Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Year of Grace.....

Cool, 2005 is going away so soon... As I type, there is another 24 minutes left to a new year. Just like everyone else, my phone couldn't stop "beep beep", "beep beep". Yes, is another celebration which makes the telecommunication companies richer by a bit through the number of smses sent.

Malaysia has gone through a lot in the pass 2005. Almost every newspaper today summarise everything about our country and what has been happening throughout the year. Stories of our Squash World Champion, Nicole David, still stay fresh and she was even voted Malaysian of the Year by NST readers; surpassing even our Prime Minister. So when Pak Lah said to Nicole, "Now you are more famous than me...."; is true, huh?

Well, this year is a good year. It has given me massive opportunities to grow and to learn a lot of wonderful, interesting things. A year which has not much growth in my pockets but definitely full in experience. However, many of my pledges turned out to be.... only pledges. What to do, things are so unpredicatable.

So, the year is soon to be the past. So let's look into the present and future tense of our lives. Year 2006...... Here I come! With upbeating spirits, renewed mindsets, greater experience, and a new job!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

So WHY Worry?

Yeah, you have a prolem. Just answer yes or no to this question - can you solve the problem? Yes - then why worry? No - then, again, why worry?

(adapted from WHY WORRY? How to Live Without Fear and Worry by Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda)

A lot of energy is used up daily just to worry about our lives, financial situation, marriage problems, the house, the car, career, money, household, children, spouse, handphones, clothes, food, and anything else you can mention, someone is worrying about it.

Have we all focus on solutions instead of start worrying, the world will be much better place to live. Not that easy, you say? Then ask youself that question again - Can you solve the problem?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Indonesia de Experience

So what, gitu loh....

Indonesia, HERE I COME!!!

Indonesia is a great experience for me. I fly to Jakarta for business trips since January, with more than 80 of my business partners. I knew I have nothing to fear of since I have been there before. News from mass media about bombings and riots exposed Indonesia as a dangerous country to visit. On the way to airport and even in the air, my business partners were still doubtful about the security of our destination country. However, my mind was clear and I knew it wasn't that bad. And all of us knew we must go for the sake of the business.

Stepping down was great. Although we were welcomed by frowns of those immigration officers but it was later unveiled, the smiles of the 250 millions Indonesians. Never judge a book by its cover, never judge a country by its news and immigration officers.

As we were ferried by a Kijang to our hotel in Central Jakarta, we passed by "Apartemen Teluk Intan", which is still under construction. "Wow, that was great! My hometown Teluk Intan is even in Jakarta!", I told myself. The huge bold letters, measuring about 15 feet tall, decorated the construction site. It made me feel just like home.

The traffic was really bad. The vehicles are not even crawling, most were stagnant for a long period of time. We finally reached Aston Hotel Sudirman, a five-star serviced apartment, after about 2 hours drive. Imagine, coming to Jakarta from Kuala Lumpur is only 2 hours!

As we ventured along the cities, we realised that Indonesia has so much to offer. "Selamat Datang, bu!", the waitress welcomed us with a warm smile. The variety of food is astonishing, even the Pizza Hut there offerred extended menus than it is in Malaysia. Any food, French style, Japanese style, Italian style, you name it, they have it. The fact that Indonesia itself has so many provinces, trying the food of each province can be endless. Food can be found everywhere! In the food court, shopping complexes and even the road sides are filled with food stalls. Food in Jakarta is a little expensive but in Bandung, we had grilled fish, grilled squid, grilled prawns with rice and a drink for only less than US$3. Specialties like Pucuk Waluh and their ginger drink called Bandrek were still in my mind.

We were addressed as Bapak (Mr.) or Ibu (Mrs.) or Mbak (Miss) or Mas (Boy). Most of it is almost the same with Malay Language in Malaysia but Bahasa Indonesia has a very smooth accent that is comfortable to the ears. Different provinces have different dialects just like Malaysia as in Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan dialects are slightly different.

Indonesians are basically friendly people. They smile a lot and treat foreigners really well. They tend to make friends and develop relationships before we can start to talk about business. However, Indonesians are hardworking lot, mainly because of the crisis that they have been through and the huge population in Indonesia opening doors for stiff competitions. Most people really work hard in order to be recognised or to be successful.

In this place you can see the filthy rich and the poorest of people. Walking into Plaza Indonesia, a plaza almost filled with branded stuffs, you can see how the rich Indonesians spend their money to pamper themselves. On the other hand, it is always sad to see children who lived under the bridges, holding umbrellas during rainy days. They scout around for by passers who need the umbrellas. Once a person took an umbrella to protect him from the rain, the children will just follow behind. All drenched, the children patiently wait for tips from the person who reached his destination dry. Sometimes as we were stuck in the traffic, we can see children with a tray of newspapers or other products. They knock on car windows to sell their products everyday.

In a foreign country, I came to appreciate how much better we are in our own country. There is no place like HOME. Although the food is a variety, I still miss our Asam Laksa and Nasi Lemak.