The last hours of 2008 are here.
We are going to stay at home. Half the roads in KL's city center are closed and traffic jams have been rampant since 3pm. We will be able to see the fireworks for the pool anyway, so no need to get into the frenzy around town.
Let's see what the next year will have in store for all of us. Hopefully we will overcome the "financial crisis". Judging by the shopping behaviour, there is no such thing. And if taxi drivers can still afford to tell you that they don't want to take you to where you want to go... well...
Wishing all of you all a Happy New Year! Spike, Nicole and The Pertz.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The last hours of 2008 are here.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:10 PM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
So we send out a targeted, highly effective message (SMS blast to everyone in our phone), followed up by an interactive campaign (MSN chat) and people started pouring in (the power of marketing LOL). We had a nice buffet with German Potato salad, chicken, satay, bread, cheese and so on and on and on.
Was a good party after all... No one misbehaved (Which is usually me)... or broke anything (which is usually me). No one spilled anything (Which is... righ, usually me). Everyone got home alright I hear. As we had some guests staying, I had to share the couch with Spike. He was not happy (Usually, that would have been me).
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:11 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I saved you from a postcard, not wasting energy and resources for the card, the stamp and the transportation of it. Instead I have planted a tree. I found a nice spot right in front of our house.
Hopefully it will grow strong and old and people will remember me when they see it in the decades to come.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 1:06 PM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
What do the songs about "Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer" and "Sk8ter Boy" from Arvill Lavarine (or whatever her name is) and the story of the "Ugly Duckling" have in common?
Right! They all criticise society for judging people to early. Think of it: Everyone just loooves the song about Rudolph when sipping your Mucho Grande Green Tea Vanilla Frappuchino, Skimmed milk with low fat cream. But how did Rudolph get to that place? First he had to be an outcast. Red noses are not exactly the flavor of the month, so he gets all the nasty pranks played on him by the herd. Suddenly, tada! he is Santa's best buddy and all the other deer-nerds forget that he is such an weirdo and love him.
Three stories, one moral: Make it to fame, fortune or looks and everyone loves you.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:24 AM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I can understand that my last name is being mis-spelled once in a while. But my first name?
How come that I am almost always addressed as either Stephan or Stephen???
S-T-E-F-A-N.. .so simple... lucky my name is not Xanthippe or Xavier...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:38 AM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Next to our place is this huge part. A condo (The Maple) is nestled inside and we just found out that it is actually a public park.
I went for a run in the park yesterday adn found this to be a refreshing departure from all the consumption driven places around Asia. No admission fee, free of charge benches and visit to the International Koi Center.
It was a gloomy day with no sunlight. Some of the buildings in the park are left-overs from the previous owners, the railway. These stand next to the shiny KL Performing Arts Centre. The atmosphere was electric,... ponds, rustling trees, free roaming ducks and lush green gras. The place was basically empty. No wonder, it competes with the KLCC Park where families gather to take pictures for the family album with the Twin Towers in the background.
However, it beats KLCC park or the doggy poop and drig infested Fondel (Vondel) Park in (H)Amsterdam.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:34 PM
Monday, December 1, 2008
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:05 AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Misinterpretation of country marketing and its desasterous consequences, part 1: Political incorrectness and why do I have to write such long titles?
I am re-visiting my own post here on the recession issue in view of the "global crisis". What I am suggesting here, though not said out loud might be perceived as politically highly incorrect. Anyway:
Check this online article: Read the last paragraph:
Eight months later:
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:41 PM
Food. Equally important in the East as in the West. Tore has this post on his blog http://toreclaesson.blogspot.com/2008/11/good-morning-new-york.html talking about the small stalls where you buy your breakfast in New York. The interesting bit is that he says that the vendor will know exactly what you want to eat. Despite the millions of customers each day.
Here is an experience I have made (Hey, I am not saying this is the case everywhere across Asia. Just a personal experience) : Even after years the shop keeper still doesn't what I want. For 2 years I have frequented a certain eating place at least 1 time per week. Every (!) time I have had the same dish with the same drink. That is about 104 times the same order.
Here it comes: Even after 104 times ordering THE EXACT same thing and having the money counted out EXACTLY, I still had to tell'em. And everytime the only thing that they said was "6,30". No more, no less...Amazing thought is the fact that it was always the same shop assistant. Don't they ever get sick, have a day off, take a lunch break or need to go to the ceramic showroom (The toilet)????
Mei ya huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu May ya heeee (Also awailable in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Korean and As Bin Laden version) Numa Numa yeah
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:12 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I am sure, this is what they do in Abu Ghraib these days. Last night I came back from Singapore on a bus. The seat must have been designed in the former torture prison in Abu Graib. This is what they specialised in, right?
Being an average sized person, it was impossible for me to find a position on the seat that did not hurt, cut off blood streams or have something sharp poking into my ribs. After 6 hours on the bus I am basically ready to confess the assasination of Cesar and JFK.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:55 AM
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Took me a day to find the original. Go have a beer or two. Gather in a crowd of some half drunken people. Then play this (loud): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdb0B3Ib2gE&feature=related
An amazing song as you don't have to know the lyrics and get's the crowd moving. Lyrics don't make sense to most of the planet anyway. Actually great when you are too drunk to remember anything. Just yell some guttaral noises that sound somewhat like the original. mai ya hiiiii mei yah huuuuu
Then there are these perversions of this otherwise awesome song:
And of course... the money making pop machine could not help it but to pervert it too...
