Have been overwhelmed with queries lately. Businesses in terms of revenue that we can secure this month can potentially exceed what we managed to achieve last year! Future is looking a bit better for our travel business once again. Just when we thought everything will remain quiet for the foreseeable future, and W has gone home on holiday, big clients started coming in. W is sorely missed and I have been working almost non-stop for the past one week. Through the process I have also discovered new things, which is really good.Think the sudden surge in queries could be to down to a number of factors:1) the holiday season is coming,2) troubles in Thailand are sending tourists to alternative destinations like Malaysia,3) our website ranks much higher recently on certain key search terms which might have helped,4) people feel more “secure” now that the UK economy is more stable, despite the fact that Pounds have taken some beatings, which I find difficult to believe.But anyway am glad that the business is doing better, and that clients are happy with our services. What’s more, a client took time to tell me what a wonderful country Malaysia is. We Malaysians must be doing something right to merit such praises. Let’s not sell our country short.
Reading the blog post by Bruce about liquid ban flaws at Schiphol, Amsterdam, reminds me of the same style of security system being used at Kualu Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia too! Basically KLIA also allows passengers with printed boarding pass to go to the duty-free shopping area, which is located at the satellite building, without having to go through any security checks, yet.The passengers will only be checked when they want to enter the waiting lounge of their respective gate. Because the airport allows passengers to buy duty-free goods there, the security personnels will have to allow passengers to bring lots of liquids up the plane as well. There lies the flaw, where passengers can potentially exchange the liquids inside the bottles of liquids they bought at the airport with those they brought in from outside the airport. I could not remember whether bottles of liquids bought at KLIA are sealed. But it does not matter. Passengers can still get pass this by doing what the reporter did as described in the above blog post.I remember asking questions some time ago about not having central security checks before allowing passengers to enter an airport. It makes sense to distribute security checks to gates as passengers then do not have to queue together with passengers of other planes, thus potentially shortening queueing time. But it does bring questions to my mind about whether this is a good way to secure an airport. To me terrorists can bomb the airport relatively easily even though they may not be able to bring liquid explosives up the plane. But now it seems that the terrorists may be able to bring large amount of liquid explosives up the plane as well!
Purchased an additional domain for our travel business. Not entirely convinced that it will drive more trafic to our website, but since it is freed up recently, and it costs peanuts to buy, why not 🙂 Bought the domain from godaddy.com, because I have seen them everywhere, and they sell domains a fraction cheaper than any other domain sellers I can find. But I must say that buying a domain is getting more confusing nowadays. They have a price for the domain, and then they have a host of add ons that cost money, like domain privary, business registration, autorenewal etc. And there are at least 5 or 6 checkboxes that I need to tick or untick to save my mail box from being spammed by email newsletters, promotions etc, both from them and third parties. I have bought from Yahoo and 123-reg before, and the process as I remember was a little more hassle free.After purchasing the domain, I proceed to transfer the domain to my hosting provider. Gosh goodness I am back to something I am back to an interface I am more familiar with. Now I am just waiting for the domain transfer to complete which can take up to 48 hours.
Have been back to Malaysia for three days now. Strangely this time I’m not feeling quite as hot as what I used to want to believe. Although it is still very hot, about 34 degree Celcius! I think I’m trying to condition myself to learn how to adapt back to the hot and humid weather, knowing that at some point in the future I will eventually move back to Malaysia. And surprisingly I’ve not been suffering from jet-lagged as well! Considering that the time difference between Malaysia and the UK is 7 hours!It’s always good to be surrounded by family members (haven’t really met up with my local friends yet even after 3 days! :)). And new family members too, as my brothers and sister all have children/babies now. But I must admit that I’m not very good in coping with all these family affairs. I still feel that it is very time consuming. And our family is not that big either, with no relatives living in our home town! Thank god.Since we are only going to be in Malaysia for 2 weeks, we make sure that most of our time is spent with our family. It’s always good to catch up with friends too. But unfortunately we have to prioritise. And we have a wedding to attend in Singapore as well! Goodness. What a hectic trip. Hardly feel like we are coming back for holiday!Tomorrow we are going to Langkawi, via Penang. Only for two nights. When people talk about Langkawi, surely it’s about seaside, relaxation, holiday etc. But we are going there for business as well. So it’s probably not quite as enjoyable as one would like to think. Nevertheless I think it should still be quite interesting, considering that we are such young looking couple, meeting up with hoteliers and tour operators who must be thinking what on earth are these two kids doing here! :)That’s the downside of trying to get a lot of things done within a short amount time. But I’ll try to enjoy it the best I can. Afterall there’s no reason why we should not get the most out of any circumstances.
