present while the photo was taken… They were disturbed… grrr…arrhh….

To pacify their concern, I convinced them I had never heard of such case in the hostel. Acc’ to the Chinese folklores, the spirit would avoid naked body. I suggested they should sleep in nude to scare off the uninvited. But I didn’t tell them what if the spirit was a gay?? They end up went out for weekend happy hour and returned the next morning.

I like these 3 guys… so funny and friendly.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hungary - Bits and Pieces

Have just returned from Hungary 1 week trip yesterday. Probably I had visited Prague and Rome earlier and over expected the same from Budapest, I was slightly disappointed instead. I don’t mean Budapest is not interesting, the city is just lacking of monuments or structures or tourist spots that could drop my jaw.

Budapest was a combination of once 3 towns (Buda, Obuda and Pest) till 1873.

Budapest boasts the 1st underground on the Europe Continent. The Metro wagons are though not new, but absolutely efficient, so as the other public transportation means.

I was staying in the tourist area 1 block away from Danube River, of course most of the restaurants and souvenirs were over pricing, easily EUR 15 for a simple meal. Some distance away less touristy, a meal between EUR 5-8 could be dealt. I really missed the goulash soup!

As usual, gypsy was not welcomed by the Hungarians, the same comments I heard from Bulgarians.

The radio stations were suck. Boring music!

Some huge shopping malls to fulfill shopaholic, it seemed to be always crowded. The sales was going on and I bought 2 shirts, 2 shorts and a pair to shoes with great discount! I wanted to buy more but I know my knapsack could fit in no more.

I bought some salami from the market near to the hostel. Later on I found the same salami at Tesco for almost ½ price! The money is 1 thing, but I didn’t like the feeling to be slaughtered!
People are so friendly, especially in the scenic town Pecs. I loved their smiles.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Waiting For A Change

The return of Anwar to the politics on 26-Aug-08 and becoming the leader of the opposition coalition (People’s Justice Party) has granted him a step forward to topple the incumbent government. While the ruling party (mainly UMNO) is nervously holding their seats tight, the Prime Minister still couldn’t control his dogs giving racist talk publicly of which dangerously humiliating the Chinese ethnic and destabilizing the social integrity. It definitely aggravates more hatred to the government!

Anwar vows to seize power on 16-Sep, 2 weeks from now. Most likely the PM won’t hand over the power easily, reckon he would dissolve the parliament and push for another election again (last election was 08-Mar-08). This option will be both time consuming and costly, of course eventually paid by the civilians’ tax.

I’m waiting for a change… to better or worse, no one could tell, but at least the government has to understand the meaning of democracy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Amy Winehouse - The Ska Ep

Oh no... Amy jumps into Raggae. Well, the songs are not bad but Raggae music is not my taste. I can't play it while working. The beat is disrupting my concentration.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Recently

Virus Attack
-----------------
My notebook was again attacked by virus since last Friday. Spent the whole weekend to try rescuing my data, was so mad because I couldn’t watch Olympic volleyball final matches on Saturday. Grrrr…. I believe there is still a virus hiding well like Bin Laden, and execute Taliban ambush occasionally.

Olympics Closing Ceremony
--------------------------------------
Spectacular! The performances were excellent (except the singing session). Was interesting to note the 8 minutes performance of the next Olympics host – London, emphasizing the urban life of metropolitan. The modern dancing was a stark contrast to the cultural theme of China. But, why Leona Lewis? David Beckham is still the iconic sportsman of UK, luckily Victoria was not present.

Travelling
-------------
I prefer backpacking.
My ex-colleague opted biking around the world for 6 years.
The new project intern hiked all the way from Germany to Spain.
No matter how… travelling is fun! Can’t wait to go to Hungary next Friday!

Gelato
---------
Sis told me that she prepared some gelato for a country club, particularly served for Malaysia Prime Minister on flight some days ago. She just sent me an overjoyed message that the club said the PM was impressed and wanted to see her. Regardless how true it is, she is encouraged.

Next Project
----------------
This is the latest hot topic in the office, Manager has started planning the infrastructure for this new project in Rwanda though he is not officially assigned yet. In fact, the whole organization in head office is not clear - who would be the boss? who would be recruited? material transportation? infrastructure etc.? I have not committed myself to Rwanda, at least not now. Would like to take a rest and settle some personal matters before starting next project.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Visa To Hungary

Am planning to visit Budapest early next month. Learned from the unpleasant experience being rejected on-board during the last trip to Italy, this time I want to be sure of I won't encounter the same problem.

Yesterday, I was right, the instinct response of the Hungarian Embassy (in Sofia) officer insisted I do need a visa to visit the country, of course without checking his data. After explaining to him Malaysian passport is valid to any EU country without visa for 90 days (as stated on Hungarian government webpage), he asked to call him the next day to confirm the same.

This morning my colleague contacted him again, he admitted no visa is required.

Where is the professionalism? Tired with such attitude!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympics Events

Upset… the best hope of Malaysia in badminton men's singles game failed to snatch gold medal. Well, silver is by far the best in our history.

Why swimming event is contributing so many (34) medals? 100m and 400m are fine, why do they need 50m and 200m? Most of the contestants in the 3 shorter distance categories are similar. Maybe FINA will develop 4x50m relay, 150m, 250m… in future to increase gold medal counts of traditional swimming empires.

