Monday, December 21, 2009
There was this one particular individual (a show presenter, can't remember his name now) who seemed like he went out of his way to be difficult with me. He didnt bother to get to know me, to know what my background was, what my life experience was or even how old I was (I was older than him) and he treated me as if I was a student working part time during the holidays. His attitude really didn't help and in turn he was not on my good books.
In essence the place was the bottom of the dredges and it reflected my own life then perfectly.
As a disclaimer, I will say that (as with most places) there were a few characters that made my time there bearable and pleasant enough. To these few, I thank you.
Sometimes, memories like these are important to help bring one back down to earth and I like to think that this little "flash back in time" episode was for this very purpose, least I get too big in the head at where I am now compared to the early days of 2003.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I guess 2009 is the year for Sci Fi movies. Star Trek, District 9 and now Avatar.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The entire trip has been dubbed "The Night Safari 2010" and I must admit the first thought that came to mind was why on earth was Scubacam organising a trip to the Singapore Zoo?
In view of preparing for this trip, I spent the last few months at building up my underwater photography rig and attempting to hone whatever skills I may possess so that I will experience the least amount of fumbling and fiddling when I finally arrive in Lembeh. I even started a scrap book to make notes on how best to improve!
Well it won't be long now for February 2010. I think I can throw in about two more dives here on the UAE east coast to experiment with the various lighting techniques I would want to use in Lembeh.
The dive resort we'll be staying at is the Kasawari Lembeh Resort. What apparently makes this resort so special is that it has been specifically built and catered for discerning underwater photographers/videographers with a dedicated camera room with individual work stations for rig assembly/dissembly, battery charging and other shenanigans that come with delving into underwater photography.
If you click on the Kasawari Lembeh Resort link, you'll get to see how smashing the place looks. The resort also has massage services, a bar (important) and an infinity pool! As the wifey will be tagging along, these facilities will surely come in handy at keeping her occupied.
Yessiree it's only 2 more weeks 'til 2010 and before you know it, it'll be time to get onto that big bird home and onwards to Lembeh.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It really just goes to show that you do not need a fancy camera to take nice decent pictures. However please do not take this to mean that I will gladly live with my iPhone camera. I still want this lil' baby someday!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Beaver finally hit the jackpot and landed a better offer for back home in Singapore. On top of that he is also now an expectant father of twins. It was a sad moment for the rest of us here when he finally had to go but we were of course happy for him.
As Talahassee in the movie Zombieland said, "It is time to nut up or shut up". I take this to mean to take crap in life like a man.
Okay I know Zombie movies isn't for everyone but this one makes one of my favourite movies for 2009. It was relatively easy convincing the wifey to watch this with me last Friday by stressing that it was a comedy (it really is) and I was glad that she admitted that the show was more entertaining that she expected.
Bali was a great opportunity to wind down and relax after the wedding. It is the one place I wouldn't mind going back to over and over again. The only thing I find disappointing about Bali is the "local cuisine". I think it has been too "watered down" for tourist taste, especially for those of the Caucasian persuasion. No spiciness at all and somewhat bland even.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I have lots of to say. The last 6 months have seen some life changing events. And I shall cut the crap on any angst related issues...
Monday, June 29, 2009
Individual A has been around these parts for like..when time began, or so he likes to think. He is also very actively involved in his religious activities and to give credit where it's due, is also very good at his job. However as a result of all this, I feel individual A has been besotted with a certain sense of high handed pride. He is not directly boastful, but he is very good at subtly inserting self praise into his conversations and it doesn't help that he seems to be in love with the sound of his own voice. He is also fiercely protective of what he's supposed to do and what he feels he's not. I guess generally this is a good trait in itself but if you're part of a team, well... if you're deep set in your ways and resistant to change, this means you're probably on your way out already. Just the same, Individual A is already set for retirement soon. He probably expects to be exalted at his going away do and to hear laments that the office will not function as well without him (which is probably true by the way). But when he starts, man he can just verbally squash anyone else's voice with his heavy authoritative, self righteous conviction that borders on a church reading of a squeally voice that all I want to do is to tell him to shut the %&*# up.
Individual B. Individual B probably feels that because he has been giving a great opportunity for advancement amongst his peers, this puts him on an elevated pedestral with given rights to act like a Mister Know It All when he himself requires guidance and correction. With people he feels that are lower in station than himself, he acts like you are inconsequential. Like Indivdual A, Individual B also has a certain self conviction about himself. However unlike individual A, if you can be proven wrong, then this makes it all the more galling! It leaves me smirking on the inside actually to see this happen.
