Friday, 30 May 2008

My Final Posting in this Blog

Time flies and it has been 14 months since I landed in Cambodia. It have been a new experience when I arrived and I am glad to write that I have learn a lot from my experience with the human factor.
First of all my apartment mate. A lady who always think that she is very nice to people and never is wrong. How can a lady who always wants her things way all the time can be a nice lady? How can a lady who always think of herself can be a nice lady? How can a lady who will complained to the top man in the company about me not greeting her mother a nice lady when I came back from Malaysia after my mom's funeral feeling depressed and sad and have no wish to say a single word to anyone? How can a lady who will not compliment me back to the top man that I did talk to her mother the next day be a nice lady? How can a lady who wants to make me the excuse to move out of the apartment to another apartment out of this building a nice lady when it was suggest that she should move to another apartment in the same building and she refuse? Complains and complains all the time and what is my crime? My crime is that I don't want to talk and socialise with her. I have the right to choose who I want to mix with. Is that a CRIME???

Secondly, my supervisor who came over to join the company in March this year. This is my biggest nightmare I have encountered thoughout my working life. A new kid on the block who thinks he knows everything there is to know on the situation over here after one week. I have been scolded by him everyday from his second week onwards. He don't ask for reasons or fact to the situation but just hammered on and on just like the Chinese saying.. you dont need any capital to scold people!! There is nothing you can do but wait until he stop and present your rationale to him which he will never be happy with the answer given. For your information, the top man is aware of my situation and the reasons given. Worst when my mother passed away and I was back in Malaysia to sort out my mom's things after the funeral, it seem that this supervisor has no compassion. Can you imagine this! A colleague from here called me to inquire about a task and it seem while talking to me, my supervisor just grabbed the phone from him and scolded me regarding the task why there is no proper handover from the previous staff in charge. An experience man in this company would know that this handover of knowledge cannot be done without having the data available to teach at the time of changing key holders of the system.

Finally one day after another scolding the previous night, I actually laugh when I realised he lied about having some papers on the project he wanted done which he did not have at all and has scolded me for not coming forwarded to get these paper from him the previous day. How unreasonable this man can be? Creating a lie just to scold me! To summarise all this scolding I am getting - I have been manipulated, tricked and lied to by him.
Even tagging along on a trip with some staff which he has ask these staff to use the company car to do some site visit, I got blamed for using of the company car. This comes from the courtesy of my apartment mate who told me to tell another colleague that she wants the car the following day and in which I replied I am not in charge of the car and have asked her to speak to this colleague directly. I was classified as RUDE to her and thus a complain was lodged with him.

The Chairman of the company will be here to visit next week with his entourage. For the past two visits by the Chairman last year, I was put in charge of co-ordinating the arrangement with the event management company and handles the paper work including running errands. This time round, another local staff is handling this task. I learned that my supervisor has classified that such task is not my duty and I will not be involved at all this time round - which is fine with me. He and the local staff do not have the experience in handling this task before and they also did not seek my help. Somehow, when things are not moving smoothly due and can you imagine this? He can complain to some colleague that I did not give a helping hand. WHAT A JOKE? Seem the Event Director is having problem with them in getting things approved.

Yesterday, I was very happy to hear the news that my request for transfer back to the parent company in Malaysia has been approved and I will be leaving Cambodia in two weeks' time. At the same time I felt sad as there is a lot of things what have yet to be done and I no longer able to assist.
I will missed the local colleages I have made friends with and also the top man in the company whom the staff admired in his handling of affairs for the company. God bless him and the local friends I have here!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Driving a Left Hand Drive Car

This morning I drove the car back to the office which is just round the block.

I forgot that the instrument for a left hand drive car and a right hand drive car are opposite of each other. I switch on the signal indicator and it turn out to be windscreen wiper. So any one of you who are not familiar with a left hand drive car, check out where all the instrument are before you go onto the road.

Good luck with a left hand drive car for those who are so used to driving a right hand drive car.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Driving in Phnom Penh

I am going to church today.. To rent a motor tutu for USD3.00 or not.. The CRV is outside the apartment building... I have the car key.. No Cambodian driving license.. I am on my own.. The temptation is there..

What the hack? Unlock the car. Got into the driver seat which is on the left hand side of the car. In Cambodia, you drive on the left side. Can you imagine driving a left handed car on your own for the first time. It is not as easy as in Malaysia.

Foremost, in Cambodia, it is defensive driving. You got to watch out for motorbikes that can come onto your lane from all directions especially at crossroad without or with traffic lights. It is an experience. To avoid driving through the numerous traffic lights on Monivong Blvd, I chose to drive a longer route through Norodom Blvd where I will come aross the Independent Monument which serves as a roundabout. I really could not decide which is the right way to give way at roundabout where traffic move anti-clockwise since this is a left hand drive traffic. Watching the traffic in Paris at the Arc (a roundabout too) last December, drivers are to give way to traffic coming from the right just like in Malaysia. But this place, drivers and motorists do not bother much about obeying traffic rules, you just have to force your way through the traffic.

What an experience! Needless to say since I am writing this in my blog. I have arrived safely back to my apartment.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Time flies

Time flies.. and two months have gone since I landed in Phnom Penh.

Like is not much different between here and back home. The only different is that you can't meet up with your friends. Here in Phnom Penh, I still got to watch cable TV.. You can choose to watch from 65 channels in different languages and the stations are from all over the world... China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, France, India, Hong Kong (English and Mandarin channels), Malaysia, Germany, USA, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. And if I am bore, I still can surf Internet and chat online with my friends through Gmail or Yahoo chat and also to chat using a mic and head set on Skype. The wonders of Internet is here in Cambodia. It is not as backward as some people think...

You can also buy DVD of the latest movies and TV series. Looks like I got to buy a DVD player too as watching them on my notebook is tedious.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Education of Traffic rules

Since the day I came to Phnom Penh, the way the traffic can be a terrifying experience as the motorists and drivers do not follow the traffic rules. Crossing the road when it is green does not mean that you can safely get to the other side. You need to watch out for traffic for all directions at crossroad.

A crossroad without traffic light is like back home, when the traffic lights are out of order.

Last Sunday, at a traffic light junction near my office, I noticed that there are some youths wearing "Red Cross International" T-shirt holding red coloured flags. These youths were flagging the flag horizontally in front of them when the traffic light is RED. There is a campaign to educate the motorists not to cross when the traffic light is RED.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

A Cambodian Wedding

Since I have been here, I have attended two wedding dinners. I was told that a Cambodian wedding dinner is similar to a Malay wedding receiption. If you want to be served with your dinner first, all you need is to gather 10 people for your table and be seated and your dinner will be served. You do not have to wait for all invitees to fill up all the tables first just like a Chinese wedding dinner before dinner is served.

Below are the two gifts I have collected from by the brides at the entrance of the wedding dinner hall.

The pictures below is a wedding procession I came across one morning on my way to look for breakfast:

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Malaysian Mamak Shop

Yesterday and today, I have breakfast at a Malaysian Mamak shop called "Mamak's Corner" which is located on the next block from my office.

Inside the restaurant, there are posters of "Visit Malaysia" on the wall and on the table, you can see worn-out old newspaper, everyone's favourite, "The Star" which most likely have been left behind by Malaysians for the others who patronised the shop.

Listening to conversation among the customers, you will note that they are Malaysians as they were speaking in Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien and fluent English too. Even the term "kurang manis" is understood by the local waiter.

A plate of roti canai plus teh tarik yesterday cost me USD1.60 while a plate of nasi lemak plus teh tarik today cost me USD3.00.

Next dish - of course, the "mamak mee goreng"!!