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Full Term!

6 Apr

The waiting game has now begun. The baby can officially decide to come out anytime now =)

I got pi to take side photo of me… Wah it seems like my tummy is not big at all ya… Even my colleagues who’s due more than 1 month after me, have bigger tummy 😦  I wonder why… Though I’ve eaten lots of “junk” food that I like (such as cakes, cheese, and other fattening things), but it seems like my tummy is not growing that much.. In the last scan, the baby weighs 2.7kg. I hope by the time she’s born, she’ll weigh closer to 3kg!

@ 37 Weeks

@ 37 Weeks

Unlike the previous pregnancy, this time round I have quite bad pain in my upper thigh whenever I move or walk 😦  So even going from bedroom to living room is a chore for me. Not to mention going to work, which is very far faaaaaaarrr away and require lots of walking.

So today, I asked my boss whether I can start my maternity leave from tomorrow (2 working days earlier than planned).. then after further discussion, he suggested why not I work from home and start the maternity leave only after I deliver? (He knows that I got no much things to do now, I only need to test something this coming Monday and maybe helps to answer colleague’s queries and that’s about it). He actually said that he didn’t care what I do at home, as long as I’m contactable (to answer the colleague’s queries) and do the testing on Monday, then considered as working liao.. wow.. Isn’t he so NICE?? Feel so touched to have a boss that’s so thoughtful.. 🙂

So.. yayyy.. tomorrow onwards I don’t need to drag my legs to office liao… 😀

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Remembering The Good Old Times

14 Oct

A few weeks back, I had a dinner gathering with ex-colleagues from Integro, to celebrate a birthday. It was real nice, meeting them all again. It’s so rare that so many turn up at the same time in a gathering! I felt like we’re back to where we were 4-5 years back, when most of us were working in Integro. Most of us have now already “moved on”. Can you imagine out of so many people turning up, only 1 still currently working in Integro? Haha!

(Mostly) ex-Integroians

(Mostly) ex-Integroians

It’s kinda amazing how at the present, we’re still close to each other. 3 years have passed and some of us still having regular meeting, regular chatting over the msn, etc. No doubt working times in Integro was the best of all times. I don’t think I’ll ever experience such enjoyable times in work anymore (unless we all work in 1 company again!)

Most of us are from the same age group, maybe that’s why. I still remember times when we purposely OT (can you imagine me OT-ing??), well not for work, but for making someone’s wedding gift. Or farewell gift.

Or when we purposely come to office early, all to learn and make baloons with nice shape (poodle shape, bear shape, etc), and make many of them to surprise the birthday boy/girl, so that when he/she came in, he/she will be shocked at how nicely decorated their seats are.

Or when we have very frequent prolonged tea-break in the meeting room or nearby Starbucks/Coffee Bean and play UNO! Oh I love that game! And we can’t stop screaming during the game.. Haha..

The good old times.. Really missed those times now..

Europe – Duisburg (Part II)

13 May

– Wed, 12 May 2010 –

Work has been no other than b.o.r.i.n.g.  99% of the time spent in office is for w-a-i-t-i-n-g for defects to be reported. Luckily, there’s no defect reported so far. (which is good, of course!)

Yesterday afternoon the weather was very cold, and some of my colleague are very busy, so they didn’t want to go out. So in the end only me and a phillipino colleague who went out and help the others dabao. We didn’t know what we wanna eat. On the way to Forum mall, we saw this stall selling German-style hot-dog. You know, the bratswurst (German style long sausage). So we decided to have that for lunch.

Yummy Stall

Yummy Stall

Rostbratwurst & Mayo pommes

Rostbratwurst & Mayo pommes

I had the roasted one (it was yummy!) on bread, with mustard sauce. We also bought fries (with mayonnaise) and share it. In total, per person was only 1.8 euro! Wow, that’s so cheap, don’t you think? 😉

Since it was only a stall, there was no table and chair. So we sat on the bench outside, and goodness! It was freeeeeezing!! Oh yeah, there were lots and lots of doves. And apparently the doves here isn’t afraid of people. They don’t runaway when people are approaching, and they love to eat bread. Luckily there were many doves, they kinda help me to finish my bread, as I want to finish it fast fast (so can faster go to a warmer place) haha..

