Sydney it is!

April 6, 2013 2 comments

Sydney it is!

Sydney Opera House

 

Ok ok. We talk about Australia, preferably Sydney. What comes into your mind? or maybe after? Hmmm, so do I. lol-I didn’t even know if you really—is there J. Funny thing. It’s like I am just talking to myself here. Haha. Anyhow, when I was a child- seeing Michael Jackson singing at the top of The Liberty in New York. Celine Dion having a concert in Paris. While Sydney is in the cream of the top destination of celebrities for the X-stream sport in AXN channel. I always dreamt of visiting this place. It was back then “just a dream.” the famous Opera House and the documentary of National Geo channel about The Bondi beach. It was indeed a well renowned city in my knowledge.  The land down other. Australia is a piece of land that has their own world. Its geographic history up on to my knowledge is they are a combination of Europe and GCC countries and way larger than USA. Well, just do the math. Bottom line- it is such a big country. Which means that they also have a bigger thing to offer. As everyone knows about Australia, specifically Sydney. I am just about to share my personal experience when I was there.

Few weeks back before I am about to fly on EY450 bound from Abu Dhabi to Sydney. I place everything well, as organize as I can be. I was so organize that it is my first time ever to book myself a hotel and join a travelers club (viator.com) to enter a forums about travelling. Then my curiosity went beyond when I start googling . Oh well’ surprising to say, (Sydney) it was fun and an un-ending place to perceive. But then I only have 2-days to see, visit and explore Sydney. It was a very short period of time. So I struggle each moment of handling my schedule as it matter so much. I went to the Hop on-Hop off Bus services, (equivalent to The Big Bus of London) they gave a very practical service of touring you around all “a must see spot” in less than a day.  It’s worth it.

My first day in Sydney- oh yeah Sydney it is! From the airport we took the metro to Sydney central business district (CBD) it is the most practical way. As we also stay in Ibis hotel.  We found our hotel easily. Thanks god for these. People there are nice enough to show you the location when you ask. At least they are an English country (oh well, ask my Shanghai experience.) Then we reach to our hotel just on time. And we are starving, but this is not a problem. You can eat anywhere in Sydney whether you want a fine dining, fast food, standing or just walking in the park. People there never really care. You do what you want, the most comfortable you like. The only issue is- these place is a darn expensive. AUD 3.90 for a can of Pepsi, seriously? And yes, accept it or not everything has a goods and service tax (GST)- a plus point when you leave in UAE. So when you travel to Australia know how you spend your money wisely. And then we moved on to The Opera House. It was indeed stunning. But not stunning enough to cater what I expect. My apology for these. But what I notice is that the building needs to have a refurbishment. And oh yes the ceiling might need a paint. I become more astound when I saw The Harbour Bridge. It is really huge- like a mammoth. The Sheik Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi is no way nearer than that of in Sydney. It gives you the wow factor when you see it in person (as I expect in The Opera.) Sadly we failed to climb on the top of it. Which it’s a must to do when you plan to visit.

 

Harbour Bridge

 

Then we end our first day in The Bondi Beach. Haysss, body here, body there, body everywhere “The Bondi Beach.” You can spend the entire day just seating in a bench and watch those gorgeous people jogging around half naked like in the movie but for real. The houses in the cliff contemplate the scenery as you watch the sunset in the horizon. It was my best experienced to meet the night having with me is my best friend- just chatting.

 

Bondi Beach

 

Second day in Sydney- You shall not go to a Zoo when you’re a tourist/ not until you want to photograph a mammal. Oh yeah, it is educational for youngster I believe. Was it fun? In Sydney it is hot like your being toast. So have those SPF 50+ lotion (only in Australia) ready. And going to a Taronga Zoo (AUD52) in March is like searching for fresh water in the middle of a dessert. You will completely sweat your heart out. But it’s a wonderful experience though. Depending on the taste of your visit. And the view from Taronga Island is spectacular to captivate those moment while you’re viewing the Sydney Sky scrapers’ standing tall in a piece of land like a mushroom. It is a whole day tour as well. So be pretty sure if you really want to spend the rest of the day there. As I say, it depends on how the way you see and explore the place.

So pretty much that’s it. I enjoyed Sydney as much as I do. It was a fun and exciting experience where I can really recommend. Prepare for a long haul flight though. And then we hop our way down to Melbourne. Which will be on my next topic. Thanks 🙂

 

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Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

Just a tot of returning’

April 5, 2013 Leave a comment

And yes I have missed so much time to start to blog again. Though I am not sure if I can still cope up to write something in here. Since it felt very hard for me to manage between my busy schedule at work and travel around. Yet still, I always wanted to write down my experience and document everything what I am doing. It is just hard to maintain. It inspire me so much to read some other blogger that compost a very well, diverse and detail story of their life, or to someone who just saying he’s tots. I guess the only thing that drive me as of now is the multiple travel plan that I have this year. And for my own little world- this is my only way, to treasure this moment through writing it up, and share it here. This maybe my personal diary or just a random tots that I want to share.

