366 days ago I landed in Singapore for a business trip, in conjunction with a last minute request from my counterpart.
I started my 2009 evolution in Singapore alone, and I set many crazy targets which I've never done before. Knewing that I would be taking a huge leap in my life, I poured in a lot of effort, and luckily I had the courage and support from the people around me. Indeed I had a wonderful year!
In January, I made a business trip to Singapore, had my new year countdown at Clarke Quay, but without my love ones around (a bit disappointed). Witnessed the G-MAX Bungy Singapore which I think it's the second most extreme swing after the Gyro Swing in Lotte World Korea.
2 weeks after that, my name was engraved on the first ever QIC Hall of Fame board. Couldn't believe that I was going to Siem Reap for the Regional Finals! Both teams that I represented in the Local Finals won the first and third place~ Woohoo~
That was really really fantastic, because I'm since then no longer a fresh-grad-nobody. I wanna say I love you all my team mates, our hard work had finally paid off. Later in that evening I received countless congratulations... We had a great appreciation dinner+party all night long. Everyone was relieved until months later.
February was a fruitful month too, as I starred as Hermioni in the movie shooting for a short film entitled "Gary Potter and the Curse of the Black Apple" which was meant for a surprise at the company appreciation dinner. Now I really know how hard it is to become a movie star, IT'S NOT EASY AS WE THOUGHT! So please buy original or see original.
One of the days after a week, I rushed down to KL to get my US Visa done. After the 911 terrorist attack, US Visa application for an Islamic country resident is a nightmare I can tell you, especially for a first timer. But I still managed to get it stamped. Phew~~
End of February baby and I travelled to Northern Vietnam for a short vacation. I love short vacations to get myself rejuvenated. I'm the kind of chic who work smart play hard. More leisure better achievement. It's all the while my philosophy, and proven, because I only gained my Dean Lists if I spent a big portion of my revision week for leisure while doing the last minute revision. Strange huh...
We went to Hanoi, Sapa, and Halong Bay. That was the first time I laid down under the white Sakura tree (Penang has it too, but I missed). Spring is romantic, and dreamy. We met up with our Vietnamese friends and made new friends too.
March came with a task, as I need to fly alone to San Jose to help my counterparts with their improvement projects. Another "on-request" trip, but a very rushy one, else I would just spend another week to tour around San Francisco. I still miss California...although the 28 hours flight+transit was killing me.
One week later we gave away the big surprise by screening the short movie in the company appreciation dinner, I enjoyed seeing 1000+ people entertained.
April I went again to Singapore for business trip. Had a short gathering with KS. Missed him a lot since he was transferred to SG.
Then in May I was totally exhausted... The whole week before our QIC Regional Finals I slept only at 2 or 3am preparing for the presetation speech. We were representing our company and Malaysia, so no error was expected.
In my 25 years, that was the first time I had such a VIP treatment. Everything prepared was given first class. I spent 5 days in that ancient city where Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft character was brought alive. I had lots of fun in Siem Reap -- Ta Prohm, Bayon, and Tonle Sap.
Furthermore I tried the Dhatu Amazing Race, And explored Angkor Wat at night!
And with the trusts within each of us in the team, we made it again in the Regional Finals!! Next, to Marrakech in Morocco~ It's not about winning, but the honor we brought back. I know I made my family proud. Same to my baby. I still remember how shaky my hands were while typing the "WE WON!!" SMS after the announcement.
"London? Paris? Dubai?" We were busy discussing about the transit route to Marrakech after came back from Siem Reap. Finally decision obtained. One voice -- transit through London by A380. =D
That total of 36 hours transit from Penang-Singapore-London-Casablanca-Marrakech was nuts. But it took me to Tower Bridge, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square.
By the time we reach Marrakech it was already 1am. Freaking tired! But I had a lucky pick for the rooms, got upgraded to a suite!
Had my first camel ride in the palm groves of Morocco attending an exclusive Moroccan soiree, tasted a 70% alc. fruit wine brought from Poland, dancing Samba with the Brazilian babes, tried belly dancing with the Moroccan belly dancers, and toured around Marrakech. Witnessed a sand storm too!
Had kuz kuz and grilled meat everyday for continuous 6 days…. then back again to London. Thanks Tracy for helping me to get a guesthouse, else my pocket would be broken. After 2 years apart, we finally got the chance to gather in London! Great to witness the famous Changing of the Guards. Then I found out that London is such a heaven! I mean the gardens and parks, because I fell in love with Hyde Park. If I stay there I would definitely visit almost everyday after work.
Though we did not win in the World Finals, but.... baby gave me a surprise while I was still wandering in Marrakech after the competition. Birthday trip to Bali~
A dynamic year. Other than working (and finally graduated in my Six Sigma Green Belt) and interests (travelling and blogging), I indulged in travel planning too. Why not? I've been helping lots of our friends to grab nice ground arrangements around Southeast Asia at good bargain. I had fun planning for them and they had shocks looking at the great price! Secret agent....ssshhhhhhh. =P Besides that I gathered a group of travelholics to share their travel stories too, our travel blog which is meant for non-profit travel information sharing.
Had uni coursemates gathering in Genting, then a few trips to KL too. Started on food reviewing during every bi-weekly trip to Ipoh. If you only know about beansprout chicken or dimsum, then you must have missed out lots of good food in Ipoh. Of course, Penang food too.
I am proud being a Penangite, so I decided to spend more time in my hometown after the 7 months of flying here and there. I love visiting the heritage places around my hometown, trying different cuisine, lazing in my favorite cafes on Friday nights and eating ice cream.
Received lots of red bombs this year and next year, and 2 days back another 3 wedding invitations from my coursemates (rushing for wedding before 2012 I guess) for next year!! But what favored me the most is my best friend's wedding next year, because she's the only one in this world who would invite me to be the bridesmaid (seriously).
Now we need to cut down our travelling because more $$$$ needed to be spent for my little villa (I love to call it my holiday villa thought it's just a DST)... Lately I've been putting a lot of effort on the interior design and the concept at lowest cost possible. Many people told me that spending 100k and above only can give the superb effect but I don't believe it. So I'm challenging myself to break the 'rule'. Let's see...
If you asked me, what's coming up next, I would say I hope I can turn my interest into my job one day. Engineering babe is not easy, but part of me still enjoys the life as a so called professional babe. I hope I will achieve further next year, again show up on the international stage (mostly because I wanna go to Dublin for the finals...heheh). I'm glad that finally I can go travel with mom and grandma next year in April, visiting relatives while doing the shopping and eating in Hong Kong. Bangkok in March and Dublin in May (perhaps??), more surprises from baby (maybe, we're always flying on the last minutes), but I hope to go to China and Taiwan next year, seriously.
Get an MBA maybe? I have long wish list and yet to complete and cross out one by one. And the next thing I will do is start writing down the 100 things that I wish to achieve before I'm six feet under. Life is unpredictable isn't it, but at least I shall grab every chances living it out loud and exciting. Life's short, so live without regret~