Thursday, October 28, 2010

Free presentation! FREE!!!!!!

Remember Saskia and Andreas? the Swiss team that traveled with us for a month in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Ecuador? Romina (pink) is the colleague of Andreas and he asked Romina to bring me a parcel, something which I love from Europe! We bought Romina and Johanna on the back of my dirty truck, from Lao pasat, we travel to Geylang, to Long Bar in Raffles hotel, round orchard road on a truck and back to little india. On 2nd meeting, we went to Mount Faber to visit the 'most high class' toilet in the world. Romina and Johanna had a good time on my truck, spinning around Singapore. Many vehicle came by close to see why are there bunch of pretty girls sitting on this dirty truck. Samantha and her friend, Jyln was also on the truck.

Special places in Singapore for photography.

Pricing for our presentation.

Summary sharing session of trip (2hours, not more than 120 pax, equipments and meeting time not included.) S$1000:

Show of slides of the 40 countries in chronicle order, bring listeners together with my journey. Most audience would be enriched with the unlimited land boundary that they can think of.

Motivational, inspiring and fun video of our trip. One of them is the ‘one year living on the road’.

The difficulties we met before and during the trip. How we managed to overcome them. For example: lost of motorcycle before the trip, penniless in Iran, Custom officer in Argentina do not allow us to exit the country…

sharing about our life. My wife and I come from normal family. I was raised up by parent that worked in hawker center. I was a rebellious kid with very poor academics results. How much matter I went through that made me change my life, turning my decision to give up my comfortable life in Singapore to pursue my dream with my wife. Especially giving up the business that is on the track very fast.

People we met on the road:

USA: Dr Greg Frazier: American Red Indian that had rode around the world on motorcycle for 5 times. His 4th time is with a lady with Parkinson disease.

USA: Dave Barr: Leg-less person that rode his Harley Davison around the world and made several world records.

USA: Santa Babara: Duncan.

Argentina: David and Joan: 75 years old English couple on bicycle from Argentina to Alaska.

India: Mr Yadok: the honest man in India.

Pakistan: Shazard Abassi, the scholar that chose to stay in his village.

Pakistan: chinese man on his bicycle for 13 years.

Argentina/Chile: Miriam and Cecilia: Solo lady riders.

Argentina: Hostel Argentino: Gracillo got kicked out by landlord.

Argentina/Chile: Daniel: ‘you don’t have to like everybody’.

Argentina/Chile: Danile: 'Fabio, let your soul be my pilot!'

Chile: Enzo and Martina from Villa Kuntabunt: taught me what is ‘passion’.

Swiss/Singapore: Karin and Sam on bicycle in 2007.

Hospitality and lovely people in Pakistan, Iran, Brasil, Columbia, USA and Indonesia.

And many more!

Conclusion: regrets in life. OCS, mum, the trip, friend (junhui). Treasure everything we have now.

15-25minutes on stage Q&A.

Item 1-3: 45-60 minutes.

Item 3-6: 45-60 minutes.

Technical learning’s: (30-45minutes, maximum 120pax, S$500)

Route planning.

Gears and equipment: Self defense and sleeping gears..

Base camp settlements – friends, wills, property, bank, and death of close and loved ones.

Minimizing cost, maximizing exposures.


Documents: visas, carnet and health related issue.

Seeking sponsorship + media marketing + responsibility – freedom = ???.

Terrain adaptability. High altitude challenge, arid desert, sand storm, rocky grounds, cold and snow riding, rainy activities.

Internet stuff like CS, is not real but many liked it.

Why are there so may Westerners travelers? Where are the Asians?

How to get money during and after travel.

Ho How much money is enough for the trip? who has that amount.

Reason for travels: Good for smaller groups in a small discussion.

(45-60minutes, price to be advice, only open to selected individuals)

Show off and get friends to be jealous?

Take pictures and put in facebook to impress others?

Record setting? 5 minutes fame?

Voluntary and charity work in other countries? Help the poor? Refer to beard man in Mexico. No thanks for us. Root to all the problem.

Politics and business, how are we not involved?

What is a Gap Year? What are the achievements?

‘I want to see and experience different culture.’ So, how big is the moon overseas? So what when we see and experience different cultures? What benefits?

Planning against adventure.

Time or budget limited travel?

Adventure is calculated risk?

What’s our next adventure? Clearing the cloud in the sky so that the moon will always stay bright in Singapore? Bringing the country to us?

Interested, please leave your email and particulars on my blog. Thank you.

Museum at Fort Canning.
Little India

View from 72nd floor hotel.
Clark Quay.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxOur feelings xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hello Singapore.

It has been 3 months since we touched back home. Sam and I need to adjust our life back. We need to eat, we need a place to sleep, we need to have babies, we need to work just like everyone of you.

Right now, our time are very precious. I am holding on to 2 vocations and both is on the start up, which made Sam and I VERY BUSY! If we are not doing anything, we would appricate rest time at home, sometimes doing some self studies to upgrade ourselves. No body can afford to buy our precious rest time, i'm talking on real value. i don't think anyone would want to pay S$10,000 an hour for me to chit chat or get to know us more.

Media, event companies and education sectors have been approaching us for sharing sessions. They are making big money! So far, we were invited to a few sessions to voice out and show face in their events. Helping them to make BIG money and in return, we have:

lost our time with family and close friends
lost my time in starting up my 2 career and business.
lost our rest time.
lost the time Sam and I enjoyed together.

What do we get furthur on top of all these? We don't know.

Education institutions and public organizations paid their lecturer and managers near to 5 digit of monthly salary. Yet, these people ask me to 'share our experience' with the students for free because it is for education.


I bought a pants that i like a lot. it got torn on the first day when i walk in a construction site.

remember the times where we need to get money from our parents, queue up in front of our teacher's desk and get a recipe from our teacher? we have no chance to bargain about the price for studying. Yet, now these people want me to do things for free? haa... Try that on Khoo Swee Chiow, i believe he will spend his free time helping the needy in singapore, not all these cooperates.

Sorry, I earn my money through landscape industry, not by selling my adventure experience and inspiration. I also need to eat and have a house, like you! Sam and I are very willing to talk to public, friends, fellow travelers and any individual for free, if we have the time.

So, if you are now looking at this posting now, please let me know if you would want to buy my time.

Am I asking for too much? no!
for the summary sharing session and the technical session, it is CHEAPER than going to a cinema and watch a show! S$1000/120 pax = $8.30 per person!

Interview with Pamela Ho from 938Live is fun! What's not fun are the people working behind us. I have the recording in MP3 but i do not know how to upload on the internet. Being live on the air is an experience. Sam and i are so 'mic-shy'. Thanks Pamela, you are really great!

Stanley Leong (right) used to be in 938 media corp too! He started working for PMO (Prime Minister Office) not long ago. Meng Chuan (Left) was also arranging to interview me. He had read my blog upside down and i am very impressed with his interest in my blog. Both Stanley and Meng Chuan are writing articles and they are connecting Singaporeans that are living overseas. I hope our story would make more Singaporeans to come back home in no time.

Anybody wants to come for my little presentation for NUS? Leave me a message.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

what is happening to the expats in singapore? who is considered expats?

oh, i just read something again about White people in our community. what is your opinion?

extracted from

Yah, that's why I think one of the good things about the Internet is that you can post honest statements that others will understand to be truthful without any social/racial biases coming into play. My take is that Singaporeans (and perhaps to a large extent many other non-caucasian cultures/countries) is that they are just bloody fawning over the white man/women. Its the same colonial idea that people with coloured-hair & coloured irises are superior to all other races. When I work with colleagues, its very bloody obvious that Caucasians are treated with respect more and get less shit jobs while get paid more...than some very bright locals I know.

Some of our Singaporean brethren will even go to the extent of "talking up" and faking accents in order to talk to Caucasians...sometimes I almost want to puke when I see such facades going on...Please lah....we (other races) are just simply putting down our own race because somehow we all know deep down that there's this little heirarchy in our minds that say the white-man is higher up in the rankings. its an unwritten & unspoken rule in Singapore and the best part is that the white-man knows this and leverages this to the full extent for his own advantages...the Caucasians talk his nonsense a little louder and all the locals run for cover or nods in agreement as if hypnotized by the caucasian accents.

