Tuesday, 27 May 2008

The game is now ON~~~

I've been complaining too free and no work in my previous job...

Now... i am venting in my blog that i started to feel 'drown' by work...

Imagine that u already feel drowning even b4 u started full force working as email not ready, access not ready??

What would be the case when I'm fully equipped with all the necessary access and working tools??

All i can say is that --> the game is now ON! and its pay back time NOW!

But guess what?? I am feeling excited about it! (at least for the time being :P)

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (8-10 May 2008)

I've been longing to visit Amsterdam. I wanted to see their well-known windmill, dutch lady, dutch clogs and of course not forgetting the tulips! Amsterdam was our last stop before flying back to KL and we only have practically 1 1/2 day to cover the places we want to go. We reached Amsterdam Central Station ~10.30am and quickly we checked in to our hostel and take a 40mins train to the Zaandam where we get to visit the Cheese Farm, Wooden Shoe Factory (manufacturing clogs), different types of windmill and also the Old Clock Museum, the best part is that its admission free...haha

I like the place as we get to see windmills, get to see how clogs being made, get to taste all sort of cheese, get to see dutch lady but not milk squeezing la :P. We spent half a day there. We head back to the city for dinner and at night we open ups our eyes at Red Light District & Sex Musuem - speechless and amazed :P

Next day, we went Alkmaar to visit the famous Friday cheese market. We get to see as per tradition the cheese is weighed with lead weights and then whisked away using a gondola-shaped wooden barrows...something interesting for me as we didnt get to see such custom in Malaysia.
Next, we went Keukenhof for tulips as its tulips season. We were all excited to see so many brightly coloured tulips and as if we've stepped into a kodak moment! The garden is huge and its a great place to wander around and sit for a while. Other than flowers, the garden also houses many artistic sculpture...those who know how to appreciate arts will definitely love this place even more :P
Due to the tight schedule, we didnt get to spend time at Amsterdam city...last day, we have dinner at Dam Square...and just managed to get a glimpse of the busy and crowded city. This leaves me a reason to go back once more...hehe :P

Prague, Czech Replubic - Heaven on Earth (5-7 May 2008)

I'm getting lazier and lazier to write my travel blog. After Prague, there is one more to go...which is Amsterdam...and I'm slowly forgetting the in depth details of the trip :(

Long ago...b4 i even know where Prague is...i've started to heard of this place from different people...but the feedback were all the same --> Prague is very pretty, its a must go place!
and yes..they are all right! Prague is indeed very pretty!

Old Town Square, the tall building is Tyn Tower - which i like the most!

We spent 2 1/2 days at Prague. We didn't join any day tour but solely exploring the city by our foot. Of all the landmarks and places we went....Old Town Square was the place that we've spent the most time with...why? coz its one of the top 3 attractions in Prague and furthermore its the nearest from our hostel. The other 2 main attractions will be Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.

Highly stood Prague Castle looks 'small' from far

Charles Bridge - led us to Prague Castle

Other than the 3 main attractions, what made Prague so pretty are the buildings! Welly organized, unique by itself, unique architecture, vibrant colour....I am not good in describing it in words...but Prague is just so different from London, Budapest and Vienna! It gives me a fresh impression towards Europe :D
Oh ya...one of the highlights - we watched orchestra, finally. We wanted to watch at Vienna but couldn't make it...so we have done it in Prague. Frankly, i am not a classical music person...so, i cant tell whether the show was a good one or just normal standard just to please tourist like us. Anyhow, i think i enjoyed the 1 hour show and its kinda nice to me :)

As for food in Prague, the traditional Czech dish seem to be roast pork knee, roast duck with picked cabbage and dumpling. We managed to try both and its nice! Other than that, we had Chinese food and sandwiches. We also did grocery shopping at Prague...coz things and food sold at Prague is cheaper. For those ppl who know me, i like instant noodle. Wherever i go, i will try to buy local instant noodle...haha...so i'v bought some in Prague as well. Coffee-holic will of course stock in coffee lo...:P

I dunno what to write anymore, as there's nothing special happened and we all enjoyed our time at Prague. Just let the photos do the talking....For those who feel tempted and want to go, please do so before 2009....before they switch to Euro...haha...it would be much more costly by then :P

Friday, 23 May 2008

The Sound of Music - Salzburg & Vienna, Austria (3 - 4 May 2008)

“You will feel yourself being soaked into the ‘soup’ of classical music when you’re in Vienna” – that’s a comment/feedback from one of my friend. Hrmm….not sure whether is it bcoz I don’t have the sense of music or its just an over rated comment by him…apparently I dun have such feeling at Vienna. I couldn’t deny that Vienna is beautiful but somehow it didn’t give me that kind of wow factor….perhaps my mind been thinking about Budapest still :P

Since no wow factor exploring the city, we've jointly decided to join a day trip to Salzburg which is well known for The Sound of Music - the movie was shot there few decades back. Our time spent in Vienna was just half day. We visited Hofburg Palace at the city centre...we didnt manage to snap good pictures as there's some kind of fun fair going on with lots of booths and food stalls set up around Hofburg Palace and surrounding buildings...this actually spoilt the whole view! Hence...we also didn't spent too much of time there and move on to attractions nearby.

