Monday, July 19, 2010

Covered 1800km in less than 4 days!

The last weekend travel on the road has been one heluva "exciting" one as I traveled more than 1500km alone! hahaha... let's try this:

16 July 2010 1.30am : KL to Ipoh (200km),... slept for.. wait. I didn's sleep.. cos I was afraid if this big fat hog slept, he wouldnt be able to get up! haha. So, i FB-ed and blogged I think... :P

16 July 2010 7.00am: Ipoh to Penang (150km) Luckily Chee Keat was kind enough to drive me to Penang and back... cause I was practically dead...! Him Keat worked part-time the day before for one of our events, and he followed us back too! 

16 July 2010 9.00am: Arrived in Penang, makan breakfast with my client and discussed some events.
16 July 2010 11.30am: Penang-Ipoh (150km), CK drove me back to Ipoh... Attended the Lions Cabinet Retreat...After the official stuff ended, we went for a fellowship makan2 session with all the Cabinet officers @ the Nga Choy Kai area...
District Governor Hudson Hah addressing the Cabinet

17 July 2010 8.00am (Ipoh-KL 200km) - Went to the APMB for a while before returning to KL to attend my Granny's birthday. Aunty Pak Bee and family from Scotland came back all the way .. I had to skip the Inauguration Dinner of District Governor Hudson Hah...
17 July 2010 8.30pm (KL-Ipoh 200km) - Left the dinner earlier and arrived back at Ipoh.. thank god I had Hui Jing to drive me... cos, I drove for 10 mins and almost fall asleep at the Simpang Pulai rest area. hahaha
18 July 2010 8.30 am (Ipoh) - Lions Cabinet meeting, (1.30pm) Leo RCC Meeting (4.30pm) Went back to my Ipoh House to bathe and relax... (8.00pm Ipoh-KL 200km) And the journey took agesssss!!!!!!! Reached (finally) at about 11.30pm as I stopped a few times to take power naps! That's what I really wanna call it! hahaha. Played flashcards with Baby V for a little while before getting ready for next journey!!!!!

Fuyohhh.. got Certificate of Appointment! :P

19 July 2010 12.30am (KL-Batu Pahat 300km) Victor just finished his graduation ceremony and we ding-donged here and there and finally managed to move! Picked up barang2 at my office and arrived at the Seremban rest area where Victor woke me up and said he beh tahan liao! hahaha... I drove and stopped at the rest area before Ayer Keroh/Melaka... More power naps... this was about 3.30am! Then... I tiba-tiba woke up at 5.05am.. realizing that oh no...! We're so late!... Started driving and the next stop was the Ayer Keroh Jejantas Rest area there where I couldn't take it no more... and parked... put up my legs and reclined the seats... (and SMS Theresa that we won't be able to make it) and slept allllll the way till about 9am++! Hahaha.

19 july 2010 11.30am Arrived at Batu Pahat and rushed to BP High School! Our event haven't ended (phewwww)! One of the many long term commitments of IMNC Lions Club towards the National Kidney Foundation was our Mega scale project, "Save Your Kidneys"!
This is where IMNC absorbs all costs to travel to 100 schools nationwide to give talks as well as conduct exhibitions at selected schools about the dangers of Kidney diseases and kidney failure. I was supposed to introduce Azizi Zakaria, Teen Ambassador of the National Kidney Foundation at the assembly before his talk. However, as I was overly exhausted, I could only apologize and excuse myself for that intro bit and just attend the exhibition. According to the IMNC team, the talk went pretty well! :)

Leo Club of Batu Pahat High School members who were also at the exhibition! I remembered this bunch of highly energetic youths from the June Leo Forum in Ipoh. Their spirit and energy amaze me always!
19 July 2010 3++pm - (Batu Pahat to Johor Bahru 200km?) I cant tahan adi.. luckily Victor was around hence he drove! hahaha. The girls left for JB earlier as I had a short meeting in BP Mall first. Now I'm lying down in bed updating this blog at 2.00am cause tmrw  (20 July) I have a meeting with my clients at 10.30am and Alvin's picking me up (yeyy.. I dont have to drive.. wahhhahahah)! Thereafter, enroute back to KL, we have to drop by at Muar for another meeting at 2.00pm... then, Muar-KL (250km??) and dinner appointment with clients and Simon.....

20 July 2010 - Please do not call me bfore 1pm! Even if there is volcanic eruption at One Utama for that matter.....

-Alan Thoo-

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Trip Down South... Johor

I landed from Brisbane with Simon at KLIA at approximately 5.50am on the 3nd of July... And to be honest with you.. it wasnt too much a smooth ride... air pockets... bad weather... I beh tahan... (can't stand) it.. and the entertainment system of MAS went kuku-fied! Grrrrrrrghhhh!!! For half of the journey, I depended on my Mac and iPad to keep myself entertained... Sleep? nahhhh! No way! 

