Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Burnt my swimmers!

when I first said it I didnt think there was anything wrong...well was silly of me to get my still new swimmers burnt....but not like I had committed a crime is it.
then I stopped and looked /listened to that phase again (this time with my non-Aussie accent) then realised why my friends were a bit baffled about my story of having 'burnt my swimmers' :p
well basically swimmers = swim suit....I guess its an aussie slang...but with some of the aussie style shortened words you dont even realise its not a word commonly used in other english speaking places :)

anyhow so what was the story? while at the Mandarin Oriental in Manila I decided to go for a dip in the pool then proceeded to the sauna. once done I thought might be an idea to dry my 'swimmers' seeing that it was already late night (sauna open 24 hours!! perfect for insomniacs like me)...anyhow so I turn on the hair-dryer (1st silly move) put the temp to high (2nd silly move) and was blowing the swimmers quite close (3rd silly move!!) next thing I know took only a few seconds and there was this funny smell....and there we go voila! a hole in my shiny bright green swimmers....... sighhhhhhh
oh well that should teach me........

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Chocolate Marquiz de Pompodor

Id say this is the highlight of my trip this time :p We had dinner at a nice restuarant in Manila's old walled city Intramuros. The place itself was nice enough......old wooden floors et all, the food was generally ok.....nice fresh norwegian salmon salad, another nice (and big portion!!) fish of some sort....served mediterranean style......and then they brought out the dessert mmmmmm I guess this is where words like sinfully delicious become appropriate.....not that I would ever think eating chocolates is a sin :) but anyhow this was a deliciously rich chocolate terrine....which is kinda a cross between a chocolate mousse and a chocolate icecream cake....only much nicer. mmmmm

so no Max Brenner this time...but I guess I will survive :)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another Manila trip

a short 2.5 days trip to Manila. looks like a tiring trip ahead...early start for an early flight...long 2 days ahead....Friday maybe a bit quieter...but next thing I know...Ill already be flying back. the problem with Manila...apart from it being not so visitor that I have no friends there. hmmm this has gotta be change. but how!

anyway....atleast there will be Max Brenner always waiting for me there :)

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Presentation at Bangkok University

So I was invited to speak at a Communication class /seminar at Bangkok University. When I was first approached I wasnt sure if to feel flattered or to feel old :p see Id like to think that I havent been out of uni that long myself...but to suddenly get invited to speak there...hmmmm the day finally arrived. Didnt have much time to prepare as there seemed to be a million other things to do. Luckily the topic was about events management...something Ive been doing for quite a number of years. To add an edge to the discussion I focused on how events management can be used as a tool to affect policy change. Powerpoints etc are available...but Id rather leave that for upload on the work website. lets keep this blog non academic :P (not that theres anything really academic about the presentation. although there was background discussion on the work of Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and the underlying liberal values, and also some broad overview of economic freedom and how it can benefit the poor.

end of the day??? I got a nice gift (think its a pen...yet to open it) AND a bouquet of roses. sighhhh how sweet. with such sweet gestures from the university and the students I guess they could convince me to go back to that Graduate school talk that the lecturer was starting to mention. (will be a tougher crowd though I imagine...but maybe I get a bigger bouquet) :)

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Weekend back home

So I made it home on Saturday morning....(too early...another reason to not look forward to India trip...flight departs after midnight...lands at 5.30am thai time...but with delays and such....I end up getting home around 8.30am....sleep pattern all destructed!!)
so I was expecting a quiet weekend at home...but Jeny calls early evening...shes back in town from we decided to meet up. Sunday was meant to be another quiet day...and in a way it wasnt too bad :)
Tony called...he was in town from Sydney and leaving the next morning. So we met and had a really nice dinner at Siam City Hotel. The buffet was really good. lots of seafood..and a number of salmon special dishes.....but ofcourse the best was their dessert selection.....complete with a chocolate fountain!!! mmmmmmmm Check it out if you are in the area.

