Thursday, 22 June 2017

First time flying All Nippon Airways (ANA)

Last week I was in Tokyo for a short holiday.. First time flying with All Nippon Airways (ANA) on a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo Narita..

Our flight ticket is about half price off as I bought it on trade industry special rate..

The flight departs KLIA at 0705hr and arrives Tokyo 7.5 hours later, touching down at just slightly after 3pm.. It was parked close to the terminal, and when we have cleared immigration in 15 minutes, our baggage was already out on the carousel nicely and neatly arranged by the airport staff.. Talk about efficiency!

The aircraft is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with extra large windows and electronic dimming control.. How this works is, electric currents "burn" the dimming gel and it gets darken.. or something like that happens hahahha...

Time check: 6am at KLIA

Boarding pass

Extra large window with vacant window seat

Sleepy eyes cos wake up at 3.30am

Flight path

Notice the Japanese red dot, against the morning sunrise after taking off

Bottled water is served immediately after take-off, and there's no limit how many bottles you want, just take.

Magazine, safety card, menu and wifi price card. Super expensive shit.

Aircraft in ANA fleet.. Apparently they also flie Millenium Falcon to the faraway galaxy...

Food wise, since it's ex-Malaysia, it's not very nice.. But returning from Japan, it's not bad.. ANA uses metal utensils with their logo stamped on it, so it makes good souvenirs too ahhaha...

NH816 breakfast service

Extra spacious galley at the back of the plane

Landed in Narita to a wet Tuesday afternoon

That was my plane, taken from the terminal

After clearing immigration and collected our bags, we head off to the JR Service Centre located outside the railway gates.. From Narita, one can take the Narita Express or Keisei Skyliner train to Tokyo..

Narita Express takes slightly over an hour into Tokyo and loops counterclockwise and terminates at Shinjuku, while Keisei Skyliner is a little faster although it goes only to Ueno at 41 minutes..

Ticket costs:
One-way Narita Express (N'EX): ¥3,020
Return Narita Express (N'EX): ¥4,000
.... what logic is this? 

One-way Keisei Skyliner: ¥2470

Since we need to travel to Kyoto and back on the Shinkansen, we decided to purchase the nationwide JR Rail Pass, as a travel agent, I get to use my discounted rates for both of us, which works out to be a better deal than regional rail pass (there is no Kanto-Kansai region rail pass by the way, the only way is the Hokuriku Arch Pass adding another 2.5 hours to the travelling time by going north instead of via Nagoya)..

Filling up the form and exchanging our coupon for the JR Rail Pass

Queue at the JR Travel Center, but this queue clears within 5 minutes..
Efficient much?
Free seat reverations is for all JR Pass holders.. all you need to do is go to any JR Travel Center and make your seat reservation for any trains up to 1 month in advance..

We also reserved our Hikari train for the next day travel to Kyoto, unfortunately the train is very full and we are unable to get seat D/E.. JR Pass holders is not eligible to ride the Nozomi train, which is only a few minutes faster than the Hikari train on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line..

Narita Express platform at Narita Airport Terminal 1 bound for Tokyo

The front of the Narita Express 

Japan Rail Pass booklet and the seat reservation ticket. The pass itself is pasted at the back of the booklet.

Ample legroom in the Ordinary Car

Screen showing station stops as well as Free Wifi information pasted on the back of each seat

Sleepppppyyyyyyy but excited to be finally in Tokyo

Upon reaching the terminal station JR Shinjuku, we made our way to our AirBnB room, which is a short 10 minutes walk from the station.. and facing Shinjuku-Gyoen Park, we have the best view.. Plenty of convenience shops around the corner as well as Isetan, Marui, Lumine, Takashimaya all within 10 minutes walk away..

Our AirBnB room is also discounted from my special agents rate, so again we saved quite a bit here..

View of the apartment after the hallway

Another side of the apartment

Typical Japanese toilet.. but without bidet!!

Pantry and all the items needed

This is what the view is from the balcony..
View of Shinjuku-Gyoen Park.. Takashimaya is on the right hand side..

Next: Shinkansen ride to Kyoto

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Revisiting Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise

2 years ago, I only have like half a day in Gold Coast on a day trip from Brisbane.. I told myself I will give myself at least 3 - 4 days in Gold Coast on my next trip here, without actually saying when..

Now, I am going to Gold Coast for 5 days!

It's not exactly fully a holiday as it's a working trip as I am tour leading the Malaysian contingent (fulamak, sounds glamour) to the Gold Coast Airport Marathon..

But after all work's done and all, I have all the free time I need in Gold Coast to go around and do some of the things I didn't get to do on my last trip, such as Skydiving, themeparks, you know..

I will also go to Brisbane to visit my friend, because that's what friends do..

