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Showing posts from 2008

2008 : Year of Extremes

I kicked off 2008 with a New Year celebration with dinner at Seahorse Café in Miri with Da’a Ninut, Nyza, Yusri and Ikhwan before joining hordes of people for the countdown and enjoying fireworks display from atop Canada Hill. We then went to Thai Bar for the party. It was fun considering I never really celebrated new year before.


February: Luky, Nazmi and Syarizan (ex colleagues from MMHE) March : Suffian, Sam, Nizar, Razak and Fuad July: Mom, Om and Hani my fiancée

I have make lots of new friends in 2008. Most of them work for SSB. I even have a circle of friends called POK FC (Pok in Sarawak means bro or mate). They were a bunch of cool people. We did so many things together travelling, gatherings, sports or just enjoying chill out at KRP. These guys make Miri lively at least for me.


Work was great. I really enjoyed my time at SSB and hoping to come back one day. Shell really is a company that stressed on balancing work and fun. I won the best dressed award during TD engineering dinn…

Italian Job : Chapter 2

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Florence : The birthplace of Renaissance

Our train departed from Roma Termini at 6.30 am. This Alta Volacite train took only 1.5 hrs to Florence which is about 300 km from Rome. The view of the Tuscans country side seen along the journey was spectacular to say the least. No wonder Tuscany is regarded to be the most beautiful region in Italy. Grazing lands and vineyards dotted with quaint villages dominating the landscape. Alpe di Catenaia and Alpe Apuane mountain ranges provide a harmonious backdrop to this heartland of the renaissance.

We arrived at Santa Lucia train station a quarter past 8. The sky was clear and sunny but it was cold. It must be around 4 deg. It was far too cold for us. We were shivering. A cup of hot coffee and warm brownies would be a great idea.

We only have a day in Florence. What a shame. It doesn’t do justice to this city which is rich in arts and history. This is where the renaissance started in Europe. The hometown of Michelangelo a, Botticelli and Machiavelli…

Italian Job: Chapter 1

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Prelude

I finally granted a license to get out of Qatar upon the issuance of my Residence Visa. It didn’t take me long to book a flight out of this country. Destination, Italy. What? Italy in winter? You guys must think I was mad eh. But as a first time visitor, winter is perfect. The whole country will be swarmed by tourists in the warmer months. Italy has long been a great tourist destination. People from all over Europe had been visiting Rome, Florence and Venice since 1700s as part of ‘The Grand Tour’.

I started my trip with a stop over in Dubai where I meet up with Aidid, my travel companion for this trip. He played a role of ambassador and tour guide showing me around Dubai. We went to Dubai Mall, Madinat Jumeirah, Festival City and a stroll at Al Diyafa where he lives. I took the chance to buy some more winter clothing at this shopping mall of the Middle East.

Italy welcomes visitors with open arms as big as the Colloseum. The immigration and custom clearance was a breeze with no …

Happy National Day Qatar

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18 Dec is Qatar National Day. Its Thursday, so I will have another long weekend to laze around and rejuvenate. I was not planning to wake up early today. But it was just a dream. At around 8 am I was awaken by the sound of fighter jets intruding the column of airspace above my apartment. The National day parade must be well on the way I thought. I wanted to go but I do not have anyone to go with, so I spent the morning at home, hooked on skype. It is cold outside anyway. At 4pm I came to my senses. Why am I sitting here when the whole of Qatar is having fun. So I grab my jacket, my Ipod and walked all the way to Rumeillah Park at the Corniche. It is almost dark when I finally got there. The place was already packed with people. The mood and atmosphere was simply festive and joyous. The crowd was waving the Qatari Flags and the kids got their faces painted with the national colours of white and maroon. Everyone was anxious to wait for the much talked about Light and Sound show, and off …

A walk(s) to remember

Its Eid, the whole of Qatar have a week of holidays to celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice, but not me. I have to work during the holiday period. For a company who supplies 30% of the world's LNG, having everyone off for 5 days will definitely cause a global LNG crisis. The company provides transport to work. I usually just board the bus right in front of my house. But for this holiday period, there will only be one pick up point, the Qatar Sports Club (QSC). Which is about 10 km from where I live. So I have to wake up at 5am and get a cab at 5.30am. There is only one public transportation company in Qatar, Mowasalat. They monopolise the bus and taxi services in Qatar. Both services are very limited. Their taxi service are particularly very unreliable. So the majority of the people like me who does not drive or own a car, resort for private cabs. I have one who I always call whenever I need a ride around town. Rohan. He was always reliable albeit at a price 50% more than that of a mete…

32..

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As usual, my birthday was as uneventful as ever. No feast no party. But this year I did some effort to at least do something to commemorate it. Being new to this town, with not many friends I did not plan for anything grand. With Asfaezi, I went to Sealine Beach Resortand stayed overnight. The plan was to laze around the beach, ride some jet skis then racing the dunes on quad bikes before heading to Inland Sea and a camel ride the next day. But too bad it was raining and way too cold for any beach activities. So we ended up did riding the quad bike, petting some camels stayed one night and went home the next morning.
Kembara di tanah gersang
I honestly do not feel 32 and not qualified to be called one. At 32 most people are already married and have 2-3 kids. At 32 one should already have a steady career backed by fat savings in their bank accounts. I, on the other hand have none of that. But praise to ALLAH, I am enjoying my life and thankful for everything HE blessed me with. I just st…

Ahaa .. Arabee? Passport Qatari?

