Thursday, May 24, 2012

Talks over the lunch

Was in a lunch with couples of white men, when two Americans started a conversation about the time they spent in China and their experiences.

American 1 said one of the most perceptible things about the Chinese is that they don't value personal space. In the train station, you sat down there and have your beg sitting down right beside you, one of the fellows would come up and got your beg on the floor and sat down right next to you. He went on commenting that it's as if the beg wasn't entitled to be seated. Then he went on saying in China, not very sure which part in specific, he would go to one of the international hotel chains, rather than any the local hotel, because lacking of the perceived security, comforts and cleanliness. Also, he made it sounds like such a big deal as no one speaks English or something like that.

The other guy said that he would just go to McD or KFC because the local restaurants don't have an English menu and there's no picture attached available to depict the food/dish.

Well, of course I just briefly captured their conversations above. They talked like as if it's all craps in China. It kind of getting me pissed a bit. It looks like there is misunderstanding or lack of understanding or cultural shock or their sheer superficiality. C'mon gentlemen, don't you know that when in rome do as the romans do! Yes, US has been a super-major since long. China has recently climbed up on top as second largest economics in the world too. However, this is not even the point to argue with. Please respect the differences and diversity, which really make the world all more wonderful, ain't them. No single country is perfect, every country has their own set of strength and weaknesses, or opportunity and threats.  

I hope this bunch of morons or anyone on the line will soon get it and stop expecting everybody to act/be like a US and of course stop preaching about their superiority. Because, it doesn't matter from where you are, you are only superior when you have a breadth and width of knowledge in today society, in my point of view. Of course, be respectful to the others too.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Stepped into one of the world least explored places, PNG.

Again, I'm currently out-stationed for job. It's my first time at the rig site, all way in a remote jungle in Papua New Guinea. Rumor has it that this place has got cannibalism which is kind of freaking me out at first. I still remember that my culture anthropology lecturer said that there are some tribes in the country who have a very interesting practice whereby the guys will receive cements from elder guys to become an adult. Not sure how much truth in it though. Anyway,I've been here for closed to two weeks. It's not that tough an environment to adapt to than one which I'd imagined it before getting here.

Be it as remote a place in a jungle which is accessible via only helicopter, it's still an oil and gas industry where the common language is still English, which I can comfortably use. Communication is really not much a problem. It's a mixed community here, 70% the locals and some foreigners. I am in for night shift. I've made many friends. One of my acquaintances is Sutowo, the rig tool pusher from Indonesia who is humble and has helped me a lot in understanding the rig system. I'm more than thankful to him.

The operation that my company/department is providing has pretty much been over when I got here, so I've been on the standby. The operation is drill stem testing now, whereby they produce the hydrocarbon at some 2000m beneath to surface and flare it to evaluate the commerciality of the reservoir.

The flare is totally rocking. It's so loud that it annihilates off the noise from the helicopter, which is already deafening by which I am constantly disturbed during my sleep daylight. Believe it or not, the flow of the hydrocarbon through choke (the restriction) to flare is so strong that it literally is shaking up the whole area. I'm feeling all the vibrations at the desk, room, and etc. Apparently, there is so much of energy down at the reservoir to push the hydrocarbon to surface at such a speed. It is no doubt the strongest fire I have ever encountered in my entire life so far.  

The flare when the choke was at about 50% opening in a misty morning. As of the time of doing this post, the choke is fully opened, the flare is awfully ferocious and loud. I guess it's measuring about 40ft, translates into 4 storeys of height. Yes, it's a big eye opener, but then it started bugging me, or perhaps everybody (except the company reps) a lot now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I had always wanted to go climbing Mount Kinabalu, the tallest peak in Southest Asia. A couples of things had hampered me to proceed, like gathering a group of hikers, availability and etc. 

Just so happened that a friend of mine needed a replacement for his group as someone withdrew herself. I was kind of tied up to work at the time, but I just carried on joining them to conquer the mount. It was just a week prior to the climb that I got informed about the replacement, and my leave was approved right the day before the climb. 

Things were happening swiftly. I didn't make much preparation, didn't go on any kind of stamina training, plus I didn't really take with me all the the items/gears which would come in handy during the adventure, reason being that I wasn't really thinking about the climb which would otherwise turn out to be a huge challenge. 

The climb was tough, which yields a big satisfaction. We started off climbing up thru the Mesilau Trail, which is about 8km in length. As we proceeded half way, the weather turned on us. It's pouring. The rocky trail became a mini waterfall, and we kept going up, as the day was getting darker and darker. We had to reach the rest point by 6pm. We were drenched wet and the ambient temperature was like 5 deg C. My feet were like ice-bathed and got kind of frostbitten. Thanks to the strong mental, I reached there, the first in my group, and swearing all my way through. Bearing all the exhaustion and suffering the spasm, I just kept going on. Come to think about it, it's definitely one of the toughest things I had ever done in my life.

Had a buffet dinner, got some rest, and got up at 2am the next day, the rain hadn't yet stopped, but it did at 2.30am. We started climbing uphill again to the peak. It's wet and freezing cold, about 3 deg C and the air was thin. We had got another perhaps 4 km to complete to be at the low peak. It took such a huge efforts just to make a few more steps. I thought few steps away was already far. That's how exhausted I was. We did make it to the top slightly pass 6am. Sun was a little up already. The view was magnificent. All the hardship paid off, although we were still suffering the extreme coldness.  

The climbers. We didn't come here camping. We climbed to the peak.

Whatever, I've what I wanted to do since long. Great achievement, great experience. Hope to have another adventure similar to this again soon.