Friday, June 17, 2022

The supernatural force

Has anyone encountered a supernatural existence? We have read and heard stories and tales from our family, friends, teachers and what not. But, have you?

I came from a non-believer family of this power and growing up, until today, I'm not exactly certain if the encounters I had were purely imagination, a dream, or something really happened. Nobody told me about ghosts, spirits etc and my late grandparents were still around at that time. I was afraid of many things, one included a burglar breaking into houses, and it left me terrified and ended up dreaming about it for nights. Okay this is not supernatural, but an example of how I get scared and I would hide under my comforter and stop breathing. Thinking about it makes me wonder what was I thinking at that age.

Fast forward, became an adult voila, I shouldn't be afraid of anything I cannot see with my naked eyes right? Wrong. I was even more afraid haha. I heard many stories happened in Genting Highland, abandoned places, hotels etc and guess what, I went into the hospitality industry. Well done to myself haha.

Working in a hotel means we gotta work on shift which includes a graveyard shift. When it's quiet and eerie, your imagination runs a million times worse than it already was. I was working at a Front Desk at that time, and it was 4am, I wanted to go to the toilet. What do I do? I can't wait until 7am. I had 2 options, to go through the quiet staff locker which is cold and quiet, OR, I go to the guest toilet 1 minute away. I opted for the guest toilet and I ran for my life.

Before I started working there, I was on the fence whether there is or not. After I joined the hotel, there was even a team of people with gifted abilities to see all these spirits. I heard so many stories, and them telling me what they could see at that point of time. It was haunted at that time. The hotel was the top hotel in KL that time, and our business was rather bad and many unfortunate events had happened, one after another including a not-so-young housekeeper was possessed and needed 5 big-sized security guards to hold on to her. There's no logic in all of these, yet it happens. Another was, my co-worker heard a boy crying in the locker, and when she went to check it out, there was nobody.

There was someone committed suicide in the hotel room just before I joined. Guess what? Each time for that 2.5 years I worked there after 9pm, the elevator was definitely gonna stop on a certain level, whether there are guests in front or not. This has been years ago, but it doesn't mean that it's not there. I'm sure it's there, somewhere around us. I was told that my body is very yin from a legit medium. Therefore, I need to be very careful as I am an easy catch.

Since I left the hotel industry, do I still believe in it? Even more than ever. Have you heard of anyone being followed around? Do you have any friends that can see these things? Or some, they can even communicate to ask what do they really want? I have and when I hear these things, I still get goosebumps each time.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Day 2: Langkawi

After spending the first night in the hotel, let's start going places. In the past when I went to Langkawi, it's always getting drunk. Now that I am much older, I don't fancy those things anymore. Talking about getting older huh. haha.

Upon recommendation from the hotel's concierge, we are here filled with locals. This is their specialty, Roti Canai Sarang Burung special. 2 sunny-side up eggs, the bread is crispier than the regular roti canai and minced chicken. It was good! Damn. With so much things happening inside, it's RM 7. Not cheap but it's unique. 

After making our stomachs happy and full of energy, we headed over to Langkawi Sky Bridge. It was close when I wanted to take the cable car years ago. But, here I am now. Before going up, a note to take, it's all outdoor parking but there are a few types. The Premium parking is obviously more expensive, which is RM10 I believe? I went to the next one, which is RM5. The difference? It's just slightly nearer to the station. If you have the capability to walk, why not?

In the cable car. Price per pax for the cable car is RM45 if I'm not mistaken. Senior citizens get a discount. The view is great, overlooking the Andaman sea with the clear blue sky. There's a stop in the middle where it's nothing much to see. We didn't bother to get down because, it's just mid-way and there's nothing much there and the wait that comes after is perhaps, not worth it. We went straight up to the top with 15 minutes in total. Some gondolas are glass floor but I didn't get that. This cable car is said to be the steepest gradient in the world. The ventilation though, is just a small window on the top of each side which can be stuffy when it rains as you would close everything up. 