2013… a year to travel and save.

From March in Sydney and Melbourne, April in Shanghai, Doha, London and Manchester. It makes me a crazy busy person. Not to mention the sideline of extra co- activities like photo walk from my photoG groups and off course badminton. It has been very hard for me to push into these blog to keep rolling. Well I just hope this ain’t be my last post for the year.

By the way- I am just more inspire to the fact that there are some people who still appreciate my post here. Lol. It’s just a wonderful feeling. And of course this is the year that I will start saving for my future. As my motto of travel –“travel cheap” and this will be my fuel to write something in here for someone who plan to travel by not spending too much on it.

And so I rest my introductory explanation and will follow up to share my next topic in traveling the great country of Australia 😊

Categories: LIFE, Travel Tags:

My Seoul, my soul!

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

A new series of life exploration once again soon to be added on my bucket list. A travel experience to see,hear and explore the beauty of Seoul, South Korea. On 21-22 this month. Adrian (my travel buddy) and I are planning to visit this cool city. After months of delays and our visa is about to expire. Finally we got the confirmed dates of travel.

This is my first time to travel Korea. And he*l no way I knew a single details about this place. So I start from googling as I say. Came up with a travel plan, my first time ever to create one. As I normally travel un planned. Set up some budget and getting to know about the city’s culture and way of living. Apparently although Seoul is expensive, the good thing about working in UAE is that the currency is quite competitive in which, adjustment to some expences to other countries will not get us hurt that much.

Getting back to my travel planning. I downloaded a new app from “apple app store” for iPad.A travel organizer. And I find it so cool and easy to start up a plan trip of travels. It is such a gesture to plann everything on this app. From hotel booking, time management, websites list,check list and even maps. Right at your page.

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So after listing all the necessary do’s and dont’s of my plan travel to Korea. I am now ready to be there.Time will tell, and experience will yell, a picture will say about my journey to these place.

This for now at the moment. Guided tots and detailed exploration will be post on stream when I arrived there.

Categories: Travel Tags: ,

Thank you

July 13, 2011 Leave a comment

 

 

Thank you is such an easy line to say,
Yet often spoken in so much delay;
Thank you isn’t even enough for your goodness to repay,
But let me say it for you to know how grateful I can be.

I thank you for the kindness your heart has to show,
In which many people can benefit from its flow;
I thank you for the ears you allowed me to borrow,
Both are ready to hear stories of sadness and sorrow.

I thank you for being there for me in times of low,
Even if your life has its own blow;
From chaotic situations you give me a tow,
Most especially from a senseless row.

I thank you for everything you do,
May you keep it up with no reservations to;
You truly are an exceptional friends to adore too,
That even until now you left me in so much awe.

I thank you even more…….

I tried so hard to find the words of gratitude to show
It seems so trivial to say my cup does overflow
So thank you for the help you give
The support you show each day
The love, the care, the thoughts the prayer
In fact every single way.

From a friend that cares.

From a friend that shares.

And most from a friend that love, to my best friend Whel’s you’re mostly welcome.

Categories: FRIENDS, LIFE, Poem's

Guide to living abroad: Abu Dhabi

July 7, 2011 5 comments
 
 
 
If you are relocating to Abu Dhabi, you’ve got some real challenges ahead before you can really settle into life in the UAE’s capital city. Explorer Publishing provides some pointers on getting started.
 

Visas

Getting a visa to enter Abu Dhabi is pretty straightforward, but can vary greatly between different nationalities, and requirements often change without warning. Check out the Ministry of Information website at www.uaeinteract.com and also check with your nearest UAE embassy, which can give you up-to-date information.

For most western nationalities, the residency process is easy. If you are moving to the UAE to take up a job offer, your employer may have already applied for your employment visa.

For many nationalities, UAE immigration and labour laws stipulate that all documentation must be completed in the home country, prior to arrival in the UAE. However, citizens of some countries are allowed to enter the UAE on a visit visa and process their employment and residency applications on arrival.

As your sponsor, your employer is responsible for organising this.

Useful Contacts

Work

The allure of a tax-free salary still draws in expats. Although the increased cost of living means less disposable income, good packages can still be found. Basic benefits, regardless of employment package, usually include around 30 calendar days of leave a year, and most organisations include annual flights back to your home country.

Working hours vary quite dramatically within the emirate, and are based on either straight shift or split shift timings. Split shifts are still common in Abu Dhabi; they allow for an afternoon siesta and timings are generally 08:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 19:00.