Throughout the entire journey didn't manage to get any shut eyes! Sighhhhh.... And the moment I landed, again.. the infamous Alan Thoo's 3R concept....~ RUSH!!! RUSH!!! RUSH!!!!!!!!


I was expected to be in Kangar Perlis for my event.. which was the Fiesta Bersama DiGi Perlis... a mini carnival with  staging featuring Diddy Hirdy, Zenny, Azizi, Asyraf, Ben, Aesar Mustafa and BBoys....! I rushed to the taxi stand, got a cab.. and rushed to the Subang Airport!!!! Wa lao... The best thing was... I needed to board the 8.30am flight on Firefly to Alor Star....  Air Asia was full... MAS only had afternoon flights. grrrr... Oh well.. guess what! I made it! The event went well... I flew back to KL on Monday morning... really thrilled to see ah boy.. and Cheryl's so good.. she has trained Baby V to learn to recognize a few words on the flash cards! hehehe.. check this out!

Then... on Wednesday... I had to leave again. Sighhhhh.... Hurts me lots whenever I have to travel out of state, away from my son.... aihhhhh....But work's work... I had to leave for JB to give talks to a few schools in the area on the IMNC's long term commitment to the National Kidney Foundation in creating awareness on kidney disease....!
My duty was to touch on personal experiences and some generic facts on the importance of keeping our lifestyle healthy and to avoid kidney failure! I enjoy doing the talk because this is really something good for me, my work as well as the students!

Well... moving around in JB is kind'a fund cause SALE is on!!!! However, I am very TL because the entire Tebrau City, not even one retailer is an authorized Apple dealer.. I forgot to bring along my iPhone connector... grrRRrrRR.. no sync-ing... and charging! Aih...

Marcus and gang joined me after work and we decided to watch the worsttttt ever franchise of Predators ever....! The storyline sucked big time by the way.. wait.. WHAT storyline... and even the effects was so B Grade no to mention B Grade actors with the twist at the end making no sense and no relevancy at all to the entire plot... sigh... And we tot AVP2 was horrendously bad. ANyways,, if you have eaten at Food & Tea before... oh well.. then nevermind. But, if you haven't .. then DON'T order the "SEAFOOD SAUCE with MAN THAU"..... the seafood sauce is actually some sadly pealed off crab meat (nothing like the menu of course!) and the sauce??? Well ~ how about mixing chilly sauce and tomato sauce and then put a bit of hot water and kacau-kacau? CRAPPPPYYYY!!!!!!!
Oh... don't even order the Wu Thau Kou .. Yam Cake.. which looked pretty nice on the menu (SLR ran out of battery... sorry)... but it turned out to be the lunch for Predators or Aliens.. Look at how ugly looking this piece of Yam Cake is!!! Urgkkkk.. Being so close to Singapore, I had to be a little Kiasu and taste a little bit... and the taste? Waitaminute.. WHAT TASTE???!!

Oh well..... Am at Danga City Mall now... whole PC Fair JB at Persada didnt sell the connectors too... but luckily.. miraculously... Danga City Mall has an IT Center... and MIRACULOUSLY... there's an Apple Authorized Reseller!!!! Wooo Hooooo!!!!!

Gotta Go liao... Heading to makan at Johor Jaya.. the Thin Kai Porridge and Drunken Prawns are calling my name!!!! :P


~Alan Thoo~

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sydney - Melbourne - Gold Coast in 5 days...

I just don't get it,.. whenever Simon and I travel... it'll have to be a 3R thing... Nope, nothing to do with anything Eco here.. it'll have to be RUSH RUSH and more RUSH!!!! Yea....! I was given the opportunity to speak at the "Youth Services Increases Membership" segment of the Lions International Convention in Sydney, Australia on the 1st of July 2010... and I obviously needed a cameraman right? (hahaha)... so I asked Simon.. my best friend, buddy & mate (sounds wrong in other parts of the world, but in Aussieland, it's fine!) to come along! The convention started on 28th of June, so we flew in to Sydney on the night of the 27th... even then.. I was in a rush as I had an event going on in Penang on the 27th! I flew from Penang to KL and met up with Simon at KLIA.. and then rushed in to check in for our KL-Sydney sector....

We had Malaysiam Satay and salmon salad??? for entree...

And for the mains I chose the Sambal prawn and Simon chose the Paprik Chicken....

