Monday, July 30, 2012

Learn to Wait

One month has gone by swiftly and I am finally back home. Looking back at time, I had definitely a good run, 2 more months and it will be one full year at work, is tough no doubt but even if I could turn back time, I would still be doing the same. There's much more to learn and see, and that's what kept me going, I am new to this world, curious, excited and hunger for more, both knowledge, experiences and stories from all walks of life. 

Birds can fly high, from the top, they were able to see things from miles away; but they could also fly low, or at times to stop and look at things in detail. 

This life I am having right now, has indeed taught me a lot, especially on the way I look at things. Life isn't always about moving forward, at times it involves a bit more of waiting. Whether you're waiting for a plane, queuing for tickets, application and processes, it comes in all sorts of form and has and always will be part of our life, but you just never realize as you're too focus on what's next. If I were to add up all the waiting time for the past month, the duration would probably sum up to 2-3 days which I could use to do anything I want, but you can't and that's life. 

Remember I was hold up for an extra semester during university years due to unforeseen issue, and I was really mad that time, especially with the school authorities, getting all work up, cursing, scolding, bad mouthed the school, and of course worried about things that I couldn't control. But at the end, nothing change and I still studied for an extra semester as requested, so what the fuck right? To think back, I was a joke and it was really foolish of me acting that way. 

That extra semester actually helped me, I managed to spread my course hours in the extra semester, had more free time to roam around, managed to excel in my studies and got out just in time for Siemens to take me in, it was like someone up there wanted me to see this through, and I am thankful.  

So when life keeps you waiting, have a nice cup of coffee instead.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Evening in Erlangen

Travel has indeed enable me to get more in touch with the world, but at the same time it also made me realize how far I was from understanding the world and most probably I would never come close no matter how hard I try, as it is evolving every single day from the moment you draw your first breath and even at your last. 

Erlangen has been kind with me, showering me with sunny sky and chilling breeze, the part I love most was cycling to classes every single morning, realizing part of my dream of studying abroad, I don't have a clear plan if that will ever realize but for now I am deeply satisfied and enjoying every single moment I have here. 

Having to travel from one place to another and being able to be in class the next day in the morning, is definitely not an easy task to do, towards the end of my period I was feeling the exhaustion and truth be told, after 8 hours of training from 8 in the morning, by the time it ends, all I wanted to do was to soak in my room, lazying around, having music play, do some reading and sleep till the next morning. 

But today was a little different... my wallet gives me a reason or better a need, to cycle out to town as Euros in my wallet was running low and Geldautomat is no where to be seen around my hotel area, however a ATM withdrawal session ended up with me spending hours chilling by the park at Schlossgarten, sipping coffee and taking in the vibe of Erlangen town. 

I am at the stage where I can't do without coffee, is like my daily drug to keep me going. In fact any will do but there were some that I found doesn't keep me going, for example the plain coffee that was served by the hotel every morning. I started of my day with a cup of coffee from the coffee machine in the cafeteria, pretty awesome what a machine could do, a good cup of latte machiato keeps me awake during my training sessions and lasted till the afternoon, another would be shortly after lunch or half way towards the second half of my training, the best thing was the coffee was free for the trainee. 

And of course there comes a day, when I don't feel like sleeping at all during the night, then I go for coffee in the late evening. And best thing was Starbucks was just nearby Geldautomat, and I couldn't resist. And there it goes, a nice warm coffee, sitting at Schlossgarten, looking at the day goes by. 

I had many good coffees around in Germany, may be I was wrong may be the coffee taste all the same, but it became exceptionally good when one is in desperation, and I was right at that point. Remembering all the good lattes and espresso that I had grabbed at Haupbanhof, before catching the next train to my training center, it was a good time, a memorable ones. One hand held the coffee while the other holding a paper bag of croissant which I knew I would enjoy as I had grown bored with standard hotel breakfast. 

I like croissants here, it cost around 50 cents for one at times even cheaper at later of the day, but I like it fresh, is crispy and soft, and still having the warm having it fresh from the oven. 

Schlossgarten is a big green park surrounded by buildings of Friedrich Alexander Universities, one of the well known medical universities in Germany, and apparently Erlangen is also known as medical valley for Germany. The sun were shining, and students were out partying, drinking booze soaking up every single possible rays on their body. And if you're wondering if all medical students in Germany are able to be so relax in their study life, I had the same question as well and I raise it to my tutor and what I get was ' the one you see partying around are most probably the one who care less about their studies, as medical and even engineering students rarely has time to be so relax.' Sounds logic to me, and it happens everywhere in the world, workloads the only difference was whether you care enough to do it, if not the life's yours and you're free to make your own choice. 

I am not sure if I get mine right, but I am glad that I manage to make it this far. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1st World Country

I had been in Germany for almost a month now, there are certain details that I had seen, made me realized why Germany is one of the top countries in the world. For a country that had been severely involved and suffered the great cost of 1st and second world war, how different are they from us??