From the office, I can see something that look like a castle. Well, you know, classical type of building (that I just love). So yesterday after work, I decided to try finding that building. It seems to be quite near the office, although it’s on different direction from the hotel.

The weather was very cold, and it was a biiiiiiittt drizzling. I tried to open my umbrella, but whuzzzzzz.. The wind kept blowing it off. Yeah, the wind was soooo strong that I can’t use umbrella! So finally I just proceed without using umbrella.

Along the way.....

Along the way.....

I tried to walk and walk and walk.. look left and right, but the “castle” was nowhere to be found. I also went to a small road but still, the “castle” is not there. Finally I gave up, and decided to head back to the hotel. While walking back, I turn my head to the left (while crossing the road), and there it is!! In the end of the small road, there lies the “castle”. I wonder why I missed it before, I’ve went thru the same road but I didn’t see it earlier.

I see you!!

I see you!!

Apparently the “castle” was a church. The building is veryyy niceeeee.. I didn’t regret spending so much time just to find it. The name was Pfarrkirche St Ludger. I guess it means “St Luke”? Not sure though.. I’m just guessing.. haha..

Artistic shot of St Ludger

Artistic shot of St Ludger

St Ludger - Inside View

St Ludger - Inside View

I've gotta be in the photo too!

I've gotta be in the photo too!

After taking photos and admiring the building, I head back to the hotel, and went to Forum mall for dinner and window-shopping.

Oh, so last night I had Schnitzel (chicken cutlet), which was baked with cheese in Swiss style. They have Italiano, Hawaiian, and Swiss. I just anyhow pointed to the Swiss one. Apparently, Swiss style is…… lots of spinach and baked cheese on top of the schnitzel.. aiyooo.. I should’ve opt for Italiano instead… LOL.. And oh, did I mention that the portion was HUGEEEE?

—————————–

– Thurs, 13 May 2010 –

Today is supposed to be a public holiday in Europe. But sadly, with the few serious problems occurring in production (not my part!), we were required to go to work as normal. And today, I reaaaallly 100% got nothing to do at all. I think my application are not tested today, or the person in charge is not coming in to work. So actually, whether I come or not to work doesn’t really make a difference. *sigh* Oh yeah, it does actually. If only today I don’t need to report to work, I can go to Amsterdam! LOL..

Oh yeah.. 2 of my female colleagues have decided to extend their stay in Europe until Sunday. So we’ve decided to go together to Amsterdam on Saturday. And that means that I’ll need to forego my hotel booking in Cologne and Frankfurt (as Fri night I’ll stay in my colleague’s room, and Sat night we’ll stay in a hotel in Cologne). Sadly, it was quite late to cancel my hotel booking in Cologne for Fri night. So I need to pay 47 euros for the cancellation fee. Well, that’s ok. That’s still a bit cheaper than having to pay the full price of the hotel per night. So in the end, I can still save a bit.. hehe.. But I also need to pay 15 euros for train ticket cancellation fee 😦  But since I really wanted to go Amsterdam, so.. nvm.. Really regret that I didn’t plan this earlier.. hahaa..

After work, I can’t continue with my shopping, as it’s public holiday, hence all shops closed. So I decided to find another church in Duisburg that I haven’t been to. Following the map, I can reach the church! It’s called Pfrarrkirche St Joseph. Yay.. I think I’m getting better at reading maps now.. LOL..

St Joseph - Duisburg

St Joseph - Duisburg

Nice surroundings around the church

Nice surroundings around the church

And for tonight’s dinner, I had Currywurst from The Curry Bar. It was not bad. It’s something like a sausage with some sauce (I think it’s tomato sauce), topped with curry powder.

Currywurst

Currywurst

So cooolllldddd..

12 May

Bbbrrrr… It’s sooooo cold in here… I feel that each day, it’s only getting colder and colder.. Yesterday afternoon and this morning is the coldest ever (for me). I can hardly feel my hand coz it’s too cold, and when trying to speak, the face muscles feel stiff. Hmm.. I think I need to thicker jacket.. LOL..