Here's what they served us on board... I think this was the first time I flew on the Boeing777... Not sure bout the last trip to Sydney with Cheryl.. we flew SIA then.. but anywayz.. ths time we were on the upper deck and it was awesome as we got the front seats..

Dang.. Simon got a shot of me sleeping
(& most likely snoring!!! hahahaha)
Day 1: Sydney
We got out of the airport within 30 mins... cause we had the express passes and don't really need to queue... (woo hoo...)... took our rented car.. and drove off to check into our hotels.... Then, we got ready for the Registration at the Lions Convention at Sydney Convention Center at Darling Harbour!

The set up of the convention exhibition was just amazing! The branding was superb!!!!
I believe our District should learn to follow these guidelines and footsteps.
Branding enhances presence.. Presence instills Existence... Existence preserves Strength... Strength ensures Success....!

We met up with PCC Patrick Chew...

Also met VDG Dr Ben and Big momma (now she calls Simon and I her sons...hahaha) DC Sashekala! I was inspired by Dr Ben's speech about being a Leo some years back....! Love his humour and jokes too!!!! Lion Sashe has been an inspiration too... She has been the DC for Leo Clubs for her district for a few years now... There must be a strong reason why Big Momma is reappointed by almost every District Governor in the last couple of years... and I believe it's because of her strong leadership and management skills... ! A lot to learn from her! :)

At about 4-5pm.. we decided to leave the convention hall to look for lunch!!! OMG.. we just realized then we belum makan lagi (haven't taken our lunch in Malay Language)... So, we went roaming around the famous Darling Harbour for food! What amazed me was the branding of the Lions Convention all over Darling Harbour....! This was just awesome! Then, we took a slow drive around the city and ended up at Kirribili and Blue's Point for an excellent view....

Money cant buy view....!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge at night .... The Aussies really know how to play with lights and create that perfect beautiful photo op....!

Day 2: Sydney
On the second day.. Simon woke up as early as 6 in the morning and went fort skydiving!!! no Kidding! He asked me to join him but I think the thought of it alone... sends shivers down my spine! hahaha....

Here's a video of his skydiving experience.. am sorry, I think you have to be my "friend" on Facebook before you are able to view this I think.... :P

Then.. we attended the International Lions Parade... I was really proud to be a part of the Lions Clubs cause seeing the number of International Lions gathered at Hyde Park alone was just remarkably awesomeeeeee!!!!!!!!

The entire MD308 marched together.. this would be Lions from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

The sad part was that we came so unprepared...! no kidding. Our banner was extremely cheapo looking.. Had I know there was something like this, I would have sponsored a miserable tarpauline printed banner or silky-ish ones... The banner was the fabric made ones and the words were painted ones... yeaaa... probably RM1 per square feet! Sighhh.. And a lot of countries took the effort to put on their traditional attire.. and some their national attire... and we were given a Burberry looking scarf... a Mexican Lion and a Korean Lion actually asked me if the scarf is our national icon.. and I was just speechless and said.. Erm.. Nahhh...Perhaps... next year's convention in Seattle, WA, USA... I would do something ... as there was no branding at all for us! Sighhh.....

From left Me.. DC Sashekala, DG Dato Yeow and wife...
From Right, DG Hudson Hah and wife, Nelly

Two of my most respected Mummies... Lion Sashekala and Lion Shirley Koh!

A short video of the parade taking place....!

I also managed to catch up with Shaw Jhee.. Leo member from Penang City (O), who is now forming an Omega Leo Club in the University of Melbourne!!! Gudonya matey! (Good on you, mate - means "You Rock..." in Aussie accent/Jargon!)
After the parade, DG Hudson Hah shouted lunch (Aussie/Brit jargon for buying lunch)! PCC Jeffrey Quah took the time to arrange for us... We had... ahem ahem.. Malaysian Food! Wowwww! But in fairness, it was quote nice.. Don't expect the authentic Malaysian spices though.. but for Australia.. that restaurant already obtained an A for Malaysian Chinese Cuisine! :)

This was our rented car.. the 2.0 Turbo Mini Coupe Convertible... hehehe...

Day 3: Melbourne
Simon and I flew to Melbourne for a day trip... Mainly I wanted to present the Top Director Award to Eric Teh in person. He has been doing a great job throughout this fiscal year and he certainly deserves this special treatment! :)

Eric was also the person behind the FB and Leo Forum Blog too!
Another Leo from PJI (O), Jason... also came along too... He is studying in Adelaide, South Australia (Another state)... and was visiting Eric at that time. We toured the city.. and also went to the Tim Burton Exhibition at the Federation Square at downtown Melbourne... And yess.. that weird looking Megatron-ish building (they call art) houses loads of exhibition and "weird" stuff... and in the eyes of quite a few... artistic touch! Ya ya ya.. sorry, Don't have that third eye for this sort'a thing. Call it Unique then.... Allllllll I can say is that... Melbourne is like.. trying so hard to outbeat Sydney... oh well... nice try... but try harder then! :P

Tim Burton's art.. realllllly unique and different...