The working week generally starts on Sundays and ends on Thursdays with a two-day weekend. If you do not have a job upon arrival, an employment supplement is published in Gulf News on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and in Khaleej Times on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Walking into a job is not as easy as it used to be, with many expats now relocating to the Gulf. However, there are opportunities available, and you will find skill sets are not as rigid as some other countries, making a career move more of a viable option.

The UAE government is strongly encouraging the private sector to give preference to Nationals when employing staff for white-collar management positions – a process referred to as Emiratisation.

A quota system is in place for the insurance, banking and trade sectors and the number of Emiratis employed has gone up by as much as 300% in some sectors. This, of course, can make it more difficult for expat workers to find a job in these areas but if you have the right skills there are still plenty of employment opportunities out there.

Word of mouth can be invaluable in Abu Dhabi when it comes to finding a job, so try to use expat websites and make as many friends as possible! There are a number of recruitment agencies working in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Many agencies only accept CVs via email and then contact you for an interview.

For the interview, you will need your CV and usually two passport photographs. Invariably, you will also have to fill out an agency form summarising your CV.

Banking

There is no shortage of internationally recognised banks in Abu Dhabi, all offering the full range of standard services. It is always easy to access your money, with ATMs available at most banks, major shopping malls, supermarkets and a number of petrol stations.

Most cards are compatible with other UAE banks so can be used in the majority of machines across the country (a few also offer global access links). To open an account at most banks in Abu Dhabi, you need to have a residence visa or have your residency application underway.

The majority of employers will recommend a bank to you and may even help you to open an account.

You will need to present the banking advisor with your original passport, copies of your passport (personal details and visa) and an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from your sponsor. Some banks set a minimum account limit, so it’s wise to shop around.

Financial Planning

Many expats are attracted to the UAE for the tax-free salaries and the opportunity to put a little something away for the future. There are many options for saving that you may want to seek professional advice about before squirrelling (or squandering!) away your hard-earned cash. There are several banks in the UAE that offer offshore banking, together with independent financial advisors.

Banks & Financial Advisors:

Housing

Rental is still the name of the game in the Abu Dhabi housing market, although the number of options to purchase a property is definitely on the increase.

Prior to August 2005, expats could not own property or land in Abu Dhabi. When that law changed, the major real estate companies were quick off the mark to develop properties available for sale to non- nationals, although a majority are still in the construction stage.

New residents arriving in Abu Dhabi on a full expatriate package may very well have accommodation included, but don’t be fooled by the charm of the ‘expat lifestyle’ – life here can be more expensive than you think, with studios around Dhs. 4,500 per month.

If you are arranging your own accommodation, the options are either to live in an apartment or a villa.

There are several compounds of villas, with facilities including swimming pools, gyms and tennis courts. Many of the recently opened luxury apartment complexes also have health clubs, and some even come fully furnished – handy if you’re ready to move straight in.

In general, the rent for most property is paid annually, in advance. Some landlords may accept payment in more than one cheque, meaning that you provide them with an agreed number of post-dated cheques that will be cashed on their due date.

There are a number of employers that will arrange the rent payments for you straight from your salary, which saves you the hassle of having to think about your rent.

Real Estate Agents

Health

The quality of medical care in Abu Dhabi is high, and residents should have little trouble getting appropriate treatment.

The government has also introduced mandatory private medical insurance for foreign residents and their families, so, by law, all employers have to provide health insurance for staff. In essence, the only ’free’ medical care in Abu Dhabi is emergency treatment; everything else needs to be paid for or covered by insurance.

You can still get treatment in both government and private hospitals, but the fees will be similar regardless of which type of hospital you choose. Generally, dental care and screening tests aren’t usually provided as standard.

In Abu Dhabi, you do not register with a clinic or surgery on arrival in the city. If you are unwell, you can ring the hospital or clinic of your choice for an appointment, or you can just turn up and be seen by a duty doctor.

You will need to show your insurance card and health card and you will be given a copy of the bill for your treatment.

Personal recommendations are the best way to find out which hospitals are best, but if you’re new to the city and do not know who to ask, try the Dr McCulloch Clinic.

It offers sound advice in English, Urdu, French and Arabic (02 633 3900). The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi manages all government hospitals; for more information on the services provided, see www.health.ae.

Most pharmacies are open Saturday to Thursday, and some open with shorter hours on Fridays.

There are a number of pharmacies which are open 24 hours a day – the locations and telephone numbers are printed in the daily newspapers.

Many of the less harmful drugs that require prescriptions in the UK or the US can be bought without prescriptions in Abu Dhabi. However, some drugs, especially those containing addictive substances, may be hard to find.

Education

Private education is the only option for expat children, and the rapid expansion of Abu Dhabi’s population means that competition for school places is on the increase.

