Friday, June 8, 2007

That's all folks - Day21/21

As I write this I am in my hotel checking out and waiting for my car to the airport. Last day today, said goodbye to almost everyone and gonna miss Wipro, the guys there, the food, plenty of food, the commute, the fine weather and Blore as a whole. Hope they send me back here and if I were to stay ere longer I might be making a life for myself ere, get an apartment, a car, maybe a girl :p. Its a fine place. So cya all and thanks for visiting and leaving ya comments, till my next trip :) THE END!

One of the lovely girls in office

Shell Office tower in Wipro

Wipro Offices

Shell Team

Fine fountain facade in the center of the campus

This huge structure happens to be the food court

Front entrance view

Bye Bye Wipro

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Farewell Dinner - Day 20/21

Got into work at 10 am, went to have Barista coffee, had the last training recap session and took a few photos. Started to miss this routine of being driven to work, having someone call you Sir all day long and what better than a poshy Hotel room to get back to after a long day's work. Been great. Too bad it had too end just when I am starting to get used to the place and making tons of friends.

The team's big boss spent a farewell dinner at this Punjabi restaurant and realized that was my last dinner meal in B'lore. My counterpart whom I had "out-sourced" my work to and his boss were good host throughtout my stay here and I would return the gesture when they come visiting. Enjoy the photos folks.

The new trained team

Say cheese !! :))

Punjab restaurant

Wipro's boss, me and my counterpart

Me and my counterpart, Nag

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bedday Surprise - Day19/21

I ordered a small cake for my bedday in my room and had a small bedday celebration alone :(( at the stroke of midnite :)) yay happi bedday to me!! Sang to myself then went to bed. Got a couple of smses, emails and IM wishes throughout the day from old to new frens. Thank you all for the wishes and the thoughtful messages.

My first bedday cake

Funnie thing in the office today, as I was walking in after lunch a bunch of my colleagues from another department asked me, what is this, he was holding this flat paper thin square green thing, I said oh tat is seaweed, all of the dept ppl was crowding around me, giving me this bizzare look, then some girl asked, "can it be eaten, we try to gooole about it on the Internet but not sure how it can be eaten, is it a form of vegetable, so can we eat it?". I told them we eat it raw back home and explained to them the fascinating world of Sushi and raw seafood delicacies. They can't believe there could be such demand for these raw food, keke.

Well back to my bedday. to my surprise after work, the moment I walked into my hotel room, I found a basket of flowers on my table. Then walla ... a bedday cake and a card. How sweet, I called the concierge to thank them, keke. They even gotten my fav choco cake. It was excellent but couldn't finish it as it was kinda big and had to run off for dinner anyways.

My bedday surprise

Yummilicious chocolate cake, where are the candles ?? :p

Flowers too pretty for me

Headed to Forum as my colleagues had booked tickets for Pirates of the Carribean 3. Had a nice dinner with them and their girl-friends. Very pleasant bunch. Then headed to the cinema. Looked somethin like GSC in One U but... can u believe it, coz they realli love to eat, more than Msians do, in their cinema area they have an ice cream bar, some indian snack bar, an assortment of cookies and crackers counter with the usual popcorn and beverage choices we have back home but ere the choices are endless. They do love their food ere :p

Ok their cinema is huge, the screen doesn't close up, it just retains its full screen size unlike ours where the screen gets resized. Well 2 things they have that we do not, their seats no matter what ticket price you pay, they reclined, I was like whoa dude how come my seat is moving, they laughed, farnie they thought that we don't have it back home. This one I am abit envious. The second odd thing we do not have and this I am glad we don't is for all their movies they have a 10 minute intermission, the movie stopped half way and the light comes up and they go for toilet break or buy more food. I find it odd as why do you need a break for, it makes the whole experience rather unpleasant like watching movie with advertisements. Well to them this is the norm and thus they find it comfortable as I guess they are used to 3 or more hour long Hindi movies which they need a break in between and pause the movie keke. Guess there are alot of things different cultures find odd when they are not exposed to them. That is what makes travelling so fun, you learn alot of farnie odd stuffs around.

