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It strucks me quietly as I keep on hearing how certain countries are drawing rules n regulations on immigration policy. Of course, in a democratic world, every country has her right to do so. Yet, it is strange to hear of policies that encourage “brain drain” flow. Why would someone want to choke himself ?

It is like you input distorted/false data into your database, and years later, complain that your analysis is not helpful. Of course it is not helpful, after all what you have inside is of poor quality data. The type of fruit you will rip will depend on how you care for your tree.

Could only wish the leaders of such countries the VERY BEST in years ahead. May be I should say, the peoples of the countries, after all, the leaders will probably be enjoying their retirement in their place of choice, with $$$ secured in offshore banks. Pity the peoples who have no voice.

Short but wonderful trip to Den Haag, Delft, Leiden and Frankfurt am Taunus

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Aug trip 2014

We are aboard ANA flight to Frankfurt, my first time to be on board ANA. Interesting to realise that this flight do not offer amenities for long flight, even a pair of sock as in the old days with other flights. A hand written note is placed inside lavatory that m is night self help snacks n drinks are available in the back of cabin if needed. Very handy way to do it so as to not disturb those who are asleep. It was quite unexpected to see food trays and dishes on the floor as I was in the back cabin, helping myself with drinks and snacks. Not sure what to expect but thought meal related utensils should never on the floor. Hmm ……. have not quite seen that scene on a Cathay flight, thank goodness.

As we were waiting at Haneda airport, am thrilled to find 1-2 more restaurants that I would love to try out in next opportunity there. All the more surprised to see Setagaya ramen restaurant there too, one of my favourite.

Have not really met Kim for probably 20+ and even that was a short bumped into when we happened to be in hometown in the same day. To be spending time together was some 30+ years back. Wow……..we have aged by 3 decades !! We will going to museum together, as admiring the Girl with A Pearl Earring painting by Vermeer. Visit Den Haag, Delft and possibly Leiden. Then move on to celebrate 70th big day with a friend in Frankfurt.

We managed to make arrangement with Kim about our flight status so that she needs not wait unnecessarily at airport for us. Kim picked us up, somehow got her lost parking ticket re-traced for payment purpose. What a high tech service in use. It was very impressive too of how self check-in kiosk and self baggage tagging counter were put into work. Certainly save time and manpower.

Very difficult to drive in Den Haag, as we saw it. There are the trams lanes, cyclists lanes and roads, seemingly all intercross. At times, car accessibility is blocked, especially at certain hours of the days. I wonder GPS guiding will be liked.

We visited Kim’s apartment. Nice, quiet neighbourhood, mainly of foreigners from Turksih. In Holland, many Morrocans, Arabs, apparently are localised though a good portion of them kept to their culture and language tightly.

We went on to meet with her best friend who insisted on treating us to a better than in HK Tim sum. It did turn out delicious. We enjoyed the rare chatting at travel destination.

We headed to Mauritshius Museum, and the gentleman as entrance seemed racist, picking my unclosed bag as too big and needed baggage concierge ! Yet, another lady with similar bag size was not pointed. Grrghh…… My not-genki camera is testing my patience every time I tried to turn it on. Hopefully will find a nice replacement camera. We spent the afternoon enjoying the parliament, which is close to the museum. Such magnificent paintings, great collection. At Prince William’s Museum, a few collections were on loan from Rijskemuseum, to my delight.

Then we visited the coastline of Holland, had gorgeous seafood at Simonis. A very busy restaurant. Almost self service though the staff will offer to bring your order to table, if the dish is too big. Orders placed, then find a table and wait for order number to be called. If only our stomach could store all the dishes on offer. Certainly very tempting.

The next day, we went on our own to antique market, about 10 minutes walk from Mercure Den Haag Centre Hotel. such gorgeous day to walk. Lots of antique books, accessories, house decors and a few paintings.

