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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Happy Return at Nero Fico

The 28th of June marked my mother's birthday. To celebrate, we decided to have a family dinner together at Nero Fico, an Italian restaurant in Damansara Heights. I'd been there once for a family friend's birthday a long time ago. This would be the fourth time my mother got to come here, so it was nice for her, not to mention myself, haha!

The pasta here at Nero Fico is really good, and for a slightly classy Italian restaurant, I think the prices will do you justice. Of course there are some pricings that may not make sense to you and me, which I'll show as you read along.

First up was the bread (its not bought from a vendor, they make it themselves), served with olive oil mixed together with balsamic sauce as a kind of 'dip'. I think all of us loved it, I still remembered it from the first time I came, and I thought, "Not bad, something a lot different from garlic bread or something like that."

We'd ordered two things, which I would live to regret, because we should've only ordered the pasta. It wasn't because the first thing we ordered wasn't good, it was just that I was too full by the time I was finishing the pasta.

What was that thing? That thing was the pizza, thin crust pizza and I was loving it. I ordered the one with the three cheeses I think. It was rather large, which surprised me a little but I wasn't complaining.

After the pizza, came what we were really waiting for, the pasta. My mother had her favourite of course, the Al Nero, which is of a seafood flavour. The pasta is black in colour, I don't know what sauce they use but I can tell you its all good, though my mother said it was better the last time she came compared to last night, but it was still all right. Mine was.. something whose name I cannot remember, but tomato based sauce, with bacon chunks which was awesome. I really enjoyed mine, and I'm glad I chose that one.

My mother couldn't finish, but I couldn't help her finish myself. I was so full even before I finished my own plate! That's when my mother concluded that we shouldn't have ordered the pizza. Even if it had only a thin crust, we had two baskets of the bread I mentioned in the beginning so I guess we had a lot of carbohydrates already even before the pasta came into the picture.

Now, there was something that we ordered in the beginning before all the food came, drinks. My father decided to have some tea, and I didn't feel like having anything fancy so I just called for water. The waiter asked, "Sparkling water or running water?"

I think I just said, "Just normal water," with my head thinking they're going to serve me filtered tap water. This is what came to the table, which eventually came as RM 20 onto our bill:

I was like, "Okay, it's in a really fancy bottle." You probably can't read the smaller inscription, so let me type it out for you:

Bottled at the source in Tuscany, Italy

You know, I only realised this after I was looking at this photo a little more carefully on my computer. I guess it was really dumb for me to order imported mineral water although I had no idea it was but should have probably guessed by the bottle that usually plays host to nice, not so cheap lemonades.

Anyhow, the night ended well and we went home after a nice birthday meal at the Nero Fico. If you ever feel the need to spoil yourself with some quality pasta, perhaps you may want to give this place a try.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Something New Again: Hello there... hurricane

You just can't predict what they'll make. Every time they came up with something new, I thought, "Wow, this is really good stuff, but I would've never thought of it" That is one of the things that has always made me excited anticipating the new things to come from them. It explains why I'm so enthusiastic about this.

Each time they come out with something new, you just know it has that familiar feeling of the previous result but you can always taste the new aroma of something fresh out of the oven. That is why I'm personally quite excited about this:

Switchfoot's new album, with the title track and record of the same name, Hello Hurricane releases in October this year, 2009. Check out some of the live performances of three of the new tracks from Hello Hurricane that Switchfoot have been playing on tour very recently.

YouTube links (High Quality):

1) Hello Hurricane
2) Bullet Soul
3) Mess of Me

Saturday, July 25, 2009


What could you buy with a hundred and thirty ringgit? Lets list down a few shall we? I'll put mine here (feel free to put yours in the comments section) :

1. A prime seat at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas

2. A nice gift from Royal Selangor

3. A really big thumb drive, about 16GB or so

4. Three original music albums

5. Twenty six of my workday lunches

6. One ticket to a Switchfoot concert

7. Fifty two good guitar picks

8. A good pair of formal working shoes

9. A mini KFC based party (Two big buckets of chicken... and then some)

10. Approximately 11 movie tickets

Why am I suddenly talking about such an odd figure of RM 13o? Well, it's got something to do with what happenned about two weeks ago.

