Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Segway Adventure - Gliding Through The State of Fun

Who says you can't be extravagant by the beach?

Hello everyone! I am back this week after a crazy week of celebration from the long weekend and Eid. It is one of the greatest times of the year, a month full of love and joy. Lots of alms giving, charity and sharing with those who need. So let's not debate if Valentine's Day is the best day to show your love. Occasions like this too can be an avenue to show your love for the sake of humanity. Since we are in the mood for some celebration, I just thought it would be a great way to catch up with a wonderful friend of mine gliding by the beach.

It is not entirely new, but Segway is a prodigious yet under marketed invention. It is revolutionary yet pending consumer's acceptance unlike the iPhone which revolutionizes the mobile phone market through Steve Job's gargantuan ideas and sleek presentation skills, putting others to shame. Segway could be the same but to what extent are we willing to let this be a part of our lives?

Sentosa Island has been there since forever and went through major redevelopment by giving it a new name and the building of integrated resort. There has been so many transformation throughout the years, it's not easy to keep up with the developments going on. So much so, exploration of Sentosa should be done quick if not regularly. With tight schedule, I can't think of any other convenient and glamorous way of exploring the island other than using the Segway!

The Segway Personal Transporter (PT) is the perfect synthesis of function, form and fun. It travels seamlessly and capable of impressive range of speed making it ideal for trips that are too far to walk and too short to drive.

The Segway without intended purpose is boring. It's just like having a bicycle. If you do not have purpose for it, it would probably be a white elephant. It's feels great to ride the Segway around the entire island because that's our purpose, to have fun!

We arrived early, wouldn't want to be too late when there will be lots of people running around the island. It almost rained but it didn't and I was so thankful for that!

The tour started with signing of an indemnity form. We waited watching the Segway safety video. We were then directed to meet our tour guide Ana who looked ever ready with a helmet and a Segway for each of us. It feels a little bit like an army personnel receiving their personal equipments.

The most important segment was the training!  We were trained on how to use the Segway safely because we did not know how to ride them - just like bicycle, it could be hard to balance! Being the paranoid glider I was, I requested for knee and elbow pad just in case I fall and injure myself. The last thing I want to to happen is to get injured even before the excitement begins! Just wanted to avoid all the drama of getting injured!

We were then given a second form to sign which indicated we have gone for the safety training and we moved on to a bumpier training ground to familiarise ourselves with the possible terrains that we could be gliding on. It wasn't that hard after all!

Segway PT is so intuitive, or rather, instinctive attributed to the latest LeanSteer technology innovation. Its handlebar tilts left and right in response to your body's natural inclination to lean into the direction you want to travel. The technology is so sensitive and precise it seems to anticipate your every move, and adjusts to your slightest bend. It makes balancing less worrying - very different from a bicycle in that sense. After testing the Segway on bumpy grounds, the much anticipated tour began!

Our tour guide led the group - okay not exactly a group because there was only two of us. We glided quite a distance before reaching our first stop. The wind was too good and there were keen eyes from those who were walking or on the tram going to their next station. They were probably thinking on how would it be like to save their energy on this magnificent green technology...

It is energy saving physically, and environmentally!

The first stop was the Dolphin Lagoon for the dolphin show! Yay! Dolphins are such cute gay sharks. They are pink, do not attack and help others in distress. They did amazing stunts sharing the stage with other star animals like the fur seals. The fur seals are cute too! They deserve a well round of applause indeed. I was very, very lucky to have a personal time with the pink dolphin for her to sing to me! It was so delightful! All I had to do was to gesture my hand like a conductor and it started to click. So adorable! I have never felt so fortunate to have such opportunity with the dolphin. It's not everyday we get to touch exotic animals like this! Dolphins are endangered and I urge you guys to support any effort to conserve them. Every dollar makes a big difference to saving Gaia. The dolphin is so cute I feel like bringing one home! If only I could swim with them...

After the dolphin show, we resumed the Sentosa tour passing landmarks like Siloso beach for a touristy photo opp, and the orchid garden.

