Sabri.me, Inside Out

A-Type Geek, All Around Family Man

Month: June 2010

Knock! Knock! Knock!

Where are you? 😉

In a few hours, Google says I will be here. Hopefully they are right! :p

First Night Report (Solo Adventure in Phuket)

1. WoW. I have been here for only a couple of hours, but it has already exceeded my most optimistic expectation! WoW!!! Thai people really know how to treat their guests! 🙂

2. I got a good deal for the accomodation. It is a 4 star resort, but from the price I don’t expect much. I am pleasantly surprised that it is beyond my wildest dream (pictures coming soon). I feel guilty, like I am ripping them off (note: It is currently low season here, hence the relatively low price).

This is better than Bali minus the starry sky. Better even than Cambodia (faster Internet).

3. Indian/Bangladeshi are everywhere. It is very easy to get halal food around here. But you can say its very expensive.

4. I am giddy for what awaits me next morning. It definitely can only get better! 🙂

Oops… Did I hear someone speaking (shouting) in Malay? Dammnn.. Spoil my mood. I always don’t like meeting other Malaysian when I am on solo adventure. Most of the time I find them very shallow. Ok, better I stop now.

Need to sleep and run away from this noisy Malaysians (who apparently don’t know how to behave. Its 1 AM for God sake!)

Will report again tomorrow! 🙂

2nd Day Report, Solo Adventure to Phuket

1. Saya terlupa untuk mention satu kejadian unik malam semalam. Dalam perjalanan ke hotel dari airport, teksi yang saya naiki melalui sebuah kuil. Terkejut saya ketika itu melihatkan pemandunya menunduk dan merapatkan tangan ke dada (stereng dilepaskan) (kira-kir 30 saat).

It’s okay sebenarnya. I like & respect that. Ia menenangkan saya memberitahu saya tidak akan ditipu. Yalah, biasanya orang yang beragama danspiritual ni jarang membuat kerja yang bukan-bukan kan.

Having said that, immediately after landing, I need to find taxi to go to the hotel (taking about 45 minutes). Memang banyaklah “uat-ulat teksi” yang menawaran perkhidmatan teksi berbekalkan hanya sekeping kertas, senarai destinasi dan harga.

Namun dari pengalaman saya biasanya benda-benda macam tu memang medan penyembelihan pelancong. Jadi saya cuma katakan tidak dan pergi ke kaunter informasi. Namun nampaknya kaunter informasi tersebut memanggil ulatnya sendiri. Bukan menunjukkan tempat teksi bermeter.

Prinsip saya, kalau disembelih pun, biar disembelih sekali. Jangan disembelih 2 kali (sudah tentu ulat tersebut terpaksa memberi komisen kepada pegawai di kaunter informasi itu, jadi harga yang saya kena mungkin lebih lagi).

Saya ada terbaca mengenai kaunter teksi di luar airport melalui internet (namun saya lupa ia adalah untuk Phuket, Vietnam atau Guangzhou), jadi saya cekalkan hati. Nasib baik, intuition saya betul. Memang ada kaunter teksi di luar. Selamat 200 baht saya (perbezaan harga yang di publish-tidak termasuk “cukai2” lain).

2. Ada banyak benda hendak di buat di Phuket ni. I will definitely come again. Tak sempat hendak buat semua. Para gliding, white water rafting, elephant trekking, tour island dengan motorbike etc.

Memandangkan percutian saya ini untuk de-stress sahaja, jadi saya buat aktiviti-aktiviti “lembut” sahaja seperti berjalan-jalan. Pagi-pagi saya pergi membeli cenderamata. Dari pengalaman saya dapati pagi adalah time paling sesuai untuk shopping di negara Asia. “First customer” dianggap pembuka rezeki. Jadi waktu inilah kita boleh pulun harga minta diskaun.

3. Di sini ada banyak kedai tukang jahit. Thailand secara amnya memang dikenali sebagai tempat yang murah untuk buat suit. Saya masuk ke beberapa kedai untuk survey harga. Harganya tidak jauh beza dengan di Malaysia sebenarnya, namun dari pengamatan saya yang amatur ini, kualiti jahitannya lebih baik (dari kekemasannya).

Mula-mula saya tidak bercadang untuk menempah apa-apa. Tetapi saya teringatkan yang memang bulan ini saya ada sediakan peruntukan untuk membeli baju kemeja beberapa helai. Sebab rupanya 5 helai tak cukup. Jadi saya kata kepada diri saya sendiri, why not try gunakan peruntukan tersebut di sini. Di Malaysia nanti kena pergi shopping complex, sama juga.