All in all it was a good birthday celebrated away from home. The new found friends ere made the whole experience pleasurable but can't wait to get back and get my free meals for my bedday. You know who you are and I already have what I wan in my head :p

One year wiser me, do I look older now? :p

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Unexpected gift for myself - Day18/21

Got back from work and headed to another new shopping street as I wanted to buy something memorable for myself ere. Should have just left work and gone straight back to the hotel if I knew what was good for me keke. Well I bought something alright, something which I never would imagine buying. Just because my hotel room has some nice ones and just because I wanted to place this in my new place when it is ready, you just need some stopid excuse to buy anythin. Anyways this "thing" is hand-knotted and took 1.5 years to complete. I bought it as a bedday gift for myself. It was well worth it, I like it alot and it was not too big and the design complements how my place would look like in my head and it looks stylish and young just like me. I love it. Sometimes it is fine to spoil oneself. It will be shipped to my home in 3-4 day's time. The seller even thought me how to take care of it and how to see which one is really authentically made, mine needs to be washed only 5 years later. He actually shown me one of the "thing" which took 7 years to be made and cost $15,000 USD keke. As this is my first investment in this thing mine is not that expensive but worth every penny :)) Won't disclose what it is and how much it costs coz I know everyone will say it is just not me to buy it, buy hey I love it and I think it was worth the money and I had the money to buy it :p Will show it to you in my new place :))

Monday, June 4, 2007

Last Monday - Day17/21

Nothing to blog coz been busy maximising what ever time left here. First day of work had to cram alot of last minute training update to make sure these guys are able to perform once I am gone. Went shopping again to buy some things for myself since I had bought so much for the rest and had forgotten about lil old me. Now I am trying to check if all the 3 weeks stuffs I had bought would fit my luggage.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Rainy Sunday - Day 16/21

Nothing much to update on this lazy Sunday. Been stayin in doors to finish up much of my work for my last week here to ensure the objective of my trip is met and I can go home happy. This time next week I will be reunited with my beloved Civic :p and back to the choatic life in KL. Will miss the time I've had ere doing some soul searching which is nice to be away from everything once in awhile. Time well spent.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

My last weekend out - Day15/21

A friend joined me today to go shopping around MG and Brigade road which is simillar to Jln Bkt Bintang but just imagine the shops lined up the streets and lots of people walking on them instead of people walking in the mall like back home, no one walks outside in KL :-s Well we walked a whole lot and it was bloody hot, think I got burnt more than usual haha.

Well these roads I find alot of good mix of foreigners and beautiful local chicks around. They have poshy branded outlets and lots of coffee and bookshops. If not for the weather this would be a totally shopper's paradise. Bought quite alot of souvenirs, one for each of the people at home. Went to a pub in the evening, had Kingfisher again, the pubs ere are mainly small little establisments and this one has a DJ console, no dancefloor and lots of tables. This according to my friend is their pub cum nightclub, weird as I thought there would be a dedicated space to dance but people ere started to dance all over the place which makes it hard to move around what with all the tables and bars in between this narrow outlet. The place was packed even before 5pm as nite life ends at 11:30pm everynite due to some stopid state goverment regulation.

We then headed to play bowling. It seems that it is very popular here. My friend was bragging about this 8 lane bowling alley, I broke his heart when I mentioned ours back home has more than 30 lanes, what is 8??. Well so we played and I was expecting these people to be pretty good but I was scratching my head coz almost all of them bowl the same way, they have no form at all, almost all of them cannot bowl, no they cannot, they will walk to the edge of the lane stop and then only try to clumsily bend down and bowl. I had 2 strikes and a couple of spares, not to brag but managed to score 158, not that good in KL but somehow I could bowl very well ere. There was a group of yougsters from the next lane started to crowd my area and one of them asked me, am I a professional bowler, I was like yeah man , you want my autograph keke, none of them I saw could touch 100 points, my god am I that good or are all of them just really bad :p

We then went out to this place called "Three Quarter Chinese". Its a restaurant, and being a chinese poshy establisment just by hanging around there as it was a busy street with lots of restaurant you can find all of the orientals in B'lore from Korean, Thai, Japanese to yeah Chinese. Been weeks since I laid eyes on any orientals :p Been so use to see nice looking Indian chicks with different range of skin tone, some Indians girls ere are fairer than me, the pretty ones have very nice features and nice sexy long black wavy hair and suddenly felt abit weird to see chinese girls all of a sudden since I left Msia. If I stay ere any longer might just get one of them local girls instead :p

One of Barista outlets in town

Bowling Alley - 8 of them, wow!!

Three Quarter Chinese - B'lore lil unofficial Chinatown

Bloody Saturday - Day 15/21

I am bleeding to death, been stabbed on my abdomen, there was some fighting at the pub I was at. Feeling cold, blacking out, seeing stars ?....

