Friday, March 19, 2021

Day 2: Langkawi 122620

Here we are, on the second day. I know it's such a short-lived vacation. But at times like this, I can only feel grateful that we are able to do this. My expectation is super low compared to pre-covid. But, that's how it is. Hopefully, the vaccination would be earlier than May next year (estimation) because we all have to return back to our lives. Working from home is nice, but it's not nice when we can't even travel out, or some people have families they cannot go back to due to the restrictions. 

So on the second day after our brekkie time, we went for kayak! I know I am such a noob, but this really is my first time doing it. Fun but of course, I got tanner as expected haha. If anyone wanna try how effective their creation of sunblock is, you may try it on me because none products work on me.

We kayak until to this abandoned tiny "island." I didn't know that from our original place, Thailand is just 2 hours kayak away. But from a speedboat, it's much faster. Just don't get caught by marine police.

Then, the stomachs are all screaming away. Here we are, apparently, recommended in Langkawi. 

That's the food we ordered. Not very tasty but acceptable I guess.

The decoration is very villagy style. That's what we all appreciate these days. Nobody want to go for urban style anymore.

We played some games, opened champagne for celebration. That's the whole reason why we all went and voila, we did what we needed to do. The next day, we all packed and left, with the horrendous traffic, all going back to KL. Dang!

Friday, January 22, 2021

Punctuality in MY

Punctuality is a joke here.

So we all know how Malaysians are when it comes to timing. Punctuality is so important. So important that it has a deeper meaning to it, such as, respect towards time, respect towards the other person.

I'm less fortunate that this is inborn with me, that I grew up adhering to the time so much that at times, it does me no good. During my early adulthood, I had to put up with ridiculous timing from some people, friends mostly. Are they still my friends? I guess. What have changed? Nothing much except that I don't meet them one on one anymore.

Since my major was in the hospitality industry, I was trained well during those few years to get my degree. Timing is no joke. For some lecturers, being on time equals to being late.

But, why? Why are people always late?

I have very painful experience waiting for people. It went up to hours before. How did I feel? Like shit.

In all honesty, I am not super early to an appointment either. I'm just few minutes early. But, I end up waiting 30 minutes, 1 hour that sort of thing. 

Are people apologetic?

Mostly no. 

So, why do people promise something they cannot keep?

I don't know, I hope someone can enlighten this one day. Perhaps, they want to be included in everything. It's okay to decline an appointment, it's alright to say no. But, it's not right to agree to an appointment and you're late, all the time. It gets so frustrating that the thought of unfriending came up. I have taken a break from a friendship because of this, a couple of times.

So, I have made a tremendous improvement on my response if people are late compared to 10 years ago. I used to flare up, I used to flip. But now? It's not that I don't care anymore, but let's just say that I'm going out much lesser these days (apart from Covid) and that telling the same person again and again the same thing? I don't feel good too. In the end, I just choose where to go and who I go with. If these people whose hobbies are being late? Either meet me nearby my house, or let's just continue what we do and not meet each other. That's the best way to live. 

Either one has to change. If none can change, let's not meet. Everyone will be happy. Win-win in the end.

Respect is so valuable these days. Do not take advantage, and earn it.

Just because everyone is doing it here, we should not normalize it. It's wrong, it's wrong in so many levels. Learn to be better, learn to be punctual. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Day 1: Langkawi 122520

Since the pandemic started, I have not gotten any break, vacation, getaway or even a staycation. The last getaway I had was just before I started this job which was August 2019 to Penang. During this difficult time, let's not talk about overseas vacation. Let's face the truth and be practical.

Finally, I managed to get a super short albeit something I really needed for a long time now. All our vacation plans had to be canceled, put on hold, or delayed for God knows how long. My assumption is for another year. Even a staycation sounds like a luxury these days.

So, let's not talk anymore. 2 weeks before Christmas, we have decided to cruise to Langkawi. It's not the best bet for an island, but this would do for now.

