Monday, December 10, 2012

The Last of my 20s

The year has finally come. This year, will be the last year of my 20s. One whole decade will be over. It has been quite an interesting 10 years. Not to mention it seemed like it went away pretty quickly. Let's see, off the top of my head right now, what have I done the last 10 years. - Obtained a degree - Obtained 2 seperate diplomas - Experienced life in Fort McMurray - Lived in Vancouver for a year - Travelled to HongKong, Japan, Parts of the States and Canada, visited home, Malaysia, Singapore - Met and made very wonderful lifelong friends Of course, those are just some highlights, it has been a very fun filled 10 years. Now, to live the last 11 months of my 20's, make everything count!! =)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

More things from my jumbled mind.

A friend of mine have always said and believed that things happen for a reason; that everything she does means something to someone. Looking back to where I've left my footprints, I wonder what my purpose is. I've made a lot of friends the past decade, some I still talk to on a daily basis, some I've lost touch with(sadly), some, when I see them again, pick up where we left off. I've met people from all walks of life, from a lot of different countries, and the things I find out about people still have yet cease to amaze me. Where do I figure in this? I'm not sure. But it seems like I'm destined to meet new and interesting people all the time, doing what I do. It's funny, some of the people you run into. There are some who really thinks they are entitled to everything in the world, that they actually think they are better than anyone else. I would like to think that I am a humble person, so I am not so sure how to think like that. Maybe someone can shed a light on that. There are also the kind of people, who is just happy to have the basic needs. Go back to a hotel room, clean up, have dinner, and call it a night. Or those who go to a hotel just for sleeping, out the whole day, back at 2am, wake up at 9am and gone again. I think the best kinds of guests are the ones who appreciate the room, and the hotel because they don't get the luxury to travel often or at all. The ones who appreciate all the little things you do for them, and when they give you that genuine smile of happiness, that's all you need to see from them to make your day. Hospitality might not be most glamorous career, nor the ones that makes you most money, but it is what makes me happy, what makes me want to get up in the morning to go to work. Yes, I do complain about working too much(I am human afterall), but at the end of the day, I still come home with a smile, still thinking about how I can improve at work or in life in general. How do I take my motivation in my professional life, and apply that to my personal life? I feel like I am shy outside of work, at work, it doesn't take much for me to want to talk to a complete stranger. Put me in real life, and I would probably stutter. I guess that's one step of growing up, application.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Brand new hotels coming up

Edmonton's hotel industry is really up and coming, many nights when I work on a busy weekend, for travelers who don't book a hotel room early enough, they seen to cant a room in the city at all.

What does this mean? That Edmonton has the market for a couple more new hotels. Which is why I am quite excited for the couple new hotels coming up. First, there's the new Renaissance By Marriott coming up at the Edmonton Airport. It will be one of Edmonton's new premier hotel. Very exciting times.

2 new hotels being announced are the double tree by Hilton and home2suites by Hilton. Both are higher end of Hilton Properties(at least higher than what Edmonton has so far). Also, in downtown, there's a new Hyatt getting built.

Do we have room for a luxury hotel? Can the Edmonton market have a hotel which needs an ADR of $350 to survive? Katz group seem to think so. Rumors have it they want a hotel the caliber of W, if the arena project were to go ahead. That would be so awesome to see, in the skyline of Edmonton. And will definitely attract a lot of hoteliers.

It is good time to gain experience in the hospitality industry with so many opportunity coming up!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Ever feel like your life is lacking? Like there's something missing and you're trying to figure out what it is?

Lately, I find myself caught in the cycle of work, eat and sleep. It is a dangerous cycle if you can't get out of it. I've always believed in work life balance. However, with shift work, it is hard to find and coordinate free time to hang out with friends. And then, you drift apart.

But not all is bad in this life, I find myself doing some things I've enjoyed doing in the past. Like reading in a coffee place. I've always find that relaxing and peaceful. Having the time to spend with yourself is a luxury that most people don't get to do often anymore. Sometimes it is not a bad thing when you need to think things through and rediscover yourself.

The last couple months have been a whirlwind in my life, I think 2012 has been an interesting year so far. Lots of ups and downs. I want it to be over, and I want to see what 2013 has to offer. This is the last quarter of 2012, I want to try and make it go on the up swing again.