The basketball games with NBA are interesting. Great shows of slam dunk. I Love This Game!

Jamaica clean swept both men's and women's 100m dash, defeated entirely and severely shook the USA.

Some games' rules are unfair to the athletes. Minor accident/ mistake during execution is like a death penalty, no chance to save the mistake. For instance gymnastics artistic – vault, the average score of 2 trials is counted. But on track & field, hammer throw, triple jump, shot put… are given several trials and the best score is taken.

Swimming events so far have contributed the most world records. Swimmers claimed the Speedo LZR swimsuit made the trick, which was termed by CNN as 'technological doping'. I believe the advance "biological doping" plays greater role.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

'Conversion to Islam' Forum

The Bar Council of Malaysia has decided to hold the forum 'Conversion to Islam' despite encountering strong opposition from the ruling government and Islamic organizations. The objective of the forum is to discuss the religion Islam and its status in accordance with Federal Constitution, for instance the conflict between the federal and Syariah court.

An angry crowd of 300 Muslim protestors gathered outside Bar Council headquarter demanding that the lawyers group halt its controversial forum, condemning it is destroying the social harmony and 'challenging' Islam status in the country.

On one hand the Prime Minister recently urged to hold more dialogues to encourage harmony interaction among the different racial and religious communities, on the other hand the Deputy Prime Minister himself expressed his "worry" that this forum might ignite misunderstanding, anger and tension in our society.

Malaysians have been keeping silence so far, not because we are tolerant, but it is forbidden to discuss such sensitive issue in the public. The politicians make use of this 'advantage' to threaten and suppress the others. The relevant issues are getting more and more complicated, but no one is able to untie the knot. How could we achieve greater integrity if we couldn't understand and treat with equal fairness to each other?

Olympic 2008 Opening Ceremony

I skipped from my working desk at 3pm local time to watch the highly anticipating Olympic 2008 Opening Ceremony. The live broadcast has 2 narrators speaking in Bulgarian unceasingly from the beginning till the end (gosshh… they showed no sign of tiredness). Their voices shadowed the actual scene, the music and the cheers on the background were vague, I couldn't feel the atmosphere!

The show was no doubt high quality, but it doesn’t mean really entertaining. History and the cultures were the topic of the show, was a little bit "heavy". Other than the spectacular 2008 drums beating, rest of the programs are kind of lacking of upbeat rhythm (possibly because I couldn't hear the music clearly).

Each performance involved lots of people, far too many in my opinion. All performers were just an ant size in this huge stadium. I was expecting some sort of gigantic features parade with clean swift simple choreograph instead.



Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Appeal – John Grisham

Just finished reading this latest novel - The Appeal - of John Grisham. It is boring instead, no climax and he simply wants to deliver the message that judiciary is influenced by politics and business. No unexpected plot, the introduction of the book tells the whole story.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Archeological Site

The town where I'm living now – Kyustendil once attracted settlers from Thracian, Greek and Roman periods. Basically it is built on top of the vast archeological sites. The land next to our office is planned for commercial construction, a team of archeologist is working to unearth precious history since 2 months ago. So far we heard a set of skeleton carrying a rifle was found.

Once the team confirmed nothing else worth to excavate, the commercial plan would be launched and these precious historical ruins would be destroyed. Pity…

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Product Image




Adidas China 2008 Beijing Olympics commercial is a successful idea, aptly address the integrity and unity that China wants the idea to be broadcasted worldwide. At the end of the commercial, it prints Adidas' slogan "Impossible Is Nothing".

It reminds me the similar slogan of China's largest sport apparel company – Li Ning, apparently "inspired" by Adidas and it reads "Everything Is Possible".

Li Ning's logo design
is based on its own initial letters L and N, quite similar to Nike's trademark.

What is so difficult for Li Ning to come up with its own genuine image or idea? For foreigners, this is just a copycat without own identity. Personally I won't buy Li Ning's products just because the brand image gives me the impression of 2nd class.


I have also noticed the name of the sponsors printed on the jerseys of China sport teams - BIGGG! guess they are afraid no one could read it clear. It's fathomable for advertisement sake, but the design of the logo is quite ugly and not artistic. They are still not aware of these trivialities would promote public image.

Who Killed The Electric Car?

Has been curious since long why electric car was not popular till nowadays. In terms of technology, what is so sophisticated if man could travel to space and land on the moon in the late 60's?

By chance I found clips titled "Who killed the electric car?" on YouTube. This 2006 documentary film unveiled some hidden facts that the electric car was indeed marketed in 1990. The oil industry was accused manipulating the politics and car companies to scrap this plan so to defend their trillion-dollar business.

It is sad to learn that the short vision of a handful decision makers and the greediness of unscrupulous businessmen have cultivated the oil crisis today, and the global warming indirectly.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

扫兴

昨日原本是乐融融的一个午餐聚会,却因酒精催化情绪以至同事之间发生嘴角冲突。我讨厌类似场面而先自离开。

某些人认为率性和豪饮乃真汉子也,其他人被归纳为不够豪爽潇洒有心计之人。幼稚!率性是否包括口不择言、固执蛮横?谈不拢就拳脚交加?

黄耀明 - MOOV LIVE

黄耀明似乎不想定型于华丽音乐之作,稍微返璞归真更为动人。很欣赏他对于音乐创作的理念和坚持,林夕与周耀辉填的词是一大关键。

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thinking Aloud - Fear

The oil price keeps rocketing high, governments are losing control gradually on inflation. Pessimistic statistic figures are deepening worries and igniting fears globally, positive news is too weak to assure confidence of economy recovery.