Anyway… now I’m sitting in the office again, just for standby and waiting for problems to come (which hopefully, wouldn’t happen). Sometimes feel a bit bad coz some others are super busy, but I can’t help at all, as we’re doing totally different things.. Hehee..

Just for fun (and wasting time), here’s some small little interesting things that I found about Germany so far:

  • The churches and buildings are beauuutifullll..
  • Food come in huge portion, and by huge, i mean HUGEEEE.. There’s no way I can finish 1 portion by myself, I think it’s more suited for 2 ladies portion.
  • The bread here is also hugeee.. And talking about bread, croissant here is very nice. It’s crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.. yummyyyy.. and blackforest cake (which apparently originates from German) tastes differently! It’s so soft and light, and nice!
  • Sun is not something you can see everyday (even in spring time, nearing summer)
  • People are friendlier compared to Singaporeans. When they go to the lift/go out of the lift, they’ll say “Hello” and “Bye” (in German) to strangers too.
  • Tax (GST) here is 19%. Wow… 19%!!! Tsk tsk tsk.. I should try to shop in Tax-Free places (for tourists)
  • People here like to eat ice cream even when the weather is so cold (maybe it’s not considered cold for them?)
  • People here likes dogs. Quite a lot of them bringing their dogs for shopping in shopping centers.
  • Pedestrian way are all covered in tiles, and not-even-one of the tiles is missing/spoiled.
  • In spring, the days are long. At 4:30am it’s already bright, and at 8:30pm, it’s still bright!
  • Authentic german food is only served in Brauhaus (something like a pub?). That explains why I haven’t tried it yet so far. Haha!
  • Unexpectedly, things here aren’t as expensive as  I thought. Some is even cheaper than Singapore. Clothes, hat, scarf, etc etc is not so expensive.
  • German people love sweet things (something like doughnuts plus sugar), and they also love very salty things (the pizza are very salty.. and so does the sausage. But the sausages are nice!)
  • All shops (and most restaurants) are closed on Sunday. And on weekdays, they closed at 8pm sharp.
  • There’s no “chilli sauce” in German. When buying something with fries, the option are either “Mayo or Ketchup?” instead of “Chilli or Ketchup?”

Hmm.. I think that’s about it so far. I’ll post the stories of my little “adventure” in another post next time. Must wait until I can upload the photos to my laptop. Sadly this laptop is tooooo old until it can’t detect my camera.. Tsk tsk tsk..

Europe – Duisburg (Part I)

9 May

Wooohooo.. finally it’s time to fly to Europe!

My flight was SQ326 to Frankfurt, it flew from 2 pm Singapore time for 12 hours, so reach Frankfurt at 2 am Singapore time (or 8 pm Frankfurt time).  For the first time ever, I tried to check-in online 1 day before. Lucky I did that! Almost all of the good seats have been taken.. wow.. I didn’t expect the flight to be full house. I thought only few people will be taking the flight..

If I remember correctly, SQ chair used to be very comfortable and spacious. Hmmm… but somehow in the plane I took, the chair was not comfortable (the headrest is too “intimidating”.. It’s kinda too thick so can’t sit back comfortably. And the aisle was quite squeezy too. I wonder whether the last SQ flight I took (few years back, when the plane tickets were still cheap) was also like that?

And 12 hours really feel loooooooooong… I watched Nodame Cantabile The Movie I (Japanese movie) and Woo-Chi (Korean movie), and also tried to sleep in the plane (I think I slept around 1 hours). The Korean movie was unexpectedly nice!

Reaching Frankfurt, at 8 pm it was still so bright, just like 5-6 pm in Singapore.. Hmmm… maybe because of that, they have the daylight saving thing? :p  Anyway, after collecting our baggage, me and another 3 colleagues went to the long distance train station (still in the airport itself) to buy tickets to go to Duisburg (the city that we’re supposed to work in). The train tickets in Europe is very expensive, it costs 76 Euros for 1 way! Tsk tsk tsk..