Day 4: Back to Sydney
This is the day I give the talk.. a little nervous.. and there's this little butterfly flying in my tummy all morning... Cos I have spoken for many occasions, and this would be my first on the international level with so many PDGs... PCCs.. ABCDEFGs at the venue.. hmmmmm... But before that, Simon and I had breakfast with my mummy dearest... Lion Shirley Koh....

We had to return the Mini before flying to melbourne.. and we decided to take the C200 cos our luggage wont fit if we re-rent the mini....The car is awesome.. hmmm thinking thinking... hahahaha...Anyway, the dim sum was superbly awesssomeeee!!!! The size of the Siu Mai and Har Gau... was tremendously large!!! hhehehe....Then we dropped her off at the airport and headed to the Convention center....

My talk was part of the Youth Service Projects Can Attract New Members segment. There were 6 Speakers in total... 4 from Australia of whom one is the MD Leo Chairperson Lion Martin Peebles, who touched on Leo activities in Australia. 1 more is from the USA, Lion Dana, who spoke about Diebetis Projects... My topic was Making a Difference.. where I touched on the Eco Projects that we have done throughout our last fiscal year. I started out with a joke giving them a tune that i wrote for Sydney....
"Sydney a real 'Fine' City... We Have to pay all the time.. There goes all my money...."

Well, the audience responded well to my witty jokes and I was pleased to share with them on our projects like the International Coastal Clean-Up Penang, HOPE, Sg Kinta Clean Up, Alor Star Beach Clean-Up, Go Green Starts From Home and many other Green Projects too! I even pledged to launch our 40 years Celebration in a Green way by having 40 Leo Clubs in our District plant a tree or organize an Eco project at their school level.. marking the beginning of our 40th Year in Service!!!

Of course, I would like to record my biggest thank you to IPDG Choong Kwei Loi for giving me this opportunity to speak on an international platform... His recommendation and support helped me broaden my perspective in life and also public speaking too!

Also there to support me was DG Hudson Hah and wife, Nelly; Simon & Shaw Jhee too! The lady in blueish green dress is ID Debra.
After the seminars... We joined Lion Dana and team for the Stride Walk where everyone holds a placard and walk from the seminar halls back to the Convention Center... Initially we were so quiet... then.. We started Roaring.......! Hahaha.. We went like... Aussie Aussie Aussie.. Roar! Roar! Roar!!!! (INstead of the traditional Oi! Oi! Oi!) hahahah!

We received a certificate for the walk + a badge too!

Before we left, we met PID Ellis Suriyati...She was so kind enough to give me AUD$100 to buy things... Another mummy dearest! Hahaha... I insisted not to take and chucked back into her pocket and she said..."Alan,.. you don't take you dont respect me ya!!!"

So... I had no choice... nanti Mummy marah! haha. So I took, and told her that I will buy badges and gifts for our Leos and some Lions back home.. She smiled...
Such a sweet and loving character and PID is one of the reasons why I stayed a Lion....! Her speeches always inspire me and my members to strive on.. no matter come what may!!!

After the talk, Simon and I went for another round of City Tour... we went to the Pitt Street Mall, Queen Victoria Building... and went up the Sydney Tower for night view of the city.. Truly Awesomeeeeee!!!! Then, we boarded a flight from Sydney to Brisbane... and then we drove to Gold Coast and slept like hogssss... hahahaha....!

Day 5: Gold Coast
We didnt stay for the closing ceremony of the convention as we planned to go to Movie World at Gold Coast! Had loads of fun especially on the Scooby Dooby Doo Ride... the Lethal Weapon 4 (killllerrrrrr!!!!!!) and enjoyed the parade and Shrek 4D movie too!
Alright.. Some things seriously die hard... Over spent like mad... luckily we had 30KG each.. both of our luggage combined were 58.9kg!!!! hahaha.... Fly back from brisbane back to KL at 11+ and reached KLIA at about 5.50am... like a zombie.. and I rushed to board my connecting flight to Alor Setar for work in Perlis thereafter.... Simon stayed and handled something else...

Truly a great experience even though everything was so 3R! hahaha... But, I guess.. we have to be a little rushing here and there.. to enjoy our kind'a travelling? hahaha.. Oh well....

And I just realized I spent more than an hour writing this... hmmmm.. hopefully the next posting wont be another year! hahahahahaah


Alan Thoo