This is what I'm talking about. The mountains, valleys, sea and islands. It's all covered in that 15 minutes way up. When the weather is good, it's really pretty. 

Here we are up here at the highest point. It was really windy, therefore, hats off. Ignore the face haha.

This is a 10 - 20 minute-trail. At least, a little work out during vacation. Those with walking disabilities, you may take the glide which is an additional of RM6 to get to the Sky Bridge. It's not a hard hike but it's not a flat road so there may be challenges. Use the railings for assistance.

That's the bridge, super windy, I love it! Weeee.

Enjoying the cable car view going up and down haha. Okay so nearby here, there's this waterfall called Telaga Tujuh and in order to get to the waterfall is really steep. 

Next up, it's lunch time. I found this place with quite a good review so here we are to fill our stomachs. I took just a few bites due to my diet program haha. We ordered some really simple food and it's tasty! 

While driving to the restaurant earlier, I stumbled upon this place. It's a wide empty space and the ocean. Man, the wind.

Of course, the mandatory picture of me in it haha. The cloud is heavy and right after that, it rained. haha. After studying for 2 days, the rain doesn't last long like in KL. It's really just 5-minute rain. I have concluded it as the emotional Langkawi.

Next up is our alcohol shopping haha. There are so many duty frees around and we just don't know which to go. Teow Soon Huat doesn't look exclusive or extravaganza, but it was good in terms of price! We bought everything from there. The last time I was in Langkawi I came here too haha. Chocolates and alcohol. They own the supermarket too, which we bought our mineral water from and it's economical!

Dinner is super important when you're on a vacation. Quah in Kuah. With the mom, aunt and grandma together waiting. The line to this place Wonderland Food Store is super long. I learned from the past looking at how long we waited just to get in and another long wait for the food, we were there this time at 6pm. haha! After the meal 2 years ago, is it worth it? YES. If I can avoid, then we should haha. That's why we ended there at 6pm.

This is by the way, Chinese halal food to cater to the locals there. I love the squid. It's really bad for my diet but heck, I'm not there everyday, I don't eat it everyday. Everything was good except for the Lala that doesn't taste kamheong at all. This was also RM70+ haha. Prawns, squids, lala and vegetables.

We crossed the road where the car is parked and the variety of alcohol we see. The sight of it is lovely enough, especially the green ones on the right. It's RM11.50 if I'm not mistaken and KL is about RM 16.90.

We ended up taking these 2. I love 1664 Blanc as it's very fragrant. I didn't drink much except for just a few sips. I'm controlling like crazy as I have a timeframe to achieve my health goal.

It's day filled with activities. It isn't too hectic and isn't too chilled, it was just nice. No, we did not go to the 3D museum. I prefer something outdoorsy that we can do. We are blessed with the weather though, each time we get into the car, then it rains. When we are out and about, it didn't rain. Talking about perfect timing.

Places visited:
Roti Canai Otai - Kampung Bubor, Kedawang
Langkawi Cable Car
Langkawi Sky Bridge
Kuah Town Seafood , Kuah town
Teow Soon Huat Duty Free - Padang Matsirat, Kuah
Wonderland Foodstore - Pusat Perdangan Kelana Mas


Friday, June 3, 2022

Day 1: Langkawi

2 weeks ago, I received a text from my mom asking if I wanted to go to Langkawi. Nobody would ever say no to a vacation. Times are not like before, I'll say yes to anywhere. It doesn't really matter where, I just needed this break very badly. The last time I had a so-called break was also to Langkawi but that felt a long time ago.

Took Air Asia there. RM 712 for 4 pax, it's not that bad of a deal. Gone are the days of a RM55/pax flight. Just because I had to do check in, I downloaded their app and Oh Lord, they have an Air Asia ride to the airport that's even cheaper than Grab that I took years ago. On top of that, they offered RM5 discount for the first ride. Holy! Too bad, they were too late. I would love to take that but I have already booked a car that's RM100. I haven't tried the AA ride, but, with that price, why not? 

