Tuesday, July 14, 2020
The advantage of having relatives all over the country is that I can now make several locations waypoints to stop and camp for the night. Always a good time in Melakka. And here the highlights, as seen by the only white fella in the family:
First stop, some culture and heritage:
Not sure if it is still happening, but the fleamarket in the street behind Geographer Cafe was always a gem. Geographer also famous, because it was a filming location for a Korean movie. I have fond memories of having drinks with Peter Burns there. We managed to drink them empty (Southern Comfort and the next thing we moved on to. Can't remember... LOL)
We like to dip into this place for dinner:
Dim Sum in the morning (obviously...):
In case you haven't seen / visited it yet, the old Portugese ship is an interesting museum.
Speakeasy bar and then a stroll along the Melakka river once out the backdoor. But better keep that quiet:
Melaka? Melakka? Malaka? This one I can't get right.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 1:07 PM
Friday, July 10, 2020
As it is customary here in Asia, when you buy something, you get a "Free Gift". Not that one has to point it out, but gifts should be free to begin with. And then they are not free as they are certainly factored into the price of the goods purchased. I took the umbrella with the wedding bands. Not that I can't afford an umbrella, eh eh... But you know. Free maaaah!
At the petrol station this morning I got a bottle of salad dressing. And this will keep me awake at night for some time.
Firstly: What is the connection between salad dressing and petrol? I can see canned drinks and sammiches to make sense: needed for road trips. But what chances are there that you need salad dressing on the occasion of filling your tank.
Secondly: REAL INGRIDENTS??? What else would anything be made of? Or maybe, just MAYBE, there is business opportunity here for a "Phantom Ingredients" shop. Where you get like, nothing, to put into your product. You end up making stuff up.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:15 AM
Monday, July 6, 2020
Thursday, July 2, 2020
I have been a "model" for a brochure in Singapore (Goldbell, back in 2007), an "actor" in a SingPost TV commercial. Several times I have been interviewed for newspapers, magazines or blogs. I enjoy these as I can learn about techniques others may use, think about how to give a smart response while on record with no time for long deliberations.
While in lockdown, a client suggested that we do video interviews that we record and then post online for others to get their info. Since I like to try new ways, it was obvious that I would go for that. Yesterday I did my second recording of such interviews.
Gotta say! Being a presenter is not easy. Can't dig your nose while the other party gives an answer. Need to speak clearly, and measured. Can't just stare around the room, but must pretend to be looking at the other participant. And although I have a script to read from, it is HAAARDDDD to get the lines right. I had to re-take a few things during the session as I did not read them right.
If anything, I can now appreciate the effort that goes into making a movie or TV commercial...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:52 PM
Thursday, June 25, 2020
"Stefan is a man of focus, commitment, sheer will... something you know very little about. I once saw him butter three toasts in a kitchen... with a pencil, with a fucking pencil. Then suddenly one day he asked to leave. It's over a croque monsieur, of course. So I made a deal with him. I gave him an impossible task. A job no one could have pulled off. The cherry tomatoes he buried that day laid the foundation of what we are now." - Come On Kaya Toast
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:20 AM
Friday, June 19, 2020
And over and over again we read:
Covid-19 has changed everything
Hmmm. I am still married. That hasn't changed.
I still drink 4 cups of coffee. Unchanged.
My address is the same as last year
I am still using the same phone
My parents are still retired....
Still driving the same car
Favorite alcohol: scotch. For the past 30 years
I am still cooking with water
Keyboard still QWERTY
Checked: Twin Towers still in their usual spot
Sun rises in East, sets in West
STILL have to pay taxes
Constant at 9.81 meters per second squared: gravity
In Malaysia, still using metric system
Dunno where people get that idea from that everything has changed
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 1:27 PM
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
As mainly a publisher of print magazines we supplement the product with electronic media, not denying that there are advantages and that one has to use a mix of mediums. It appears to me that more and more advertisers depend solely on “free” social media channels to get their messages out. Neither LinkedIn, nor Facebook, Instagram or any of these platforms actually create content. All they do is offer a noticeboard for anyone to post their ads, articles and rants. They live off content creators. And maybe it is these creators that need to be supported much more again. As such, most posts by brands can be classified as “ads”.
Full article here: https://marketingmagazine.com.my/marketing-magazine/issue-248/
(Yes, I do see some irony in publishing this here)
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:49 AM
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Part of the recent renovation was a re-allocation of spaces in the Heritage Wing to accommodate guests who are typically repeat visitors, who surprisingly oftentimes opt to stay for extended periods of time, some even staying longer than a month. Offering them a revived experience in the Heritage Wing, they can now choose between three outlets to consume their breakfasts. What used to be the Farquhar’s Bar has been converted into a club lounge, The Cornwalllis, is now exclusive to patrons of the Heritage Wing and the Corner Suite Guests of the Victory Annexe. Also relocated was the Farquhar’s Bar, that has been transformed from something that was described as a dark and uninspiring place into a bar that has truly come alive yet maintains the overall experience of the E&O.