Surprisingly we didn't sweat a bit and managed to pull up a nice pose. Conventionally, we would sweat like a pig but with Segway walking miles is possible. We didn't get tired going up the hill to the renowned Merlion statue, known as the guardian of prosperity. Believe it or not, that was my first time setting foot on the crown of the Merlion. Shocking, I know!

Visiting the Merlion is like going through a rite of passage. The procession at the Merlion started with going through the creative art pieces before being brought into a room that showcases a video on how the mythical creature came about. Then,you will have to insert your ticket for a beautifully crafted gold coin to be taken as a souvenir before being ushered to the lift that will bring you to the peak. The view is simply stunning, there you have a sweeping view of the Sentosa Island, the southern sea and the entire cityscape. It's hard to ignore!

I have never been so grateful for such stunning view of my own city. Feel free to make a wish by ringing the bell! The auspicious Merlion position is meant to roar out all your wishes to the world!

We wrapped up our Merlion tour snapping a touristy photo with the scenic view!

On the way back from the Merlion, we headed to the rest of the beaches.

As tourists, you must not miss these spots because they are popular among tourists and locals alike. Even school activities and company retreats are held at these beaches due to its sterile sand and daytime serenity. Perfect time to get a tan when there's not many people around. Being a lazy arse I was, I couldn't be bothered to soak my feet into the sand because I was wearing shoes. I decided to have a selfie at the most southern point of Singapore, after so long!

You can cross the bridge and climb up the stairs to have a different panoramic perspective. If you come at the right timing and lucky, you will be able to witness the sunset! The best part is that it is unobstructed, you can bring your own snack and enjoy the breeze while the sun sets on the horizon.

Before returning back to the headquarters, we spent the remaining time indulging our joy ride! It was amazing, and as a tribute to Ana, we did a formation performance! There was not enough people with Segway to do a SG50 formation, so we decided on a criss-cross formation instead. At least we didn't put our Segway riding skills to waste!

We returned to the base to return our Segway. Very elated to experience first hand. Also, got to thank Ana for taking us around, being ever patient at our pit stops because there were more than 200 selfies just in half a day!

Segway is definitely the ultimate way to tour the island in a short span of time so that you are able to enjoy other things too. We can't say we love every part of the island but we love the exploration we did there. I couldn't say enough on how convenient it is to host my overseas friend via Segway when I bring them to Sentosa. Singapore's weather is just to hot to have me last from one end to the other end of the island just by walking. Also perfect for company cohesion or team bonding!

I don't mind taking the tram but, I can't possibly ask the tram driver to stop half way just so that I could take a selfie at one spot can I? Other passengers would probably throw eggs at me!

Since we were in Sentosa and not really tired - thanks to the invention of Segway, we spent the remaining energy we had exploring new places in Sentosa. One of them was Fort Siloso's new bridge. They had the official opening the day before we were there so we were one of the few who went up the bridge that links from the foot of the hill to the top. It makes it convenient without having to climb uphill. The bridge is so windy and special in a way because a portion of it is glass floor. I don't know, but it's probably the first bridge in town with see through glass floors? It made me weak on my knees and no way I am stepping on that glass floor! Too scary, scared to my wits.

Managed to explore Fort Siloso after so many years of not really exploring the historical parts of Sentosa Island. Along the bridge were snippets of Sentosa's history since World War II, before the island was being renamed. The bridge brought us to the relics of World War II which is well preserved to date.

So I guess that's all for my Segway adventure in Sentosa Island! You can always find out the prices and make your bookings here.

Good things must be shared. Click here to find out more about the Segway Sentosa Tour. Discounts for Passion and NTUC card members can be found here.

In conjunction with SG50 and STB's Golden Jubilee, bookings made via Sentosa Online Store September till end of December can get 1 complimentary child ticket with the purchase of 2 adult tickets for Segway Fun Ride.

Gogreen Segway® Eco Adventure
Beach Station, Sentosa
Operating Hours: 10am to 8pm daily
Telephone: +65 9825 4066

I wish you lovelies a wonderful week ahead! See you soon!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Australia 2016 - Farewell!

I would like to take this opportunity to first and foremost thank my best friend Hafiz Yusof for the wonderful effort in showing us around, spending the entire two weeks being our guide. Without you, a lot of things would probably go wrong!

