Thursday, April 28, 2005

Changi International Airport - Singapore

Last night went to have fish head curry for dinner... it was good! Apparently it is a famous Singaporean dish, we went to a very nice modern restaurant - it was actually just a big fish whose head was still on in a big bowl with curry and rice... mmm good!

Got back to the room and had all kinds of calls and emails, did not get to bed until 1am and had to get up at 5:30am. Totally sucked. I am working way too hard and I am going to get sick if I keep this up, I am glad I am on my way home to Chicago. I totally understimated how difficult it is to get work done in Asia when you're based in the U.S., the time zone is very difficult and everyone needs everything yesterday - literally, because it is the next day by the time you get their emails. And if you stay up at night, it is easy to get caught up in email hell with no sleep.

At least I will be able to sleep on the flight... thank goodness! I may fall asleep before we even take off...

Next stop in 7 hours is - HELP ME - Tokyo Narita airport. See earlier posting... YUCK!

Ciao for now...

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Too much time by the pool... I'm sunburned! Oh well, not bad but not good either.

Today was interesting, lots of people on the streets. I saw

  • "Actors" parading down the street in Egyptian wear doing an advertisement for a special on the Discovery Channel
  • A fashion show for Levi's literally in the middle of a crowd, they were having to move around people to do their stuff.... as if people would really have their hair done up in the way these people did!
  • A Japanese television show in the middle of a crowd on the corner of a street. They kept pointing to Tashimaya, the big Japanese department store.

Funny. When I went into Tashimaya, their food court was just disgusting, the most unappetising food I have ever seen. I finally chose these "tomato" noodles... turned out they used KETCHUP, not tomato sauce... I threw it away, it was so gross.

I DID eat in a very cool place. There is a mall called Paragon and in it a store called BloodBrothers (which incidentally has great clothes). Behind it is a little café called "Blood Brothers Café" and it is veggie and very cool, literally a place in the back of a clothing store. Totally would go back, maybe tomorrow!

So I hung by the pool and walked around and did a little shopping. Tomorrow I will do more window shopping, work out and actually do some work (unfortunately)....


The weekend! Hooray!

I slept 11 hours last night... must have needed it, woke up around 9am. I went to a barbeque at the Director of Marketing's new home last night, it was neat to be at a residence instead of a hotel... nice pool and the food was a great mix of Indonesian, Malay and Indian. Yummy! Stayed for a few beers and then came home and crashed...

Today I am downloading a CD to my new iShuffle, then I am going to the pool and just catch some rays. I had the opportunity to go to Bangkok this weekend, or even Bali, but I decided I should save those trips to go with someone special. I really would like to come back here, go to Bali and see Borobudur/Yogyakarta, and then maybe hit Australia again. Perhaps this winter that could be the big vacation...

I come home on Thursday and I can't wait to get back. It has been a long trip, productive at least from learning about the system and how well I've prepared or not prepared, but good nonetheless. So I'm pretending like I'm on vacation this weekend... so, off to the pool...

Monday, April 18, 2005

Kuala Lumpur / Singapore

What a fascinating place, I really liked K.L. a lot. I'm back in Singapore but I had to jot down some things to remember:

  • Their version of English is riddled with misspellings, it is strange: Sentral Station, Ekspress Train, Indian Restaran, etc. Easy to understand but a little strange to get used to.
  • Infrastructure is very modern but the city is a combination of wealth and grittiness. It was strange to be in a city that on one side had a bus station that is everyone's third-world nightmare and a modern subway that you can take to a slick, modern and beautiful airport. Shopping at Petaling street was for RM$20 (that's US$6) fake Cartier watches or at the KLCC mall at Petronas Towers where you can buy a real Cartier just like in any upscale mall.
  • Hot. The temperature said 91 but it felt much hotter, like 100. People just lie or sit under trees and do nothing to keep cool. At one mosque you can see people just lying flat on the floor to keep cool!
  • I wish the Islamic fundamentalists would come to K.L. You see such a large number of Muslim women (due to their dress, I assume there are many men also) who are along with Christian and Bhuddists, a very mixed society. It felt strange to see Malaysian (ie, Asian) women wearing Islamic headdresses, so many of them!
  • Very few bars here, hard to find any at all. This is probably because of the Muslim influence.