On 28-Jun, "De Financiële Telegraaf" reported that Fortis expects a complete collapse of the US financial markets within a few weeks.

This statement is quaking most investors! How could this influential bank give such threatening speech at this fragile moment to enhance fears? Financial market has been tumbling since. If the US, the world's biggest economy body is collapsing, what would the world be? I'm too afraid to think of the domino effect triggered. Would I or my closest family and friends lose the job? Would the social get much disorder? How long would it need to recover?

Could this be a conspiracy of middle-east oil rich countries who wants to destroy the US in a much brilliant way than 9-11 plot? They will later come to extend their help to salvage the best core businesses and properties with just a token of their reserve. Practically this is just a copy of IMF's tricks on Asia monetary crisis in 1997-98. Now they turn their target to the US and rule the world! What a great Capitalism!

The oil price has now been the most influential economy indicator. Any news related to disturbing the regular production is definitely spurring panic in the market. Meanwhile Iran is rushing to develop nuclear weapon. Israel launched a massive military practice recently simulating attack on Iran. They for sure will do their best to stop Iran to obtain the technology. I'm really afraid this would be the cause of 3rd world war.

A friend has just returned from the US, told me that the life has changed drastically due to the high oil price. The weak Dollar is to be blamed, people said. I agree with (not entirely) the US to keep their role as global police, on the other hand they are too selfish to rely on foreign countries on energy resources. Why don't they pump oil from their own huge offshore reserve? Would this strategy for future resources still practical in the next century?

I guess the world won't like to see the US economy collapse. But who has such a huge fund to revive the struggling economy, if the US does not initiate a better defensive measure to rescue themselves?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

中餐馆

有一中餐馆在这小镇刚开张营业,昨晚与同事去吃晚餐。店主是来自中国吉林的一对年轻夫妇,他们已经在保国住了八年。上个月才搬到这儿开餐馆。很高兴现在多了一个选择。
点了个酸辣汤、三鲜面和铁板鱿鱼。很可惜那并不是我所期待的正宗中餐而是偏向老外的口味,且太过油腻。希望下一次会好些。
现在这小镇总共有四个亚洲人了!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gym

Finally made up my mind to join the gym again, just hate to see the stomach protruding bigger. It's a nice place, new equipments, not crowded... and it's cheap - EUR 18 for 5 weeks! I need to spice up my life a little bit and expand the social circle.
I do feel curious to see the young men beefing up their muscles like Arnold. Are the extra thick bicep and exploding pecs looking good? Mmm... not to me... it needs lots of effort to maintain the shape or the muscles would turn flacid like Sharpei dog. I'm also too lazy for that.
My muscles are sore now, but I like this feeling. Gambate!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Manners – On The Phone

Often I picked up the phone and the person on the other line end apparently couldn't speak English. Some of them are so rude just drop the line without a word. Is "sorry" or "thank you" so difficult to speak out? Some don't introduce themselves, no greeting, just speak out the person's name who they want to speak to. Neanderthal manners!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Day Is Brave - Brendan James

Discovered this new artist / album accidentally. If you like James Blunt, then you shouldn't miss Brendan James. He has such a good clear voice. Feel like he is telling the stories very calmly, so homely.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The First Song On Air

I used to turn on my radio when I woke up in the morning. Last week, the first song on air was Bee Gee's "Tragedy". The share market in US and Europe plunged. I lost all the gains accumulated earlier.

The next day, the first song on air was Enigma's "Sadness". The share market continued diving. Red figures appeared on my investment balance sheet.

You see, the first song on the radio could tell the market trend of the day more accurate than the analysts. Hope the DJ will throw R.E.M.'s CD titled "Bad Day" away from his collection!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Tommy

The first e-mail popped up on my screen this morning telling me that Tommy has just passed away in Melbourne. I have expected so, but not so soon. My ex-colleague fed me his news regularly. Tumor on the chest and the cancer on the spine were deteriorating fast. Indeed he had planned to initiate treatment today, but… too late. The first diagnose was just 3 months ago.

He was Hungarian descent, lived in UK. He met his present wife in Mexico and was working in Australia till now. We worked together in Philippines (1998) and again in Malaysia (2000) for a short period. A good colleague to work with, and very helpful.

Was thinking to call him the day before, but I just didn't know if he really wants to have some calls, especially we have not been in contact for 8 yrs. I was afraid I would increase his sorrow and pain.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Brainless Stone

This grandmama is apparently brainless, simply blurted out stupid thinking lingering in her mind in the hope of aggravating anti-China sentiments. The 80,000 lives lost in the earthquake don't concern her a bit. Probably she thinks 9-11, Tsunami, Katrina and all disasters are Karma too… Hey, something's wrong with her.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Energy

The oil price hit record high USD 136!!! Despite President Bush's personal begging to Saudi's King Abdullah, OPEC has no intention to increase output to sooth the crisis which leads to subsequent global inflation effect. OPEC said the culprit is the oil price speculation in the capitalism system, and blamed the weakness of USD. The oil reserve is dwindling faster than we expect, alternative energy resources are urgently sought.
The idea of bio-diesel was aggravated but it spurred food price escalation. So, now what? Coal generates pollution, hydro and wind power are limited by geographical conditions, solar technology is not efficient though… nuclear is the good resource, but the waste disposal is a tricky subject. Scientists have no solution to handle the threats of nuclear waste and radiation economically, swiftly and effectively.
Iran, the crowned "axle of evil" by the US, is aggressively developing nuclear technology, giving developed countries sleepless nights. Can't imagine what President Ahmadinejad would do once the country possessed matured nuclear technology. Coupled with the country's immense oil reserve, this Arab country will stir the world.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Protectionism?

