Jun 2, 2013

A Victim Of Society's Expectations - Aren't we all?

We live in a world where society dictates almost everything and it affects our everyday judgement.

In most Asian countries, being successful means staying in a big house, driving a continental car, having a family (preferably with a son), running your own business and having substantial savings in the bank (or under the pillow, hey not all earnings are legal!). Parents expect their children to be doctors, pilots, engineers, accountants, lawyers or successful businessmen. With all this in place, it will bring pride and glamour to the family. Throw in a foreign country (English speaking) university degree or masters and the deal is even sweeter. Lastly, being a filial son or daughter and take care of your parents. The perfect scenario for, I dare say, all Asian parents.

I am lucky enough to have my parents supporting my decision not to take up studies in these so-called professional industries. To me, its boring. When I announced my decision to study mass communications, there were quite a number of questions. Family members, friends and even my tuition teacher questioned my decision, saying that I could go and study a better course. A better course? For who? For you or me or the society?

It is true that the mass communications industry doesn't pay well but it offered me a flexibility that the rest could not. Will you study to be a doctor and only to end up doing a sales job? Or will you graduate with a mechanical engineering degree to do marketing job? What will a pilot graduate do if they can't secure a job? With my mass communications degree, yes it does limit me from doing things which require technical expertise (you wouldn't want me fiddling with a scalpel or carrying out an aircraft maintenance right?). But with this degree, my net is cast wide. All companies need to communicate to the public.  And yet, mass communication studies in Malaysia is often regarded as the last resort or a 'stopover degree' while the students contemplate what they really want in life.

Back to the topic, I am feeling burdened by the stress that society has thrown upon me. Growing up as guy, you are expected of the following 'achievements':

  1. Study hard and achieve good grades - I think I did excellent. Until today, no one believes that I am a person who loves to read and can spend hours in a library.
  2. Not to be involved in criminal activities - Closest I been to being labelled as a criminal? Traffic summons.
  3. Avoid getting a girl pregnant before you are ready for marriage - I used to sell Durex.
  4. Get a good paying job with a reputable company - Checked.
  5. Buy a house - In process
  6. Start a family - Certainly part of the plan in the coming years.
Looks easy right? And I seem to be on track for most of it. Good news? Not exactly.

In the course of fulfilling these set agendas, we often disregard the other simple things in life that can never be recovered. I went through a rather boring undergraduate studies experience as I kept myself occupied with part-time work, believing that work experience is essential. Don't get me wrong. Work experience is essential but it can always be gained AFTER graduation but once schooling/studying ends, there is no turning back.

I guess work has really taken a toll on me lately. Frequent travels, late nights and so much time spent on the outside made me feel like I am more of a robot than human. To make matters worse, I was basically working throughout the entire week or month! Whenever I had a free weekend, I fear every passing moment for it leads me closer to yet another never ending cycle of work.

My job is enjoyable but it takes too much of my time. The amount of time I spent at home is less than the amount of time I spent working. I don't see my parents, girlfriend, family and friends that often. I have virtually no personal time as whatever spare time I have, I use it to catch up with all those dear to me. With the social media boom and mobile connectivity, we are never really away or disconnected from work. And we not even have to mention the physical stress.

This is what society's expectation is about, for us to work hard to achieve the life goals that we might not have chosen. I am jealous seeing some of my friends getting the opportunity to travel the world and doing jobs they love. Jealous. In this world, there are people who are passionate about their work but the majority of us are merely working to chase our passions. I don't love my job but I understand the need for a good job.

Sometimes, I wish I can pack my bags, go travel the world on a shoe-string budget to satisfy my big curiosity of how the world really is. However, I will have to be satisfied that I have a job and look forward towards weekends (when I don't have to work) and do things that I am passionate about. I really should cook something in the coming weeks :)

Nick


Apr 29, 2013

Goalkeepers- An Underrated Job

Goalkeepers.

Goalkeepers (GK) are often regarding as the least important player in a football team. How often do you hear about a GK winning the best player award? How often are they lauded in the media for being the game changer? And how often do you hear about fans thrash talking goalkeepers, on the verge of a witch-hunt just because of one mistake? Most probably you will hear most of the latter.

