Roadtrip 2012-2 (Day 2)

We have taken gluttony to a whole new level today!

My stomach had not rested since 9AM this morning. Started off with a lovely bowl of curry mee, accompanied by Hainanese Kopi Cham C and toast bread! *slurp* I lovitt! Kuantan curry mee is very different from what you can get in PG. Firstly, the soup is anchovy base cooked with many spices such as lemongrass (I don’t know what else :P) and every bowl comes with Yong Tau Foo (vegetables stuffed with fish). Portion is very generous and it’s only priced at MYR4.00. My favorite is the one opposite the Kuantan Specialist Centre. There’s another shop near Teluk Cempedak which is pretty good too. Very subjective depending on your taste buds ;) For the chili lovers, you’ll be disappointed. It ain’t spicy ;)

20120715-232846.jpg

Today’s itinerary is to make a trip to the neighboring state – Terengganu. To be specific, the town of Kemaman. Being famous for the beach and the sea at the east coast, we started our journey using the trunk road. Taking a slow drive up north along the coast. A very different flavor and view as we cruised through Malay villages; small businesses and humble homes were seen lined along the wide roads of Kuantan. Just to prove a point, MiL asked that we stop by another famous beach – Pantai Batu Hitam (Black Stone Beach). I didn’t realize why the name was given until MiL pointed it out! Indeed, the stones along the beach are black!

20120715-233313.jpg

20120715-233321.jpg

20120715-233332.jpg

20120715-233405.jpg

20120715-233411.jpg

In less than an hour, we got to Kemaman town. Some parts of the town reminded me of Miri and Penang! Most architecture were pretty as original as they can be. Took us a few wrong turns and very soon we spotted the legendary Hai Peng coffee shop. Over a decade ago, when Bean used to work I’m Kemaman, he spoke of Hai Peng a lot. Apparently that’s his favorite “hang out” place for so,e decent Chinese snack. I’m so glad that I finally get a chance to check it out myself. A little disappointed that they didn’t have any pulut ikan, but we were still stuffed from breakfast anyways. Later when we were on our way out, I found out they were selling Nasi Dagang!! (the ones wrapped in banana leaf!)

20120715-233927.jpg

20120715-233947.jpg

The coffee shop has some very interesting and lovely collection of antiques. We were so intrigue by the collection!

20120715-234204.jpg

20120715-234210.jpg

20120715-234215.jpg

20120715-234221.jpg

Right after a quick stop at Hai Peng, we headed off down the road in our hunt for the famous Kemaman stuffed crab. Heard a lot about it but absolutely no idea how it tastes like. Finally, I meet 2 milestones in a day ;) Tong Juan was the recommended shop. There are several shops along the same row that solders about the same cuisine.

20120715-234456.jpg

20120715-234503.jpg

20120715-234510.jpg

20120715-234524.jpg

20120715-234530.jpg

20120715-234536.jpg

Lunch came up to ~MYR140. Each stuff crab is priced at MYR8. Taste wise is not too bad. I find it a tad too bland. Prolly cos I’m too used to our version of bake crab. The ones they have here, they are filled with real crab meat, coated with egg and fried. The steam garoupa was good. Fresh and simple. The fried chilli kangkung was slightly different from ours. I felt that it didn’t have so much of belacan and prolly a bit more Asam or lemon.

Just as we finished our lunch, the after food coma effect started kicking in slowly. But MiL still has a long least of itinerary to finish. Next stop, we were going to a nearby village call Geliga. The entire stretch is right next to the sea. Hence more fishing boat and lotsa Keropok Lekor!! I’m so used to eating the version from Swallow. Her mum made the best steamed Keropok. At the Keropok Cap Intan (Kampung Geliga Besar), the customers were swarming the small atap home! Everyone bought big bags of dried Keropok and cooked Keropok. I still prefer the steamed ones. Not cheap though to get the Keropok, and chilli…

20120715-235318.jpg

20120715-235327.jpg

20120715-235334.jpg

20120715-235342.jpg

By the time we finished our 4th meal, we were barely at the 6th hour since we got up! No joke…we were total glutton! Now my poor waist line will continue to suffer!

Alrightey, that’s all for Day 12 day trip. I’m too tired now to write about the dinner. Will do so tomorrow! ;)

To be continued….

