[Written on May 30, 2007]
As I type this, I realize that my typing speed has deteriorated significantly. I did expect that. I’ve been away from computer & the world of Internet since many days. For those who care about my whereabouts, sorry for not being in touch. Since last couple of days, I’ve been touring three different countries – Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore.
This is my first foreign trip. Well, I’ve been out of India before; to Nepal, but I won’t count it as a foreign trip for obvious reasons. I’ve mixed feelings while writing this text. I’m not sure if I’m happy. Neither I know if I’m sad or indifferent. Actually, I’m everything. I’m happy because I saw the Petronas Twin Towers of Malaysia. I’m sad because we don’t have anything like that in India. I’m indifferent because I think we can do wonders in India but we are not bothered about it. You understood my point, I know.
All of us (I’m traveling with a group) had hell lot of fun in Pattaya (Thailand). The best part of the journey in Thailand was the Bangkok International Airport, amazing beaches, parasailing & the underwater walk. I had never imagined that I’d walk under the sea among the fishes. It was an amazing experience. I want each one of you to try the underwater walk at least once in lifetime. Bangkok is clean & beautiful. I just wonder why can’t we have similar levels of cleanliness in India. The Alcazar show was good. I give them an ‘A’ (I hope you got me) for the clothes they wear; although I did not enjoy the show much. The Safari World is a nice place to visit. I enjoyed the Dolphin show & the Orang Outang show. I realized that I’m the best photographer among the people in our group – its all about the settings that you choose in your camera for a particular shot. More about it, later. Of yeh, I did click lot of pictures of Thai kids – they are damn cute.
Malaysia is as clean as the water here. I’ve been drinking tap water since last two days. They have a beautiful Airport, lots of Palm trees, world’s fastest cable car, the Genting Highland, the Petronas twin towers – among the other fascinating things. I spent 1.5 hours last night looking at the Petronas twin towers last night from the hotel room. I bet Petronas towers look the best at night. The night view of the city is just fantastic. Actually, I don’t have words to describe the actual feeling. We bought chocolates worth 3000 bucks. I’ll return to India with a big box full of Malaysian chocolates for friends & relatives. I’m the ‘tech support guy’ for the group. I’ve been clicking photographs, adjusting settings, backing up photos on my laptop, explaining ‘how to make calls to India from out of India using calling card purchased in India’. That’s because I’m an Engineer & employed with an IT firm. Everyone here thinks I’m kinda a ‘techie guy’. Anyway. I observed that people are crazy for shopping. People in our group buy something and then spend entire day calculating the equivalent price in Indian rupees. That’s not a good thing to do, in my opinion.
One of the best things I’ve noted in these countries is this – every job is respected. The bus driver is called either Captain (in Thailand) or Pilot (in Malaysia). Their job is very much respected. In India, we don’t even care if the bus has a driver as long as it runs on the road. I hate to compare, but I really can’t help it. Our tour guide in Genting Highland was ex-vice president of a big bank in Malaysia (can’t disclose the name). She resigned her high paying job and became a full time tour guide. Our current tour guide is an ex- HR head of Malaysian university. Their job is respected as well. Moreover, I observed that in both the countries, most of the women have a job. You can see them working in big shopping malls or even on the building construction sites. I think we Indians have something to learn from them.
Both Thailand & Malaysia are clean & green. I’d love to see the same in India. I’ll list out few points about the same in my next post (maybe). Tomorrow, we’ll leave for Singapore. I’ll append the observations in Singapore in this post later. Have Fun!
…to be continued!
[Written on 2nd June, 2007, Time: Morning 1 am]
It is a nice feeling to have you stare at this page. Yesterday was the last day of our tour. In next few hours, I will be flying back to India. Yesterday was full of fun & enjoyment. The Santosa Island is a nice place to visit. The 4D show was amazing! Well, I actually got scared a bit when the bees flew out of the screen! The sound effects were superb! If you ever visit Santosa Island, do not miss the 4D show. You will love when they make you feel that the crabs are actually touching your legs. It is just amazing. It is something I would call – crazy engineering!
The fish-world was good, but I did not enjoy it much. Our group members spotted Arbaz Khan & Malaika Arora (Indian Actors) in the crowd. I didnâ€™t care a damn about it. But later in the day, I waved at Mr. Adesh Bandekar (famous TV actor) & he responded with a smile and a wave. Thatâ€™s it.
The tour concluded with the show called â€˜Songs of the Seaâ€™. Now, I thought the show would be boring. But I was wrong. Government of Singapore has spent 20 million SGD for this show! The show is just fantabulous! Itâ€™s about lasers, fountains, fireworks, music & performance. The show must have been designed & created by craziest engineers in the world.
While returning, our tour manager (he hates to be called â€˜tour guideâ€™) spoke for about 10 minutes & recited all the 10 days we spent together. Everyone had fun. Everyone was completely cut-off from the 10-5 world.
We shopped at the â€˜Mustafaâ€™. The PS3 is available here at almost half the price they sell it in India. Surprisingly, the SD cards, blank CDs are costly. I ended up buying a R/C toy glider for myself & an iPod like thing (itâ€™s better than iPod) for my sister. Well, I also bought a leather wallet for myself, but that was when I was in Bangkok.
That is all I have for now. Keep visiting; you will find something good in this place.
Hasta La Vista
-The Big K-