Blood ? .....

Okey wasn't that bad, well for those whose been holding my hand all this years would have felt a lil bump on the bottom of my lil pinky coz I had er punch something/some1 way way back in college and er well I thought that it was a shrapnel of a broken splinter of my bone, had wanted to checked it out or operate it on but while I was here somehow my lil wound became exxagerrated. Scrathed it abit and felt somethin sharp as usual but this time I can feel it moving, can't be a bone schrapnel, dislodged it and slowly got the lil piece of thing that was embedded in my hand for ages. It was er a lil small piece of a broken glass. God knows how long it has been with me, felt like I lost part of me today. Wish it was a diamond instead of some piece of glass from who knows wer :p

My poor lil hand and the bloody lil broken glass

The lil piece of broken glass with blood stain

Friday, June 1, 2007

Drunk in B'lore - Day 14/21

During lunch, my counterpart and I went out to scout around office for hotels in order to have our team dinner tonite. It's a combination of 2 teams which I have trained and guided while I was in B'lore. We ended up at this club house for lunch and after checking out the facilities from mini golf courses, badminton and squash courts and swimming pool with life size board games and fields big enough to play a small cricket game, we decided to have it here. Got back to the office about 3pm and left for dinner 3 hours later.

We had buffet with assortment of Chinese, Indian and Italian offerings. Throughout dinner I got to know a lil more about each of the team members and had a good time laughging and joking around. I realized that they are all the same as the friends I have back home, eventhough their upbringing and background are a lil different but they have the same aspiration, dreams and passion about life, work, love and family as any of us. I realized that I have developed a special bond with each and everyone of them and if I were to stay here forever I can get myself use to the pace and lifestyle here, no matter where you are in the world just as long as you are able to appreciate the people around you and accept them as they are without being judgemental you will never be alone. Why is it that when I am nearly at the end of my journey that I have to start to feel more at home and comfortable making it hard to say goodbye.

Before that I had to try their local beer, the Kingfisher beer which comes in a bottle of 650ml and tasted smoother than our normal local selection back home. Was just nice with the 5% alcohol contents. Anyways below are some pics from the outing :)

Team members minus some which had gone home earlier

Around the life size chess board

Flower arrangement on a pool of water

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lemon day - Day 13/21

Today was abit late for work but then again ppl keep arriving even after 10 am to work. Ran to get my Barista coffee which is a must before I begin my work. Only wish we had starbucks in our office keke. Had porridge like meal today since my stomach is still sensitive to spicy food. For tea had some sort of mash potatoes like food which actually is a chunk of rice paste which was mixed with some vegetables and tasted real sweet. It is served for breakfast and tea and widely famous in Bangalore. Headed back to the hotel somehow my smart alec driver took a short cut to avoid the potential jam on the main road but ended up in another worst jam which took 2 hours to arrive to the hotel. That really worked up some appetite being stuck in ter for hours. Ordering dinner now. Such a lovely day this is and almost 2 weeks here. Starting to miss some of the routine life I am so used to ere.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Real indian food \ stomach ache - Day 12/21

First thing got into work, went straight to Barista coffee at the food court, India's answer to Starbucks, was heavenly, had to hide from my counterpart ere as he vehemently wants me to try everything local, my stomach will burst open with that diesel coffee they served in the office.

Was happy that I had lasted this long unaffected by local diet. But my lucky streak ended today when I had to follow my counterpart to a restaurant outside campus. If you have a weak stomach or a lil queasy when it comes to somewhat rundown food outlet, this place would not be the best place for you. It looked clean enough if you are not that particular about absolute cleanliness. We had mixed rice with 7 types of gravies and chicken. It was slightly hot but was trying to act like a local so I sniffed in silence throughout lunch. Had their local yogurt which was pure, thus had to mix it with 2 tablespoon of sugar in order to take it all in, that's how you cure spiciness :s . Finally he had to make me try this delicacy call "pan", its bitternut wrapped in some kind of leaf on a stick, he asked me to put the whole thing in my mouth, nearly puked coz it was so bitter and I had to puke silently in my mouth to act like I am one of them locals. Aw god I miss my hotel food :(

It was during training session that I felt some eruption down under. Then it hit me that I have to hit the can asap, feels like I was going to give birth to a baby lizard through my ass. Had to stay calm and compose coz I don't like to do it in the office as their toilet reeks and horrible looking. So made the worst decision of my life, told myself to hold until Hotel, the 53 mins ride was pure hell, I know coz I was counting every minute of it. Lesson of the day, sometimes it is fine to look like a tourists than to pretend to be a local and suffer in silence. Some pictures to alleviate the mood :)

