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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Untitled

I open my eyes
I try to see but I’m blinded by the white light
I can’t remember how
I can’t remember why
I’m lying here tonight

And I can’t stand the pain
And I can’t make it go away
No I can’t stand the pain

How could this happen to me
I've made my mistakes
Got no where to run
The night goes on
As I’m fading away
I’m sick of this life
I just wanna scream
How could this happen to me

Everybody’s screaming
I try to make a sound but no one hears me
I’m slipping off the edge
I’m hanging by a thread
I wanna start this over again

So I try to hold onto a time when nothing mattered
And I can’t explain what happened
And I can’t erase the things that I’ve done
No I can’t

- Simple Plan

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Trip to Bangkok

It's my first journey to Bangkok, Thailand. This time I was sponsored by IBM to take a course on their storage products for a week.


July 23, 2006:
Got up at 3.45 AM. After ironing my shirts, took a bath and packing, I then went to the airport. I just realized that I haven't charged by camera's battery!! As I arrived at Soekarno-Hatta airport at 6 AM, I contacted Amex travel agent that would take care of my fiscal and ticket. I met Putu from Multipolar (IBM Business Partner), that like me, was also sponsored by IBM. I then went to money changer to get some bahts. And searched for cafe to recharge the battery. Yes, all was set then..

At 9.30 AM we arrived at Singapore International Airport, Changi, to transit for 45 minutes. I was then introduced to Pras from Binadata (IBM Business Partner also). I found out that I could send text message from my own mobile phone eventhough it's pre-paid, yay!!! I then used the free phone call available at the airport to call Imam Dermawan, our long lost friend. He didn't realize that it was me, he even used English language the first minute of my call. Hahaha...

Then I met the two peoples from IBM Indonesia, Shirley and Reki. There were 6 peoples from Indonesia, one is not with us since he took the different flight.

At 12.45 PM we arrived at Don Muang airport, Thailand. Because Pras had been here for a month, he knew that we should take public cab in front of the airport. It's a lot cheaper, only 360 bahts instead of 700 bahts offered by airport cab. The driver told us that he has taken a lot of tourists who were here just looking for girls. Did you know that you could get a Thai girl for 1,000 bahts (just around 250 USD).

We checked-in at the hotel (Sheraton) at 2.20 PM. Omg, the hotel even had adult paid-channel in the room TV!! At 4 PM, we took a walk from the hotel to the Silom street, one of the main road of Bangkok. Then Pras showed me a small road just the left of Silom street, the very famous road "Patpong". We didn't go there by the way hahaha... That day was the election day in Bangkok, so many stores were closed. We went to two malls in Silom street and bought our dinner because it's kind of hard to get halal food here.

At 6.30 PM we took a bus back to our hotel. In the room, I tried the coffee maker machine. I even had to ask Putu to guide me how to use it hehe...


July 24, 2006:
Got up at 7 AM. Took a shower, then went breakfast. Wow they served a huge cup for the tea. The registration for the class was at the conference room in the 3rd floor. One huge-and-looked-mean-like-a-man lady from IBM sarcastically sighed to the one registration lady for her slowness in registering everyone. She loudly said "I have class at 08.30. What's taking her so long?". Kyaaaaaaa scary.... Thanks god she's not the instructor for the class, she's taking care of the administration, correcting our exams etc. The class was opened by David Brown, the class manager. He explained that all of the instructors came from IBM experts in their field. He also explained that the class had a scoring system, that we will be graded everyday and there will be a final test at the end of the week. If we had any problem in scoring, he suggested that we should contact Amia, that scary lady from IBM!! God, I didn't even think to try correcting my exam even when she got my score wrong hahaha...

I chose my sit next to Shirley and Reki. They were busy discussing the IBM Storage products for the pre-test. Wow... they're very serious! The first day of the class opened with pre-test, and ended with a quiz. It's a long day! We finished the training at 6.20 PM. At 8 PM, Pras and I went to dinner near the hotel.