News reported that the gulf of repelling immigrant sentiment is spreading in Italy lately. The illegal immigrants have been accused for social disorder. "Coincident" in line with the policy of new Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who suggests stricter immigration control.
Similar cases but more violent were also ignited in South Africa last week. The locals blamed the foreign immigrants mainly from Zimbabwe and Mozambique have stolen their job opportunities by cheaper wages. The locals are demanding higher pay, more benefits but reluctant to contribute more competitive effort. Who should be blamed? In the mid of worsening economy and hiking inflation, small group of right-wing hard-hitting grassroots level would channel their anger and disappointment on someone else.
Camden, a small town on the outskirt of Sydney has voted against the proposal to build a Muslim school for 1200 pupils. The proposal has drawn fierce oppositions and critics from the locals, obviously felt uneasy with and fear of Islamization on their land. They claimed no sense of economical or education needs in the small town. The mayor stressed that the decision was not made on religious or nationalistic grounds.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Serious


This is me and my secretary... I look so serious when pointing out her very small mistake... he he..

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Disappointing


International Court of Justice (IJC) at Hague has recently judged 1 of the 3 islands – Pulau Batu Puteh under Singapore sovereignty. Look at the map, the 3 islands are very close to Malaysia mainland, The nearest tip of Singapore island is 3 times farther the distance. Our dear minister said this is a "win-win" solution for both countries over the 28 years dispute.

The loss is blamed to the lack of activity on the island for over 100 years and the letter written by the Johor acting state secretary to Singapore in 1953. Clearly our respectful governor had no vision of the critical and strategic geographic location of the same. Under the Law of the Sea, a country’s territorial waters stretched 12 nautical miles (22.2km) from its shores or any piece of land. Very disappointed!

Next – Michael Crichton


The author probably intends to show off his research on genetics instead of composing a solid sensible story. He spent too much time depicting various scenes which are not well linked and paved for the story development. I don't feel like turning the page continuously. In his other book State of Fear, he involved the cannibals (goodness… what a lousy idea!); and in this book he inserts an orangutan, humanzee (human + chimpanzee breed) and a talking parrot who could think and speak like human being. Another lousy idea… Not recommended.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Post Assault





The unprecedented assault on Khartoum by Darfur rebels erupted on 10-May. The government imposed martial law and curfew on the city immediately. The President accused neighboring Chad for supporting the rebels and undermining the stability of Sudan, thus announced cutting ties with the country the next day.

Friends in Khartoum said sporadic gun firing was heard, bridges were close, army stormed into houses searching rebels… was quite worrisome at that moment. Khartoum is peaceful now, but military patrol is enhanced.

These pictures are taken after the coup attempt. The government displayed the arms confiscated and burned the vehicles of rebels.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Unnecessary to Compensate

I filed a report to the "border police department" of the incident they rejected me on board (read this article) on 14-Mar-08 to Italy, and claiming compensation for my loss (air ticket, taxi and booked accommodation).

I receive their reply today. As expected they denied their responsibility in accordance with the travel regulations and pushed all blames to WizzAir. They did not apologize, said it is UNNECESSARY to compensate my loss! Not even punishing that bitch but promise they will carry out their works more efficiently. What a joke!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Photos Uploaded – Italy & Vatican City

The photos of this trip have been uploaded to my Travelogue. I'm not really satisfied with these photos… I'm sure I will dispose my Sony F717 soon and look for a new camera.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Te (To You) - Lorenzo Jovanotti


Was deeply obssessed the first time I heard this song in Rome... I desperately searched for it once back to Bulgaria. So glad I found it... now "To You"... (click the Babel Fish to translate the lyric)

A te che sei l’unica al mondo L’unica ragione
Per arrivare fino in fondo Ad ogni mio respire
Quando ti guardo Dopo un giorno pieno di parole
Senza che tu mi dica niente Tutto si fa chiaro

A te che mi hai trovato All’angolo coi pugni chiusi
Con le mie spalle contro il muro Pronto a difendermi
Con gli occhi bassi Stavo in fila Con i disillusi
Tu mi hai raccolto Come un gatto E mi hai portato con te

A te io canto una canzone Perchè non ho altro
Niente di meglio da offrirti Di tutto quello che ho
Prendi il mio tempo E la magia Che con un solo salto
Ci fa volare dentro all’aria Come bollicine

A te che sei
Semplicemente sei
Sostanza dei giorni miei
Sostanza dei sogni miei

A te che sei il mio grande amore Ed il mio amore grande
A te che hai preso la mia vita E ne hai fatto molto di più
A te che hai dato senso al tempo Senza misurarlo
A te che sei il mio amore grande Ed il mio grande amore
A te che io Ti ho visto piangere nella mia mano
Fragile che potevo ucciderti Stringendoti un pò
E poi ti ho visto Con la forza di un aeroplano
Prendere in mano la tua vita E trascinarla in salvo