The pool is an icon itself, which is also exclusive to Corner Suite Guests and is now protected by an improved seawall. One of the main components of the renovation was the enhancement of the seawall, which proved difficult as work schedules had to follow the tides. Fraser urges tourists and locals to explore more of Penang’s rich history, of which the E&O is part of. A good starting point would be the high tea and the Nyonya-styled tasting menu that has been added to the long list of things to discover.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:40 PM
Monday, June 8, 2020
For three months I have now been at home. Only going out to re-stock the fridge and lately for a quick jog as we were allowed to do so. Not that we did not keep entertained and in good spirits, but overall, it was not as much fun as it could have been.
Avira must know something we don't. Until the end of August we still have to adhere to special rules and regulations, international travel not being allowed for example... so, how exciting could it get?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:18 PM
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Rock albums, travel pictures, food items... they can all be used for these challenges...
"Day 7: I was nominated for the 10-Day Life is Good photo challenge. 10 days, 10 photos, 10 nominations.
Every day, I share an image that’s meaningful to me (without an explanation). Today, I nominate Larry Mitchell."
I have a question! If you post that with the picture of the Rock albums, travel pictures, food items, is that not an explanation?????
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 1:37 PM
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
When in Penang, a visit to the Easter & Oriental Hotel is a must. And when in need of a drink, the Farquhar's Bar is a good spot to try some more cocktail oriented material. With the recent renovation of the property came a move of the bar to a new place within the hotel. And with that came a make-over of the style and ambience.
I like to step into such places and let myself being transferred back in time. With this renovation, the place feels like what it must have been to be in the very first Eastern & Oriental when the place was established: lavish parties, the elite of the country coming together to mix, mingle and cut deals.
There is a real danger that one will just spend a whole night in Farquhar's Bar. But that is not a problem, now is it?
Monday, June 1, 2020
What’s My Incentive to Publish a Press Release? - Part II of Many
By Floyd Cowan
Publisher / Editor-in-Chief Asian Journeys
Daily, I receive swarms of email pitches grinning at me across the ether, dripping with bon hommie from PR Professionals who want me to give their clients exposure. Very few of them get in my magazine or on my website or get posted to Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. I welcome press releases as they inform me about what’s happening in the world, and they provide me with valuable content.
So why do some get used and others not?
First of all, they have to be on topic. It is obvious when a PR pro is just sending out releases to a list of media whether or not they cover their subject or not. These releases get treated with the same respect as they show us.
Most PR professionals believe I am as invested in their client’s product as they are. I’m not.
During a working day I’m dealing with dozens of things with my focus on how I can build and monetize my business. Most often they think I am going to be happy to help promote their client – for free. But why should I be? There are hundreds of companies wanting to use my platforms to promote their products and services. Money talks, but it doesn’t always take talking money to get my attention.
“We are sharing this information for your reader’s interest…” wrote one PR pro to a friend who is a multi-award-winning freelancer and author of several books – and is very good at what he does.
That rings hollow because we all know the PR pro is sharing it because they are being paid to share it – that’s their job. That’s how they make their money! Nobody faults them for that. Many PR pros do not know who my readers are, much less what their interests are. I’ve even been approached by PR pros who didn’t know Asian Journeys is a travel magazine.
From that PR company quoted above, the full sentence reads: “We are sharing this information for your reader’s interest, unfortunately, there will be no media drops or seeding for this engagement at the moment.”
Other than the use of annoying PR terms there is less likely to be any engagement if it comes from a company that is global but expects small companies and freelancers to work for nothing. It takes time to edit a piece to your house style – often taking out annoying PR words – and then formatting it for whichever platform it will go on. It takes years to build readership and a following.
My friend made several excellent points in his reply:
“On behalf of [the client], you send out a release about something - to be honest; I didn't read it. I am assuming … you are earning a renumeration for issuing this release unless, of course, you are doing this pro bono. If that is the case, I salute you.
“So, what is the incentive for me to publish this article? … there is none.
“… advertisers are not doing what they are supposed to be doing - advertising. So this whole system is grinding to a halt. Then what happens when all the publications fold because, as you know, they can't survive on fresh air?
“If I were a PR practitioner and in touch with the market, I would tell my client: "Hey, I have a great idea. Publications and freelancers are suffering and you sell a valuable product. Wouldn't it be a great idea to offer them some complimentary products? There is a big mark-up on your products so it's not going to make you go broke. Alternatively, we could purchase some ads."
There are many good PR professionals whom I am happy to work with, two of whom I wrote about in Part I of this series. For them, I don’t need a free cup of coffee every time I do something for them. And believe me, if either of them had made the approach, they would’ve gotten exposure – without any lip back.
A little bit goes a very long way and far into the future. I like to show my appreciation far beyond one project because that’s what real partners do.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 12:15 PM
Sunday, May 31, 2020
There are all sorts of foods. And people that make it a hobby or a living trying food. Or re-creating it. Or simply running a bistro, restaurant or cafe, food truck or a delivery service.
While I enjoy good food, I am not all that hyped up. And sometimes I think people take it too far. Like these "military doughnuts". Cool idea. And the rest of the cafe was themed the same. But there is no way I would eat one if these as they, in my view, look like frozen dog poo..
On that note: No, I do not ever wish to receive a cake in the shape of the WhatsApp "Poo" emoji either. I have seen them. With little signs saying "Oh, crap, you are XX years old". No thanks.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:13 PM
Saturday, May 30, 2020
The following article was written and originally published by Floyd Cowan, Editor in Chief and Publisher of Asian Journeys. While the names and companies mentioned are specific to his business, I echo the content. If I were to swap the names and brands, I could publish it just as well for my own publishing business. Here goes:
What Does a Real Partnership Look Like Between Media & PR Professionals?
