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Sunday, June 19, 2011

What happen when you cant read & speak Thai?

This evening I drove to a nearby shopping mall for dinner. I was walking around the mall alone and decided to have fast food dinner. I entered this McDonald's Restaurant and saw Samurai Pork Burger set on the menu. Since non-halal burger is not available in Malaysia, I decided to order a set for myself. =p

When I was in the queue, an auntie gave me and another customer some coupons. We thanked her and took her coupons. However, all the coupons were written in Thai. =( I wasn't sure what was the promotion about, but one of the coupons has the picture of Samurai Pork Burger set which I wanted. 

So, I handed the coupon to the cashier upon making my order. The cash register machine showed 106Baht, which was exactly the same price as the price showed on the board. Well, I thought the coupon has some sort of discount? How come I was still paying a full price? *confused*

Guess what?!?! I only realized what was the coupon about after that!! It should be "Buy 1 set of Samurai Pork Burger & get 1 Pork Burger worth 56Baht for FREE".... Because, I ended up with 2 pork burgers, 1 pack of french fries & a coke!!! Hahaha!!! Greedy me bought 2 burgers for 1 meal. XD

I took the extra burger home. It will be my breakfast tomorrow morning. LOL! That was a pretty funny experience on language barrier.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

World's Best Bosses and Coworkers

I found this interesting article from BNET and would like to share will my readers.

World's Best Bosses and Coworkers

1) Creative collaborators
  • A creative collaborator has realized that success doesn’t have to entail only individual accomplishment but can be more rewarding when it includes working together. With this awareness, creative collaborators redefine that emotionally packed word “success” so that wealth, position, and fame are no longer the only purpose for defining what really matters in designing one’s life. Creative collaboration is consistent with even the greatest individual accomplishment.
2) Community Builders
  • Some things are worth fighting for, yet most the time there’s a better way. While rebels thrive on the negative attention they receive from their opposition to almost anything, community builders are capable of transcending opposition when appropriate, respecting other viewpoints and exploring areas of potential unity. They learn to embrace the notion that we’re all connected and that no one wins unless we all do.
3) Realizers
  • What’s it like when you’re in the presence of someone who really makes things happen? Most people report having a feeling of effervescence, as if they’d just taken the first sip of a good champagne.  Realizers help open doors that seemed nonexistent minutes before.  There’s a sense that all things are possible.
4) Humorists
  • Humorists are not the office clowns who make inappropriate jokes, or try to use humor to distract people from real problems.  Humorists put our comfort and worries into perspective, so that we can laugh at ourselves and the situation and pause before tackling difficulties. Humorists don’t push us to avoid conflict but instead handle it in a balance, healthy way.
5) Visionarists
  • Visionary leaders have learned the art and craft of conflict transformation. Their core aim is to unite rather than divide people.  They are sensitive to the desires and needs of others and often have internalized the feeling of what it’s like to be judged and told that they’re wrong. Out of that comes an ability to listen to others and imagine a better future.
6) Explorers
  • Explorers find out everything there is to know about a subject. They read books, browse the Internet, go to lectures and talk to just about everyone they can to find the right information. They take interest in a vast array of subjects and have a willingness to learn and an optimistic daring that is infectious. Explorers volunteer for projects and love to collaborate. While everyone else is dreading ambiguity, they will challenge all who seem unsure and hold them accountable for their words and actions. They inspire people to try new things and are always willing to be part of the first test to make sure that a project will succeed.
7) Mentors
  • Mentors know how to listen and give good advice at just the right time. They know how to stand in the background and applaud without needing credit. They’re willing to let go when you’re competent to make your own decisions without them. The best mentors are not those who sailed through life without setbacks but rather those who have had to go through their own intense training and overcome obstacles and challenges.
8) Storytellers
  • Storytelling has played a fundamental role in all societies to help human beings make sense of their world. Storytellers the world over establish a sense of credibility, authenticity, and wholeness in their communities. Rather than retreating from conflict, storytellers help communities understand how problems can be, and should be, solved.  They help communicate company values, share important business knowledge, and limit office politics. They take a firm’s agenda and communicate it to all stakeholders, helping them feel comfortable and motivated even during periods of wrenching change.
9) Integrators
  • Integrators base their success on the ability to see all sides of a situation and allow conflicting parties to not only be heard but acknowledged. They have the ability to gather a group and find ways that individuals can work together and upwards.
10) Truth Tellers
  • Truth tellers have a firm grasp on what they want to say and have given deep thought as to the possible outcomes of their discourse. They will not change their mind just to pacify someone, although they are not averse to adjusting their opinions if that will enable a conflict to push towards resolution. They do not beat around the bush, and people in their audiences generally listen.
11) Initiators
  • Initiators are willing to start work on a project before all the questions have been answered. They take charge and become full participants in situations where creativity is especially important. The initiator can tolerate and moderate the conflicts that inevitably show up before creative process comes into full bloom. The initiator takes joy in the creative process and shows a willingness to let in all who wish to be included. Initiator like to get involved in the thick of arguments, thus allowing them to be resolved more quickly so that the creative process can move forward.
12) Trust Builders
  • Building trust means peeling away the defenses that have built over lifetimes. In the workplace, leaders build trust by considering all aspects of the business, from a successful bottom line to creative and engaged employees.
13) Peacemakers
  • Peacemakers cannot be swayed to side with one group or individual against another.What they care about is the fight to preserve the integrity of the whole system.Peacemakers teach us that peace is a state of mind and that it’s still possible to be happy in the midst of turmoil and chaos.