A te che mi hai insegnato i sogni E l’arte dell’avventura
A te che credi nel coraggio E anche nella paura
A te che sei la miglior cosa Che mi sia successa
A te che cambi tutti i giorni E resti sempre la stessa

A te che sei
Semplicemente sei
Sostanza dei giorni miei
Sostanza dei sogni miei

A te che sei
Essenzialmente sei
Sostanza dei sogni miei
Sostanza dei giorni miei

A te che non ti piaci mai E sei una meraviglia
Le forze della natura si concentrano in te
Che sei una roccia sei una pianta sei un uragano
Sei l’orizzonte che mi accoglie quando mi allontano
A te che sei l’unica amica Che io posso avere
L’unico amore che vorrei Se io non ti avessi con me
A te che hai reso la mia vita Bella da morire
Che riesci a render la fatica Un immenso piacere

A te che sei il mio grande amore Ed il mio amore grande
A te che hai preso la mia vita E ne hai fatto molto di più
A te che hai dato senso al tempo Senza misurarlo
A te che sei il mio amore grande Ed il mio grande amore

A te che sei
Semplicemente sei
Sostanza dei giorni miei
Sostanza dei sogni miei

A te che sei
Semplicemente sei
Compagna dei giorni miei
Sostanza dei giorni miei

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Italy & Vatican - Bits and Pieces

Just came back from Italy and Vatican 2 days ago... this 9-day trip was a little bit too short. The country is massively rich of historical and religious stuffs, hard to understand well within short time. It is a beautiful country, but extremely touristy. In general the living costs are high, higher than my expectation, but bearable to me as a tourist. I have visited Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena. The journey was rush and pack (my greediness wanted to see everything within the shortest time)... walked a long distance almost everyday.


The pizza is really delicious, can't compare with anywhere else. The tomato sauce must be the secret recipe. Gelato (ice cream) is the favourite of everyone, but each cone costs around EUR 3 to 4!! It is more less the price of a fairly good dinner in Malaysia. Pizza, pasta and panini filled up my stomach in this whole trip (except 1 delicious Chinese meal). I will stay away from Italian food for a short while from now.


Was surprised to see a fairly large crowd of African immigrants in Rome and Florence. Quite a number of them gathered around the railway station. And most of the illegal street vendors at tourist spots selling immitation brand of sun glasses or Prada handbags are Africans. They are always alert and ready to flee when seeing enforcers around.


Plenty of radio stations in Italy. The Italian musics are good. Scanning through all radio waves on air, I could hardly find a station bombarded with hip-hops... good taste!


WizzAir's check-in counter again asked me for the visa to Italy on my departure from Sofia. I explained to them the last incident and the supervisor insisted the same after returning from her office (with the bureaucratic sour face). At last my colleague had to explain to her "how" and "what" to check. She came back later and said, "I read wrongly under Ethiopian nationality." What a stupid excuse??? Do I look like an African? On the opposite, the immigration officers in Rome Airport are friendly. Starting with 'buon giorno' and ended up with a smiling 'ciao'. I did feel really welcomed.


The driving attitude of Italian has not much tolerance, and slightly undisciplined.


Thanks to the extreme huge crowd of tourists, I had to queue up for 2.5 hr to Vatican Museum, and 3 hr to Uffizi Gallery.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Into The Wild

Can't draw myself out of this movie for a while… I see a part of me on Alexander Supertramp… trying to escape from something, someone… Once I thought I could live alone without family and friends. What a silly thought… Alex said, "It doesn't make sense to me, judgment, control, all that, the whole spectrum." Apparently I can't force everyone to think my way, walk my path. It indeed has to be like this to live our jubilant life.

"Happiness only real when shared." - was too late when Alex realized it… he gasped his last breath.

Inspired by a true story… wonderful movie.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

大师风范

近日前首相马哈迪医生对现任首相巴达维接二连三的逼宫退位在巫统掀起内争。再次施展一代强者的魅力及魄力,力澄自身在职时的清白及宽容,怂恿百姓对现任政府给予建议性的批评。显然这位德高望重的前首相患了老人痴呆症,竟然忘了他所实行顺我者生逆我者亡的政策。至于裙带关系是政治文化,同出一册,不分高下。一众趋炎附势的追随者拍掌附和。

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Duffy

Love this album lately... another singer catch my attention after Amy Winehouse. Lovely...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Post Election

I have never paid so much attention on Malaysia politics as yet. Since the opposition parties wield power in 6 main states during the recent general election, plenty of actions are taken mainly to investigate the alleged corruption cases of the predecessor. The new state government is trying to shaping up a clean and non bias image. (I doubt how long would this last??)

Though the incumbent party remains ruling the central government, they have been denied the 2/3 majority rights in amending constitution. The losers are excusing themselves for underestimating the power of e-media, but never admit their faults and incapabilities.

While the Prime Minister is painfully restoring and reassuring people the trust on them, defending from the political rivals while facing the growing challenges internally. Those flattering running dogs once kissing his hand are now throwing all hot potatoes to him. A cruel politics!

This Ain't Armani Exchange

Read Carefully!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Paradox - Education

Dutch politician Geert Wilders has put an anti-Islam short clip titled "Fitna" on YouTube, despite opposed sternly by the Dutch government worrying this would trigger another bout of violent protest as of the controversial blasphemous cartoon. The contents stir my emotion. It means to frighten non Muslims by equating terrorization with the religion. This is unfair to those good Muslims.