The truth is, GKs are the most important component of a team. Now imagine this. A GK gets sent off and the team decides NOT to have a replacement GK nor an outfield player playing in goal. That would be unthinkable right? How would the team play without the GK present? Now, if there is an outfield player less on the field, no such problem right? Or imagine a game of football where its 11 vs 11. 11 outfield players vs 11 outfield players. I might as well watch rugby.

When an outfield player makes a mistake, it is often being brushed aside. "A missed pass." "An over hit attempt" "The player is just having a bad day" "No luck"

When a GK makes a mistake: "Horrific mistake", "Terrible judgement by the GK", "A mistake he will live to regret", "What was he thinking?"

A GK has no margin for error because an error usually leads to a goal. No one in the outfield position has a 100% success passing rate but it seems that GK is expected to be perfect. Professional GKs also have to live with the fact that there is only 1 slot in the team open for them. A back up always end up being just a back up (read: Carlo Cudicini, Raimond van der Gouw, Tomas Kuscak, Steve Harper, Roy Carroll, etc).

Fans also seem to remember GK's mistake vividly. David de Gea (debut vs Man City) Roy Carroll (howler vs Tottenham), Massimo Taibi (thrashing vs Chelsea), Fabien Barthez (direct pass to Theiry Henry), Paul Robinson (mis-kick from G.Neville's back pass), Peter Enckelmen(throw in which slipped under his boots) are just some of the few examples that will surely ring a bell. Did you remember Buffon's heroics in 2006? Manuel Neuer's performance vs Man Utd in Champions League (while he was still at his old club)?

Yet outfield players are often only remembered for their success and not mistakes. With the exception of Luis Suarez of course. Perhaps too much Twilight eh pretty boy?

And lets not even mention that goalkeepers put their body on the line for every shot. Diving left, diving right, going in head first into a group of players hell-bent on kicking one another, diving at the feet of an attacker who intends to kick either the football or the keeper's balls and you thought being a GK was easy!

 As a goalkeeper myself, I realise the dangers associated with this role. What drove me to write this post is that I got a kick to the head today while playing. What happened next? I continued playing of course! It is then I realised how fun it is to be a GK although it is dangerous. People clap when you make a great save. People look in awe when you pull off a reaction save out of nowehere. Its because they know they could not have done it.

A GK. That's what life is all about. Not everybody gets to be the billionaire, the astronaut, the rocket science, the superstar celebrity or celebrated politician. In life, you get a few minutes of fame for doing great but people will keep talking and talking about your one single mistake.  Every thing we do is filled with danger. You never know when the next shot is coming and whether if you are able to save it. You will make mistakes (letting in goals) but the game of life goes on. For when the final whistle rings, there is always the next game to look forward to.

I know I am looking forward for the next one, be it the game of life or football. Because being a GK is what I am good at.

NickLJF


Nov 18, 2012

Future

A wonderful week it has been and truth to be told, it was more than just enjoyment.

This has been coming for a few weeks and finally, I think I know what I might actually want. Much have changed since I last wrote here. Countless times I have long blog posts pictured in my mind but I never made the effort to actually put in down into words. This laziness of me just made me realize more of how bad things are really looking. I used to blame it on a heavy workload but in truth it stems from bad time management on my part. Blaming other factors apart from myself is the easy way out. And when you always seek the easy way out, that's when laziness kicks in. The 'mobile' nature of my work didn't help one bit.

Deep down inside I know for a fact that I cant make a career out of sales because it is just not me. The creative side of me just yells to break free. Hence it sucks that I am making a living out of sales. In schooling days, I once said that sales is not for me. And it still isn't. That's why I think I am doing a pretty good job so far despite the lack of interest and drive. Just imagine what I could achieve if I had the passion. Expectations versus reality, no one wins.

Being the emcee and photographer over the weekend allowed me chance to revisit what I actually enjoyed doing. It is not so much of the money. In Malaysia, it is difficult to get good money out of doing something you passionate about. If I am to break it to my family that I intend to be an emcee as a career(which I love to be, on par to being a barista), you can imagine their reaction. This is a society where creativity is still associated with hobbies and not 'real' career options.

I am spoiled with the good pay I am currently enjoying and I am afraid to take a step back. Doing it part time and as a hobby is my only option at the moment.