My fav mini bananas in my room, can you find it :p

Found my car with same model and color ere :))

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Real shopping - Day 11/21

After work went to Forum, their premier shopping mall ala KLCC but more like Mid Valley maybe half of it with seven floors. Top floor was the cinemas, then we have the usual fast food outlets, clothing shops, arcade center, book shops, toy shops, coffe shops, you get the picture. Their coffee chain are mostly dominated by this Chain of Coffee outlet call Coffee Day and their Famous Amos cookie outlet is call Cookie Man, yea for real it is called Cookie Man and their cookies are twice the size of Famous Amos cookies and minimum amount you can purchase is 250 grams :s Thats like twice the amount you get back home for the price of 200 Rupees (RM16). Electronic goods ere are more expensive, clothing are the same, they have Tommy Hilffiger and Benetton, but what is really cheap are their books, they cost almost half of what you would get at home. They don't wrap their books ere but the selection is good enough and cost much less. So I bought 2 books with 2 action figures, cost me RM100. Unbelievable.

Forum Shopping Mall

Cinema in Forum

Monday, May 28, 2007

Typical day in Bangalore - Day 10/21

My second Monday today, it has been that quick, the next time I blink it would be time to say goodbye, but not yet :p Let me describe to you a typical day in Bangalore. Woke up at 6ish, sometimes hit the gym before breakfast (tat only happened once last week :p) and got down to the restaurant for a buffet breakfast, showered and meet my car at 8am. The ride to work takes about 45 minutes or so, the ride is rough with my driver zig-zagging between cars inches apart with maddening honking which I am so used to by now. Once reached Wipro office, from the main gate to Shell Tower 15 takes about a 5 minute walk. Got to my desk, checked emails, engaged with some of the team members for work update, then they all will go for coffee, the coffee served in the office is so strong that you can only fill the cup 1/3 of the way if not you will not be able to take the bitterness of it, thats how strong it is, that one cup kept me overactive the whole day.

Conducted training session until lunch time. Again for lunch we walk, we walk alot here, alot. We headed to the food court area which is built like a small in door stadium with 2 floors for different variety of food. Normally we visit other parts of the campus area for different food court. Today we walked abit further to try something slightly different. Drinks are free so paid like 16 rupees (that's like RM1.30) for my 2 Parata rotis with curry and yogurt. That itself was enough for me but my colleagues ordered additional rice so had tat too. This is normally how I would feel after each meal here, the feeling of bloatedness and if anyone were to press my stomach I would hurl.

Conducted more training after lunch, sometime later they go for tea break, this time we walked to the nearest food court to have Mango juice, only 10 rupees (RM 0.80) which was very concentrated and sweet, was very good. The work culture ere is that people take a lot of breaks, you can come and go without any issues, the food courts will always be filled with customers no matter what time we visit. Not to say these guys do not work at all but they always need a break for quick meal or coffee constantly, no such thing as eating while working here. You have to choose either one :p Headed back to the office to do some work and check emails, then packup and went down to my car about 5:30pm, any later I would be stuck in traffic for hours. Today the weather was kind, no rain, reached hotel an hour later, usually do some reading or watch dvd on laptop while in the car.

Showered and gone down for dinner. Come back up and check emails and prepare some work for tomorrow while watching dvd on the plasma tv. That in a nutshell is how life is ere like for me unless I go out at night. That needs to be planned as traffic is unpredictable, it gets from bad to worst most of the time. So if you have a date after work then you better plan it as a supper date :p

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sticking out like a sore thumb - Day 9/21

Woke up late and missed breakfast again :-s Oh well, had a very good sleep from the trip yesterday. Today mostly spent in the hotel, had to prepare some work material this week. Decided to have lunch at the French cuisine restaurant. The food is served in small tiny portion on a spoon like bowl for every food items, these are buffet style but mind you, there are no rice, or any oriental dishes around nor any Indians, these are all well manicured beautiful food of art served in tiny servings for lunch. So I had to go around about 5 times to really feel full. You can actually stand there and pick up one of these tiny bowls and eat them in one gulp.