This is the first part of at least a two-part series.
As a PR professional do you wonder why it is sometimes so difficult to get exposure for your clients when they’ve got a brilliant product and brilliant message? You send out press releases that are ignored, not being read, or read than immediately deleted. Even when you hit the right medium with the right message, the release might still be ignored.
Why is this?
There are a number of very specific reasons, but before I get to those, let’s look at what some of the good PR people do. I could make a long list of good and outstanding PR people but that would take up all of my space, so I want to give just two examples of people who have impressed me as doing it right.
When I was working for a lifestyle magazine in Singapore, I was approached by Fabien Levrion to help with promotion for the watch brand he was working for. He had studied the media in Singapore and specifically researched writers who wrote about watches. He noted the type of stories they wrote and what type of readers they would probably appeal to. He also studied the magazines. Who was its audience? It didn’t matter that they were rich, but what were their interests? What were the other type of stories in the magazine and who did they appeal to?
From that assessment he felt that I would give him the type of story he felt was best to promote his watches and be read by the people he felt were the most likely to buy those watches. He was very familiar with the magazine I worked for and the market it reached. His company advertised with the magazine. The result was I got a great trip to Hong Kong and he got the story he wanted. Do we really know if he sold any more watches because of it? Honestly no, but perhaps there was a much better chance than if all those factors had been ignored.
That was a partnership between writer, PR professional, medium, brand and the reader. The reader is also better served when they are delivered stories of value to them.
I hear from too many PR Professionals who are just trying to please their client in the quickest and, easiest way possible. They do not consider this whole process as a deeper partnership between all relevant parties.
There are many good PR Professionals whom I am very happy to work with and some who I will do anything for. Cynthia Dammerer, PR executive extraordinaire for Accor, tops my list. Why? I’ve known Cynthia for 12 years. She is smart and engaging. She knows her product thoroughly and she knows the people who can help her promote the hotels and resorts in the global brand. There are others who are good like this so why does Cynthia stand out? Because she takes an interest in me and helps me wherever she can, even when it has nothing to do with the products and services she is paid to promote.
One example. On my website I promote Douglas Yeo’s autobiography, Zero Visibility, which I ghost wrote and published. When she noticed the ad, she wrote to ask all about the book, she bought a copy and found ways to promote it. All of which have nothing to do with her job and her clients. Every contact with her makes me feel as if she genuinely cares about what is happening with me – because she does? When the pandemic began romping around the planet, she was the first PR person to ask how I was doing. She calls me with ideas and suggestions.
Have you ever asked yourself why Accor gets so much coverage on Asian Journeys’ website and in the print magazine? Ask no more.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:42 AM
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Meanwhile... I am still puzzled over terminology.
Why do we call is social distance. I would use that when I am trying to keep away from a**holes.
We try to limit the spread of a virus. Something medical.
If it was up to me, I would call it "Medical Distancing". Cos that is what it is: a preventive measure not to catch that virus. I am still being VERY social... Online for instance.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 11:55 AM
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
food? Not really?
weather? Sometimes autumn is nice
There is so much of "Home" available all over the world, it really doesn't feel like I am missing anything. Ok, sausages and coldcuts could be a bit more varied here, but when you let a piece of Ritter Sport melt in your mouth, the world looks ok. It says in proud words "Made in Germany".
I am now working my way through these three from the lowest to the highest percentage.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:46 PM
Friday, May 22, 2020
(This is a photo of Shell Fish. If you are allergic to Shell Fish, you may not want to read this)
Maybe I am seeing this all wrong. Perhaps there is a reason. It could be that it has been proven to be a requirement. I am talking about "warnings".
There is now what is called a "Trigger Warning" in some articles / videos. Which is "a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc. alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content)"
Such trigger warnings can now be found in articles dealing with mass shootings or rapes. (Do note that I am not trying to make fun of either and that this is not about the crimes, the victims or the police work...). USUALLY! the headline already reveals it all. One I came across reads "Okla. Man Sentenced to Life for Holding Stepdaughter Captive for 19 Years, Fathering Her 9 Children"
The Trigger warning came under a picture, saying: "Trigger Warning: This article contains information and details about alleged sexual assault and/or violence, which may be upsetting to some readers. "
What do you think I have already envisioned from reading the headline? You think I would not expect details of a certain nature to be detailed in the article after reading THAT headline?
Same with documentaries about wars warning me that there will be "Scenes of graphic violence." In a documentary about a war. Who would have thought that there could be violence.
Might as well give me a trigger warning that a book contains words.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:44 AM
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
I wanted either to go bald or to go grey. It is both. I have little hair and what is left is greying. It has also been 10 weeks since my last haircut. To say that I have a messy hairstyle now would be an understatement. I have been there before: as a teenager I never really cared about this. Eventually... It would be time to go and have a trim. But only to stop the nagging and remarks from others.
Going to the office now, the fact that I look like I look hasn't bothered anyone. There are now people posting that they have worn pants for the first time in 10 weeks (Refer to older posts... I have dressed up for date nights).