Thank you Captain! That's a pretty smooth landing. I love window seat, short or long haul.

We rented a car RM325 for 5 days 4 nights, a Myvi. There were scratches, dents around the car with some squeaky sound when driving. But generally it was okay. The petrol was at 35 km left and blinking. haha. We managed to get to the nearest Petronas, located just a few minutes away from the airport.

Here's our room, we requested for connecting room. Ample of parking space in the hotel. There are people here and there, but I didn't see many. I guess they are all out going places, like us. The rooms need refurbishment. Apparently, the hotel was closed for 2 years, and they have just reopened. After experiencing the hotel in Tanjung Rhu, I don't expect much from a hotel I've not heard before. We asked them to clean the room once, but it wasn't even cleaning. A small piece of paper dropped on the bathroom floor and it was still untouched when I returned. We asked for a toilet paper from the housekeeping, and they wanted to charge us for that. It's ridiculous.

This is the spa, there's a small decor in front that looks like a place for dengue mosquitos to breed. The exterior looks rundown where I don't even feel like I wanna enter the spa. Nobody was there, it says, if we wanna book, I need to call a number they provided. 

There's a lot of work to be done, from the exterior right until the training of the employees. We did not dine in any of the restaurants there because, we can get pretty good food outside. We go to where they are good at, restaurants and warungs. The first day is a pretty chilled day. What's really good with this hotel is the location where it is minutes away from the beach - Pantai Cenang, yeah that busy beach. haha.

Since it's such an easy going day, we went over to Pantai Cenang to check out how busy it is. Surprisingly, it isn't THAT busy that I thought it would. I guess everyone has been to Langkawi at the time of this writing due to Langkawi bubble haha.

What a sunny evening. This should have been the weather everyday, not raining. If you have nothing to do at 9pm, there are some fire performance daily here in Pantai Cenang, except if it rains. 

Went over to Lubuk Buaya to have a nice dinner. Tomyam was great, the fish lacks flavor though it was okay. Vegetables and egg were good! RM79. It's not exactly cheap but it's acceptable.

Places visited: 
Langkawi International Airport
Pantai Cenang
Lubuk Buaya         

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Hiking @ Cheras

I haven't been an outdoorsy person my entire life. The only "workout" that I have done in the past in a regular basis was my dance class. Even that was just 1 hour a week, sometimes twice, or thrice depending on the events we had. Ever since Sensei left us, the classes were just kept at a bare minimum, one hour, once a week. Then, Covid happened. As we stayed longer at home, nobody wanted to go back to classes anymore. And that was how the class literally died.

Once in a blue moon, I would find other things to do, but it was really like once a year kinda thing. Last year, when things were briefly opened, we quickly went hiking to this place deep into Cheras. I have not been a fan of Cheras at all, but this was a place I just had to go to see for myself. Furthermore, we had lockdown for a long time. It's just about getting myself out there.

This is actually a private area but I see many people hiking up, just like I did as long as we start hiking before 7am on the weekends. Some people had advised not to go during the weekdays anyway as the owners are around and this is considered as trespassing? Don't blame me if this is a wrong info, as this was in April 2021, a year ago.

The typical hiking pose. LOL. The trail can be quite confusing at certain parts though, so we had to explore and some hikers led the way up. There were no obvious trail, no signs, we just followed. Some parts are knotted with ropes which can be helpful to some. Overall, a very easy hike that takes within 45 minutes. It rained the night before, that made some parts challenging for me due to my shoes. So, please get suitable shoes. haha.

With just 45 minutes hike to get this, why not right? I am a total beginner, an unfit one that is, and it is easy even for me. Struggle a little here and there due to the slippery surface, for, as always, I do not have proper shoes for hiking.

That was my only hike in 2021. Covid was not the reason, I just didn't have the hiking thing in me. But interestingly, I would go to FRIM almost every single week when I was in my primary years. I became more and more unfit and unhealthy. 