After awhile I realized that I was seated right in the middle of this poshy establishment, I was the only one alone, no company for lunch and the youngest looking one as always :p Most of them I can tell could be an ambassador of some country, CEO or top management corporate leaders, very refined and if this was back home they would be some Tan Sris or Datuks and Datins prancing around with their garrish jewellery and fancy talk, hugging kissing each other like the last time they meet each other was 10 years ago :p. Most were French for obvious reasons, they were some Koreans, half Japanese-French kids with a few local Indians, from the well to do families. Somehow I don't see these ppl that often out of the enclave and safety of the hotel :) Wonder why can't they be more adventurous and try some local food and mix around abit instead of sticking close together to their own kind of people and food especially in a foreign country, like our students going abroad, who mostly comes back with broken english or all running to the nearest Chinatown in every country they visit and waste all these chances to meet and learn new things in a place far from home. Sigh...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Out of town trip - Day 8/21

It has been a week since I am here. Today I have invited 3 of my Wipro colleagues to join me for a trip to Mysore, the state's ancient capital city. The state I am in is known as Karnataka. The trip by car took 3 hours, about 130km away from Bangalore, on the way we had breakfast at their local coffee chain, Coffee Day outlet.

Breakfast at Coffee Day

Our first stop was Srirangapattana, where we visited the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, his place of death battling the British and his tomb. Tipu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in the 18th century and was renown for his bravery in war with the British Empire. Somehow the tomb which looks like a mini Taj Mahal looks grander than his palace.

Tipu Sultan's Tomb

Right about lunch time we arrived at the highlight of this trip, the Mysore Palace. The palace was built after Tipu Sultan's death in the 19th century. The palace is save to say bigger than the Buckingham palace or our King's palace back home.

Mysore Grand Palace

It's compound is lush and scenic with 8 temples surrounding the palace perimeters. We hired a guide for RM30 and one of the amazing fact that we would have missed without the guide was the hidden secret of the wall murals that is painted with vegetarian paint which for more than 200 years still looks new but the amazing bit is that these paintings be it a potrait of the maharaja or an army of soldiers is, they all look different if viewed from the left or right of them. Certain items in the paintings like the eyes of the Maharaja, the ring on his fingers, the placement of his feet, all these seems to be facing you whether you are standing on the left or right side of it. It was unbelievable, yes maybe the eyes does follow you wherever you are in the room but the other objects like the direction the army is facing moves as you moved from side to side of the painting quite subtly. None of my collegues who had been here more times they can remember knew about this amazing fact. Only cost me RM30 for a one time visit to pry this ancient secret. They were amazed :p Sorry no cameras allowed in the palace you just have to take my word for it.

Palace ground - Me and my pet tiger

We headed to one of the 5 star hotel for lunch and spent them all as a good gesture for accompanying me today. Food was good but again the food portion here for one person is good for 2 person back home. I ordered chinese oyster souse chicken for them to try out and I had for dessert this sweet ball of dough soaked overnite in sugary water. Was bloody good. The diet here is always to end your meal with something sweet, the sweeter the better, wonder what is the diabetes cases here is like :p

We then headed to one the the Kingdom's ancient temple, the temple of the Goddess Chamundeshwari, on top of a hill called Chamundi Hills. The scenery on the top was breathtaking, was able to see the entire city and made out the places visited earlier.

Temple of the Goddess Chamundeshwari

We then headed to the oldest church built about 200 years back during Tipu Sultan's reign known as St. Philomena's Church, looked like something which belongs in Europe rather than here. Beautiful.

St. Philomena's Church

Before heading back, we visisted their emporium malls to purchase some sandal wood souvenirs as Mysore is known for their sandalwood, ivory and silk products and craft. Was a little pricey as compared to normal wood products that is because Sandalwood is the fragrant wood of trees and is used as fragrance in perfume, incense and for woodworking. You can tell by sniffing the product to tell it apart from the normal wood products. We headed back home but not too late for another last round of coffee for the day at Coffee Day which we learnt opens 24 hrs. It was a saturday night so was abit jam gotten into town. Got back into the hotel ordered dinner and collapsed on the bed. Good trip it was!! :)

One of the palaces converted into a Hotel in Mysore

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fri nite jam - Day 7/21

Left office abit later than usual, 6:20pm and reached Hotel at 8:40pm :( The reason being, it was raining, some parts of the road was flooded and was a Friday. This is the real deal, was stucked at one of the interjunction 2km away from my Hotel for 30 mins. Even I was not driving but I could feel the frustration, the tensions gripping me, the honking from every car was deafening and I wanted to jump in front and honk away, was so stressful. It got to everybody even my driver when he wind down his window and gesturing and yelling away at other motorists. It is difficult in Bangalore to go out at night as you will always be late for your dates or appointments unless you leave very very early from work which normally never ever happens. This is one of the reason the goverment is spreading the IT boom to other cities e.g Mysore which I am visiting tomorrow as Blore is way over congested, can't imagine living here for good, would go deaf with the honking before I go mad.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Indian with wine - Day 6/21

