Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bali baby!

Recently I was part of my department's brainstorming in Bali. It was my first time there. Heard so much about Bali being a favourite honeymoon destination for newlyweds. I was excited alright. I rushed to finish off as much work as possible so that I would have a piece of mind over there. Our 4-day trip involved 30 people from various programs. We were located at Novotel Benoa.

Groupie by the beach

Unfortunately we didn't get to explore Bali that much because we spent most of the day time brainstorming in the discussion hall. Well, it was the main reason we were there in the first place.

Our discussion table..cosy but my back aches after hours

We were out mostly at night. Being Bali, the lights around the hotel and almost everywhere else were dim. Nice effect but difficult to appreciate the surroundings. The first night we were there, we had dinner at Holiday Villa (I forgot which one exactly). The coffee house was just by the beach, so we could hear the wave and live reggae music being played nearby.

With Atif (from Remaja)

After dinner, we were entertained by local dance-theater called Kecak. It involves about 30 topless men and a few characters - princesses, a villain, a hero and a monkey.

Zain, new M3 producer, at the Kecak show enjoying our cup of tea

Atif and me with the Kecak cast

The next day it was non-stop brainstorming. Well, there were a few breaks in between, which included stretching and refreshments.

Very delicious!

That night we were out again, had dinner at our hotel coffee house then we were out to Kuta town. Now this I was really excited since I get to shop! Like many other tourists, we were at Hard Rock Cafe store. Suprisingly there weren't that many choices. I bought a basic Hard Rock tee for myself, Mer and his sister (who wanted it so badly).

As we continued walking, went around the corner, I saw a huge Hard Rock Hotel MEGAstore with a whole lot more choices.

From left: Nurul (M3), Jasmi (Jejak Rasul), Me, Pali (360), Inaz (Nona)

All I did was look around the store...then left. Had to think it through very carefully. To buy or not to buy? I had 2 more days to decide.

Next morning was another brainstorming session. This time we ended earlier, about 4pm. From the discussion hall, we headed straight to the beach for games. I was in my white shirt and black pants. Thought of running back to the room to change to more sporty attire (which I recently bought even). But I was assured by others that I didn't need to change since most of them didn't anyway...hehe!

So there I was playing beach volleyball (which I suck at), guys vs. gals beach ball games - the girls lose big time, and beach volleybaling - instead of hitting the ball, we throw the ball. I think I did pretty well. I CAN throw you know :P

That night we had dinner at another hotel coffee house somewhere in town and then shopped again. Oh yeah, by then I was done thinking and ended up buying 3 items from Hard Rock Hotel Megastore...hehe!

Me: Hey...nice top!
Atif: Taxi!

Bali babes

The last day, we were free to do our own things. We went back home in groups. The guys left for Malaysia in the afternoon and the girls at night. With the extra time we had and help from those familiar with Bali, we went to Sukawati. It's suppose to be the cheapest of all cheap things here.

I was exaggerating - the other plastic bag was Atif's

Later we had one of the best meals in Bali - Nasi Padang (Padang Rice). Just look at these hungry faces..hehe!

From left:
Atif, Noraini Tahir (Manager), Me, Mazlin Nordin (Manager), Siti Hajar (MHI)

I thought of going to the spa (it's ultra cheap over there) but with the time we had, I preferred to shop. I came back a few hundred ringgit poorer...but it was worth it! No more shopping for me for 3 months.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

LIMA 2007

I just got back from my 4-day trip to Langkawi. I was there along with 2 crews to do a feature on Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2007.

From left: Ijat (cameraman), Hazi (Technician), Mua

We were up in the tower where the commentators were. It was 91 steps up and swayed at the top. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

But we got a first-class view of the whole aerospace event.

The picture above was taken on Friday morning, when the event was just open to public. Those aircrafts displayed at the front row are old RMAF aircrafts from as early as 1958 also aircrafts used for training.

The more modern fighter jets are F18...

CO F18 Hornet team in the green uniform


Major Sebastian, Team Leader of MiG-29

and of course, the latest and most sophisticated Sukhoi SU-30.

Honestly, I would never have known how to differentiate these aircrafts if I wasn't at LIMA. They all looked the same to me..hehe!

Australian F11

British Royal Air Force's aerobatic team, Red Arrows, blew me (and everyone else) away. Such precision and perfect coordination with a few near misses to thrill the crowd.

The 9 aircrafts looked as if they were joined together

Interviewing the public

Eurocopter - it can make a full loop! Crazy!

It was the first time I came close to a helicopter. Didn't expect the sound to be that deafening and debris to shoot at you like tiny bullets. We were given the honour of being the first media to board MINDEF's latest heli - Agusta 109M.

I attempted to do a standupper (commentary) on board but the sound was just too loud that it drowned my voice.

Best part of my trip was at the Maritime part of LIMA. We took a boat out for fleet review. We came close to the biggest ship on display - Republic of Korea (ROKS) Dok-do.

The crew with Kim, Korean Navy representative
We approached them stage by stage. First to shoot from the outside. Then to shoot closer to the ship. After that we asked if we could go on board, but was turned down. Somehow a few moments later we were given the green light. Hoooray!

We were told by Malaysia Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) PR, Mejar Hanafi, that we were the only media to be allowed on board Dok-do for an exclusively tour. So honoured :) The ship is as long as 2 football fields, carries up to 13 tanks and 13 helicopters, over 400 crews.

Ijat, Mejar Hanafi (from MINDEF) and me

Ijat and me inside Dok-do

Once we completed our shoot, we celebrated with Cendol Pulut and Laksa Power by the roadside. They live up to the name coz both Cendol and Laksa really nice, no kidding.

Great trip, good experience...and my sunburnt arms will remind me of it.