Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Effectively and Efficiency

We always talked about how to be effectively and efficiency both at work and in life, that's why when something happened, we will look for solution in the fastest way to avoid any inconvenient to ourselves or others.

So we get use to our fast-moving life in Singapore when most of the people do works in this both 'E' way (or else, do you think your boss will let you go so easily). And I never realise how much a single thing can affect a lot in our daily work when things turn up the opposite way until I am here.

Imagine one simple thing in our daily work, printer runing out of toner so what do you do next?? Get a new toner which normally sit next to the printer (pls don't tell me that you are running out of stock) and change it, right! But here, you have to wait for the person-in-charge to submit the request to the Admin dept, then have to wait for approval before you see someone from 'no idea where' come to replace. These steps can sometime take more than a day to complete. I don't consider now I am complaining but continue to imagine, you need to print out all the documents to submit for another process of approval (which take few days too) and this hold you back. You have so many documents to print and it fraustrated you cos all your work is 'ON HOLD'.

Here I realised how fraustrated I can be when this kind of incident happened (this is only one example) but it was also here that I learned to become more appreciation in life, even a simple task. I am learning to endure my quick temper which this is my bad point. After all, I am glad that I am going through all these without both 'E' of working style, otherwise I will be taking things for granted in life.

But no more taking for granted!!!! Yeah!

Marry Or Not????

Monday, the first working day which a lot of people don't like it, that's why it is called Monday Blue. I think I am suffering a lot of Monday Blue here, my feeling always feel so down when reach Monday, but luckily we only need to work 3 days this week due to long weekend holiday.

Alright, why turn up to be marry or not??? While on our way back home, we were talking a lot and one of the topics were those TV programmes like Sex and The City. Then CK said he don't understand why when Carrie (Played by Sarah Jessica Parker) met such a nice guy, Aidan (Played by John Corbett), she still do not want to get marry. I said maybe some of them afraid to be married. This topic hit me cos I guess I am one of them, then I ask myself this question, should I say "Yes, I do" just because he is a nice guy. Staying together with that piece of paper is a big deal and betting to me. A lot of things have to consider for 'us' and especially kids, which I don't know how much I can handle with kids.

Anyway this situation didn't happen to me right now so why worry and think so much. Be happy is the most important thing.

Cabo Frio & Arraial do Cabo

At first I am hesitating to go Cabo Frio cos I was told it is another beach, and I am not very keen in it (or basically anything that need to explose under the sun. Am I a vampire or what??) But those uncles keep asking me to join in, I also don't know how to reject them. Well, thanks for their 'pestering' cos I do enjoy this Cabo Frio.

We left Niteroi around 10 plus in the morning, and reach there around 12.30 after travelled 167km. The weather was great for me, as the sun is not too strong and it is quite windy. I went to soak in the sea for a while (less than 5 mins) and then sit under the big umbrella for a nice coconut drink and peanuts. Lazy me, hee hee!!! Only KC went to swim after he bought a short, Iqbal and Edward did almost for the same as me.

Then we continue travelled further down to Arraial do Cabo, which Edward suggested to drive up the hill to have better bird view of the place. He said it is very beautiful and we will like it. He is right, I enjoyed the overall view of the city very much. Too a lot of photos but too bad, my poor photography skill took bad shots for most of them. Most of it was because of the strong sunlight facing the camera.

Then we went for dinner nearby which I had my pizza (as usual).

Talking about food, I had been curving for vegetarian steamboat for a long long time, sometime can think untill my tears almost drops.

Flower and I

Alright, I had finished my memory flashback and now it is back to NOW. I will start off with my lovely purple flower which bought from Sendas (supermarket) at only BRL0.99 few weeks ago. It brighten up my empty apartment although it is just a small pot of flower. The flower is so strong, as long as I water them every morning, they will always be as beautiful as I first see them.

Zeon and Jimmy have one each, and like mine, theirs are still growing well.

Monday, October 30, 2006

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Teresopolis Cachoeira Frade 09 SEp 2006

Ok, this time we went different place of Teresopolis although we did passby "The finger of God" and took some photos there again.
We simply stopped at one of the restaurants and had a wonderful lunch. Then we search for the little waterfall which was introduced by the restaurant owner, Edward managed to find it and we enjoyed the waterfall there.

More Photos

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Parati 07 Sep 2006

260km away from Rio, after almost 5 hrs drive, five of us (CK, Jimmy, Zeon, KB and I) finally reached Parati.