Left at 5:30pm was drizzling but managed to get back within an hour, so finally today we can go shopping. Got the driver to drop me off at this shopping mall as big as OneU maybe half of the old wing. Had some nice places to see but didn't buy anythin much except some toys which was about RM15 cheaper than at home. Couldn't fine anything exotic to get for souvenir. The driver promise to take me to their handicraft market this weekend, that would be better.

Head off for dinner, he suggested this nice 5 star hotel called the Windsor Manor, which looks like one of those colonial british palaces, very poshy looking, a room a nite is 400USD, only 25USD more than mine, hmmm should I move in ere then? :) well it's too far away from the happening streets where my hotel is so nah... :p Walked into one of its restaurant there and ordered lamb Bryiani with curry chicken and :p red wine keke. Curry and wine? it was kinda good but weird to wash away the spicy taste with wine. Costs me RM160 for the whole experience. Yikes this could have fed an Indian on the street for weeks :-s. Rather stick with my hotel food atleast I can eat on the bed watchin some DVDs :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Infamous B'lore jam - Day 5/21

Not sure if it was the non stop talking during the training session but my throat was feeling damn dry and a bit sore since these couple of days, was hoping for rain as the road and the place around was dusty. Got my wish today but you know what they say be careful what you wish for, you might just get it on your face. Rain started just as I was about to head back, met the Wipro Itip boss on the way out and he said he takes the bus home, he would go mad if he drives, yea right, driving to me is a form of stress reliever. Left office at 6pm and reached hotel at 8pm :( Was the worst jam ever in my life and this is normal when it rains, I would go mad if I was driving too, and I need my sanity ere in one peace in B'lore, next time I will leave at 5pm or work from Hotel :p

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Finally some touching - Day 4/21

Did I mention that I have not shaven since I got ere just to blend in with the local crowd. Anyways got back from werk and wanted to finish up some work so postponed my shopping excursion. Got into the hotel and was wandering around, went to the bookshop, went to the swimming pool area then I had to walk into the Spa. The lil angelic looking hostess there enquired with her Thai accented English if I wanted some massage, well my back shoulder was killing me since I came into India carrying my luggage, what a sorry ass excuse, anyways was a good enuf excuse, got her to convince me for a 60 minutes massage session, a Balinese massage, cost me RM250.

This spa in the Hotel is called Banyan Tree, very famous brand around south east asia and the place looked damn polished. Met my masseurs, she's prettier than the hostess, where do they hide themselves these Thai chicks, how come I don't see anyone fairer than me around before. Well she asked me to "take out everything" I was like huh?, we were alone in this room with a shower room. So I asked again, everything? She smiled and nodded and left me. So I stripped to nothingness but only my robe. She came in and asked me to take out my robe, damn then might as well tell me please be naked, would have been easier. For RM250 you get a nice whole body massage with scented oil, I had asked for medium to hard, should have asked for soft to sissy coz did she apply all her strength and pressure especially on my back, bloody painful nearly bit my tongue off. She massaged every inch of your body, head, neck, ears, full body well except that tiny place, its Banyan Tree anyways not some dodgy establishement. Was good but wish it was longer, all in all was way too expensive and I have had better massage back home cost half of this, well what would you expect from a 5 star hotel :-s

Monday, May 21, 2007

First day of work - Day 3/21

The sun rose at 5:30 am in the morning, my god I thought it was 7 de, anyways missed my b'fast again woke up at 7am in time to meet my personal chauffer, Mr. Pravind in his Ford Ikon, a lil bigger than a Myvi bout the same size as a City. The ride to work was an eye opener, road was tarred but dusty, it's anything goes here, you get all sorts of vehicles crised-crossing, most of the cars ere are the compact type, so many Suzuki Swifts and some Citys, even saw my fav car, Honda Civic. The highway to work was a 6 lane highway I ve been told but I couldn't tell if tat was true as there was no lane separators and there are rows of shops along side the highways, just imagine Plus north south highway with shops along side it, that is their highway, was bloody jam but hey I am not driving so who cares.