Jadi saya pun tempahlah 2 helai kemeja dan satu seluar slack. Akan siap malam ini (less than 24 hours).

Nanti saya akan komen kualitinya. Seluar tu saya ada minta dia buat adjustment sikit. Kalau ok, memang selepas ini semua pakaian saya, saya akan buat di sinilah.

Harga yang saya dapat pula adalah berpatutan. I know I can get cheaper price. Sebabnya, kedai-kedai jahit di sini tiada mesin jahit. Yup! 🙂

Dan mereka kebanyakannya dimiliki oleh orang India, Bangladesh, Pakistan dan sedikit Thais.

Saya percaya yang mereka semua ni “out source” kepada satu tempat lain milik orang Thai sendiri.

Tapi dalam 20 kedai (ya,banyak betul!) yang saya lihat, semuanya tiada mesin jahit. Jadi saya tak lah push sangat mencari. Walaupun outsource, tetapi kalau harganya sesuai dengan bajet saya oklah. Saya datang bercuti bukan untuk membeli baju untuk particular sangat.

4. Petang ini saya telah mengenrollkan diri saya dalam kelas masakan Thai. Tak sabar nak belajar masak Tom Kha Gai (Tom Yam Santan). hehe.. Gembira betul saya bila terlihat iklan kelas masakan tadi. Terus saya cari dan daftarkan diri. Seronok acquire new skill ni. Satu cara untuk destress juga. 🙂

Oklah, saya rasa that’s all for now. Talk again soon!

Dekat Malaysia pun ada, tapi tak pernah berkesempatan hendak pergi. Nampak macam steady, tapi sebenarnya sedang menahan geli! 🙂

2nd Day, 2nd Report

1. I believe I am a pretty competent bargainer. And being an entrepreneur myself, most of the time I can guess the cost of a product and negotiate a lower price successfully. And in some shops like the tailor in the previous report, I manage to get a very good price. (I went to a few tailors to establish the lowest price that theycan give me on average and buy from the tailor who can offer near that price)

2. But because of the item in Phuket sometimes is so illogically expensive, I made quite a costly mistake just now. I saw a bookmark sold for 120 baht. As  I am used to see a free bookmark and the most expensive one just around RM 5 in Malaysia, immediately my brain said “Humm.. 120 baht=RM 1.20 , quite cheap.”

And my eyes moved upward. A small painting shows 380 baht and my eyes popped out. What? RM 3.80? This can’t be real! This is super cheap.

To be honest, I am not an artistic person. I can’t appreciate art. I don’t know how to differentiate Picasso and Pakcik So-so. But at RM 3.80 for a small painting? Well, that’s a cheap price to “mislead” people that I am into arts. People who are into arts are “elegant” people right? :p

So, using some of my last bahts, I bought the painting. I plan to put it in a very visible place in my cubicle so  people will know I have an artistic taste. 🙂

On the way back, very pleased with myself for that purchase, I make a mental calculation of how much money I have left. And then the truth struck me.

DAMN! I just spend RM 38 on something I don’t even care.

Duh. I feel very stupid. I blame this on the RM 12 bookmark. I can’t believe a human sell a bookmark that expensive. People don’t even read books nowadays. We have Kindle and iPad dudes. Have you ever heard of supply and demand? You should sell bookmarks cheap because nobody are using it anymore! Grrr…

What a costly mistake that is.

Ini satu contoh harga tidak masuk akal. Aiskrim berharga RM 9.90 (local brand!). Baskin Robbins pun baru RM 6-7. Tak logik betul. Kali pertama saya tengok, saya ingat 99 sen. Nasib baik tak beli.

Yeah, RM 38 might not be a lot you said, but it can still buy a lot of things I want here.

Looks like that’s a lesson learnt for me.

3. I attended the cooking class just now. I chose to learn how to cook Tom Kha Gai (Tom Yam with Coconut Milk) and Andaman Fried Rice. Tom Yam with coconut milk is something that I really want to learn how to do, but fried rice? I know some of you might question that choice. But I also want to learn to cook something easy which I can cook every day (if I wish to), hence the fried rice. Seeing my mom cook fried rice, I thought it is complex. I don’t know what to “tumis”.