Lets see how it goes.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Where in the world?

I'm just a small small guy in a big big world. There are 2 places I call home in this world. Brunei, where I was borned and lived till my teenage years. Canada, where I grew up and influenced me to be the person I am now. But I feel that I belong somewhere else. Or I feel like I'm one to travel and see the world, and work around the world.

I still have no clue where I want to end up. Where I want to see myself living. Where I want to settle down and start a family. All these thoughts have been swimming in my mind lately. Am I ready for another move? I know I'm not financially ready, nor will I be financially ready for a while. But I feel like Edmonton has not much to offer me anymore. That, or my heart has really gone somewhere else.

I can resolve all problems. And move back to Brunei, and see what there is to be offered there. That is my first home to begin with, so I should be able to survive there right? Or am I so far westernized that I will not be able to re-adapt.

A new goal in life. I want to travel and see the world. But to do that, I sill have to have a homebase. Where do I want settle down at? Those are indeed questions I find myself trying to answer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are things arranged ahead of time?

Shakespeare said "to be or not to be, that is the question." Sometimes, we don't have control over that, and it becomes, it's just not meant to be.

The good thing with being human is that, we have the ability to cope with things. Some are easier than others, but in the end, we would eventually figure out what to do. The survival of the fittest. The strong can cope with things better than the weak. If the strong would look after the weak, then wouldn't that theory be disproved? It doesn't have to be a dog eat dog world out there. If we can take care of each other, wouldn't we all be able to cope together?

Support from friends is a luxury not everyone can afford to have. I count myself lucky, to have a great stable of them when I need the support. Some would think it to be weak to need support, to seek for help. To those people, I say, we are only human. We have ranges of emotions, and we like to share. Happiness, sadness, anger, etc, can be projected from you with ease. Believe it or not, how we are feeling can definitely influence how our close ones feel. So, do not lose that support, nor take those support granted.

So, back to my original train of thought. When things are not meant to be, do you just take it? Or do you find ways to overcome it? Those are the questions that's been swimming around my head the last little while. Hmmmm indeed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A saying

A saying we used to have while working in Fort Mc is, "a bad day at home beats a good day at work anytime."

A guest heard me say that to a different guest, and he went and said to me. "Michael, you should meet my first wife, it would be the other way around"


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Angry Food Court boss

So, friend of mine got some Chinese food at a food court, couldn't finish it. So I went back and asked for a box.

Me: We got some food here earlier and couldn't finish it, can i get a box?

Old Chinese man(in thick Chinese accent): Y U want box? Y U no finish?

Me(shocked and dumbfounded): cause we're full?

Old Chinese man: ai ya ya

I walked back to my friends, not even mad, but instead, laughing at the fact I got yelled at for wanting a box...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Life goes on and on and on

What is "to be happy"? Having a comfortable career? Or having enough money in the bank account? I guess the definition is different for everyone. That definition seems like its always changing for me. Am I happy? Yes, but what is it that makes me happy? That might be a combination on a lot of things. And I have yet to figure that out. But does one really need a reason to be happy? I don't believe so. Being a happy person is more fun than being a sad person!

I find I lack discipline. Discipline in life. It is a maturing process that I find I have not possess yet. Do I have a lot to learn? Yes. Do I have things an habits I need to change? Most definitely. I do believe I'm still in search for that one motivation to achieve it.

I guess lately I've been doing some self reflection, to see where I am in life, and where I want to be in life. What am I doing with my life. Who's been in my life. Am I being negligent and taking everyone for granted? A good friend of mine recently told me something that made me realized that. "I think you are a great friend, but you make me feel like I'm not a good enough friend to you". That statement had a big impact on me. I realized that friends should never be taken granted for. We have to show our friends that we do care about them, and that we should be able to miss each other's company. And to be able to share feelings. So I want to make a commitment, to make sure everyone knows what a good friend they are. Friends are something none of us can live without. To the person who made me realized that. Thank you. I will miss you.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

On Friday April 1, 2011. Our Class was invited for lunch, at a newly opened Chinese seafood restaurant, Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant, in Burnaby, beside the Grand-Villa Casino and Delta hotel. Having said that, lunch at a Chinese Seafood Restaurant typically means that food served will be of the "Dim Sum" variety. The act of going to eat dim sum is called "Yum Cha" which translates to Drink Tea.