Germany is a country that highlights the importance of efficiency, not hard to see from is complex and sophisticated public transportation network and yet highly efficient ones. Probably one of the best in the world and a reason for them to be proud of. And Malaysia being a small country has definitely much rooms for improvements. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my country and I am not trying to undermine my own by speaking the goods of others. The point of me saying this at all was because my desire in hope that Malaysia would be in such levels someday. There's no need for me to bring out facts and figures to prove my point and I do no intend to do so, as my knowledge is vastly limited and I had not live both Germany and Malaysia long enough to be credible. 

However, there are certain details that I would wish to highlight during my trip, and probably you would understand why I had come to this conclusion. First would be on German sense, logic and attitude, throughout my trip in Munich, unfortunately the S-bahn that I was intended on taking wasn't working as   it was under maintenance, of course at such point of time, I am guessing everyone would be pissed. And being a Malaysian, it wasn't a really big deal for me, as I was pretty much well trained for such 'unlikely events', what really amazed me was the courtesy by the responsible companies by setting up points and helpers bearing vest of the company waiting by the entrance giving out free network maps informing the public that the routes are currently closed and the available alternatives they could take. While at most time all I get was a piece of A4 paper with unbearable hand writing stating that the network is down, and most of the time the responsible person are no where to be seen, most probably taking a hideout to avoid bashing from the furious public.  The best thing was, not only did they set up helpers at the main stations, but at all remaining stations where the S-bahn train would pass by, of course one would say, is that really worth the effort and cost? I said, is better to do the best you can, rather than to have the public hate you after wards (which apparently certain parties in Malaysia are very good at doing the opposite.)

While most of the Asian countries are racing to build the highest and tallest building. The Europeans are starting to slow down, and having a concern towards the environment, promoting green campaign, energy saving, setting up rules and regulations, regulating the whole energy scene, opting for more costly but Eco- friendly alternatives. Conserve what are already there, giving new life to old buildings, reuse and recycle. Dropping the needs for lavish needs but focusing on the basics, which I had realized from my stays in several hotels, proper ventilation, double insulated glass to improve heating and reduce usage of heaters. The attitude towards environment and living is vastly different from the wasteful attitude of most Asians ( note: not all but most including me.) 

I had the chance to observe one of the local builders while walking back after classes, he was a middle age German, building fence for a new home. He took three different measurement each, marking a reference point, measuring distance and height, as well as a leveling measurement before he marks the spot where the plank of wood should go in. The result was a perfectly level, equally distributed fencing for the new home, it might be a small job but it was done with quality and precision. And I believe there's no need for me to mention what happens to our new Parliament house for comparison sake as it was such an embarrassment. If those idiotic authorities would understand the meaning of doing it right the first time. 

Of course, there are not always green on the other side of the world. I am not a hater as well, the only think that I wish to point out was that our attitude determines everything, and for Malaysia we are lacking by miles, unless our attitude change or else nothing will change, there could be a million new rules, campaign and budgets to built first class facilities but mentality and attitude remains stagnant. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rainy Day in Munich

Is just another rainy summer day in Germany. Of course it would be better if I could venture out but rather than having that needle like sting of cold on my face, hiding inside my room with blanket wrapping around me wasn't a bad idea at all. 

Checking out mails, doing the normal stuffs in a different environment felt special, is a moment that I will never forget, that's what I like about travelling. Having to sit beside the window panel my eye are constantly looking out waiting patiently for the rain to past, despite having rain for the whole day, I still like it a lot, as it reminds me of Cameron Highlands or Raban Lata during my trip up to mount Kinabalu. 

The only thing I could think of right now was to have a cup of coffee and it will be perfect~

Friday, July 20, 2012

Milan Central Station

For most of us, a terminal is just a terminal, people are usually rushing here or rushing out. For those who's waiting, either they are frustrated for the long wait, or finding a corner being quiet and doing reading or thinking of its own. Is not a place where people will particularly like most, however for me I had grown fond of it, especially when a station that has rich history of its own and unique in its ways. 

I had 2 and a half hours still left within my control before my next flight due, while most were still roaming around on the streets trying their best covering the entire attractions, I took my stand into spending sometime here in Milan Central Station. 

It was kinda a bump to see that the station is under some major reconstructions or renovation (whichever more suitable) as I was hoping to have a great picture viewing the surrouding area of the Central especially upfront. Nonetheless, I am still pretty satisfied with what has turn out and I have to say this is one heck of a place to visit. 

Is more like a museum on its own rather than a station, if ever you're there do slow down your foot step and take a look around, instead of rushing through the front door looking high and low for the announcement board in search for details of your next train. 