I'll be back with more hiking. haha.

 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Balkans Day 2 - 082018 - Old town Zadar (Croatia)

It's Friday! Not sure what people do these days on a Friday. I guess, this is what I do or what I can do from now onwards. Be more active and be more hardworking updating this so that I have stories many years to come. 

Picking up from the previous post about my vacation back in 2018, we woke up here, sunshine! 

Bonn Appetit! We have carbs over there. I like carbs haha. My body might not like it.

Or some healthier options, the fruits haha. Let's get the stomach happy before leaving.

The blue sky, leaving Dubrovnik. Until we see you again on our last day. What's the best thing doing road trips like this? Blast those classic Malay songs! haha. So Malaysian right? haha. Yes we are, of course.

After a couple of hours of drive, here we are at Old town Zadar. Roughly 3 ish to 4 ish hours depending on traffic. 

Read some really good reviews about Pet Bunara, so here we are

Just us two. Honestly, I can't remember how the experience was 4 years ago. I shall then not comment about it.

Walking around, from one alley to another, waiting for sunset. It's a nice place to walk around for some insta-worthy pictures and yes, remember to grab some gelato while walking around. Not sure how that works with Covid now if we can walk around eating ice-cream.
 
Location: Old town Zadar, Croatia

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

My 3 weeks job

A long time ago when I was still young and innocent, I took up the hospitality course as my future was cloudy and bleak. You know how some people knew what they wanted to do, the path they wanted to go from a very young age? I did not have that. When I was in F4, I wanted to drop Accounts as I clearly did not have the brains or the interest for it. My teacher back then did not allow me. I ended up scoring 9/100 in the final examination. Cool huh? haha. So I withdrew from Business Admin course and took up hospitality only to end up taking Financial Accounting (wth?).

Anyway, I did my internship in Switzerland and happily flew home to be with my friends and family. I then started to work in a hotel here. It was tough, physically and emotionally demanding. I saw so many people cried due to the stress that they went through. Everyone cope with stress and pressure differently, but back then, I was stone cold. I did not understand it. After 2.5 years, I thought, it's time to resign as I could not take the pressure of working the graveyard shift every single week. It was too much and I was also getting older, my body might not be able to take that kind of intensity. I was turning 25. To add on to that, my low EPF, I can't retire with the rate it's going.

I attended a couple of interviews. One of that is a well-known foreign bank. Took me 4 hours just to get to an interviewer (those assessments, tests etc) only to find out that they were just paying a salary lesser than my hotel job. The disadvantage working in a hotel is that you get minimum EPF due to a rather low basic income. I used to get RM50 a month. Crazy right?

I went on unemployed for 6 months. I went to Korea to travel for 2 weeks then bum my way round for 6 months only to realize that my money is at "low." I grabbed whatever job that came offering to me just so that I can get cash in to my bank account.

This was purely for convenience. I took this job with a maid agency. I'm talking about something that happened 12 years ago, not today (or if it does, then I do not know). So I got hired from a maid agency as a consultant (in other terms sales). Though I did some sort of sales work (without the target), it's not my forte. I'm weak in that department, right until today. Okay, so judging from the office appearance, I cannot expect anything great or grand. I was dull, I was sluggish, I did not even know what I was doing there. One day, this kind client came by, as he was sending his domestic helper off back to her origin country. As an appreciation, he even gifted her a laptop. How nice and kind some people really are. He hasn't seen me before then, he asked what was I doing there in that agency. I explained my path and he said he's in the hotel industry for 10 years and there's a lot else to learn. Well, I may agree on that but I don't think I can take a hotel's lifestyle for much longer. But he said very softly to me to leave that company, I have got no future there. 

I took that advice and considering all the things that have been happening there, I decided to leave. I just thought, what can I learn there? To match a client with a domestic helper? Is that success to me? Knowing the personality that I have, I cannot witness at all the fraudulent activities that were happening at that time and pretend it is okay. Even more so, since I work there, I was contributing to the fraudsters? It may be something "normal" within the industry for all that God knows but is it the right thing to do? The answer to myself was no, it is legally and morally wrong. The final blow was, I could not accept the fact that when a meeting occurs, someone smokes cigar in an enclosed room. Can anyone say anything regarding that? No.