Luckily others are doing it to R+++++a's songs too.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:10 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
If you think Starbucks is a place where you just go and chill out, having a coffee... Here is the reality: Starbucks is a second office for many business people in Asia. To me it is a rather strange thought to discuss your life insurance, business plan and retirement fund in a (more than) public place, but well...
I am currently sitting in one, simply because they offer "free" wireless internet access. You still have to purchase something ( mints, 5,00Ringgit). There are about 15 tables, on 12 you find laptops, 10 laptops are being operated by guys with suits.
Let me talk to them. Here is an value added service they can offer: Postal address for businesses. So you can receive your mail here as well.
I am adding this half an hour after the above portion:
You have to realise that Starbucks, your second office, has one HUGE disadvantage: Noise:
Everytime the door opens the entire crew behind the counter yells: HELLLOOOO WELLLLKKKKKAMMMM!
There is some music in the background. Too bad it is stuff that makes you feel suicidal. Glad they don't sell ropes here. Naturally, the 12 guys mentioned above do all their business on the mobile.
Actually, I bet that you would need to wear earmuffs in this noise level according to German Health and Safety regualtions. What? Can't HELLLOOOO WELLLLKKKKKAMMMM! hear you.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:17 PM
Monday, November 10, 2008
Different definitions for the term "Recession" exist. However, there is one thing they have in common. A time factor.
From Wikipedia: "Some business & investment glossaries add to the general definition a rule of thumb that recessions are often indicated by two consecutive quarters of negative growth."
China has posted a lesser growth of (only haha) 9.4% for 2008.
Ok, growth less than expected is still (positive) GROWTH. How can there be a recession if a) there is no negative growth and b) not over 2 quarters..???
Can we all please stop talking about a recession for the next 4 - 5 month and THEN see if we really are in a recession?? With China just injecting 600 Billion (Waaaaaaaaaaah) Euro into their economy, I am sure there won't be such thing as a recession, if there ever was any.
Perhaps I should post that I am rich. Maybe I will be in 15 years. But I could already start saying it, right?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:10 PM
Saturday, November 8, 2008
This is about the cutest, coolest and best ever traffic light. Even if you are colour-blind you will understand what is what. Sorry for the bad quality. During the day it is too bright, so you won''t see a thing and this is taken with a camera phone. Or is it a phone camera? The intersections in Hong Kong are also very cool, with their TINK - tink - TINK - tink... (TINK is where you stand, the ting is not as loud as it is the one on the other side of the street). You know what they call traffic lights in South Africa? ROBOTS! Guys, don't you ever watch Terminator!!!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:00 PM
Friday, November 7, 2008
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:34 PM
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Third year in a row. Marco Polo Biefest in Hong Kong (Oktoberfest abroad). Kersten and Roland invited me over to spend time with them at this festival. The Marco Polo hotel is organizing it for the 16th year by now or something. The German food was good, the beer cold and the songs the same as the past years: www.gbfhk.com .
This year we actually broke a record: we managed to infect people around us with our Bierlaune and we got a bench into motion, joining us im Schunkeln.
The surroundings are amazing as one can see the Skyline of Hong Kong on one side, the newly developed ICC on the other.
I have shot some pictures of the band, but they are ... umpf, maybe not appropiate (18 rating). Send me a message and I will let you have it. The last act of the band is somewhat special...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:28 PM
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:56 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Finally... The family is re-united in Kuala Lumpur. Spike is soooo happy! Not to mention Nicole.
Saturday I was all by myself at the pool. It was so quiet, it felt like in one of these apocalyptic movies where there is only one person left on the planet. An hour later the place was swamped with relocation vans, evacuating the last tenants of Flamingo Valley before the entire lot is being handed over to the new developer.
It has been a long wait. Since July, when Nicole, and with her all our belongings moved to KL. During that time I must have been on the bus at least 10 times. Not to mention the 2 moronic trips on the scooter. One all the way to Kuala Lumpur. 360 Kilometers on that thing! And again to Melakka. That one was rather enjoyable. I loved to see the sunrise at 6:30 on the highway just after the border crossing.
Now it has been raining for 2 days. Slowly I am settling in. There are a lot of things to discover in my new home. For example: Where to buy shoelaces. Last time I tried to buy shoelaces in KL it took me a full day of running around. I think people just made fun of me. What with the shoelaces and all. Buy new shoes! Easy!
My parents are currently in Vietnam. Somewhere between Hanoi and Saigon (Ok ok ok... I know it is called Ho Chi Minh City, but Saigon sounds more umpf "right"). Their second holiday this year. They report no problems with the food. I guess they only eat in hotels. Boooring. Nothing beats a decent stomach pain after some half cooked chicken! Great story to tell when you are back home.
Speaking of which, we are heading out for dinner. Nicoles oldest brother (lots of brothers..) now also works in Kuala Lumpur and we are having a bite.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:13 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Flamingo Valley (where we lived) will be handed over to the new owner. Most of the tenants / owners have moved out. it really feels like a ghost town. From the pool you can see all the apartments, most of them are deserted and dark at night.
I will hand in my keys on Sunday morning. Then hop on the bus for a family re-union in Kuala Lumpur.
As of this week I am also a frequent traveller on the bus. Got my official card now.
Leaving Singapore after almost 2 years now. Time to explore another place. Kuala Lumpur has changed a lot since I first went in 2000. The only thing that is the same is the traffic jam.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 12:48 PM
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Remember when we were young(er)? We had a best friend. Today we callem "Mate".