Walking into the building, overwhelmed by the large crowd of tourist, expats, travelers on business trip that the Central could hold. It was an amazing feeling, the spacious high ceilings, the echos of children voices, the voice from the PA system, announcing the next train boarding, and all kinds of noise and sounds, and not forgetting the rays of lights passing through the sun roof as well from windows that conjured up the perfect environment of a Central Station. 

I spent my next hour or so going around, looking, learning, experience the difference in this greatly globalized world. There could be easily thousands of people here, but none had anything to do with each other especially lone traveler like me. There are times where I do wish to meet someone I know in this foreign land, an unplanned, unscheduled meeting, a kind of coincidence that could bring someone close together despite you barely speaks to each other before this, the feeling would be mutual at least I am glad there's someone I know here, I am not alone after-all. A firm hand shake, and exchange a word or two would suffice, and both leave the scene eagerly to their next destinations, but will forever remember I once meet someone here at this busy intersaction. 

The sound of trolley rolling on the platform... everyone was walking with pace, crossing and avoiding each other delicately, this moment where everyone was the perfect stranger to each other, they had only one thing one their mind, that was to get to the next destinations. Only the one who looks confuse or despair stopped their feet while staring blankly on the PA screens or just waiting, either for someone or a phone call. 

And this is my moments in Milan Central Station. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travelling in Milan

Buongiorno Amore.... you look exceptionally gorgeous today. (That's something I would like to say to one of many gorgeous Italian ladies walking around the streets...a wishful thought I would say.) 

Needless to say, it never happen as my Asian balls were too small and was stored somewhere in the freezer, so all I could do was standing by the river bank being envy and jealous while the rich and handsome walking around with beautiful chicks clinging by their side. 

Aih aih... Milano, it is my first time here and you're already toying with my feelings, by showing me all this beautiful things around that I can never have at least for the moment. Yes I am in Milan, the second largest municipality in Italy and home to world renowned football team AC and Inter Milan. 

and this is the picture of San Siro...
Let's not go there for I would like to share more on Milan itself.

Before I came to Milan, there are several friends who told me that, there's nothing there to see, is boring etc. Ok, to be honest and frank, indeed if you're not a fan of arts and crafts and museum then there's really nothing much to see in Milan itself. However, instead to say I wanted to see Milan, I was more into the idea of experiencing Milan, and that went really well for me. 

I spent hours walking around in the city, worming through every possible alley's and under past, i stopped when I'm hungry or I am tired, a pizza at hand sitting by the fountain side or standing at a food joint, I just enjoyed and watch the world goes by, as Milan was regarded as one of the fashion capitals in the world, it was real pleasing to the eye to watch gorgeous, fine looking ladies in their mid 20s going around with fashionable clothing and branded shades over their head, while walking their Chiwawa or Pug.

If the site I am heading too is far, I would travel by public transport. I paid 8 euros for a 2 day urban pass, which was valid for all transportation such as the subways, trams and buses. The only thing that I had to beware of was not to travel across the allowable zone, but urban pass was all I need as most attractions were densely populated there. 

Just love the vibe radiates around the city, it might look old, a little dirty and vandalized in many areas, it is still no doubt hidden with its own charm. Shopping wise, it would be a heaven to fellow shopaholic I believe, as everywhere I go, every windows I passed by, 'SALDI 50%' is all I saw, and there you find girls going wild measuring clothes against their shoulder, comparing the color to their skin, going around and tightly clenching to the clothes they had found. It was an awesome sight. 

2 days was not enough for me, there was yet much for me to see, to try and to experience. Food was great, and the fun always come when is time for ordering, finger pointing, gesture making, trying every single strength you have to utter the correct words of the food, and at times it was embarrassment but at times when I got it right, it was a huge sense of satisfaction and pride. 

And eating Gelati on a warm sunny July day was... not bad at all~

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Heineken Experience @ Amsterdam

Had a great time in Heineken Experience Amsterdam, and would like to share some of my experience with you guys. If you're in Europe whether or not you had plans or without, do give it a try at Heineken Experience, not your average kind of museum. There's no relics, artifacts, or arts that you have no idea what's all about. 

Is all about the beer, and of course the history of Heineken in a fun way, short but detail enough. 

The whole Heineken experience will take about one and a half hours to finish, comprising a brief history of how it all begins, a walk through the family collections of awards, honors and photographs, a nice detail explanation of the brewing process of fine beer by one fine lady, a beer tasting session and multiple interactive medias to play with. 

It was a great beer tasting session, informative and bring new meaning of beer drinking for me. The session thought us how to properly drink a beer, what's the use of the top foam for and how a nicely fill beer glass looks like. It was amazing and needless to say, my handheld glass of Heineken taste god damn good, thanks to this guy. 


So instead of getting certified as a fact finder and commissioning engineer for my job, I came out from Heineken Brewery with a MEESTERTAPPER certificate instead and not forgetting a bottle of Heineken with my name printed on it. 

