Goodbye Autumn, Las Vegas Here I Come!

Hey, finally today was the beginning of my holiday.  Right now, I am in Las Vegas, the city of desert full of casinos and very gorgeous women.  Okay, let’s rewind a bit and talk about what happened yesterday.

In fact, I have to go back to two nights ago.  Thursday night that is.  Well, Colin slept early but I thought of going to the Social Centre for no one would be around the subsequent night.

Went down there at eleven and met Kevin, Ciaran and their mates.  Decided to go downtown with them, we set off at eleven thirty.  There were altogether six of us.  James (American), Ciaran, Kevin, two Austrians and myself.  It was, later on, quite obvious that the two Austrians felt in love with each other.  The gorgeous little one is called Racheal and the guy is called Mack (?).  Anyway, we went to the pub called Scotland Yard and just in time for the last call (good timing, huh?).  We ordered one round of shots and each ordered their “main course”.  I ordered one beer.  In the end, we ended up having one more shot and I was basically pissed.

As it was kind of early, we decided to go the Cadelae Ranch (?).  The one I went for during my last trip (by the way, exactly one year minus two weeks ago).  We had some fun but the atmosphere was different. Last time we had (or more correctly I knew of) more nice babes. S tayed there till three thirty and had to get up at half six.

Okay, back to yesterday.  Obviously I was very tired the next day.  We finished the coding and busy doing documentation.  In the end, I think the presentation was pretty good with me doing the “keyboard man” and Ciaran be the Mr. Charm.  Autumn stopped me and examined my tie and she seemed to like my “tie of the day” as well.

Lunch time came and I felt very void.  Really missing those great guys I have meet.  I always have that kind of feeling.  One week is really too short to get to know anybody in depth.  It is just like another phase of life and one has to just move on.

Started packing up for a while and had to meet up with CH at two.  Three of us (Colin, CH and me) went to Charles Town Mall and “wasted” three and a half hours there.  If only we held the car key (which we didn’t).  CH wanted to buy toys for his kids.  What to do?

Headed off the Chicago at half five, caught in a traffic jam and for me, I just slept in the back seat of the car all the way.  Colin and I wanted Pizza but CH was the fussy one.  In the end, we ended up in the Hard Rock Café where the food was not really that fantastic.  Returned to the Centre at half past twelve, packed up my stuffs, sent a fax to Jennifer as I haven’t filled in my time report (and I can’t because the floppy drive of this notebook doesn’t work).

Hence (wrapped the long story), slept at two o’clock and have to wake up at half past five this morning.  Not enough!

The flight was at nine in the morning and arrived at Las Vegas sometime in the late afternoon (another 2 hours different).  At a first glaze, the place really looks like a desert to me (yet to find some cactuses).  But seriously, really amazed in how wonderful this place is.  Took a lot of photographs and hope they all turn out fine.

Sorting out the accommodation and the rental of the car was really a headache; but in the end, we have got it all sorted out.  The motel (called “Comfort Inn”) really looks like the one in Pulp Fiction but it is not as bad I hope.

Went out and had a very nice (and inexpensive) dinner.  We had the main course – Steak and Lobster – for just seven bucks each.  Colin gambled a few times.  The first time, he put in twenty bucks and got back the original amount (he could have more if he pulled out earlier).  The second time he walked in, he lost thirty bucks.  His favourite is the Roulette and as for me, I just don’t want to get into gambling.

Called up my Dad this afternoon and it is always a pleasure talking to my old folks.  The whole street (called the ‘Strip’) was full of neon light attraction and of course, with a lot of people.  The way that the casinos spend building those wonders is just unbelievable.  My favourite one is the Treasure Island.  At around ten, we saw a large group of people gathering outside the Treasure Island.  First I must (try to) describe this hotel.  On the right hand side of the Hotel, there was a large ship (later on found out that it is a fleet from the British Navy).  On the left hand side, there was yet another smaller one (the pirate ship).  These two ships are separated by a bridge and the ‘sea’.

At ten, music began to play.  Two pirates in a small boat rowed towards the pirate ship and the play started.  True as I predicted, the one on the right moved towards the centre of the ‘sea’ and a quarrel started.

They fired at each other and got to say that the effort was very realistic.  Water shooting off from the ‘sea’ (as cannon missed the target), building on fire (again, missed) and ship on fire.  The effort was just great and really can’t find any other words to describe it.  Anyway, in the end, the British ship sank (partially) into the sea.  Really worth the fifteen minutes wait. Mirage Hotel is great as well.  A lot of decent waterfalls and they simulated a volcano eruption.  Using a lot of fire and lighting effect.  I just love the place.

