Category: travels

time out

Work has been taking up a lot of my time these days. I say that as a fact, not a complaint.

I guess this is the story of our lives, especially right now when we’re still considerably young and at our prime. I mean, we can’t be grinding this hard at 50. Or can we?

Not wanting to feel left out, since everyone with a 9-5 had a long break last week with Federal Territory and Thaipusam, I decided to take a little time out myself. Radio does not give us the luxury of public holidays, and I hadn’t had a weekend off since the New Year.

Singapore had to suffice for for my little break. It’s only a 45 minute plane ride away, and the added bonus was I would be able to catch up with my merlion dwelling friends.

IMG_1182

Checked in to the St Regis. The lifts were so slow, but I think that was by intent.

Like the ride itself was supposed to be an experience. The other lifts even had sofas in them, but I was too busy ‘experiencing’ sitting in the lift I forgot to take a selfie.

IMG_1187

IMG_1188

Caught up with my friends and carb loaded on truffle fries (we ordered 1.2kg worth of fries!!!) and date pudding

IMG_1194 IMG_1197

The following day I stayed in the hotel ALL day, and booked myself a spa session.

BEST MASSAGE EVER! Seriously, if you ever visit Singapore please, please stop by the Remede Spa at St Regis and request for a customised massage by Cat. Best decision of my life!

IMG_1204

A slightly healthier option after that carb fest. But just couldn’t say no to french brioche ;p

IMG_1246

As if the spa session wasn’t enough, I put on some jazz music and soaked in the tub until my fingers wrinkled

IMG_1225

YUP, I was in the tub until 1.30am. Right up to the Chelsea vs City match

Oh what a weekend! Short and sweet with friends, spa and watching football in a tub.

Doesn’t get any better than that!

xo Reem

not april’s fool

So it seems that I’m only motivated to post after a win. Given the name of the blog, it becomes a justifiable cause (excuse). I’m sure you’re with me on this – who wants to remember the bad moments in life raise your hand?

Some may argue that we are each the sum of our experiences. Unfortunately wisdom of this sort can only be appreciated in hindsight.

Nonetheless, it’s 3 points earned and we’ll take whatever we can get these days. And hey, should Chelsea challenge off City and make it to the FA Cup finals, we may even get a spot in Europa.

Will that be enough to hinder a summer exit from Suarez?

He’s a fighter. But with money and glory on the line, even the sweetest Kitty (that would be a Hello Kitty cookie) will break.

Image

I was at Puteri Harbor last week as part of the travelogue series with AirAsia, and I must say for Malaysian standards, it’s very impressive!

Most of the site is still under construction but the main attractions like Hello Kitty Land, Lat’s Place and Legoland are already creating waves. Very toddler-teenage centric but I would recommend just about anyone to go check out the development and bring out the kid in you. I mean, we weren’t as lucky to have these things to entertain us while growing up, so better late than never. Then there’s Johor Premium Outlet to satisfy those shopaholic tendencies.

Will post more from my visits around Malaysia once I get all the photos from the production team.

xo Reem

building teams

I haven’t posted much on my ‘day time’ job lately with the big red flying machine that makes traveling around Asia feel like a domestic journey.

Over the weekend, some of us from Branding & Ancillary were whisked away to Phuket for a team building session which I felt eclipsed into a beach getaway with 30 friends instead of your work buddies. Nothing too surprising, as the work culture built around AirAsia injected with Tony’s personality was not meant to be too rigid or formal. As the saying goes, we work hard but play even harder.

20121215_065510

There are few things in life worse than a 6am flight. Watching the sun rise made up for it though.

20121215_130453

On the steps of our hotel. Way before the island’s charm turned me into little Lilo (of Lilo and stitch)

Somewhere in between checking-in and the Aston Villa match (worst. result. EVER) we rode on ATVs across a 50 acre plantation and competed in a few team building activities. Unfortunately I have no photos, since I stored all my stuff in the locker, which was a good thing since it rained 5 minutes into our ride. It was cold, it was muddy, but most of all it was fun. You haven’t lived if you haven’t done this once in your life.