One used to have a best friend. You would meet that person every day. Do all sorts of things together. Exept for homework. Useless stuff. Most likely it was the guy next door. And maybe... only maybe he would have an older sister you did not understand. Why she would talk so much about Rick Astley, what is so great about the moron up the road who has just started shaving.
Anyway, research will show you that it takes longer to form a bond (aka Friendship) when you are getting older. In additon, people move around. I have met a businesss owner in KL this week and was told that people are being posted to Malaysia for 3 years tops. This means that you end up meeting people, getting to know them and zip they are gone again. Ok, then you have friend that lives someplace else. I am not saying that friendship cannot be found. But! the nature of the friendship is different. Take MXXXXX for instance.. He has been promising to visit me for the past 99 years. We talk almost every day though.
I believe that the way friendships are kep will change significant in the next years. More people will travel more and friends will be in touch via the internet. Friendship will also be more intense. If you see your mate only every 6 months, 1 year... there is a lot you have to compress into a short period of visiting time. Then again, it is a small world. In another post I shall report about that.
Here is to friendship!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:35 PM
Passion. Hobby. A Calling. Wouldn't it be great if you could combine all of it in your job?
I have met Simon about 2 years ago. Ever since, he has told me about boats. Well, yachts that is.
There is a lot more to it than just floating fiber glass constructions. Sailing looks easy on TV, but boy, there is a lot to it.
Last year Simon made a dream of his come true. He joined a company selling, building and brokering yachts (http://www.simpsonmarine.com/).
He had this amazing boat in town and he managed to let me have a look at it. Well, look... A personal tour. This superyacht (there are Megayachts too) is about 50 meters long.
It was a jaw-dropping experience. If you think these boats are uncomfortable, small and inconvenient... think again.
This "boat" left me breathless. With a permanent crew of 11, all the bells and whistles attached and the whole nine yards in terms of entertainment it was better than any 5 star hotel I have seen. If needed, a masseuse could be flown in with a helicopter, landing on the upper deck...!!! Dig this!
The craftsmanship was superb. The tabs were set in a way that you could properly read "hot" n "cold" when they were turned off.Tons of teak wood, plush sofas and an on-board gym got me thrilled. By the way, this beauty is for sale. Over the past years the crew (and boat) had been to Fiji, Haiti, Australia....
It is for sale! Let me see how I could finance it....
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:40 PM
Monday, September 29, 2008
This was just awesome! We have seen Singapore turned party town!
Not only was the race sensational, but also the entire set up for the Grand Prix. Needless to say that everything (at least on the surface) went smooth as silk. The organisers of the inaugrual Singapore GP have done a great job. The spirit of the helpers on track was amazing and I liked the fact that the Formula 1 ticket was a ticket into numerous parties as well (NB: in KL you would have to pay to get into most venues). The only thing I really hated was that there was no live commentary on the radio. Earmuffs with Radio were advertised as "Race Radio" and did cost a fortune. When asked, the sellers told me how cool it is to listen to music at the race. Honestly,... I don't listen to radio when I am in the cinema. You know what I mean...?
Kersten (above) made the trip from Hong Kong, just to see the race. He left Monday morning at 4 to catch his flight back to the office. Thanks to him I actually got to see a lot of sights I haven't seen so far. Like the Cafe del Mar on Sentosa. Now I need to get some sleep.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:17 PM
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Amazining. From zip to Circuit in less than 6 months. When they announced they are having a Formula 1 race in Singapore, I did not think they can pull this off.
Tonight, 24 hours before the free training, the race track is ready, lights, camera and action are good to go and all the access points are clearly labelled. The entire town is brightly lit and abizz with activities.
Nicole can't make it for the race and luckily I managed to sell off her ticket. Kersten is hopping over for the weekend and we are going to see all the action.
The skyline looks absolutely stunning!!!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:41 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Heiko (back in Germany) will tell you that Globalisation is not the best thing we have ever come up with. While it is a bit too late to reverse this phenomenom, one has to pause and think about this.
America seems to be falling apart and we all feel the result of it. Established banks all of a sudden collapse, stock exchanges are in turmoil and people around the globe are freightened (those with internet access and money to invest that is). I drove past the AIA office in Singapore this evening. At 22:00 in the evening people were lining up, the que measuring 100 meters, to terminate their contracts and cutting their losses.
Wasn't this kind of scenario what caused the great depression in the past century (the 1930s that is. We should all remember that from History lessons in school). Let's just hope that the interconnectedness will decelerate the fall. Let's hope that the Chinese demand for goods and services from all over the world is going to buffer this global recession. Some say that the recession will not hit Asia so hard as there is a lot of trade going on inside the ASEAN and South East Asia. Let's hope.
That said, one has to wonder, if investments are ever safe. Personally I am saving a lotof my income, hoping to retire early and with a modest amount of disposable income. The last thing I would want to do is to push shopping carts around when I am 70...
As an observation... Singapore used to be "free" from beggars and homeless people. In 2000, living here the first time, beggars were something you just did not encounter. Within two days I was approached twice now, being asked for "donations". This is something new for Singapore.
Maybe this is a sign?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:30 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Nicole can't make it to Singapore for the Formula 1 race. Hence I have a ticket too many. I am selling it at cost price. It is for the Grand Stand at Marina Bay.