Parati was declared Historical Heritage in 1958 and it still remains one of the most harmonious architectonic complexes in the country. The colonial houses maintain the characteristics of the city’s foundation in the 16th Century. And its streets – made of cobblestones – call the attention of those who come from abroad. Most of these streets have two names, one official and the other popular. The main attractions are in the Historical Centre, which covers practically the entire city, and which offers several places that are open for visitation, such as the old jail, a fort, museums, houses exhibiting arts and crafts, and churches. We took some photos in this little small town.

Then we drove back 5 hrs back again to Niteroi on the same day.

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Fiscal Island and Barra on 13 Aug 2006

FINALLY! We got the boat ticket to Fiscal Island as we went there very early to buy the ticket at only BRL 4.00 Although nothing very nice but it is good to have a look to see how the "Mickey Mouse Island' look like. Trying to imagine how the Majestry held the dinner in the century ago.

Then we decided to go for lunch. As it was Father's Day on that day (Yes, Brazil Father and Mother's Day are different from the world, even their Valentine's Day too!), so many restaurants are packed and we just drive further down and ended up at Barra. Settled down at a 3 weeks old restaurant for lunch, and of course taking some loving photos while waiting for the food.

The most interesting part of that day was, we were standing near the road watching the beautiful beach while a van, with a group of Brazilian men show us their ass. Zeon immediately take a photo to show how crazy they can be sometime.

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11 Aug 2006 41st Singapore National Day Dinner

Our company in Brazil organised a dinner for all Singaporeans and local clients to celebrate our National Day. I love this 09 Aug, National Day especially to watch the National Day Parade and firework.

Zeon and I were invited to lead the 2006 National Day theme song "Island Home" before the dinner. Nothing much but we were quite embarrassing to sing in front of the crowd.

As usual, both of us took a lot of photos on this special day.

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Bangkok Trip again from 03 to 06 July 2006

Home again, and if you ask me now, I will say that time flies. This was my 3rd home trip to see my family and friends and of course, back to office to say hello to my bosses and colleagues before they forget me, hee hee.

Then this time I went Bangkok with my special friend, it is only for rest and relaxation. I didn't really buy a lot of things but I manage to take a photo with Brazil National soccer group in Bangkok, of course not real person cos the World Cup 2006 is still on.
But next time I wish to go Taiwan for my 1st holiday trip when back to Singapore.

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World Cup 2006 Brasil Vs Ghana 27 June 2006
This game start at 12 noon so no more half the day as previous game. What our company do was to let us go for longer lunch hour so that we can watch it in the restaurant. Of course a lot of companies were doing the same way, so we need to book one restaurant to avoid disappointment. Ended up we need to have two restaurant (just next door) to watch this exciting game.

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Lourve Museum at Paris on 17 June 2006
I was not alone when going back to Rio as Steven's wife, Anna was with me, she is going to Rio for holiday. And since we have a day during our transit in Paris, we decided to visit one of the oldest, biggest museum in the world. It was crowded with a lot of tourists and students.

It is famous for holding several of the world's most prestigious works of art, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Virgin of the Rocks and Alexandros of Antioch's Venus de Milo. And after the movie "The Da Vinci Code" show, this place became more famous than ever.

I personally love the Glass Pyramid more than any other painting inside the museum (well, so now can tell how much I appreciate art). We were there for 2 hrs plus then decided to leave there for some shopping but...... unluckily we met the heat wave, it was so unbearable that we decided to return the hotel early for the nice cooling air-con and a nap.

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Pousada Araras over weekend 24-25 June 2006

Somewhere at Petropolis, there is a good restaurant - Trutas do Rocio that served good fish (Of course I had my special vegetarian mushroom pasta). It is a private property where the owner have a pond to feed the fishes and a small restaurant to serve customers. We even got the owner's invitation to visit her house right behind the restaurant. I love her kitchen although I don't cook

Then we had a walk near the restaurant. As this is those mountain area, it was quiet and with few big houses. Edward wanted to look for Pousada and he saw one big house that look like one. Immediately he walked in to ask since the gate was opened. Who knows it turned up to have at least four big black dogs running towards him. We all panic and were ready to run ..... but luckily the owner was behind them. Stopped them and asked us how we ended up here. Then very friendly of her to invite us for a cup of tea and to visit her house. I am telling you this, this will never happen in Singapore. So we all went in and walk around the garden for a while before reaching her house. The best impression that I had was the 3D Buddha Face which the owner said she bought it from Indonesia.