Today I went to the office for a video recording. Funnily, my counterpart looked more or less equally relaxed. The one thing that may come off this pandemic is that dressing up for work will not be such an issue any more. One can only hope.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:54 PM
Monday, May 18, 2020
Right. Here I am. Like everyone else that recently discovered meetings on video platforms. Living abroad now for some 20 years, this is nothing new for me though. I have been calling my parents on Skype and other channels for some time now.
What is new though was the schedule for the "Totally Squeued" sessions. Usually, the boys would meet on Friday, at Sque Bar in Singapore for a couple of pints. Instead, we moved this online.
Andy showed demonstrated his new Hilti. I doubt that he would have taken it along for the regular session. I finally got to know Kevin. Who is not in the screenshot. And we celebrated Mike's sale of a house. Meanwhile, I was questioned for wearing the most ridiculously shirts. Colour and patternwise.
As hard as we tried, we could not onboard (a fancy word I learned recently) the instigator of the "Real Sque Drinks". Floyd remained elusive. He preferred to fetch Pizza.
Fun as these sessions are, we agree that they don't match up with the one held in a real place. Conversations are just not the same as there is no way that or more people can have more than one chat going on in parallel. As you can when you meet at a table, in a place.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:19 PM
Friday, May 15, 2020
Marvin is known throughout Asian Trucker for sending in these letters. Some may still remember the times when airmail was so expensive that one used these envelopes made from lighter paper as that would safe some cost. Inside this airmail envelope is a letter, written on an old typewriter that does not even have the "@" and Marvin uses an "a" and circles it in his email address. There is not a single typo in the letter. It is addressed to the right person that would handle his request, so he obviously did his research. The content of the letter introduces him as a collector of PRINT magazines dealing with trucks. He has collected these magazines for the past 50 (!!!) years. He is offering to pay for a subscription. As he does every year. However, I offered him a deal: He gets a stack of magazines in exchange for a selfie of him holding copies of Asian Trucker. Amidst the current situation, receiving this letter almost made my cry as it is such a cool, nice and thoughtful item to receive. We do not get much fan mail, let alone something that is so intricate and full of appreciation. Do write. Send letters. I am sure that any letter you may write today will be the highlight of someone receiving it. In my case, this particular letter will be framed.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 11:45 AM
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Weird Wednesday Conversations
Calling my dad:
Me: I am putting together a photo book from our party and I am short of one good picture. Do you have any photos that you took?
Dad: We didn't take any pictures that day. So, what do you need???
Me: I need a scan / copy of the our business registration
Colleague: Here is our publishing license. That work?
Me: No, we need the business registration
Colleague: we don't have anything like that
The company is a Pte Ltd...
Me calling the bank, MAIN BRANCH
Me: There is a discrepancy in my account that I would need to check with you.
Bank fella tella: For that you need to call your home branch where the account is registered
Me calling the HOME BRANCH
Me: There is a discrepancy in my account that I would need to check with you.
Bank fella tella: For that I will need to call our home branch and get back to you.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:17 PM
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
This is the (zoomed) view from my office. This morning this fella came by and spent a good hour inspecting the place. Later on a second birdie joined and they both looked at our yard. Seems to me as this is a young couple looking for a nesting spot. Might get difficult to do our laundry then...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:37 PM
Monday, May 11, 2020
I might not be speechless very often, but every now and then I have a writers block. Like now. I COULD tell you that we spent the weekend just chilling, not doing much besides watching TV. And how exciting would that be?
But I am also speechless when I go outside to throw rubbish and the first thing I see is a family in a car with the mom holding her infant on the lap, no seatbelt, no child seat.
I will finally shut up when I see that there is now even more rubbish all over. Added to plastic bottles and general litter is now PPE of all types. Sad, considering that this place (Malaysia) is essentially rather pretty. Drains are all clogged up. The sides of the roads around our place peppered with litter. No wonder that the Klang river is one of the biggest contributors to ocean pollution.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:10 PM
Saturday, May 9, 2020
I had hoped I either go grey or bald. Now it is a mix between both. And neither really nice.
The option I would have now would be to buy a clipper and DIY at home since barber shops are yet to open up again. Harvey Norman has re-opened last week and the one thing that is totally sold out are long hear clippers and beard trimmers. I could order one.
But looking at the way things go, I will still be a little longer at home. I have one Skype meeting a week. Drinks. With them folks in Singapore. And I don't think they care about my hairdo. Besides that, I am mostly working via email or on the phone. Should the the need for visual contact arise, the obligatory Asian Trucker baseball cap would not rouse any suspicion. On the contrary, it might be a familiar, soothing sight for most.
So, there: I keep the hair growing and the headgear close. For now. Money otherwise spend on haircuts will go towards the purchase of a new coffee bean grinder.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:08 PM
Friday, May 8, 2020
Thursday, May 7, 2020
It has been a year since we got married. And a lot has happened since then. Mostly good, some crazy, some stupid and a lot of amazing moments worth repeating.
- Our 3-day birthday celebrations with Lang Fing Fang in Singapore
- Oysters here, here and here
- Wedding reception (Code: Go ahead, make my day!)
- Weekend trips north, east and south
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:06 AM
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Seems that this kind of movie was loved and seen by most of my generation and they all still remember it. Admitted, some of the jokes would never get past the political correctness bar, but if one watches this with the time it was made in mind, then it is ok.