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Me and Asfaezi had dinner at Sri Kebaya tonight. I was craving for some Malaysian food for sometime now. Since we were at Souq Waqif, I thought, I want to check for an arab thobe. There are plenty to choose from here. I settled for a regular white Qatari thobe with a mandarin collar, a red and white guthra and an igal. There were some locals at the shop. My shopping for an arab thobe caused a stir of excitement to these people. Why? An oriental can't wear a thobe? Isn't the reason for wearing it is about equality? And it also fitting with a Malay saying "Masuk Kandang Kambing Mengembek, Masuk Kandang Harimau Mengaum" which means you ought to follow the way the locals do when you are in a foreign place.
I decided to wear the guthra and walk around the souq. Asfaezi as supportive as ever, was excited to see me getting a lot of attention from the locals at the souq. I have never feel more welcomed from the locals since I got here. But not tonight. Almost every locals I …

Love thy neighbours

I am sharing a common entrance with people from unit 6A and 6C. 6A is the biggest apartment, located on the ground floor, while 6B (where I live) and 6C sharing the space on the top floor. I have never really spoken to any of my neighbours since I moved here 3 weeks ago. Not because I'm being aloof but really because we locked ourselves in our units and mind our own business after a long day at work.

My neighbour in 6C is Sergei. He is from Romania. That is how much I know about him. We bump into each other a couple of time and exchange hellos.

Apartment 6A was still vacant when I moved here. At first I wanted to rent the place, but I thought QAR 10500/month for a one bedroom apartment is a little too much. So I settled at the unit on the top floor, half the size for QAR 8500/month. Last week I noticed someone has moved in. I wonder who is he (most probably he than she here in Qatar, no family will settle in a one bedroom anyway, and single independent girls are a rare commodity her…

Desert Safari.. tranquility in a desert

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Last Friday I went to a desert safari trip organised by the business group at work. At first, I was indecisive whether or not to go. Looking at the list of the invitees, I know they are a boring lot not a fun crazy wild kind of people. But I was glad I said yes to join this trip. The journey to the Inland Sea in a four wheel drive vehicle was an exhilarating experience. Our driver did a lot of dare devil acts driving ups and downs the dunes. It was comparable to a 2 hours ride on a roller coaster. Certainly not for a faint hearted. At times he drove right on the edge of the dunes ridge. I can imagine how horrible it is should mishap happen.
I have never thought a desert could be so picturesque. Its tranquility goes as far as the horizon. The landscape was full of crescent shaped dunes. Some as high as 50 meters. The Inland Sea (Khor Al-Adaid) was breathtaking. The view was simply stunning. We can see Saudi Arabia across the sea. Inland sea is a tidal lake that also serve as a natural b…

Finding ground

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I have been in Doha for two weeks now. Work has become more manageable as I get myself more femiliar with the systems and procedures of the company. I was more visible at work now and people started talking to me. It was a good change from being invisible in my first week. I was also given advice and coaching from my contracts advisor. But it is still as stressfull.

I have now moved to a new place at Bin Omran. This place feels more homey than the massive apartment at Ezdan. Its smaller (and off course alot cheaper) and more manageable. Its fully furnished, but to transfer a house into a home, I did some personalisation job to it. I spent almost QAR 800 for towels, pillows and other soft furnishing from Home Centre. They have some nice stuffs there at Home Centre but most of them are very ornamented and gaudy. Surely not my taste.

Thanks Rizal for volunteered to provide the free delivery Living Room Bedroom


Bathroom


Shower
Kitchen
I have make few new friends this weekend. Rizal, invited me t…

Sharq Village Doha, Qatar

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I spent an evening at Sharq Villagewith Asfaezi. Had tea and stayed for dinner. This place is really beautiful with the beach overlooking Doha port and the city as a backdrop. This hotel has many restaurants, Cafes and even the luxurios Six Senses Spa. The swimming pool in the middle of the square is an attraction of itself. I wish to bring my mom and Hani here one day.
More Pics of Sharq Village & Spa here

1st week anniversary in Doha

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Time flies so fast that I just realised that I am already here for a week now. Breathing in its dusty air, shower in its hot 'cold' water and being so remote from all the familiar faces in my life. Adaptability is the key to survive and enjoy this place. I accepted it as it is and savour the beauty behind its barren land, never ending constructionsites and its cloudless skies.
Work
I work for RasGas, a major LNG producer in Qatar. It owns and operates one of the largest LNG plants in the world at Ras Laffan. There are currently 5 trains in operation. They are currently building another 2 trains in RGX2 Expansion project. I am working with the Special Projects team of the expansion project. Indolent is not a choice. Everything is urgent here. Time really is an essence. You cannot give an excuse that you are new and need time to grasp the whole new system. You have to jump into the bandwagon right away. I for example was called into a project meeting the very moment I reported for…