Roadtrip 2012-2 (Day 1)

Sitting in the dark, I’m waiting for my hair to dry. Decided to kill time by posting something up ;) I can’t really recall my last trip back to Kuantan. Felt like it’s been a long time since – was it 2010 that we were back for the Choir?

It’s been a long day of traveling on the road. We have been looking forward to this trip out of the island; just to give ourselves a breather from the crazy life we’re currently leading. Though the trip turned out to be anything but time alone for both of us, it’s still good to have Granny and Aunt coming along :)

20120714-231545.jpg

With a mere 3 hours of sleep, I struggled thru the 8 hours drive to the east coast. Tried as much possible to keep Bibs accompany but the exhaustion and the motion sickness made the drowsiness even harder to resist!

20120714-231813.jpg

As always, food drives the main itinerary for all of us. Dim sum to kick start the day at our favorite Foh Sun Dim Sum Restaurant (Ipoh) helped to set the belly marathon right! I thought making the trip this weekend would be easy on the traffic since its a PG state holiday. Little did I know, I underestimated the gluttony of Penangites! The whole restaurant was filled to the brim with more patrons pouring in; determined to get a seat despite the long queue!

20120714-232150.jpg

About 3 hours back on the road, we soon arrived at the mid-hill of the ever famous Genting. Gotong Jaya is what they call it. We decided a proper lunch wasn’t what we are looking for today. With a heavy dim sum breakfast, I could do with a light lunch…perhaps…some fruits? :P

20120714-232430.jpg

As you may have guessed, we had durians for lunch instead! :D I get to try the ever famous Musang King (猫山王). When the seller pry open the durian, the yellowish orangey fruit stares right back at you. So tempting that you cannot resist but to give it a try. Despite the mild dizziness from the motion sickness up the winding stretch, I had my fair share of calming my durian addiction! Just a little knowledge gained about the Musang King durian – you can recognize the breed by the “star” shaped base. Can you see it? :D

20120714-232742.jpg

By 3pm, we finally arrived home. The seniors had a good chat while Bibs and I tried to stay awake. We eventually checked into a mini motel of Kuantan. Can’t complain too much. After all, we only needed a place to stay; don’t intend to ask for more ..

Dinner time came and MiL churned out some homemade dishes that we all missed. MiL put in a lot of time and effort to prep for the meal.

20120714-233156.jpg

Post dinner city tour cover the ever famous Teluk Cempedak and a full coverage of city tour. Not that I can remember much frm the city tour. But to wrap up the evening, it’s a definite to try out satay Zul! Seriously, it’s one food that you don’t want to miss in Kuantan!!

20120714-233528.jpg

That pretty much wraps up my day. I’m drop dead tired now and I thnk my hair is slightly dryer now. Can’t keep my eye lids open……. -______-||

Good night now ;)

Crazy week again

Weeks after weeks, my calendar is always booked to the brim. Even with my strategy to block out “me-time”, I still end up clocking at least 12hrs a day. It is typically more demanding during the Daylight Savings period (or is it the non-Daylight Savings? where our overlapping hours are far lesser which translates to us in Penang, having to get up early to meet everyone’s needs.

It frustrates me knowing that in most occasions, we have to give in while others in NA region gets to practice work life balance. Though to be fair, things have been very challenging of recent year that some NA counterparts are also juggling with the lack of a life; let alone balance. But on and off, I still come across those who would tell it to my face that they can’t stay on longer because it’s time to go home. Well, I’m perfectly fine if you need to look into something urgent/important but you’ll be able to compromise at some point to get things done. Those who bluntly tell you “No” with absolute absence of constructive workaround, now those are serious jackarse if you ask me.

Getting a mere 4 hours of sleep last night, I could barely get myself safely into office this morning. My eye lids need some serious collagen or Botox to keep them from drooping down any further *yawn*… How la to last till end of the day?.. *sobs*

<img src="http://ofcompleterandomness.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/20120710-083125.jpg" alt="20120710-083125.jpg" class="alignnone size-full” />

Stealing a breather for my breakfast of economy noodles (a rare treat), I’m absorbing as much “freedom” as I can in 15mins before heading off again to the marathon of meetings. Exactly how fruitful meetings are?…nobody really bothers ain’t it? “When bored, call a meeting!”