As there is still the Bus and Space Shuttle, plus 3 1/3 Detective Drebin movies, we should be entertained for another couple of days before we tune into UHF and head on over to Spatula City.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:11 AM
Monday, May 4, 2020
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 12:56 PM
Seeing how there is a "Continue watching for Stefan", I feel this is really too much reminding me of the bad movie choices I have made in my desperate attempt to fill a Saturday evening in Lockdown.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 10:04 AM
Saturday, May 2, 2020
If you take the average life expectancy of Malaysian Women and Men and avarage it with the average life expectancy of German Women and Men you get about 76.something years. That is just shy of 4000 weeks.
I have been hidden away for 7 weeks during the lockdown in Malaysia. That is 0.1757 percent of the average life expectancy as an average between Malaysian and German males / females.. ah... whatever.
0.1757 percent of my total life, if I am making it to the statistical average. And in 20 years, I will look back and it was a blink.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:21 PM
I have always sensed that WWII was a touchy subject with my grandparents. They never talked about it. There was hardly any discussion about it. I once asked and my grandma broke out in tears, telling me how amazing it was to finally go on a vacation withe the "Hitlerjugend". A one week summer camp was something her parents could not make happen.
My grandfather fought at the eastern front. Never talked about it. The only thing he ever mentioned was that they washed their clothes in Diesel to kill the lice. According to him, Diesel was the only thing they had plenty of and it would do the job of killing lice and bacteria. Did he kill anyone? Maybe. Never asked, he never said. But if he did, I think it was because he was duty-bound as a soldier, not because of some sinister desire.
My grandfather wanted to see the year 2000. That was his only wish. He survived being a POW in Russia, working 45 years for the same company. He died in just a few years shy of the year 2000, while I was serving the German army....
Every time I see the movie "Stalingrad", I am reminded of the little I know about what my grandparents felt, how they went through this time and what "motivated" them...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:10 PM
Friday, May 1, 2020
I put some work in. First in the office, then around the house to clean up old stuff. Actually, there wasn't much to clear out as we keep a rather tidy home in the first place. Finally, I am letting go of some equipment that I haven't used over the past 20 years. Guess should I need it again, I will just re-purchase.
Getting ready to have a few Friday drinks was a bit more work. As I wanted to have my beverages in style, I needed the ice bucket, beer glass, finger food... Now I am excited about the night ahead. Can't get too tipsy. Need to go shopping tomorrow morning and I want to be through the doors right when they open.
In today's Skype Bar night, I am going to a Chinese-run entertainment place. Means I have ice cubes in my beer
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:10 PM
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
There is a lot that can be said about shoes. For instance, research shows that shoes are some of the first things people notice when meeting with strangers. If you need proof, just untie the laces of one of your shoes and walk around. You will be amazed by how many people will comment on that. In contrast, you can splatter your necktie with chicken curry and hardly anyone will comment.
When I travel for 3 days, I usually need 4 pairs of shoes. While enroute, something that easily comes off and on. This makes security checks in many countries easier as I may have to take them off. Then I need 2 pairs for the days where I have meetings. As leather needs about 24 hours to dry, one should not wear the same pair 2 days in a row. And lastly, one needs sports shoes for the gym / runs / activities.
When people apply for jobs, I look for well maintained shoes. Not expensive or new. But looked after. My view is, that if you don't take care of something "simle" like your shoes, in business someone will not look after business relationships, the business itself or the brand one is working for. All it takes is some greasing up every couple of weeks and if the heels are worn out, just get a new one slapped on for a little money.
With the lockdown, my shoes are now super clean. They have seen 2 rounds of cleaning with not a single step made with them...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 1:20 PM
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Monday, April 27, 2020
Today I have managed to do 366 squats. One for each day of this year. While that may not be the same as running a half marathon, I kinda feel accomplished.
The goal is to do 501 (the one more just to push further than the initial goal) by end of next week. After that, it is push-ups. Can't skip chest day in all the excitement about strong legs, right?
In other news: nothing much happened. All still locked away in the bunker and waiting for the world to heal.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:35 PM
Sunday, April 26, 2020
We have been trained to consume. Plus, with the social media, we have a lot of people that need to show off their travels, purchases and expensive meals in order to gain recognition among their peers. Everyone having lived through the lockdown will think they need to make up for lost times.
The vengence shopping will take effect and people being kept away from shopping / experiences will be out in force. My prediction is that restaurants, airlines and hotels will be fully booked for some time as soon as we unleash people again.
Offices will be hip again. While many have hailed the idea of working from home, most of my friends and staff said they prefer to work in an office. And that makes total sense. People want a clear separation between office, home and fun places.
Skype / Zoom drinks are also fun, but trust me, everyone would want to go out again and drink in certain establishments. Some will say they miss the "background" (read: they wanna ogle). Others will miss the idea of being able to just raising a hand and Zappp! the next drink appears whithout a trip to the kitchen. While online chats now allow dozens of people, I still find them awkward. In a real meeting, some 10 people can sit at one table and 4 or 5 discussions form, dissolve, reform... While there are 10 people, some subgroups form. Try that in Zoom where it is hard enough to meet among 3.