I remember I was home on a Saturday night. I must have just come home from church I think. I was tired because I'd been in church since NSt music practice in the morning at about 9.30 a.m. until service ended, which would have been at about 7.00 p.m. or so.

I remember being quite tired. all I wanted to do was just chill out on my computer, surfing the web and whatnot. I was eagerly anticipating a finished download of the anime I'm currently following, Valkyria Chronicle, which is basically an army type anime based in a world war 1 or 2 era.

Quite randomly, my father walked into the room and told me he'd been to Ampang. He stopped by One Ampang Point and discovered a very good sale on office clothes and that he'd bought a pair of slacks for about RM 60.

That immediately got me going because I thought maybe I could finally buy a couple more office shirts and slacks too. I'd been looking around KLCC, and even with the good discounts and all, you'd be spending over 100 ringgit for just two pieces of clothing. Just two slacks alone could cost about RM 150 or so.

I admit I wasn't so keen to go out at first though because I was dead tired, but in the end I said, "All right, just give me twenty minutes". Valkyria Chronicles had just finished being downloaded, so I decided to watch that before going out, heh.

So after that, my father and I drove down all the way to Ampang. Admittedly the journey is a lot faster at night as compared to the afternoons and evenings when the roads are really jammed up. We rushed up to that particular store, and it was just amazing. I found a nice John Langford polo shirt for just RM 29 which already had my mine going, "WOW!"

Next, would be the slacks, because just as my father said, I'd be able to get two for just around RM 60 which is quite a good deal. Yes, I got two of those. I was looking around for a plain white office shirt because the one I currently have has some rustic stain on the front pocket for some reason, and I have no idea how it got there. I looked around, then I saw some Valentino Rudy shirts discounted, so I thought I'd take a look.

Do you know how much they were each? Each was priced at RM 19!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't hesitate and I got the number of office shirts that were needed, which was just two because I had quite a number already before this. So in the end, when everything was totalled up, the cost of the clothes I bought that night, which includes:

2 slacks
2 office shirts
1 shirt

was only RM 130. What a night that was. We were actually in the shop until it closed. Thank God my father told me about it. It was a little unfortunate we couldn't find a good discounted coat with the limited time we had, but I'm definitely very thankful, I think I was definitely able to make the most out of that modest sum of money.

So, what could or would you get with a hundred and thirty Malaysian Ringgit?

Monday, July 20, 2009

30 Years Together

I was quite privileged on Sunday night to be invited to pastor Yew and his wife's 30th wedding anniversary. I would say a lot in part may have something to do with me being a good friend of Andrew (I realise his name has come up a lot in the last few posts). Nonetheless, my parents were invited as well, so I wouldn't look too out of place coming on my own.

An anniversary dinner at Modesto's and man was it good

We arrived at Modesto's Sri Hartamas at about 7.30 and by coincidence we arrived at the parking lot at the same time as Ps. Chew and Ps. Lee Choo, how random. Anyway, a lot of people were already there when we went in and Andrew was busy handling the guest registration and I'd also be providing him free labour which you'll find out about later.

There were a lot of guests for tonight's event. I though at most, there would be fifty, but I was definitely wrong about that. The total number was 112! That's even more than double of what I'd anticipated.

Modesto's looks pretty decent actually. I'd only been there once a very long time ago when I was still in high school but I remember the nice ambience. It wasn't much different, or even better tonight. There were the dimmed lights and the slightly fancy chairs and long tables.

Fate would have it that at my table, my seat was at the end of the table having me look a bit of an important person of some sort. It was rather funny, but I couldn't help but smile and feel a little bit special at the table.

I was talking to Andrew at the registration table, and he said, "You have to help me with this"

He then pointed to quite a number of presents, and I said, "This looks more like a house warming than an anniversary." So my job and his was to siphon away the many generous gifts to their Honda CRV, or I would rather say, transport vehicle (so reminiscent of my discussion with Andrew abotu C&C Generals: Zero Hour).