Got into their silicon valley dubbed EC or Electronic City. All the major MNCs are represented ere, there's Siemens my first company I worked for, then I saw the big signboard which reads Wipro. Arrived at the gate and enquired the reception counter for the Shell Tower, she pointed me to gate 10, how many gates does this place have anyways. Got into gate 10 to meet my counterpart, Nag, who gave me a guided tour of the campus, it has everything except for a cinema and a bowling alley :p the place was massive. My place is in Tower 15, there are like 20 over buildings ere. Shell has 2 buildings represented.

Got into my cubicle, the place is kinda sad looking for something which looks elegant on the outside, the interior reminded me of goverment offices, not what I had in mind. Conducted my training, never talked so much in one day, the new team is made up of 3 guys and 1 lady, all had like over 6 years experience and knows more shit than I do, but was I able to talk today, made myself convince that I know what I was training them about, made them listened, the trick is to talk to them as friends and always assume that whoever they might be, you are smarter than them and never make them doubt you ever, act confident!!!. I wish I was able to be them and listen to myself talk. Must be something.

Called my car at 5:30pm before the jam starts. There are like 500 busses waiting for the staffs in EC. That's why it is so jam always. Got back to the hotel an hour later, freshened up and went around town to one of the shopping mall nearest to the hotel, something simillar to Isetan, nothing new. Think will visit one shopping mall a day after work :) As I am writting this I am in my room having chinese dishes again with 7 gigantic prawns and tiramisu. If I stay ere for a few more months with these kind of diet I would die of coronory complications. Did I mention that my lunch at the office costs me RM3 and the drinks are free. Had some rice with multiple gravies including yogurt, the natural version from the cow and left out to harden. Tasted like crap but finished them all for once and I realized in the tons of ppl at lunch I was the only fool using fork and spoon, :p. So tired gonna die now in my bed.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

First nite - Day 2/21

The clock showed 1am on the bedside table but my wristwatch showed 3:30 am. That's how late it was after finished showering and unpacking. Woke up at noon and missed my complimentary breakfast, but had garlic fried rice with fried squid and dried chillies. Had chinese in India :p Roamed around the hotel compound, it's not really as big as I thought it would be, but the facilities available looked brand new or the hotel had gone through a recent renovations. Hotel as big as PJ Hilton but with a bigger size compound, walked around abit, lots of caucasians basking at the poolside, lots of expats families around the various restaurants facing the garden, can't find any other lonely young traveller around except myself.. sigh!.

Most of the day was spent in the Hotel, watch lots of TV, kinda gotten tired of every channel talkin in Hindi, even their MTV is Hindi, only HBO, some other movie channels, educational channels and CNN are purely in English, thank god for free DVD rental in the Hotel. Had tea break in the room while on the Internet preparing for work tomorrow. The only people I talked to today was mainly the hotel staffs. Went over the spa and most of them were brought in from Thailand, that much you can tell, the Chinese restaurant has a chinese chef, but the rest are locals. Note to self, find Blore Hard Rock cafe, there should be one in every city.

USD 370 a nite - Day 1/21

Was watching "Catch and Release" on the plane. Business class food is still good, but goin to B'lore there are more of us now, dun feel that special now :p Going thru the immigression which was fast as came out earlier than the rest of them economy class passengers :p, even my check-in luggage was one of the few ones to come out first. Smells like India then this must be India..... Airport looks old but functional, small though for an International airport, Subang Airport was bigger. Well on the way out the main airport door saw like more than a dozen name cards visible, wow so many exparts and foreign talents coming into B'lore, even on my plane saw a dozen Asian/Caucasians. Saw my name with my hotel name card. Got into the complimentary car from the Hotel. The driver said there will be a new airport to be completed next year with seven 5 star hotels coming up along the airport road itself. Wow this place is really coming up. My hotel room alone is more than 300 USD a nite and you can imagine the amount of money pouring in to this place. Saw several familliar restaurants along the way, Pizza Hut and TGIF, well don't think this place is as bad as it was made out to be. One thing that is true is, if there are enough number of foreigners or tourists at any one place, safe to say the facilities, restaurants and other conviniences found at home can be easily accessible as well. When I was in Siem Riep, because of the influx of tourists due to the attraction of Angkor Wat , surprisingly they do have really nice poshy and clean restaurants and bars lining up the streets for a 3rd world country and it was safe to walk at night as well as the locals require a safe environment to thrive on tourists money.