So what did I think of Delhi?

in one word...chaos. two words? chaotic and stressful. I wonder how people manage. hotel prices are ridiculously expensive. more than 10,000 rupees for a mediocre place. In the end I opted to stay at Zimpy's and Nidhi's place. (more time for us to catch up).
Im already worrying about having to go back there in September. the airport wasnt a good experience either. long queues just to get inside...then go through X-ray (another story there.....they had 2 guys sitting on either side of the X-ray machine whose job was to get the security tag wrapped around bags...but it was a third guy's job to get the bags on to the tag machine. so while this one guy is suppose to be working lifting the bags...the other 2 just sat there and pressed some button to get the tags tied around the bag. what a total waste of resource and time!!! anyhow the bags had piled up...and the guy picks up the ones that come through later, while mine is sitting there waiting still. got to the point where i got annoyed and got up on the conveyor belt myself and lifted the bag for one of the man sitting on the side so that he could push that button! they all must have looked at me and thought this woman can not be a woman.....but rather an alien!!
more example of how women are expected to take a quieter submissive role I suppose? my story doesnt end Im waiting in (YET ANOTHER) get through immigration. suddenly just as I get to front of line a guy pops up out of no where and is suddenly at the open space between me and the counter. before I had a chance to say anything one of the guys that works there directed this guy who cut the queue to approach the I begin to question it...and the staff simply tries to appease me by waving me to the next counter that just became available. sounds trivial perhaps...but how can they provide service in an orderly manner if they encourage people to cut queues like that? how annoying!!! my consoolation? that guy was hovering at the counter while officer was still serving another traveller, so officer sent him to wait at the back of the line :P

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

apparently the Harbour bridge marked its 75th anniversary on Sunday 18th March 2007. Some interesting facts, but also touching stories associated with the bridge. For instance while I lived there and admired the bridge whenever I saw it, I had never given thought as to how much work had gone into building it. It took 1,600 people over 8 years to get the bridge built.

You can read more on the celebration of the 75th anniversary here.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

India, New Delhi.......16 years later...almost to the date

so here I am ...kinda suddenly in India at relatively short notice. some work related meetings....not seen all that much of the place yet...but so far doesnt seem much has changed.....crowded roads, with cars honking constantly every 10 seconds!! one obvious glaring fact seems to be that the divide between the haves and the havenots seem to have increased. and dont even talk about hotel prices in Delhi....something like 200US$ for a run down 3 star hotel that claims to be a 5star.

I decided to stay at a friend's house instead. This seems to be the highlight of my trip....seeing my high school friends after all these years. Zimpy, Nidhi Gupta and Reena Thapar and I met up yesterday, chatting, catching up etc. We were up til past 3am this morning!! talking about all sorts of silly things we did back in school :p

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Champions League 06/07

so last Wednesday the second leg of the Champions League was played (around 3am Bangkok time)...Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven. score ended on a 1:1 draw....but that meant on aggregrate Arsenal lost and is now out of the race <>

I blame this on the fact that no channel in thailand (free to air nor cable/paid TV) showed the game live grrrrrrrrr!!!!! this meant my brother and I couldnt support the team in real time. grrrrrrrrrr
and as has been known any time I miss a game, we tend to lose. sighhhhhhh

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Speaking of Thailand's Human Rights Commission

heres a piece I wrote a few months ago about the set up and functioning of Thailand's National Human Rights Commission. It has some pretty positive things about it.

Some highlights:
* the setting up and working of the NHRC has been a participatory process
* public hearings were conducted
* set up of the Commission is mandated in the Constitution, as well as a specific NHRC Act
for this reason the Commission can continue to function under the NHRC Act, eventhough the Constitution has been revoked. (but ofcourse if the new Constitution being drafted propose that the Commission be combined with the Ombudsmen office, then this will change things entirely)
* The Commission extends its service to all people living in Thailand--this includes foreigners living in the country without legal status.
and the one that I think is quite progressive
* Thai NHRC can take the initiative to start an investigation on issues without receiving complaints.

ofcourse there are drawbacks too.....
you can read the full article on Thailand's National Human Rights Commission here.

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