Labuan Bloglogs #3: No Doggies

I just realized that there are NO dogs in Labuan...not even stray ones. Blimey. I mean, yes, Labuan is predominantly a Malay area, but there are big pockets of Chinese communities living here. And yet, no dogs. Wow. This is good and bad thing for me: Good - no rabid stray dogs chewing on me arse when i go out to buy papers. Bad - I got no one to throw stones at. OK!!! I wasn't serious about that. Well, the bad about it I guess it makes this place feel less of home. Shit, I'm home sick already. OH WAIT, I can't be home sick 'cause I'm still living in a damn HOTEL here and I got no home to go to. Note to myself: FIND A BLARDY PLACE TO BUM IMMEDIATELY. Until then...

Labuan Bloglogs #2: The Horror

It's been a few days already at my new office, and i'm already suffering from culture shock. No, it's not because everyone here acts and speaks funny, it's just that everyone here dresses funny. Everyone here DO NOT put on ties or formal wear, everyones wears and walks around like THIS:

GOOD GOD IN HEAVEN, WHYYYY??!!! By the way, that's not me you see in the above photo there. Yes, it does make me look like a super-pro engineer, but c'mon, even in my office I have to wear THAT??!! What, just in case all the engineers die from a freak accident and WE have to step in and safe the oil rigs??!! Screw that, i'm not even on an oil rig!!! I'll burn them down into the sea haha. But, what to do, if everyone wears them, I got too as well. As they say, when in Rome, be a Roman. So after wearing that for a week already, i'm officially a 'Schlumbergerian'....

Labuan Bloglogs #1: The Borneo Beginnings

I’ve finally arrived in Labuan, Sabah for my new job at ‘Schlumberger’. My flight was 9am this morning with my parents and SL seeing me off at KLIA. Leaving KL for a little place like Labuan was quite difficult because, well obviously KL is much bigger city, but most hard to leave behind was my friends, parents, and of course SL. Leaving behind my city lifestyle was hard too, as there will be no more fancy cafes, comfy cinemas or rockin’ clubs. There’s just better fishes in Labuan. That’s about it. Well, it was a risk I wanted to take because firstly, why not? I’m still young with no big commitments and if I don’t jump companies now, I may never get the chance later in my life. Secondly of course ‘Schlumberger’ gave me a good offer too hard to refuse so I had to take the chance. I’ll see how things go for a few months at least and then I’ll decide what happens. Maybe Labuan is indeed too boring for me to handle, and WOOOOSSSH I’ll be back in KL, I promised myself that, hehe.

Anyway, for my first day at Labuan, there wasn’t much for me to do at the office as my laptop, handphone and all that is not yet ready for me. Hence, I can’ t do jack shit. So, after a seafood lunch with my new boss and the HR manager, I left for my hotel. The hotel they gave me was nice, much better than I expected ‘cause the room they gave me was a family sized room with a double bed and another single bed. Shit, I should have brought over my family as well!! THEY SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME!!! Anyway, took a quick nap and then dipped myself in the hotel’s cool swimming pool. I noticed that there isn’t many people around the hotel. Pretty scary. Maybe they are all working? HHmmmm.

Went downtown for dinner and with no proper transport except for a Taxi and no knowledge of downtown at all, I opted for a safe option for dinner and had KFC. YUMMY!!! Frankly, I didn’t find any difference with the taste as I tried the original recipe as well as the hot & spicy. Or maybe I was too hungry to notice any. But I did notice that they offered RICE along with your usual fried chickens, so I found that was a bit funny. Bali offered rice with KFC too, you know.

After that, I can’t find anything else to do as the shops here closes at 9PM!!! Can’t blame them as there isn’t many people in Labuan that fancies shopping complexes I guess. Or maybe because it is a Monday and everyone is all at home. It’s so empty here, it gets a little freaky and scary. Where the heck are all the people??!!

And this is why I am writing this blog because frankly, I got nothing to do. Luckily I brought over my PS2 ;) and as I settled down with Astro, broadband and everything else up and running later, I think my life SHOULD bear some kind of resemblance to a life much more ordinary in Labuan.

Tomorrow begins another new day at my new surroundings, so let’s just see what things are in store for me. Until then…

Farewell & Goodbye, Sony...

Weekend of 2nd & 3rd February

Friday, 1st February 2008.