The Evening's Appetizer Menu

The food was very good, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself with that. I think this is the first time I've ever been to a full course dinner meal that actually made me full. To think I have a barbeque party coming up this Friday as well are really putting the smiles on my week. We started off with some cream soup and garlic bread, followed by salmon slices and tuna tartar with bread for appetizers and that really got me in the mood for a full meal, because it was pretty good.

Tuna Tartar & Salmon

While I was talking to Andrew, I'd missed out on the drinks going around and when I asked for one, I was a bit stumped to see a glass of iced water. I wasn't complaining but I had hoped to get in on the wine. Thankfully they came in with another round of wine and I took my glass.

As usual with Modesto's there's the pizza, and the one topped with mushroom I enjoyed the most. There was also pasta, chicken and lamb shank with mashed potatoes served just one after another. I was already quite full even before the lamb came about. The lamb was all right and I like that too but the chicken was very good, hot, nice and tender and the sauce was just perfect. Of course, in between all that, there's a fair bit of wine. The wine was very young, it was a little sweet actually. I didn't take pictures because once I started the main meal, I wasn't really focused on much else, other than the small talk at my table.

The Pasta & Main Course

There were a few performances from the older guys.... which was alright I guess. You have to understand though, at times like those, its not about the skill really, its about the song choice from memory lane that made almost 112 people sing together.

Of course, the celebrated couple of Yew Chee Wai and Chong Mui Sen had their own little speech, a little testimony that actually really touched me. That came along with the dessert, a brilliant chocolate cake made by someone from SIB. That aside, you could just see how God's favour had been with them over the last 30 years, and its just been awesome for them.

The last portion of the meal

They shared about the house that they couldn't even afford to put a down payment of 10% many years ago and yet that's the house they live in today where I visit Andrew every so often. Then even with regards to their children's education, not too long ago they would've never dreamed of sending any of them to the UK.

They're both high school teachers see, not rocket scientists. But even in the education line Ps. Yew and Mrs. Yew began to write books and God really blessed them through that and they really prospered. Its not rare to see the name Yew Chee Wai on a history reference book or Chong Mui Sen on a geography reference book. I remember those names on the covers of my Sasbadi revision books of my high school days.

Now, two of their children have already finished studying medicine in Ireland with Andrew is also currently attached to a universtiy there. Just being able to host a 30th marriage anniversary in Modesto's for a 112 people reflects really just how much God has blessed them even physically over the many years. The best thing is that they really acknowledge God in all of that.

It really is the faithful who will gain favour in the end and that couple who have been married for 30 years now are living proof. I'll admit that I don't know you two extremely well, but I'll say this:

Thank God for the both of you

Wishing a happy 30th anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Yew.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


If you've been following my blog for a while, at least in the past month or so, the first half of the title should make sense to you. However, I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't get the second half of it, we'll get into that as you read along.

Today marked the third time I have been to the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) at Suria KLCC for a show. The first was a chamber concert, the second being a full orchestra concert that was graced by a famous violinist by the name of Chuanyun Li. Today's performance featured Benjamin Schmid as the solo violinist and conductor, Karen Kamensek.

Before that though, I hung out at Andrew's place a bit after eleven o'clock. Its pretty cool seeing Andrew again, and just like old times, he's talking about and showing me all these new PC or console games he's into. I got a first hand feel of something new he's into called Prototype. I won't describe to you what it is, just get a feel of it off a trailer or YouTube fan videos. I'll tell you though, its pretty fun, but its not a game for the faint hearted I'll say.

Prototype, developed by Radical Entertainment

We even got into a game that is SO nostalgic! We played the original Playstation 1 'Crash Team Racing' (CTR) game. If you're a gamer that feels the new Team Fortress is too cartoonish but the gameplay is just so good, that's exactly the way Andrew and I feel about CTR.

