Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ticket no. 178, Kajang Imigration Department

I must say that I'm very satisfied with the services given by Kajang Immigration staffs during my dealing with them yesterday, 30th March 2013, though I was very late to reach their counter. It was close to 10.30am and I was told that they have issued out all 150 numbers for those who waited since early morning, before 8.00am when their counter open. However, there's 1 lady officer who was kind enough to entertain and gave me a ticket number 178. She informed that they have asked those who came late to go back but I guess it was my lucky number as she understood my sense of urgency. This entry is specially dedicated to those officer who sat at Counter No. 3, my way of thanking them. 

I've been postponing a visit to Immigration counter for more than 4 months to replace my manual passport that was given by Malaysian Immigration in Delhi due to my urgency to go to Karachi in the month of November last year. On Friday, the office issued an air ticket for my meeting with the solicitor in Singapore on Monday, 1st April 2013. I was not sure whether the Immigration shall stop and questioned if I furnished them my manual passport which cannot be use at the auto gate. Thus, I forced myself to get it done first by taking a new passport photo done on Friday evening, after work.

Hubby was advising that the immigration counter might close on the last Saturday of the month and asked me to check. I woke up very late that morning, 8.33am as we went out for midnight show of GI Joe and the movie ended at 2am on Saturday morning. At around 9.30am, the Immigration Department in Putrajaya confirmed that Kajang branch is open on Saturday and Sunday, thus we rushed to the place. Normally, people starts their ques as early as 7am. The above photo reflected the time, 10.44am when the ticket was issued to me.

With their efficiency, I made payment at 12.09 noon and the passport was issued slightly before they closed the office at 12.30noon. On 30th March 2013, they served all 178 clients despite their limit of 150. 2 thumbs up to all the Immigration staff at Kajang branch for their commitment, dedication and excellent service to satisfy us all.

The wait (less than 2 hours) to get the passport was worthy. Hubby has no complaint as we have a pleasant late breakfast while waiting for the number to be called. I had fun taking my own photos while playing Candy Crush on my I-phone. Kindly have patience with me for sharing many shots taken on that day. Hubby told me that it was embarrassing. Who cares? Life is good dear!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Seafood in Petaling Jaya

Today, 25th March 2013 I've been introduced to Michelle, the company lawyer for the first time. She invited me for lunch with 3 other colleagues, initially she suggested at Karak restaurant nearby our office. Later, Collin change the venue for a better food. It was in Unique Seafood Restaurant at Jalan Kemajuan, Petaling Jaya.

Japanese Snail

As usual, we leave the menu selection to the expert, Collin. He brought his client to the restaurant before. It cost about RM3,000 per meal, with the lobster of course.

While waiting for the food, I got up to snap few photos for this entry. It was amazing that most of the sea creatures are imported abroad. If you happen to read my food adventure in Seafood in Sandakan, you might noticed that everything (sea creatures) are coming from the nearby sea. But not in this restaurant.

I was told that this crab weight 6kg, hence, it cost RM1800 per piece

For those who wishes to get more information of what is being offered in this place, their location map, the choices of foods, the ambiance etc etc can visit their website at Unique Seafood 23 Restaurant, PJ. It is open daily from 11am till 3pm for lunch and 6pm till 10.30pm for dinner.


I have eaten scallop every times I went for Chinese Food but never ever I've seen how it looks like. The live scallop is as above photo. All fresh live seafood is being properly kept in an aquarium for the customer to choose, including below photo Canada Geoduck. I've never seen 1 before in my whole life. It is a weird and funny looking shape remind me of the dot dot dot :)

Whilst, a giant crab in below photo is indeed very beautiful and interesting to watch. I bet it's flesh is as good as it appearance. My apology for the sea lovers who might been reading this entry. It was cruel to say that but it is a fact of a vegan.

And the meals that was selected by Collin are all indeed mouth watering. Everything tasted as good as it looks in below photos, begin with Kailan fried veggie.

A special scallop for each 1 of us, served in separate plate.

Last but not least, a steam fish deep with chopped garlic, cut chili padi and soy sauce. It's yummy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 2013 in-house training

March 2013 events:

I've been attending too much training lately to occupy time in the office whilst getting myself ready for the new project. On 13th & 14th March was the root cause analysis basics of Incident Investigation and Reporting. 15th March 2013 was the most interesting training, "A mindset of a winner" where we were assigned in a group of 5 to hold the balloon up in the air for more than 1 minutes by blowing with our breath as part of the program. Our group finished last, but the lesson that we learned to finish the task was priceless.