Next, we went to Schonbrunn Palace. We didnt visit the inner of the palace as while we reached there its kinda late and also bcoz of the expensive entrance fee charged. So....we just hang around the palace garden instead. The palace garden reminds me of Versailles in Paris again..with the similar look and feel but Versailles is much bigger in fact. Nothing much to expect, rolling on grass as usual, pose and snap pictures, and day dreaming...nice weather...i just love it!
Early next day, we're set to Salzburg. It was quite a long journey ~~3 hours bus ride to reach there. I tried so hard not to sleep in the bus so as to capture as much country view of Austria as possible. The country view of Salzburg!....the origin place of the movie The Sound of Music!...the scenery is just so unreal! This picture explain all...with my limited english vocab....i seriously dunno how to put it in words..

To summarize, my rating towards Vienna is just 6/10. Salzburg would be 9/10

Footnote: scared off my the many drop-outs, drugdealers and alcoholic vagrants at one of the busy underground station...its just scary~~~~


TGIF - Thank God Its Friday!

I cant remember exactly the content of the notice being put up at the pantry room but the message conveyed is something like this...

Dear colleagues,
To encourage a balance work life...starting this Friday and every Friday, all staff are required to leave the work place by 5pm. The immediate supervisor will be fine RM30 if you're found to stay back at work after 5pm on Friday. TGIF!

This is sooooo brilliant!! I love it! I wonder when they will implement this for every other working days?? haha....too wishful right? :P

There's more...someone actually purposely went and get an 'ice-cream bell'...and start hitting the bell 5 minutes before 5pm...and counting down to remind everybody to pack their stuff and go home...hahaha

Excellent! Brilliant! I think i love my new company as at now... :P

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Day 1 @ OCBC - 22nd May 2008

Today marked my 1st day at OCBC....my new work place...which is also my 3rd job in 4 years+.
Let's just compare the department and my workstation for 3 different places~

1st job - Alliance Bank (Feb 2004 - Oct 2007)
PC - Gateway white PC
Phone - normal old Telekom phone
Colleagues - there were 6 inclusive of me in the marketing team

2nd job - UOB (Nov 2007 - May 2008)
PC - new Dell PC....but waited for almost a month to get it! Imagine working without a PC!!
Phone - again...used Telekom phone
Colleagues - i am the solely one being stationed at different office with the team....coz my boss just wanted me to sit close to him....so...practically i am like working alone in a deserted island...those ppl sitting close to me majority easily 10 years+ with the bank....phewww~~

3rd job - OCBC (current)
PC - no more PC but using laptop. Its there...just that only can use it when i got my IDs. Now that using laptop...no place to put my pretty 'animals' already :(
Phone - speaker CISCO phone with LCD display
Colleagues - the whole marketing dept is big...20+ of them i think...but my team is the smallest...only me and my boss...haha

Tadah....this is my new work place...kinda messy....lotsa clean up to be done...as the previous person was a guy....so understood la~~ :P

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Oh, Budapest...here we come (30 Apr - 2 May 2008)

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary, east part of Europe and its one of Europe’s most delightful and enjoyable cities --> the fruit totally agreed on that!

3 of us (myself, kiki & beebee) flew with Easyjet from London Luton to Budapest Ferihegy on 30th Apr. Touched down at 10am but will need to stay put at the airport and wait for shy shy until 12pm. She flew with Ryaan Air from Frankfurt. Shy shy’s arrival signifies the beginning of our Eastern Europe journey!