Judging by my performance and the crowds reaction and acceptance, I think I did a bloody good job. And it was my first time hosting a wedding. So lets raise a glass to the future and may I survive the corporate world filled with selfishness, bureaucracy,and unspeakable things with enough energy to pursue the things which I am passionate about.

Food, writing, photography & emcee jobs.

The future begins now.

Nick

Jan 2, 2012

2011 - Lessons learnt

So here we are again. 2011 is history and we now look forward to 2012 and the years after it.

2011 was not a smooth year for me. In some ways, I would have said it is one of the toughest year that I have lived through. There were not many highlights nor achievements to be proud of but so many things I regret and too many opportunities which I had let go. It was not pretty. Not pretty at all.

The year started off on a rather mixed emotion. The high of celebrating New Year in a foreign country (Taiwan) was followed by a disastrous 2.5 hours trek  on foot towards a train station so far away that I had initially given up on reaching. Safe to say that the foot was aching throughout the next day while Winnie and myself slept half the day away. Besides that, it was a fantastic trip to end 2010 and start 2011.

The main agenda of my disappointment this year is work related. Truth to be told, I am not enjoying my work, regardless of what others think. This would be the year where I opted for money instead of opportunity. I regret. I totally regret that decision.

My workplace is a great place with awesome colleagues. And that's all about it. But I am not here to talk about work because it is something I do not want to even think about during the off days and this last day of holiday. A real break. (I took 3 days of leave in December and ended up in office all 3 days. What life is this?)

Lets take a look at the highlights of the year. As usual, the trips would be the main contributer of happy memories. I started the year in Taipei, enjoying the wonderful street food, cool and chilly weather and a totally relaxed mood.

Second major trip of the year was to Tokyo in September. It was expensive. Everything from hotel to food is expensive (by Malaysian standards). Honestly, I had mixed feelings about the trip. Most things did not go smoothly, a miniature hotel room and the scariest flight home ever. We were literally caught in a typhoon during the flight back. Weather was hot and dry before it plummeted by 10 degrees on our last day there. Language was also a huge problem. But then again, I can not say: "Japan? Been there, done that!" I enjoyed Disneysea the most during my time there.

Apart from the overseas trips, there were also trips to Ipoh, Penang and Malacca by car. Nothing spectacular but it was good to escape from the hustle and bustle of KL City, which is starting to get boring at times.

Another major highlight for me is actually participating in 10km runs. The first was the Adidas King Of The Road. I have no idea what prompted me to actually sign up for it. I am so glad that I decided not to give up and actually managed to finish the race. It was not about the time. It was not about the medal. The feeling whcn I actually crossed the finishing line was unexplainable. I had NEVER imagined myself running and walking beyond 5km, let alone 10km. This was followed by the Nike 10km run and I managed to improve my time. Hence it gave me the inspiration for one of my goals of 2012, to participate in at least one run every 2 months, improve my time for every run and increase the distance before 2012 ends. For now, 10km will do.

Birthday this year was also a very pleasant surprise organised by Winnie together with my colleagues. Although I did get a feeling that something was happening, it was really a good surprise. That was followed by an awesome dinner with friends whom I had known since schooling days, it was a very memorable birthday :)

Now for the struggles. It is all about work. I do not really want to recap it here as some things are still sensitive at this point of time. Nevertheless, a plan is ready and I can only wish myself good luck.

Another target for myself this year is to blog more often. perhaps a rate of fortnightly. This year, it is time for me to start living my age. What is that? In a few days, I will write out what are my expectations of myself this year and also my goals and targets.

Till then, I need Courage, Change and Committment.

Have a Happy 2012.

NickLJF

Sep 5, 2011

Budget Travelling, the NickLJF way! Part 1 - Plan!

Those who know me knows that I love to travel and have a knack of getting good deals. Travelling is fun because it enables me to see different people, exciting new culture, tasting weird food and basically, seeing the world. Being a stranger in a foreign land is an enthralling experience for me simply because nobody knows me and I can be whoever I want to be!