On 20th & 21st March 2013, few colleagues of mine joined other project personal from all over the site (Malaysia project sites only) for the "Construction Plant & Machinery Safety Training. The 1st day was discussing on the theory and sharing a precautionary steps of how to eliminate hazards and risk control measures for handling the plant and machinery at site. We gathered at the company workshop in Bukit Jelutung on the 2nd day. The workshop is located about 70km from our Headquarters.

The groups inspecting the Mobile Crane operation

As usual, I get up very early to be at the workshop before the class started at 9pm. It was my first time to the workshop. Guided by the map, I started my journey from home at around 7pm using a normal route to Petaling Jaya but I made a turn to KL-Seremban Highway to get to Plus Highway heading to Ipoh from Jalan Duta entry point. As predicted, the road is all the way jam-up till I passed Semantan Road to Jalan Duta. It was a peaceful ride and I stopped for picture.

At about 8.10am, I finally found an exit 118 to Bukit Beruntung. The weather was blissful great. There's cloud on a blue sky.

After a turning at exit 118, I had to stop for another picture again as the view was awesome. The sun has risen up higher and the peace, out of the city noises and traffic are priceless moment to treasure. I'm glad that I found my way here. In deeper conversation with myself, I'm really glad that I return home. Malaysia is truly an amazing country, despite the heat and the rain.

We finished the whole topics right before lunch followed with Q&A session and test to wrap-up our 2 days training. At 3pm, we went for practical training at site, more towards inspection and understanding the machinery components, especially cranes (Tower crane, mobile crane & crawler crane). Out of 26, only 4 ladies, so ladies will love taking photos before we started the event.

1 of the safety officer made fun of me on 1st day when I said that the wheeler excavator has a steering. Somebody suggested that I went up to the the 25 tonne KATO mobile crane to see for myself. It's my nature to take-up an easy challenge, though the machine is very old (1963), just 3 years older than myself. 

Sitting on a seat of the crane operator, I tend to appreciate their hardship in giving inputs to our construction industry. How tough it was to be working inside a small compartment under a hot sun to meet the target datelines, working in many shifts. That's part of our life. Everybody must be having their own problem, so, please don't worry so much if you have 1 as others also are having problems like you too. Let us be good to our self and others and importantly enjoying our life's to the fullest.

We parted at 4.40pm. The sky was dark outside and the lightning started to strikes. Heavy rains pour suddenly and it was tough driving in a heavy rain though on highways. The rain was not subsides when I was entering the KL city. Do not worry, I stopped with hazard lights when I snapped below photo after I paid toll at Sprint Highway. I safely arrived home at 5.45pm.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Doha, Qatar - Day 2

City Tour on 8th June 2008

Qatar is not as famous as Dubai and it's capital city, Doha is not as develop as Dubai but the Qatar Government had making plans to be at least equal to Dubai in years to come. At present, many investors from Dubai had shifted to Qatar. The country is being divided into 7 municipality and Doha is governed by 1 of them. In the year of our visit, we witnessed a massive construction activities in preparation for the country bidding for world sports event including hosting the 2011 FIFA World cup (won a bid in December 2010). Doha has hosted Asian Games in year 2006, their airport obviously had problem to receive tourist/visitors for any international event. 

The Doha city was made capital of the British autonomy of Qatar in 1916, and became the nation's capital following the independence of Qatar in 1971 from the British. During the early 20th century, much of Qatar's economy depended on fishing and pearling, and Doha had about 350 pearling boats. However, after the introduction of the Japanese cultured pearls in the 1930's, the whole region, including the town of Doha, suffered a major depression and Qatar was plunged into poverty. Poverty state lasted until in the late 1930's, when oil was discovered in the country. However, the exploration and exportation was halted due to the second world war. Today the nation as a whole produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily.

Manimaran came just in time we were about to check out from the hotel and headed for lunch at our favorite restaurant, Chili. The rented vehicle was also there, thus, not to disappointing the young boy who was so fascinated with Hummer car, Manimaran sent us over to Chili in his car and the other driver went to fetch us after the lunch was over. It was so kind of Manimaran. In a hot summer day of Doha, we traveled in a rented car full of the driver body odor that made us all feeling dizzy and stressful throughout the tour. It was a great reliefs for us when he made a stop at a shopping mall where the children had a fresh air and fun in the circus land.