However, I was pleasantly suprised. Thai fried rice is very easy to prepare actually. I think it is almost similar to Nasi Goreng Cina, but with more flavour. Both take less than 20 minutes to cook! 🙂

Ada gaya pro tak? Kembang hidup sebab Chef tu puji, nampak macam dah biasa dan cekap kat dapur. (Akak Chef ada adik tak, kak? hehe...)

C ya again guys! 🙂

Final Report

Demam World Cup

Pada mulanya saya bukanlah orang yang minat sangat bola sepak. Bahkan boleh cakap pengetahuan mengenai bola dan pemain bola tu, negatiflah. Bukan setakat zero lagi. Namun sejak saya memulakan perniagaan pertama, menjual jersi bola sepak, sejak itu saya bukan sahaja kenal dengan nama-nama player, tetapi juga bertambah minat kepada sukan tersebut.

Tetapi tidaklah sampai tahap “demam” atau gila bola. Di suruh memilih World Cup atau masa tidur yang mencukupi, saya masih memilih masa tidur yang mencukupi.  Cuma yang bestnya memandangkan World Cup kali ini timingnya agak okay (7.30 malam, 10 malam dan 2.30 pagi), saya tidak ketinggalan menonton dalam 30 minit-45 minit setiap hari.

Jadi, siapakah team pilihan saya untuk memenangi World Cup? 🙂

Team pilihan saya adalah England (walaupun saya tahu, England boleh tersingkir malam ini).

Sesetengah orang memilih pasukan untuk disokong dari banyak kriteria. Saya dalam bab-bab seperti ini lebih cenderung untuk menggunakan emosi. Saya menyokong England sebab England adalah underdog dan bukan pasukan pilihan. Benar England mempunyai ramai pemain bintang dan berkebolehan, tetapi biasanya dalam temasya bola sepak besar-besar, England sering menghampakan.

Dari saya kecil sekadar mengenal Eric Cantona (pemain Perancis yang bermain dengan MU) sehingga zaman Beckham, kemudiannya C. Ronaldo (Portugal) dan sekarang Rooney, England memang tidak berapa boleh diharap. Harapan menggunung diletakkan peminat, tetapi mereka tidak deliver.

Penyakit yang seakan-akan sama yang dihidapi oleh pemain badminton Malaysia. :p

Sehingga mungkin ada sesetengah peminat give-up dengan mereka.

Bagi saya pula, saya memang ada “soft spot” untuk underdog ini. Tambahan pula saya yakin yang pasukan England ini tahu mereka boleh buat, cuma walaupun telah mencuba banyak kali, tetapi seringkali kandas. Mereka pun tak tahu kenapa.

I can relate to them. And for this reason and this reason alone, England have my moral support!  (Ya, saya memang bias) :p

Go England Go!

Sabri

Smile!

Kadang-kadang kita terlalu serius dalam menghadapi hidup ini. Why so?

Laughing banyak sangat pun tak bagus juga. Tetapi a smile here and there, be in a good mood, radiate positive energy and in the process, energize people around you does not hurt anybody.

So, smile! 🙂

Smile & Laugh, Take Challenge in Your Stride and Success You Will Be

I Have a Weakness

Recently I discovered that I have another weakness (beside being not attentive to details). I found that I am not very creative and it is difficult for me to do something if I cannot envision what the end result will look like. Whenever I do something, I need to know what it will look like when it is done, if not I will be stuck in the middle of the process forever figuring out what to do. I am more of an innovator, totally not an inventor.

To explain it simply, if I do a jigsaw puzzle, I need to see what the picture looks like as a guide before I can do it. I cannot go in blind.

Its the same in work and in life (one of the reason why I suffer in calculus).

Because of this I learn to ask questions to get clarification. I asked a lot of questions. Some times silly questions to make sure I don’t miss a thing. I learned the hard way multiple time from experience, hence I am not shy to ask questions. I know if I am not sure of what I am doing, I will face a lot of hardship trying to complete something that I myself don’t understand.

I am in a dilemma right now.

Sometimes I felt like I asked too many questions, sometimes it might made people uncomfortable. For examples, today I was briefed on how to do a certain report. The person doing it now will go for an oversea assignment in a week (he has been doing it for one and half years). And now, I got a week to learn to do it. The next report will come from me.

And to complete that report, I need to liaise with more than 15 peoples whom most of them are not in KL. Worst, I don’t know any of them and they don’t know me either! Usually I will only have about 5 days to do the report.

