Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Surviving Mode : Cook to Live

The weather this week is really nice, temperature is around 45C , dry and lots of strong and nice wind blows.. U don't feel the heat....With a clear blue sky + flowers around the facility, this reminds me of the good old Minnesota summer...

The orientation week was kinda informative, although it is very very monotonous and full of quick micro seconds nap... Take this, arab guys took 3 days to go thru a orientation thing which can easily be covered by Esso PD in 1 day.... That's how luxury the time was... :)

We were hungry like buffalos on the run and it was my turn to cook today with my housemate from Kuantan, which hates to cook and doesn't know how does a cili padi looks like...hehehehe.. That's normal for guys...) .. I promised him that he will be a great cook in 3-4 months and when he returns to Malaysia, Insyallah , his emotional tanks will always be full since his wife will be surprised and will love him even more... I am starting to see improvement and he is picking up real fast....

I felt great since I can help someone to improve , while resharpen my cooking skills... Insyallah, when my wife n kids are here, there will be cooking spree in a nice big kitchen!! Of course, with an oven for my wife insyallah... :)

Trading day for tomorrow and the day after... No trip to Dammam or Al Khobar please!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Once Upon a Time in Impiana Hotel KLCC

It was on a Wednesday, 3rd June ......In a nice & cozy hotel room in Impiana KLCC ... Mummy + Daddy took Lana, Rayyan and Sophie for a family vacation before daddy took off to Arab for work...







I miss my miracle twins very very much!!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Great Day at Dammam ...

With the new car in possession + really cheap petrol + no highway tolls , we gentlemen could not resist to set on our next adventure to explore Dhahran... With just a one hour drive, we were there.. Destination : aramco compound... This is a superb , super large compound with complete facilities...You name it... Schools, gyms, golf , groceries, health clinic, pool, etc2....

One thing I notice about this compound is that the landscape are real good and real greeeeen... Of course, all there are heavy security checkpoints involved before u can go in....

The best thing is that this comes with a monthly price tag of SR 2500 only for Aramco staffs... Nice! We have to dream to find this kinda house in Jubail for that price...

Green setups, garage, it feels just like in the US...

This shot is at Brader Ariffin's house in Saudi Aramco Compound in Dhahran...What a beautiful house and I really like those nice and comfy sofas + with lots of goose feather pillows...... Kalo balik kerja lepak, gerenti terlelap punya beb! Thanks for the nice sambal tumis udang + ayam goreng ala ala Malaysia bro... Dah jemu makan makanan arab...

We then visit to Brader Zul ( Inspection Engineer) , just a few rows down the road...He knows my X- Esso PD inspection guys( Zul Yaakup and Zaidi) .... Cantik lahhh... Boleh laa jolok resume aku kat dia in the future kalau nak lompat from Sabic, insyallah.... heheh

IKEa Malaysia offers a nice hot dog for RM 2.... This one here is the saudi version of the hotdog... Cheap but not as nice as Sheffield's Kebab at west street...! That's the best...

This one here reminds me to my wonderful wife... We always and always eat this meatball, everytime we drop by IKEA for shopping or simply to spend the weekend together as a family...

Posing in front of IKEA Dhahran...Saudi Arabia..

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Car is Here

Today, we are car hunters.... 4 of us went to AVIS car rental center .... Then, we have plans to carry out our first ever groceries as a new "family" with the new car....

Din, Rizal and me at AVIS center

Taking a very close look at this car... This is a brand new Nissan Sunny 1.6 Automatic Transmission, with just over 20km mileage... Basic specs with no alarm system...Wanna know why? That's because there is no theft here in KSA... One can even leave their car unlock in the middle of a busy city with nothing missing in the car... I wish Malaysia is like this!!

There we go.... at SAR 2550 per mth per car, for the next 3 months until our families are here in KSA insyallah... There can only be 2 registered drivers for this car... Din and Taufik are the lucky ones.... I cannot be the driver eventhough my US International licence is still OK, since my US driving license has expired in 2008... So, the International licence cannot be used... :) I will have to wait until I have got my Iqama before I can convert my Malaysian driver's licence to KSA license in Khobar...One mth to go insyallah...
We then went to Al Huwaylatt Mall and Panda for groceries...
This is the Honey that Din bought over at the Huwaylatt Mall... Extra strong and special honey from the Mountains of Apebendentah from Lebanon..The Pak Arab seller warns Din (my housemate) not to buy this honey if his wife is not around.... Very dangerous as his XXX desire will increase significantly !! hahahah......
There you go... Time to loose fat and pump it up dude!! Cheaper by RM100 here, compared with Malaysia...

All shops are closed at the moment of azan.... Everybody go to pray... Non Muslims would have to wait for the shops to be reopened.

