Sunday, December 13, 2015

Year of busy-ness

This year has been the most hectic one of the 5 years of my working life. That means the highest grossing I ever have, and automatically, the most tax incurred, which sucks.

Early of the year was working at offshore Kemaman onboard MRC. Was actually got onboard on 1st Jan. Plenty of easy money there. Gansar, one of the wells that I've seen issue after issue.

After that was assigned to offshore Sabah onboard E8504 semi-submersible, the most live-able rig I've ever been. High profile job, world first BTR-s deployed. Did 2 hitches there including rigging down.

Right after that, made a solo trip to Xian. Hiked at Hua mount. Wonderful lamb BBQ in Xin Jiang style. Missed my returning flight. Lol...

Went to work at Labuan. There were some crews on VSS scheme. Had a wonderful BBQ at Pohon Batu beach.

Made a trip to Brazil. Spent 4 weeks there doing all the courses at Macae as well as Barra da Tijuca. Best part of it is none other than visit to places of interest around Rio de Janeiro.

Went to work in Labuan again.

Went to work in Gulf of Thai. Shit happened. One fuck up that caused the biggest mess ever that I've seen in my entire life. The silver lining, no one got hurt, and we learnt a bunch from a preventable incident.

Went to work offshore Miri onboard DD3. Did 2 hitches there. Equipment was not working properly. Thanks god there was no NPT and replacement came just in time. Stress but it all went ok. Too much of rigging. Good evaluation from Client anyway. The well was actually non drillable, even with MPD. Eye opening.

Went to work offshore Miri again onboard Naga 8, a new rig which is not even 1 year old. We're nearly drilling to TD in next few hours when a total losses occurred. Everyone was caught off guard. So happened it's at shift change time at 6am. Well kicked on us, and went into shut-in. PMCD was activated and got to TD. Gunk plug had no success, but cement plug did after the second one.

Going to go Noble Bully 2. Will be first time being onboard a drillship. Finally I gotta cover all types of rigs, from land rig to jack up, tender-platform, semi-sub, and drillship. Awaiting time to come back working 8-5 if opportunity permits. Anyway,  world first integrated BTR-s deployed, high profile again. Lol...

Snapped up commitments. House and car are in the pipeline.

Topped up stocks to nearly 200k.

Crude oil price has just breached the 2008/09 recession level, at ~35-40 per bbl. The cartel OPEC has decided to go ceiling less on the daily production level, than the original one at 30mil bbls daily. The whole oil and gas industry is in a gloomy climate. Lay off is nothing new. Keep finger crossed.

Finally a sure target has emerged. Let's go get it or break it. Finger crossed again.

Applied to Robert Gordon University, and a conditional offer has been secured. 50% chance to go for a master study in UK. Finger crossed again.

Still contemplating whether or not this offshore way of life is of any sustainability. Not too keen anymore for such unforgiving mobility / travels. Looking forward to a shift a path. No doubt that the headwind will be especially strong next year in light of industry cyclical downturn, lift-off by the Federal Reserve, against the backdrop where prices are hiked over and over across the board, life goes on, however the adversities are. So, keep hopes alive. Finger crossed.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Financially committed finally

It has been great to live with zero commitment for years, fear no losing my job, plenty of disposable cash. Gone are the days of stress-free on finances that I've just made couple of financial movements in just two weeks of time. 

While waiting arrival of friends, we paid an impromptu visit to a property fair, just so happened there was one taking place. and so happened there was one awesome deal, at least so I thought. I snapped up my first property, and paid the booking fee of RM 5,000. Housing loan was approved today, so it's pretty much a done deal. From hindsight, the way I've bought my first property is no different than buying vegetable. Almost minimal scrutiny or checks that I'd made...

After being turned off by the news that most imported cars will see price hike due to ringgit depreciation starting next year and so happened that Honda is putting up good promotion,  I waited no more and snapped up my first car. Loan approved today too. So it's a done deal too.