Our brain and education give us the power to think and judge conscientiously. The irresponsible fanatic evil talk of some leaders have brainwashed and engraved hatreds on the followers, mostly the uneducated crowd… well… education… just thinking aloud… if these fanatic followers are more educated, would there be more 9.11 and Madrid train bombing incidents or the world would achieve greater harmonious state?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Venturing Share Market

The recent subprime crisis has driven almost worldwide financial industry down. The Bear Stearns case caught lots of investors off guard and spurring panic. Majority believe the recession is looming. It is really interesting to follow up the swiftly change development daily.

I have started venturing my first step into the European and US share markets, simply because the prices are really attractive. Most of the global gigantic financial stocks have plummeted from their all time high less than a year ago to less than half presently.

Of course I do not have much money to play with… somehow I guess it would give better return than the pitiful bank interest rates in mid long term (3-5 years, in my definition). Friend D warned me that in case the recession spreads, no one knows what would happen next and might last indefinitely. I agree with that… well, investment is a risk itself. No risk no gain!

I placed myself as a balanced investor… can't cope with the high risk investment tools while not interested with conservative money management. I do not know how to analyze company data… basically follow the trend, pick mainly blue chips, and read the latest relevant news.

Babel Fish

Have just added Babel Fish on this blog. The literal translation is not very good but the basic meaning of the article is understandable, sometimes it's quite hilarious.

Protocol, protocol, protocol…

The bureaucratic system of this country is awfully terrible. We are currently preparing the tax revision for the previous year. The tax officer requested a protocol confirming that our imported materials have been handed over to subcontractor. Well, we prepared the doc to satisfy his needs (we have 50+ shipments, 1 protocol for each shipment!).

Now, he needs other protocols confirming that our subcontractor has handed over to their sub-subcontractors and proof of installation, otherwise he will not approve to release the tax owing to us. Gosh… how many protocols does he want? Real stupid idiotic procedure, senseless!

I reckon this country needs longer period to accommodate themselves to European standards!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Riot in Tibet

The riot in Tibet has attracted world attention lately. The holy city Lhasa has mobs looted and burned the shops. Another holy center Xiahe was infested. Curfew was imposed. Dalai Lama announced he is striving for Tibet independence in "middle way" and in peaceful manner. He vowed to step down if the situation deteriorates. His idea wouldn't be accepted by hot tempered younger generation who believe physical force rules.

Obviously there is no better chance for Tibetans to pressure China authorities to give greater concession. The forthcoming Olympic Games is handcuffing China in certain extent. Foreign influences are said undermining the present situations. Why politics is linked up to Olympic?

"Free Tibet" has been shouted for long by so-called humanitarian and peace organizations. Meanwhile why we don't see much sanctions and punishment to Israel on Palestine issue? Aren't the Palestinians deserved to claim back their land too? Dalai Lama wants to rule Tibet under "1-country-2-systems" model. China rejected the proposal, probably worrying of losing sovereign control and might set precedence to other provinces especially the north western regions.

World politics… developed countries are not willing to see the uprising China or India altering global politics and economy influential map. Likewise, we see the fall of USSR and Yugoslavian in the recent history.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bitches

I had planned since a month to have a short vacation in Italy from today for 10 days. I left my town at 3:00am in order to board WizzAir's early 6:00am flight to Rome. I arrived at Sofia Airport on time and checked-in smoothly.

At the passport control, the lady border police scrutinized my passport page by page. She said I couldn't get on board because I do not have the required visa to Italy. To my surprise, I explained with Malaysian passport I can travel to any EU country without visa, proven by my recent visit to Czech and Germany. She showed my documents to her chief, came back and concluded the same statement, said WizzAir refused to take me on board. I tried to explain to her again. She prompted with the arrogant attitude, "I'm the border police." Goodness… she implied that she is judging the rules! Bitch!

At 5:30am, she led me out of the passport control and instructed WizzAir to withdraw my checked-in luggage. I managed to contact Italian Embassy in Malaysia and they confirmed what I said. I conveyed the message to WizzAir check-in counter, but I received another no-intention-to-help response, and she quickly disappeared herself. Bitch!

I went to information desk seeking help… of course helpless. I called again Italian Embassy asking if they could fax any statement to clarify this issue. She apologized for particular reason. Meanwhile the lady border police walked to me and saw me calling someone, she asked with challenging tongue, "What's your problem?" I forwarded my phone hoping that Italian Embassy could convince her. She took over the phone, listened impatiently and insisted sternly a visa is required. Gone… I know it was absolutely helpless now.

I went to the ticket counter, the officer shrugged her shoulders. At 6:00am sharp, the lady border police walked slowly towards me with a phone pressing on her ear. She stopped in front of me and said after checking in detail, Malaysians indeed do not require tourist visa! FXXK! I almost exploded! The plane has just left and she came with this answer. The WizzAir officer made no effort to call or help me on board. Bitch!

The lady border police stood besides me like a pitiful puppy begging for food. "I'm sorry, I'm deeply sorry. Maybe you can change your flight to Sunday." I was abnegating my anger. She spoiled my plan entirely! Furthermore who is going to pay the additional charges of EUR200 to change the air-ticket? And the cancellation charges on my booked accommodation? I felt so sick to see her standing there. Pretended to be a gentleman, I shook her hand and let her go.