After having good time with the friendly Brazilian (but we ended up no tea served), we drove to Pousada Araras for a night stay. We were lucky to be there at that time as the flower looks so beautiful in Winter, just like in Japan.

Click on the link to view the photos and you know how beautiful it is.


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Buenos Aires, Argentina from 15 to 18 June 2006

My god, I almost forget to writte this BA trip down so now to 'insert' before I forget again.

Buenos Aires is a nice and clean city, and the weather was so cold during our tour visit. Luckily with Steven around, we enjoyed more in this trip too. The only unhappy incident happened was the flight delayed for more than 4hours. We all went from hungry to angry while waiting for the plane but thanks God this do not lasts throughout our whole holiday trip.

As it was still World Cup season when we were in BA, we all also get the chance to feel their passion in Argentina on our 2nd day there.


Memory Flashback Begin Page 44

Lunch at Cafe Colombo on 23 June 2006

Colombo Confectioners founded in 1894, this Confectioners is a landmark in ostentation, typical of Rio’s high society life between the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century. It still preserves the charm of those times in its Belgian crystal mirrors, in the straw backed chairs and in the rich engravings on wood panels. A “5 o’clock” tea is served there from Monday to Friday, from 5 to 7 pm. It is located on Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32/36, in the town centre. It is open from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 8 pm, and on Saturdays, from 9 am to 5 pm.

Strongly recommended by a lot of traveller websites and tourismo, and also our colleagues, finally we went there for lunch. The 1st level serve as cafe and 2nd level as restaurant for lunch but it was not cheap. The lunch buffet cost almost BRL 50 each so next time I better go there for coffee and pastry only.

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World Cup 2006 - Brazil Vs Japan 22 June 2006

I had a very good lifetime experience to feel the high WC fever in Brazil which we don't get to feel so much of the passion in Singapore. The game started at local time 4pm so all of us were allowed to leave the office at 2pm. Giving sufficient time to go to whatever places to watch the game. So we went back to our apt and gather at Jimmy's place to watch the game.

Wow, the street is completely quiet once the game started, just like our Chinese New Year Eve. Everyone rush back home in the mid-day for union dinner and the whole street is so quiet as everyone is inside the house.

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Ipanema Sunday Market 12 June 2006

We decided to spend our Sunday morning at the Ipanema Market whereby there are a lot of small stalls selling sourvior. One thing I like the people is that they are always welcome when we want to take photo with them or those selling items. That's why we can took so many interesting photos on that morning.

After that, we went to have Mexico lunch before heading back Niteroi.

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Sugar Loaf, again on 11 June 2006
This was my 2nd time to Sugar Loaf, but this time with another group of my Singaporean colleagues - Steven, Edward, Jimmy and Zeon. We went there in the late afternoon, each pay BRL 35.00 for both ways Cable car up. We still manage to see the sunset before we left and it was very beautiful.
Then we all went to Italian restaurant for dinner and the pasta was nice too.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

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Dawn's Birthday 05 June 2006

As this will be the last birthday here in Brazil for Dawn, our colleagues decided to share and buy her a bundle of birthday flower to wish her all the best. Of course, we celebrated for her during lunch time at our '2nd storey' restaurant with the free birthday cake.

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Teresópolis on 04 June 2006
Ok, we went to this Teresópolis, 910 meters (2985 ft) high, the highest mountain city in the State for lunch. 96km away from Rio so it took us almost 2 hrs to reach there, and we really just went there for lunch and back to Niteroi. But of cos we took photos with the rocky formation called the Dedo de Deus (Finger of God) – which is 1692 meters (5550 ft) high before we left.

As we need to buy birthday present for Dawn, we stopped at Plaza Shopping Center to continue our day there. We managed to buy a bag with NITEROI logo for her and so happy that she love it.

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Maracana Stadium on 03 June 2006

Well, just want to have one time life experience of how the soccer lover watch the game live. So we went to watch the last local game in Maracana Stadium before the World Cup 06 begin, together with our ex-colleague. The Maracanã Soccer Stadium considered by many soccer fans as the “Temple of the Gods”, it is one of the largest soccer Stadiums in the world. It was built in 1950 to host the World Cup, and it was designed to welcome 166,369 people. Today, after some restorations, it can receive a crowd of 114,145 soccer fans.

