Archive for August, 2009

August 31, 2009

Experience at Siem Reap Airport

Its been more than 2 weeks that we returned from Cambodia and I didnt really get time to update about the trip. This post is about our experiences at the Siem Reap airport.

We landed in Siem Reap airport at around 7.45AM. We were given around 5 forms to fill before we go to the immigration. The people standing there were all from our single plane, yet the line was moving very slowly. Once we reached the counter we realised about the reason for delay. In all the airports where ever we went, there was one immigration officer who was taking care of everything related to particular passenger. It was a bit different here.

One guy took the passport and the forms and the money. Check the money and passed on the passport and the forms to the next guy.
Next guy checked the forms and passed the Passport and the Employment pass to the next guy.
This guy checked the EP and Passport and passed them to the next guy.
Now this guy would paste the hand written visa on the passport and pass it on to the next guy.
He is the final guy and calls our name and hands over the passport to us.

This whole process took around 1 hour. This is the longest time I have ever spent at the airport because of the delay in the immigration.

The other experience that I had here was while coming back to Singapore. Our flight was scheduled at around 7.40AM. But I misread the timing and told my friends that the flight is at 7AM. Keeping in mind the time taking immigration process while arrival, we thought we should be early at the airport.

We started off at around 4.30AM from the hostel. On the way I cross checked the timing and saw that it was at 7.40. Now we all knew that we had a long wait before we boarded the flight. We arrived at the airport entrance at 4.45AM. Tuk Tuk was stopped by the airport security and below was the conversation:

Security: Tuk Tuk cannot go inside the airport premises now.
Driver: Can the passesngers go?

Security: Yes
Driver: Why can’t I come in?

Security: Airport is closed

What? Airport is closed! This came to all of us as a surprise. I have never heard at any airport being closed. We gave 5 dollars for tuk tuk and went into the airport. We wanted to check-in and then take some time to sleep. Once we reached the gate, security again stopped us.

Security: You cannot go inside.
I: Why?

Security: The airport staff has not yet come.

This time my friends gave me a scary look. I couldn’t help it but have to deal with it. We had to sleep at the table outside the gate. Meanwhile Airport staff started pouring in and we saw the dress rehearsal that they do every morning. At around 6AM, we were allowed to go inside and at that time the check-in counters were not yet opened.

We each selected a bench and slept for sometime till the check-in counters open.

August 31, 2009

Gyan of the Day – April Fools Day

We have been fooling our friends and cousins all these years on April 1st. I was just wondering as why do we fool people on that specific day. Yet again nothing else came to my mind other than Google to check that. Below is an article which I found:

It is widely proclaimed that April Fool’s day originated in France in 1562, or thereabouts, when Pope Gregory replaced the Julian calender with the Gregorian calender in the Julian calender month of April. The day of introduction of the Gregorian calender was made the first day of January. Some people hadn’t heard about the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate the New Year’s Day, but it being 1st April. So, others called them “April fools.” The fact is that Pope Gregory XIII ordered Thursday 4 October 1582 to be the last day of the Julian calendar. The next day was Friday 15 October. April Fool’s Day is an April Fool’s tale.

The April Fool’s Day tradition in France includes poisson d’avril (“April’s fish”), attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed.

August 31, 2009

NATAS Fair 2009

I heard a lot about NATAS Fair, but never got a chance to go for it. This time I made it a point to visit the Fair. It was in Expo Hall 4 and 5. To avoid weekend crowd, I left office on Friday afternoon and went to Expo. Even on the working day I saw quite a number of people going for the fair.

There is an entrance fee of 3 dollars to enter the halls. If you book it through master card then it was only 2 dollars.

There were offers from many travel agencies, insurance companies, travel goods etc etc. Once I entered the halls there were people, people everywhere but not as bad as IT Shows where you could hardly walk. While entering the hall AIG Insurance gave away free recycling bags so that you can keep all the brochures collected. I could see so many stalls like:

Air Asia
CTC
Dynasty Travel
Hong Thai Travel
and many more travel agencies.

The deals offered by different travel agencies varied so much that I actually got confused deciding which one was good. Also they were offering the deals for almost around the world. The only draw back I had was, all these offers were valid only till year end. Overall I would say that if you have plans for the year end then you can definitely go to this fair and get the best deal.

August 28, 2009

Gyan of the Day – Chocolate

I was getting bored at office and was going through some blogs and websites. Mean while I came across something which I didn’t knew previously. So I thought I should share this with you all.

We have been eating lot of chocolate since our childhood days in many forms of foods. Did we really think where this all started. Today some how I got that thought and tried checking out the history of Chocolate. The story of chocolate spans more than 2,000 years and now it has conquered the globe. The story began in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America where cacao (kah KOW) first grew. Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree. But the journey from seed to sweet is a long one, spanning many centuries and requiring many processes.

The first people known to have made chocolate were the ancient cultures of Mexico and Central America. These people, including the Maya and Aztec, mixed ground cacao seeds with various seasonings to make a spicy, frothy drink. Later, the Spanish conquistadors brought the seeds back home to Spain, where new recipes were created. Eventually, and the drink’s popularity spread throughout Europe.

Since then, new technologies and innovations have changed the texture and taste of chocolate, but it still remains one of the world’s favorite flavors.

August 27, 2009

Hmmm !!!!

August 27, 2009

Painful Start

Last week was great I hoped this week also to go well. Not everthing will go as we wish for. After 5 days I came to office. This time its not because I went on a holiday somewhere, but its because of the intense pain in the right shoulder and arm. The jumps (to take some pics) that we did on the cruise on Saturday has caused some swelling on the right shoulder. It was very painful and I don’t really remember so much pain in recent past. I couldn’t sit or sleep or walk. What ever I did it was very painful. It was a very uncomfortable situation. Thanks to Swetha’s good care, becuase of which today I am back to office with less pain. If things go well today then I will be fine, otherwise I will have to visit a specialist to see what else has gone wrong.

Thanks to this pain, I and Swetha could spend 5 complete days at home without any outsider friends.

August 24, 2009

Cruise to No Where

On Saturday we went for a cruise to nowhere. Yes it sounds strange and out of the ordinary and also interesting. It was a short trip on a cruise ship. This ship doesn’t leave any port neither it takes you to any port. We were picked up by a ferry from the Tanah Merah ferry terminal at around 10AM. We were taken to Bintan and got transferred into another ferry which actually took us to the ship. We knew that this ship was a casino ship and not really sure what else would be there on it. However, it was like a viewing standpoint, from on board the ship and from quite a distance.

Once we entered the cruise ship, we were asked to deposit our passports as well as employment pass at the reception and we could collect them while leaving. Right from the entrance we could see all the casino halls. People were busy playing them. We were not allowed inside as we were carrying cameras with us. We were asked to deposit them and then enter the casino. We were hungry and first wanted to explore the ship, eat and then play some games at the casino.

As far as entertainment and amenities go, they were the same as what are offered on the longer cruises around the world. There was Foot reflexology, Massage and hair saloon. There was a movie room. There were two restaurants and two bars on the ship. There was a place for dancing. But we couldn’t enjoy dancing as they were playing Malaysian and Chinese songs all the time.

We had lunch at the Patricia restaurant. There was lot of Sea Food and it was just like a feast to all the non vegetarians. We enjoyed the food a lot, then again explored the deck of the ship, took some pics and then went down to the bar to have couple of drinks before we went to casino.

We played 50 dollar worth games on the slot machines and got just 40 bucks and 10 dollars we lost. The whole trip was a nice experience. We were just charged 22 dollars for the travel, food and enjoy the amenities for the day. We left the ship at around 8.30 in the night back to Singapore. There were so many old Chinese and Malaysian people on the ship who just came there to play Casino.

Overall I would suggest that this is good for a one day entertainment trip for all those food lovers and casino lovers.

August 24, 2009

Fantastic Week

Last week has been really nice. It was joyful and eventful all through the week.

Saturday – Marie and Olivier came. We all went to Clarke Quay. Had a nice time there knowing each other. We slept around 3 in the night.

Sunday – Had bad headache and was at home doing nothing.

Monday – At work it was fine. Back home Olivier entertained us with his guitar.

Tuesday – I and Swetha called all my friends as we were giving a parting dinner to Marie and Olivier. We all had fun singing songs while Olivier playing the guitar.

Wednesday – Nagaraj gave party at Mirchi on the occasion of his 9th successful marriage anniversary. He was thrilled to see surprise from Shobha. We arranged 9 roses and a cake for him.

Thursday – We went to friends apartment for a couple of drinks with Martini.

Friday – As the next day we were going to Cruise to no where, we had to go home early and sleep.

Saturday – Had a nice time on the Cruise to no where.

Sunday – Went to temple. Had sumptuous lunch. Watched 2 movies. Had mirchi bajji, thanks to Srinivas.

August 22, 2009

Ganapati Bappa Moriya

August 17, 2009

Santosh Happy Birthday

It was Santosh’s birthday on Thursday (13/8). We all roomies went to Mango Tree restaurant in ECP for the party. We had a great time having lots of food and drinks and trying to bring the bill to at least 500 dollars. Place was very good as there was a sea view along the beach side.

We had 6 beers each and had many rounds of snacks. We didn’t really have much food. We did not really cut the cake the night before, so we bought a small cake in the coffee bean coffee shop and made Santosh cut the cake. This time we missed or I can say we forgot to give birthday bumps to Santosh. We walked for a while in the beach and then left home.