But hey, I get my pay every month so who am I to argue? :)
Sunday, June 28, 2009
If this is ever at all possible I would like provide some word of advice to the Decepticons.
1. Kidnap Sam's parents (as done only to be let free in the desert for no Goddam apparent reason)
2. Kidnap Mikaela
3. Torture all of the above until Sam gives them what they want.
Oh and as an extra, it wouldnt hurt for them to squish Sam's college room mate who in my opnion was a bloody annoyance more than providing any comic relief.
Sadly Revenge of the Fallen only warrants a 2 out of 5 stars from me.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Now I feel like I don't really care about it anymore. They just have to deal with me. I'm not going anywhere. I'm here to stay. They have to get used to me as much as I have to get used to them. So in a way, things for me now are much "better" than they were say a couple of months ago and I think I can narrow down the reasons why to two main contributing factors,
1. I started to drive gaining my own mobility (very inportant for living here!)
2. I stopped caring about what other people think of me.
Perhaps now I can finally move forward.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
After a long delay I finally got around to getting a HSBC sales officer to come to the office and speak to me about finally opening a local bank account. Now I normally like to think I am a patient person and very forgiving but this sorry excuse of a sales officer from HSBC really takes the cake in setting me off the deep end.
1. He didn't bring his own pen so I had to let him use mine (expensive one you know).
2. He didn't bring his own writing pad so I had to pass him some (which is really no biggie)
3. His mobile phone kept ringing throughout our meetingand he kept taking them. His excuse was that it was a call from India (like I freakin care)
4. He had this annoying facial spasm/bad habit that saw him widely opening his mouth and eyes and sticking tongue out all at the same time! (EEeeaaargh...I know we all have our quirks but this was too much man!)
5. He seemed to rush through his entire "presentation" (using my pen and paper) on what different accounts were available to me.
6. He didn't seem to take the time to fully understand what my needs are.
7. He ended up misunderstanding what my needs are.
8. He called me "Pare" even AFTER checking my Singapore passport. (How stupid can you get man?!)
Ok this was yesterday. Then today.
1. He informs he'll come around 11am, he doesn't but at least he called and said he'll be here at 12 to 12.30pm.
2. Come 1 pm the fat ass still hasn't turned up or called so I said f&*k it I'm going for lunch.
3. During lunch he calls and says he's waiting outside, there isn't any parking so could I please come downstairs. I says I'm out of the office and having my lunch so he says okay then after my lunch then.
4. After lunch I foolishly went down to meet him, got into his grimy vehicle, signed a few more forms, and left. I heard him honking his damn car (apparently he forgot to get another signature) but i ignored him. If he needed something else, he had better get his fat ass up to my office.
Apparently he did have a parking lot but he just didn't want to pay for parking!
5. I went up...let off steam to the accountant.
6. Fats ass sales officer finally comes up and gets my signature. He then broaches the subject again about me transferring all of my salary from Singapore to Dubai (The fat f$&ker has not been listening all along) and I told him "Look, it's not going to happen! I need to maintain my salary in Singapore!"
After this entire episode of no confidence, why on God's green earth would I EVER want to place all my eggs in Dubai HSBC's basket? I would be a freakin' MAD!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
The waters around Musandam were a lot calmer than from I last visited last year. The Dhow in itself was nice and very spacious however in my opinion, not exactly built for diving from as it had a very high freeboard ie distance from deck to waterline.
Still No Nudis! And during the second dive I lost the protective cover of my lens port despite taking Clifford's advise to secure it with a cord. I am absolutely convinced that the sole purpose of that piece of plastic is for it to get lost!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Over here...satisfaction is eluding me. But now with Babu on leave (which is a sort of a blessing as well) I find I am just swamped and the only way forward is to put in extra hours even if it means working over the weekend, and as always I feel my efforts will have no real outcome.
To sum it up on how its like so far being Marketing Manager for the Dubai office, its a lot of work for almost nil gain. That's if until a boat of ours secures a charter as a result of my actions.
So I've spent a good part of the day going through a mind numbing contract while trying to salvage some form of job satisfaction from it. And the thing that keeps me going are pleasant memories from home that I force my mind to conjure up in between contract clauses.
It'll go something like this...
"Where an invoice is disputed, the Charterers shall in any event pay the undisputed portion of the invoice but shall be entitled to withhold payment of...
...Peninsula Camera shop window shopping...
the disputed portion provided that such portion is reasonably disputed and the Charterers specify such reason. Interest will be chargeable at the rate stated in Box 24 on such disputed..
...dinner and drinks with gf Geraldine or cousin Colin at Timbre/Paulaner Brahaus/Archipelago Brewery/Brewerks..
amounts where resolved in favour of the Owners. Should the Owners prove the validity of the disputed portion of the invoice, balance payment shall be received by the Owners within 5 banking days after the dispute is resolved. Should the...