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Mauricio's Birthday 26 May 2006

Like I mentioned earlier on, Brazilian love to have gathering especially on their birthday. So there is no reason why, Mauricio, Dawn's coordinator for P52 will leave us alone on his birthday. We all had a great time and I know Mauricio enjoyed himself a lot too.

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Thursday Market 25 May 2006

We have this market every thurs near our office whereby there are a lot of stall selling different things. The favourites stall amongest us is the fruit and vegetable stall. Till today we are still their regular customer.

Just another day but with camera on Zeon's hand, we took some interesting photos to show you all in better way.

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20 May 2006 Lunch at Petropolis

I can't remember how many times we had been here for lunch but each time I enjoyed a lot, not on the food but the weather. It's tropical, mild climate, without a dry season, having an average annual temperature of 16ºC.

Here's the little history of Petropolis:

The city’s history started in 1830 when Dom Pedro I fell in love with the climate and beauty of the Mata Atlântica and decided to buy the Córrego Seco Farm. The land was inherited by Dom Pedro II and then, on March 16, 1843, it became Petrópolis. The urban project, which was considered daring at the time, can be appreciated until today on the Historical downtown streets, once the Farm’s headquarters. Petrópolis, built to be the Court headquarters, still has the majesty of cities that made history. The mansions of the barons, viscounts and counts located next to the Imperial Palace, are today a beautiful museum, revealing the life style of a romantic and aristocratic period, of evening parties and sophisticated attires, of refinement and power. The traces of the Empire are not the only reason the city enchants and attracts visitors. In the region there is also the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, where the rocky formation called “Dedo de Deus (God’s Finger)” is located. Trails and horse riding tours take the tourist to discover an abundant vegetation, orchids, waterfalls, valleys and mountains that offer a stunning view and plenty of adventure.

Although I had been here few times but trust me, I never been to the museum yet. Only to the only shopping street to do some shopping and then have to rush back cos it take another 1 hr to reach Rio.

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Pizza Rodizo (Buffet) 18 May 2006


Nothing special. It is just another night after work and we all decided to go for Pizza buffet at Catete. The waiters will keep serve the customers by going table by table in the restaurant. And of cos, we can eat all we can till we become another satify customer.

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12 May 2006 Felipe's Last Day

Ok, another close colleague is leaving company and going to work in France. Felipe is one of the handsome guy and we feel sad that he has to leave too, cos he is a nice and helpful guy.


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Sao Paulo from 21 to 23 April 2006

Sao Paulo was built with the energy and sweat of people hailing from all parts of Brazil and the world, maintaining rooted in every piece of this land the knack for work. There are over 600 municipalities and about 40 million residents. There is an abundant infrastructure and qualified labor, which ensures the State gets the title of "The Locomotive of Brazil".

So we decided to go SP by car during this long weekend to see how one of the world biggest city looks like. I think I like SP more than Rio because they are cleaner and bigger (or maybe those places that I went are for tourist, so the impression of cos is better)


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Easter Day - Gift Opening on 17 April 2006

We had exchanged these Chocolate eggs for Easter Day amongest Claudia, Valderes, Monica and Dawn. I think it might be more fun to ask Dawn over to open the 'egg' together at my apt.

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Belo Horizonte 14 to 16 April 2006

Together with Dawn, Nossani and Danny, we joined this package to Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais at Southwest of Brazil. With Nossani around, of course we took lots of beautiful photos.

Nearby the city, we also travelled Ouro Preto - the former Capital of Minas Gerais state and Mariana which was the first city, capital, village and the State diocese.

I even bought a nice bookmark with the poem of Peace Prayer by St Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is injury, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
Where there is darkness, let me bring light.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive. It is pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is dying that we are born to eternal life.

These words are so powerful that I feel faith and love when reading it, it bring me a lot more strength to carry on when I feel down.

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Monica Farewell Dinner on 31 Mar 2006
She is nice and helpful at all time so I feel a bit sad when she have to leave for better prospect. But this is something common in Brazil as most of them work as project base, very different from Singapore.

We had a farewell dinner for her on her last working day.

Luckily she is still in Rio, we still keep in contact and go lunch together. I will do so more often since I left only two months in Brazil.

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Transit at Paris on 03 Mar 2006

Dawn and I arranged to go back to Rio together, also we meet up with our colleague working in Paris for lunch on that day. It was a very cold day.