Ok enough about that lets get to the exciting part. I got to my Hotel, just in the middle of town, but yea forgot to mention one lil thing, you know how you hear alot about astrocious drivers in India and its maddening traffic, well right in front of me, just saw a car hit a motorcyclist. My god and I had only gotten into India not more than an hour. Anyways back to my 370 USD room. Staying at the Oberoi Hotel and Resorts, I got some pictures of my room to show you what you are paying for over 300 USD a nite, get this, for starters it has a walking closet, 4 duck down contour pillows, a small sofa a nice equipped desk with fax and wifi access, plasma tv with DVD player, a bath tub, a shower glass room with steam features, cool eh? and the design is really over the top with nice decor design, nice wooden pacquered flooring and my own balcony overlooking the swimming pool.

Plushy pillows and soft mattress

Mini bar with plasma tv and dvd player

Desk with broadband access

The least utilised place in the room :p

Walk in wordrobe

Poshy toilet with steam features

Tv in the loo :P

My own personal balcony

Walla, nice scenery out my balcony :)

I can live with this for more than 3 weeks or longer, actually I dun mind to call this home. I realli like the bath room more than anything else. Now what I need to do is get myself a nice pad and decorate it like this, or something close enough and I would be more than happy. I can get use to living like this. I don't mind travelling for work or any other reason if I get to live royally. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Business Class yo hoo!!! - Day 1/21

The day began like any other day, went for a haircut in OneU, had breakfast, did some shopping, feels like any other Saturdays except in an hour or so I have to get to KLIA and I don't even have my universal plug or any Indian Rupees :( As usual I work best under pressure which is another way of saying I procrastinate until I have no choice but to leave it to the very last minute, managed to change RM5k in USD, Sing Dollars and Indian Rupees, madness I know but I need all that much cash just in case u know. Got to KLIA in time, said goodbye to my mum, she missess me already, sigh and she kept sms-ing me until Singapore about this and that, oh well you know mothers.

The moment I found the SIA counter in the aiport I knew this trip gonna be different coz I am lining up in the "first class" counter queue :) full of old retirees and business man as usual. The second best part is when you board the plane you get your own lane separate from the masses and my god is business class almost like heaven. The seat is damn spacious, I know I sound like a freaking jakun but gimme a break, first class to me is like a myth I hear about but do not see. The seat is as big and comfortable as an Osim massage chair and for the first time I could stretch my legs on board. And the food, oh the glorious food, if you have been to one of those poshy funky resautant which charges you a bomb for a lil piece of food in a middle of a big plate, well that's what I got, some funcky Salmon dish which tasted better than any airline food I have ever tasted. Yummy-licious and I got all the works on my tray, with tray covers and small pepper, salt shakers. Don't let me start with the air-stewardess, prettier than the economy class is one thing but the attention you get, you need only to lock eyes with them they will be coming enquiring. No more pressing the overhead steward button hehe.

And the bonus of it all is, as I am typing this I am in Changi Airport in the Business lounge area, they have free food and drinks, wine and beers plus all types of finger licking desserts, and they are all free. Wow, well I hope they are free as I still haven't left the lounge yet :p The lounge is huge, you have 2 separate buffer tables each on every end, a bar in the middle and comfortable sofa like seats. They even have terminals for Internet access as expected. The majorities of the people are elderly retirees with plenty of penchant funds to spare, businessman of all types, and a few of corporate slaves like me, who are here on company's budget, you can tell as they look to young to be able to offord this luxury and their laptop always have their powerpoint presentations slides for whatever business reason their flying for.

Was overlooking out the window flyin into Spore, been awhile since I flew over ere, you can tell when peninsular Msia ends and Spore begins and are they reclaiming lots of land, lots, I mean it reminded me of the man made island montrosity in Dubai. Always wonder if Spore was still part of Msia and our prime Minister was Lee Kuan Yew, how would Msia be like now, the way Spore is run is like a big corporation, that's what you get with banana Chinese with business like mind unlike our local politicians who all are self-fish basterds who are too self absolved with their own agendas and mostly are unqualified to even get a job in a proper MNCs. Was just wondering that's all about 2 countries so simillar yet came up so differently and the farnie thing is Msia has more resources in terms of man power and natural god given richness to become a big market influence in this region but alas we have monkeys in the cabinet who bickers like old grandmother about everything under the sun except for what really matters to the "rakyat". A pity we can't choose where we are born but atleast there is still some chance of migrating and lead a better life elsewhere as Msian politics and its economy is an ass joke to begin with :p

Gonna board my flight to Blore now..... Bon Voyage!!!!