And this trip is just a few days after I come back from Tokyo with the boy.. Luckily everything is right on schedule..

Friday, 26 May 2017

Countries that allow same-sex marriage and Taiwan is set to join the list

So we heard of the great news of Taiwan set to become the first country in Asia to legalise marriage between people of the same gender, great news!

This couldn't have come in a better time when countries in Asia have been pretty regressive.. even the mention of the word "gay" sends hatred down spines of haters.. Malaysia is indeed one of these countries that while by law it's illegal (just keep your activities confined to your own home), it is definitely unlike Indonesia's province of Aceh..

So which other countries in the world legalised same-sex marriage?

What a wonderful time to be alive.. I love who I am.. I love where I am.. I love my life..

Most importantly I love who I am with, we've been together for a year now.. yay.....

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Letting go 1 unit of iPod Touch 16GB (6th gen)

I won this iPod Touch at last weekend's company annual dinner.. and I am letting it go for RM700.. 

Still new and unopened..

16GB (6th gen) blue colour..

******* UPDATE : 3 MAY 2017 SOLD ***********

Monday, 10 April 2017

Freshly minted scar

Bandage removed.. wasn't as bad as I thought but it's still sting and especially so if pressed..

Showed it to my friend yesterday and he went like, "woah how did that appear?"

It wasn't obvious that night despite it being swollen and blistered and everyone's mind was all over the place.. and probably the cut lip with bloodied teeth looks more serious hahaha...

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Surviving a head-on collision

Accidents can really happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone..

Last night, my friends and I walked away pretty much unscathed except some small cuts from a head-on collision with a drunk driver who drove into our direction, he was drunk and speeding on a residential road..

My friend who was driving, we all have just left home to go out for dinner around 7.30pm, couldn't avoid him as there's no space to swerve.. The other guy had come straight on from opposite and crashed into us..

I was seated at the back of the driver and had no time to brace for impact, I slammed forward into the headrest and cut my own lips and lacerated my right elbow, probably from the side trying to hold on..

My left hand was in front of my chest and for a moment I felt a sharp pain in my chest, but after regaining our composure, my breathing eased and the pain went away and I was like, "what the fuck just happened"

I could've elbowed myself..

My boy who is a medical doctor, was seated at the back with me, bruised his cheek and leg from the impact, did manage to check on me making sure I was ok before we got out of the car..

Both front passengers are okay, the airbag of the Toyota didn't pop.. then we check on the driver of the other car, he has more cuts on his arms and his Proton Saga airbag popped and he reeks of alcohol..

Clearly intoxicated and unable to talk straight, he called for his family members to come while we sat by the roadside and checking on one another sure none of us have any other injuries, while my friend makes calls to the police and insurance company to send a tow truck..

The front of both cars were smashed and unable to move.. The impact caused the other car to glide to the side and stopped by the roadside but the trail of debris and his engine oil provided real clues as to where we collided and how his car moved..

I was too busy tending to my own lips that I didn't take any photos but my friends did, which the police took the photos as evidence into consideration.. Gotten myself a bag of iced tea to gargle the blood and chew on the ice to stop the bleeding..

After both parties finished negotiations, we went to just get dinner at the restaurant beside the scene while waiting for the tow truck.. after that, we headed to the police station.. Ended the night with some dessert..

It could've been worse but we're just lucky everyone walked away in one piece..

Take away lesson:
- time is short, treasure everyday..
- fasten seatbelts all the time, even in the back seats and even driving in residential area..
- remain calm..

Gotta bandage up the cuts on my elbow

As it happened

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Another trip booked

One cannot just let a cheap fare go to waste, so I booked us on my heavily discounted agent rate to Japan on All Nippon Airways in June.. ANA operates the Boeing Dreamliner 787-800 from KL to Tokyo Narita.. Let's just say the fares are so cheap that it'll be a crime to forego..

I know it's not the best time to go but there's no other suitable times given all the blackout periods, and his busy schedule.. so come what weather we'll just have to make do and plan around it..

This will be fun I guess.. as I have never been to Tokyo and he has never been to Japan.. so it'll be like both of us getting equally lost..

And a month later, we'll be going on a short domestic weekend getaway with the rest of the gang..

That should wrap up my 2017.. I know it's too early to say this but thanks to the shitty ringgit, it's gonna be quite expensive to travel much..

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Goodbye ol' friend

No words can describe the shock.. I was more stunned.. You left so suddenly but it would also be your wishes to be kept low key..

I did not think much when you unfriended people in Facebook, we all do that all the time.. little did I know you have planned it all along.. I wasn't angry..

Nevertheless we grieve in our own ways.. Remembering that we were once sitting at the same table.. From blogging I knew you from, and from blogging this is how this will end..

Nothing compares no worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes their memories made
Who would have known how bittersweet
This would taste

Rest well my fabled friend..