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Bangkok, Thailand from 18 to 21 Feb 2006

It was always the most wonderful moment when I can go back home. Too bad I can't manage to go back for the CNY celebration, but with the planning from Jennifer, we managed to go BK for a short trip during my vacation.

I bought a lot of stuffs from the trip and enjoyed a lot.

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Angra - Boat Ride on 20 Jan 2006

Dawn woke up early in the morning to prepare us sandwiches so that we can have it during the day and Felipe came to Niterio to fetch us to Angra. After a long drive, we finally reach there and meet up with the rest, and my 'lover' Eric. (Remember the little baby that I fall in love during Frank's birthday).

It was my 1st boat ride experience (I always told my friends that I had a lot of 1st time experiences in Brazil) as I don't really like to expose too much under the sun. Luiz drove his boat around and we had great time in the sea. Dawn even persuaded me to jumped into the sea just for a second to feel and see how clear the water was. I finally do so with the floating (cos I don't swim well) and take a snap before hopping back to the boat. Later in the afternoon, another group joined us (Mauricio, Frank and their partners).

We went to Jason's apartment for dinner which both two nice men personally cooked for us, Roy and Jason. I am so grateful for their hospitality and we even stayed overnight at Rio's apt.


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New Year Eve, Bye Bye to 2005 and Hello to 2006
Pls don't be surprise if I am telling you that this was the 1st NYE party I ever been to. This party was held at one of the Copacapana top house (but it is not really very high storey on that building), each had to pay BRL 100 for the food, beer, music and of cos, a nice view to watch firework. I guess this is what I really paying for, the firework cos it was what I had enjoyed most on that day.

We went to Beatriz's apartment first for a drink before the party because it was too early. Then later we set off to the party around 10 plus. Had some food and drink, talk a bit here and there while waiting for the clock to hit 12 sharp. Then we started to count 10, 9, 8....3,2 and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! The most exciting moment I had been waiting for .......FIREWORK which last almost 20mins. 5 different spots shooting the firework horizontally at Copacapana Beach and I was so busy turning my head left to right and then right to left. Hoping to catch as much view as I could.

Time flies. I had been in Brazil for nine months already and another New Year begin to continue my journey in Rio.

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My Birthday 30 Dec 2005

One of my favourites day in the year, although a lot of people say that one will not keen to have celebration when age is caughting up but I still love to have my friends celebrating with me. A simple meal is good enough cos most importantly is to have a good chance for gathering.

This year is even more special cos it was the 1st time that I celebrating my birthday in foreign country and with so many new but good friends having fun with me. I remembered we only need to work half day (New Year Eve) so we went for lunch after work. They bought me my 1st most sexliest bras for my present birthday and........... amazing with the right size. Ha ha ha. I love the design and colour very much. Thanks to everyone up there!!!

Well also have to mention and thanks to my only special friend in Singapore who sent me a big bundle of flowers and teddy bear on this special day.

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Hidden Friend Party on 12 Dec 2005

One of our Brazilian colleague, Monica invited us to this HFP to celebrate Christmas. So what she did was to invite us to sign up into a website weeks before the party, then the system will help us to chose our hidden friend from the group when the deadline is up. Individual person will know who their hidden friend is and suppose to buy a gift within our given budget and their wish list present. We were suppose to have this HFP near the Christmas but because Dawn is going to USA to attend her friend's wedding, so we bring forward much earlier. As usual, we had this party at one of the restaurants and after some food, we began our gift exchange. The game began with Gilberto and it go like this. He will describe the special or unique character of his hidden friend, then all of us will start the guessing. The right person will appear to receive the gift and continue the same thing.

One of the most pai seh (embarrassing) things that I remembered very clearly was when Dawn's HF, Felipe open his gift, a T-shirt to show everyone, all of them started to laugh. I am at lost immediately cos I was with Dawn when she bought this T-shirt, I found nothing funny about it. Only then I was told it was one of the patterns that couple do during intimacy, number 69. I found myself embarrassing too cos I didnt know about this.

Well, I received one nice low cut top from my HF, Beatriz. She was very worried that it might not suit my size. It turned out to be very fit and hee hee, I look great on it. Till today, Beatriz will always said I look so beautiful and sexy when I wear this to office.
This is the 1st time I had this kind of party and I enjoyed it alot. Hopefully I can have another HFP before I leave Brazil. Hmmmm, I should discuss this with the former organiser soon.