Was supposed to meet with a friend who is also a Great Eastern agent to discuss on life insurance matter, so happened that was a booth set up promoting the Public Bank Mutual Fund. Signed up to put portion of fund in EPF Account #1 to mutual fund.

Signed up with CIMB a Private Retirement Scheme. 

On the path to becoming a modern form of slavery to money. It's that much easy to snap up debts. Anyway, just hope that I could flip the unit in 5 years. Gotta keep budget in check now on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Rio de Janeiro

I met this Brazilian guy who works as a subsea engineer during a course. We asked him how is his salary. Well we know for a fact that subsea engineer usually makes big bucks. His answer was simple without lacking of wisdom. He said he has no complaint for his pay.

Relating back to my work trip to Brazil, I reckon it that I has no complaint for whatsoever. Company paid for my flights, hotel, transport and some courses, and I've got some time to make my own travel checking out a place so internationally acclaimed, Rio de Janeiro. Perfect deal...Well, all goals acheieved, both the courses and the travel.

I had my first Brazil visa back in 2013, unfortunately the activities in Malaysia picked up that I was retained in the country to support the ongoing operations. Disappointingly, I thought that I'd have no luck this Latin America Country. Nonetheless, I still wish for it.

It did come back again, and came so swiftly that I got notified of the flight booking short of 24 hours. Well, I was anticipating it, but didn't expect so short a notice given, that I had to travel back to KL residence, bought some USD, packed my baggage and etc, all in less than 10 hours.

Got to Rio de Janeiro after more than 24 hours of flight, including layover at Dubai Airport. Tired, excited and jet-lagged.

What is fun about the trip is that we were completely taken by shock that most of the people around us don't speak English, not even simple one two three. Imagine that buying a meal at McDonald is already a big challenge, no joke. So yea, I bought an apps on my phone to learn some Portuguese.

On the first Saturday, I joined a couchsurfer, Cristina and went on a Caminhada de domingo (Sunday walk) at a conservation park to meet some other Brazilian couch surfers and see some plants. After that we went to a lake and did some kayaking and stuffs. What is interesting here is how I managed to find the assembly point before we convoyed to the park. As informed by the receptionist at hotel, I took the intercity bus at 1 real per trip to Lagomar. I absolutely had no idea where exactly to meet, but I took my chances. So yea I found them at the petrol station in front of Baker Hughes.'s an adventure considering that I don't speak Portuguese and know nothing about the place which is notorious with crimes.

Third weekend, we were down at Barra de Tijuca for a 5 days course. I exhausted my weekend doing the very things every tourist here will do. Visit to Sugar Loaf mountain, downtown of Lapa & Selaron stairs, Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach, Christ of Redeemer at Corcovado mountain. Again, the traveling part is completely adventurous and fun. Yes I got lost too many times. Thanks to Google Maps.

It has always been a wish of mine to selfie with this international icon, the Christ of Redeemer. Nothing to do with religion, but it adds to my collections and yes finally I've made it crossing half way across the globe to Latin. An accomplishment for sure. Btw, it's one of the new seven wonders. I was up there at from day light till night fall, witnessing the statue got lit up, as well as the city of Rio. It was just amazing, completely worth my wait.

A canvas painting that I bought at Copacabana Beach. It has to be due to a regret that I've had that I didn't buy a real nice spray art when I was at New York city. I was quoted 900 reais initially. But I bargained it for 100 usd + 50 reais. 

One of the most interesting here is the Brazilian Beach Culture, everyone is in their swim suit and do all kind of activities along the beach. 

Some Brazilian beers...


Brahma and zero...



Next up will be Sao Paulo and some Northern cities if I am back again. And of course, Puerto Iguazu Fall, Argentina and Macchu Picchu, Peru.

Finger crossed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Just returned from Xi'an, a trip that I'd consider a solo travel to highest extent by far. The previous ones like the Nepal trip and the Tibet trip were less of solo travel as I was hosted by the agency for most parts of the trips.