That's my awesome moments in Heineken Experience~ 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Amsterdam Venice of The North

Baby found stoned in Amsterdam!!
Go to Amsterdam they say, is fun there! 

Finally, a dreadful week of class had passed and the weekend arrived. 
An awesome Saturday morning, with 60 euros gone from my pocket, 2 hours later on Hi-Speed ICE train by Db Bahn I found myself standing in front of Amsterdam Central Station, saying Hoy to fellow Dutch and folks from all around the world whom are here for whatever reason it is and not forgetting the hard working ladies at the red light districts. 

Awesome weather this time around, averaging 22 degrees celsius with slight rain, comfortable enough to walk around without breaking a sweat and chilling enough but not turning into an ice cube. Sun was shining high, a good time to baked under it with a joint in your hand. Youngsters walking around with diluted pupils looking stoned, shouting giggling and being an annoyance for the world, letting it all out in Amsterdam, their 'pressure relief valve'. 

Trams, Buses, Bicycles, busy working their way through the cities, it was an awesome sight. An instantaneous sense of happiness flowing in me by just looking at how lively the city is. 2 hours away and I got myself from an old, peaceful quiet town where old people rot and die to one of the busiest, charming city in Europe! I just can't get enough. 

Also known as Venice of the North, an unbelievable scenic city with lovely canals criss-crossing the city. I found myself walking at places that were only able to be seen on TV in the past, and was now right in front of my eyes, every single pieces of memories were now realize, from the cobble stone alley ways, the chill air I breathe, the river that runs through the cities, the bicycles parked on the side of the bridge whether or not intentionally or unintentionally, all added up to be a damn good fucking picture for memory sake and a reason to be proud of. 

There are times when I can't believe myself, there I was saying 2 days was not enough for Amsterdam, but I spent 2 hours on a bridge capturing pictures of seagull flying by. I wasn't sure if this was reality or a dream, is like whole city is created for painters and artists, creativity flows like water through the canals. 

Of course not only water that flows through canals, I found myself at a spot where blood flows through another 'canals'. It was the red light districts of Amsterdam! Where the oldest profession still exist and legalized. Women with sexy lingerie, standing in front of a glass door, putting it out, patiently waiting for someone to get hook! Is a big place, with all sorts of women to suit all kinds of needs, so have fun and play safe! (Photos are not allowed here.)

Of course, Amsterdam is not only about its sex trade. Amsterdam itself has lots to offer and is impossible for me to describe every single thing in detail. What I would really like to say is that, is a  fucking (no better words) awesome place and I would definitely visit here again! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mülheim an der Ruhr

Currently in Muelheim, standing on the platform of Mulheim Hopbanhof, wondering where will my life lead next. Like train it all has a final destination but the fun part was, you will never knew how it will end until you walk through the whole of it. 

4 days in and this was the first day I step out from my Hotel room after training hours, is summer now and the weather is awesome, averaging at 24, is the best time to go around but I was lazy, battling from time difference and not being able to sleep well during the night was mostly the reason. MacDonald beside the station was my best friend, accompanying me throughout the night. 

I stepped outside today for the first time, but I took the wrong way which lead me to the AutoBahn instead of the city center. But it was ok, I am glad I did walk out and tomorrow will be better, as of now, a picture of Mulheim Hopbanhof for you guys, is DB train leading towards other major cities in Berlin and I will be using it to Munich and Nurmberg soon. 


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Welcome to Dubai International

Is fun they said... Travelling is awesome.

I say wait till you're stuck at an airport, battling with exhaustion and time difference, and wait... you're not there yet, there's still another half to go and worst of all, there's another 5-6 hours before your next flight. Walking around like a zombie, waiting in line to pass through custom scan. Tired, exhausted, hungry and dizzy at the head.

Oh wait... there's more to come. Welcome to Dubai International Airport! The most important hub of Middle East and gateway to the rest of the world. Is a freaking huge airport and what's worst was your  boarding gate was at the far end, welcome they say.. I say welcome my ass. 

Too many people, too little place to seat. There's line at every eateries. Fuck fuck fuck... fuckidie fuck

One thing I realize when I arrived, is like little Philippines and India here, everywhere I go, everywhere I look, there're Filipino or Indians either working as a waitress, store assistant, cleaner, house maid etc. Is like the local emirates don't work at all. Even most of the stewardess on Emirates airlines are not emirates. 
Is a country supported by cheap workforce, hard labor building up from a desert dull city to awesome skyline, one of the most important financial hub and airlines hub connecting the east and west.

The sad part was, despite all the fast growth and large scale upgrades, I failed to see the world class in it. All I see was a sudden increase in wealth and no where else to spent but to build the tallest building, the biggest terminals, showing off with the expense of environment. 

And I sincerely do not hope Malaysia becoming like one of them.