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Swim swim swim

Every week as I swim, I'd check myself in the mirror to see my tan lines, but then.. I can't help noticing I'm actually getting fatter..

Sigh.. is that because of age? Geez.. I really don't want to become "fat uncle"

I guess I need to swim more, weather permitting.. it's been raining daily! *gasp*

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Malaysia - Passport Renewal

We Malaysians have it real good when it comes to passport renewal.. Apart from the fast process (1 hour) ie same day collection, some are able to also renew online which the passport will be ready for collection on next working day..

Our passport photo resembles what the Chinese call, "car head photo", literally translated to mean the photo you use on hearse vehicles, as it is a black and white headshot with absolutely zero touchups.. The officer will only adjust colour contrasts and tones, which they are just doing their job.. Can't fault them..

As my passport would have expired in July 2017, I had to renew it last January.. I couldn't renew my passport online as they say my thumbprint needs to be re-taken at an immigration office..

I took the opportunity to go during the Chinese New Year break on 31 January to renew my passport at the Jabatan Imigresen Negeri Perak (state immigration office) in Jelapang..

I did not go to UTC Perak in the city centre because it being a working day and I knew very well there will not be enough parking in the former Super Kinta building.. Also, I am terrified of the Ipoh morning rush hour traffic, it can be as bad as in Kuala Lumpur!

So I arrived around 7.45am and took my queue number, there was about 11 people ahead of me.. 15 minutes later, my number was called and I went up to the counter and surrendered my old passport and have my photo taken..

People have reported different situations here (working in a travel agency, I've seen quite many passports with different photos, some look really good, some look like the world owes them money):
- no smiling vs smile
- no glasses vs ok to keep it on
- look straight vs looking slightly higher than the camera lens

But one thing is clear, that you have to wear dark colour clothes, or else you can borrow those dirty jackets from the clothes racks that millions would have worn over the years.. which I fail to see the logic behind it (other than the background being white, because as you can see from my photo, my shoulders are barely visible! I was wearing a black polo tee)

After that, proceed to the cashier and pay the fee (RM200 for normal adult citizen).. from here on, the wait is just 1 hour for collection at the next window..

Being in a government building, there's not much things one can do, so everyone just sat there and stared at the window waiting for the officer to call names..

By 8.30am, they started dispensing the newly minted passports, one after another.. By 8.45am, it was my turn and I collected my new passport..

The result?

A horrible ugly picture.

That picture will stay with me for 5 years until January 2022 when it'll due for renewal..


Monday, 6 March 2017

I can draw

I enjoy drawing ever since I was a kid.. but I decided I didn't want to make it my bread and butter because I knew that may kill the passion..

6 years ago I registered my own graphic design business to make money legally (in the eyes of the tax authorities and the bank, that is).. I declared all the money I make and paid the taxes.. It's not a big thing, just merely spending my free time designing for small business owners who can't afford hefty designing fees.. Having said that, I do not do work for free..

I was with Abric Berhad for a mere 2 months, but I hailed my employment there a success having been able to contribute to brighten up the newly renovated office in Solaris Mont Kiara.. My short stint also saw me qualified myself as an ISO9001 internal auditor (quality management systems)..

Till this day, I am surprised how I am able to achieve all that in such short period of time.. I quit before confirmation because I realised that job wasn't what I was hired for to do.. I spent every working day attending sales meetings which I fucking dreaded, doing powerpoints, going through raw excel data and not making sense of what the data means, sitting in the factory and engineering room doing nothing productive..

But I was able to convince the Chairman to let me make use of my working time to design wall graphics.. so I got to work..

And when my job was done, I left with dignity and contributed something to the company that I wasn't even in long for..

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Sometimes when I am bored...

Then I will take selfies.. and I will keep taking until I am pretty satisfied..

So then, this is also a lame post because I am bored.. I rarely join class these days (except BodyBalance) so what I do normally is to just workout..

I go on turbo basis (ie non-stop working out) on a particular muscle group until I tire myself out and yep that's how my workout regime is.. I don't spend hours in the gym because research has shown that workout is less effective the longer you spend in the gym..

Also, I really cringe and can't stand those who orgasm in the gym.. those who "ahh ahh" continuously (as if lah people don't know they're working out..).. It's an annoyance.. Even with my headphones and music blaring loud, I can still hear them..

I wonder what's the point.. Can't they workout silently like the rest of the normal people?

Thursday, 23 February 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Fitness First Asia and Celebrity Fitness merge

Well.. another round of merger..

I was a member of California Fitness when it merged with Celebrity Fitness.. I don't like it.. so I quit and joined Fitness First..

Now Fitness First is merged with Celebrity Fitness..

Hopefully both brands will continue to operate separately and with differential membership levels..

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