I left after 3 weeks.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Balkans Day 1 - 082018 - Dubrovnik (Croatia)

Right before this pandemic, it really felt like my life was so colorful. I was busy going places enjoying the view, chasing after sunsets from different locations. I thought that was easy, until this whole thing hit the human race. Boom! Everyone back to their homes. 

Here, this was my travel back in 2018. 

This is the view before I landed. Since it has been so long ago, I can't remember if this was Turkey or Croatia. Either way, my fave is the window seat. Do not exchange seats with me just because you do not want to be separated with your partner. After touching down, now, take a deep breath, and breathe in the air. Haha.

Right after I landed in Croatia, I waited for my friend to land from Dubai. Just because, we are awesome like that, like as though we are having some secret relationships. haha. Anyways, we picked up the car for rent and here we are. Hello Penang, just kidding. Welcome to Croatia! 

What's the first people do after landing. It's not the hotel, it's not the tour, or the sightseeing. It's the food. Welcome to the Balkans food.

We did our check-in and here we are, walking towards the free walking tour around Croatia. This is so we can return on our last day here.

I'm not sure about you guys, but I am that 1% who did not watch any Game of Thrones. As you walk along inside here in Dubrovnik, all you can see is the Game of Thrones tour, the GoT merchandise. I couldn't relate, I did not watch a single episode so I don't understand the hype and the craze over the series. If the amount of people is this during today's era, it's scary. People are more conscious towards their surroundings. Before covid, I had this issue with people disrupting my personal space. Not sure if it's related to being an introvert, but now, people finally understand me. 

I have some memory issue, if I am not mistaken, Dubrovnik is well-known for the best saltwater fishing grounds in Croatia. 

Here I am within the Walls of Dubrovnik. It's kinda narrow, so becareful on who comes close to you. Geez, look at how thin I was 4 years ago haha.

We were tired after finishing the walking tour. What's the next most natural thing to do? Food. We just hopped into this restaurant. God, we were wrong to do that. I didn't have wide lens back then yeah haha. Hence, the picture. We had this pizza, we were full but not satisfied. It wasn't satisfying, expensive and the service was really bad, like as if they are all very content with life, there's no sense of urgency. Perhaps, that's just how it works over there. Or maybe, we just ordered the wrong food.

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Friday, April 1, 2022

What's your vision?

Hej! It's about time I share what I have been doing the past 2 years. As mentioned here, my colleagues (back then) and I lost our jobs and with uncertainties had fallen upon us, our future was dark and gloomy. But, one door closes, another door opens.

With what I did previously, it came as a shock as to how I went through the interviews and got selected to join the project team. The competition was pretty fierce and aggressive. My experience prior to this is probably just 10-15% relevant to what it is in the project. I am really thankful and glad that I was jobless for only 4 months (including vacation to Seattle) before I started work. I have jumped in the trend into e-commerce, right before Covid said hello to all of us. 

In these 2 years, it was such a rollercoaster ride, and being first time in such a huge project to open a store in PH, it's definitely an eye-opener to me personally. The amount of things I have learnt on the job is immeasurable especially in the payment aspect. Thank you to those that I have worked with, both internal and external. When I saw the door opened for the locals in November, I cannot help but to feel that this has got to be the biggest achievement thus far. It's especially heart-warming to see how we grew from zero to something so massive. 

The only drawback is a contract-basis job. Considering that all the commitments we have in life, I can't do anymore contract-based jobs. It's human nature to want to feel secure. There's a lot of first-time in the job and saying thank you for the opportunity isn't enough. 

A highlight in the whole experience is knowing how and why the founder started the company in the first place. And most importantly, I hope that the company continue to stand strong in what the founder believed in. Thank you for this experience! It was such a pleasure to be part of a strong team and I really enjoyed my whole journey here.