Early in 2007 the government formed a Department of Education to coordinate all schools across Abu Dhabi. There are a wide variety of international schools available, with a choice of curriculums and after-school activities, so ask friends or colleagues for advice about a school’s reputation.

Depending on your nationality and educational requirements, most national curriculum syllabuses can be found in Abu Dhabi schools, covering GCSEs, A-levels, French and International Baccalaureate and CNEC, as well as the American, Australian and Indian equivalent.

Nearly all schools will take children from pre-school to 18 years of age. Most of the top schools operate waiting lists and you might not be able to get your child into your first choice.

It can work out quite expensive if you register for a number of schools as you may have to pay a non-refundable fee to be on the waiting list.

The website of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority is a good reference point for all private or public school queries (www.khda.gov.ae).

You will usually need a number of documents to enrol your child at a school, including copies of the student’s and parents’ passports (including the information page/s and residence visa stamp page), passport photos, copies of the student’s birth certificate, and immunisation records.

Schools:

Cost of Living

Cigarettes (pack of 20) Dhs.7
Cinema ticket Dhs.30
DVD (new release) Dhs.80
Eggs (dozen) Dhs.7
Fresh chicken (per kg) Dhs.10-20
Fresh fish (per kg) Dhs.15-20
Glass of wine (house) Dhs. 20
Litre of milk Dhs.5
Loaf of bread Dhs.4
Pint of beer Dhs.20
Potatoes (per kg) Dhs.2.50
Takeaway pizza (large) Dhs.40

 
Categories: Expat, LIFE, Travel

Amazing little boy.

July 5, 2011 Leave a comment

As I was browsing my Facebook page, I became curious about the post of one of my friend. An image of a little boy holding a guitar on a YouTube thumbnail. I open the video and it amazes me so much about the talent that he has.  A little boy playing a guitar “Just the way you are-by Bruno Mars” his name is Sungha Jung (born in 2 September 1996) fromSouth Korea. His so humbly playing this peace of instrumental music as he does without any notes or copy.

As of 2011, Sungha Jung makes a 222 million YouTube viewer hits and 335,000 subscribers through out the world from his channel. Sungha typically takes three days to learn and practice a new piece, and video-record it for upload onto YouTube. His genre selection is rather broad, as he learns and plays many pieces that are playable on guitar, therefore consequently spread across numerous genres.

Sungha has won 13 awards on YouTube, including 6 “#1” awards. Also on YouTube, Sungha has 38 videos with over one million views. Sungha’s video with the most views is the shows him playing the theme from “Pirates of theCaribbean”, at 19,344,852 views as of 05 July 2011.

Sungha has composed 18 pieces as of February 2011, two of which are featured in his debut album, “Perfect Blue”.

In 2011, he performed in the USwith Trace Bundy, as well as touring in Scandinavia and Japan.

Just like Justin B. and Charice, Sungha Jung started becoming famous when his father uploaded one of his video on YouTube.

 

Categories: Entertainment, Videos, YouTube

In my room

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

The usual thing happens today. Arrive from work from the airport; I am now in my room. Seating in the couch. thinking of what’s my next thing to do. Play my piano music, staring at the wall. Bothered to write. But I just can’t compose of any topic. I have so many thoughts that I cannot push through. I guess I am becoming a freak out blogger. If that’s the right term. Step by step I want to write, but the thing that inside my brain just can’t pop out, to express my feelings.  Is this really what I want? Or just having this jealousy of what other people have become through blogging. I read a lot, see a lot, and herd a lot. But why can’t I just learn from them? Is it I am just lacking of some vocabulary in my head? Or just I am so frustrated to write that I cannot write at all. Today when I am at my office desk, I want to be free. I just want to go “outside the box,” outside my comfort zone. To express my feelings without any boss to tell me what should I do? I want to get lost. I want to get wild, is it because I am just becoming so good that  I am now fed up of my life? Am I alone in this world to think this way?

I remember my grandma, when she was a teacher.  When I was young I always ask myself why she is so strict. That perfectionist thing is what she wants. A simple mistake can ruin her day. Remembering the past, that she always tell’s me, Nash; when you grow up you will realize why I am telling you this. And now that I grown up, I just don’t realize everything, instead I am becoming more like her. Is this what life is? When you’re doing the same routine everyday, you just became used to it that one day you wanted to burst out. You became more agitated that sometimes you just want to be alone.  I have so many questions in my mind. And I am still searching for some answers.

In my room, I am all alone. And still I want to do something to become this blog site more productive. I just can’t start. There is my idea of photography, the thought of indulging into a videography and most, the plan of travelling inKorea,JapanandEuropethat all I am waiting for is the time which I will be able to do all of this and manage to post it into this blog.  In my room the place where all my feelings, judgments’,  stance, manner, outlook or what ever you call that come all together that made me seating, in my couch and think again realizing what my life would be.

Categories: LIFE
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