CTR, developed by Naughty Dog

It really has a long lasting addictiveness. We were playing this game about 6-8 years ago! We played battle mode, and just like old times.... Andrew thrashed me outright. I believe the correct terminology to describe this situation is 'pwn'.

Andrew Yew

Anyhow, we went out for lunch, went back to his house again for him to change before driving off to Suria KLCC. It was an afternoon concert, so I told Andrew to get into some smart casual attire. So as you can see in the photo, he's wearing a proper collared buttoned shirt, plus he's got some Chino pants on, so it was all good. There was just one thing, which I forgot to tell him; and which he only realised, and then told me when we were already in KL city, which was this:

His shoes!! If you can't see it clearly, that shoe has a 'swoosh' on it. Anyone would know that by right, any shoe with a 'swoosh' doesn't get to enter the DFP. My mind brushed it aside though, thinking, "Well, the shoe is kind of dark. Maybe we'll still get past the ushers without anyone noticing,"

We were running a bit late, and we got there at about 2.45 which is the time people are supposed to be seated already. Although it wasn't a sell out show, the tickets we got were still towards the front which I was a little dissapointed with. Thankfully, it wasn't at the very front of the stage.

So we bought the tickets from the box office and went up the stairs. I was conciously trying to cover Andrew and his SWOOSHY SHOES from being noticed by the ushers, and we'd passed every one, except the enterance. I thought, "Phew, that should be it"

I handed over my ticket to the usher, and walked in, expecting Andrew to follow. He got DETAINED!! In my mind, I went, "No, no..... please no.." The two ushers at the door were debating whether to let Andrew in. Like myself, they'd obviously seen the sneaker pattern, not to mention the 'swoosh'. However, again, like myself they also thought, it wasn't an obvious pair of sports shoes or sneakers and it was of a pretty dark colour (desperate justification to say it looks something like formal black leather shoes). I really thank God they let him in, otherwise, we'd have wasted RM 20 each for absolutely nothing.

Conductor Karen Kamensek

So we were graced by Karen Kamensek, and she was definitely different from Xian Zhang a few weeks before. The song choice was pretty cool I thought. The music this week was the kind that really tensed you up. It wasn't one of those 'relaxation' concerts. Don't mistake this for a comparison of 'lively' and 'sleepy'. For me it was more of 'tension' against 'peaceful' if you will. Of course, it wasn't like that all the way, if not, it would have been rather stifling.

Benjamin Schmid came in before the interval and he too was of a different character than Chuanyun Li. Not as showy as his Chinese counterpart, but I think he looks like someone that has a bit of class and his playing doesn't come off as an arrogant showcase, but something that just nicely complements the rest of the ensemble.

Some of what they played reminded me of tunes that I'm sure are of a similar tune to that of the legacy Disney shows. Remember the original cartoon productions of Cinderella and Snow White? They had their share of orchestral music, and just for some reason, today's MPO performance reminded me a little of that.

The show was good, and we were just about ready to leave. Then, another piece of drama from Andrew:

He lost his parking ticket.

It remains for us a mystery, even now, how and where did Andrew Yew lose his parking ticket. As a result, young Mr. Yew here had to pay the RM 30.00 fine. Ouch. Lawl....

Anyway, he sent me back and that was that. Almost as soon as we got back.. my mother decided we'd go out to TTDI for dinner and she also wanted to buy some fruit from the night market there. So we went, and so we arrive at the point where I explain PLK vs KFC. We went in for dinner at a relatively new fast food join for Malaysia, Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen. Yes, Popeye as in Popeye the sailorman, although sadly, his face doesn't appear there.

They're so close to each other, in fact, they're opposite each other.

