Ho Chi Minh, here I come!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Isn't it great news your company offers you the opportunity to be part of the incentive trip? After almost 13 years staying put in my home country, I'm flying abroad with my colleagues for the first time. We're bound on the earliest AirAsia flight tomorrow morning.

Dear Ho Chi Minh City, I don't know what to expect from your city when I arrive. Although I'd have to say that you are not on my list of must-visit countries for vacation, I'm excited because the entire trip is fully paid for =). I'll make sure to enjoy myself there. Partly because WL is going too!

On the go

Monday, May 17, 2010

I was on the road for the past few days for a work assignment. To give a short presentation, sharing our marketing plans for the upcoming quarter. Early in the morning, we started the journey down south - first stop at Melaka. Being my first time in that town, it was a little sad that I wasn't able to travel around. After all, my main purpose was to meet up with the Southern sales team.

Our meeting lasted for hours - each of us taking short breaks - some walked out for a ciggie break while the ladies escaped to the corner away from the cold air blasting off the air-cond. The meeting adjourned at approx 8.30pm & we were back on the road to JB. With no proper dinner, my stomach was literally growling for food. At last, we stopped at a rest area that has a few eateries still opened despite the late dinnertime.

Unfortunately, all the stalls are operated by Malays so you could imagine the limited variety of food sold. I only managed to grab a meat bun for a bite to fill up my growling stomach, irregardless of the bad taste. Okay, it wasn't all that bad. Still edible. =| We were back on the road again & about 2 hours later, we arrived JB at 11.40pm. I was very exhausted & dying for a shower before I jumped into a deep slumber. To my surprise, the hotel turned out to be pretty luxurious & spacious too.

One thing I'd have to admit that sleeping alone in the hotel room can be quite a scary experience. I supposed it's due to the quiet & stillness of the air that makes your brain imagine & hear weird sounds that do not exist. Fatigue closed in as my eyes struggled to stay opened. Not long after that, I fell deep asleep with barely 5 hours to wake-up time. The next thing I know is that I was wide awake & at the lobby indulging on a quiet breakfast while flipping through the morning papers that I picked up from my door.

Our first destination of the day is the JB plant. Being my first time, I was quite amazed at the size of the plant that manufactures several products ranging from packet drinks to the age-old soya sauce. Walking down the fermentation area with soya beans kept in huge dark brown containers indeed an eye-opener. I supposed this plant is older than me & has been through lots of rain & shine until this day. My own casual stroll around the plant was cut short when my colleague called upon departing to the next destination, our new distributor's office. My colleague & I parted ways when I decided to follow one of the sales rep for market visit. He wouldn't be returning to KL so soon which renders me no transport home. It would be senseless to tag along to his wife's hometown, right?

After a simple lunch & a tough time struggling to utter words in Chinese,the sales rep took me for market visit to the outlets under her service. Lots of info were exchanged as the sales rep drove around town. Feels good to be connected to these people who walk the market & know almost every nooks & cranks of the business in that particular area/region. Another new friend was made~ =) She was nice enough to give me a lift to my uncle's office at Skudai. Again, we exchanged phone numbers & FB contacts. The next minute, I was at my uncle's office enjoying corn-in-a-cup courtesy of my dear sales rep while chattering with Uncle Terry about my trip.

My uncle's concern over my boredom loitering in his office led him to fetching me to my aunt's salon. Had my hair cut, permed & dyed to perfection. After all, I'm under the hands of a professional ;).

My aunt, uncle & I were supposed to have dinner together but in the end didn't because they had to visit the temple for prayers instead. Being concerned about fatigue, they told me to stay at home & watch TV. I showered; went downstairs to the living room & started channel surfing. The lack of Astro eventually reduces the choice of programmes to watch. I went to bed early & still awestruck by the environment of the bedroom I chose to sleep in. It didn't change much since the last time I visited years ago. So cute!

The next morning was another quiet day for me as both aunt & uncle left early for work. Left with only Kellogg's & no milk, I had to munch the dried cornflakes while engrossed myself with morning TV. My flight is not due in another few hours time so I was out for a quick lunch with my uncle & then back to his house, waiting for time to pass by. I found out that I wasn't allowed to carry-in big bottles of hair products to the cabin. Had no choice but to leave all my hair care items behind & wait for uncle to courier it. The airport is only half hour away from uncle's place - so short the distance that I didn't realise I have arrived. Took my hand luggage, bidded farewell to uncle & headed for the counter to check-in.

In an hour or so, I was due to board the plane. Being the first time flying alone, I'd have to admit that I was a little excited although it's only a domestic flight back home. What's even more interesting is to fly on a propeller plane! Never in my entire life...

It's a really small cabin inside & the seats were pretty crammed up that there's not much room leg for passengers to stretch. I pity the tall passengers~ But I reminded myself several times that it's only a short flight paid by the company. Much better than enduring a 5 hour bus ride home.

The plane departed without delay (much to my joy!) & ascended up the sky. I was amazed when the pilot captain announced that midway, we have already reached 16,000 feet at 430 kmph. Oh, such a small plane can also do wonders! =P No wonder we get to see beautiful skies like this.

I think the flight wasn't exactly an enjoyable one reason being the loud noises from the propellers & its vibrating sounds resonating across the small plane. Never expect small planes to be able to sustain the vibrations & land smoothly without bouncing up & down the runway. The jumbo jets or the Airbus are a class of its own. After arrival, I grabbed my luggage & walked briskly out of the SkyPark terminal. I saw WL in the car, waiting to pick me up. What a nice feeling to have him as the first person welcoming me home! =)


Monday, May 03, 2010

Lately I have been going through a difficult time at home with countless arguments happening every now & then. Grandma is experiencing emotional turmoil, frequently getting out of control as the memory of her unhappy past slowly unfolds. This happened partly due to the fact that she could not accept grandpa's current situation. Not to forget the jealousy, doubts & suspicions that she has for the nurse aggravated the problem. With tough days like these, what could better than keeping myself occupied & ignore everything else. I thought that drowning myself with work will help me escape for the day.

However, it's not always sunny at the other side. Things get worse when your superiors are head on against each other. Imagine working in a tensed environment full of frustration & politics. It's no wonder I'm starting to feel that I don't gain any new knowledge, career-wise. One would ask if this dog & cat fights ever end.

WL is working out of the country for a week. Thanks to tech advancements, we are able to chat everyday. But on lonely days like this, who wouldn't want to snug up cosily to him for a warm, comforting hug that everything will be okay? Or cry my heart out while he searches for soothing words to calm me down? My heart felt like there's a missing piece without his presence. Oh God, how much I miss him dearly...=(