Kim and Tong came to pick us for Delft visit, about 25 minutes drive from Dan Haag. There are the new and old churches, where kings and queens are buried. Heroes are rested there also. I climbed the church tower on my own as no one else is interested. Wow….. it took 40 minutes for up n down the ancient stairs. “heh……… heh….. heh…..” was my breathing when I got back down. Just about to begin church visit, Kim caught me, “where are you going ?”. “To the church.”, I replied. After that, everyone was laughing that they didn’t think I would be climbing the tower !!

The pottery visit was wonderful n the explanation, very clear. It was located by the canal, with beautifully lined houses, of the old n newer renovated structure.

As we walked on in the Delft town, looking for a table at a local cafe near the old church, a lady was very kind to comment to us we should try the appletaart offered by the cafe where we were waiting for a table. It turned to be REALLY good, indeed.

We chose steak place for dinner after the day’s travel. Wonderful, cosy restaurant, it was. As the sky would not darkened until 2000 hour, we took the chance to see the ICJ – International Court of Justice. If only we had time for a little tour inside in her opening hours.

We visited Leiden n I finally get to meet my pen friend. Such beautiful town, I must say. It was beautiful weather too. We had a light lunch at a cafe by the canal. A tried fruity beer from Belgium while I tried goat cheese with Workkorn bun. Finally got to see a moolen upfront. Apparently the caretaker actually lives in one, even training a successor, who is usually a family member too.

We managed to stop by Frankfurt office, got to meet up with a long time friend n his wife…..he was single then, some 20+ years already. Had great dinner by the river, even trying German tonkatsu.

The next day, we took a walk to Dorinth Hotel, it was about 10 minutes in fantastic weather. The duty free outlet has a nice layout. Good that we made it on Saturday as shops are closed on Sunday. Crowd was just nice too. We enjoyed the day n headed back to take a quick nap as we anticipated a late night for the celebration. it was certainly a wonderful time indeed, also meeting friends who had gathered, including the ladies who had visited Kyoto n Tokyo in June. They called us as greetings n that we’all meet in August.

The party was well planned n great entertainment was fabulous. We all had a good laugh n most danced to the good old tunes of Abba later. We haven’t danced for more than 25+ years, there were tunes of twist, waltz and tango, if you could. The hotel certainly served delicious food also. There was the ice cream cakes at 0000 hour !! It was really good but I just could not stuff it in anymore. We ‘gave up’ at around 0130 hour.

Flight back seemed more uncomfortable than going. Snacks were not of my choice as I realised from going flight. Bought a German sausage n bread near waiting gate B48, prior to boarding. However, food was not as good as when taken fresh, I must say.

Interesting reading

Interesting reading and time will tell if Mr Abe’s headache will not get bigger. Good for us if not though personally, I think the next consumption tax rise will be a killer. Dwindling population will mostly drag down general consumption and will not help boost JP economy a lot, let alone pull it out of 1+ decades of deflation.

The Economist | Japan’s economy: Fingers crossed

http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21612232-sudden-sharp-contraction-may-be-more-blip-fingers-crossed?frsc=dg%7Cd

MH17……. Annus horribilis for Malaysians.

Prayers remain for the lost. ……… When people begins firing recklessly n irresponsibly.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/07/flight-mh17

Hopefully the culprits will not keep on hiding……….shame on them. How sad that the area is not opened to proper investigation n hopefully, this will remain a dream. …….

How horror to hear a JP TV commentator said this morning, “Malaysian government is not saying precisely ‘who…..’, but how could one with a legal status said such things without anything proven yet. He could say recklessly because he won’t be held responsible in time. Sorry for the public who might not reason for themselves. Such irresponsible comment simply misleads n did not help the situation, worse, hurts Malaysians in general, especially when MH370 is still being in search. Shame on him too.

Little golf n trip in Hokkaido, Lake Shikotsu and surrounding of Tomakomai

4-July, Friday
It was a not too bad drive to Haneda, boarding an ANA flight. However, time taken was note than anticipated, we grabbed breakfast from Starbucks, which is nicely located close to gate-57. Takeaway style is available. Lovely arrangement indeed when needed. Look forward to driving Honda N1 Box model. Its has a height that would not clear Tokyo’s tower parking places. Not convenient for me as I do so 6 out of 10 times. Wonder if school holiday season has begun, quite a number of children are on board.
We arrived at Chitose airport when 3 others that boarded the same flight. Wonderful to meet after many years.
A lot of uphill holes on 2nd half. Didn’t play that well but it was an enjoyable game, with a rookie in flight.