So why PLK vs KFC? This is because I can compare their set menus against each other quite effectively here. I bought a two piece chicken set,which KFC also has, so lets break down the comparison here:

Popeye's 'biscuit', which to me is simply a mini-scone that is a whole lot better than eating an ordinary bread bun that KFC always gives. Even the coleslaw and mashed potato, Popeye's definitely beats KFC. Another good thing about Popeye is like McDonalds, they prefer Coke to Pepsi, which for me is a good thing. The problem is, the main thing is nowhere close to giving KFC chicken a serious run for its money. Another blog mentioned Popeye's chicken is less oily, but KFC definitely has better taste. Sadly too, with Popeye's who's not even charging with 5% extra government tax is still a little more expensive than KFC's price after tax.

Anyhow, after being 'inspired' to blog about this little comparison, I went down with my mum to accompany her pick out the fruits that will inevitably end up in the juicer in our kitchen downstairs.

So this is where we'd end up.

And this is what we'd end up buying.

This blog post doesn't end here though (as long as it already is). As we we're walking down that narrow walkway in between stalls, a face suddenly flashed by and said, "Hi!"

The first thing my mind said was, "What?" in a panicky sort of way. Then the face said hi and all, and for the first two seconds, I'm like, "Who is this?"

Then, my brain suddenly clicked a few memories together beginning from the year 2000. Oh! Sabrina! I really haven't seen her since like, probably the last day of SPM, or before that even. She was my schoolmate in primary six, when I just came back from Vietnam and we were in the same class again during form 4 and 5, but I didn't talk much with her during high school.

The conversation was brief because I had to catch up with my mum who'd walked ahead. And because I'm an idiot, I forgot to like, take down or exchange numbers or anything. Fortunately, she has Facebook, I've added her, but still, I don't really like Facebook. Hence, I hardly use it. In fact, I'm pretty tired of social networking, I just commit to my blog, that's it. In that sense, I guess its a little unlikely we'll meet to catch up sometime, but we'll see. Definitely an unexpected welcome face today.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

People Popping In

Its been more than a month now, since I came back to Kuala Lumpur to undergo my industrial training with PETRONAS Carigali. To be precise, I'm currently in my sixth week, with approximately 26 weeks to go after that. After which, I'll be required to report back to UTP in Tronoh, Perak for my final year of studies of my bachelor's degree.

It hasn't taken long for me to settle down since I've been familiar with KL throughout my high school and short college life. I think within two weeks, things began to be familiar, the places I'd go to and the faces I'd see.

A little surprisingly though, some things have turned out slightly different in terms of the people I'd be expecting to talk to or hang out with.

For starters, for some reason or another, I've been talking a lot more with Yvonne recently, which is a surprise to some extent. We never really talked much before, even though we're both in Hearts United; but maybe that was because I was in UTP most of the time. She's a good talker, open about quite a number of things, so I'm pretty much a happy listener, plus she's not a bad singer herself.

Then, there was Sung Ching, who admittedly I've hardly talked to, and haven't seen in a very long time (she's from Penang I think). She just suddenly popped up one day on MSN, so we started talking and so far a lot of the conversations have been revolving around music and she got pretty crazy when I told her that I'm starting to appreciate the classical side of music a little more. Actually, she's pretty much crazy in her language all the time, pretty phenomenal. I personally think, there's a thing about Penang girls whereby they're all strange or unique in some very weird way, lol. This is speaking of experience being friends with a few girls from there.

Then there's Jon from IBM, who's also in church. We've talked over gtalk when I was in UTP, but there've been even more conversations with me coming back to KL and SIB. It's glad to know we both agree that Michael Jackson is not that great albeit he had a tremendous career. We both agree that somebody's gtalk display message '... the death of a great man' definitely does not fit a Michael Jackson tag. I have nothing against Jackson personally, but he's hardly personified what I look for in a pop star, James Brown is that person to me. Anyway, Jon's been good stuff, his lame jokes remind me one of many reasons I love SIB.

Then there's Jeannie, my everlasting 'cucuk' rival in Hearts United. For those from UTP reading, she's my equivalent for Mei Le if you know what I mean. The difference is, Jeannie is taller and works for the government testing drugs.. (this statement already indirectly teases her in some way, lawl). Of course I can't go so far... unless I want Philip to kill me, big LOL. For all the insults we throw at each other for fun, her being 'kind' enough to offer me a ride home has resulted in some very interesting intellectual conversations, the last one being about parenting. I don't even know why we started talking about that.