We were really looking forward as it would have been a weekend full of excitement and with a friend visiting. Sometimes, things get in your way.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:38 PM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Here is a list of my possessions in my "Home" in Singapore:
2 Laptops (work and private)
1 Cheap Matrass from the DIY shop
2 Books (1 on Reseach, 1 on Strategy formation)
1 Toaster, my dear friend which has followed me through 4 courntries on 2 continents
1 Coffe plunger
1 Empty fridge (which is not mine)
a Stone I talk to when I am bored
Today I had to tough task to take our plants outside. As we cannot (well, we could. But quarantene and procedure are more complicated than for a dog) take them to Malaysia, I have given all our two dozen plants away for adoption. A sign on the palm announces that they are up for grabs. Hopefully they will find some caring people that will grow them, talk to them and make them proud parents of beautiful offspring. I am just happy we are not living on the second floor. Man, these plants get heavy over time!
On October 19th we have to hand over our apartment. I will need to see where I can seek refuge as I may have to stay in Singapore for some more days. Later I will check out some bridges to see if there are any good places available to camp. Too bad I don't have a car. Could camp out in front of the office. Like the guy who worked in the dispatch of one furniture company. His wife kicked him out and he moved into a container in the factory.
In 3 weeks time my membership in the fitness center expires, so does road tax for the bike. Place is falling apart and I am in the middleofit!
Alright, time to hit the cheap foam roll.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:39 PM
Friday, September 5, 2008
Singapore is gearing up for the Formula 1 race in about 3 weeks. In the meantime, there is a lot of construction going on. The Motorhomes are ready, grandstands are erected and the tarmac is being redone.
Motorsports are dangerous. Fences should prevent spectators to run onto the track. Thing is, now Singapore looks like one big prison. Fences everywhere. I get a snapshot for you.
Are there any sexy looking fences available?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:56 AM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I just realised that there has been no post for 2 weeks. Kamlesh already mentioned that I have been more active in the past. Now, the idea of this blog is to let all of you know about EXCITING things I am doing.
Currently there is not much happening. I work in Singapore Monday to Thursday, then on Friday I hop on a bus to KL. Once I arrive at 1:00 it is supper and off to bed. Saturdays and Sundays is devoted to Mei Mei and Spike, plus fixing things in the home.
Then Sunday back to Singapore. Over the past weeks I have been to KL many times. Soon the folks at the border crossing will greet my with name when I rock up.
The other day I took a "Super VIP" Bus. Means the seats are reclining and there is a playstation and TV for every seat. Fun...16 seats. This is what happens: The Chinese get on board and sleep. Some Indians watch Bollywood movies. And the German (Me) is cursing, cos the overhead lights are not working and I cannot read. Which I really would want to do. And the reading lights don't work in any of the busses. No matter how much money you pay for the trip (25 - 78 Sing Dolla).
Ahh... travel time. Now that is interesting. Somehow the bus drivers must have arranged and agreed on a time it HAS to take to get from KL to Singapore or the other way around. It always takes 6 hours. No matter where or how often they stop for breaks. Doesn't matter how long the border crossing takes or what the traffic condition is like. ALLLLLWAYS 6 hours. For 360 Kilometers that is. What is the average then???
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:08 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Our paths have crossed many times. Mark used to work for the Wilkhahn distributor in Indonesia. In 1998 I was working in the Export Department and we have had some conversations. In 2005 I discovered that Mark had been my predesessor in Salotto. We both held the same position.
In 2007 we met again in Singapore, where Mark started his own business (http://www.mtmsolution.com/). Last Friday he opened his new showroom. Wow, what a date! the 8th of August 2008. If you believe in Chinese Astrology and such, this has to be a success. I wish Mark all the best and thanks again for the invite. I hear from Steve, whom I have last seen 2 years ago in Hong Kong, that the party went on for a while after I left.
I also met the Charlie Brazier's wife, whom I did not know until Friday. Charlie used to work for a supplier of Wilkhahn in Sydney. Now that is also a episode that took place 9 years ago. Bumped into Charlie in Hong Kong at a house party. Kamlesh was "working", so we did not have a lot of time to talk. We got to know each other at a luncheon event in Hong Kong too (more than 3 years ago as well...). We have fought a tough battle to vanquish all Heineckens of the planet since, but they simply replicate too fast.
Moral of the story: This world is a small one. Guess when I am 80years old I will keep bumping into people that I have met somewhere in the neck of the woods, in the major cities in Asia or that I have been working with. Very exciting.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:13 PM
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Last weekend I was in Penang, an Island in the north of Malaysia and apparently a powerhouse of manufacturing and such.
The place is buzzing and real nice to explore. There are thousands of these great shophouses. The picture here is "borrowed". Along the busy roads there are plenty of little shops, stuck in these shophouses. There is a mixture of eeriness that you have in movies like Blade Runner or in the streets of Hong Kong, coupled with an upbeat atmosphere that tells you they have something going.
The sad part is that most people don't take care of the properties and many of these beautiful shophouses decay.
Though this adds to the great atmosphere, it is sad to see this happen. If I could, I would buy one of these places, do them up nicely. Live upstairs and Mei Mei can run a pet shop on the ground floor. I would love to have a corner unit with a view of a busy intersection.
The other saddening part is to see a lot of homeless people in Penang. When I was walking around, I saw this skinny old man lifting his mom out of her wheel chair and resting her on the sidewalk to sleep. This is particularly embarrasing and sad if you follow recent news on Malaysian politics, where each party is trying every trick to stop the other one. While the country is suffering (NB: Malaysia has lost a lot of Foreign Direct Investment recently) some people play play. We shall see where that leads.