Thank you to Amin Ayub for the wonderful photos because they are indeed wonderful and I am very fortunate to have such amazing friends like you two!

May God bless you two with the same gesture you did to me!

Australia on a whole is amazing. I love everything about its nature, although I am not fan of Australians because the stereotype about them being racist against Asians is hard to deny. However, having said that, there are indeed nice and rooted Australians around if you are lucky.

Very hopeful to come back, especially when I am in need of serenity and amazing sunlight for all my selfies. Heard about so many great things in other parts of Australia that I feel that I should see them for myself. Which part of Australia to next?

Well that depends on my schedule, budget, and great sponsors!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On Chief's Good Grace

Back in my schooling years, I love my internship. Internship in Singapore is different from others in some ways. In Singapore's context, we are still working on trying to make it as relevant as possible since it's right of passage for tertiary education students. The system is being overhauled with new initiatives as there were cases where student's job only go as far as making coffee and doing copies. Despite being in an organisation related to subject of study!

The lack of structured hands-on training being enforced somehow makes some of us useless and incompetent. It would be hard to be on the hot seat, cooking up stories and glorifying how making copies was actually part of your learning journey. Much LOLs to that.

However, this minute problem shouldn't deter our overseas friends taking up Singapore internship programmes. With much effort, there are quality internships out there. You just need to do your homework!

Some countries may not even have internship Singapore has in terms of quality - especially when it comes to industries like finance for instance.

Internship can either be a bane, or an opportunity to get out of day to day lecture routine.

No matter how bad your internship can get, fret not. Know that it's temporary! There are some survival skills that you can pick up along the way. I think it is great to do these things to get assimilated quickly into the organisation culture. Wouldn't want to be the blur one, would you?

While most lament to being labeled an intern, it is kinda the safest position in an organisation. How high a responsibility are you allowed to you hold?

You should find out about the company that you are working with, even if you care less about what they do because your ultimate goal was just to get an A and a commendable appraisal. It is always helpful to read up about the company you are in, be aware of what your company really does, not what is it all about. All companies are about making money and being sustainable - unless you're money laundering! A company does not only want to achieve their financial goals, but their brand equity too. Louis Vuitton's goal is not only to maximise its luxury market share, but to ensure their leather bags last for eternity. H&M is not only about following fast moving fashion trends, but to make it available to everyone at the best price. Knowing them does not only add substance to your story but also shows your keen interest in assimilating yourself to the soul of the company.

Next, you should talk and make friends with as many people in the company as possible. You're doing it for several good reasons. It helps you to find out how a company is actually doing compared to what they claim, or how the public see them. Being an intern is like being on a homestay in an exchange programme. It's a little bit like staying in a stranger's family only now it's given a proper name - the company. So, if there's a family problem, you'll sure sniff one. Which is why, don't be surprised to why some companies actually do not take in interns - not because they do not need energetic and cheap labours, but there are some things going on that are too sensitive for anyone to know. Knowing the people in the company also helps you sieve out the ones not worth working with. Not all of your best colleagues are the best lunch buddies and vice versa. Much weighting to do on that! It plays a huge role in making your internship either gratifying or unenjoyable.

You too must be the good intern! Some bosses know when you are interested in your internship or not. It's easy to tell so if you are not going to like the internship, your boss might probably ignore you too. Downside, you're just wasting your time because your internship allowance won't do justice. You're better off getting to the good side of your boss because you'd probably need them for future reference! One way to do this is to take initiative, and do as much as you can without being told. Learn about processes, and think of how you can apply what you have learnt in the office in life. You may not agree but I opine that whatever you have learnt from the book is never current. Like technology, you can never keep up with knowledge!

You need to realize how important internship is as part of your learning journey. It puts you in a simulation of corporate life. So, if you are going to be the only student in a company, be grateful because you will be alone when you graduate too. Unless you are in some sort of fraternity where you have sworn to get the same job as the rest of your bros, you are really alone.

On a more personal note, the log book (if you don't have, create one!) is important for you. Not only it lists down all the things you do. It will be your corporate primer because you may not grasp everything when you were doing your internship. Once you graduate and have broader mind you will then understand the things you didn't which can help you master the art of surviving the dog eats dog world.

Whether your life in that company will make you cry buckets or your laugh echo, it should make you look back one day and agree what I've said made sense. Touche?

Till then, hope you enjoyed my penned thoughts! Remember to follow me on my social media Instagram and Twitter at @muhdzulfadli for latest updates. See you there!

The photographs were shot in conjunction with my home project discussion. Special thanks to those who contributed in the production of these wonderful photos!

Location: Silverfox Studios
Co-model: Amin Ayub
Photographer: Harris

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Turkish Cordon Bleu at Maras Restaurant

Hey everybody! How's it going? It hope everyone is doing great out there. School holidays have ended for most of you and while most kids out there have a reality check of their own, a big round of applause to parents who managed to spend time with their kids! Although holidays aren't much of a vacation for you guys, I know you won't deny it's better off than dragging yourself to work. Unless you have a perfect job in hand!

For myself, I have been scouting for great places to eat. Finding places to eat is not a job but it's work! Especially in the light of this month - full of love, grace and spirituality. Time spent with worthy ones have to be spent at great places like Maras - an exquisite family friendly Turkish restaurant.

My friends and I wanted to eat out and there were so many options to choose from. Many options does not mean they were all great options though. Don't get me started from the menu, to the number of unanswered calls, and to those restaurants who said bookings can be made via Whatsapp. I laughed at how I imagined the matre'd must have been playing Tsum Tsum or some online game with the restaurant phone and missed all the Whatsapp reservations entirely. Fail!

No word of confirmation or even invalidation. That's worse than waiting for a love letter reply!

I decided to pick one of my usual favorites for several reasons. I wanted to see the bazaar nearby without giving up on really good food and where else can I get Turkish delights in cozy place under a beautiful chandelier and the comfort of air-conditioner?

I had to mention all those otherwise your imagination of kebab and Turkish ice cream is all what you have seen on the streets. Maras is one living example of a nice restaurant that serves Turkish food and ice cream in fine china!

I decided to bring my friends over to Maras. They said they were tired of American food, wanted something different but nothing too fusion that confuses their palate.

The food was delectable. I was famished so I ordered something with rice - The Shish Tawook Chicken was highly recommended by the chef. The half chicken was marinated and grilled with first rate Lebanese spices. On the side were cut mixed vegetables, pilaf rice - rice cooked in seasoned broth, and garlic sauce. Best eaten by cutting the juicy chicken and dipping it into the garlic sauce. I was close to using my hands then I was reminded I was in public. Woops! Unglamorous moment. Haha!

We also ordered the Ultimate Roast Chicken. For those who wants something herby and nothing too spicy, this is particularly recommended. The brined half chicken is roasted with honey glazed herbs, presented with roasted potatoes and glazed vegetables.

To fill in the void in our repartees, we ordered a waffle to be shared because we didn't want to be bloated. We had a bazaar to tour right after!

We chose the Salted Caramel Waffle and added double scoop because there were three of us. Since I love berries, I had mixed berries for my portion. I was initially cautious about it being a little to sour for my liking. Apparently it wasn't! Probably one of the best Turkish ice cream I have tasted! The waffle snowed with fine sugar was amazing, just the way I like it. Hot and crunchy.

Maras beyond any doubt brought us a fine dining experience through its efficient service. For a full house with a tight kitchen, it was considerably fast. My friends and I made a pact to come back for desserts! There were ten flavours and we only had one for each. The nine other flavours will be the reason for our repeat visits!

It was not my first visit so I just thought my second visit is worth mentioning! For what it's worth, my friends were satisfied. As long as their new savours meet their expectations, I feel like I have done my job bringing them somewhere nice!

They're usually full for dinners especially during weekends. Should you want to make bookings, you can do that here or just drop by Maras here:

Hope you are entertained! If you have not followed me on Twitter and Instagram, please do so - @muhdzulfadli to get the latest updates! Thanks lovelies! See you in the next post!

*This establishment is Halal certified.