Then, just last weekend, I was in NSt for my second week of observation with the music team. I was sitting in the back for the entire service with the PA man, (Ji wang is his name I'm sure, but the spelling, not so sure, is it REALLY Jiwang?). At the end as people were clearing up, my eye caught someone, and I thought, "Hmm, yeah... this girl's still around". Then suddenly, somehow from a distance, I saw her looking up at my direction and she walked over to the PA box and said, "Hey! How are you, its good to see you." I was pretty surprised because I hadn't talked to or seen her in years (literally) so that actually made me quite happy. That's from a 'mini-reunion' with Samantha Claire. So we've been chatting a bit since then.

The most surprising one though, was a couple of weeks before that. I remember I was in the car one night and I got a phone call. The voice sounded so familiar but I just couldn't put a name on the voice. The conversation went something like:

Anonymous: Hello, do you remember me?

Christon: Um.... not really, but your voice does sound quite familiar, if you'd just tell me your name...

Anonymous: Oh, well, its Bob.

Christon: Bob? Um.. I don't know anyone by the name of Bob...

Anonymous: It's Andrew lah

Christon's Mind: ANDREWWW!!!!!!!

Andrew (Yew) is a really good friend of mine. We've been hanging out almost ever since I moved to KL from Ho Chi Minh city. He's a few years older than me, but that never became a barrier to what'd I'd say was (and fortunately now so, still is) a very fun friendship. Ironically, I'll be finishing my studies earlier than him, but that's all because this genius friend of mine is studying medicine. So we've been hanging out quite a lot since then.

I've been to his place, he's been to my place. We went for the Haji Samuri satay at Uptown, which was simply awful this time around*. As in my previous post, I'm a little psyched to be invited to his parent's 30th anniversary, partially because he's supposed to sing (I have never in my life seen Andrew Yew perform ANYTHING musical). And this coming Sunday, we'll also be heading down to the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas at Suria KLCC to catch a performance by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

So yeah, that's pretty much the very welcome unexpected people that've popped up in my life quite recently.

*To members of the consumer society (which is everybody), please note that every time a product gets commercialised, expect the original taste/flavour/quality/durability of that product to decrease by at least 50%.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My Weekends

Well, before getting into the topic of the blog title, a little update on my week so far. The Sunday - Monday period has been bad for me. I won't go into details, but working on something for work that's supposed to be just on a goodwill/best efforts basis got me sick, literally. I was already coming down with a flu on Sunday night, working at home. Monday would be the worst, as the working day progressed, I got sicker and sicker.

I started having this migraine that just started to kill me. I think I've never had such a headache in my life, and some of the people I was working with I felt were unreasonable when all this is on a 'goodwill' basis. I don't think I would've minded as much if the work was anything to do with core business. Anyhow, I've seen the doctor, she gave me a medical certificate for the half-day I took off and today as well, which I really needed to recover fully.

Moving on, I've realised that my past two weekends have been quite full. The previous weekend, I'd spent my day with NSt, with Sunday being reserved for the MPO concert featuring violinist Chuanyun Li. Last weekend I came in early for NSt again, staying back for main service, with Sunday being dedicated to that 'goodwill work' I just mentioned. This weekend promises a similar lineup, with NSt, and then another MPO concert on Sunday afternoon.

As you can see, NSt's becoming a regular fixture for me during the weekends, and will probably remain that way until I leave Kuala Lumpur for UTP, Tronoh. For those who are unaware, NarrowStreet (NSt) is the high school youth group in SIB(KL) church and College United Zone (CoUZ) is the group for college and university students. I'll be serving in the NSt ministry, so I'll be involved with them every Saturday, with the music team and with one of the cells that's just named itself CS 3.16, lol.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra is another element I'm looking forward to make a part of my regular fixtures, at least twice a month. I've always wanted to have a chance to appreciate classical music, especially orchestras, so my eight month stint is a real chance for me to do it. In fact next week, I'll be there on Sunday again with Mellissa, Cheryl and Andrew who's just come back from Ireland on holiday (he's studying medicine).