We drove to Kuala Kedah, held one night in Alor Setar (or in fact, it was just a couple of hours) before we headed over to the jetty.

Right after we picked up our car for the next few days, we headed here. The Scarborough Fish & Chips. It's recommended in Trip Advisor. Have your fish and chips overlooking the Andaman Sea. Why not right?

Here you go, my snow fish. This place is kinda secluded, so you need to search for it with their little humble signage. It is made to order, so you might need to wait awhile.

So when I go to places like this, I have this habit of ordering mango juice. Haha. 

We stayed in Tanjung Rhu in Langkawi. It is the opposite end from Kuah. Check in time was 3pm. The rooms were not ready at that time. I want to understand from a hotelier's perspective but at the same time I can't when 3pm is a commitment. 
We supposed to kayak that evening but due to peak season, there were no slots for us. So what can we do? ATV it is. 

We had a volley ball session after that. Haha!

Here we are at the comfort of Tanjung Rhu beach for the sunset. I must say that it's a very pretty sunset.

We then went over to Kuah for dinner. I have never done anything like this before but everything has a first time, right? It was just the 4 of us but holy cow! We finished 10 dishes with one big jar of ice lemon tea and chinese tea each. Obviously, we had food coma. haha!

It's time that we explore more domestic traveling. It's not that we can right now, but this is the chance during the pandemic whenever the government ease the restrictions. We are lucky that we have beaches and islands in Malaysia.

Let's Cuti-Cuti Malaysia!

Monday, January 11, 2021

Happy New Year 2021!

I don't think there was anything great to look back to for the past year. It's not the typical year, but it's a year full of learnings and adaptations. It's our first time doing this together, regardless if you are a citizen or government. 

I hope 2021 will be a way better year than the last. At least, we try to be responsible as adults, as a citizen of a country, caring for the people and the planet. Of course, we have to find a balance between safety and sanity.

If you are having a hard time, please reach out to someone.

This is our quiet celebration from PNB Hotel and Suites NYE. There was no fireworks or anything like that. Heck, it wasn't even any kind of party. It was just 4 people with nothing better to do, ended up having a nice, pleasant dinner and just chill out in the room. 
Getting ready to go for our dinner. HAHAHA.

Our buffet. It was good, except that the guests there were not really compliant.

If there is nothing exciting going on, we create one. The older we get, it's less parties, or none. The way we define a chilling session would be very different from how we used to see life a decade ago.

I know I will not be able to adapt to non-traveling life for a very long time. So let's all hope together that things will be much better soon.

Here is to wishing everyone a blessed year, stay in good health, find stability, happiness, and everything that you wish for. At the same time, be thankful for all that we have been blessed so far.

Cheers! Or, we say tschüss!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Thank You!

I haven't visited the temple since the last I went when I was in school. Just because I did not put much effort in studying and being a student, procrastination is to the next level. We all know that, we have all gone through that. haha. Except, if you're studious, then it's a different story all together. It's best to pray if you fall into the former. 

For the first time in SO many years, I stepped my foot into the temple. Since 2019 was the year of retrenchment, aside of whatever I have, I still need luck to be on my side.

I'm not sure if I haven't been here for a really long time, or any other reasons, I find this really pretty. haha. In the end, I got the job. Congratulations to myself haha. Of course, I went the second time to say thank you! 

To be honest, I really like visiting temples. My current goal is Laos. haha. Hanging out with the monks sound cool. ✌

Venue: Thean Hou temple which became a tourist attraction now. 💗

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Part 4: Reykjavik, Iceland

This is the end of it, one year later just for the sake of 2 photos haha

This was in Reykjavik and from a church. This was actually noon. They have just 3 hours of sunlight everyday during winter. Though I don't appreciate extreme hot sun like ours, I don't think I can appreciate with just 3 hours of sunlight everyday too. And my friend, this, they call it sunlight haha.