Now the title says it all about this post but let me clarify some things before I begin:

  1. For me, budget travelling means travelling within your budget and capabilities, nothing too lavish but definitely not involving the following 'budget travelling sufferings':
    • Staying up/Waking up in the wee hours of the day hoping to nail that elusive Air Asia RM 0.00 seat 
    • Staying in some dodgy hotel for the whole trip, located in some dark alleys (something which happened to me in Rome)
    • Eating cheap food or relying on instant noodles (but hey, I make it a point to try out instant noodles in every country I visit)
    • A jam-packed schedule where you don't really enjoy and have only limited time although being in many places. At the end of the day, you feel exhaustion, not satisfaction.
    • Counting every single penny and wishing you had more money.
  2. Then what is NickLJF's budget travelling?
    • Making a budget and sticking to it. 
    • Travelling in budget airline is fine, but if you can get full-service flights (MAS, Cathay, etc) for almost the same price or only slightly more expensive, why not?
    • Staying in decent places with hot water and air-conditioning
    • Travelling at your own place and leaving a place satisfied, knowing that you do not need to return (of course, some places are worthy of multiple visits. Shilin and Lantau Island for example)
It all can be achieved by having a plan!

Planning ahead is the key essential ingredient in getting the best out of your travels. You plan your own, doing research on attractions, the fees involved and where you would like to go. I do not like to engage travel agencies (in some cases, they do add value but its a different story) because they are profit-oriented while for tourists, we are satisfaction-value-great view-great food and shopping-oriented. Why would I want to pay so much only for them to wake me up 6am in the morning, throw me into some crammed bus, eat at restaurants which rip me off and only have enough time to visit the loo in major attractions?

Of course, the situations above are extreme cases but which of you never experience at least one of the above situation with travel agencies?

Back to the plan, I usually plan 9 months ahead. Admittedly, it is agonizing to wait for so long before actually going to the places but the wait is always worth it. However, I am not asking you to plan every single detail of the trip 9 months ahead. Breakdown as below:
  1. 9 months to go - Identify the dates when you will be available for travel. ( I usually try to plan for at least 1 public holiday during the trip, saves up on the annual leave. But do not travel on the public holiday, ticket prices are usually much higher). Also, you must have at least 2 places in your mind, the main destination and the back-up destination. Airlines never offer ALL their destinations at discounted prices and the places which you have in mind is most probably what others are thinking of too
  2. 9 - 6 months to go - Wait, and I mean wait, for airline fares to go down. If you dont fancy waiting, booking 9 months ahead will actually get you good deals, even on full service airlines at prices comparable to budget airlines. The last time I traveled on Air Asia was actually more than 2 years back!
  3. 6 months to go - Now that you have your flights secured, its time to consider where you are going to stay. My tip? Go online and book through websites such as booking.com because they do not charge fees for cancellation. You are allowed to book rooms few months in advance and are actually allowed to cancel rooms free of charge as long as its done 1 week before the booking date (different rules apply for different hotels, but safe to say that 95% do not charge for cancellation in booking.com). Be like me and book the nice hotel you see. Just remember to keep track of it just in case you decide to book a different hotel later!
  4. 3 months to go - Depending on the country you are visiting, its time to start thinking of when do you need to apply for visa (if any). Some visas are valid for 6 months, 3 months of only1 month so do keep that in mind when applying. And have you checked on your passport expiry? Remember its a minimum of SIX MONTHS validity from the date of your departure FROM THE COUNTRY you are visiting, regardless of where you are going.
  5. 2 months to go - Start doing research and shortlist all the places you want to go. Write down the location and if possible, print out a map and start labeling on it. This can be of great help when you want to plan your daily itinerary. Find out about public transports, tourist discounts and the best local food! Keep in mind that every place will claim they are the best, so sometimes its best to follow your gut feeling (literally!)
  6. 1 month to go - Start checking on weather forecast so you know what to pack. Reconfirm on your flight tickets. And now would be a good time to drop the hotel an email to check on your booking. Online websites are very reliable but human errors do happen from time to time. Oh, have you applied for leave yet?
  7. 1 week to go - Start packing! Its never too early to pack. You wouldn't want to be spending money on toothbrush, underwear, shampoo, umbrella, tissue, lotion or condoms when overseas. Have a packing list and make sure you have packed it all. Its a good idea to put your passport in the main luggage at this point of time. The chances of you forgetting your passport is much higher than you missing out on that HUGE piece of luggage lying on the floor. Pack some medications too as when overseas, it will either cost a bomb or important information could be lost in translation. Don't forget to arrange for transportation to the airport
  8. Travel Day - This is the few days in the year where you will wake up way before the alarm clock so make sure you get some good rest because once you are travelling, you gotta make full use of every single minute! And don't forget that passport!
Coming up in the following days I am going to go through point by point to further explain on how you can actually enjoy planning for travel.

