Sunday, October 28, 2012

The empire state of trip...

Out of the blue, my boss had wanted me to sign up a course which would be conducted in Houston, Texas, US. It did take me by surprise. Immediately after that, I had to go offshore for a job, which lasted for about 3 weeks.

As I got back to KL, I was running here there, trying to expedite my visa application, or else I wouldn't go nowhere. I had less than 2 week of time allowance, and fortunately it went on without a hitch, although the visa approved for me is a single entry one, as opposed to most of the others' 10 years multiple entries. Anyway, it's just doesn't matter.

I flew Qatar Airways, had my transit in Doha International Airport. The long haul flight was of no fun. They served Middle Eastern Food, which I didn't quite like it. I finished up to like 5 movies or something.

Touching down Houston Intercontinental Airport in the morning, felt lethargic, and of course the jet lag (12 hours deviation) was ain't helping at all. Checked in the Sheraton North Houston Hotel, which is just next to my training center. Another colleague of mine, Nisha was there too. She had got a truck and she drove us around abit. 

The course (Drilling Engineering) went on for two weeks. Good to get to know some colleagues from Aberdeen, Brazil and also US. Although it's kind of introductory stuffs, but I certainly have taken home lot of input. Glad I came! We always want to go back to the basics, and it's so important to have a good basics (I thought). Apart from it, we had great deal of fun visited few interesting places around Houston such as Hard Rock Cafe Houston, Space Center Houston, Kemah Boardwalk, Premium Outlets Houston, and the neighborhood of Sheraton North Houston.

Had an examination in the morning on my second Friday in Houston and project presentation in the afternoon. I pulled it off. After that, went with the colleagues to Midtown Houston for dinner, and of course the party. We were hopping from a club to another. I think  we visited like 5 of them. It's so much fun. All of us got so drunk. I came back to hotel early with Adam (Brit). I remember the scene where both of us taking the dustbin located at two side of the lift at the hotel and puking. That's hilarious, because he didn't know that I was so drunk and vice versa. That's at 2.30am. 

What's more classic (to me) was that I had to check out the room at like 3.30am to go to the airport and heading for New York City (NYC). Apparently I was having a really bad hangover. How I managed to get myself from Houston to Atlantic Airport to NYC was impressive, to me myself. You know all the procedures in the airport, checking in luggage, clear custom, finding the boarding gate and so on. 

Touching down Newark Airport in the afternoon. Checked in Sun Bright Hotel located in Chinatown, Manhattan. It's absolutely a budget hotel, It has such a small footprint that a single bed and my luggage already took up 80% of the space. It was within walking distance to the Canal Street subway station, which is like few stations away from 42 Street, The Time Square area. I bet almost everyone will be amazed by the neon lit advertisements running all over the buildings along the streets and almost every corner. It's just vibrant and energetic!

We bought the package of combination of New York Pass and bus packages to gain access to couple of places of interest such as Empire State of Building, Top of The Rock, Madam Tussaud's. In addition to that we had to get ticket for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour. 

NYC 's skyline is simply breathtaking (especially at night) with some remarkable buidings, at least three major suspension bridges and of course the Statue of Liberty from afar. Having to view it from the Top of The Rock observatory deck at night, at observatory deck of Empire State Building at noon, and also from Semi Circle Cruise in the evening, all were just keeping me more and more interested about the city.

Went on Brookyln City Bus Tour, but was stuck at lower deck of the bus, and eventually I fell asleep like for most part of the tour. Waste of money as well as time. Went on the New York City Night Tour, which was informative as well as amazing. Right before we made a round back to Time Square, the guide turned on the song "empire state of mind", which was way awesome. The ambiance of it was just good. The whole place is like representing freedom, dream and the likes. Indeed Terrific.

Moreover, visited the Wall Street, the Trump Tower, the Ripley's Odditorium, the Manhattan's Bridge, the Ground Zero and so on. I guess we had covered most of the places of interest around the city. It's tiring but it's just fun.

Wanted to go to the Central Park on the fourth day, but it was drizzling all the time. So got stuck at Manhattan Mall and Macy's, leading to more damage to my broken account!!!!!'s just joyful though.

One more thing worth a note. It's the time during which I did so many online purchase, from flight booking to hotel booking, camera, book, New York Pass and so on. All of them worked!

Looking forward to my next trip already. Cheers...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Of the beers I've got

I am no big drinker, not at all. I guess I drink as I want to socialise and it's actually part of my job. Lol. Further than that, it's one of the things which I wanna do to expand my life experience, much like traveling to different places, learning different cultures, and so on. Hilarious tough, most of the beers taste about the same to me, but some are smoother than the others.

Here's a list of beers I had tried, (not following any chronological/preference order):

1. Carlsberg, Danish

2. Heiniken, Dutch

3. Beck's, German

4. Chang, Thai

5. Singha, Thai

6. South Pacific, PNG

7. Corona Extra, Mexican

8. Stella Artois, Belgium

9. Hoegaarden, Belgium

10. India Pale Ale (IPA), English

11. Budweiser, American

12. Shiner Bock, Texan (American)

13. Tiger Beer

 Of course, the list if not exhaustive. Guess I will need to come back and update it over time.