Hallgrimskirkja is what it's called. This is a Lutheran Parish church. The first picture was taken from the top floor in this church.

Right after that, we went lurking around town since it was our last day there, not forgetting the souvenirs, for my fridge and cupboard. haha.
Sadly, luck was not on our side, we couldn't get to see the Northern Lights due to bad weather condition. Bad weather meaning it rained. It can only be seen when the sky is really dark meaning we gotta get out of the city to witness it. That, depends on luck too. This time, we didn't get to. Try again next time. At least, we got to see a beautiful scenery in Iceland!

Monday, June 15, 2020

PayPal - check out - 043019

This is my story of 2019. It was a long journey I had with PayPal. Some might know that my major is in hospitality. That didn't work out well because of the long hours and almost zero EPF. Hotel line isn't for everyone. Certainly not for me.

When PayPal came to Malaysia, I was trying my luck from a job fair in Midvalley. That was in 2011. It has been a long time. Fast forward to the end of 2018. Some of us heard rumors that it's about to close down. Nobody can give us an answer because ... management will keep their lips sealed. Thinking that, we prepared ourselves quietly, mentally.

Chinese New Year 2019 came and a few days later, we were all told to go to a nearby hotel (walking distance of course) at a specific time. There, we saw bouncers, our directors, some big bosses flew in from the US. What is happening? Well, looks like the rumors are true afterall. So many questions popped into our head the same time. I'm sure the same for the others. Maybe, some are smiling deep inside. But, just a minority. Questions like what will happen to us? What's next? How can I find another job that pays me the same? What kind of job should I apply for? When can I get a job? How do I tell my family? It was an emotional scene. I saw people broke down into tears with the fear of uncertainty. We were then brought into a room with each department separated. We would then be told our exit date. It happened too abruptly. We weren't prepared at all though we knew it before the actual announcement.

2 months later, we saw ourselves out from the exit door and that's the end of our PayPal journey. Some of us have been there 3.5 years, 5 years and myself? 7.42 years. We might have lost our jobs, but, we gained knowledge, opportunities and most of all, friendships. The company gave us a lot that it will never be the same anymore. Now, it depend on us to put in the effort, to keep in touch. It's no longer going to work having the same person sitting beside us anymore. There are no more iphones giveaways as lucky draw gifts for annual dinner. Haha.

Truth to be told, the culture has become toxic over time. 7 years over is a long time. It has become very localized that it's no longer a place everyone enjoys. Yet, they stay because .. with the amount of work, there's nowhere else that would offer the same pay.

As for me, I enjoyed my time there. It's sad to part ways but, we gotta do what we gotta do. We will meet half way. One door closes, the other opens. I applied for more than 100 over jobs with only 5 interviews being called. It wasn't just us getting retrenched. There were other companies too. So, we ain't competing with the only other 800.

To those who are still looking for a job and with this virus flying around, all the best. Opportunities will come knocking your way soon. Have faith.

PayPal, thank you for the experience and friendship you have given me along the way!

To all my friends, I don't work for them anymore. Don't come texting me for free consultation 🤣🤣🤣

Check in

Hi yo, I'm back! How are y'all? I hope everyone is safe and well. Who would have thought that I'll be back in situation like this. 

I know for a fact that Covid-19 started in December last year, escalated to around the world in March. I was about to visit China in March when the pandemic happened. I had my first ever trip to China in 1999. Let's just say that the entire experience wasn't very pleasant and I was still a teenager. Haha. 21 years later when I decided maybe, I should give China a chance, shit happened. So it got cancelled and they forfeited a few hundred. It's not fair, it's not our fault but...Yeah things happened. It is what it is. The virus was just hitting China back then, so I booked a hotel in Laos with the purpose of escaping a wedding. That didn't happen too. For obvious reason. I even had plans for Europe, everything is cancelled 🤭🤭🤭 

We have to adapt to changes. Let us all do our part as part of our social responsibility. It's not about us, it's about our community, society and future. The situation is really meant for introverts. haha.
What have y'all been doing? I have been working, Netflix, coloring and working out. These are the main things that I have been doing for the past 3 months. Now that they have opened up almost everything, I think it's about time that we re-visit how we work. Working from home certain days should be considered. As long as results are delivered, why shouldn't we? I honestly enjoy working from home haha. Next question, is the gym really necessary? I'm really considering not renewing it once it ends. With 5 hours of being stationary, it's bad. Effort and time has to be put in.