First thing we did was checking in to our hostel. All of us caught with surprise when we reached the hostel. It’s sooo nice, clean, cozy and homely! We fall in love with the hostel immediately! We managed to visit the Great Market Hall near the Liberty Bridge (we know it better by green bridge which self explanatory). All of us love markets as you will get to see a lot local food & stuffs….furthermore we will get crazy when we see food…be it cooked or raw…haha. So…the market didn’t disappoint us. It houses many variety stalls selling meat & sausages, paprika & herbs, fruits & vegetables, food stalls and last but not least the handcraft and souvenir stalls. The market serves like an eye-opener to me towards Hungarian and their culture! We visited The Liberation Monument (The statue is of a lady holding a palm leaf) at the Citadella on Gellert Hill. Didn’t hike all the way up to the summit coz the climb gradually getting steeper, also bcoz we were quite tired and it’s been drizzling on and off. However, we still managed to snap some nice pictures and we enjoyed resting overseeing the panoramic view of Pest and River Danube…looks charming and romantic! At night, we have our dinner at a tourist street near the market….we chose the typical tourist menu dish which serve traditional Hungarian food. The food was nice…so as the waiter….they are pair of good looking twins by my standard (apparently someone doesn’t agree with that :P).

Early morning 2nd day, we made our way to Castle Hill to visit Buda Castle, Fisherman Bastian, Mathias Church and etc. On our way there, we walked over the famous Chain Bridge (most beautiful in Budapest per say) and also not forgetting to snap some pictures at the other side of the Citadella. We took a funicular to Buda Castle as most of us lazy to walk uphill. The Royal Palace is a symbol for Hungarian always occupied or involved in wars. It had been destroyed 3 times and rebuilt after that...and apparently it was never occupied permanently....dunno why as its such a lovely place~~...So after visiting the main attraction in Castle Hill...we move on the Mathias Church. We paid entrance fee to go in to the church...hrmm...i'm not a Christian nor Catholic...so i dont have much comment towards the church but one thing for sure is that its different from what i've seen in Paris, Rome & Vatican. We didnt managed to snap good pictures of the church as the exterior was under restoration work :(....then we wandering around Fisherman Bastian to catch a glimpse of the scenic view of Pest. Our next destination is Margaret Island - a large and pleasant place to relax and wander. We strolled at least 2 hours there, blending in with the locals there. My eyes were never free...keep hunting for good looking guys....hahaha. It was a perfect sunny afternoon and all of us enjoyed the park. We tried out another few Hungarian dish for dinner at another restaurant in the same place as the day before. Satisfying meal :)

3rd day...early morning we went to Great Market Hall again...coz need to do souvenir's shopping...someone might be wondering...how come first day didn't buy and now need to go back again to buy? Ohh....coz we are all poor thing..need to compare price around to make sure we can get the cheapest...hehe...after shopping, AGAIN, we cross the Liberty Bridge by foot to try out Budapest famous thermal steam bath at Gellert Baths. I think i did enjoyed the bath. Our next destination is Heroes' Square...but we ended up at Opera and did quite a long walk to Heroes' Square. How come we ended up at Opera? Ohh...coz this is recommended by Michalis. So who is Michalis? He a new fren we get to know in Budapest...just that we happened to ask him directions at the underground and we were heading to the same direction. So we just followed him embarking & disembark trains...take pics, chatting and walking along the street. The street at Opera heading to Heroes' Square was really a nice one....it reminds me of Champs Elysee, Paris.

Myself, Kiki & Michalis at the Budapest 'Chams Elysee'

Heroes' Square is nice and spacious....not as crowded as other tourist spot. There was a flea market behind the square....so we spent some time there b4 heading back to our usual hang out Pest area for dinner. Our last agenda were to look out for the iconic Amazing Race's sculpture of a kid where the background view is Castle Hill. I didnt take down the name of the sculpture and below picture explained it all. We hang out till late just to catch the night view of the castle. It was awesome!
Thats the summary of our journey at Budapest. I cannot not mention how helpful the locals are. If you ask for help...they will sure help with a welcoming and friendly manner. Even if u didnt ask, they might come to you and ask you if you need help....how wonderful it is! Another point to add is that Hungarians are generally good looking, not just males but also females....nice place, good view, nice food, nice people, nice weather....how can you resist this place?? :P

To summarize, my rating towards Budapest is 9/10! Like it!
Check out my pictures at - http://profiles.friendster.com/21005858

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The city of Big Ben - London (27 - 30 April 2008)

Someone complained that I should have blog something more interesting of my Europe trip i.e. one night stand, missed train and etc etc instead of cost wo…. So…we start up with the beautiful and expensive city of London!