This is the Panda a.k.a Giant or Tesco like what we have in Malaysia.. In my first observation, i found that the price is relatively higher than malaysia because everything here is IMPORTED!

Giant 2 story bookstore.... My princess lana jasmine will surely love this...You can find computers, laptops, accesories, GPS, cameras, playstation,etc2...

I better be ready for our trip to Dammam and Ras Tanura refinery, to jalan2 carik makan...

Monday, June 21, 2010

So It Begins...

Thanks to my wife for the cool , touchy Father's Day wish over the blog...

Met with Kelab Rakyat Malaysia Jubail ( KRMJ) President's Hj Hamzah last night... TOok us all for a nice mocha chocha latte frapuccino at Fanateer , done the arabian style... It was super sweet that I could not take it... It was totally different atmosphere here in Fanateer town, only arabic guys hang out here in all these nice n clean places.... No mamat bawang/mat kicap here at all!!

After a tiring waiting and a series of "melangut atas kerusi berjam2" , I finally got my medical check up results from this Saudi HR guy... Alhamdulillah, I passed it... Otherwise, we have not choice but to go back home... What a risky gamble huh?

Got my ID this afternoon.... Iqama is on the way... Hopefully, I can get it asap to initiate my family visa requirements..

A little work culture shock today....Met my Arabic Boss that interviewed me in KL... Nice guy... I was introduced to Reliability section, focusing on RBI and RCM stuffs to support MTBE and PP plants..... The majority are arab engineers with long and big beard + there is also quite a number of mat bawang, especially for the machinery areas...

Surveyed a couple of houses for a temporary residential areas, maybe 3-4 months, until my lovely family that I miss soo much are here.... Big and spacious, fully furnished for 3250SAR per mth... Most likely, all 4 of us will move in tomorrow insyallah...

If only my wife and kids are here now..I`ll be the happiest man on earth...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Special Dedication

To the Greatest and Coolest Daddy on earth....

Happy Father's Day... we love you soo much!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Another Discovery Day @ Al- Jubail

Alhamdulillah, today is another great day full of discoveries and observation.... I came to realise that observation has become my second hobby in this kingdom ! Unlike those time when I was studying in the US, I will take the chance given here to really explore, observe , compare and more importantly, reflect what I observe to the true meaning of life.... Maybe I was just a naive student back then in the US.... Or maybe tengah bercinta dulu, my focus was just to that beautiful awek Sheffield (Alhamdulillah, which is now my wonderful wife + mother to my 3 adorable kids) ...

Many thanks to Brader Muslisham from Ibn Zahr, a.k.a Mr Secretary of Kelab Rakyat Malaysia Jubail (KRMJ) for spending the time with us this morning... He picked us from the hotel for the Jumaat Prayers at Jubail Industrial City... The mosque is situated at the heart of the industrial city at Fanateer. The mosque was like wow... superb one... so many people and you can feel the Nur inside...Subhanallah... Each mosque here in Jubail are fully air conditioned and packed with jemaah each time of the prayers, 5 times a day... wow.. I pray so that one day, Malaysian mosque will be like this..

We then anchored down at a nice Arabic restaurant, where Brader Muslisham ordered a really nice nasik Arab.... Perggghhh.... The lamb + chicken was super juicy, fresh , succulent and tender...( did I just make you feel hungry now : ) ? I have tried nasik arab with my in laws at Shah Alam, but this is 10x better..! I bet Abah + Mama will love this place if they are here...


Noticed that they put a layer of plastic as the safrah... All we need to do is to take whatever that is in the big plate and put in on the plastic safrah and take it all the way into ur tummy. Lots of chit chat and sharing stories, we have managed to complete the meal.... I was shocked to see that there was this one small and thin arab guy, who was having a full big plate all by himself ... It took 6 malaysian to hardly finish the meal, but this guy was a hero, eating all by himself... Amazingly, he is not a fat guy...

This is Brader Muslisham and me... Ibn Zahr Process Engineer... very Friendly and helpful guy...


This is Sector Al-Huwaylat Medical Center

Then Brader Muslisham was sort of giving us an orientation to the city... We were told that there were two cities in Jubail...

Jubail Industrial City – Splendid town, designed by UK consultant and managed by Royal Commission. This is where we found very nice and very very well planned town. This is one beautiful, amazing big town. I must say that this I have fallen in love with this town and I bet my wife n my princess Lana will surely do!