Common...I think most Singaporeans like to interact more with Caucasian than say other races (e,g, Aryan64 above from India) is simply because a little voice at the back of their minds is hoping that they can get lucky and bed one (whether guy or girl)....haha...that's the ugly truth which nobody wants to admit in public...its Taboo, and usually with all cultural taboos...there's always that tinge of embarrassing truth, which is why we humans don't want to admit it openly and just classify it as taboo.

Frankly, given a choice, I think more than 50% of the Caucasians expats in Singapore really don't deserve to be paid that much to talk all the rubbhish here. I know they look good in suits and can spout some fanciful words as consultants, but if we use our logical ,rational minds a bit more, we can see through their nonsense and posturing easily. Even the big companies all hire the Caucasian as CEOs and pay them big bucks just as a figurehead who can talk nice, flowery words but don't forget we (Singaporeans) built this city from the blood & sweat of our forefathers AFTER we kicked the damned ass of the British out!

Now we're almost handing it back on a platter to these Caucasian CEOs with big fat bonuses who comes here messes up everything for a year or 2, and then gets another golden handshake before he leaves for good, while the locals are the unsung heroes quietly doing the real work in the background. WTF, I guess this human construct of a world is just so sad, farcical and shallow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bukit Tinggi, Danau Maninjau and how to get friends to be jealous

From the busy of Padang, (where nasi Padang originated) we went into the central mountains towards Bukit Tinggi. Along the way, we detoured into Danau Maninjau. Its a lake in the mountain.
The chair that i'm sitting on is just outside our room and we have a perfect view of the lake. Cool, quiet and breezy.
One of the view. Nice?

Going down to Danau Maninjau, we have to swing through 44 hairpin curves and it's numbered on every curve.
A night in Danau Maninjau really peaced our mind off. The next morning , we shifted to Bukit Tinggi, which is only 90 minutes away. We stayed in Rajawali Homestay with Ulrich, a German Sailor that fell in love with Sumatra when he first visited some 40 years ago. Ulrich organized some out of touristy site tours to the outskirt of Bukit Tinggi. He brought us to local paddy fields and hidden caves.

Ulrich explored the areas around Bukit Tinggi and finds hidden trails. I don't think there are any tours from the commercials that will lead us here.

View of Panarama Park, walking distance from our base. There is also a very deep cave fortress built by the Japanese during World War 2.

We walked around Bukit Tinggi and found a nice neighborhood. Can only be accessed by motorcycles and foot.
The houses are clean and beautifully painted with extraordinary colors and we felt like walking on the street in Europe.

View of the main junction from our hostel.

Central Market.

Tower clock of Bukit Tinggi.

Sharp blade just above my neck for a shaving session. I understand the meaning of 'never argue with your barber'.

It's actually quite cooling in Bukit Tinggi. On every morning, Sam and I would walked to a porridge stall to have our coffee and breakfast. The young lady that was handling the shop is of Chinese ethnicity. She speaks less than 10 words of Mandarine. The way we observed her working in the shop is so special. She is very attentive to every order, treated every customer equally with her best courtesy. To all old and young, to all men and women, to all cars and bikes and to all rich and poor, she gave her fullest attention to her customer. It was a small shop but the service standard she gave was more than a 6 star hotel. Base on her qualification university education, she could have work in the office of big companies but she has other priority in life.

She loves traveling in Asia. She told us that its affordable and there are many rich culture that she could see. When we asked about her busy schedule being in the food industry where she needed to run the business 7 days a week, how would she have the time to travel for few weeks in a year?

She told us that it was a tough job. She needs to start preparing all the ingredients from 3am and the food would be finished around noon time. then she needs to clean up and prepare for next day's operation. On every Ramadan (fasting month on the Islamic calander), there will not be anybody buying food on the street so she will shut her stall and go for her travels.

To us, Singaporeans, working in a small stall selling porridge may seems to be a 'low class' profession. waking up at 3am to many Singaporeans is almost impossible rather, most of us sleep at 3am, especially on week ends. When it comes to class gathering, selling porridge is definately not the most 'ideal' jobs that most Singaporean would be proud of.

Com'on, does it sounds nicer when you tell your classmate: 'i'm working for Temasek Holdings' rather than 'i'm selling porridge'.

I respect this young lady very much because she put in her best in her work and she treated every one with respect and best of all, she made us of the situation in Indonesia, where Ramadan is a big hinderance month to the non-muslims in Indonesia to travel. The places she traveled to are not for shopping or to take pictures to put in facebook to get friends to be jealous of.

Sam and I wanted to invite her to Singapore and she commented something about cost verses experience. Would anyone like to 100% sponsor this young lady to see Singapore? Her name is Maria.

I had found that the motive of travels from many people is to go and take pictures of themselves infront of a famous building or secenery, or holding on to big paper bags from the expensive shopping outlets, put these pictures on the blog or facebook to make friends jealous and tell people:

'i have done it, don't be envy about me, can you do it? this is my lifestyle, i travel a lot to xxx (some branded countries). I fly here and there.'

Is there a meaning to such travels? I am not saying that it is a wrong thing because different people has different ways of de-stressing. Some like to drink a beer, some like to go shopping, some like to smoke, some would go for a motorcycle ride, some would go fishing, some would sleep as long as they could and many many more methods. What i'm trying to say here is that Maria is a very special person we met in Bukit Tinggi and she really deserved a visit to Singapore as she had been to other parts of South East Asia except for Singapore.

Can we, Singaporeans show her how we would like to invite her (as a neighbor).

Stop talking to the world media about how much did Singapore help the Tsunami that happen in Ache.
Stop telling the world on how much money Singapore helped to the XXX countries when they have disaster.
Stop 'gaining points' for the good things that we help our neighboring countries.

It shall not be done because of fame.
It shall not be done because we are a member of an international organization.
It shall not be done because we want to built better relationship to gain benefit.

Helping people shall not be classified into: how much is that person going to return my help.

Sorry, it's a bit out of the topic, lets go back to Maria. Anyone interested to host Maria, please let me know.

I have removed the Cbox on the right of our blog because there are many spammers. Do leave me a message on my comments link.

View of the town from a high bridge.
The Bridge.

Does anyone knows where to get a proper kid's size helmet?

We went to the zoo in Bukit Tinggi. The animals there were fed by visitors with potato chips, mineral water bottles, plastic bags cigarette buds and any other things we can think of. The above is an Orang Utan. The plastic bags are all over his body. I think he is used to it. The moment we walked close to it, he looked at us. The eyes of this Orang Utan tells us that he needs to see Hope Too.

The fierce aligator got frustrated about his life there. I would recon he would find his way out of the zoo someday.
The playground in the zoo reminded me of the 'fun-fair' in Singapore when I was very young.
We would never see this kind of technology again in Singapore. Does this reminded you about your childhood? If it does, you must be not less than 30 years old now.

A stray cat went into the deer's territory. The deer is curious about what a cat is and tries to sniff the cat. the next moment, the cat stretched out his pussy craw towards the nose of the deer and the deer ran away.

Ulrich has made servral GPS maps of Sumatra. These maps are the real maps that he had traveled to and up to date. He has very good knowledge of the area and very informative. The stay with them was really great! We would like to go back to Bukit Tinggi again to stay with Ulrich, to meet Maria and enjoy the place.

We told Ulrich that we are going to ship our motorcycle from Dumai (Sumatra) to Malacca (Malaysia). He told us:

he had met many motorcycle travelers that had shipped their bike into Dumai and had a lot of problem. At this time, we may not be able to get out of Indonesia from Dumai. The road to Dumai is really bad.

Sam and I would still want to try to ship out from Dumai, which is a 2 days bad road riding from Bukit Tinggi. If unsuccessful, we need to return to Bukit Tinggi on the same 2 days bad road and go north to Medan, which is about 7 days riding to ship our bike over to Malaysia.

how bad can the road be?

At this point, I would like to interrupt the Sumatra posting. I really have to mention an issue that happened in Singapore 3 days ago (October 15, 2010).

I had 2 Swiss friends that came to Singapore to visit and travel. They are on budget too. They stayed in backpackers hostel and they need to set priority on what they want to see base on their budget.

They are those that can sit on the back of my dirty truck and tour around Singapore with us.

Sam and I recommended them to the night safari as our night safari:

Is the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals is an eight-time winner of the Best Visitor Attraction Experience, awarded by Singapore Tourism Board. This internationally acclaimed leisure attraction embodies innovation and creativity in products and services, and service quality, thus attracting more than 1.1 million visitors yearly. Over 1,000 animals from 115 species (of which almost 30% are threatened) inhabit the 40-hectare park.

(Extracted form

My Swiss friends would love to see night animals and they went on their own.

Somehow that night, Sam received an SMS from them and we rush down to the night safari to rescue them.

When we reach the night safari at 830pm, it was very crowded. It seems like everyone was going into the night safari to party. It is exactly the same like how party people queue up outside St James or the bar at Clark Quay. Many of them are dress in Halloween dresses and party poppers.

We asked our Swiss friends what happened:

They have to pay S$45 each into the night safari instead of the usual S$22 because it is a Halloween Special night. Refer to

They paid the S$45 each and went in, they could not see any animals because the place was filled with party people (or party animals?) and many visitors just want to go in to get the feel of being ‘attacked’ by the dressed up Halloween costumed staff.

The place was a little messy. Our Swiss friends saw more spooky things than the animals that they want to see. Feeling very disappointed, they got out of the area and went back to the ticketing office and requested for a refund, which was rejected. Along side at the ticketing office, there were some other foreigners hanging around seeking for refund too, feeling disappointed and did not get any refunds back.

Sam and I feel so ashamed, so ashamed that we are adopting our Singapore way into the western festival. Wanting to increase more visitors to the night safari to increase the revenue for night safari by doing the Halloween thingy, we had lost our reputation, turning the authentic night safari into a party place!

Can we have a feedback from the relevant authorities?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

foreign talents in Singapore dream blogpost

I waited 16 minutes to get an operator to clarify a small issue on my new DBS bank ATM card.

Heard from my friend that there are many big companies that outsource their call center to other poorer or cheaper country. Example, when we call to XXX company, they will divert our call to their call center situated in Republic of Banana United where cost of living is cheap and the salary for the operator is only US$150/month!

Thats why, save cost..... customer service in singapore had been getting to a lower standard since we get more foreigners to take up this position. did you realize that position like

1) walk in customer service officer
2) receptionist
3) tele-marketer
4) any job related to 'robotic speaking'

will hire people from a particular country? lets not point finger at that country now because by putting the name of that country in my blog may cause trouble to everyone. ok... lets call that country Republic of Banana United (RBU), so people from that country is call Bananaians.

ok, Bananaians speaks english with a very strong accent. the moment they speak, we know they are a Bananaian. Yes, as compared to many other 'Foreign Talents' in Singapore, they are the ones that could handle English better but so what?! they understand English but they do not understand what we want.

We went to repair my Fujitsu laptop. we bought it just for our round the world trip. It had been a very good traveling laptop. We bought Fujitsu because they have


The specification is the same as the other brand we wanted to buy but the other brand is 30% cheaper and do not have WORLD WIDE WARRANTY.

#2 Fujitsu provide free

when we were in Brazil, Sao Paulo, something went wrong with my laptop. we need to wait about a week to get a reply from singapore to know were can we sent in our laptop for servicing since it is still within the 1 year WORLD WIDE WARRANTY. yes, after one week, we got the right person to talk to and the nearest place to sent the laptop is USA! we have to ship the laptop to USA?! no thanks. this is what they call WORLD WIDE WARRANTY.

then when we come back, we went to the Fujitsu servicing center to resolve the problem of our laptop that had been bothering us for the last 2 and half years. The laptop is still under the 3 years LOCAL WARRANTY.

friends, do not think that warranty is everything is FOC. We have to pay S$80++ to the company just to let them have a look at the laptop that they sold me 2 and half years ago. then i have to wait almost 1 month for a part to arrive in order to get it solved. when the part arrive, i have to hang around Funan for 5 hours to wait for them to repair.