Last but not least, stay safe y'all!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Part 3: Reykjavik, Iceland

The next part of the trip

I have no idea how many waterfalls we went in total in the entire trip. Having said that, I enjoyed every waterfall I went to. There's something unique in each and every one of them. I love this place, the Guldfoss The Waterfall. It's very refreshing

When you follow a tour, be prepared to start the day early. Super early because everything is packed within a few days. I have been to quite a few countries during winter. Winter nights are of course longer then the days. However, I have not been to a country with just 3 hours of day light everyday during winter. This is Seljalandsfoss. If I am not mistaken, this is already 8am. And here we are, without sunlight. This can get a little depressing

We then spent the next 2 hours here in Skogarfoss Falls. It's relatively long. We don't need that long. Yeah, another waterfall haha

The sun is starting to show itself. This is Reynisfjara Halsanefshellir. This is a great place to take picture haha

The famous black sand beach, Vik, The waves can get aggressive. Hence, always look back, or make sure someone is watching it for you. There was a case previously where a tourist died. Such a way to die. Tragic.

Skaftareldahraun. Lava. It was just 5 minutes stop. Nothing much here

When I arrived here, it felt like I've been transported into a whole new world. Very scenic, a whole new level of beauty. Jokulsalon, Glacier Lagon.

Skaftafell National Park. hehe. Amazing. But, I couldn't feel my feet and fingers anymore.

We left all these beautiful places, like a dream come true. Throughout the entire trip, we have not seen an actual sun light. This was the best the weather could do for us. Woohoo anyway hehe

The reason why some people visit Iceland is for their Blue Lagoon. From a mile away, we smelt sulfur from the Blue Lagoon. It's that strong. Then, it comes together with sunset. You can enjoy all you want here, complement with winter. It's just SO damn good. The moment you try to wash your hair, you feel like crying. I had to wash and wash and yet still as rough as sand. In the end, I had to keep washing for the next 3 days before it went back to its original form. My god. It comes with a price

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Part 2: Reykjavik, Iceland

After spending a night in Copenhagen, we took a flight to Reykjavik. The flight was 3 hours. I had a culture shock in the airport in Reykjavik. It feels so much like a domestic flight when it isn't. The moment we got off the plane, it's already the baggage claim and then to the souvenir store. Right after that, it's the exit of the airport. There's no immigration for us, except if you are a US citizen.

Super early in the morning, we were brought to this place. The reason many people visit Iceland is for the Northern Lights. It's either you're lucky, or you're not. This is a Northern Lights Center, an introduction to Northern Lights of countries with Northern Lights and how it happens

After the sun goes up a little, we arrived at Thingvellir National Park. Diving is permitted here in certain areas. It's a World Heritage park before. It's known for its history and geology. Ooh, I was freezing.

We were given 20 minutes in this park, quite ridiculous. We had to sprint all the way up back to the coach. Damn!

Here we are at Laugarvatn Fontana. It's filled with natural minerals and the center they have has steambath and pools.

This is where they make their own lava bread. They dig it to the ground and leave it for 24 hours. A day later, voila, the bread is ready. And omg, it's so damn good. Thank God I don't live there. I'll gain weight in a week. Just imagine the smell of the bread, spread with butter. Damn.

Next step, to Geysir. Regular eruptions at every 8-10 minutes

Look at the people and the camera, trying to capture D moment hehe