Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Tale of Two Frogs

Beaufort MP Lajim Ukin and Tuaran MP Wilfred Bumburing, both from the politically volatile state of Sabah have finally abandoned BN and even openly declared their support for PR.

The only good thing that I see coming out of this “hopping over” is the faith that this may lead others in Sabah to follow suit. I am not surprised if finally, this happens. The last time a migration of frogs was supposed to have occurred on September 16, 2008 but in the end, there was no crossover. Nothing happened. Maybe after a lengthy hiatus, Sabah frogs are now ready.

There will be those who ask if these politicians should be welcomed with open arms. Can they be trusted? Do they have a hidden agenda? I say, let’s not think too much about it. Whatever their motivations, we should take them in. We should give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, when they make a conscious decision to leave their long-time parties, they are helping in the disintegration of BN in Sabah first and then elsewhere. If their joining PR can accelerate the destruction of the UMNO monolith, why should we be so concerned? It doesn’t matter why anymore. What matters is to fulfil the ABU promise. It is time for change. It has been long overdue. The spark has been ignited.

I found out today that another pile of exam scripts await me for second marking – this time it is MKT1014 Principles of Marketing. Sigh!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Leaving Beijing

I departed from Beijing early Saturday morning to catch my MH371 flight back to KL. I again used the subway and the train to get to the airport. I must admit that I have enjoyed Beijing even if it was a brief trip. My last visit to this city was more than thirteen years ago and since then, Beijing has transformed. Sure there are the modern edifices that dot the city but they seem to co-exist well with the old buildings and further lending character to the city. Beijing rocks!

And let's talk about MAS. My experience with this airline was okay but I could not help but notice that cabin service was not what it used to be. Even the food that was served on board was uninspiring. I guess with MAS losing money, the airline is really cutting down on everything. Maybe, the next time I travel, I should consider other airlines?

And coming back to Malaysia means I have a pile of exam scripts (i.e. BMB2203 Entrepreneurship) to second-mark, not to mention, the assortment of assignments to go through. All to complete by Friday. So what's new?

The Beijing F&B Scene

Readers may be wondering why I am putting out posts in quick succession since I returned from Beijing on Saturday afternoon. That’s because I couldn’t access my blog during my stay in China (July 25-27). I did try on multiple occasions but to no avail. Even Facebook was blocked, in case you didn’t know.

Today’s post on Beijing pertains to the other important activity that Choy and I were engaged in – we explored the local food scene. Again more photos but this time, they featured food:

Takeaway breakfast on Wednesday

Breakfast on Thursday

This is where I took my breakfast on Friday – a Chinese fast-food joint

And not forgetting the beers that helped to quench my thirst. It was summer after all and the weather was predictably hot and humid.

Thank God for cold beers!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life in the City

I read in Xinhua Online News on Friday morning that it was only the day before that the death toll was updated. The rains that speared Beijing on July 21, 2012 took 77 lives, most of the bodies were found in suburban districts, including 38 bodies that were recovered in the hardest-hit Fangshan district. I captured two photos of the floods that were shown on telly:

I also read that on Wednesday, the day I arrived in Beijing, heavy rain was forecasted. But it didn’t materialize – there was only some light drizzle in the afternoon and a brief seven-minute shower in the evening – but rains did pummel the neighboring city of Tianjin, flooding many downtown streets and vehicles.

Anyway, I was glad I did not experience drenching wet weather during my stay in the capital city. More photos taken of Beijing:

Paper On Perceived Satisfaction

Above: Fellow Malaysian, Dr Nursilah Ahmad from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia

The actual 2012 GEBF or the Annual Conference on Global Economy, Business and Finance was held over two days. Most of the time I was in Rooms 3 or 4 on the second floor where I heard some good presentations. Two in particular made me sit up, i.e. “Dynamics of Learning Motivation When Japanese Students from Confucian Tradition Encounter American Immediacy” (Keiko Khoo, Loma Linda University, USA) and “Virtual Learning: Higher Education Using Virtual Worlds and Immersion Systems with Avatars” (Alejandro Lopez Rodriguez, University of Guadalajara, Mexico) – these two had direct relevance because I could relate these to the Monash Sunway course (Graduate Certificate in Higher Education) that I am presently enrolled in.

My presentation was made during the last session (starting 3:15 PM) on the last day, i.e. Friday, July 27, 2012. I thought it went well and I gave myself a pat on the back.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Beijing's Snack Street

No visit to Beijing can be considered complete until you drop by at Wangfujing Snack Street in Dongcheng District – it is in a side alley of the main shopping district. And on Wednesday afternoon itself, I went there. I'm sorry to disappoint those who may think that I will try the creepy crawlies but nope, I shied away from the exotic stuff, whether scorpions, spiders, sea horses, centipedes, silkworms, crickets and such like – I just tried the normal food. After all, I am not the adventurous type as far as food is concerned. Still, it was a fun place – the display, the selection, the atmosphere were just great. The photos below tell you of the visual feast as seen through my eyes: