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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Superclean Shoes

Floyd even grilled me on the thing I have for shoes. He wants to incorporate this into a novel he is writing. Ok. Fine. Why not...

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...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


With 7.6 billion people on the planet, how many of them look exactly like me?
Depends on where you are looking....

Stuff One Finds Along the Ways

A picture taken in October 2018 when I went for a drink with Hemant Sonney, out someplace in Hong Kong. Don't ya'll wish you had a copy of that now???

Monday, April 27, 2020

Next Level Unlocked

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.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Unleashing the Old Ways

In many posts, comments and articles we read about the "new way of doing things" we will be practicing after Covid 19 is under control. Sorry, I disagree...

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.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Storytelling and Drinking

Yes, I said that before: my favorite drink is Glenfiddich.... And when this (Lockdown) is all over, I have to make an effor to get my hands on a bottle of this. Not only do I think that the bottle looks absolutely STUNNING, but the story behind this interpretation is amazing..:

Blast from the Past - Favorite B / W Movies

I was asked for a list of my favorite Black and White / classic movies. Someone must have exhausted all the binge watching on Netflix. The list I came up with was actually a fun one and sharing it here might give others some ideas for a long movie night too. So, here it comes:

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.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Getting Fit Like 30 Years Ago

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

When the Humans are Off the Street

As a measure to curb the spread of the C19, many nations keep their people inside the houses and movement is restricted to shopping and seeking medical attention. Reports are coming in from all over the world that the animals are re-taking the streets, the spaces humans would normally occupy. Saw this last night and decided that it might be best to keep the curtains closed from now onwards.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Activities at Home - Estate Sale

Trouble with too much time on ones hands is that one comes up with stupid ideas. Today we re-enacted an estate sales. Someone had a house full of stuff to sell and opened up for bidders to come and grab whatever is there in the estate.

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!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Lunch at Home - A Picnic!

After the highly entertaining date night last week, we thought of another way to have a dining experience at home while being confined to our homes. A picnic was just what the doctor recommened.

Hearing that Jyu Raku ( ) 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.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Public Relations in Crisis

Thanks to Dato William Ng and his team at SME Magazine, another of my articles just got published. This time, I am talking about Public Relations.

Public Relations Agencies in a Crisis – Or Why it Could Pay to Have Paid for Ads
Editorial departments of most publications are often in contact with public relations agencies or public relations departments. They are a crucial part of the media landscape as they provide a service that links brands and media outlets. The role of public relations (PR) is often defined as “The professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.” In many cases this is done through the dissemination of releases to the media for publication in their outlets.

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: 

Friday, April 17, 2020

When East meets West

As we all recall, when I was 16, I wouldn't eat Asian Food. Who wants to eat bait?

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:

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!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Not to Go Slightly Mad

Chuck Noland had WILLLSOOOOON, the handball. I have a plush toy. A squid I got in Japan last year. And I named the fella Mr Morton. For no good reason. But I thought the fella looked rather serious, hence the Mr. 

Maybe I am already Cockoooooo, but I hope to have some "normality" in my life during the lockdown. So, Mr Morton and I have business lunches. We prefer Al Fresco, so we take our food on the tiny balcony. 

While he is a good sounding board and easy to please when it come to food selections, he is not much of a talker though. Could be shyness?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Recreating Travel Experiences

A number of people have re-created travel experiences in the past few weeks. One guy took a video sitting next to his washing machine as if he was a window seat in a plane. Complete with a tray, his bento box food and a laptop to work.

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...

Food for Fighters

A group of Thai restaurateurs contributes online-crowdfunding meal boxes to frontline medical staff at field hospitals to fight against COVID-19.

Over 30 Thai restaurants gather to raise emergency public funds in order to deliver 3 000 meal boxes a day to support proper food supplies to frontline doctors and medical staff members at governmental field hospitals who work against COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand.

As the epidemic of Covid-19 has begun, causing a massive damaging impact to our country – Thailand, the number of infected patients is increasing every day from tens to a thousand and it is undeniablethat the situation is rapidly getting worse.