Ok. Time’s up. Have a good day people ;)

Be Still, My Soul

Went to bed last night with frustration and feeling defeated.  It’s just one of those days when work and life seems to be tumbling down; sapping my energy in the midst of all that.  I know I’m struggling badly with work in the recent months and the motivation level is so low that I fear this might just be the final straw.  Woke up this morning at 5AM feeling extremely tired.  At this state of mind, I don’t think I am capable of doing anything right.  That includes almost snapping at my boss at this morning’s meeting.  I’m just sick of the same routines; wake up – work – sleep – wake up – work – sleep – …. Not forgetting my inability to find rest during the waking and non-waking hours..

Having migraine now and sh*t loads of emails flying around.  Suddenly this hymn creep into my head.  Ahhh…. perfect timing.. :)

(Play from 1:07 onwards)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine

Which am I?

Read this from JenC’s FB feed a moment ago. I know she posted this a few days back but isn’t usually get all the feeds displayed on my tiny FB app :P

20120624-052229.jpg

I thought this comparison was very apt to what I have been relatively confused about myself for quite a while now. I remember having this conversation with Shiny recently on what are the criteria you would look out for when in search of a new management candidate. Do you evaluate if the person is a leader material or a manager type? Would a team player or a team leader characteristics be one of the key elements for a successful manager? Should a manager be the idea generator of the encourager for idea generations? I also had the same questions asked to several other friends and people around me. Of course, pretty much as expected, no clear answer. Otherwise I won’t be typing this now ;)

I don’t know how many of you are people managers or have ever wished your boss of certain leadership “style”. As I was reading the above comparisons, it is extremely clear to me that I’m totally not the “boss” material. While I’m not suggesting that a manager does not have any leadership traits, but assuming it can be somewhat clear cut; at least for the purpose of this post :P I guess I’m making this statement about myself simply because I struggle to manage people because I don’t see how and why I ought to be given that authority to do so. Technically everyone is their own manager. At least that’s what I always tell my team. You need to take responsibility of your own career and future. No doubt you have very little control over what happens ultimately with regards to increment, promotion or even opportunities that may arise without your knowledge. But hey, same goes for me! I’m but another employee down the food chain! Ain’t it?

So, that said. I’m not sure if I fit entirely on the “develops people” part either. Cos I think I’m really stuck with where I am now. Having of reports within my team that has way more working experience than myself (be it in the role or experience in the industry), I feel crippled not knowing what’s more installed for them and how to get them to the next level. It almost feels like I’m trying to imagine how to get them to the top of the ladder when I’m rooted on the ground whilst they, already on the steps of the ladder. Ironic right? Hence it’s no surprise that there’s some (I’m being very kind to mysef) lacking of respect & trust. Not to mention confusion; at least if I’m them, I bet I would be confused as to what my boss is trying to do to me or my team.

My point being, how do you know if you are a mismatch? Should you be a “boss” or a “leader” to be a successful people manager? Or rather which of these two traits would be most necessary to warrant for a good manager? What were the characteristics of some of your favorite bosses that you look up to?

Wiser or otherWise?

I survived my double wisdom tooth extraction! *Phew* Some of you may have seen my bloody teeth (literally)…but if you haven’t..hehe..embrace the sight of courage! LOLx!

I honestly wouldn’t consider yesterday’s ordeal at all pleasant.  Apart from having to wait for almost an hour before my turn was up, the entire procedure was dragged longer than it should have needed.  Took me over 1.5 hours before I could walk out of the dental office with a throbbing head, shaking.  Fear and pain made me so tensed up throughout the entire procedure which really hurts my neck which was pressing hard against the head rest of the dental chair.  My entire shoulder felt like they were glued to my ears with that amount of tension traveling through every muscle group *gulp*

I still can’t tell if it was a skill issue, or my pain tolerance is so darn low that the extraction of my lower wisdom tooth was actually very painful.  Unlike what most people told me prior to the surgery, apparently I should not be feeling any pain while on anesthetic; of course, I still have my sensation albeit numbness.  I know for sure I had at least 4 jabs of anesthetic around the tooth and the numbing definitely kicked in.  But the process of sawing and yanking out my tooth really hurts badly.  It was as though someone pressed really hard on my jaw bone causing really bad headache as I used my entire body to withstand that pressure.  When the doctor saw my body movement, she asked if I was in pain and I merely answered her (my face was completely covered with the surgery cloth and my mouth opened wide – not forgetting numbed).  I can’t tell if she added another jab of anesthetic, but I for sure know each time she asked if I feel any pain, she will stop the cutting and take another tool to do something.  I reckon she either had to slice up more tissue/gum to make way or she injected more anesthetic.. the latter seems unlikely since the pain never really went away.