If you got any questions, leave a comment or drop me an email.

Nick LJF

-ps- Cathay Pacific having a killer price for tickets to Hong Kong in Feb 2012 (I last checked it last week). Good luck!

Apr 17, 2011

Manchester United - More than an obsession

Manchester United Football Club. Love it or hate it.

Manchester United

I have been a fan since I was in primary school. The first memorable thing of Manchester United for me was buying an issue of Glory Glory Man United magazine when I was 11. Teddy Sheringham was on the cover as he just signed on for Man United. The main reason why I bought (asked my dad to buy for me will be the more politically correct term) was because they had posters and stickers on it. The stickers were the deal-breaker. Reaching home, opening and reading through the magazine, I was hooked. I got to learn more about the club. Phrases such as Glory Glory Man United, MUFC is a religion, etc became my favorites.

And this is one of the favourites too lol
I can proudly say that I am one of the hardcore fans. The more crazy one :)

During the 1999 European Cup final, I did not sleep and listened to the radio all night hoping for results. At that time, the home did not have Astro, computer or Internet of any sort. Saddened that radio made no mention of the match's result, I woke up early the next day to buy newspapers. No results there as well because it was a late match. Luckily, the newspaper man knew the result and told me about it. I knew we won, but didn't know the way in which we snatched it. I stay glued to the TV till school time hoping to catch the news ( I was studying in the afternoon session back then).

Champions 1999

The year 2001 was important because it elevated my 'fan-ship' to another level. Man United's visit to KL! I remember going to The Mall after school to buy the tickets. I remember attending the training session alone and actually climbed across fences a few stories high with fellow fans to get a vintage view. I remember shouting down at Alex Ferguson and he looked up and smile. Pretty sure it was for me as there wasn't anyone around me. Yes, I climbed into the no-entry zones. After that, I chased the team bus and hitting on the bus window to get the players attention. Barthez and Beckham stared down and smiled, more like laughing at me, but they smiled. At me! Match day was nothing short of spectacular! Only regret was not having a functioning camera for all the crazy moments, but all the images stay vivid in my head. Then, I swore that I will visit Old Trafford.

Despite the non-victorious seasons, I never once doubted how much I supported the team. Many of my friends and relatives were glory hunters (a term mistakenly labelled upon ALL Man United fans). Supporting the winning team without much directions. Players came and players go but to me nothing changed.

Then in 2005, I fulfilled the dream. I visited the Theater of Dreams - Old Trafford! It was fantastic and even before the bus reached, I was smiling like I have no other care in the world. The view was fantastic! Entering the stadium was even more surreal. I am smiling as I type this out. I remember every single detail. The face of the man who lead us on the stadium tour, the home and away team seats (apparently, Sir Alex didn't want the seats for the away team to have any sort of heating!), the changing room, player's bar and the tunnel! We were not allowed to touch the grass but I was only inches away. Thanks to Nicole for accompanying me for this baptism of sorts.

The money revolution came and swept the football world. First it was Roman's romance and obsession with Champions League and the Abu Dhabi obsession with Manchester. Too bad they bought the wrong team but for Man United, we fell for the wrong hands too. Debt is never good and it remains to be seen if it can affect the team. Fortunately, we kept winning. At this point, more glory hunters switched sides as the crazy money led to fantasy football of some sort. But then again, they had plenty of cash while Man United had tons of debts. Guess which team emerged as European Champions first?

2008 and we were champions of Europe again! This time I watched every single minute together with my mum. Throughout the years, I managed to convert my mum into a fan for Man United and football. She watches more matches than me nowadays! During the penalty shootout, I swear my heart skipped many beats. The next day at college was celebration all the way. I remember Vincent bringing a flag to college. It was glorious :)

Champions 2008
2009 and Man United visited Malaysia again. For this round, I brought Winnie along and she has no choice but to be a Man United fan too. This time, the fans came in droves and 40,000 came for the training session. No more stairs and fences climbing for me. And also no up close and personal experience. It was also different in the sense that the Malaysian team gave a strong challenge and I found myself to be cheering for the national team as well! 3-2 and Michael Owen's debut. Too bad for him, most of his Man United journey has been downhill apart from the winner against Man City.