The first couple things noticed was that it has a smaller interior than your typical Chinese Seafood Restaurant, this might translate to better service and food quality as it would be a lot easier to handle the demand of the food. Also, each table cloth has Grand Dynasty's logo embroided in golden letters. Admittedly, this was the first time I've seen something like this on a table cloth.

Neatly folded napkins, double plate classy china setting welcomed us at the table. The difference? Most other seafood restaurant provide you with a basic white bowl, while the setting for this restaurant is intricate and detailed. Onwards to the food!!

Fried Daikon Radish. This restaurant's version of the dish is quite different in the sense that, aside from just frying the daikon radish, there were also little dried shrimp in it, giving it a hint of savoury goodness. It was very enjoyable!

Jellyfish. This jellyfish dish, was prepared a with a spicier kick to it, and it suits me just fine! The jellyfish was prepared perfectly, it wasn't hard chew on it at all and went down easy. Definitely have to try it
Marinated duck feet. This duck feet, like the jelly fish, was also wasn't overcooked, it was prepared flawlessly, there were no bones, and with a hint of spice, I could've eaten this all by myself.

Deep fried bean curd with salmon. Ok, this dish, was interesting. I wasn't the one doing the order, but when I took a bite into this one, I was expecting the normal shrimp, however, as I bit into it, the texture wasn't shrimp at all, but it was salmon fish! the fish wasn't overcooked, it was fresh, and the bean curd surrounding it was also marvellously deep fried. Bravo!
Shrimp dumpling, aka har gow. If you've been to dim sum places, you would know that, when you order this dish, it it impossible to get this out in one piece, and the pieces would be sticking to each other. However, at Grand Dynasty, I had no such problems, effortlessly, the shrimp dumpling was transported to my dish in one piece! The skin was moist, and the shrimp was juicy. There's really no need for me to describe it.

Steamed rice roll with deep fried fish paste. Having frequent dim sum places, I instantly thought, oh, there's "cha leung" which is steamed rice roll with chinese long donut, but where's the sauce? i took it anyways, and looked at it, only to realized it wasn't long donut inside. Being curious, I bit into it and realized its actually savoury, and fishy. I had to ask what it was and found out it was deep fried fish paste....need I say more?

Braised chicken feet. Another dim sum classic, the chicken feet was cooked perfectly, and there
wasn't much effort needed to get the bones off!

Steamed Egg Yolk Bun. This is one of my favourite dim sum dish. Sadly, it is also very hard to find in Vancouver. And when I saw this on the menu, I just had to get it! What is so special about this bun you ask? Check out the next picture!

When you bite into it, a lot of golden liquid just oozes out. That golden liquid would be egg yolk
with some custard feeling, it is a dessert bun. The yolk was still warm and flowy when we had it,
so it was freshly made! if you haven't had such a bun before, you will have to try it. I got greedy,
and had two of these to myself!
If I didn't tell you what this was, you would assume that this is the regular taro dumpling you would find everywhere. What if I told you this wasn't it, and if this was a dessert, would you believe me? What if I also told you, inside that deep fried shell, was the king of fruits, the durian, would that make your mouth watery? I appreciate the fact that Durian is not liked by some people, but coming from a tropical country, I had a lot of durian during my time, however, I never had it deep fried in a taro shell before. And let me tell you this, it was amazing! The durian is paste like inside the shell and the crunchy texture of the shell compliments the fresh durian paste!
On to the last little dish I have that afternoon. Mango Pudding. Now at this point, I was overwhelmed with so much surprises that, I don't think a simple Mango Pudding dessert can surprise me too much. WRONG! I have to admit, this is one of the best mango pudding dessert I've ever had. Reason being? look at the next picture.
What I found, as I make my first couple spoons was actual mango pieces in the pudding! without saying much, I went and finish my portion of it before most people. It was THAT good!

Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant provided my palate with a multitude of pleasant surprises. With a upscale feel and decor to it, it will make any food outing that much more special! I would definitely go back to this restaurant, and try some of the food that I didn't have this time around.
Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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