In the meantime we have learned that we are very lucky with our apartment in KL. New neighbors end up paying twice as much as we do.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:56 PM
Monday, August 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
THIS IS THE 100th BLOG-POST! YUHUUU!!!! This must be celebrated!
More ways of driving people in shops and restaurants mad:
- Go to TCC, The Coffee Club and ask for the fee structure and benefits
- To the question"You want yellow mustard" in SubWay you can answer: Red please
(NB: Red and green mustard are plants...)
Here is how KISS - The hardest band in the World - drove Tom Snyder mad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jzve-Tmd70&feature=related
The best part is when Ace says he is a plumber! This interview is hilarious!
Speaking of which, I am now certifyable mad... Went to Kuala Lumpur on my 150 cc (hundretfifty) bike. On a Friday, thousands of workers try to get home to their families in Malaysia. You stand in a sea of two stroke mopeds and everyone is pushing and shoving... Then -PLOPP- you are through immigration. Malayisan immigration takes 1 minute, opposed to 1,5 hours on the Singapore side. Then it is up north with only 3 petrol stations in between. You miss it, you push the thing 90 km.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:21 PM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I kind of like the view from our home in Kuala Lumpur.
From our living room we can see the Twin Towers and the "Eye on Malaysia", the Malaysian interpretation of a ferris wheel. Smaller, but faster than the Singapore Flyer. And more lively.
We can also see some trains going in and out of 2 stations.
A real nice place to just sit and relax while gazing out of the window. About time I move as well. I am left alone in Singapore with 2 Laptops and a cheap attempt of a bed. Plus a plunger to make coffee. That's not a lot.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:22 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Vor 2 Wochen haben wir unsere neue Wohung in Kuala Lumpur gefunden. Dieses Wochenende haben wir unser Hab und Gut in Kartons gepackt und warten nun auf Abtransport. Nicole ist heute morgen abgereist.
Morgen kommt die Moebelspedition und holt unsere Sachen ab. Am Donnerstag darf Spike dann auf grosse Reise gehen. Ein Haufen Papierkram und Theater...Was macht man nicht alles?
Ich werde dann am 18 July um 22:30 nach Kuala Lumpur aufbrechen um die Moebel an die richtigen Stellen zu schieben, Bilder aufhaengen etc. Am Sonntag geht es dann wieder nach Singapore. Bis ich dann von meiner Firma das gruene Licht bekomme bleibe ich erstmal in Singapore. Da unsere Moebel komplett in Kuala Lumpur (heisst uebrigens schmutziger Fluss) sind werde ich dann mal den Japaner spielen und auf dem Boden schlafen.
Werde ich Singapore vermissen? Klare Antwort: Jein.
Es gibt Dinge die machen hier einfach Spass. Wirklich witzig finde ich es, dass wir die Nebelhoerner der Schiffe hoeren, wenn es Abends ruhig ist. Auch sehr schoen ist die Lage unserer Wohnung, da sehr ruhig, viel Gruen, 3 Minuten zum Supermarkt, 5 bis an den Strand.
Auf der anderen Seite haben wir Singapore gesehen, Mieten steigen ins Uferlose und das Essen schmeckt wirklich ueberall gleich. Immer was zu meckern, ich weiss...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:47 PM
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
We (Kersten, Nicole and I) are going to see the first ever Formula 1 night race in Singapore live. The tickets were ordered on the day they became available and yesterday I picked them up.
Initially I was disappointed. A lot of trouble. Going to the post office, bring your ID...and no mention of goodies such as stickers etc. For Sepang, the tickets are like oversized movie tickets.
But boy! If the tickets are just a sign of what is to come, then we are in for a treat. Our tickets came in a box. when opening the box I found that each ticket (Hang on to the word TICKET) was presented in a nice box itself. Top notch printing and presentation, nice design. I opened one of them and each ticket (wwwwwooooowwww) comes as 3 tickets. Each day of the event has its own plastic card, with lanyard (neckstrap). The three tickets have different motives and sit in holders in the said box.
I am so amazed by this outstanding way of how the packed up a "simple ticket"!
This is by far, the best way I have ever been given a ticket. Mind you, these tickets are not cheap and I think Singapore GP has gotten it right here. Seldom you hear that, but my expectations have been exceeded. By far. Let's hope the race is as excellent.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:26 AM
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Two things will happen shortly:
This blog will move to http://www.stefanpertz.org/ (in a week)
We (Spike Pertz, Nicole and me) are going to live in Malaysia.
Yesterday we singed the lease agreement for our new home.
The place is a newly developed condominium and we are the first tenants.
Feel free to visit us, we got guestrooms.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:27 PM
Monday, June 23, 2008
On Saturday we met Chian, a Singapore based photographer, whom I met while staying in "InCityLofts". We fooled around with the camera and some props he had flying around and the result...Well, see for yourself. You may also check out his portfolio: http://www.boonchian.com/
The studio is located in a former school. Lots of stairs, no lifts. However, a breezy, nice bar in the schoolyard. as it is a bit hidden, it is quiet. Good place for business meetings if you want a quiet place with some atmosphere to it. You could walk up the stairs from Orchard Road. But then you would be soaked by the time you get there. Better take a cab
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 12:11 PM
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
We went to see Kenny at Kha @ Hort Park (http://www.kha.sg/) last night. The Thai restaurant is one of three restaurants Kenny is handling when it comes to events.
Hort Park is a plant nursery where they grow plants to be transferrred to places accross the island. Kha is situated on top of the park with a pool stretching across the lounge area. While you sit and sip you can marvel at the greenery, forgetting you are in a mega city.