London is extremely busy and English people are kinda ‘cold’ in general…not sure whether this is because of London’s cold & gloomy weather. Nevertheless, I still like this city a lot! We spent 3 nights at London, 2 nights at West Ham as we bunk in my cousin’s frens’ flat which turned up that both also my lost contact high school mates! What a surprise and what a small world! Its good that we can spend some time chatting and catching up on updates :)

YD & me - sunset @ Trafalgar Square. She is married and now stays at London with her hubby. So happy and lovely there :)

Suk-yi & me. She settled down at London currently. She is getting married real soon. Congrats :)

Practically we only have 2 full days at London. 1st day we joined a day trip to the famous Windsor Castle, Bath & the so called most over rated attraction – Stonehenge.

Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and still an official royal residence of England. It might not be as huge and as grand as Versailles in Paris but nonetheless I still managed to capture its charm while wandering there.

The tour was kinda tight as we need to cover 3 places in 1 day…so after 2 hours like that we were set and heading to Roman city of Bath, a city in Somerset. Bath is famous for its hot springs…if I listened correctly to the tour guide; Bath is the only place in England which has hot springs. I like Romans buildings and architecture, it’s so characteristic! So...we visited the Roman Bath museum, snap some nice pictures, tried the ‘fully mineral-ed’ spring water in the Pump Room. The other highlight of the trip is that I was so amazed with the cottage/village view along the way at the road side. It’s just so so scenic and nice…I think I fell in love with the country side of England. Life would be great if I can spend some years living there….

Next is Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most said Stonehenge is over rated as we only get to see some giant stones either stood straight or some collapsed on the ground. Hehe…of coz there’s story behind it and I couldn't’t care less also la…my focus was on the grassland instead! I love greenery! I was so excited and keep snapping pictures with different pose on the grass rather than admiring the stones… :P

Backed to London town, we catched up with YD for dinner and before that we went Trafalgar Square to snap some nice pictures. We have our dinner near Leicester Square. We dine at a famous cheap Japanese restaurant among locals and travelers – Misato (if I get it correctly). Generous serving, tasty and yummy…thumbs up!

One of the dish we ordered - pork fillet rice with eggs. Generous serving!

Btw, i cannot not mention the London Underground System a.k.a. Tube. If you look at the map...its like a huge spider web....and its not easy to digest at one glance...we almost boarded the wrong train few times...even we were almost sure we are at the right 'line'....but still not very sure whether that is the right train when it comes.... :P

The next morning was city walk...firstly we went Buckingham Palace to watch the guard changing ceremony...huge crowd. Then we did some garden walking...initially wanted to go St. James Park.....but ended up in Green Park without we realising...then we went China Town for a good lunch...after that went National Gallery, Leicester Square again, London Eye, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Tower of London....basically we explore half of London with our feet...wow...thats really hard core.....imagine there are 10 more days of walking in Eastern Europe....start peeing in our pants already...keke....

We slept really early that night, coz need to catch a bus to Luton airport at 4am...we 'check out' from West Ham and stayed at a hostel nearby Victoria. My housemate will also reach the same evening and meet us b4 flying to Budapest and continue with our Eastern Europe journey.

Took a lot of pictures....and i've done some filtering and uploaded some at Facebook. Check it out at http://profiles.friendster.com/21005858

To summarize, my rating towards London is 8/10! Like it!

Leaving from where I am...

So....i've tendered my resignation yesterday...kinda unexpected coz i've only 6 months with my current job. Never a job hopper but just there's little bit of push & full factor there...

I always feel that what i've planned for almost never work..there were soooo many past examples which i dun really bother to remember...Before i join my current job...i've told myself die die to stay put for at least 1 year, so that my CV will looks better --> plan failed.

Been thinking a lot recently and cant really get a decent sleep....not sure whether its bcoz of my over active brain or due to jet lag....day time i'm sleepy but when comes to night...i'm awake... :(

I should be starting my new job next week....so, i wish myself good luck and all the best here @_@

Monday, 12 May 2008

Europe trip expenditure

Hello..the fruit is back! Been MIA for 2 weeks coz I’ve spent 14D/13Ns backpacking in east (Budapest, Vienna & Prague) & west (London & Amsterdam) of Europe recently and below is the brief breakdown of the expenditures:

Air, bus & train transportation --> RM3,705
Accommodation --> RM870 (€157) (for 11Ns @ hostel, 2Ns FOC at London, 1N in sleeper train)
Sightseeing tour paid in advance (London) --> RM358 (£56)
Sightseeing tour paid at Europe (Salzburg, Austria) --> RM495 (€99)
Eat, Souvenirs, Entrance Fee & Underground throughout the trip --> RM2,675 (€535)

Total $$ spent ==> RM8,103 for 14 days

Consider cheap? But I am totally broke now …sob sob….

It’s a wonderful trip but happiness do come with pain as well :(