Monday, December 26, 2011

Around D World I Did Go ..... 2009

2009 was a very hectic year for me. I literally live at airports and out of my luggage.


Hmmm .... How should I put it?

Hell YES !!! Of course it was fun ...... for a while I guess.

Besides be able to see what people in other parts of the world lives, I do get to make new friends too.

AWESOME !!!! ........ for a while I guess.

Opening the year, I was off to Jakarta to attend a meeting for BIMP-EAGA. Interesting indeed. I didn't think people will listen to me while I was presenting. AWESOME # 1 ~ January

Dubai was my next stop. My first step into Middle East soil. I was awed ! I would always think I will go there one day but to be in the dessert and feel the breeze flowing was undescribable. Blew my mind away. Got to go to the Burj, the tallest building ever built in the universe and also on reclaimed land. Then got to visit the Palm. Amazing view. Felt like you are in the middle of the ocean and yet not getting wet! AWESOME #2! ~ February

Come March, I was off to Paris.
Paris you guys !!!!!! Though this was my second visit to the City of Romance but after a hiatus of 15 years. But this time around, I made sure I went to the "MUST SEE" places; Eiffel Tower, Hard Rock Cafe Paris, all those interesting museums, LV Boutique and many many more!!!!  Weather was chilled but hey, do I care? This is Paris we are talking about. AWESOME # 3

Celebrating spring season in Istanbul ~ April
I haven't got over the fact I was in Paris, I was off to Istanbul wher the great Ottoman empire was once the envy of everyone. Imagine being so close to the Sultanat Ahmet's Mosque @ The Blue Mosque. Great city, rich with history and culture and I was there. Of course, I would not miss the opportunity to visit the hamams, just to experience what it is all about....... AWESOME # 4 .... TOTALLY

After all those rendezous I did in Europe and Middle East, I guess it would not be complete if I did not visit our neighbors close to home. So, off I went to Phnom Penh in July. Nothing fancy but I felt like I was going back thru time. Phnom Penh was just like Kuala Lumpur in late '70s. Everything is so laid back. Not as modern but yet the people are friendly. Great hospitality. I guess I can rate it as AWESOME # 5.

Come August, I was back in Europe. But this time not to the metropolitans in west Europe but to a more subtle country. Even with war torn attmosphere, I was still amazed at what I saw in Sarajevo. Still recovering form its civil war and resulted from Yugoslavia breaking up to different nation (Bosnia n Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro), still Sarajevo is emerging as a nation that put Islam as their main religion. How awesome can that be. Remember, Sarajevo was also the main veneu for the 2004 Winter Olympics. Although buildings were filled with bullet holes, it was still a pretty sight. AWESOME # 6

Manila was my next destination. As you know, Filipinos are "handsome and pretty" people. What attracted me most was the English spoken. There was strong Spanish presence in their daily conversation even though they speak English.

After Manila, then there was Cotabato City, located in Mindanao, where the Muslim majority reside in the Philippines. Not as grand as Paris or Istanbul, Cotabato City represent a small and quiet community, away from the hustling and buzzing of any big cities. But that was not the surprise I got when I was there. Never have I encountered anywhere before this, a notice put up at the entrance of a bank saying "PLEASE LEAVE YOUR GUN HERE". Talk about culture shock !!! It seems that almost 85% of the Mindanao population carries some sort of ammunition. BELIEVE IT !!!!!
AWESOME ????? Most definitely AWESOME # 7.

And then there is BANGKOK. Always dream of going there and when the opportunity knocked on my door, without hesitation, I was there in November. I've heard a lot of stories about Bangkok and while I was there, of course I did explore some of the places. Can't waste the opportunity given. AWESOME # 8 without a doubt.

Finally closing the year of my excapade around the world, I was at Amsterdam. Free and easy, that's what they say about the city. I had an excellent time with the musuems (including the sex museum okay), the "RED LIGHT DISTRICT", the food but the only downside was the weather as it rained all throughout the time I was there. All in all, still AWESOME ....... # 9.

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