The setting reminded me a lot of Bali, with the nature around you and all the birds, cicadas and gekkos adding to the atmosphere.
Guest of honour: While we were having our drinks, Minister Mentore Lee Kuan Yew came to visit Hort Park!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:43 AM
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The newspaper reports today that the Singaporean Government has not extended the rights to use the site near Bugis Junction to host the DHL Balloon (Pictured above). We have been on that balloon when Kersten was here last time. Fantastic! Last ride is 3rd August. I am going to miss that huge blimp. Such a nice sight when you sit in your office and the balloon pops up between the high rise buildings. Singapore Ducktours, the operator, was offered a replacement site in Jurong which they politely rejected. Good on them! I would have punched someone in the face for offering a new site away from ANY action. Too bad people coming to see the F1 in September won't have a chance anymore.
LET'S SIGN A PETITION TO KEEP THE BALLOON WHERE IT IS!
In other news: A 19 year old, with a obsessive compulsory disorder with voyourism, was sentenced to give up his mobile phone with a camera for 12 months. He was found to have taken a video of a woman changing in the toilet of the airport. No one said he cannot have a CAMERA! These days they come with video function too and phone calls from the airport to local numbers are free anyway! So you think he will go on playing peeping Tom?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:29 PM
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:42 PM
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Ok, so many academics don't really like Edward de Bono. Why is that? I don't care.
Basically, I can only agree with his idea that our lives have become too difficult with all the "things" that are supposed to make our life easier (in his book called simplicity). De Bono says we should simplify our lives.
And that is exactly what I am planning to do. Let's streamline the household. What works in the corporate world surely must work at home too. Get rid of everything that makes life difficult or complicated. I am sure there is a lot of potential in this to free some more "quality time" to be spent on useful things, or simple relaxation.
Not sure where to start and what to dump first, but I am sure there will be something.
Maybe I start with stopping to blog? After all, this is making things complicated. Naaaaa just joking.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:21 PM
Friday, May 30, 2008
Brief recap on history: Once Malaysia and Singapore were one and the same country. Then they decided to split off or were kicked out, depending on whom you ask.
As a result Malsysians now only get a 2 weeks visa if they don't have a valid work permit. Which applies to Nicole at the moment. Hence, she left her two boys (Spike and Stefan) alone for a week.
Worried about the fact that he is now 50% heavier than what he should be, Spike will now undergo a very rigid fitness regime. We started this morning with a walk before breakfast.
Later I buy him a treadmill.
My Employment pass has been approved and I can plow ahed now working.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:03 PM
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I think there is something wrong with Spike.
Silky Terriers are said to weight an average of 3.5 - 4.5 Kg.
Certainly there is always a chance that you end up outside this range.
However, Spike now amasses 6.8KG now with NO flabby fat whatsoever.
I am afraid he will turn out to be a Silky Terrier Doberman mix...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:59 AM
Saturday, May 10, 2008
If you thought Singapore is a save place, think again.
My bycyle just got stolen. It was secured with a heavy lock, tied to a lantern!! in front of a shopping mall with lots of people milling about!!!
The place is within walking distance of 2 (TWO!!!) police stations (and that is not far, given the climate here and walking is not enjoyable)
And a quote from Mr. Police: "This happens here ALL the time!"
Good to know that my tax dollar is hard at work here and that fighting crime is a priority.
Not sure if I should be angrier at the thief or the police??
Lucky we are soon moving out of here (Singapore that is) to a place were at least no one pretends it is safe.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:29 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Not that I can say that the sky looks different when you cross the Equator, but surely the sky has something to it when you have a clear view. While we were in Ubud, we stayed out of town, away from all the pollution that there might be. As we arrived at 23:00 a clear, unobstructed view welcomed us. Looking up the sky was breathtaking. In Singapore you hardly see the sky. It is either polluted or there is clouds. The moon was hanging over the river valley (road) like a big italian designer lamp. It was so bright, you could do without the lights outside.
Looking up the sky I felt like being back in Australia. When I crossed the Nulabur Plains in 2000, the most amazing view was the starry night. Back then I slept in the car for 2 weeks. Every night I would listen to static on the radio, looking up, gazing at the stars. Billions of them. 30o kilometers away from the next petrol station cum hotel, there was truly no pollution. This great emptiness offers a sight you would not believe.
When was the last time you looked up?
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Don't get me wrong. This issue needs to be addressed.
Tibet has been occupied by China for the past 50+ years. Did anyone really bother?
Honestly! No. Up until now no one could care less. Just at the brink of a scandal ridden Olympic Games everyone thinks that Tibet deserves to get some attention.
Additional note: before the Chinese rule, Tibet was invaded by.. Tada! The British!
What about Cyprus? Spain has some issue with the ETA, right? Is Iraq actually occupied? Anyone care to protest for Myanmar? Oh sorry, no oil or anything else worth some attention. Just temples and monks.
From 1965 to 2003, the GNP of Tibet increased from USD 41 million to 2.3 billion
Andorra: 2.77 Billion...
Now here is the critical and cynical question: Would Tibet be able to stand on their own feed? Or would their independance throw them into even greater misery?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:21 PM
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
If you are trying to confuse some people, here are some good questions that can be used throughout South East Asia. Both work perfect in Starbucks and similar places:
- Ask a Starbucks Barista "What is YOUR favorite coffee?". Usual answer: I don't drink coffee. So much for passion for your job, identifying yourself with the company and products. (NB: when I was 16, I worked in a local pub. I tried ALL the spirits there were so I knew what the booze tastes like and I could advice people when they wanted to get hammered on something sweet..)