The highlight of this weekend was definitely my departure from my current company Sony, and I will be joining Schlumberger at the end of next month. Better pay, better position, better benefits, with new laptop, new hand-phone and free phone-line, so why not? My dear Sony colleagues organized a farewell lunch for me and gave me a Sony bag too, so I guess have to say a BIG THANK YOU for being my colleagues and most importantly my friends at Sony!!!!

To return the favor, I bought them a whole cake from 'Secret Recipe' and shared with them. 'Apple Crumble Cheese Cake' was the flavour and I guess buying them a cake was the least I could do. I hope it was enough!!



I’ll post some photos of the lunch soon, as I seriously got no time now as I’ll be ‘balik kampung’ very soon and will be there for a week!!! So, no time for blogging as I’ll be too busy visiting relatives, eating, taking ‘ang pow’ and of course, ‘mahjong’!!!! WISH ME LUCK FOR THIS YEAR YEAHH!!!!

Sunday, 3rd February 2008.

Went to the ‘KL Word 5’s’ at Stadium Negara, it is a ‘futsal’ tournament (i.e. in door football with 5 a-side teams fighting against each other with quite similar rules to football), and watched Argentina Vs. Brazil. This is the closest that I ever got to see these 2 football giants fight against each other, so I was so happy I was there. I was hoping it will be a close match, but Brazil being Brazil, they trashed Argentina 4-0 instead. These guys are really born with balls at their feet, man. How else can you explain their dominance in football? But it was enjoyable anyway, with superb football skills on show and the crowd was brilliant as well. No regrets!!! It cost be RM15 but really, I think it was worth it 'cause to see the skills in person is so much different to watching it on TV. Again, no regrets!!!

Brazil's devastating movements made the difference: Brazil 4 - Argentina 0

Review: Eastern Promises

I honestly have to say that when an opportunity presented itself for me to watch 'Eastern Promises', I had a sense of dread creeping through my mind. It is not because I dislike drama films, heck no, far from it. The problem was that this film is a David Cronenberg film. Yes, David at one point was a master that brought us movies that was fresh, thought-provoking and saw things from a different perspective. Movies like ‘A History of Violence’, ‘Spider’ and the excellent ‘eXistenZ’ was the brilliant streak Cronenberg created that mesmerized the film world with its brain teasing plots, odd storylines and richness in meaning underneath the stories that his movies provided. But considering what David had to play with in ‘Eastern Promises’, I feared for the worst. And sad to say, my fears were realized.

In short, the story involves Anna Khitrova (Naomi Watts), who finds a foreign language diary by the bedside of a teen that died while giving birth. Eager to return the new-born baby back to the family owning it, she leaves for the address that was attached to a card found inside the diary, and her good-will decision leads her into an unavoidable entanglement with the violent world of the Russian Mafia.

I will not describe in detail about the plot, because I honestly lost track of it mid-way through the first 10 minutes. It is not because it was boring, but it was because the foreign accents was so thick, I wish I had the luxury of a DVD remote control in the cinema hall to turn on the sub titles. The translation provided by the movie (Chinese and BM) did not help either as I bet the translators was as confused as I am. From whatever plot that I can gather, I still had no clear clue as to why the Russian mob so desperately wants the baby and no clear indication on why the people in this film did the things they did. Some might think this is intriguing, but even when the movie was over, there was no clear explanation to any of the things that had occurred. Blimey. But on the bright side, all this did however shed light and insight into the illegal workings of the Russian mob underground, which was interesting, if not disturbing.

But the quality to look-out for is definitely Viggo Mortensen, playing the character of a driver for one of the mob leaders. His cool and collected demeanor throughout the film is relishing, and his work definitely deserved the ‘Best Actor’ nomination that was bestowed to him from the Academy Awards. But it must be said that other actors in the film, such as Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Naomi Watts was commendable in their roles too and the director did a stupendous job in providing an overall quality of acting that have heightened the value of this film to another level.

I guess the excellent form of David Cronenberg will diminish at some point in time and I am afraid the form had halted right here. Yes, he did provide us with excellent acting from his palette of talented actors in this film, but overall, his usual flair and magnetism from his usual works is lacking in obvious quantities in ‘Eastern Promises’. But sometimes one bad apple does not make the whole bunch rotten, so I bet David will return in full force in the future, he can and he will, and that is a promise.

Verdict: 5 / 10

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

From the Corner - A Musical Companion

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