What's worst is they did not solve my problem! WHY?! I also don't know why. anyway what I want to say here is that the customer service officer that served me is a BANANAIAN!

I told her my problem is ABCDEFG.
She gave me a look that I need to understand her because she just broke up with her boyfriend and she had her period today. There was no smile involved.

She looked around my laptop, type a lot of things into her PC.

Asked me to fill in some particulars and I need to sign some papers.

Then I read what she understands from what my problem is:


She totally took my words, made into her own translation and mis-understood what I want to say.

'Yes sirrrr, your problem of your Laptop, problem A-G is in my list'

'yes lady, but ABCDEFG is not the same as what u meant by GF ED CBA'

then she took the papers back, continue typing at the same time, i realize that there is more than her breaking up with her boyfriend, she gave me a stronger look that she had lost all her shares market and going to the court next day.

I was so afraid.

Then she gave me a newly printed revised edition of what I wanted:

instead of


she improved it to


'i told myself, com'on. i just came back to singapore. maybe this is happening everywhere.'

i accepted her correction and yet, in the end after 1 month of waiting, after paying $80++ to see a lady and understand Banananian lady had just broken up with her boyfriend and had a bad day coming to work to serve me, my laptop is still the same.

I love foreign talents.

But why is this group of Banananians had such a special attitude? Is it because their mother married a western man and they are kind of a upper class citizen as compared to their fellow Banananians, then they could migrate out of their Republic of Banana United to come to Singapore, thus making them very 'high class' citizen in Singapore.

I remembered I did praised her, I said: lady, u looked very pretty. Are you a Bananian?

She added on, with her nose pointing up: Yes, but my dad is from America.

Q)Do we owe the Banananian a living?
A)I bet not.

Q)Do they have communication problem in Singapore?
A)Absolutely not because they can speak English and many of them are University Grads!

Q)Are the local big business company welcoming the Banananians?
A)ABSOLUTELY YES! they can pay 3 Banananians the same as hiring a Singaporean. So this poor Singaporean, after working for so many years for the company, got a little 'pension' and had to leave the company. or what's worst, the boss look out for some opportunities to kick the Singaporean out so that he would not need to pay the 'pension'.

Q) Are Singaporean adapting to the Banananians?
A) I really hope so.

Another thing I notice that the 'operating system' of a Banananian is different from us. They think differently. A very good example is telling numbers.

We input info from our eyes, we see the number, goes into the 'CPU' (our brain), then we speak it out.

Example the number 912312.

I see 912312, goes into my brain, then output from my mouth is:

Nine One Two, (with a pulse), Three One Two.

But for the Banananians, they are:

Nighty-one, (with a pulse) Twenty Three, (with a pulse) Twelve.

But whats wrong?????? do u get what i mean?

I really welcome foreign talents. We need them to be here for certain roles to BENEFIT SINGAPORE and SINGAPOREANS! Lets support our leaders in their plan for the Singapore. We should not look down on them even they might be different from us. yes, i am not happy with their work standard but it takes time for them to adapt to us. Singapore too, is made of people from many other countries and today, we are going to built a stronger Singapore by welcoming people that migrated from their country to Singapore. Just like our grandparents did. (for my case, it's my father that came from China).

Now, I am going to google to see which nationality falls under the list of Foreign Talents in Singapore. I hope the Thais fall under it because they had contributed their lives for the construction industry in Singapore for the past decades. Without them, we will have no new buildings today, that you and I are stepping on.

oh, what the hell im writing about all these, i want to show you guys on our next blog posting on how we ship our bike across the 7 island of Indonesia, how people scribble and vandalize paint onto Hope Too. How we took on the last gamble that we 'show handed'.