Thursday, December 22, 2005

Away From Home Diaries Part 5


Dont you just hate guilt feeling.........especially when you are not even sure if you are guilty or not. Today is one of those days. Big Boss (BB) is in town...supposed to set up a meeting for him with a client but it didnt happen, couldnt happen actually because of some new interventions. Meeting supposed to be today (it was a tentative thing), but Dr Jeez & me told him at dinner last nite that plans has changed. BB seem cool about it, and said we'll meet at the office today at 2. We were there waiting in the meeting room....nothing, then Dr Jeez saw him talking to the 'Judge'. So we thot he'll look for us after that. We were busy working while waiting.

The next thing we know, he has left the office; and going to the airport.

And I feel guilty....guilty coz meeting didnt happen, guilty coz didnt try to find him to ask if he wants to talk to us......and why should i feel guilty when Dr Jeez (THE PROJECT MANAGER) couldnt give a hoot.

I thot posting this would make me feel better, but i still feel guilty...;-(

Monday, December 19, 2005

Away From Home Diaries Part 4


I miss my little apartment

I miss my TV

I miss my manual car

I miss daily conversations with Mak

I miss the picture on my fridge (oh so much!!)

I miss conversations with nekbat over tall latte with whipped cream

I miss and astro tv

I miss the hot sun

I miss HOME

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Anne's Away From Home Diaries Part 3

It was supposed to be an ordinary day...

Today is Saturday, the beginning of the working week in this part of the world. It feels weird. I was mumbling why people at the KL office didnt reply my email when Dr. Jeez reminded its the weekend in KL.

I was hoping this would be a quite day...we'll leave work early so that i can prepare for my outstation trip tomorrow. (ya, i'm already out of my station obviously). Che-Ah (the nickname i have given to the beautiful arab lady who is in charge of this project) had to invite Dr Jeez and i to join her for a talk about Gender Equality after work. Supposedly the institute organising it is close to our apartment. Dr. Jeez of coz wont give up such "exciting events". Predictably boring stuff delivered by a sweet looking japanese lady approaching retirement age..after what felt like 5 hours of monotonous speech..surprisingly the Q&A got pretty exciting with the pak arabs in their jubah having their say of the matter heard. I thot it will never end until the MC got up to apologise- no more questions from the floor; thank god. Nope too good an ending. Dr. Jeez had to put up his hand, and the MC was apologizing nicely that the speaker is tired and its late........but he blurted out so loud, like tak faham bahasa "You want to hear experience from MALAYSIA???"...OMG, i wanted to the time, they were about to present a gift to the speaker. I can hear people at the back in chorus saying "NO" to Dr Jeez....

With Dr Jeez around, you pray for an uneventful day. Tell me, am i overreacting????

He's driving me to the airport tomorrow me i would get a cab if that is an option.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Anne’s Away From Home Diaries Part 2

About that stupid something……..

Last weekend Dr Jeez decided that we must do tourist stuff before the workload gets really heavy. So, early Friday morning we drove the ends of the island, away from much civilization – well, if I don’t count the oil refineries as civilization- in search of the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is a living tree in the middle of the desert…I am sure there’s more to the name but I have yet to discover it. This is not a tourist friendly place and signs are really lousy, only on the main roads and then nothing….

The sign to the tree of life from the main road took us on a right turn into the desert. Do not imagine the sights of modern refineries in Port Dickson or Trengganu, but more conventional ones – pump looking things. There were many small camp sites here and there, I presume private oil wells (don’t take my word for it – there were no signs or nothing).

After driving aimlessly, Dr Jeez decided to stop for directions (MANY TIMES)….( I think he was enjoying it a bit too much) We ended up at an Oil Museum, which was closed. We waited for a while in case the museum caretaker would come back and hopefully the person speaks English. He never came back, so Dr Jeez decided to drive further…..

Lost in the middle of nowhere

We came across another camp, similar to the one in the above picture. This time an English speaking Arab gentleman kindly offered to show the way. We followed his jeep into the winding tar roads, until he stops, point to a tree in the middle of nowhere, and told us to make our way to the tree. We gratefully thanked him. We drove towards that direction until suddenly the tar road came to an end (there was a sign saying RESTRICTED AREA). I told Dr Jeez to turn back…..nearby there was another camp about 200 meters away, there was a guy standing there alone in the desert. Dr Jeez said I want to go talk to the guy. I said don’t, we don’t want to end up in jail, it says restricted. He mumbled something like I am a coward, non adventurous…..I was still protesting when he turned the car into the desert sand, and before I could say S..T..U..P.., the car stopped and sank into the sand. And then he turned to me and said I think the car is stuck. (HELLO!!!!!)

The non English speaking ‘desert guy’ tried to help, first he and Dr Jeez thought they could lift the car with their bare hands, while I slammed on the accelerator in reverse gear. It only made the car sink in further and caused a sand storm. The desert guy went to get a small shovel, didn’t work either. Dr Jeez of course was asking the guy questions like, got car? Help pull?…. He then told me we that we still have 5 hours till darkness. (comforting thought, duhhhh..)

Despite this near life threatening situation, I decided this would make good pictures for my blog.

Sinking into the sand

Desert guy digging out sand with bare hands

I asked Dr Jeez what was his rescue plan – I was pissed coz he got us into this stupid situation. I was just praying that the car will eventually reverse out if the sand but it just won’t budge. His great plan was to call the car rental company (yes the mobile phone reception was good)…I know it wont work coz we don’t know where we are, and they guy wont be able to find us, unless he called for a helicopter search operation.

After a while, a jeep passed by, and Dr Jeez waved like crazy to get attention. The jeep stopped, and they strike a deal in sign language to pull out the car for a whopping 10dinar (that’s RM100). Except there’s no rope of cable. The desert guy ran into his camp (pity him …quite a distance) and came back with a short, thin rope – the one you use for your “ampai kain”…No good. The jeep guy signed that he will go find some better cable and drove away.

While waiting for the jeep guy, Dr Jeez decided to ask desert guy to take him on the tour of his camp – and I was left alone in the half-sunk car (pissed). The jeep guy came back (alhamdulillah), and the car was towed out of the sand.

The jeep guy asked us to follow his jeep, he will guide us to the tree of life and show us the way back to the main road. (I think in the desert guy and jeep guy’s minds – stupid people!!!) He took us thru winding roads leading to god know where, and he stopped. Dr Jeez paid guy the $$ and he pointed to us the tree of life. (The funny part was it’s a different tree from the one the other guy showed us!!!!, except this time it’s the right one!)

All the look at a tree!!!

End of my bogus adventure.