We took the fast intercity train (I think it’s called ICE). The journey was about 1 hour 40 minutes. (btw no photos so far, because I was with my colleagues.. paiseh to take photos.. hahahaha)  The train was quite nice, the seat was much bigger and more comfy than plane seats! We managed to find empty seats (even without reserving seats). Oh yeah, an amazing thing that I just found out about Europe train: when boarding the train, it’s very important to board the correct cabin.. Because somewhere along the line, the train might break and different cabin will go to different place! So even if you’re taking the correct train but wrong cabin, you may end up somewhere else.. LOL..

We reached Duisburg around 10:30 pm. Our hotel (Mercure Duisburg City) was within walking distance to the train station. After checking in, we went to our room to sleep. Btw, I can’t really sleep.. I slept at 12am, and woke up at 4am and can’t sleep anymore.. Not sure is it because I’m too excited or because of jetlag?

By 5 am, it was already bright, just like 8 am in Singapore. Wow, spring time is really nice to go Europe, because the days are longer and the weather are so nice! By 6:30 am, I finished bathing, and start to go out to look around the hotel.

Somewhere near the hotel

Somewhere near the hotel

Nice building, hor?

Nice building, hor?

The weather was quite cold, I guess it should be around 10 degrees (or colder). My hands were cold (and when I tried to speak, my face feel stiff). I think the weather was about as cold as when I went to Alishan (Taiwan) during winter time.

Duisburg is apparently nicer than what I expected. I thought it will be more of modern building everywhere.. But apparently, it still looks like other parts of Europe pictures.. There are some old classical type of building.

Luckily I borrowed a mini tripod from Yeniffer, I used it a lot! (Well, mostly because it was a Sunday early morning. All shops are closed on Sunday, btw. And at that time, no one seems to pass by).

Konigstrasse at Duisburg

Konigstrasse at Duisburg

I walked around the hotel, apparently there are 2 shopping centres nearby (which was closed, again, coz it was a Sunday). I so can’t wait to see all the shops open! Hahaa.. I like the warmth feeling I felt while walking around. It just feel so different with Singapore! Can really feel that I’m in a different part of the world! Different kind of environment, different kind of people.. And btw, unlike Asia, all the pedestrian walkway (and even some roads for vehicle) are covered with tiles. It’s a different kind from the ones used in Asia. Somehow in Europe, it looks sooooo tidy (all the tiles are aligned nicely, not even 1 is spoiled), whereas in Asia, in a pedestrian walkway, there must be at least 1 or 2 tiles that are spoiled.

 I didn’t really spent much time, coz it was quite cold (and I forgot to bring my hand warmer). So I went back to the hotel, had my breakfast, and go back to sleep for 1 more hour.

By 11 am, we were at the office already, ready to support for production cutover (yes, it’s a Sunday, the cutover is on Sunday). Actually my part of the project will be rolled over only in the wee hours on early Monday morning (about 1-2 am that kind). So I only stayed in the office for 2-3 hours, then go back to hotel to rest, because I  need to return to office on 10 pm that night to support the production cut-over.

But as you can guess, how can I stay in hotel when there’s so much to see? LOL… After changing, I went out again to go around Duisburg. This time I went to Altdstadt (Old Town) area. I like to see old classical type of building. It just look amazing to me!

Rathaus @ Duisburg from afar

Rathaus @ Duisburg from afar

I love the Rathaus (Town Hall) in Duisburg.. Ahem, somehow at first, I thought it was part of the big Salvatorkirche church, as they lie next to each other. Both of these buildings are very nice. Each part of the building is crafted with details. Too bad I can’t get in the church. Have wanted to see how does it look in the inside. When I wanna go inside, the door was locked 😦

Me Me Me! (in front of Rathaus)

Me Me Me! (in front of Rathaus)

Salvatorkirche (Cathedral in Duisburg)

Salvatorkirche (Cathedral in Duisburg)

Back view of the Rathaus

Back view of the Rathaus

Just beside the church is the Carmellite monastery. I didn’t dare to go in, scared that I might disturb someone.. hehe..

And when I walk further down, I saw…. a market!! There’s a market open on Sunday!! Oh I was so happy.. It was just beside the river (or harbour?). There are quite a lot of stalls, many are selling flowers, fruits, accessories, some decoration stuff.