Jubail Industrial Town features:
· Divided into sectors, and each sector has got its one mosque
· Royal commission is the home for SABIC family housing, whereby there are a few sectors here- Ferdaus ( hey, that’s the same as my name do I get to stay free? ), Al Huwayyat, and a few more that I could not recall. Each sectors of housing contains a lot of bungalow houses ( some 2 stories and some just 1 story), fully furnished with a nice US style + while maintain the elements of Arabic House architecture.... Oh yes, it comes with a garage for 2 cars as well ok? You can enjoy these with the amount of housing allowance deducted from my salary. I was told by brader Muslisham that I can never find that kind of housing elsewhere in Jubail town (old town), with that price...
· It is greeeeen...with lots and lots of trees , flowers and filled with landscape.. It becomes more beautiful in winter and spring time
· carpet grass, nice palm trees, beach, playground,
· wide roads
· Each sector has got its on Panda (like tesco or Giant), hospital, gym, sports center, Mall !! ... Here is Al Huwaylat Mall at Huwaylat sector. We stopped by the mall to take a look inside... Nice....GNC store, mothercare, kids stuffs apparel, toy shops, Apple Store for macbook lovers, etc2 can be found here.... These Arab guys are super rich...They have many shopping malls.... For a moment, I felt like I was in the US !! Because everything is just like US... Take this Applebee’s picture for example..


Applebee's huh ? This reminds me my good old Minnesota days

Al Huwaylat Mall....many shops inside.... there is a big bookstore inside...

Can't wait to bring Lana here

Again, it is from the friendly and helpful Brader Muslisham ...We then we went over to hunt for a temporary houses in Jubail Old Town, near the areas where most Malaysians live there..... Quite a nice place... this is an example of the house for 2500SAR per month with non fully furnished..... It is a clustered of 4 houses for 4 families with different entrances .. Like Country house in Malaysia...


This is a sample of the clustered house in Jubail Old Town...

...Found one at westwind service apartments, 2 bedded room, with kitchen, living hall, internet, air cond, fridge, washer, dryer, 1 bathroom , TV with 400+ international channels... All for 250SAR per day... x 30 days / 5 of us = SAR 2500 each... reasonable..

West Wind Service Apartment.


Sporty Honda Accord 3.5 Racing Type... Oooooo sweet mama!

Chevrolet Tahoe .. 5.7 litres.... Mmg power...

Jubail Town – Old town, designed and managed by local municipal/Saudi authority here... You can find a lot of things here in the shops... Everything is organized in block system, just like US....Lots of restaurants and Filipinos and Indians workers here... I was told by Brader Muslisham that about 80% of Malaysian who lives outside of family housing, lives at Water Tank are, which is at the outskirt of this old town ... Much better , less people and all shops within reach.

Noticed that there is a big Fish and Meat market, A few car showroom like GMC, Mitsubishi, Toyota, car service center,etc2...... I also noticed that there is a big dakwah center and we were shown where to get a rental car for 1500-200 riyals per mth , for a car like Toyota Altis...

Speaking of cars, we were told that cars here are damn cheap, since there is no tax involved, no road tax renewal every year, no insurance renewal every year... The insurance is every 5 years and it is included with the price of the car when you buy it... Isn’t that amazing?
Here is a sneak preview of the price of a few cars from Brader Muslisham for my consideration and for my dream to aim and work for!!

-New GMC –Chevrolet Tahoe (This is brader Muslisham’s nice car) ... 5.7 litres ! - 120k Riyals
- New Mazda CX-9 luxury SUV – 110k riyals
-New Toyota Camry- 70k riyals
-New Honda Accord – 70k riyals
- New Mitsubishi Grandis – 80k riyals
- New version of Honda Accord Race Type sporty 3.5liters - 140k riyals
- New Toyota Estima ACR 50 model – 110k !!! >> My wife will love this... Kat Malaysia

punyalah mahal sampai 240k, no wonder those AP Datuk is damn rich...

- 2nd hand Ford Expedition – 40k riyals
- 2nd hand Toyota Camry , 2006 model – 30k riyals
- New HUMMER H3 ( macam Sultan Brunei pakai) – 160k riyals !!! crazy cheap...So far,

brader Muslisham said there is no Malaysian who uses this car yet... Maybe I am the 1st
one ? ....hehehheh :P .. Who knows, insyallah...

Then, we surveyed another house at Jubail old Town, near the dakwah center, where Brader Muslisham stayed during his first 3 mths here in Jubaill... Unfortunately, no rooms are available so we cud not have a look at it....

According to Brader Muslisham, this house is bigger that the west wind service apartments and it is only 1500SAR per person per mth...All equipped....

What a nice and interesting day! Can’t wait to bring my wife and kids here..!
Tomorrow, we gotta do another round of medical check up for the Iqama... Hopefully, everything is OK Insyallah..!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ahlan Wasahlan Ya Firdaus..!!



Alhamdullillhah... the time has come... After an "outstanding" increase of 4 kg in my weight during my resignation from ExxonMobil /unemployment period ( thanks to all those nice durian + roti canai+ malaysian foods !!!) , I have safely landed in the land of the prophet Muhammad SAW ....