Thanks to author - Geoffrey James for the wonderful post. To read the complete article, please visit =)


Thursday, May 05, 2011

A fantastic show @ Siam Niramit, Bangkok

A few months ago, my dad told me about an awesome stage show called 'Siam Niramit'. He highly recommended me to check out this special Thai show. After reading some reviews from Trip Advisor, I decided to book my tickets! I approached a travel agent in Holiday Inn Silom (5 minutes walk from my office) and bought 2 tickets at a discounted rate! =)

On first day of Songkran (a.k.a Thailand's new year/ water festival), a driver from the travel agency fetched me and AO to Siam Niramit, which had quite a distance from my apartment. We arrived before 6pm to collect our buffet vouchers and show tickets. Firstly, we were greeted by the friendly ushers and blessed with holly water. Then, I received a pretty orchid corsage from her too (the corsages were only given to all the female guests).

There were some souvenir stalls selling souvenirs mainly with elephant theme. An elephant was near the entrance waiting for customers who wanted to snap pictures or ride on it. Some dancers who wore traditional costumes were walking around smiling at the guests. After we took some photographs with the dancers, we went to the restaurant for buffet dinner. There was a wide variety of food at the buffet bar! From Thai style to Indian to western to vegetarian food! I didn't try all of them as I were already bloated up after 1 round of main course and 1 round of dessert. Haha!

After dinner, we still have some buffer time before the show start at 8pm. We spent some time in the 'Thai Village', and enjoyed their local delicacies/ finger food. Our first stop was rice cracker dessert that served in a banana leave bowl. The rice crackers looked like our normal coco cereal. When the lady handed me the rice cracker, I was looking at it and wondered how am I supposed to eat without a spoon. LOL! XD

The lady quickly used some sign language and taught me me to pour the rice crackers from little bowl directly into my mouth. Hahah!! I was giggling and followed her instructions. Ohh! The rice cracker was good! Crunchy! I gave her a thumb-up. "A-loy!!" (Yummy in Thai) Hehehe!! 

Besides rice cracker, there were also other traditional Thai dessert like mini pancake, omelette, and more. I didn't try all the dessert, but I tried the omelette. Its good! Comparable with the Royal Omelette from Blue Elephant Restaurant. Haha! Yummers! 

Guess what, there was a traditional way of making pop-corn too (See the picture below)! The lady was shaking the pop-corn maker up and down, in and out. Then, the corn seeds were popping one by one. It took pretty long time to make a small portion of pop-corn, not very efficient tho. 