Copying from a chat with a friend:
"I wrote my niece and told her we'd party like its 2021. She wrote back: Partying like it’s 2021 will be my new mantra. Once there’s a vaccine, I want to do a reverse quarantine and not come home for months. I want to drink alcohol out of buckets in Thailand, and then pretend I’m classy by drinking pretentious French wine in Nice. That’s my plan."
While we now admire the clean rivers, dolphins in Venice and turtles hatching on beaches devoid of people, once we are back, pollution will be back and we will continue to destroy nature. After all, despite all the hardship, there are already 25 Million more people on the planet than on 1 January.
Will I exclude myself? Hopefully, but I am sure I too, want to fly again, drive half across the country just for a meal in one of our favorite restaurants and get new shoes.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:38 AM
Friday, April 24, 2020
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:08 PM
The Wages of Fear (French: Le salaire de la peur) is a 1953 French-Italian thriller film (I point out the languages as you want to make sure to view the ENG)
Once you have seen it, you head over and watch “Sorcerer” from 1977 with Roy Scheider. It is the remake, but in my view better in terms of portraying how tense people are.
Casablanca – The movie where so so so many modern sayings derive from.
Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock.
This movie actually started a whole genre with “Suburbia” being a kinda remake and one of Shae LeBeauf’s better movies. But nowhere near to the original. Pay attention to the couple on the fire escape when you watch it the second time.
African Queen – Just a great adventure
It’s a Wonderful Life – I usually see this on Christmas or new year’s eve as it get’s you to reflect. There is a colourised version, but don’t bother with it
Detective Story – In recent years, several movies have been “One Location Movies”, i.e. one room or place only (Saw, Wrecked, Buried). THIS is the mother of them all
Birdman of Alcatraz
Any of the old 1950s Godzilla movies, establishing that Japanese Keiju as the “King of Monsters”
The image is not mine and if you are the copyright owner and would want me to replace it, I will do so.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:40 AM
Thursday, April 23, 2020
I know you would all hope to see my tanned, muscled and fit body. Sorry to disappoint, but I am not going to put a picture here of me working out in the "home gym".
Resistance training started simple: do as many push-ups as you can, then rest 90 seconds and do as many as you can, then rest 90 seconds... eventually, I made it to 100 push-ups in one set.
Today, I unlocked the next level of "MCO Fitness Goals" (MCO = Movement Control Order, or lockdown): 301 squats. Keeping a strict fitness regime has now become part of everyday life. Something to keep the mind busy is what everyone prescribes.
And with that, one can also debunk that idea that one has no time for a bit of fitness. Or money for gym. Actually, all one needs is a bunch of plastic bottles filles with water, re-purposed washing detergent bottles. A little luxury that is permitted is a yoga mat. and all that is needed is a high intensity, 30 minute session 4 times a week.. Ta-da!
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:06 AM
Monday, April 20, 2020
What we found under this cover was a perfectly fine 2018 Harvey Norman sofa. Ready to go with the original covers, the feet and extra pillows, which were sold separately as accessories. We grabbed it and dragged it straight into the living room!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:29 PM
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Hearing that Jyu Raku ( https://www.facebook.com/JYURAKUSS15/ ) offers delivery, we picked a few things, some of which we hadn't tried, for this adventure. Our placemats made for a "lake" complete with clownfish-styled coasters. We were lucky to have a foldable matrass we could fashion as landscape background. Just missing: ants and people littering.
Also interesting: we get our wines from Urban Fresh in the mall across the street. Now they are not allowing any customers into the wine section. Totally fine as people usually fumble around 100 or so bottles before picking one. Now one would tell the staff what one is after and they go and get a selection. I must say, I am impressed as every bottle we had so far was really nice!
We had some wine and beers, then made our way back home (read: to the sofa). Overall, a very enjoyable weekend day and lots of laughter.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:41 PM
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Depending on where you stand, some publishers don’t publish anything unless there is an ad coming with it. Others may heavily depend on the access to ready-made content in the shape of press releases. Within the scope of my work as Editor for Asian Trucker / Asian Buses, I have long ago decided that we should publish what we think our readers would value as useful. If there is an advertising contract in place it might mean that the item may get a bit more exposure. Or not. We also have some advertisers who seem to be happy with just the ad placement without ever having editorial support. I think it is fair to say that editors would be biased in favour of those who support the media.
For the full article, head on over here:
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:28 AM
Friday, April 17, 2020
Now that I have lived in Asia for almost 20 years, people ask me if I "can take spicey?" Yeah, you bet and then some. Some of the most amazing hot pot I have had was in Chongqing. Everything was with chilis! Get a taste here: https://www.topchinatravel.com/chongqing/chongqing-food-restaurants.htm
Over the years, I have started to try local ways, Asian approaches and methods. Some severe backpain made me go to one of these medicinemen... Looking like Sonic the Hedgehog, this was to stimulate blood circulation and to un-clogg arteries. Didn't really work. But it was worth the experience.
And last week I was talking to Hagen about FengShui... About how his pond should be in front of the house as he already has a mountain to the rear... Bizarre would be the word to classify that chat.
The only thing I TRULY miss is a proper Schnitzel. Ok,... and beer from the local pub, made on the premises!
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:34 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 1:32 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
I admire such creativity. And I thought it was funny. Very much so, given the overall situation.