5-July, Saturday
Very nice day /had a chance to play as a ladies’ group / won championship – handi 24, score 99, beating 2 others with same total but got a lower handi. JP style hidden hole special handi. Haven’t got prize for a while but certainly nice this past month. got a prizes for kicking a designated goal number, FIFA event by Zoff, a spec shop in JP.
Prize was given to me earlier as we had to go pick up car at Chitose airport. Too bad to miss the jokes. Headed for Tomakomai with my hoped for Honda N1 Box car, where we already had a reserved table for dinner of seafood, tried chippu a fresh water fish only available for about 2 months in this season. Too bad nature of law denied me the full of enjoyment. I was looking forward to enjoying JP sake then…….

6-July, Sunday
Checked out after relaxing morning and decided to go try visiting Tarumae san (mount), which we gave up yesterday because I needed to find a WC…… There was a queue to parking area at 7-go (level). It was a nice, spectacular drive on route-141.
We then headed for lake fun area but decided to not go in as I won’t be able to stay up long enough for fun time as planned even after paying a parking charge of ¥400- per entry. had to miss the boat rowing plan and glass bottom boat ride that I so looked forward to prior. 😢. The hotel was so sweet as to allow us a room 2 hours earlier than noted, as we arrived early due to sudden plan change. We had soothing siesta on tatami room, and I did feel better. Such a hospitality. The hotel has lake cruise also which I hope to get on in our next visit……… Surely want to see the lake n her clear water…….fishes……..

We had an offer of private onsen room, all with lake view. Fantastic n lovely for me. At the least I could enjoy the natural n high iron content bath. The private onsen would cost ¥2,500- for 50 minutes.

7-July, Monday
Moved off towards Koke no Domon, then tried Tarumae san again. This time has no queue but trekking was needed even to get to panorama view point. Gave up on this time. WC at parking area has no main door, thus bees n insects were flying around / should easily take up 5+ hours / but should be lovely nature discovery trip with the right gear, especially for bear alarm.
Koke no Domon also needed 20 minutes walk to the viewpoint on volcanic sand. I think beach slipper will be great choice as shoe also. Lots of hairy worms on ground, which could be because of season (July, nearing summer time in Hokkaido). I had wet tissue to clean my leather shoe after the visit.
Too bad, the valley is now closed to public for safety reason. Postcard billboard of inner valley are put up at what used to be the entrance to the valley. It would have been spectacular if we could walk into the valley personally.
Drove back to Chitose airport was lovely, especially down from Tarumae san, the road was lined with forest trees on both sides for a while, and next to Lake Shikotsu. Apparently it is one of the panoramic driving road in JP. After the forest road, there is a portion of straight wider road as well, with nice view as well.
We made our way back to designated petrol station, where after filling in, we had to get a stamp from the station also. I imagine it is for kick back purpose. The location is good though, just about 5 minutes drive away.
A free bus to airport took us there. A had to work, I took the chance to tour the airport after taking a lunch time rest – kani miso ramen. Visited Doraemon Museum, enjoyed photographing shops and exhibits in the arcade. Wish I had more time for the onsen, which I heard has great view. i would say, Chitose airport is quite a fun place especially for first time visitor.
For the JP sojourners, do buy some fresh seafood and konbu (dried seaweed) to bring home.

Real tough world out there.

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It was a shocking to see what I thought it was……. a gentleman urinating onto a lamppost pole. He knew I was parking my car nearby though he probably thought I wouldn’t see him as he was behind me. He forgot about the rear mirror. (Wish I had my camera ready.) He noticed that I was still around, as I had to unload my golf bag and bag, hence not going straight back into house yet. He walked up-n-down the street and for a moment, I thought I should prepare as it sure felt weird to see him walked in rounds nearby. Well….. I did have lots of clubs handy !!