Charterer's claim be valid, a corrected..
..Bak Kut Teh..
invoice shall be issued by the Owners. In defaultof payment as herein specified, the Owners may..
require the Charterers to make payment of the amount due within 5 banking..
***censored**** (it involves the gf)
days of receipt of notification from the Owners"
Yes...something along the lines of the above....
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
"Libyan, Saudi leaders walk out of Arab Summit after a spat
By Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor in ChiefLast updated: March 30, 2009, 18:45
Gaddafi’s remarks followed the opening address by the summit host, Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, who failed to stop the Libyan leader from continuing his barrage. Gaddafi was referring to a spat with the Saudi King during an Arab summit in 2003 in which King Abdullah described the Libyan leader as "a British-made and an American agent". This followed a comment by Gaddafi, saying Riyadh helped the US invade Iraq. The two countries have also had tense relations since the publication in June 2004 of a media report in the United States and Saudi Arabia accusing Gaddafi of plotting the assassination of King Abdullah, then crown prince, who was on a visit to the holy city of Makkah. Gaddafi on Monday said he was willing to mend fences with the Kingdom, despite the initial angry burst. "I am ready to visit you and for you to visit me," he said. The Emir of Qatar then managed to stop Gaddafi and offered a surprise apology; Gaddafi said he only wanted to apologise and open a new page with King Abdullah, who by then had left the room in protest. But Gaddafi went on to say that he was "the dean of the Arab leaders, the king of kings of Africa and the leader of the faithful,” before he himself stormed out of the meeting. Sources told Gulf News that he "went to visit the museum of Islamic Arts". A Qatari mediation managed to bring Gaddafi and King Abdullah together later in the day. Sources close to the proceeding said that most delegates didn’t consider Gaddafi’s remarks as an apology. "It will be another blow to the much hoped for Arab reconciliation," said the sources, referring to the absence of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Analysts said Mubarak stayed away from the summit because of differences with Qatar over Doha’s relations with Iran and the Gaza war coverage by Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel, which Cairo considers as anti-Egypt. - With input from Jumana Al Tamimi, Associate Editor "
Classic example of why peace in the Middle East is elusive and a very long time in coming. What do you expect when folks can't even get their act together amongst their own kin?
Sunday, March 22, 2009
It has been 10 months already since I've been here. And I still feel I am not in my element. Visiting the S'pore office last week made me miss my time there dearly eventhough when I was there I felt bored and unfufilled. It's been like a real struggle so far. I still have no idea what I've achieved. However newly made friendships in Dubai have kept me sane. And I had mentally prepared myself for the long haul going solo. So Heisham, Beaver, May, Kamal, Shireen and Kamariah thank you for helping keep this kid sane.
And the latest bit of info to anyone out there who actually bothers to check my blog for updates.
Geraldine and I are getting married.
More updates to come, and hopefully this time with pretty pictures.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I guess demonstrators need food too. However couldn't they have entered the premises in an orderly manner? (They are students after all). I guess if the article was reworded as
"New protests against the Israeli offensive were held around the world. Hundreds of Muslim students entered a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in an orderly manner in the Indonesian city of Palu waving Palestinian flags and burning the US and Israeli emblems"...
it wouldn't have sounded as zesty and would be in contrast to the angst and grief usually displayed by such protests. The KFC staff must have had their hands full.
Driver: You have plenty friends driving bus (motions to bus in front)?
Driver: Plenty Filipino drive bus no?
Me: I'm not Filipino.
Driver: Oh so where you from?
Me: Singapore, and take THAT! (I bash him in the face)
The above is just so typical of the generalisation and assumptions that go on here and is extremely annoying but I can't help the way I look any more than he can help assuming that all Filipino looking characters ARE Filipino. (They could be Malaysian or Indonesian or in my case, Singaporean) This incident is not the first and it sure as hell ain't going to be the last.
And no, I didnt bash him in the face, although I would have liked to.
The Malacca trip to attend the inaugural Sequerah clan reunion was okay but the trip was more to catch up with second cousin Cecilia and spend time with Geraldine who graciously put up with going up that rotating tower contraption with me.
The National Service reunion was also a blast although a few people whom I was hoping would be there did not turn up. Big thanks to Alfee for driving me home that night! (yes...I was drunk).
And I finally got to meet Geraldine's mother (twice) who said I was a "nice boy". I have been told that this in itself means high praise already.
Towards the end of those 16 or so days at home, it felt like it was time to go "home"... It also helped that Geraldine would also be flying out to Dubai a few hours after me.