The Personal Blog of Benny Ong – bennyong.com » General
Chinese New Year reunion suddenly played a more significant role in my life. I use to believe that the cultural festival has lost its touch in my life when I was studying abroad. What use to be a week where I look forward to Red Packets stuffed with money (Ang Pows) and fireworks (which is banned in Malaysia now) during my schooling days meant more to me now. I use to dread to meet my uncle and aunts that would compare my cousin’s achievements with mine and question me about when I am going to get married.
The celebration this year meant even more with my Grandma’s 80th Birthday. We tried to get everyone to dress in RED for the dinner at Sea View Restaurant but somehow the message did not go across as planned. However, the dinner went on pretty well over three tables and entertainment by live performers singing famous Chinese New Year tracks.
Some Other Family Members
The biggest achievement of the night was getting everyone for a picture which is very rare in our case. Although we do occasionally meet up with some, it is very rare that a majority of us turn of for gatherings as such. Hopefully this will last for many years to come and this becomes a lifelong commitment.
The Whole Bunch
That’s all the report from Batu Pahat, Johor. Till next time, take care.
I am now awaiting my connecting flight to Malaysia via Amsterdam Schipol Airport. I do not know what to expect as the flight is a Malaysia Airlines code share with KLM. I flew KLM a few occasions when I was younger and for this trip to Moscow but it was never a long haul one. Well, I saw pictures in their in flight magazine earlier and hopefully I am not too disappointed with the in flight entertainment. Fingers cross for it to be on demand.
I am particularly excited this time to go home as I will be arriving on the first day of Chinese New Year and my family will be there to pick me up from the airport. I have already bought some candies which are nothing too special for my little cousins that I will be meeting back in Batu Pahat.
Earlier today in the Russian airport, I broke a bottle of Vodka belonging to my colleague which I really felt bad about. It was too late to get a replacement bottle because we were already about to board. Oh well, I just need to live with it.
Did I mention that an immigration officer approached me and my colleague to check our passports when we were queuing for our boarding pass? I believe it is an obvious reason why we are targets as Asians tend to stand out amongst a crowd of native Europeans. After seeing that all of our documents are valid, she told us to follow her. In my mind I was prepared for being questioning. She was carrying my documents in her hands and told my colleague to stand a distance away from me. Two further officers approach with a camera on their hands and the officer told me that they are going to take my picture. I immediately looked a bit puzzled and she proceeded to say don’t worry.
Using broken English and pointing at the signs which bare some English instructions on how to fill up the immigration card, I totally understood that I was suppose to pose as a tourist being helped by the immigration officer. That was most certainly a sign of relief.
Besides that, here is just a quick word or two about Amsterdam’s one terminal concept airport. It boasts of having the first ever museum in an airport (a Gallery in my own judgment) and a casino. I have been here about two years ago during my trip to Amsterdam but never had so many hours to walk around.
Back to this point of time, the crowd in front of the boarding gate is growing and the display board on top of the entrance of the gates keeps taking turns flashing the destination name as Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Just overhead the person sitting next to my bench saying that the flight is full. A bit uncomfortable now as I hate crowds and crying babies on planes. I better stop visualizing and worry less now as it is not helping.
Well, that’s all for me now… till my next update. Take care.
Red Square Next To The Kremlin
Frozen River In Front Of The Kremlin
St Basil’s Cathedral
Here I am sitting in the desk awaiting a Russian colleague that I am supposed to have a 2 hour session with. I am not totally angered or anything because I am confident that he has some necessary valid issues and other priorities to sort out. I woke up this morning once again welcomed by the never ending snow of Moscow weather which tucked me into bed as well.
It has become routine to get prepared by 7.30 a.m. and go down to the restaurant for breakfast. Well, I have two options really; I can dine for free at the executive floor which has a limited selection of so called continental breakfast or head on down to the restaurant. I tried to get a good mix of both with each on alternate days.
The shuttle will then be ready to pick us up at 9.00 to go to the office at Krylatsky Hills where BAT Russia’s main office is located at the blocked called not surprisingly flame. The other blocks are named after the elements as well, Air, Earth and Water. BAT Russia occupies 3 of upper floors of the sixth floor building. Other major companies with their presence are IBM and Intel.
Well, I better get back to work before I get carried away on this. I will be posting some back logged posts with some pictures and I believe a video as well.
Until my next post, take care.
St Basil’s Cathedral
With Zsolts In Front of Godunov Restaurant
With Some Guys in Godunov Restaurant
BAT Russia Office
BAT Russia Office
Just a quick update of my well being. I have arrived safely in Moscow.
To sum up the condition at the moment, it is freaking cold.
Still haven’t got a chance to go sight seeing. Will try to catch up on that.
Benny Ong XXX
It is almost 9.00 p.m. now and once again I find myself in KLIA accessing the internet using the free Wifi available to update my blog (more of a photo blog I would say) which I have recently neglected a lot.
I am on my way to Moscow, Russia for work purposes which I have fixed feelings about. Don’t get me wrong but I am damn excited but the weather is a major turn off. I spend the early part of the day trying to hold of a winter scarf, ski cap and leather gloves which surprisingly was not available in KLCC yesterday. I got it at Winter Time in 1 Utama after a recommendation from Song Yia.
I am glad that I have got those gears because I do not want to get frostbites from my first trip to Russia. Some places besides the office that I want to visit are St Basil’s Cathedral and Kremlin’s Square. I do not know much about Russian History but I have printed some reading material about those two major tourist spots in Moscow which will be handy for the long flight.
It would certainly be a shame if I did not get snapshots of those places.
Well, I better get back to some work.
I will most probably be updating my blog while I am there so do stick around for more k…
At Taman Tasik Titiwangsa for the fireworks
With the guys at Velvet with a RM10 Carrefour Collar Shirt
Jin Siang, Me + Fui Cheng in Velvet
Since Thaipusam is a public holiday, I joined some buddies at work on an excavation at Kuala Selangor which included a meal at New Beggars Delicious Restaurant at Ijok, Bukit Malawati and Kampung Kuantan for the fireflies.
The day started out with a drive to Kuala Selangor on the winding roads which I find quite relaxing as it takes me out of the city.
I won’t blog much about the food at the restaurant in Ijok as you may read about it at his blog. Stay tune for pictures as I am awaiting for them.
New Beggars Restaurant @ Ijok
As for Bukit Malawati, it is about half an hours drive from Ijok where we took a ride up the hill for RM2 which lead us to quite a stunning view. Here are some of the pics that I manage to take on top of the hill.
The Best Spot For A View @ Bukit Malawati
The Lighthouse on Bukit Malawati
Batu Hampar @ Bukit Malawati
Group Picture On The Peak
The Jetty @ Kampung Kuantan
As a summary, it was a day well spent. Will update more pictures and musings soon.
Benny Ong XXX