And I am expected to “download” all the information and experiences my predecessor possess into my brain in these 3 days and to make sure the consistency of the report.

You can imagine how many questions I asked.

Hmm… I relish the challenge. I think in this situation, it is justified to ask a lot of questions plus he doesn’t mind.

Today, I also attended another meeting to discuss the unit’s KPI. Initially I was told that because I am new, I will not have a KPI of my own for a certain period of time (months). However, today I was advised to have my own KPI too, to make sure I will be evaluated fairly and not rated poorly at the end of the year.

Because of this conflicting information, it made me uncomfortable and from my past experience, things like this will only lead to disaster later if not addressed and clarified. So I sat down with my SM and asked her about her expectation of me, who will evaluate me and etc.

She is helpful and very motherly. I am grateful that I got a very supportive boss. Now it is all clear and understood.

However afterwards in my daily reflection ritual, I became less sure of myself. Do I asked too many questions? Do I got too carried away? I know this inquisitive attitude was appreciated at my old workplace, but right now I am working in a predominantly Asian office culture. In Asian culture, questions are not encouraged. People are told not to rock the boat.

So, am I doing the right thing? What your thought about this?

Today, I also made a fool out of myself.

There is a colleague of mine who is 4-6 weeks pregnant (forgot already the exact weeks). She was taking MC & she does not feel well so a lot of people talked about it. And because I am trying to be friendly, I strike up a conversation. And I am curious about one thing.

From my untrained eyes, she appear normal. How did she know she was pregnant?

I thought she was feeling sick and when she went to the doctor and when the doctor checked, then the doctor found out that she was pregnant. Worse I told her this. She just laugh, I am so naive!

A 2.5 year old boy might look cute when he asked this question, but when a 25 years old adult asked this, its totally not cute anymore right? (I forgot about the menstrual cycle)

Damn. I really should think before asking.

And asking questions has become part of my SOP in social events as well. Again, from my experience I am not comfortable when people asked me a lot of stuff. As I have a complex mind, my answers are usually weird to some people. So I learned a method on how to avoid this.

When I met people, I asked them questions about themselves before they can even got a chance to ask me questions about myself. And because human like to talk about themselves, usually I got away with this technique. However, sometimes I got too carried away and show my naiveness. I asked silly questions.

I don’t want to sound like Pak Pandir you know. I really should be careful with my mouth. What do you say?

Hmm…

Sikit Lagi Garam dan Gula

Seronok pula rasanya buat ala-ala press conference ni. Jimat masa di kala ada banyak benda hendak ditulis tetapi tak tahu macam-mana nak bermula. Jadi dipersembahkan kepada anda sekali lagi, sidang media #2 dengan Mr President of Sabrination.

Q: How’s your new place?

A: Initially, memang a little bit awkward. I don’t know what to expect. Tetapi sekarang rasanya, I have got the hang of thing. Rasa macam dan 2 minggu di sana. People are friendly, I am adapting well into the new role and hopefully things will improve from here.

One huge difference dengan tempat lama adalah the warm and friendly culture. Di sini lunch biasanya dalam kumpulan kecil ataupun secara individu sahaja (tapau di office), di MV biasanya lunch beramai-ramai (8-10 org) dan more laid back. Waktu mula-mula sampai ada juga rasa nak ter-shout “Good Morning” dengan enthusiastic kepada semua orang (kebiasaan di MV), tetapi waktu suara baru je nak keluar baru terlihat suasana yang berbeza. People are friendly too here, but not that expressive. It is more Asian and reserved here.

Q: Macam mana status Project AB?

A: Last week, very positive. Tapi this week nampak macam momentum dah hilang. Bola dah ping, tengah tunggu pong je sebelum di ping semula. Kalau tak pong juga anytime this week, kira misi gagal, abort mission lah.

(soalan ni tak faham tak apa. Teknikal jargon. hehe…) :p

Q: Kenapa slow sangat progress projek AB?

A: Tak sure owner nak buka tender ataupun just nak buat direct negotiation. Requirements owner pun tak dapat lagi. Very early to say anything now.

Gula dan Garam Secukup Rasa

There are so many things I want to write about. Lately, saya tidak dapat menulis mengenai apa-apa perkara yang signifikan. Which I feel quite a disappointment because there are so many things happening around me. Tapi sebab begitu banyak perkara yang terjadi, semuanya penting bila saya mula nak menulis jadi serba salah. Apabila nak tulis pasal satu topik, rasanya topik satu lagi lebih penting. Bila tukar topik kepada topik kedua, rasa topik ketiga pula lebih penting and so on.