July 25, 2006:
It's supposed to be the second longest-day of the class. But all of instructor looks to have a very efficent use of time and in my opinion could be categorized in two:
- The best ones would try to explain in details the most important topics and just mention briefly the others
- The worst one (it's only one actually) would try to explain everything (even how to calculate the charts) in super lightning speed that you would barely notice his words hahaha...

So today at 5.15 PM we could finished the class. It's still early and we still have the time to try the hotel's free boat service to Saphan Taksin station. There it's connected to the sky train that would take us directly to Mah Boon Krong (MBK), a large mal here. Yaaaayy... I got my favorite Thailand movie "Fan Chan" here!!

At 9 PM, when we took a bus to go back to the hotel, we took the wrong direction. Luckily, the lady who collects the coin in the bus let us leave without paying hihi...


July 26, 2006:
Got up at 8.15 AM. Woaaaa I'm late!!! Arrived in the class at 08.45, the quiz had just started. Lucky for me that I was able to finish it in time. During break, I went down to have breakfast. There's a crisp bacon served in the table. I tried one, and it's good, but it's not something I have tasted before. Is it beef that used a special recipe or a pork??? We finished early today to give us time preparing the final exam for tomorrow.

All night I was in my room watching TV, read some materials, and went to sleep. I had dinner from instant noodle I bought yesterday. No.. it's not stale food mind you hahaha...


July 27, 2006:
Yay.. this time I'm not late... At 1 PM, we had lunch at a nice cafe in the second floor of the hotel. We were kind of paranoid that we thought that all kind of "reddish" meat must be pork, so Pras gave Putu his opening meal that turned out to be ordinary chicken hahaha... We finished at 4 PM, and got a break to had final exam at 4.30 PM. I borrowed USB card reader from Putu and went to my room to transfer all of the pictures from my camera, OMG it's already 200 MB of pictures hahaha..

At night, we went to Swan Lum. It's an outdoor eating place where we were surrounded by all kind of food shops with live band in front of us. I ordered fried chicken and tempura with sticky rice *yummmy*. The live band suddenly filled with Thai girls with minimum clothing. I noticed that the more she couldn't sing, the less cloth she wears, as to compensate for her lack of talent *hahaha*.

We're back to the hotel at 10 PM.


July 28, 2006:
Got up at 8 AM. Filled the bath tub with warm water and took a long nice bath. It's very refreshing!!! Then at 9 AM I went down having breakfast. Got to the class at 9.50 AM. Ttoday the class was started early at 8 AM so I kind of very very late haha, and it's already the anouncement for the most improved student. One minute later the "IBM Top Gun" awarded to the top 10% of the class and my name was in it! Had I late for another 5 minutes I would've missed my picture on IBM Top Gun website haha..

Then at 10.30 AM all six of us went the boat tour along the Bangkok river and after 1.5 hour dropped us near the Grand Palace. Wow.. The Grand Palace is huge with several awesome buildings inside. We're going to the main temple which contains several statues of Budha meditating, all in pure gold and diamonds. Although a lot of people were there, it's very silent inside. Although I'm not Buddhist, I could very much appreciate and admire their quest in finding enlightment. Even Putu who is Hindu went to the first row to pray haha..

We went back by public boat. It's taking us directly to the hotel. After taking the nap for a while, Pras and I went to MBK again at 8 PM to eat KFC *can't help it hehe*. We're taking public bus that went straight in front of our hotel. It's good if you know what bus number to take because you don't have to speak your destination. If you're using taxi or other kind of transportation, you better write down the place you want to visit in Thai letters! Not many Thai know how to read alphabetic and even less know how to speak English! Even if you say its Thai name for a place, they may not understand it because of the difference in dialect.


July 29, 2006:
We went to the airport at 10 AM. Our flight was at 1.45 PM. So we spent our time waiting in the boarding room watching planes taking off. After 1 hour transit in Singapore, finally we arrived in Indonesia at 7 PM. It's quite exhausted the training and all, but overall it was a nice trip! :)


URLs:
- http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/eserver/education/topgun/2006topguns/0706stor1.html