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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Fun in the Sun

 


I have some nice sunlight coming into my office in the afternoon. Just had 500 Kg of sand delivered and converted the office into a little beach. At the door, I put up a plastic bowl filled with water so that I can clean my feet before stepping into the living room. Someone hand me another beer please. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

My First Review Video

 


While in lockdown, I had a bit of time to surf YouTube. There are a lot of so-called "unboxing" videos. Usually, they contain boxes and the producers of said videos speak about the box they are un-ing a bit as well. 

I had the opportunity for a unboxing of a rather big item. Thanks to Daihatsu Malaysia, I had the pleasure of driving one of their vans. Two actually as I had the pick up and panel van variants available. Nudged on by their marketing department, I actually made use of a relaxed lockdown at the time and went grocery shopping with the van to create my first video review.

One learns....The one thing that is crucial is location, location and... location. Nothing beats a good background when you want to pose a good looking vehicle like this. 

The other, really important thing is a steady hand. I had a selfie stick lying around (Don't ask!) and I thought I put that to good use. I guess this needs a bit of practice as the video turned out a bit shaky. And not in the good sense of The Blair Witch Project. 

Never thought that a van could be that much fun. But the cuteness overload of the Gran Max, its punchy engine (when driving manual) and the excitement of doing something different made for some solid fun. 


Those interested in a written review can find it here: https://asiantrucker.com/images/ALL-MAGAZINES/malaysia/download_items/2021/at59__rev_copy_1.pdf

Now that my inner Coppola is awakened, I might do some more unboxing videos. Maybe not with my latest pair of shoes? I have something else on order that I am eagerly waiting for to get my hands on.


Monday, June 14, 2021

What To Do?


When I talk about my time living in Singapore, some people say that the place is boring. Mmmmmm I don't know. It seems that there is a lot going on and even if one cannot travel freely, there is an abundance of things to see and do. As Mike Smith proves with his blog: asiaphotostock.blogspot.com (This is my picture though. Taken during my trip in October 2019, staying in Yishun....)

Advertising Added to This Blog

I added Google's Adsense to this blog. Seems like the initial settings had the ads all over the place. Please bear with me while I figure this out. The idea is to sprinkle a few ads around in this blog, but not to overdue it. The content is still to be the main focus... Thanks!

The Lockdown Chronicles: Klaus Flies to Germany and Back to Malaysia

Flight to Germany during the pandemic!

 

At the end of September 2020, the information from Germany about the possible Covid vaccinations with BioNTech was quite promising, so we planned to travel to Germany and stay there until we were vaccinated. We also hoped to be able to re-enter Malaysia after the vaccination without having to stay in quarantine. We were hoping for early/mid-March 2021.

Fortunately, we had great free accommodation at Lake Constance for the period from November to March.

 

But everything, almost everything, turned out differently.

 

Leaving the country was no problem, we knew we could re-enter. My wife, a Malaysian citizen, and I, as her husband, were allowed to enter the country. We did not know at that time how complicated the whole process would be.

 

The arrival in Munich was simple, as always, we came from a country classified as safe. We didn't have to show anything and didn't need a negative covid test or anything like that. Today (as of May 2021) that is unfortunately no longer so easy.

The stay at Lake Constance was great, a house for us at the lake, nice Christmas with the children.

 

But the news about the vaccination worried us a lot already at the end of December. Unfortunately, the EU and Germany had not managed to order enough vaccine doses, and the dates for our "age group" were postponed week after week.

 

At the same time, we read about a vaccination schedule in Malaysia, what to do? The house is only available until the end of March, after that we would have to find accommodation somewhere in Germany, we didn't feel much like travelling back and forth.

 

After several discussions we decided to return to Malaysia unvaccinated. In the meantime, a possible vaccination date in Germany became more and more distant.

 

Now the return planning began:

Documents:

Negative Covid test, not older than 48 hours
LOU, Letter of Understanding

My Travel Pass Malaysia- PERMISSION TO ENTER MALAYSIA (SPOUSE)

LETTER OF UNDERTAKING AND INDEMNITY  - PERSON UNDER SURVEILLANCE

MINISTRY OF HEALTH, KEMENTERIAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA, Payment of COVID-19 Screening and Quarantine Charges, Perkhidmatan Bayaran Ujian Pengesanan COVID-19 dan Kos Kuarantin

Flight ticket, Flight number

Passport (biodata page) of myself

Long Term Pass (Spouse Visa)

Marriage Certificate

IC of Malaysian spouse

 

I think that was all we had to organise. And after quite a few headaches and emails, we finally had everything together!


Luckily, the Malaysian Embassy in Berlin was very helpful, they checked all our necessary documents and in the end also issued us with an official permit to enter the country.

Well, here we go!


At the end of March, we travelled back from Munich to Malaysia, quite honestly, I was happy to return home. The uncertainty in Germany was just getting on my nerves.