I am a fan, a true fan. I hate all those questions about why I support. I do not know why. It just happened, it struck me when I was 11. If we win, I celebrate. If we lose, I am sad but I also know that we will bounce back, no doubts about that. I have also understood that its useless to blame players for poor performance because it is a team effort. Dont judge a player by a game. Truthfully, I feel some people should stop calling themselves fans if all they want is glory. Go play Football Manager or something else.

To me, MUFC is more than an obsession, its a religion.

Apr 8, 2011

Stability versus excitement

Which would you choose? And how do you actually choose?

Of course I am talking it from a career point of view. Nothing is perfect, I have understood that phrase before I even hit puberty. It is rare that we can find a job which pays well and also one which we truly enjoy. Yes, you have read such success stories and how people are enjoying their lives and job but those are rare occasions. Furthermore, for many people, money alone excites them. Looking at it from another perspective, money gives them a sense of stability and with stability comes the freedom to enjoy. Money cant buy you everything but without money you cant buy anything.

Yet, the talking point here is not just about money. Its about career progression, the future and also something which I call, the long term plan.

Career stability is good but sometimes it takes the fun out of a job. Many people prefer this type of job. The workload might not be crazy, the pay is normally good and best of all, not much stress involved. For some, there is a stress of not having enough of meaningful work but most people will take it as nonsense. Who wouldn't enjoy a job which pays well but with low responsibility, would they?

When it comes to excitement, usually these jobs wont pay so well, especially at lower and beginner levels. This reminds me of my events job, not that the pay was bad (pretty good for a freshie) but the excitement part of it.

Not trying to sound old but at my age, I think stability trumps over excitement. Perhaps at a ratio of 55:45. I have to start saving up money for the future. Car loan, house loan, and ultimately, starting a family. This is the reality of life and unfortunately, most of us succumb to social and family pressure to lead the perceived normal way of life.

You study first, then you work, then you get a good paying job (job satisfaction not necessary) and start a family. Then you have some kids, grow up, see some grandchildren and finally, close your eyes for one last time. Most people stay true to this timeline. Unfortunately again, I see myself following this timeline too because I do not have the courage to go around it (and in the process upset my family, I have tried talking to them about this).

Life is getting boring because it is becoming a routine. I do not like routines.

Perhaps its time for a change. Not now, but I hope soon.

Life's Just Fun?

Feb 13, 2011

Blogger Android App!

Testing and see how well this really works :)


That's my baby and her new BB Bold 9780!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Feb 9, 2011

Q3 and Q4 of 2010

Lets wrap things up for 2010 in this very first post of 2011.

July

Birthday. Emotions. A whole new Galaxy.

July last year was a month of change. Within the first week of July, I attended the 2nd interview, handed in my resignation letter, celebrated my birthday and got myself a new phone. Things did look a little rosy at that moment but I left with a heavy heart because I have grown accustomed to the surroundings and people that I worked with. Was it a change for better or for worse? Only time will tell.

It was also in this month that I realised I had mild hypertension. As scary as it may sound, it seems like every year, there will be one serious (for my age) health-related problems. Thankfully, it is all alright now. Watching my diet, less alcohol and hitting the gym is becoming a regular thing. Fingers crossed, a healthy 2011 is in store for me. I did not have a single drop of beer back in Ipoh!

30th July was my last day of work.

August

RB.

By my standards, August was a pretty mundane month. The main thing for this month was obviously my very first month in RB. Overwhelmed will best describe my first week. All the inductions, talks and new things to learn was quite tiring. The best thing to come out of this month was definitely getting to know Aaron, Kelvin and Steph. We do share a strong bond being in similar situations (all MTs). For Kelvin and myself, little did we know that our paths have crossed numerous times before in the past. For the upcoming 6 months, germ protection was my JD.

Also in August, managed to sneak time and traveled down to Malacca with Baby. It was a good break.

September, October & November.

Baby and myself celebrated our 3rd anniversary on 3rd September. We got ourselves a matching pair of rings for it. Haha it was not our wedding yet but it is in the pipeline :)

Had my graduation in October (finally!). It was good to see almost my whole family (both mum and dad's side) present during the day. It felt like I was the superstar. Now I can proudly say, "Mum, Dad, I did it!"