The journey was about 5 of us from Malaysia , ( Rizal, Taufik, Din, Abg Rahim and me) , who had travelled for almost 10 hours from KLIA to Dammam in KSA... Stopped over for 1.5 hr at Dubai Airport....I was really shocked to have been informed by the pilot that the outside temperature is 36C at 2.30am in the morning....!! Walla weyyy....I can't imagine how hot it wud be if it is at 12 noon...!

After a tiring flight, we were stranded at Dammam Airport's immigration for almost 2 hours, since we are entering the kingdom for the first time,well, all those finger print and picture taking stuffs you now..... I have noticed that there were a lot of Philipinos who came here to work....Man, they really look like Malays!!

The journey in the taxi from Dammam Airport took us about 1 hr 15 mins and I was surprised to see that Saudi is not as bad as I thought .... There were areas of developments, cities like dhahran and Khobar, and the place where I will work ( Jubail) is a developed city , which is much much bigger than seremban / bangi/kajang town....


The highways are super straight and wide open....But I could not see any camels on the dessert !! Where are these animals? My daughter would have asked me many times if she is tagging me along..!


Once we have arrived at the hotel , I was having a culture shock again...... (oh man, I really miss my luxury time with ExxonMobil, where I have been blessed with the luxury to stay in a 5 star hotels like the Ritz Carlton, Marriot, Grand Hyatt, etc) .....But one thing that I really like about this hotel and town is that there are about 13 mosques within 5km radius!!! I can hear all of azan when it is time for prayers....


Then I went on to SABIC HQ in Fanateer for registration for employment...Met these Pak Arab HR who likes Malaysian very much...There are about 200+ Malaysian families here in Jubail...The HQ building was like ...wow.... kalah ExxonMobil KL ... Apparently, these guys are rich... I felt like I was in Malibu Beach, florida (but without sexy girls of course)....The road are paved with carpet grass and nice palm trees ... Not so far away from the HQ, there is Fanateer Mall , which looks nice and quite big... Hmm....sounds like a plan sometime next week huh? Let's see whether I can find some cool gadgets there...!


On my way to enter the main building, saw many many fancy cars like GMC, cadillac, Ford and super luxury mercedes benz cars.... Hmmm... I wonder how much these Pak Arab guys are getting per month...!


This morning is a weekend (Thursday and Friday are off days here in saudi) where I got the chance to recover from jet lag and tiredness.. Oooh....I slept like a baby...I met my ex-Esso inspector, Fadly here... What a small world right... We had breakfast together and chit chat on his experience working here for almost a month...




Ar-Rahsyeed Mall, Al Khobar


Knowing that we must get ourselves equipped with high speed internet broadband and phone to call malaysia, we went over to one of the biggest mall in Northern East of saudi , Al Khobar Rasyeed Mall... It is a big one + carrefour inside , located about 1 hr drive from Jubail... Trust me, it's a big one...tak sempat nak pusing habis..

Then, I have noticed these as part of my observation....
The mall of Dhahran.... guess whut, it is bigger than Ar-Rashyeed Mall .. My princess will love this..!

There you go... Gigantic IKEA , which is next to Dhahran Mall... I bet that my lovely wife will want to go here every weekend ! Time for a nice sweedish meat balls again huh sweetie?

This is family dining area.... Single man are not allowed to dine here... this place is covered/sheltered and I can hear children playing inside and cheering...



And this is Men's dining area....just like in a food court... open and spacious... Notice how these Arab guys spell Mc-Donalds...I don't get it ...Salah eja tuh..!

This is where all super rich Pak Arab get their super cars from....! Dhahran is so full of motor/vehicle sale/showroom

I can see that there is a lot of designer's stuffs that we can get it here at Al khobar mall... eg: Gucci, Mothercare, Sony, Krispe Creme, Starbucks , La Senza ( ooooh...), Guess, Gap, Givenchy, and belambak2 lagih...

Finally.... this one here really makes me excited... House of body building protein...! Time to do re-sculp those flabby areas man!

A great day.....but it would have been much greater if my wife n kids are here with me ... I miss you all...!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

For Daddy....

We love you soo much!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

AlhamduliLLah.. hopefully semuanya Selamat...

Praise to Allah... we managed to organize a simple makan-makan for the relatives, neighbours and friends at our house few weeks ago. We've been thinking to have this makan2 quite some time ago, however the plan keeps being postponed from one date to another date to another date... bley dikatakan since last 2 years, when we first moved into the house.. huhuhu

Thanks to all yg sudi melapangkan masa memeriahkan majlis....





Dalam Kenangan

Everything is dalam kenangan..... I miss all the moments when we worked together.....under the same roof and even a few steps away!

And Now I am all alone :(

A few steps away...

Sayonara!!