What will we do tomorrow?  You will see.

A Melancholic Departure

Today was Thursday.  The second last day of IBSS.  Basically I feel like the last day because it will just be a wrap up tomorrow (plus only half day).  At this very moment, I feel void.  The feeling of missing is immense.  I mean after tomorrow, I will not (probably) be seeing those guys again.  Kind of a very funny feeling.  IBSS is just too short.  One week is just enough to know somebody but not enough to know them in depth.  Seriously I really want to know them a lot better.

Just stepped out the room this morning, we bumped into Autumn.  What an awesome way to start the day.  Can’t really say I like her perfume at all (still Sophie’s one is the best), but she is very pleasant.  Or maybe just her name.

It took the team four hours to realise that their design was no good.  I must learn how to convince people to accept my design.  More clear and more explanations.

But in the end, it was fun.  Although we stayed until 10 pm, I guess ours will be one of the best.  A lot of laughter.  That makes me wonder when was the last time I really laugh happily.  Lots of hard work but I think I have learnt a great deal in the end.

Made my baggage tags today and couldn’t believe that I have to pay $2.00 for each one of them.

“Sun comes up, sun goes down.  Just when we start to get warm, the moon comes up.
People come, people go . Just when we begin to know each other, we have to part.

A different day, a different phase of life.  What can you say, when you don’t have a choice?”

A Girl Called Autumn, Continued

Autumn.  Autumn.  Autumn.

What a nice name!  Colin told me that she was with us in the Accent on C/S class and he may as well be right.  Somehow, I vaguely remember such a person.

In the morning, we had a group activity – Traffic Jam Problem.  The problem is six of us lined up in a row while another six (opposite team) lined up facing us.  There is an empty space in the middle and each of us can only move forward one single space or “take over” the one in front if only he/she (the one in front) is not facing in the same direction of us. (And we were the first group to figure out the solution.)

Somehow, Autumn was standing very close in front of me at some point in time.  She took a look at my tie (actually held it there) and told me that she loved this tie a lot.  She virtually loved the Zebra.

We went on for another round and when she was right in front of me, I asked if she was really called Autumn and she replied yes.  I told her that it was a really nice name.

And throughout the day, I have been thinking about her.

The day was a disaster.  I just can’t really get along with that Japanese fellow.  Too much conflict and just don’t want to mention about it right now.

Colin and I went to the beer shop and get the Honey Brown.  Got to say I had this feeling of not being of getting into the bus as our stop is the last one.  True enough, the bus was full.  So we decided to walk back.  Colin told me that it would take half an hour and in the end, we ended up walking for an hour.  Nice experience though.

Eugene did reply my last mail (and cc to Colin).  What he replied was so philosophical and it took us quite a while to figure out (still) what he was trying to say.

Looking forward to tomorrow for I shall see Autumn again.

A Girl Called Autumn

Second day of IBSS and to issue SIR is just my speciality.  My team-mate (an Irish – Cairan) and me, we just get along.  I mean we speak in the same language.  And the class?  Just a laugh for us.  The only thing we learn is possibly the “Advance AC Methodology (Terminology)”.

One girl called Autumn.  Isn’t that a very nice name?

Saw Derek from time to time but I am not really into making friend with him.  Not the same kind of buddy, I guess.

Went to Charles Town Mall again.  Bought the (hard covered) book – Men are from Mars … Think it’s too late to rekindle the relationship but maybe it’s a good idea to prepare myself for the “next” one.

Been thinking of how many postcards shall I send to SocGen.  Either include everybody or exclude a few (because I don’t know the names).  Really a headache.  Maybe I shall decide on Friday instead.

Pizza and beer at the social centre.  Same thing.  And we dropped by and said hi to Cairan.  That guy is really into blond girls.  And I said: Happy hunting.  And he said: I’ll send you the progress report.

Really wanted to buy the board game “Axis and Allies” but it is (a) nobody to play with me and (b) too bulking to bring back.  And when Colin volunteered to bring back for me, I think it is (c) quite expensive.  Must control my expenses.

Flying to America

Saturday, woke up early in order to pack up for my US trip.  Stepped out of the hotel after midday and took a taxi to CDG airport.  And there I go, I have to fly again.  Called up my family at the business lounge.  Always nice to talk to family.