I guess the whole procedure was extended mainly because of the trainee who was assisting the surgeon.  It really didn’t help when I was already lying there in fear with no visibility of what’s going on around and above me, and yet I could hear the frustration from the doctor trying to get the trainee to be more assisting than disrupting her.  It was especially unhelpful when she tried to describe what she was doing hoping that the trainee will understand what kind of assisting procedure she should do.  Technically, I know exactly what’s happening inside my mouth in great details!  *sweat*  But I really tried to keep myself calm by remembering what Cookie told me… “Beautiful thoughts..” :P  I started thinking of all praise songs..hymns..anything at all.  Of course, none of them I could get through a full verse or chorus before being cut off rudely by some unnecessarily details of how the trainee could move the tissue aside using the suction tube to make way for my doctor to yank out my tooth *OUCH* Even as I type this my wound hurts :P

Once the bottom tooth came off, it was a total relief for everyone.  I guess it could be my tooth being overly rooted to the gum and yanking it out isn’t exactly an easy task.  But that painful ordeal did not stop there mind you.  Before she sewed up my bottom gum, she had to inject the anesthetic to my upper gum to prep it for the extraction of the top wisdom tooth.  Despite her giving me a heads up that the jab will be very painful cos it will go right through the gum to the nerve…boy, I swear that one almost sent me up shooting out of my seat.  I’m not kidding..that jab was really, really very painful.  Tears welled up and the surgery cloth which was covering my face helped to soak that up.  It was seriously painful.  For that moment (until the numbing took place), all of sudden the pain from the yanking was gone..completely overtaken by the severe pain from the jab… *double sweat*  Anyways, once the sewing was done, the extraction of the top tooth was really fast and easy.

*sigh*  I guess my whole experience could have been better if not for the trainee.  While I try to be as understanding as possible by not complaining about having her assist, I reckon I probably won’t be in so much pain yesterday had the procedure gone by faster with less tugging.  When I got home, I was still shaking; both from fear & hunger :P  But the rests of the day was just nursing my sore cheeks & very painful mouth with cold towel.  Thankfully, with cold towel, the pain was much bearable.  Somehow with the light pressure from the towel helped compress the sore muscles within.

So, that’s my not so fun experience.  I still have another wisdom tooth to extract.  But I don’t think I’ll be able to rally the same amount of courage after what I went through.  I guess I’ll leave that as is for a while longer.. *gulp*

Alright…my tummy is growling again.  Going on mostly liquid and some soft food, I’m hungry pretty frequently :P  Yes, I highly doubt I will lose a single ounce of weight.. lolx.  Gonna go make my banana+kiwi+orange milk shake ;)

P/s: I’ll let you know if I feel wiser after this :P

Bidding farewell to my Wisdom

I still cannot believe I have rallied enough courage to have my wisdom teeth extracted.  It’s unbelievable that I have volunteered myself to setting up the appointment yesterday to have a final confirmation from the dental surgeon.  In just a few hours, I will be seated in the cold, bloody room on my most dreaded seat.. eek!! So scared!!!

I don’t think anyone has really done a research on the impact of wisdom tooth on one’s wisdom.  So, in any case, after tomorrow, I will either end up wiser, lost in wisdom or who knows..simply indifferent :P  Apparently it will be a relatively straight forward and simple procedure.  Done maybe in an hour or so.  The only tricky thing is my lower tooth appears to be very near the running nerves.  Worse case, we may hit the nerve and that may lead to permanent/temporary numbness on my right facial area.  Fingers crossed, nothing bad happens and even if there is…please let it be temporary.  I don’t want to have half a smile for the rests of my life.. >.<

While my dental surgeon tries to assure me that there may be risks associated to the procedure but it is generally quite safe.  And although she had to highlight all the risks to me, it is highly unlikely that they will happen base on her experience.  Seriously, not helping!! The more I read online, the worse I feel.  Exactly the way Dr Mah warned me :P  Thankfully she told me to go to a dental surgeon and not a regular dentist.  So, I’m praying hard all goes well tomorrow *gulp*

See you when I am 2 teeth less… *face palm*

BTW, death (among many others) can happen during wisdom tooth extraction… :(