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Showing posts from December, 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 …