Jadi bila dah jadi serba salah macam tu, terus tak tulis apa-apa jawabnya. Teruk.

So, to break this unproductive momentum, I will do a simulation of a press conference “simulation” for myself. Meliputi banyak topik.

So, I present to you, the president of Sabrination.

Q: Why do you blog? Kenapa anda menulis? Kadang-kadang anda menulis mengenai benda-benda yang “soft”. Feely-touchy. What do you get by telling strangers what you feel?

A: Saya suka menulis. Menulis adalah salah satu cara untuk saya meluahkan apa yang terbuku di hati. Kalau saya pendamkan, nanti menyusahkan saya. Stress. Di samping itu, secara tidak langsung saya dapat menyumbangkan something kepada pembaca blog saya (pengalaman).

Dan yang lebih penting sebenarnya, menulis membolehkan saya kenal diri saya sendiri. As much as saya write untuk orang baca, sebenarnya saya sendiri baca post saya berkali-kali. Sejurus selepas saya menulis dan juga beberapa ketika selepas itu (boleh jadi berbulan2). Ia buat saya lebih mengenali diri saya dan memahami cara saya berfikir.

Membaca dan memahami diri sendiri membuatkan saya lebih matang, aware dengan kekuatan dan kelemahan diri saya sendiri dan memberi “clarity” dalam hidup saya.

Q: Apa komen tuan mengenai isu Palestin dan Israel sekarang?

A: Saya sering berfikir tak sama macam orang lain. I am a contrarian especially dalam hal-hal politik. To say something might offend some people.

Cukuplah saya kata no comment dalam hal ini. Dan sesungguhnya dalam satu-satu konflik biasanya semua orang menjadi mangsa dan setiap orang ada cerita sendiri. Kedua-dua pihak perlu resolve isu ini untuk selesai. Kalau satu pihak degil, sampai bila pun konflik tidak akan selesai.

Lagipun isu ini dah banyak dikupas oleh orang lain. People who are knowledgeable about the topic and people who are not. Memandangkan saya tidak follow issue ini dan tidak ada background info yang solid lebih baik saya tidak menambahkan kekeliruan yang dah memang ada. Next question please!

Q: Kenapa tuan suka sangat tulis pasal cinta?

A: Because I am very fascinated by love. Love is complex but exciting. Plus, love masih dianggap taboo untuk dijadikan topik berbual. Jadi masyarakat kita agak naif. Saya nak meninggikan kesedaran cinta dalam masyarakat.

Isu Israel Palestin adalah sesuatu yang di luar kawalan saya. Isu cinta adalah satu isu yang saya rasa saya dapat mainkan peranan dalam masyarakat in a meaningful way. Saya percaya cinta dapat menyelesaikan banyak konflik. Which will help agama, bangsa dan negara.

Saya prefer to dabble in something that I know and something that I can contribute to dari berbincang mengenai retorik tanpa dapat berbuat sesuatu yang signifikan mengenainya.

Q: Tuan cakap macam tuan best, tapi tuan masih single jugak.

A: I am still looking for the one. I have experienced an amazing relationship before, unfortunately despite trying my level best, it was not meant to be. I believe one of the reason adalah kerana rendahnya tahap celik cinta dalam masyarakat juga. Cinta kadang-kadang dianggap jalan sehala. Sedangkan sebenarnya it takes two to tango. Dalam setiap aspek. Termasuklah memberi dan menerima penghargaan and what to do to make things work.

Q: Ready to fall in love again?

A: Of course.

Q: Have some one in mind already?

A: Tough question. hehe… Next one please. :p

Q: How do you envision the next relationship will start? Apa ciri-ciri wanita idaman tuan?

A: I am open and flexible actually. Ciri-ciri wanita idaman tu terlalu subjektif. Pendek kata, I know it when I see her. Yang lain-lain tu depends on her personality. I prefer yang outgoing and know how to balance thing. Ideally she can take the initiative and lead the way until mid-point which I can take over after that.

I am a little bit shy around people. Especially part-part yang sentimental ni. I need A LOT OF VERY OBVIOUS hints from the girl to gather enough courage. Hopefully I can find someone who understand this and don’t mind that.

Memang susah nak jumpa kan, but hey. Tak salah kan nak berharap. :p

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