20121215_230259

Watched first 15 mins of the match in a bar at Patong. We soon left for a foot massage, saving me the agony of Benteke’s first goal.

C’est la vie.

Go on a boat ride and heal your wounded football heart.

20121216_104343

Or have lunch by the beach with a bunch of friends

20121216_142956

Soon enough you’ll be back up on your feet again. Or in an inflatable canoe taking silly photos

IMG-20121216-WA0003

xo Reem

j-town

Every time I return home from a trip, I feel cultivated and enriched with new experiences no matter how near or far the journey was. The chance to explore a new destination or revisit an old one is a passion shared by almost everyone I’ve ever met and spoken with. I personally don’t remember ever coming home from a business trip or holiday thinking, ‘that was the worst experience ever!’.  Because it never is.

Okay, maybe it sucks a little that I haven’t watched a proper Liverpool match for 3 weekends in a row. Derby, Newcastle and Chelsea. But thank technology for all its binary greatness, I was with you all for every dive, offside and goals both for and against. Case in point, I was midway through dessert at Union (in Plaza Senayan) when I got the devastating news that Terry had scored. I squealed a loud ‘NOOOO’ and pushed the rest of my cake aside. I never push cake aside okay? Especially not my birthday cake. That was brutal.

We did manage to salvage a point from that game, and all was not lost. Aside from that temporary heartbreak (a positive sign that despite these trying ‘developing’ times for the club, I’m still firmly enthused) I had an amazing weekend in Jakarta full of laughter, food plus a session at the spa.

I’ve been to  j-town plenty in recent years but mostly for work and with family, so I never really got around their social or culinary scene much like I did this time. The interiors of the restaurants we went to had character, and were thoughtfully designed – elegant yet casual – a scenic and relaxing ambience just screaming to be photographed. Every last detail had purpose, as opposed to an after thought. And where we stayed, was just as charming.

Stumbled upon Ocha and Bella, an industrial-chic eatery by the hotel that I absolutely adore!

When I have my own home, my dining room floors will look exactly like the one from Ninty-Nine at Grand Indonesia

The mini heart attack, no thanks to John Terry, at Union in Plaza Senayan

I can safely say that I’ve fallen in love with j-town’s New York meets Asia vibe. Will be back there in less than 48 hours for a business trip. But not before I catch the Wigan match in KL, KL.

xo Reem

movember

Can’t believe this is only my first entry in Movember, the month formerly known as November.

Movember may be a cultural phenomenon for men to grow out their moussies (formerly known as moustache – no, not really, i just made it up) but for yours truly, it’s literally the month to ‘move-it, move-it…’.

I’ve been moving it up the past week from Sabah to Manila – a separate post for later, just to provoke those with obsessive chronological compulsive disorders – to Bangkok and then Jakarta. Which explains the lack of updates.

In aviation terms, the past week for me looks something like this: KUL-SDK-KUL-CRK-KUL-DMK-KUL-CGK-KUL.

Have I lost you yet? Those letters/initials put together to confuse you are simply standard world airport codes.

In an attempt to achieve a sense of purpose while getting out of my 10km rut, plus the opportunity to run in unfamiliar terrains – I jumped at the opportunity when our culture team (Human Resources) invited me to run for MAA (Malaysia AirAsia) in Bangkok.

Thai AirAsia recently moved (there goes that word again) its operations and services from Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Don Mueang (DMK) in its efforts to maintain operations at a low cost. So what’s the best way to raise awareness for this big move? An even BIGGER fun rally!

No other airline, in fact no other company that ever came to be does fun the way AirAsia does. NONE.