And heck, a very unfortunate news had befallen on my family and I thank God I was working for this company, and for this manager in particular who went out all the way to support my welfare and well-being. 

This chapter has officially closed in July 2021 and I have moved on to something else :)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Starstruck

I often hear about fans getting starstruck while on the job, they take advantage of their position. What I really miss about working in a hotel is this, to meet these stars and celebrities in person. But, it puts me in such a huge dilemma, my personal gain or to remain professional. My conscious and principle won the battle. In the end, I treat them like any other guests, smile and I was dying inside. I was so close yet so far away from them, literally one meter apart. I see them right before my eyes, yet I could not take a photo with them, I could not get their autograph, all in the name of professionalism. 

So when I hear about these "fans" asking for autograph or a photo with them and they get turned down, or get a complaint thereafter, I understand the star's position. They pay for business class, or they pay for a suite room is to have sufficient rest, and be private about it. They escaped from the public, doesn't make it okay for the service line employees to interrupt their rests. They could have said no, I get it. But, if his or her time is occupied to turn fans down, what kind of organization is that to not protect their privacy? As a guest, you want to be in peace, and comfortable.

If they signed just one, there'll be a line of other fans waiting for that autograph too. Back to 2008/2009 when I was still that noob in my first job, the celebrities I really liked appeared in front of me. I died several times in the course of few seconds when I took the same elevator as them. All I could say to them was "How was your day?" instead of "OMG I really love you, can I take a photo with you." It's SO hard. Another encounter was to get an invoice signature from him. I died multiple times. Then, the final one was him being locked out from his room, shirtless. Geez. The chocolate abs. That "him" is actually referring to all different celebrities haha. 

Did I regret not taking photo or autograph? Yeah, in the back of my head, it's always "what if." But then, if I turn back the clock, I would still do the same thing and respect their privacy. It is a huge responsibility as a frontliner and in the service line. The guests and organizers had entrusted you to handle these VIPs with care, so we should render the service as how it should be. You need to be responsible and you're representing that organization. I would just die multiple times inside and that's about it. I chose to be in this line, I need to be able to handle these moments too. But oh well. 

I know this was nothing, there's no proof, but there's no need for proof, there's no need for evidence. I keep it safe with me in my memories. Such a waste I know, but well. It's not all about social media though we are all steering towards that unhealthy direction. That's one of those sweet memories I had during my hospitality era. 

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Goodbye -vid

It's such boring topic talking about Covid, with the variants until Omnicron now. But, it's necessary. We just need to be aware of what is happening in the world, if we should be worried sick or just accept it.

The other day, or some day, I got to know that I was a close contact just before the new update from the government. The answer to confirm all of this used to be a PCR test, not anymore as the time of this writing.

The next morning after I know I was a close contact, I did a self-test. I have been doing this on off when the price was still RM19.90. It's so cheap now, it's good to have a few kits kept at home though I know it's not mandatory anymore. Not mandatory doesn't mean that we can't do it. We just have to do what is right for the sake of ourselves, for the sake of the community.

Very simple instruction to follow by. Yes people, it looks just like a pregnancy test. So no, no Baby Rona for me this time as well. I am a free person. Am I? Not really. 

I still did PCR test twice. It may not detect the virus if you do it on the very first day. I did it on the 4th day since exposure and the 2nd time was on the 9th day. Both came out as negative. Awesome! That was also the last day of my quarantine.

Now, we have people walking about on the streets despite being positive as the virus is weaker now. Is this the end of the pandemic? Perhaps so and let's hope it is. We just gotta accept that this is the way of life now. Having said that, if you are positive, please stay home. Let's be a better nation and be responsible.

Those above 60, please still proceed to CAC to get yourselves assessed or those with comorbidities if you are required to be warded. 

Above all of these, I hope that this is the end of the pandemic and we see some light in the end of the tunnel. I truly hope so. We are all tired.