I bought the flight ticket two days prior, totally and absolutely unplanned. It's also pretty much exploratory as that I knew so little about Xi'an as a matter of fact. It's rather an act of impulsion in conjunction with the Chinese saying "说走就走!". I was worried of the overwhelmed crowd as my travel was right after the golden holidays in China, May 1. Turned out it's perhaps a better timing that the crowd has diminished to nearly minimal, no congestion, no Q, no rubbish, no price hike and etc.

Touched down at Xian Yang airport middle of night. There was no more public transport available at that hour. Took a cab to get to the youth hostel that I'd booked. Paid 160rmb for the ride. Wtf, it's just 25rmb by airport bus, which drops me off right next to where I was going to stay. At the hostel, the two-men room that I'd booked was let go to someone else, as I arrived late. I'd to check in a 4 men room instead. Put up a night uncomfortably.

Second day, the limited survey about the city that I did was of little help. So I walked out on the street and started exploration. First thing was to get a local sim card to allow me browsing. Spent the whole morning and miles of walking, eventually there was a telco shop who settled it for me. Paid 150rmb for some 3G data, if not mistaken. The difficulty is that the rule is more stringent for sim card registration which requires ID card. Meanwhile, checked out on the nearby bus stations, the LRT stations, food hunts, travel agencies and so on. Bought a trip to 兵马俑+华清池。The man (杨世华)who discovered the 兵马俑 was present for autography session that I bought a 兵马俑book for 200rmb with his signature on.   Back to town, and had a conversation  with a Malaysian guy who was also staying at the same hostel as I did. He had returned from 华山.Got some information from him and yay I was otw the next day.

Took a high speed train to 华阴市, commenced hiking. So happened to bump into a 湖南guy, we hiked together. Otw, joined again two 浙江chicks. However, they all just did one day trip while I stayed overnight inside the mountain. Checked in at 东峰hotel, at 125rmb / night in a 10 men room. It was 150rmb at 北峰hotel. Was relieved to not pay for a big price for it. When I entered the first room given to me, there were few guys inside and they were smoking right there. I insisted a room change and I got it. Met two guys from 深圳。They were solo hikers like me too. Some great stories from them about hiking in 云南。I'm convinced enough that I'll make a trip there some days. The night was chilled. Got up at 5am in the morning to catch sun rise. Yes it's freaking cold. It was quite a scenery but less of a stellar one, probably because of the cloud and the haze. After the sun rise viewing, we split and carried on individually and we were heading for different route.

Back to town, took some time off and had the aching muscles rested. Made a short trip to the museum. Spotted a weird weather, hail (冰雹) which is snow fall and followed by rain. First time to see such a scene. I overheard that it is a rare occurrence. Bought a trip to 陕北for黄河壶口瀑布and 延安.

Was on a bus with mostly retired uncles and aunties. There was a group from 重庆and a group from 江苏。Good people. I got surprised that they didn't spit and litter like I used to know. There was one 重庆guy who dressed in military uniform and made a flag written "回延安" for this trip. 延安is a place where the first development of new China unfolded by president Mao. They called the trip 红旗之旅 that we visited few places relating to P. Mao. They sang the songs proudly praising P.Mao. This is impossible in boleh-land.

Last night at the town, just hang out and did some food hunt. Accidentally walked into a local market which reminds me of the Chatuchak market in Bangkok that they sell everything: food, cloth, jewelry, birds, fish and etc. Met a 长沙chick and went for lunch together. She was also a solo traveler, not a vivid one though.  Took the airport bus to airport.

Shit happened that I found out my flight was supposed to take off last night, which meant that I'd missed my flight. Wtf! Put up a night nearby the airport and bought a new ticket back to KL. Terrible conclusion of the trip. Gotta pay more attention to such details in future, sheer complacency! I'd laugh at myself for this kind of stupidity.

All in all, it's a good trip, apparently burst my budget for the mistake. Let it be. Now I'd added few more destinations to the list of places to just gets longer and longer, instead of the other way around...

Hopefully the Chengdu - Tibet biking trip will happen. Finger crossed!