Traditional pop corn maker

On top of that, there was another lady making something like Indian nan (or roti canai bakar)... Not too sure tho. Hehe! I didn't try, but I saw her flipping that piece of 'roti' over and over for quite some time. =p
Roti bakar?
Other than food, there were also some samples of traditional houses. In the northern style village, there were some demonstrations on how to make Thai silk. A lot of Thai silk shawls were displayed in the village too.
Thai silk ingredient?
After checking out all the food stalls and traditional houses, we enjoyed a teaser show in front of the hall. When time comes, everybody proceeded to the main hall and got ready for the highlight of the night - Siam Niramit show. 

No camera or video camera was allowed to enter the hall. All the cameras were confiscated at the hall entrance. We kept our cameras in a bag provided by the organizer. Then, we were given a coloured tag with number, which will be used later when claiming back out cameras. 

We entered the hall together with many other guests. We were lucky enough to get one of the best seats right in the middle! We waited for a while before everybody got into the hall and the show had began. 

Do not worry if you couldn't understand Thai, because they do have subtitles in another 5 languages including English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and the last 1 was probably French? I couldn't read the last language but there was a 5th language. Haha! 

That was a great show on a gigantic stage, performed by ~150 performers! You wont be able to imagine how good it was until you experience it on your own. That was the best show I have ever watched so far. Its is highly recommended to see this show at least once if you are in Bangkok. Some might think THB 1,400 (approximately RM 140) for a show is pricey, but I think it worth every single Baht... Hehe!!

Tips: Apparently it is cheaper to book your ticket through travel agency (World Travel Agency), which cost only THB1,400 including transfers to and fro hotel, buffet dinner and the show. I saw the ticket counters were selling the tickets at THB1,500 (not sure if its including dinner)


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Fine Dining @ Blue Elephant Thai Restaurant

This is the entrance of Blue Elephant Restaurant
On one fine evening, my colleagues and I decided to pamper ourselves with a good meal (very sick of the typical fried rice and fried noodle). We relied on T's new GPS to direct us to this famous Royal Thai restaurant located in Sathorn - Blue Elephant Restaurant.

I have first read about its good review from some travel forums. According to TravelFish, this is a chain restaurant which had branches elsewhere in the world for many years before finally opening a branch in Bangkok. It's other branches are locating in Jakarta, Dubai, Paris, London, Malta, Lyon and a few other cities.

Besides the restaurant, there is also a Blue Bar and Blue Elephant Cooking School in the same building. If you are interested to learn Thai traditional cooking, you can join their cooking classes. From their brochures, they are offering traditional Thai cooking classes on a daily basis.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by the a waiter and waitress. The waitress told us that their restaurant was fully booked and we were only limited to dine for an hour before their next group of customers arrives. We accepted the offer and she brought us to a round table with 3 seats.

Firstly, we were served with a set of complimentary starter consists of a crispy fried dumpling, yummy chicken soup in shot glass and a beautiful orchid (of course the flower was not edible).

Complimentary starter - very nice presentation
That was my very first time drinking soup from a shot glass. Haha! When I first saw the glass, I looked at it curiously. Then, the waiter told me that was actually chicken soup. LOL! *thumbs up* I enjoyed it very much.

The chicken soup in shot glass taste great!
The romantic restaurant environment - perfect for couples
Organic brown jasmine rice

After the starter dish, our main dishes were presented to us one-by-one. We may select between the normal white rice or the organic brown jasmine rice. I had chosen the brown rice while both greedy T and L took both types of rice. XD The brown rice was black in colour and I felt it's lighter than the normal white rice. Something new and worth trying. =)

We ordered 3 main dishes - 2 pork dishes and an omelette. They were all very yummy. Check out my pictures below...

(1) Grilled spare ribs with honey - THB 380 (Approximately RM 38)
(2) Sweet and sour pork with longans - THB 380 (Approximately RM 38)
The last dish was the highlight of that night!! The Royal Omelette, which was the most expensive omelette that we ever had in our life! Hahaha! It cost THB 380 (approximately RM 38).

(3) The Royal Omelette - THB 380 (Approximately RM 38)  
You must be wondering why was it so expensive. Well, lets check out the descriptions from the menu. 
It says 'Thai omelette stuffed with stir-fried minced pork and vegetables. His Majesty King Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) created this dish himself and it was recorded in Thai history when it was served during his second visit to Europe. It became His Majesty’s favourite dish and very popular with Thai and foreigners.' 
Sounds very 'royal' right? To me, its just an omelette with pork and vegetables. I did not find it very special and it was hard for me to justify the price. So, I think the previous 2 dishes were more value for money. Haha!