But I couldn't help it but to think: this is someone that does not travel very often. I absolutely enjoy being in a new place. Finding my way, experiencing what is going on. Talking to local people and all that. What I don't like is the "getting there".
Looking at a map, it may seem that Hokkaido is not that far away. OK, we could have opted for a direct flight on Air Asia, but then we wouldn't have had great food, entertainment and free flow Sapporro beers (All worth the transit in Tokyo). Although from here to there doesn't look that far, we still had to get up at 3:00 and we finally settled for dinner at 20:30 (19:30 Home time). A long day.
Here I am now, locked away for week 5. What I absolutely don't miss is the flying around with all the stuff that comes with it: delayed flights, airline food, window seats in economy class, lining up at immigration and having to lug around stuff....
But I like these videos...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:48 PM
2. The donations will provide a production cost of 50 THB/box to 30 partnership restaurants such as Chuen Jai Kitchen, Bharani Kitchen, Suki Hotpot Ruen Petch, Yee Lao Tang Jua Lee, Zab Kak Restaurant, Sushi Kyu, Zab Der, The Never Ending Summer, Bu Lan Dan Mek Restaurant, PenLaos Kitchen, Charm, Khun Pook Plammade, Banleng Kitchen, Chankanom, Shabeebee House, Uncle & Friends Rustic Cafe Oldtown, TANK Restaurant and café and more.
3. The distribution of food production and delivery will be systematically scheduled based on the location in relation to the hospitals, and other conditions such as time for delivery, cooking capacities, etc. In terms of the meal box delivery, the project has been received corporate support from Silver Voyage Club, led by CEO, Jakkapan Rattanapet, for logistics by their cars, well trained butlers and professional drivers.
I have known Ms. Panchana Vatanasathie for a number of years... I like her creativity and resiliance.
We had a lot of fun last year, when she came to Kuala Lumpur to "Go ahead, make my day!"
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 6:38 AM
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
For the coming weekend, we plan a picnic.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 9:33 AM
Monday, April 13, 2020
I applaud people that go all out. Like they did with Dunkirk to do the flying scenes with actual Spitfire planes. Now, that is awesome!
And just like THAT: 19 hours or so watching Money Heist down the drain. With one small mistake. Not that the movie is riddled with plot holes when it comes to timing, but this one is not to be forgiven. The coordinates on the back of the postcards are NOT some island, but the middle of a jungle. And with all them Bhuddas, surely this last scene was shot in Thailand and not the Philippines, which is vastly Christian...
Many war movies use different machinery to be a "Tiger Tank" or a "HIND" Helicopter. Not easy to get by these things (Yet, Brad Pitt had the famous Tiger 131, the last operational Tiger tank from WW II as opponent). But come on!!! Getting these coordinates right could have been done from a mobile phone....
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:51 PM
Being hunkered down at home, we tried this in a home version. Easy to cook something and then just blank out all lights. We didn't like it....
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:48 AM
Sunday, April 12, 2020
But I will not see the Bond that is to come to town this year (If it does). And certainly, I will not watch the next one they will do when Craig hands over the baton.
Let me be absolutely frank and clear: I have no issues with a lead character being something different from a white, hetrosexual male. If something else is needed, I have no issues whatsoever. There are some extremely good movies / series out there that have all sorts of personalities in it and its fine.
The problem is authenticity. Ian Fleming created a character, which was likely something many would have aspired to during that epoch. It was a spy, working for the British secret service. It was a male, smoker, womenising gambler that drinks a lot. And that is what I want James Bond / 007 to be. Is smoking bad for you? Yes, and therefore we should no promote it. Is the image of the women in the books / older Bond movies wrong? A big yes, considering what times we are in now and that we should certainly not reverse on it. We can say all of the character traits of James Bond are wrong.
However, THAT is the character the author Fleming created. And if we as a society don't agree with those traits and behaviours that is also totally ok. What we should not do though is to try to tweak the movie character to fit today's norms and view. I am all for political correctness. This is movie stuff though.
If we want a transgender, non-smoking, vegan agent of colour, I say: go ahead. Create a new character. Develop something new. My promise is that I will go and see such movie and I may enjoy it if it is a good story well told. But please, don't touch my Bond, James Bond.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:44 PM
Saturday, April 11, 2020
What I have always enjoyed is the suspense, the build-up and the pace of a movie. To me, a good movie is not about CGI, but a great story told very well. The epitome of that might be the classic "Rear Window". A movie not about expensive sets or a mastermind new computer technique to make things look more real. It is about the couple that we see sleeping on the firestairs, night after night, but not having anything to do with the events that unfold (Some of you will now go and get a copy of Rear Window just to check out if that is the case...).
Jaws, as seen last night, is another masterpiece. You don't need to be overly gory. People getting eaten by a shark needs to be shown, but not in disgusting detail. Back in the 70s and 80s, we also didn't need to have overly explicit sex scenes. A hint of what is going down was all there was to it and the audience could fill the blanks.
I believe some movies should never have gotten a sequel or a prequel. Silence of the Lambs is one. Jaws (again) another. In more recent cinema, Taken should have been it with no further takers on that one. Or Fast and Furious. Which I have seen in an empty hall when it came out. The ticket was a present from my classmates!