I called my local colleague, explained the situation. He was more emotional than me. He fxxked everything concerned with the lousy system. He drove all the way to Sofia to pick me up, and assisted me to file a report to the border police department.… took us almost 6 hrs!

Back to office, I cancelled all my accommodation reservation. Don’t mind to waste the returned air-ticket… just feel like fxxking sick and fxxking frustrated to think about this issue. I don't know when I'll plan to visit Italy next.
As my Client always cynically said, "Welcome to Bulgaria."

Friday, March 14, 2008

出家

一直有着短暂出家的念头。很想学习如何抛开尘俗与执著,学习原谅。情感是生活的润滑剂,太丰富难免容易受伤,少了固然乏味。不晓得出家人是否真的无情无欲。我想我做不到这一点,家人有困难需要援手我不能置之不理。但是我想我的主动让他人觉得理所当然,却未从中吸取教训而再从蹈覆辙。真地感到失望!

出家不是我要解决烦恼的方式,只是想让心灵平静尝试从另一个角度看同一个问题。

Monday, March 10, 2008

Travelogue Updated

Finally made up my mind to update my Travelogue - added Czech and Macedonia and updated Bulgaria, was such a time consuming task. Anyway I'm glad to have it done now.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

General Election

The forthcoming General Election on 08-Mar-08 is heating up nationwide. At this very time most of the sleeping hidden politicians surface and make publicities to draw votes, blaring lots of empty promises and unrealistic visions. Rumours and pamphlets are flying around aim to backstab or unveil the dirty records of opponents. Tons of e-mails congested my mailbox daily.

The election is never clean, I deeply believe still. The dominant ruling parties backed up with strong financial supports have plenty of tricks to increase their votes. Wouldn't be surprised if they will sweep more than 2/3 of the parliament seats to continue their empire.

Opposition parties vow for a change. In fact, the limited votes on hands wouldn't change the status quo. How many politicians are really sacrificing for the country and people? Based on the pitiful salary, almost all ministers are possessing luxurious mansions and cars. How do they generate fortune? Did our anti corruption division able to investigate and sue these crocs? If we succeed to change the government (very unlikely), can we be sure corruption cases will be eliminated / reduced?

Politics and money can't be segregated. How could we attract highly professional candidates to run politics with general low pay? And we can't raise the salary drastically in consideration of various economy factors. The bad cycle continues…

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oil Price Breaks USD 100

The cruel effect of soaring oil price has surfaced around the world…. even the oil rich Gulf countries are not exempted. Read this interesting article from International Herald Tribune,

In the oil-producing Gulf countries, governments that are flush with oil money can soften the blow by spending more. The United Arab Emirates increased the salaries of public sector employees by 70 percent this month; Oman raised them 43 percent. Saudi Arabia also raised wages and increased subsidies on some foods. Bahrain set up a $100 million fund to be distributed this year to people most affected by rising prices. But all this government spending has the unfortunate side effect of worsening inflation, economists say.

I wonder for how long this strategy would work. This move would bog down their economy in long run and spoil their people. The labour market will be too expensive, it will ruin their effort to curb the inflation. OPEC has no intention to exert any effort to stabilize the oil price, but crossing their legs and smoking shisha leisurely.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Study

Some friends are still pursuing higher study at this age… MBA, PhD, professional certificates… It's not easy to take care of studies while having a full time job. It is even tiring when there is a family to take care of. One must be having a persistent will to accomplish the task. Qualification is the bet to achieve higher job position, especially in the international companies nowadays.

I don't see the necessity to have kind of MBA degree in my career now. The nature of my job simply doesn't require one. If I would pick up any course in future, it would largely for my hobby sake.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Germany Trip

Just came back from Germany to visit ex-colleagues. Was a pleasant trip though facing minor problem at Munich Airport on arrival. The young immigration officer was not so polite, though not rude, while checking my passport. Felt like being treated as 2nd class people. He asked for return ticket, traveling program, invitation letter etc. My annoyance was growing and I threw back a question to him, "For visiting a friend?"

I used to visiting Germany almost yearly since 1995, have never been interrogated as such. He ordered me to stand aside until finished examining rest of the travelers' doc. At last he flipped through each page of my passport scrutinizing under the light and hoped to find a hint of fake detail. After stamping my passport I grabbed it away without saying "thank you".

----
It was nice to meet ex-colleagues again, exchanging news and sharing stories, though the time was slightly too short.

----
Also visited
Cathedral of St. Peter in Regensburg and Walhalla.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Rambo 4 (I killed Someone…)

Sylvester Stallone is never my idol, but I just want to watch if the aging John Rambo is still capable to save the world. Frankly, the story is suck, the selling point is the intense brutal killing scenes. Tons of explosions tearing the limbs, blood splashed fiercely… quite "entertaining" indeed.

I had a weird dream that night. I couldn't recall the whole story… I just remember I was holding a grenade and threw to someone… I killed the "bad" guy. A lady rushed to me begging me to stop it. I snarled, "You know nothing!"… wow… I was so macho! Look closely, the lady was my ex-secretary! This was scary!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Reunion Dinner


An ad of Petronas - the national oil company. This year's theme is "Reunion Dinner". This is not the first time I'm away from home during Chinese New Year. To me, it is not necessary to have this reunion dinner on this very day. Any day can be if we want to. Cherish the love... Happy New Year.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Live For The Others

Colleague B was asking me how many years more I plan to work abroad. I replied, if only for myself I would plan to retire in the next years, but the actual situation at home might defer my plan. I'm glad to help my family members so to ease their burden. On the other hand, I have to be cautious not to let them over dependent on me.