Overall we were very satisfied with the food and services. The restaurant ambiance was very nice and comfortable. I think it is perfect for couples too. 

Guess what! On our way out, I received an orchid (for females only) from the waiter!! Aww... So sweet... Hehe!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Awesome Temple! Wat Rong Kun a.k.a the white temple

Thailand is one of the favourite/ popular tourist destinations. For many of us, first thing that comes across our mind should be 'temple'. If you happen to check out the Thailand map, you will be able to see lots of big and small temples scattered around the place. According to my tour guide in Chiang Rai, temples used to be a learning centre/ school and hospital in the past. That explains why there's a numerous number of temples around. 

When I was in Chiang Rai (northern Thailand) about 2 months ago, I visited an awesome and extraordinary temple. A Buddhist and Hindu temple that is very different from the rest of the temples. It is an outstanding post-modern temple designed by a Thai artist - Chalermchai Kositpipat

I snapped a picture with the super talented artist

Me and my family in front of the amazing temple
The design is seriously awesome! I guarantee that you will be amazed by the GREAT designed temple which is white in colour! 

Before we could enter the temple (assembly hall), we passed by the hell. Once we passed through the hell, we got onto a bridge that brought us to the heaven. I believe that the bad guys will join the hell community while the good guys will get a green light to enter the fantastic heaven. =)

People in hell were struggling to get out of that world
Good guys will get the opportunity to enter the heaven through the beautifully constructed bridge
Under the sun, we noticed that the temple were actually shining! When we walked closer, we saw lots of small mini mirrors/ white glass that were stuck on the building. This is an innovative way to make the building looks special!!

When we entered the assembly hall, we saw an undone wall mural (paintings). Sadly, no camera was allowed at the area. However, I still remember there were spiderman, doraemon, batman,
Keanu Reeves character in the Matrix and even Osama bin Ladin! There's a story behind the painting. The artist was trying to illustrate that we have heroes in our world and war is going on... bla bla bla...

If you join a tour, you will get to listen to the full story. However, the down side is, tours are usually rush and you wont be able to walk through the whole temple. Therefore, me and my family only got to spend a very limited time to enjoy the beautiful scene of Wat Rong Kun.

Beautiful side view of the white temple
Another building next to the white temple - gold temple
Well, this temple began its constructions in 1997 (14 years ago). However, the constructions work is still on-going. So, probably I will see something different/ more buildings 10 years down the road.

I personally think that this is a must visit if you happen to go to Northern Thailand. =) 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pray for Japan

For the time being, lets all pray for the victims of Japan earthquake and tsunami waves. May god bless all of you.
"The US Geological Survey has upgraded the magnitude of Friday's deadly earthquake in Japan to 9.0
The move came after Japan's Meteorological Agency did the same. It's not unusual for scientists to tweak the magnitude of a giant quake after some number-crunching.
US government scientists originally put the Japan quake at 8.9. The change to 9.0 means that the quake was about 1.5 times stronger than initially thought.
The Japan quake is now the fourth largest in the world since 1900 behind the 2004 magnitude 9.1 Sumatra quake"
Source: The Star

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thai's version Wong Lo Kat

There is a Chinese restaurant nearby to my apartment. We never have problem in food ordering as the owners speak Mandarin. Besides, their menu consists of Thai, English and even Chinese language!

One night, the lady boss recommended me a herbal drinks - Wong Lo Kat. LOL! Thailand have its Wong Lo Kat herbal drinks too! Its packaging is almost the same as Malaysia's besides the additional Thai wordings.

It costs about 30 to 40 Baht (RM3-4)

It tastes good... Sweet =)


Friday, February 11, 2011

New home for my furry friends

My furry friends finally get into my new apartment in Bangkok!! 

They were stuffed inside my luggage bag last Tuesday and flew over to Bangkok with me by Malaysia Airlines. =) Luckily they are still in good shape. LOL!