Ms. Panchana Vatanasathien, Owner of PenLaos Restaurant in Khaoyai has initiated the “Food for Fighters” project partnering with other restaurateur alliances around Bangkok and metropolitan areas to open this crowdfunding in order to help deliver food to the frontline medical teams who have been fighting COVID-19 at the government field hospitals during this crisis.

They are asking you for your donations to be a part of this emergency project because:

1. Food Fighters will supply proper food for the frontline doctors, nurses and medical teams who work hard to treat infected patients and fight against COVID-19 in field hospitals. Recently, Pramongkutklao Hospital requested 800 boxes daily and Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute requested 100 boxes daily due to the closure of markets and restaurants nearby. This causes difficulties for the medical teams to access proper food supplies while they are on such an important national duty.

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.

"We, a group of small people with big inspiration, are starting Food for Fighters as soon as possible as the pandemic seems to get more terrible and spreads across the country rapidly. As fast as we could contribute such appropriate food supplies to the frontline medical teams to stop COVID-19, this shall help alleviate negative economic and social impacts to everyone in Thailand."

If you are interested to support this emergency project, please make a donation at or contact/follow them on Facebook: Food For Fighters

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!"

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dinner Creativity - Date Night

Not being allowed to leave the house has never stopped me from having fun. For Saturday, we decided to have a date night. Once the dinner was ready, we dressed up and had dinner, as we would have it in a restaurant. With a bit of fiddling around, the selfies also looked like they were done by a waiter.

I re-arranged the furniture to fashion a "bar" for the after dinner drinks. All in all, it was a memorable evening as we even got our usual table in our favorite place.

For the coming weekend, we plan a picnic.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Movie Accuracy

Like others, I am stickler for accuracy in movies. If you spend 100 Million US to make a picture, you should have the resources to find out if the song playing in a disco scene was actually released at the time to movie plays. Or automatic weapons clicking 5 times on an empty chamber ARRRGHHHH!

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....

Dinner Creativity - Dining in the Dark Home Version

When I walk from my usual hotel in Bangkok to the nearest Skytrain station, I am passing DID - Dining in the Dark. There are places in other cities that also offer this experience. "Das Auge ist mit" (A feast for the eyes) is what I am thinking of as people would consume their meals in total darkness.

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....

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Why I am NOT going to See the Next Bond Movies in the Cinema

Many of my childhood friends wanted to be like him: James Bond. That cool cat that had all the exciting adventures. The movies took you to faraway places and here and there one could even learn something. I have certainly watched them all and not just once. I even have a few of the books Fleming authored.

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.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

My Movie Mania

I like books and movies. Books because I need my own imagination to visualise what is going on. Movies are a little bit more lazy, but they can be more "true" in the sense that nothing is left to imagination of the viewer. My memory reaches back to movies I have seen when still living in Gross Berkel. At that time, the rule was not to call anyone after 8pm. At that time, the news would come on, followed by the main movie, the highlight of the day.

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...

Friday, April 10, 2020

Peer Review: Asian Trucker

It is always a special feeling when your peers recognise your work. In the case of publishing, another title taking an interest in your work, actually writing about you gives you a motivational boost. When we first started with Asian Trucker, there were obstacles and nay-sayers. Today, I think the brand "Asian Trucker" has carved not only out a niche, but achieved something we never thought was possible.

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:  

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Bukit Nanas - THE Best Park in Kuala Lumpur?

You have seen the movie "The Beach"? Yes, that one. With Leonardo. Where they go off to keep a beach a secret cos they don't want it to be ruined by millions of tourists coming. And then the movie got millions of tourists going to THAT beach and ruining it. Ironic. I hope that this is not going the same way when I write about this little gem in the heart of Kuala Lumpur now. Ok, I am not as famous as Leo yet. I have won the award I really wanted faster than him though ;-)

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 (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

Not in the Mood

For some reason, I am not in the mood today to post anything here today. Maybe I just need a motivational boost in the form of a signed advertising contract. Or a steak dinner. Dunno. Will be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

These Boots are Made for

Security staff mainly. Used by every guard down at your condominium, the fellas the ensure everyone is alright in the malls and the amoured guards driving money around. They must make them by the millions. And I think that is the reason why they are also THAT cheap. How cheap?