He gave up and walked into a small lane next to house, apparently he lived in one of the 2 apartments blocks behind !! I imagine he could be upset about the fact having to find a new place as 1 block will be demolished, if he lived in that block. I hear, it is hard to find a place as owner tend to not want to rent out to aging tenant. Given long term, I suppose the scenario is pretty much the same for many parts of the world. Yet, it is not a reason to act immorally. Next time, if I had camera ready, I’ll snap and send it to the police box. Given his age, it is unthinkable that he would do such thing. Shame on him.

Feminism extremist ?

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Here he appears, finally, pressure from media……… congressman Suzuki for throwing wrongs words at the wrong time/era.  Yet, thinking again, is this only from gentleman.  I hear it from ladies also, which at first took me by surprise. PM Abe will have a long, long way to go given his motto to have more ladies at workplace to cope with dwindling workforce.  PM Abe and his fellows are certainly living in the old era, if I may, have yet to see facts of life. 

What do marriage and having children have to do with work. Yes, time will be needed, yet isn’t 8 hours work out of say 16 hours wake time, not enough ?   Why must 9 to 9 work time be only worth, “ooh……… you are working hard” ?   Many start ‘working’ when clock strikes 5pm………… then, say, ooh………OT is needed, simply because they could do so, just to show-show.  For ‘bosses’  they think a tidy desk and finishing at 1800 hour as ‘ooh……. s/he is not working hard.’  Often makes me wonder what era am I living in…….lolol ………..  For some working mothers, they think their single-fellows or those without child colleagues, can be their ER coverage, frowning when the singles try to have holidays, thinking holidays are ‘taken because of child-care needs only’.  Until such concept of living is rooted out, PM Abe will have make BIG effort to ‘modernise’ these concept. Obviously, only ladies have the ability to do certain things – breast feeding, mother’s love, care and naturally, most can cook better too.  :-)     Yet, are these work of lesser quality and be used as a reason for suppression, no matter what angle you are looking from ?

Time is precious for everyone whether you are single or not. Everyone have chores and lives to live. Seeing from afar, I think these peoples are simply selfish and wanting their lives to be the centre spot in their respective environment. You cannot have everything to your want at the same time - money, work and children while denying others, theirs.  Every worker/family in the rest of the world can do it, why can’t JP worker/family ? I was shocked then too, to hear similar comments from colleague and even superiors. Ulala …….. indeed. Why such a big fuss to the point that it seems that JP is falling into feminism extremist. Such a joke in a 21century that this would be an issue at all……..

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Unexpected encounters.

My all-time favourite play place, but stuck inside Splash Mountain for almost 3 hours.  Waa……. Haven’t queued this long since years n years back when we were here on a weekend. Thought that was the first n last then. lolol …………….
 
Should have to get a second fastpass in spite of holding another one this morning. Fast pass for this was gone by noon time. Shocking. I assume it is the top hype for the day. As I realised later, there were large groups from Osaka……… lots of Osaka-ben around me. Fresh feeling and very interesting conversation taking place.  An added fun with all respect.
 
Later on, was kind of shock with unexpected encounters. Guess JP these days are no longer as truthful n omotenashi as most of the world still like to think. One lied n another impolitely stressed that a non-interested child is here, though it is quite clear that the child has not the same interest as she is – busy with game on tablet !  It is amusing when she admitted it later when the hanabi show started.   Earlier in the day, there was this young couple who sneaked over me in queue in split second !   Eye-popping at first, indeed. Later, got to reclaim my spot………………  hmm ……….    Recalled, I heard from a friend who had her picnic n stuffs that she had placed earlier in the day, taken off during a hanabi event. Shocking for her too……. being a foreigner herself, as she thought JP would not do things like that.

Happy encountering……… n be forewarned. Do not be caught with surprise when you visit.