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Happy Year of Bunny :-)

Dear all,

Happy Chinese New Year!! Wishing you a wealthy and prosperous new year. Good Luck!! :)


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Challenges over in Bangkok

Working in Bangkok is full of challenges. The most challenging part is the language barrier, which is much more severe than it was in Jakarta. Thai language is a totally different language. So far, I only managed to learn a small handful of Thai language. Its only enough for me to do bargaining at shopping. Hehe!! Bargaining skill is a must in Bangkok!

Our bigger issue is the problem during food ordering, especially those without English menu/ pictures! What can we do were either simply pointed at something or pointed at their customers’ bowl/ plate and asked for the same dish. Then, fingers crossed and hoped that the dish is what was expected. Therefore, we usually opt for the restaurants with an English menu or at least picture menu. We thought the real bowl of rice/ noodle should not go very far off from the picture. Haha!!

Taking about food, another challenge for me is the spicy food!! Their chilies are superb in term of spiciness. Most of their tom yum or soup is added with tones of chilies. The chilies come in different sizes and shapes, including thin & short, fat & short, fat & long, and even green & round!! There was once T thought the rounded green chili was a green pea. LOL! He bitted on it and threw it out immediately. That was freaking spicy! For me, I always ended up with lots of water/ ice after the spicy meals.

Last weekend, my colleagues and I visited the Pratunam market. Along the street, we saw a stall sold some fried stuff. There were fried grasshopper, beetles and worm. I suggested to T to tryout some of them. He bought 1 packet of fried worm and he dared me to eat them!! Ouchh!! They are worms…

Check out the fat and juicy worms

He tried one and commented that it was not bad! ST tried one too. They said it tasted like the Chinese 'kam heung' cooking style of fried worm. Emmm... Ohh well, I ended up trying too! I took 1 bite at the tail instead of the head (the 2 eyes at its head were freaking me out). Its texture tasted like green pea!! I hate eating green pea. So, this is not my cup of tea. I won’t eat it again even though the taste was not horribly freaky.

My half bite fried worm

T seemed to love it a lot. Haha! He poured a lot of the worms onto his plate of chicken rice and ate them as side dish. I should have snapped a picture of his rice island that was surrounded with fried worms.

I believe that there will be more challenges ahead. I'm ready to face all those upcoming challenges/ events. Com’on, bring it on!! :-)


Friday, January 28, 2011

*Bangkok dangerous*

When I returned to my apartment last night, I found that something was not right. Why was my bedroom door locked?! OMG! The apartment owner did not give me any key for that room!! I must be accidentally locked it in the morning! All my clothes and stuffs were locked in that room!! *(O_o)*

I was desperately wanted to open the door!! I need to get into the room!! T was there trying to unlock the door with various methods. We tried to slip business cards, post cards and brochures in between the door gap and hoped for the door to be unlocked. He even tried to poke the lock with wire and hair pin! However, all those were not working at all!! The door remain as locked.

These are some of the methods we tried to unlock the door (proven not working/ or we just didn't have the skills)

I called my Thai colleague for help, but her phone reception was so bad! We can hardly hear each other. Then, I called ST, another colleague a.k.a. neighbour for help. However, he was like in the mood of partially drunk. I wasn't sure if he heard me and understood my shit hit the fan situation at that time. Haha!

In the end, T and I approached our apartment security guard for assistance. We communicated with him with the simplest English. "Door locked. No key." (added with some sign language) Thank god! He understood and immediately informed a maintenance officer to help me.

The maintenance officer followed us to the apartment unit. I pointed at my door knob. He looked at it and walked into the living hall instead. Guess what? He climbed out from the living hall window and slowly walked towards my room!! Then, he climbed into my room through the room window! Oh my gosh! It was a 12th floor and the sky was so dark! I can't imagine what would happen if he accidentally slipped and fall down. Touch wood!!

Luckily the window in my room was not locked (This picture was snapped from the living hall window)

When I looked down from my 12th floor window, its pretty dangerous!

