Meeting at Y&R

Today’s work was pretty fun–started a little late and I joined a meeting at Y&R, APL’s ad agency that’s working on a few projects for us. Their regional headquarters is located in the downtown part of Singapore, in a creative looking high rise building. The layout of the offices was really interesting, with lots of windows and high ceilings. After the meeting, I was free to go, which was nice, because I wanted to hang out with Rob more before he left for Holland. After seeing Rob off, I got my stuff ready for tomorrow’s flight to Tokyo. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since I was living there, and more so than that, I can’t believe that I’m only getting to spend just a few days there. Sure enough though I’ll have a good time.

Marketing Meeting

So today, I met with the Corporate Marketing Team that I work with from California. It was nice to finally put a face with all the names. We started out with some updates on the marketing initiatives that are going on right now. It’s so interesting to see it on the corporate front, because there’s a lot more strategy involved, and I really enjoyed the way it worked. We had a competitive review where the Y&R and a Media agent came in to present to us what the competitors were doing, and any trends that we see them moving towards. The funny thing about the shipping industry is just that the ads for our {industry} products/services is so un-glamorous, that it looks like there’s a lot of room for improvement. APL’s ads have always been quite classy, so it’s funny to see the home-grown type ads that our competition is doing. There will be some interesting work available, and I hope with my new position in APL Logistics, that I’ll have more interactivity with strategy and decision making, as it’ll be a corporate function.

After that I went back to the hotel, and Rob and I went to do some errands, then had dinner at the hotel by the pool. My eye has started to bother me, and I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn into an infection of some sort. It stings, and I can’t seem to clean it out enough. Yuck! I’ll try to cry :)

Tomorrow’s my last day in Singapore, and then I’m off to Japan to see Kano. It’ll have been 4 years since I saw her & her family last, and it’ll be great to catch up. I also have a laundry list of things I want to do in Tokyo–go back to my old school, see some friends, INDIAN FOOD, and a lot of good photo ops around the city. I’m sure the days will go by fast.

for the Weekend

So after our exams and certificate ceremony for our courses, we got our bags packed and headed off to Malaysia for the weekend. We went by 3 vans, all to a ferry terminal. When we arrived, we found that we were the first ones. Then the 2nd van arrived. Then, we waited and waited, and no 3rd van came. So we were looking around trying to see what happened. Luckily, because of GSM, we were able to contact the others and see what they were doing. Somehow, TWO drivers took us to the wrong place! We were at the wrong ferry terminal, so we had to find another taxi/van to take us over to the other terminal. Luckily, we were still ahead of schedule and nothing happened to our trip.

We waited to go through customs and immigration (which was a rinkydink turnstyle type passing) and ended up on the docks to board the ferry. We sat on the top where we could have the fresh air, and waited to set off for Desaru, the resort town we were going to stay in.

Desaru is located on the east coast of Malaysia, where the water is warm, and somewhat calm. When we arrived, there were two vans ready for us to take us to the hotel. The hotel was pretty nice for what we paid– about $50 each for transportation by ferry, van, and the hotel room with breakfast. There were three to a room, and we put our stuff down and headed out to the ocean.

Once at the beach, we dove right into the warm waters and had a great time. After a while, we went to have some dinner, and then did Karaoke. The songs available were all love type ballads, so the choices were tough, but I ended up doing a selection from Take That (Back for Good) and Spice Girls (2 become 1). It was hilarious. After Karaoke, we all went out to the ocean and enjoyed the cool effect of the plankton surrounding our swim strokes. If you’ve ever seen The Beach, you’ll have seen the same thing–it’s a pinkish glowing color when you move in the water–the movement wakes and startles the plankton, and they glow. It was amazing!

After that, we ended up back in the pool and finally, we all started to trickle to bed…It was a tiring night!

Mexican Food


Today, after class, we had a group of us to go out for Mexican food (yes, I partook) over in Holland Village. It was actually pretty good. I had an Enchilada de Pollo, and had a great chocolate kahlua moose for dessert. We ate outside and enjoyed the evening. We then headed home, and stayed out at the pool until about 12 before we were asked to leave (pool closes at 11). We also planned our weekend, which actually is going to be going to Malaysia’s eastern coast to a town called Dasaru. We got a great deal for an all inclusive deal for the weekend at a luxury resort (we’ll see) right on the beach. We had planned to go to the Island of Bintan, but due to history, the Dutch people on our trip were not allowed into Indonesia without their visas–so we opted for Malaysia. More on that when we return!

Tony Roma’s Ribs!

Tonight, after we were all practically dead from the class, we got home and went straight to Suntec city to shop and have dinner. We found Tony Roma’s Ribs Restaurant, and headed straight in for a huge dinner that included Carolina Honey’s, Original, & Smokey Joe’s Ribs. It was so nice to have some good food after today’s food mess. The food they’re feeding us here is absolutely horrid.

After dinner, we walked around a bit, and the others headed back while I continued on to take pictures at night. Now that I’ve got a new camera (IXUS 500), I wanted to make use with it and redo some of the night shots that I took previously with my 3.2 Megapixel camera. I think this camera is taking really nice shots. I got home, and stayed up chatting a bit with the others about the program, and then headed to bed.

Class, inner city prison food, and the Thai Embassy


Class is horrible. This training is so intense and long, I’ve never been so exhausted and feeling this unhealthy. The unhealthy part is because I definitely feel I’m not getting enough food and the right kind of it. They have it catered from what I would see in an inner city school system, and they have us eating with less than plastic strength forks and spoons-no knives, so we have to cut chicken with a spoon. We’re eating on plastic plates and have things served like
vegetarian salmon, grease filled hash browns, mayo tuna, etc. Being in Asia, it’s disappointing to be missing out on the culinary tastes and fed jail food. During lunch yesterday, Rob and I turned to each other while trying to saw through a piece of chicken with a spoon and agreed that we couldn’t believe we were at a Corporate Headquarters of a global, multi-billion dollar company, that has recruited so much talent, and trying to find edible food to tide us over until we get to leave at 7pm.

Once we got home, we went to the Thai Embassy with two of our Thai
colleagues-there was a Thai food festival going on, and they had classic Thai food. We had a really good dinner out on the lawn of the Embassy, and enjoyed finally being able to eat food.

Federal Marriage Amendment FAILS!

In a vote of 48 to 50, the effort to amend the US Constitution failed in the Senate. Supporters of the amendment couldn’t get a simple majority let alone the two-thirds required to pass the amendment to the House. Many Republicans including John McCain and Ben Nighthorse Campbell spoke out and voted against the amendment. It’s amazing that in the time of war and with a nation full of need at this moment, that the nation looks at ‘marriage’ as a pressing issue that needs to be protected. What exactly are the priorities? Love or War?

You can see how your Senators voted by clicking here.