These few months also made me realised how contrasting my previous and current job is. I had so many things to write about back then, but now, I start to question. Really big question marks are lingering above my head.

Also in October, bought the Sony A55 DSLR. That makes it 1 laptop, 1 smartphone and 1 DSLR in 2010 alone.

December

Holiday. Taipei. Baby's birthday.

Thankfully 2010 ended on a high note. It was less stressful at work partly due to the holiday mood everyone was in. In the second half of December, many people were on leave and thats when my nightmare started. Work got doubled and tripled out of the blue but luckily, everything was cleared prior to my Taiwan trip.

And here comes the fun part!

Taipei was magnificent. The view, the food, the people and the weather. I have always loved winter because I have been experiencing extreme summer heats since the day I was born. Nevermind the shivering, chilly winds and dry lips, winter will always be an indulgence for me. I will cover more of Taiwan in another post.

I bid goodbye to 2010 and Hello to 2011 while enjoying the breathtaking views of fireworks from Taipei 101.

Fireworks!

Dec 25, 2010

2010 in words - Quarter 2

I missed out on one important thing for Q1, which was getting the car in March. It has since been giving the nickname Storm Trooper =)

April 

NMM. School roadshows. 5am mornings.

Work went into overdrive mode for the month of April. The good thing is that time passed really fast and the following few months kind of just zoomed pass.

Time spent on work, dealing with sponsors, late nights with Wednesday pasar malam dinner was immediately followed by the school roadshows. School roadshows meant waking up at 4 or 5am in the morning and reaching office by 6am. Looking at the positive side of things, I slept early each night and there were hardly any cars on the road. Managed to save a few bucks on toll as well. The only complain was that dealing with the sponsors can be a pain in the ass at times. (Now the ironic thing is, now I am on the client's side)

May

NMM Carnival. VHTP. Android. Taylor's Alumni gathering.

Things went one level up as the intensity of work grew. Daily school roadshows was complemented with preparation for the 2 major roadshows, which was almost back to back. Looking back I wondered how did I managed to pull through it all? The crazy set-up hours, recruiting part timers, reaching out to the public...it was fun but at the same time, very taxing for the physical body. Everything went well, not perfect, but good enough. Seeing the newspapers highlighting the success and not the mishaps (none happened!) was a great relief for the whole team!

Going into details will take forever, just so many things. One thing I want to mention is the interns. Having the first batch of interns reporting to me was a different experience. It felt like I progressed a lot too. Jackson, Jennifer, Catherine and Yee Lian, good luck in your studies. I will never forget Catherine's first morning at work and Melinda's comments haha!

Somewhere in between the events, there was also a gathering for Taylor's SOC alumni but it was mostly people from my batch and other students we shared classes with. It was good to catch up with everyone again, and even better with alcohol. End of day, Szu Jane and May Hwa had to drive my car back before I took over to drive home from Pandan Jaya. In case if you are wondering, I am still alive.

It was also in May that I got intrigued by the operating system called Android. Later, I will discover that it was perhaps the best birthday present I ever got for myself. Hint: Samsung!

June

More interns. Recovery. Decisions. Interview.

I have definitely surprised some people towards the end of June (but nothing compared to the big bomb in July).

Things got more fun at Versatrend when we doubled the number of interns working under us. If I am not mistaken, there was a point where it stood: Staff 10 Interns 14. There were definitely more commotion and noise in the office which added more live into the company. It also meant more manpower and less hours. School holidays for 2 weeks also helped to reduce the workload and gave everyone a much needed break after a hectic and nerve-wracking April and May.

In the middle of June, I got the news from Jasmine that her company is hiring. I gave it a thought and decided to submit my application for fun. Yes, it was nothing serious at that time. I never had to formally apply for a job, so I thought "hey, just try for the sake of trying". To my surprise, I got a call and I attended the first interview. It was not easy and took half a day, but I was pretty confident of passing.

At that point, I knew I had to make a decision as another phone call came and a 2nd interview had been arranged. Everything happened so fast and there was not much time to sit on it.

July was already on the horizon.


Q3 flashbacks should be up before my Taipei trip!

NickLJF