 

The flight was ok, travelling on the plane is supposedly pretty safe at Covid times. Emirates constantly filter and exchange the air in the plane. So they say.

 

But the arrival! I felt like I was in a science fiction movie! All in those overalls:

 


No normal check-in at passport control, no customs control, but long queues at the manual and extensive passport and document control.

Typical Malaysia. Take a number first....

There were. If I remember correctly, six or eight stations to go through.

 

But at some point, we were free!

Then the big question: how do we get to our quarantine hotel? Accompanied by four(!) service staff, we were led to the exit. But first we had to disinfect all our luggage until the broth dripped from the plastic foil wrapping.


Then our driver, also wrapped in this overall, arrived. Off we went to the hotel, The 5-star, 23-storey Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur City Centre ....

I should mention that these seven days of quarantine, including all services, cost us around 6300RM. To be fair, as a 'foreigner', it cost me 2200RM more than locals.

 


Once there, we scanned our luggage and soaked it again with disinfectant. But otherwise everything was ok, we put our luggage in front of the room door, distributed various SOPs, barcodes etc. You must scan the barcode every morning and fill in the form and certify that you are fine!

5-star, 23-storey Hotel Impiana Kuala Lumpur:

- Toilet flush was out of order several times

- Lamp in bathroom broken

- Everything that people smaller than 170 CM cannot see had not been dusted for a long time

  

Food:

There was, quite nicely a lot of plastic, always in front of the door. To this day, I don't know how to cut a steak with a plastic fork and knife. But they did provide us with sturdy cutlery. But they kept adding plastic cutlery.

But basically, the food was ok, we could order a la card, it was not 5 stars, but ok so far.

 

I had to and wanted to do some work during the seven-day quarantine, so we chose this hotel. Because ....High-Speed Wifi(100 mbps) ... was offered.

Well, unfortunately that was completely bogus.

When we arrived, we got just under 10 mbps, with a tendency to fluctuate downwards. After asking, an extra modem came, then it was 11 mbps, at least a bit more stable. When we asked further, an extra router came, which then managed a stable 15 mbps. This is what they call high-speed.

 

At the end of the seven days, we wondered how the people who booked the standard package were accommodated.

 

On the penultimate day we did another Covid test, both negative, and then off home!

 

All in all, an exciting return journey, with a little distance I can say today that it wasn't that bad.

But again, no thanks!

 

Meanwhile, Germany is vaccinating at record speed, all GPs are allowed to vaccinate, there is hardly any vaccination sequence.

And here in my beloved Malaysia?

Please wait .....

(NOTE: Meanwhile, the vaccination programme is being rolled out) 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

When you have more shoes than your wife

 

I like shoes. Different ones for various purposes. Several pairs of running shoes. Dress shoes. Boots, sandals, leather, some laced and others slip-on. Really liking my army surplus boots that I got in Kyoto while on a trip with Hino. We had the opportunity to explore the shopping district and I homed in on Seabees... Like, what else would you get in Japan?

Each pair of dress shoes is fitted with its own pair of shoe trees. I try to avoid wearing the same pair two days in a row as the leather needs to dry up and wearing shows too often then damages them. The shoetrees are, as they should be, wooden, so that they can absorb the moisture and keep the shoe in shape.

Not that I go very far these days, but when I do, I make sure to wear comfortable footwear. With no meetings going on right now, I am only leisurely prancing about. Hence, sporty shoes are the theme of the year. The more radical ones are yellow (https://twitter.com/brucelee/status/327146630237265921) to be worn with dark blue jeans. 

Breaking in new shoes is a bit funny these days as I am wearing them for some time walking around the apartment. Admitted, that IS strange. Strange, but equally interesting is the idea to have your own shoes designed: https://www.onitsukatigermagazine.com/?p=33447&lang=en I guess, this is for my next trip to Japan, once we can fly me to the moon again. 

What's with the boxes up there you ask... Ahhhh, just you wait. 


Saturday, June 5, 2021

A Book Review. Of Sorts

 


Not exactly a new release, "100 Suns" has been in the market for many years. I have seen the promo when it was first published, but it has taken me till now to finally get a copy of this explosive item.

Featuring 100 nuclear explosions, Michael Light has put together a very scary, yet beautiful work of art. The idea is simple, but I am sure that the execution was not an easy task. The imagery in rather enticingly placed on the black on black of the book. While the photos from the explosions in the desert are more colourful, the ones showing bombs going off in the atolls are scarier: there are more pictures showing soldiers watching these things go off. I know,... "What were they thinking?" But at the time, I am sure they had no clue.

Considering that we grew up with the threat of a nuclear war hanging over us, this book is a stark reminder of how close we have come to total destruction. I am glad that someone has made the effort to preserve these images and to make them available in such a stunningly cool book. For what it is, this coffee table book is visually awesome.