 

Private golf lesson in Penang, Malaysia

Wow……… always nice to be in Penang. Golf lesson is cheap n flexible. We met another golf trainer, Mr Bala, who would teach at Turf Club, on island side, part of horse racing course facility. His direct contact number is +60-(0)12-582 1347. 

There are also nice golf speciaty shops (for instance, Golf House, MST Golf) inside Gurney Plaza and Queensbay malls that we hardly missed whenever we are in town. I surely have much to improve and have done so with some private lessons, to my delight.  Happy golfing. 

Travel with elderly ………

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Saturday –   It was an event being out with both in-laws, our last being some 15 years ago, probably when we visited Cameron Highlands also as part of Penang trip.  Certainly felt that age has caught up with each of us in a specific way. F-i-l  seems to have starting signs of senility…. possibly.   I guess it is part of family responsibility to keep on sending little reminders when certain off-sense questions popped in.  M-i-l seems to fair better. Probably because she is more adventurous in nature.  HK to PEN flight greeted us in first class cabin as flight was almost full. Certainly very private seat n comfortable. It will be lovely to be in one on a long haul flight.

Sunday –   P-i-l decided to go try local morning dishes near home area to our surprise.  They tried koay-teow-theng, to our surprise, found them tasty. It is a simple, chicken base soup bowl of noodle.  My f-i-l eats very strong salty, sweet dish in TK.  Visited house, enjoyed recycled goods that were given by my i-l as she clears her house storage little by little.  Played with the dogs.  We had reservation for high tea at 1885 restaurant in E&O. Meals turned out moderate although the tea choices we all had were fantastic. The finger pastries could be better, I am sure.  

Monday –  We enjoyed drive to ex-Mutiara Hotel, Tg Bungah. She is still in deprived condition, without anyone to take over the running of it. This evening we had dinner at BJCC club house. Then we  drove across Penang 2nd bridge that was opened in early March. Tonight was the last night of free access.  It was quite accidentally that A had a check late night. Our next day return flight was delayed to 1100+ rendering time for connection flight quite challenging after reaching Hong Kong.

Tuesday –  Woke up the next morning, a check showed another time reschedule to 1200+ hour, rendering time for connecting flight impossible now.  M-i-l got a minor shock n felt I’ll for a short while. Thank goodness she rested n felt fine enough to get on flight. We cancelled our HK dinner with friends.  I-l had to put up a stay in HK for next morning flight back to TK. It was at Novotel CityGate. 
Yet, we had to regroup as M-i-l felt good enough to go out for dinner.  A place near Novotel CityGate so that she needed not walk too much.  F-i-l was getting high at the end if dinner for some reason. We were quite dumbfounded n missed taking a group photo. Too bad……. 

Next morning we were supposed to meet up for flight check in at bus terminal HKIA but f-i-l was too impatient. Everyone moved on to staff counter. Thanks goodness WiFi connection at our hotel was good enough that I read Emerson’s mail in time before bus left hotel ground. Save me some heart beat missing moments…… Whew……..   Surely his senility sign has gotten stronger, I must admit. Though he would not. Normal for most at similar age. It would be quite a problem for him to travel in foreign country as contacting will be an issue when lost. Travelling according to arrangement will be the basic understanding to avoid unnecessary panic.         

Wednesday  – Finally, I get my own time back, tried to catch up with MOOC  n bible homework. Paperwork in backlog schedule.  Joined in conference dinner at Marriott. There were group performance, cake decor competition n special recognition.  I also took the chance to tour terminal 2, Aviation section, located above the shopping floor in Terminal 2. With a bad stomach, I skipped trying out the plane aviating attraction.  I tried foot massage at Wellness Spa n Massage at Level 3 also n had a lady has quite strong palms.

Thursday –  Had breakfast at Lions Rock, had quite an uncomfortable lower stomach. We had dinner with friends, such an honour indeed to visit their homes, which are on the other side of Kowloon.  Gorgeous homes, indeed. 

Friday –  We went off to airport as time for check in nears. We already checked the night before. Such lovely high tech generation.
It was a smooth flight back. Enjoyed a nice slow stay at HK since a long time ago.

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