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.

Pertzi's Honest Travel Hacks and Rants: Theft Protector

 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.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Obvious, innit?

A friend asked me what the story was with the Abacus in my pics. I said it is "Something I can count on!"...

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Keeping the Pace Up

Received a number of messages saying that people are enjoying our magazine(s) and that they appreciate Asian Trucker still being up and running. Such messages are a huge motivational boost on any normal day and in the current situation they weigh in double.

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...

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Aspirations of Someone That has Become a Writer

When I was about 17, the "thing" that I thought I gotta have  was a bottle of Ballentines, 17 yo. At that time, I was a big fan of the 3 year old Ballentines, Dimple or Chivas Regal.

Age 20, the Suzuki GSX-R 750 was the object of desire and during studies I wanted a kick-ass stereo once the big bucks come in. Somehow, I must have missed that boat as I never got a job that paid as much as I needed to get that stereo. Anyway, my hearing isn't all that great anymore.

When I roam the hallways of the Eastern & Oriental nowadays, I stop at the wall with the pictures of all the famous people that once stayed there. Many were writers of sorts (Kipling, Hesse, Maugham...)

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...

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Home Office

Somehow, it just turned out that way. For the past 15 years I have had a home office and much of the work was / is done there. There are some aspects that I totally enjoy. For instance I can just wear a T-Shirt and shorts. Certain quarters suggest one should get dressed as if going to the office. Am I glad that sometimes I actually go to the office in T-Shirt and shorts. 

The other thing is the convenience of being able to start working right away, without a lenghty commute. Even on a good day, it would still take me some 30 minutes to get to the office. Naps are cool too as one just lumbers out of the office, into the living room and puts in a bit of shut-eye.

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.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Advertising that Works

I don't think that I will do a better job if I were to put on a necktie. Sure, you don't want an editor to show up in shorts and flip flops to an interview (that outfit is reserved for weddings in South East Asia. And you KNOW that there is always one like that at every wedding). You want an editor to look like, well, a journalist of some sort. Maybe on the geeky side. Might be hard to convey.

So, you gonna send your car for service to these fellas?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Loof erm Rooftop Bars

I like roof-top bars. There is something to the idea of seeing the city from a different perspective. Usually, stepping into a roof-top bar, one also leaves a lot of noise behind. The rush of the streets and the hectic stays at the bottom of the lift. The wind in the hair, closer to the elements, I like a drink in these places:

- Above 11 - Bangkok. On top of Fraser's Suites at the end of Soi 11 Sukhumvit, this is one place I cannot resist. I think it is a combination of being rather relaxed about reservations and not being overly posh and the amazing food

- Brewsky - Bangkok. This one has good beers and is facing in a direction different from most. Sitting at the edge, the view is that of a flatter, less skyscrapered city.

- Loof - Singapore. Not an obvious one, but I like the cosiness, the fact that this is a relatively small place. Hidden a bit, one would have to know it is there. Service is good since the crowd is not that huge. Well, at least not when I go.... Could be cos I am in bed by 10pm.

- Cedar on 15 - Malaysia Not strictly a roof-top bar, but I like the feeling of it. Set back a bit, and not way up, the 15th floor gives an nice high and full-width view of the Twin Towers. There are some others nearby, but I feel that the view is not as grand as one is too close and only gets a cut-out.

- Sala - Malaysia. Their opening promo was a shot of Jameson for RM 1 with a RM 1 beer. Now, that got people hooked. Stunning view towards the eastern side of the Klang valley with easy access to the place make it still a good spot even if prices have changed. If you have your marriage registered across the street, this is a phantastic spot to spend the night (and stay in the Sheraton) so you just lumber over to ROM at 7:45am.

I know, I know. There are more than these and some might be "better". Being a creature of habit, I typically stick with the places I find and like when I first try them.