- Best answer to the question "So, just a REGULAR coffee?" would be: "What sort of IRREGULAR coffees you got?"
Given all the flavors and 100s of options for the milk, WHAT is a regular coffee?
You can also try the following in the post office or McDonalds: Greet people by saying: "Hi, how are you today?" Seems to be a question they hear the first time as they are always thrown off balanace by the cheer friendliness of the customer.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:39 AM
Friday, March 28, 2008
Health checks are hot sellers here. Various companies offer them. To promote THEIR service, they schedule a free meeting in your office to give you a basic check free of charge. My result, as read out by a person who has not seen a sports facility in 30 year:
- Excellent blood pressure (after 4 cups of coffee)
- Overweight (based on Body Mass index)
- And I should start some excersises, sports that is (aha!)
Facit: Highly unlikely that I go for health checkup with THAT company as they failed to recognize that I am "overweight" because of my excersises!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:54 AM
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I have found my dream job. My next post will be to CSI Miami. Why?
- I work only with the hottest chicks
- I work with the most compent + co-operative cops
- Only the most sizzling chicks, all under 25 yo, will be witnesses
- I can wear designer labels all the time on cop salary
(Looking hotter than Crocket and Tubbs)
- My home is designed by Stark
- The office is more futuristic than the Enterprise
- Home by 5:30
- No sweat, even in Miami heat
- Even to most difficult murder is solved in 3 hours flat
- Corpses never smell
- Evidence is readily available and just lying around everywhere
- Media is nice to cops and sizzling hot (see above)
- Boss always patient and understanding (looks like a turtle with sunnies)
- NO OVERTIME - Ever
and many, many more reasons
OK, things are being beautified on TV, but this is so far from reality.. How come, this is being voted as "World's best TV Series". In Miami Vice, at least once or twice, also some good guys had to bite the bullet...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:32 AM
Sunday, March 16, 2008
With Mas Selamat Kastari - terror detainee-turned-fugitive - still at large I cannot help it but write about it. Here the background: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/331868/1/.html
And here are my thoughts:
- Why would you think he acted alone. He is THE LEADER of a terrorist organization. Wouldn't you think HIS organization might want to help him?
- You think he is a) out of Singapore? or b) hiding in the jungle? Guys, ever heard of a "save-house". If Hollywood can think of such things for their movies, so can terrorist groups. And there he sits, sipping tea, having Pizza Hut and maybe he is calling in some female "companions". I would be hiding in some abandoned houses in Bugis. Or round the corner where we stay.
Taken from the website of the Police: We are feared by those inclined to crime and disorder. We are always ready to deal with any threats to the safety and security of Singapore. http://www.spf.gov.sg/abtspf/shared_vision.htm
Remember: The guy kind of walked out of a high security prison...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:02 PM
Es ist wieder mal soweit. Am Freitag fahr ich nach Kuala Lumpur. Es ist Formel 1 angesagt. Am Sonntag, direkt nach dem Rennen sind wir auf einer indischen Hochzeit eingeladen. Fotos werden wir am Montag danach hier veroeffentlichen.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Not enough that we have to move out of our home by October, nooooo our landlord also plays up. Less time in the place would not motivate an amended amount for the rent, right? So we have less time to stay here but pay more money. Greed is a wonderful thing. If you are on the right side of the table.
In the meantime I could get a second job at McDonalds just to finance the maintenance of our motorbike. Today the fuelpump died on me. By the end of the year I reckon I have a complete new bike. Sounds totally arrogant, but tomorrow I have to take the subway then. Which is really not convenient any more as many people refuse to take taxis after the recent price rise.
Ok, time to walk the dog. Nicole is on a business trip again this week and I am left with the hairy terrorist named Spike. Last night he woke up EVERY hour, BARKING at the door... Man, don't I have to work?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:18 PM
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
OK, I was wrong. This was why I thought Singapore would NOT become host of the 2010 Olympic games:
- Olympic games 2008 = Beijing
- Expo 2010 = Shanghai
- Formula 1 in KL and Singapore
- Moscow had the Olympics before, right?
- The new statium (here called HUB) is only opening in 2011, with that announcement,...
Simple: too much Asia...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:56 AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:25 PM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Finally we are hitting the road again. We know Anna and Jaque from our time in Hong Kong and they relocated to Singapore at the same time as we did. This weekend the four of us will hop on a bus and visit KL (Long time since we last went).
While we are away, Spike, the terror of Siglap road, will attend a weekend course at the local school: Doxford...
The historic event is coming up and the Singapore Formula 1 GP is so successful that their online booking system crashed today on the first day of ticket sales.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:30 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
In the english speaking world, there are Foreign Talents and Foreign Workers.
Funny. Construction workers are foreign workers, while people working in offices are "Talents".
Why funny? Because the Indian worker would have a talent, I am quite jealous about. Or would you want to live in a house that I have built?
To make matters more complicated, some of those foreign workers may have degrees, but just no work in their own country. Lacking opportunity, these folks create their own opportunity by offering their talent in other jobs. Just like the "Domestic Helpers" that work in a richer country to support their family. University degree holder walking your dog.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:34 PM
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:07 AM
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Bigger and better than Christmas and New Year: Chinese New Year. The last weekend before the festive days. People go absolutely beserk to fill their fridges to the brim, everything that is colored red is used to decorate the house, car and doggy.