I'm still single, no plan to get married, till now. Am reluctant to commit myself to someone. Friends said this is love, is blessing… I should have learned to appreciate. Maybe they are right but the responsibility is enormous. 2 people staying together, trust and understanding have to be fostered, and sacrifice to fit each other. I know my stubbornness and chauvinistic character could hardly compromise. (Or I'm too afraid?)

A friend is encountering this problem lately. I don't know what to say but giving these "theoretical" advice. Hope they could solve this crisis rationally and develop a stronger bond to walk abreast continually.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

"Eye" Catching

Mazda Furai

Lexus LF

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recent News

Kenya – Post Election Riot

The post election riot erupted in Kenya has turned out to be a threatening ethic cleansing act on the minority Kikuyu tribe where the incumbent President Mwaki Kibaki belongs. He won the election in narrow margin last month. Kikuyu tribe is resented for dominating the politic and economy in the country. Hope this would not cause food shortage and eventually turning to the safari to source supply.


US – Election

The Democratic presidential candidate US Senator Hillary Clinton was interviewed recently on TV. It is obvious she is playing women card. As expected, she was asked about her opinion on Lewinsky's case. She said she has forgiven her husband, and weeping. What a show… cheap trick!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cloverfield

Enticed by the trailer distributed on the net, I paid the hefty Euro3.5 to watch this monster yesterday… What the heck, the whole movie was shot with handy cam. The whole screen is so shaky THROUGH OUT the movie! (worse when you're in front of the big screen). It is nauseating. The movie terminated unexpectedly after 1 hr without ending? What about the monster -- killed or kept rampaging Manhattan? I have no idea how the monster looks like???

Sunday, January 27, 2008

State of Fear – Michael Crichton

Have just finished reading the 675 pages novel of Michael Crichton, State of Fear, telling a story of global warming threat. This novel has many scientific research footnotes, probably he meant to convince the readers with them. It has drawn strong criticism from climate scientists of his fact distortion intention, and misleading the readers. He said the ice in Antarctica is not thinning but thickening; the increasing Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is not the culprit of global warming etc…. counter attack the "ordinary" statements we used to absorb. I'm really confused who should I believe now.

After all, the novel has only 1 thrilling climax that keeps the page turning, he can really setup an intense pace. But the debates and preaching on global warming are quite boring. The worst part is the end of the story that he involved the unnecessary cannibals in Solomon Island.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hair Stylist


This is my masterpiece – experiment done on my nephew.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Time To Step In?

The US recession fear has initiated domino effect worldwide. Stock market indexes in Europe fell as much as 7%… reckon the bear will run for the next days. I did plan to sell off the funds on hand in the next days, but just a step too slow to sell it at all time high.

Checking the markets in Europe, financial stocks like Barclays, Citibank, Merrill Lynch have dropped to a very attractive level. Am planning to buy some for mid long term investment. Can't make up my mind should I step in now.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Back to Work

After spending the torturing 11.5 hrs on the narrow seat of economy class from Bangkok to Vienna, my legs could hardly be stretched. Why Austrian Airlines do not place 9 seats per row instead of 10 in this class like Thai Airways do? I should be lucky not having a giant size passenger beside me whose shoulder would have invaded half of my seat.

Worse, I had 8 hrs transit in Vienna Airport. I don’t like this airport, it does not provide free wireless internet access; no TV / movies for the passengers; foods and drinks are ridiculously expensive… the airport is simply not 'humanitarian'.

At last, back to work again, after 4 weeks lazy vacation. As usual, clean up the works piled up in a month.

Tough Life

The only thing observed in KL is that more high-end shopping malls are popping up in the past year. Is the consumption power of Malaysians so high that luxurious market is so ample and profitable? I doubt it… probably this is driven by the illusion of bullish stock market and the election ahead.

Newspapers are reporting the inflation on almost every basic commodity, everyone is complaining the salary is barely sufficient to fulfill their needs. The fuel cost is expecting to soar, government excused themselves that the subsidy of petrol is draining national income. This would definitely trigger domino effect on everything. I reckon the government's long proposed Value Added Tax would be implemented after the election. I really hope a great rally would sparkle to overthrow this blood sucking idea.

Value of money is decreasing, and the life is getting tougher!

Krabi



After visiting National Park, I bought a ticket to Krabi (Thailand) for sun and beach. I made a dive near Phi Phi Island (am trying to dive at least once a year to refresh and practice diving skill), was so glad that I could manage myself fairly well in the water. It was truly amazing to be surrounded by school of fishes. Sadly quite a large extent of corals is dead, leaving the dull grayish dead corals lying on the seabed - the consequence of tourism exploitation.

Compare to Phuket, Krabi is no doubt having nicer beach, but smaller, more expensive, night life is dull, less choice of night entertainment (ahem… whatever means…) I was planning to try rock climbing, but the lousy agent failed to organize without informing me in advance. It left me a reason to return to Thailand again next time.

After spending a couple of days under the sun, I'm satisfied with the tan reddish (lightly sunburned) skin colour. I enjoyed this trip greatly!