And then there are remakes. And many just simply don't do the original justice. And whenever someone does a "Reboot", as that is called nowadays, the hype is a bigger promise than the actual delivery. As one exception, I could mention "Sorcerer" though. Another Roy Scheider classic by the way.
Here some movies that I truly enjoy and that I could watch over and over again in no particular order:
HEAT, Coma, Platoon, Blade Runner, Alien, The Getaway, Bullit, Tron, Terminator, Red Dawn, Total Recall, Gremlins, Die Hard, First Blood...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 3:00 PM
Friday, April 10, 2020
Marketing in Asia has just published a piece on how we built the brand from ground up. Here the first paragraph:
The Accidental Brand: Asian Trucker And How It Became The Biggest In The Region
Building trust and confidence is crucial
Sometimes, the market needs to be presented with a product it didn’t know it needed. The story (so far) of Asian Trucker shows how an easy task could lead to much bigger things.
Asian Trucker just celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Looking back at a decade of publishing and brand building, it may be hard to believe that the business originated from a happenstance meeting at a networking event. Branching out from under the wings of a brand consultancy, the title has since earned more than just a reputation of being the leader in the market. Here is the story so far – a story guided by marketing principles.
Marketing In Asia is an online marketing magazine, the cooooolest in Asia. It is a community-driven magazine which platform is being used by the marketing community across Asia to share their thoughts, ideas, insights and opinion related to what they know best – marketing. Marketing In Asia works pretty much like YouTube. It’s a platform and the one who feeds the content into the platform is the community. Of course the submitted content will be subjected to their editors' approval first prior to publishing them. "Quality matters to us."
Read the full article here:
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 8:51 AM
Thursday, April 9, 2020
I have been many times and I think that the park around Bukit Nanas is one of the best things Kuala Lumpur has to offer. Typically, I would park down below, near the Shangri-La hotel. Then make the "hike" up to the base of the KL Tower. There is an entrance, kinda unassuming, the leads into the actual park, which is a natural and genuine plot of rainforest. The vegitation is dense and a 45 minute hike would take one down to the other side, near the "Old Malaya". Several spots offer some education on the flora and fauna around.
The hanging bridges offer a bit of excitement. However, what I like about this park is that it is not widely publicised and not many know about this. If one is to go on a Sunday morning, there are hardly any people. A 45 minute walk through the dense forest let's one forget that the park is surrounded by a busy metropolis that Kuala Lumpur is. The best part is that it is free. And close to Yut Kee (https://www.facebook.com/镒记茶餐室-Yut-Kee-Jalan-Kamunting-122180941222145/) ! The idea is, of course, to go on that hike in time to make it to the restaurant at 11:15 latest.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Extremely cheap. So cheap in fact that I grabbed two pairs. One for the car, in case I need to stalk around some construction site or sumsuch and one to keep at home. You never know. They are RM 50 or EUR 10 a PAIR! How is that even possible? Surely, the shop selling them would take some of that. They need to be shipped and even if they are produced locally, the driver needs to get paid.
Are they also comfortable? Now, THAT is a bit of a lottery. One pair is totally fine, whereas the other gives you pain after 5 hours of walking like you wouldn't believe. Then again, 10 EURO! For a pair. Thes must be, in all my 46 years here, be the cheapest shoes I have ever had.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 5:13 PM
Recently my wallet got lifted from my pocket. I have to admit, it was a weird situation as I typically leave everything in the safe except for the room key and just enough cash for the day. Or night. The robbers got away with a wallet that was falling apart, three old business cards and a work permit that isn’t much use unless you are balding and white as a bedsheet. What is hard to understand is how some people can advertise their wealth and then wonder why they are being mugged. If you carry a DSLR around your neck, display a wad of cash in your wallet when buying a coffee and displaying a Rolex in a country with an average income of a case of beer, then you shouldn’t be surprised that some characters would like to share your wealth. In many countries, a used camera sells for enough to feed a family for a month. That can be highly motivating for some, knowing that a foreigner has very little rights or means to enforce police action.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 7:39 AM
Monday, April 6, 2020
Sunday, April 5, 2020
Anyone interested in the latest magazine can just download a PDF version here:
Otherwise, my FitBit tells me I should move a little bit more. Very funny...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 2:53 PM
Saturday, April 4, 2020
Meanwhile, the Ballentines has been replaced by a 19 year old Glenfiddich that I want to try. The moped isn't needed anymore. Having been awarded the "Editor of the Year" by MPAS in 2018 was one of many highlights in my career. Now might be the time to put all ambition towards getting a picture on that wall among the other writers. Having stayed there a few times, now I may just need to become famous...
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 12:35 PM
Friday, April 3, 2020
What I enjoy most is to get into the office at around 5:30 am. Coffee in hand one can attack the email, get ideas sorted and send out work to staff. By the time one would go to the office, others are busy handling these and the day takes a whole different pace. Over the years, this has proven to be highly effective and efficient.
When it comes to a "after work drink" the home office is also a cool idea. Not having to worry about driving or display of embarrasing behaviour when the booze kicks in, the office supply of cold beers is having its advantages.
There are, of course, a lot of advantages in working in an office. I think I write about that soon too.
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 11:26 AM
Thursday, April 2, 2020
So, you gonna send your car for service to these fellas?
Posted by SP11 aka. Mr. Pertz at 4:23 PM