The flight was about eight hours.  I still think that Singapore Airline is the best so far.  As for the Air France business class, it was not at all that fantastic.  Kind of a bit disappointed.

Today was pretty cloudy in US.  So not a very nice day indeed.  It was just as depressing as Europe.  The funny thing is that I don’t really feel that much as compare to what I have imagined.  This really puzzled me.  Guess when one travel too frequent, everywhere is just the same.

Colin left me a message and when I knocked onto his room, he was not in.  Kind of disappointed and as I have missed the dinner hour, I have to go to the Social Centre and had my pizza.  By the way, the American beer – Honey Brown – is pretty good.

Left a message in Colin’s room and we met at the Social Centre.  Throughout the night, he was very tired and we didn’t get to talk much.

Feeling kind of lonely.  I miss JP again.

Looking Back on 1996

As I have promised myself on the last day of 1996, I will review what I have done in the last year. And hopefully, I live a better life in the year 1997.

As I was playing my guitar tonight, singing the song “Nobody Knows”, I remembered my days back in the US.  Indeed, that was one of the happiest moment of year 96, or perhaps my life.  Being influenced by US culture (movies, music, and jeans) for so long, it was the first time I have ever stepped into the land of liberty.  I still remember the excitement in me when I first landed at the San Francisco Airport. The limousines. Everything seemed so different – the roads, the buildings and even the air.

I drove into Chicago so many times and I could not remember how often.  I was with Collin all the time. Great friend to be with.  I still remember we got lost initially all the time and eventually, he directed and I drove.

Three weeks in St. Charles.  I hang out with Collin, Yoshito (Japanese man), Mitzi (Korean lady) and another Australian lady.  Great friends to be with. The drinking parties in my room and the lovely conversation with Collin and the beautiful Mitzi.  Life was good.

Vividly I remembered a pub with a large dance floor, country style.  Collin and I left the party without telling Mitzi, who was too busy dancing with all the guys on the dance floor.  And she was not happy when she knew that.  The next day, before she and her friend flew back to wherever they came from (Australia), we had a conversation by the fireplace.  Some random topics and Collin and I saw them into the bus.

And then, I felt a sense of emptiness.  Suddenly all the friends were gone.  And I was back in Singapore, facing the hot sun.  The whole period in US was like a fairy tale.

Yet, there was another fairy tale – my two trips to Paris.  The first one lasted for 5 days and the second one lasted for 60 days.  The BNP promotion with Francis was fun.  We had great food and since we are not the fuzzy type, we can get along very well.  I showed him Paris whenever we had time.  The other trip was for Societe Generale.  During the first 3 weeks, I had Damien with me.  I miss those days with Francis.

Life in Societe Generale was pretty peaceful.  Work started at 9 in the morning and usually ended at 6 in the evening.  The people there were very nice.  Sad to say, Sophie, Claude and Lionel left for Sydney in the middle of my stay.  But my days with Aurore, Noubi and Mohammed was great.  Especially Mohammed, we called each other brothers.

Weekdays after work, I usually went downtown to have my dinner.  As for weekends, I always started from La Defense and ended up in Paris center at night.  One movie and one meal and back home.  During nighttime, I composed electronic messages that captured my feeling and observations during the day.

The food was good.  The MTV in the morning was good.  The French music was good. By the way, I felt in love with Mylene Farmer.  Her music is just fantastic.

During those days back in Paris, someone thought that I was lonely.  But I was not, I was in another state of mind. If I had my guitar with me, I would have composed a lot of great songs.

Back in Singapore, I am glad that I know Sam as a friend.  He has introduced me into his circle of friends (which is big).  Through him, I know a lot of people.  Although they are all men, I don’t really mind.  All the Wednesday night out, cheap dinner, and Karaoke.

Enough of stating what happened in year 96, but that was not the main topic in here.  What could I have done better, hopefully in year 97 ?

The New Motto: To actively pursue what I want.  I have been too passive.  Not determined enough. Always avoid the reality.  Must face it and direct the future into whatever I dream of.

Action: To plan and stick to it.  I must treat my personal life as yet another project.  To self improve or to exercise?  It must be planned and followed.

Beware : Spend within budget.  I have been spending too much money on things that may not be necessary.  This is no good and must change.  I must keep track on how money is spent and plan for future saving.

Goal: Must list out all the goals I want to fulfill this year.  Thought goals, I will have motivation.