2015 Year in Review
First of all, 2015 is the year where I am 100% self-employed. Quit my "steel-plate" rice bowl in April 2014. Since then, I have been working full force, I work all the time; I work week day, and I work weekend. I do occasionally take some off time on Monday and Tuesday. I am everything in the company; from Director and CFO making decisions, to Customer Relations, to Accountant and IT personnel, to Purchaser, to kuli and driver. Everything "bao ka liao". There are some things that I like to do more than other, but at the end of the day, I have to be involved in all the job scope.
I am happy that the company has grown in the past year, even though it is still only a 2-staff company. It has been a busy year for us. It has been at times, the 2 of us got so frustrated for being too busy. Maybe it is the mindset from the environment we are brought up in, "Chinese" mindset, that you don't push away business when they came knocking. Perhaps for those that grow-up in more chillout environment would just reject business if they think they have hit their personal target of that month, or that year.
Despite the busy work schedule, I manage to squeeze in some travel throughout the year. Well, I didn't willingly sign-up for those travels because in my opinion, I am too busy for holiday. It is my business partner that pulls me along on those travel. I think I am not capable to time an event without her around anyway, so if she's not around I can't do much also. So I went along with her plans.
Early of the year I went on a 1-week holiday and ran the Tokyo Marathon. I ran to my Personal Best of 4 hr 38 mins despite the over distance course of 43.23km shown on my watch. It was quite an enjoyable run as the whole of 43km route, it was lined with people cheering and spectating.
Tokyo was freezing cold in that time of the year, brrrr! Quite a lot of rain too! It was also a busy work period because it was the preparation week towards Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM). Even while we were away, we still make the effort to check email occasionally.
In July, I join a group of friends to hike the volcanic mountain called Rinjani in Lombok, a smaller island near Bali. It is a 4D3N hiking trip, involving a lot of nature like camping, peeing and shitting in the natural environment and no shower facilities.
It is by far my most luxurious camping trip ever. Our only task is to walk/hike...lol!
The porters carry our heavy stuff, we only carry what we need on us like water, snack and perhaps a jacket. When we reach destination of the day, the tent were already setup by the porters which walk ahead of us, they also cook and prepare food for us, and they build us toilet tent and dig hole in the toilet tent for our businesses. Haha.
Rinjani is at quite a high elevation and therefore it can be cold and windy. I feel ok when walking, but if we were to stop for a while, I would start to feel cold. On the day when we were supposed to summit the peak, it was exceptionally windy. The wind even collapse one of our tent that night, the poor porters had to fix the tent in the middle of the night. Our guide decided that it was not safe for us to summit the peak and we get to sleep in that morning. We were sad for that, it makes the hike incomplete not able to even try. In a way, I was glad we don't have to do it because the hike to the peak looked really tough, at the same time, I felt like it was such a waste I don't get take on the challenge.
On the third day where we camp, there is a hot spring nearby, there's where we get our first shower of the trip!
After the hike, we stayed back a few days to enjoy Lombok beach.
The Rinjani holiday also clashes with one of the event we were supposed to timed. Fortunately, Elliot was available that weekend to help out. Young talented fella he is, with a great interest in timing. It is a lost to our company that he decided to leave Malaysia back to the UK for good. Else, we would be looking at more partnership in the future.
To wrap up the holiday of the year 2015, I went on a 2-week Europe tour. This is the first time I am stepping into Europe region. It's not the best time of the year to visit Europe because few months before that, our dear Malaysia currency drop to it's lowest value against all other foreign currency. Well, no choice, flight ticket bought, accommodation booked, the trip has to go on. The trip started with Amsterdam Marathon! I think this could just be my most under-trained marathon ever. Glad I still manage to complete it under 5hours.
I enjoyed Amsterdam very much in terms of the people and the atmosphere, I love that most people there uses bicycle as their mode of transport, it's so convenient. I don't like that Amsterdam is so cold and gloomy. Our supplier from MyLaps who based out of Netherlands said that the weather is cloudy and wet most time of the year. That's quite depressing. After the marathon, I make the trip to the windmills area of Zaanse Schans about 16km away from Amsterdam, cycling.
From Amsterdam, I made my way to small quaint town of Bruges. I love the building architecture. Bruges used to be an important city in the olden days. It is now a tourist attraction.
From Bruges, it's a train ride away to Brussels. The city of Brussels is very dirty in my opinion, there are shit all over the street and it is littered with rubbish. The street smell nasty in certain places too...
Most people in Brussels don't speak English. However, Brussels street is filled with many street art to be discover on foot. Like all other European city, there are many churches to explore. From Brussels, it is yet another train ride to the city of Paris.
There are many things to see and do in Paris. Museums, church, art gallery, castle, and many many more for to explore. I spend the most days in Paris because of that, and walk my legs off too! In terms of food, there are a lot of great food to try as well.
The last city of my Europe Trip is London. I like that in London, museums and art galleries are free admission. They do collect donation and sell souvenirs to collect fund to maintain the place. Food in London is great as well, from street food to Indian Restaurant, there are many varieties to choose from.
Bike commuting to work is quite popular in London as well, but the bicycle here are more high-end, mostly racing bike. In Amsterdam, they uses single-speed bike like those my grandfather used to go to the kopitiam with. The roads in London are very busy, and there are so many big double-decker buses. I would find it rather scary to bike in London.
2 week felt like a really long holiday. At the end of the trip, I longed to go back to work already. Workaholic? Yea, I think you got that right.
Europe, I would say, is not my kind of holiday destination. European countries are so full of history, I am too overwhelm with a few hundred years of history, artist and paintings and churches. That said, it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy Europe. Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, Paris, London, I truly enjoyed what all these cities have to offer. I enjoy just walking on the street, looking at locals going through their daily life and just taking in the sight and sound of the city.
Year 2015 sounds like a great year in a glance. There are ups and downs of course, as life always do, but I am glad that what is in memory are more of the good ones than the bad ones. But then again, bad ones I don't share :-P
2 more week to welcome year 2016. I am going to start off 2016 with the NZ gang in SC's hometown of Batu Pahat. Let's toast to a better year ahead! Cheers...!
Labels: All about ME