Marina Sunday Market

Marina Sunday Market

German Street Snack

German Street Snack

I bought a few souvenirs over there, and also tried a snack that I’m not sure what it’s called. The lady selling it can’t speak english, and she mentioned a long german sentence that I don’t understand at all.. Hahaa.. Anyway, the snack wasn’t that nice apparently..

By the time I finished walking around the market, it was already 5 pm. I decided to start going back to the hotel, passing by a nice big building.

I'm guessing that this is a post office?

I'm guessing that this is a post office?

Since the shops are closed on Sundays, the locals were just hanging around, sitting in the bench on the roadside. And btw, I saw quite a lot are peeking inside the closed shops (from outside, of course).

Reaching the hotel, I slept for 3 hours before finally head back to office.. And here I am now, typing this entry while waiting for my applications to be rolled-over. I hope there’s no problem at all!! And I’m so sleepy now.. Yawn..

Something to look forward to ^^

30 Apr

Well, I’ve always get excited when planning on itinerary, how to go there, what’s there to see, etc.. And now.. it’s 8 more days to go to Europe!! Hehehee.. I’m soo excited and sooo can’t wait 🙂

So happy that I finally get a chance to be sent there.. Must thank my team lead who specifically asked the PM whether I need to go there for the project deployment too or not. I hope there’s no problem with the visa.. It took more than 10 working days to process Germany visa application for Indonesian passport holder.. And I also hope that there’s no change again to the deployment date, or else my visa will need to be reapplied again..

Somewhere last week, I muster the courage to ask the PM whether I can extend for 2 days or not (the return flight was scheduled to be on Fri night, so I want to change it to Sunday night instead), and she said can!! Oh I’m so happy.. Ahem, actually most ideal case is if I can take 1 week leave, then pi & I can tour round Europe together.. But I can’t take long leave during this period.. Because the sytem will just go live by then, so we all need to be on standby..

So I decided to go on my own for 2 days… Hmm.. Modal nekat aja deh :p

Initially I wanted to go Paris, because 1 of my friend stays there, and I really wanna go there. But…. just so happen that during that weekend, she’ll be going somewhere else for holiday.. And I thought, since it was only 2 days travel anyway, and Paris is quite far, I might as well just travel around Germany. Not to waste anytime on the way, lor..

So.. I’ve booked hotels for my 2 days extension. I’ll be staying 1 night in Cologne, and 1 night in Frankfurt (because it’s where the airport is). The hotels I booked is considered quite cheap range.. LOL… Well I’ll be only sleeping for a while, not going to stay in the room for long. So I chose the hotels that I surely can see once get down from train station (so that I won’t get lost), and cheap, and also with breakfast! Hehehee.. so far the hotel that I’ve booked is Hotel Domspatz in Cologne, and Hotel Excelsior in Frankfurt.

Out of this 2 cities, I’m more excited about Cologne! It’s one of the oldest city in Germany, and houses lots of beautiful old churches and many old Roman type buildings. The cathedral there is also verrryy hugeeee and grand, it takes 600 years to finish building it.. Wow, can’t wait to see it! (and btw, the hotel I booked is very near to the cathedral) haha.. Oh yeah, Cologne also have Chocolate museum that’s located in a bridge on top of Rhein river… Hm, no, I don’t think I’ll go in the museum, but I wanna go to the cafeeee! They have a cafe that serves cakes and various types of chocolate drinks.. and we can sit in the cafe, while enjoying the view in Rhine river.. woooooo.. I so can’t wait!!

Will I goooo…?

9 Apr

Oh oh oh… I’ve been asked to apply for visa to go to German!!! Yeah!! I hope I can get it in time… The plane tix is tentatively booked for 23 April.. And the visa processing time is about 10 working days.. Aiks… And the earliest I can apply is this coming monday (12 april).. oh no…. doesn’t seem to have enough time for the visa… 😥

I reaaaaaaallly really really hope that the visa can come out on time, and I can go!! If this time round I can’t go because of visa problem AGAIN, I dunno what to say liao… 😥   I also wonder why they must wait until the time is really short then ask me to apply… *sigh* should’ve informed me from last week, then there’ll be enough time for the visa…