Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Few Of My Favourite Things: Thai Koay Teow Soup

This bowl of goodness can be found at the Langkawi Parade Shopping Mall, from a nondescript stall at the Level 3 open food court.

The soup is a deep yet simple spiced beef stock tinged with dark soy sauce. Upon order, the cook deftly collects the components - thai rice noodles, water convolvulus and beansprouts and a few slices of fishcake, and dips them in hot water to blanch before ladling on the beefy goodness that is the soup.

Yummmmmmmmmmmmy is all I can say.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, 19 January 2015

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Langkawi Chronicles: DITLO: SNAKE!

Got a call today from one of the guests at the resort. 

Guest: Encik, datang segera ke Chalet Kenanga 1, ada ular. Cepat Encik!

Razee: Baiklah, saya datang sekarang and dashes out the door.

Guest: Terima Kasih Encik, tu dia haaa (and points to it while I take a look).

Razee: Okay, Tuan dan ahli keluarga semua masuk ke dalam Chalet semula dan tutup semua pintu masuk sementara saya usahakan ular ni.

Proceeds to usher the snake away with a long safety pole, while guests continue looking and agape (blithely ignoring my instruction to stay indoors). 

Carefully guided the snake to a drain chute a distance away. Little that the guests knew that the snake was a venomous one, a Monocled Cobra that can grow to be close to 2 meters long and occurs throughout the Peninsula Malaysia, Thailand, India, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam and sporadically in China. 

The 'O' pattern on the neck is the Monocle.
The trick is to guide the critter away to a direction we want it to, without actually touching it, bashing it, or worse, picking it up. Harassing it will only cause the snake to Hood and force it to stand its ground, prolonging the process. So, let it go on its way by corralling it in the direction we do want it to go. I absolutely detest killing a creature and so this method is the best as it removes the need for physical contact (besides, being bitten can really ruin one's day!).

As a precaution against it returning, we liberally sprinkle Sulphur along the perimeter of the chalets and structures. 

Crisis averted in 5 minutes. 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Langkawi Chronicles: Playing Guardian

One of my associates fell ill last week. As it were, I was on the way to pick up another from the Langkawi airport to be brought to the resort, when i first noticed that something was amiss.

He didn't stand or walk as straight as he normally does and it seemed forced and laboured when he walked, as if he was suppressing some discomfort. When I asked him about it, he downplayed it as merely a stomach bug he has been nursing from the day before. He did already visit a clinic earlier on his way to work where he was given some meds.

I shrugged it off as maybe it was one of those 'angin' (gas) that we Asians are often afflicted with.

It was during dinner with him that it suddenly dawned on me that it could be something far more serious. Asked him to perform some simple stretches and for each one I noted that if he were to bend down, flex sideways or stretch backwards, he would wince in pain. When about where specifically the pain was emanating from he pointed around his belly, towards the right of his belly button. Fearing it could be Appendicitis (I am no doctor, for sure, but rather err on the side of caution), I brought him to the Langkawi Hospital where he underwent a series of tests.

2 plus hours later, he was admitted as a patient with the suspicion of suffering from an inflamed Appendix. His health did not show any major decline, apart from the occasional stab of ouch. Bought him food and stuff for his stay. And he was visited by nearly the whole resort team bringing him much cheer (but reduced rest , :p) who babied him with more snacks. Dropped by as often as I could with hot food (even the best Hospital food, is still Hospital food right?).

True enough, after a full 2 days of observation, his pain and discomfort did not lessen, despite the doses of painkillers and antibiotics he was plied. He underwent surgery (keyhole method) to treat the Appendicitis. Him being alone here in Langkawi with no next of kin and family, I felt was my duty to keep him company and attended.

Now he has been discharged from the Hospital to return home to recuperate and relax.

I am feeling this odd sense of deprivation now, (separation angst? hahaha!) but am glad that he is on the mend.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Thursday, 1 January 2015

End of 2014.

It has been a long while since my last introspective.

Feels a little weird doing it now, similar to that wobbly feeling one gets riding a bicycle after a very long while of not doing so.

Work is better now, with the team that we have here. Going from strength to strength. Increased our guests satisfaction index from below average of 3.5/5 to 4.1/5 (Highest ever for the team) and another jump to 4.8/5 in 2013. We retained that 4.8 again this year. Pats on our backs for everyone.

There is much to be done here, too much sometimes. There was a time when I was seriously unhappy with work a few years ago that ultimately led to my leaving it. Now I realize, thankfully not too late, that the lesson was a very important one for me. I needed to realise and feel what it was like to be unappreciated and seen as only a number instead of a person. Grace be to God that I survived that test, and now being given a bigger test.

Managing a resort is very much an exciting thing for me. Everything is new, everything presents an opportunity for learning and experience. 2013 and 2014 has been very kind to me indeed. There were plenty of difficult moments, make no mistake, but I have now a clear acceptance that being a leader is noble burden.

All that I hated from my own leaders I must not repeat so that the negative energy is not spread. It must be changed and merged with all that was good from them. I am fortunate to have had more good leaders than bad (oh there were quite a few bad ones, I tell you, but that too is an education).

I need to build upon my experience and support my team as best as I can. Being middle management brings its own set of rules and therefore solid factual data must be collected and presented to help support my cause. Better pay and benefits for the team here.

I am rather positive that the resort management contract will be renewed for healthy 2+2 year period. Word has it that we will retain mantle of resort management and service provider for a few more years. The conditions have changed, a lot more demands has been placed upon us, but that is to be expected. I am keen to see the changes we as a team can bring on top of the list of demands.

On a more personal side, I am beginning to feel that wanderlust again, like there is something more for me out there. Approaching another birthday soon, and so it is only natural to want bigger and better things for myself. Maybe buying (or building) my first home, decorating it and furnishing it to my own taste (which is mainly functional and minimalist). Make new friends, having more of a social life, outside of work. Take up new hobbies and take better care of my health. But I have made a few promises to myself and my team that I must honour first before I can safely leave.

Signed up for medical insurance. And a private retirement scheme too. Finally beginning to be a wee bit more responsible about my own future. I still have no savings, which is a huge problem, but I intend to create one soon, for emergencies.

Signs of maturity I guess, realising that so many things are not in place.