Went to Zurich for a weekend two weeks ago. Mainly because W won a pair of flight tickets to Zurich through her company’s lucky draw. Very lucky. Would have loved to stay longer, but I have run out of annual leaves. Such a beautiful country. I have been to Switzerland in summer. Love it. Been to Switzerland in winter, also love it, although not particularly a good time for sight-seeing or taking photos. This time it was autumn, love it too. Still plenty of sunshine, and the view from the top of Mt Titlis was just amazing! It must be a lovely place to live in. Full of outdoor activities all seasons, good transportation system and centrally located in Europe. The Swiss are so blessed!
I’ve spent the past week commuting to London for a training course. Compared to 10 years ago when I first started living in London, there’s probably 1000% increased in the number of cyclists cycling in London during peak hours. Incredible, considering that London still has the same old narrow roads, with virtually no dedicated cycle lanes. What has improved is probably the traffic load, with the congestion charging scheme having been in place for a number of years now. And of course the public awareness on green issues, and drivers’ attitude to cyclists. I think it does help when some MPs even cycle to work themselves.For me it’s quite pleasing to see as cyclists somehow seem to be able to enliven up a city, making it a bit more friendly. This is what I like most about European cities. People can get to everywhere without having to always go on a car. Plenty of walkways, cycle lanes, parks, good network of public transport etc. Would people like to see cars in the city? I doubt it. I hope less and less people drive in the city, as then there will be more chance that cycle lanes will be built in this old world city.
Turns out that the beer hall my Greek friend brought me to yesterday was one of the best beer hall in Munich. It’s called Augustiner and is located on the main shopping street between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz. The place is huge, biggest western restaurant I’ve seen by a mile. Beer can be ordered in one litre mug. Because the mug is so big and heavy, a German sitting next to me taught me the German way of drinking from this type of mugs. Basically you hold it in such a way that the mug will rest on your wrist when you drink. Interesting way to drink, but not without logic, according to that German, as after a few drinks people understandably become dizzier and weaker. So lifting the mug alone can become hard work :)Tonight we are going to another beer hall, called Weiss Brauhaus, for dinner. It apparently serves very good food. My brother suggested me to go to Hofbrahaus as well. Will see.
Once again, uploading travel photos is just too time consuming. It put me off every time I thought about having to filter out the photos, resizing them and then upload them to the Flickr website. Took me over an hour to get all these done. No, I’m still yet to label and provide some descriptions to the photos! How annoying!It was a good trip though. Only the second time I’ve been to Germany. The first time was to attend the World Travel Market fair at Berlin. I was there for 2 nights, and most of the time I was in the exhibition centre. So didn’t get to see much of Berlin. This time I had more time to stroll around in Hamburg and Bremen with L. And the weather was lovely, unlike the wet weather we are going to go through this weekend, grrr. We haven’t really planned anything for the trip to be honest, but turns out to quite a pleasant one. So we are very pleased with this trip, much better than the trip to Seville. And of course W’s German friend’s wedding at Syke was very pleasant as well. Cosy and almost everybody gets to know each other after the wedding. So different from the banquet we have back home in Malaysia where wedding couples quite often don’t know half the people who attended their wedding :)Anyway hope you like the photos.
Nothing gives me more pleasures than planning my holiday. As my workload has eased off this week, I can spend my leisure hours planning my summer trip to Scotland. It is all very exciting as I have long wanted to do some walks at the highlands.I can’t wait for the summer to come. There are so many places that I want to visit in the UK. I will probably get to take my first steam train in the UK. I am over the moon about it as I always like to experience how it was like living back in time. It always seems more romantic in those days when people lived a more idyllic lifestyle and there were less stress and buzz. The pace was slower and people lived a simpler life too. I think the world was a better place in those days although I know that there will be some who disagree. But at least we did not have climate change, terrorists, oil shortage etc. True that healthcare was not as advanced and poverty was more rampant, but I think these are lesser of the evils.
I just came from a three weeks vacation in Malaysia. There is no magic as to why I go to Malaysia, it is my home, or was. I am not sure where I should call home these days but I certainly still have a lot of connections there.It was Chinese New Year earlier this month and we had a great time celebrating with friends and family. However, CNY celebration is not as elaborate as it used to or may be it’s just me getting old and start to see things differently.This year is the year of the rat. For some reasons I have an uneasy feeling about my furtune this year. Call me superstitious but I have a feeling that I will face many obstacles this year and may be difficult decisions will have to be made.I have just been informed at work that I have to move office to another location on the same floor which is right at the heart of a politically charged zone. Now I am not sure whether that is the first omen of my bad fortune year. I hope that I can stay out of trouble acting stupid but polItics is tricky business, one never know quite what to do.The good news is, C and I just managed to procure our first customer for our own part-time business. It is all very exciting. I do hope that the business will take off and we can one day work for ourselves. I shall keep my fingers crossed and pray hard that this will happen sooner rather than later.