With uncle Manimaran's Hummer

Let's continue with some important facts of Qatar for my future reference. The exploitation of Qatar's oil reserves after the end of the second world war was to save the city, although it was some time before the source of their current and future wealth, a natural gas was exploited. The source of natural gases really change the country into a different perspective and the economic started to bloom till present days.

Buildings before the booming time were a simple dwellings of one or two rooms, built from mud, stone and coral. However, the Amirs of Qatar were not long in exploiting the new-found wealth. The slum areas were quickly replaced with more modern buildings. As with other countries in the region, in this rush to modernize much of the country’s heritage was lost, and in Doha now there is only a single remaining wind tower, what a loss to the country heritage. 

In 1973, the University of Qatar opened, and in 1975 the Qatar Museum opened from refurbishment of  the ruler's palace in 1912. The Al Jazeera Arabic satellite television news channel began broadcasting from Doha in 1996. The country is currently under a rule of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

By 2010, Qatar had a population of 1.7 million making it as one of the world's fastest developing country. Much of Qatar's oil and natural gas wealth is visible in Doha, which is the economic centre of Qatar. Doha is home to the headquarters of the country's largest oil and gas companies, including Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Gas and Ras Gas. Doha is currently experiencing a very large boom, with the city developing very rapidly, a credit to it's ruler  modernization program.

Sick face

According to the BBC news, as of late January 2007, Doha is now a more expensive city than Dubai in terms of real estate prices. This rate of growth has led to projects such as the Lusail City project, which is being constructed north of Doha and eventually house 200,000 people. Construction is also booming in Doha, a result of increasing corporate and commercial activity. This is most visible with the changing skyline of the city, as Doha has over 50 towers currently being constructed, the largest of which is the Dubai Towers. 

Another sick face

Doha was included in Fortune's 15 best new cities for business for the year 2011. Their project includes Aspire Tower, Education City, Museum of Islamic Art (similar museum I visited in year 2011 in Dubai), The Pearl, Luail, Al Waab City, Dubai Towers, Commercial Bank Plaza and Katara beside some of the building that I shared in my blog.

Doha, Qatar - Day 1

Event date: 6th & 7th June 2008

I was on transit in Doha International Airport first time in November 2004 on a trip to Turkey and again in May 2006 to catch a connecting flight to Italy via Qatar Airline. In 2006, few of my friend from SMART tunnel project (associated to Gamuda Engineering) was transferred to Doha project. It made sense if I were to transit few days to see what is there to see in Doha city with an excuse of visiting a friend. 

Therefore, as the travel agent booked our trip to Greece on Qatar Airline, I had decided to do just by informing the agent in advance of our intention during to transit on return flight from Athens. We chose to stay in a 5-star hotel as in Athens we stayed in 4-star. Doha Ramada seem to be a right choice for our 3 days 2 night stay. On arrival at Doha International friend, I called my colleague that used to call me kakak (mean sister), Choo Keng Loong. Choo was working at that time thus he couldn't pick us up, so, we took an airport taxi to Ramada. Afternoon breeze was very hot on the 6th June 2008. When Choo came to see us for dinner that night, we declined to go out. We had our dinner at the hotel.

The next day, we had a fast food just across the street of Ramada Hotel. Earlier in the morning, I accompanied Nasrul for a swimming. He loves the pool so much as no one was there on a hot summer day and the hotel was not really having a peak tour season.

Later in the evening, Choo came to pick us for a night city tour and a dinner. It was very pleasant to have a cool night drive around the Doha city. The day that we supposed to fly back, another friend, Manimaran came to fetch us up and sent us to Chilli's restaurant in his car, Hummer that really brightened up Nasrul's day. On Choo's advised, we get the hotel to arrange a rental car cum city tour on the next day to catch a flight to Karachi at 12.40am (supposedly at 0040hrs).

Local Qatari ladies, both are wife's to 1 husband

Bazaar operated by local Qatari

At the airport on 8th June 2009, around 9pm at night, I was looking at our ticket again before approaching the counter. There I thought that we might have missed our flight as 12.40am is past midnight and we was supposed to be on early morning of 8th June 2009. 12.40am flight is a flight at 0040 hours on 9th June 2009. It was alarmingly crazy and I was freaking panicked and worried that we couldn't get any flight back to Karachi. My faced turned red and stressed face when I was told the same thing by the counter assistant but he advised that a daily flight to Karachi on the same hour still have seat for all of us. It was lucky, but and error come with the price, right? 

Moral of the story is to be 100% sure by reconfirm and/or revisited any of the scheduled, time and place of appointments in our daily activities. I learnt my big lesson that day.