Next week most places are closed for a few days. It will be like 28 weeks later. Be careful when meeting people: They should not be out there!
Speaking of which. No need to see a Zombie movie. There are all those bands from hundret years back that start producing records again.
I am already shaken by the thought that the Eagles are back. EVERY pub in Asia and Australia with a band will have the Brothel California song on at least once per evening. I just so haaaaaaaaaate that song and the prospect of hearing it more often ...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:16 PM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
In the category "Most client unfriendly bank" on the planet, the award goes to HSBC, HK, SAR.
They are unable to:
- Tell you the status of your bank account over the phone (the 24 hour hotline that is)
- Call you back if you need to talk to them urgently
- Process overseas transfers properly
- Have the Singaporean branch help you with the Hong Kong account as they are separate businesses (WHAT????)
In addition they WILL:
- Transfer money from one of your accounts to another without telling you
- Close down your account without warning or notification
- Promise you to call you and never do so
- Respond to your mails saying they are busy with a high volume of incoming mails (Hire more people to anser them OR start working on reducing problems!)
- Take ages to answer your requests in the end
Summary: If you want to make your life difficult, chose HSBC as your bank!
PS: I am not using them here in Singapore. Wonder why?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:21 AM
Monday, January 28, 2008
Spoke to Hagen last night. We agreed. There was only one (1) really bad movie we have seen in the entire 90s. Batman. And it WAS a bad movie. And we have been to the cinema EVERY week. Once. At least!
Now here is a clipping from Rotten Tomatoes on Rambo 4:
Stays on the verge of being a rousing dumbass flick at all times -- you've never seen so many mid-air organs --
Another one from a forum on the same movie (Movie???)
Bottomline, if you somehow have a sick fetish for watching people’s heads get blown up and chopped off everywhere, then RAMBO to you would be like Christmas in January.
Now go back and check the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes for
- HEAT - Terminator - Rambo 1
Guess what all the above have in common (at least in my opinion): Right, an amazing story. In case of Heat there is actually ... errr about 8 stories weaved together.
Hope this year will not be the same as 2007 when it comes to movies. Kind of sad that TRANSFORMERS turned out to be my highlight last year.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:28 PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Business times reported that Nokia is planning to close their German plant and to move it to Romania. Kurt Beck and Per Steinbrueck are boykotting Nokia and Anghard Schroekel says "Germans should have a right to buy appliances MADE IN GERMANY.
What a bunch of freaks are ruling this country?
- Nokia is simply bashing parts together that are premanufactured outside Germany anyway. All the workers do is to bash together stuff from China, Malaysia and Korea
- The company looks at their bottom line. The right move to move maybe
- There are no GERMAN mobile phones, one would have to buy a foreign product anyway
- The product is a foreign one to begin with as Nokia is not a German company
- Great signal to all potential investors: Come to Germany. We offer high taxes, difficult laws, rigid labour regulations and if you decide to move on we blackmail you guys
- Name ONE appliance that is truly German. Even a Mercedes contains some 49% of parts manufactured outside Germany. You call THAT made in Germany
- Once the I-Phone is available no one would want a Nokia anyway
- Has anyone EVER thought of trying to KEEP Nokia in Germany?
- I bet any amount: all these politicians ot their phones free
- Brussels is not granting Nokia subsidies for the Romania operations. So what? You think they got money to set up camp in Germany?
Folks, you go on follow such calls for boycott and I am sure the next thing you know is that other foreign companies will pull out of GER as well.
Now...Critique is good. Solutions are better. Even this sounds easier than it is, but here it is:
MAKE GERMANY AN ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY TO INVEST IN! Then companies may actually expand their business.
Sweet dreams my Germany!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:46 PM
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Home cooked curry is the best. While Nicole went on a business trip I still had to eat, right? So we cooked a HUUUUGE pot of curry. Lasted Sunday - Wednesday.
Endresult: Curry intoxication. In stomach felt like a plane crash and I lost appetite as all the curry revolted inside me.
Some greasy western food last night solved the problem.
Bottom line: I now believe in what the government promotes "Eat all foods in moderation".
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:38 AM
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Nicole is heading to Bangkok on a business trip, leaving me alone with the four-legged terrorist. Means that I will endulging myself in real Bachelor's meals... Pizza and Beer. Four days long. I will improve on my microwaving skills and on couch-crushing.
This also means I have to entertain the dog during her absense. But that should be easy.
All I am gonna do is to order some stuff from http://www.hotdog.com.sg/ for him.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Finally we have gotten around to see "Supersize Me". Interesting idea. Having said so, after an hour the movie starts to become a bit tiring as it always the same. Anyway, the interesting bit is that this fellow set out to proof the at the food served at Mc D and similar place is not exactly good for you.
Now, I have been eating this stuff for years, on a weekly basis. Toghther with chips, chocolate, late night snacks, beers... you name it.
How come I am not getting flubby? Is that an attitude problem of my body? Saying "Ey, everyone else might, bit I am not getting big, just out of protest. Period!"
Or, more likely, is it the overall lifestyle??? I wish the producers of supersize me would do the same experiment again with the guy working out or doing sports 4 times a week.
Maybe I do that if I have time.
Folks, keep being critical!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:52 AM
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Interesting... People always welcome me with either "You have lost weight, your face so skinny" or "You look tired". Why?
My weight has been stable for the past 17 years. Ok, give and take 500g, that is beard stubbles.
As for my sleep habits: Saturdays and Sundays naps in the afternoon, weekdays minimum of 7 hours sleep.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:04 AM