That is all I can remember for now, but I really enjoyed how unusual and different it was. Now I'm back in Singapore for another week of work...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Changi International Airport - Singapore

Waiting for my flight (delayed) to Kuala Lumpur. Great airport... very clean, lots of plants, tons of shopping and different types - not just duty free (snooze) but also a very nice Singapore souvenir shop, tons of ethnic eateries... and free copies of the Financial Times and free internet. Nice perks while watiting.

Tired, looking forward to getting to the hotel... flight is less than an hour long. I was going to go to the pool, but a torrential rain storm started so I worked out instead. I feel like I live here - rarely do I get to be at one place for so long, it is rather nice. I'm pretty familiar with the streets and the metro now, although Singapore isn't that big so it isn't hard to get to that point, I suppose.

Tomorrow it is supposed to hit 95 degrees in Kuala Lumpur. Ouch, that will be hot!

Today I did some shopping and got not only some souvenirs but I splurged and bought an iShuffle. I don't need an iPod as I won't listen to it much, but I wanted this for just quick trips to help kill time, plus it is easier to carry when traveling instead of Cds.

Time to board the flight... next stop, Kuala Lumpur!

Finally a day off!

Last night, Nora took me to the Novena area of Singapore, which is more residential, to a kind of fast food restaurant - but it was an Indian vegetarian place. It was called Komala's. Like at McDonald's they have individual selections or a value meal, which included your main dish, a drink (coffee, tea or hot milk) plus a side dish of curry mashed potatoes and either chick peas or beans. As I look at my receipt, I chose value meal B2 with a main dish of Orawa Masal with coffee. It was good! I thought that would be a great idea State side if more people liked Indian food...

We took the doubledecker bus back to the hotel and as we sat down, I noticed that there was a television in the bus! You can watch tv as you make your way to your destination... interesting idea.

Singapore is just a hopping, shopping place. I'd but the bustling meter right up there with New York and London - night and day, people are EVERYWHERE. Intense.

Today I plan on doing the Singaporean thing - shopping - then to hang by the pool and take a nap. I decided to buy a quick plane flight to Kuala Lumpur (locals call it K.L. for short) and will stay at the new Le Meridien there tonight, then spend the day there tomorrow before coming home. Very easy, can take the train to/from the airport at both places, and the flight is only an hour long including the taxiing and everything - just too easy. Why not?!

Ok, I am off to start my day...

Komala's in Singapore Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Working my butt off here, tonight I had three conference calls 8pm,9pm and midnight, but I just had one added at 10:30pm. Plus I started the day with an 8am conference call then training all day... very tired.

Singapore is hot, very clean and a busy, fast city. Lots of shopping! The hotel is wonderful, very modern and great service - food is good, too. English is the main language, very interesting to be in Asia but to hear English spoken so well - much better than in Hong Kong. The city is quite a melting pot too, I walked around for one day and saw not only all kinds of ethnicities but also saw a Hindu shrine next to an Islamic Temple and a Baptist church... very interesting, only in the U.S. have I seen that.

Thinking about going to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night for one night but we'll see how it goes, if I am too tired I may just stay in Singapore. It is a 4-5 hour ride in a luxury coach and much cheaper than flying...

Ciao for now...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Tokyo Narita International Airport

Help! I've been kidnapped by the Japanese!

And to top this all off, I had a huge hilarious blog that I was ready to post but was lost because this crappy airport lost its WiFi signal.

To make it short...

This airport sucks

- I am flying on JAL but all of the signs are directing me to AA flights that AA did not give me numbers to
- I felt like a victim at Auschwitz. "JAL go on white bus. Thank you." Where was I going? Why?
- All of the shopping is duty free hell, absolutely boring and minimal, anyways.
- JAL business class lounge is worst of all. Decor beamed in from 1983. "Lady and the Tramp" to "Don't Cry for me Argentina" in MUSAK, full strings, and loud too. Painful and crappy. All of the food is individually wrapped in plastic... even the sticks of butter. Bizarre.
- Plasma screen in the lounge! Hooray! Only shows stock tickers in Japanese! Boo!

I am bored out of my mind and despise this airport... 5 hour layover , too. God help me!

"Honshu, Isn't Tokyo airport boring?"
"Well, at least they have Duty Free!" Posted by Hello