The next Sunday, I have something on yet again, although not in the form of an orchestra. I've been invited to Andrew's parents 30th year anniversary dinner at Seri Hartamas. I think its going to be a pretty sweet ordeal, they're having it at the Modesto's restaurant. I've been there once, its a cozy place.

So, I've got a couple of busy weekends coming up, but I must say I'm really looking forward to it.

p/s: Anyone now where I can get a good office coat at a good price? I really want one.

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Day in the Office

Welcome back to the PETRONAS Twin Towers (PETT) at Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)

Today on Living thoughts... Simply Loud, we're going to have a look into a typical day of industrial training of a student from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) who is currently attached to the department of Business Information Management & Administration (BIMA), under the Corporate Services (CS) division of PETRONAS Carigali. We met him for an interview the day before we had a scheduled visit to his office. Excerpts from this short interview are as follows.

ChRisE: Christon, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and who you're working with
Christon: Well, as you know, I'm from UTP, currently 20 years of age and I've been undergoing this program for about 4 weeks now. BIMA is basically like a mini-organisation that controls ICT governance for the whole of PETRONAS Carigali.

ChRisE: I see. So what do you actually do in BIMA for PETRONAS Carigali?

Christon: Firstly, I've been assigned to work with Mr. Rozaidee to assist with any work regarding networking or network architecture over the first four months, and after that I will be under Ms. Suzanna to work on software application related issues for the remaining four months. The opposite is true for my fellow intern.

ChRisE: You're in this program for eight months, do you expect to make a significant or important contribution to the organisation?

Christon: In terms of making a significant contribution, I don't expect to be the one making a decision that can save the company a few million dollars, but I certainly want to be able to make the work of my supervisor(s) easier and to perhaps make them aware or alert of certain issues that they may have overlooked in tandem with being such busy people. Basically, my objective is to contribute to efficiency and avoid being an extra burden, to provide fresh opinions if possible. Anything 'big' or 'significant' I can give is simply just a bonus.

We left the interview at that as we would have more time the next day to go into office himself. We tagged along with Christon in the morning to find out what a whole working day is really like.

Breakfast @ Suria KLCC is a routine

Starting on the morning of a working day, Christon leaves home by car with his father, Simon Emang, who is incidentally also from PETRONAS Carigali, working in Supply Chain Management on level 52 of Tower 1, Petronas Twin Towers (PETT). Breakfast at Suria KLCC is a routine occurence before checking into office early.

Christon, attached to BIMA is located on the 24th floor of Tower 1, PETT. BIMA currently only has four permanent staff, Mr. Ghaffar (senior manager), Ms. Suzanna, Mr. Rozaidee and Mr. Kamal.

Among the highlights of Christon's work so far has been his involvement in the Microsoft Office 2007 Knowledge Sharing sessions as part of BIMA's effort to ensure a smooth rollout of the the 2007 office suite in PETRONAS Carigali. He has also been tasked to do a short tracking of printer usage in PETT for PETRONAS Carigali and analysis for submission to the head of finance. He has also been involved in several meeting involving meetings with Sapura Crest, CISCO and internal parties on proposed and ongoing ICT projects involving the organisation.

A crucial and everyday part of Christon's work in BIMA involves one software application in the Microsoft Office 2007 suite:

Microsoft Outlook 2007

This is where Christon keeps up to date on all ICT concerns that come from within the country and around the globe. Every now and then BIMA has to concern itself with ICT project appraisal and monitor ICT performance utilisation in regional offices.

Industrial Training Attendance Sheet

During the beginning, the middle and at the end of the day, Christon is required to update a daily attendance sheet. This attendance sheet is processed and used by Human Resources department that will refer to the Finance department that will release the payment for the monthly internship allowance.

That's where his working day usually ends, as he punches out for the day and goes home on the busy road that the many others working in the city share.