The rally route began at Suvarnabhumi Airport and progressed along the Airport Rail Link (Suvarnabhumi to Phaya Thai), connected to the BTS Skytrain (Phaya Thai to Mo Chit), included an RC hunt game at the Chatuchak Train Yard (I almost threw in the towel here. The glittering markets had my name all over them) and ended with a 12.9km (we did our own calculations and our pacers all recorded 14.9km) marathon from the yard, down Vipavadee Road to the finish line at AirAsia’s counter at Terminal 1 of Don Mueang Airport.

In Thailand, this is how you dress when running:

We obviously didn’t get the memo. ‘We’ the reps from Indonesia AirAsia & MAA

While about 1000 odd runners were warming up before the race, we thought it’d be better to conserve our energies and play fashion police instead.

‘She’s running in 4-inch heels? Crazy!’

‘Did she eat make-up for breakfast or what?? It’s starting to grow on her face’

‘Is she even a she?’

Soon after the race took off, we were full of optimism happily snapping photos away

After about the 3rd km, my photos started looking like this, having lost all equilibrium:

1528283 hours later, we crossed the finish line! *beams proudly* (still haven’t found equilibrium at this point)

On my bucket list: Run 14.9km. Check!

Visit (Soi) Cowboy town? Check!

Er, there were no horses in this town. Only horse noises that don’t come from actual horses. Leave the rest to your imagination.

Found my equilibrium though!

xo Reem

pause button

We’re over a decade into the 21st century, and the time machine is still as mythical as EL James’ (read: 50 Shades) take on relationships.

The average daily experience today consists of work, family, household chores, errands and a social circuit to boot. These of which are considered as commitments/responsibilities to others. Then there’s the commitment to yourself, your well being, your self development. For a girl this includes salons, spas, pedicures, gym, a good book (preferably not 50 shades) and most of all, SLEEP. For a guy this includes a round FIFA 13, a 6-pack + pizza. Just as time consuming if not more. 24 hours a day simply does not cut it.

Whinging and whining aside, on a personal level I feel that I’ve put my 24 hours to good use in maximizing my collective experience.

The past 7 days since my last post, in no chronological order I’ve – traveled to Bangkok, recorded an episode of  FO, shot with some Muay Thai experts at a gym on Jalan Alor (for FO), a trip to the salon for some much needed hair treatment, hit the gym twice, finished reading the 3rd and final book in the 50 Shades trilogy, ran 7km at the PJ Half Marathon, attended my boss’s farewell dinner and swung by the launch of Marinis in KL. Not to mention celebrating Liverpool’s first win of the season with a hat trick from Suarez and a goal each from Captain Numero 8 & loan transfer, Sahin. All that plus the usual daily grind from 9am-6pm at AirAsia.

What a difference a day makes – 24 little hours. How precious they are, so make the most of it. Even if it’s just spending some time playing with your cat.

Sweaty & satisfied at the PJ Marathon…

…to suiting up, way up at Marini’s on 57th

Cats need attention too. Meet Lola, everyone!

xo Reem

top of the world

I love cities.

I have come to believe that I was a distressed damsel locked up all alone in a dark and dingy tower (think Rapunzel, minus the long hair) decorated with grotesque gargoyle carvings on the side (think of the castle in Beauty & Beast) in a previous life. In consequence of that tortured past, I have returned with a vengeance.

Glittering skyscrapers, buzzing neon lights & effervescent energy are the brick and mortar of this vengeance!

When in Hong Kong, do not ever, and I mean EVER, miss an opportunity to visit The Peak. This is my 3rd trip to the island, but 1st up the Peak’s Sky Terrace, and boy have I missed out all this while!

Having just returned from New York in July, the view of Manhattan’s skyline from Rockefeller Center, pales in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, NYC is spectacular and in a class of its own. It’s the vantage point which encapsulates the essence of a city in all its glory – is where The Peak wins.

Looking down at harbor from up there, I almost cried tears of pure joy. It was one of the most stunningly dramatic views I ever laid eyes on. From distressed, this damsel is now simply de-stressed…

I urge you to log on to airasia.com (shamelessly plugging!) to book your flight right this instant. You won’t regret it!
xo Reem