Within a few minutes, he managed to unlock my room and came out in one piece! *Phew!!* "krap khoon kaaa!!" I thanked him loudly in Thai. He saved my night! =) Now, I will always making sure that I don't repeat the same stupid mistake. I do not want another "Bangkok Dangerous" incident here. LOL!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

A 'cold' & 'wild' birthday treat

My birthday had past for more than 3 months and I have yet to post up my wonderful birthday treat in Indonesia. I finally managed to squeeze some time out of my busy working schedule for some updates.

On my birthday afternoon, Mdm W drove me and another 2 colleagues to a nice Dutch restaurant in Puncak, Bogor. I ordered a dutch style cheese pancake and it was so exceptionally delicious!! On top of that, I ate a plate of spaghetti cabonara too. It was a plate of dry cabonara, which was not the creamy cabonara that we usually have in KL.  Although that was something new to me, I still prefer the normal creamy type :)

After lunch, we walked around the surrounding area of the restaurant. We enjoyed the cooling weather as well as the nice scenery.

I am not sure what plant is this, but it looks special to me. The yellow flowers were looking down at the ground instead of the sky

We snapped a picture under this funny looking tree

The scenery behind was just great!

After that, we entered into the Safari Zoo!! Let me tell you how different is this zoo compared to our normal national zoo! Guess what, we can drive our cars into the zoo! Yes, Mdm W actually drove her 3 Series into this zoo!! First of all, we were greeted by a friendly zebra.

It came so near and it was licking on our car window!! Probably it was hungry and was hoping for some food donation. Hahaha!

Then, we saw animals were free to walk anywhere in the safari zoo!

And wooosh!! Even the lions!!

... and tigers too!!

Before we leaved the zoo, our car was nearly knock down by a hungry elephant. It was walking side-way towards our car when it saw a visitor had a yummy carrot in her hand. But we were lucky enough to move the car away in time. *Phew!!*

Lastly, we shopped for Puncak's famous yogurt drinks before heading home. *Slurp* The yogurt drinks were fresh from the factory!

Overall, I had 3 wonderful experiences of birthday celebrations last year, including my pre-birthday and post-birthday celebrations. =)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why It’s Smart To Be Optimistic

I found a useful article from Reader's Digest. After reading this article, I know what is the importance of being an optimistic person. =)
Expecting good things can make you healthier and might even lengthen your life, says researcher Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD, author of Breaking Murphy’s Law. Segerstrom is coauthor of a recent review of studies on the benefits of a positive attitude—and has experienced them herself. We asked her about optimism’s principles and payoffs.

1) Feeling well helps when you’re not well
“When researchers look at people who have similar medical conditions, they can predict who’s likely to live longer: the one who feels his health is better. There’s something about that feeling of wellness that’s important, even—maybe especially—if you’re ill. Optimism also seems to help buffer you against stress. I’ve been studying first-year law students for 16 years. That’s a very stressed group, but in my most recent study, each time a student’s optimism increased one point on a five-point scale, his immune response to an injected virus or yeast improved by 20 percent.”

2) Optimism is something you do
“Anxiety and other negative emotions are known to be detri-mental to the body, especially to your cardiovascular and immune systems, and having an optimistic nature seems to protect against those effects.

In addition, research shows that people who are optimistic about their future behave differently. They exercise more, are less likely to smoke, and follow a better diet. And if they get sick, they’re more apt to actively participate in their treatment. I’ve seen that myself—I have back pain from arthritis, but I think my willingness to do whatever it takes has helped a lot.”

3) Not happy? Don’t worry
“Happiness is a feeling; optimism is a belief that aspects of your future will turn out well. Happiness can fluctuate a lot, but an optimistic disposition is usually pretty stable. If you’re not optimistic, you can try creating a ‘positive events’ log. Good things happen to everyone, but pessimists often don’t take notice; spending a few minutes every day writing about at least three positive things may help you expect them more often. Or instead of trying to be optimistic, do what optimists do: Work hard to reach your goals. Each accomplishment should make it easier to be hopeful about the next one.”

Depending on which study you read, optimists …
…are 9 percent less likely to develop heart disease.
…are only 77 percent as likely to be rehospitalized after some types of major surgery.
…have blood pressure that’s five points lower, on average.
…live an average of 9.5 years longer.

So, start from now, let's be optimistic!!