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Location: Sarawak, Malaysia

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Batam Navigation 2009

Guess it's about time I got around to posting this.

So with the completion of our work project, the company decides to send me and a handful of other employees to Batam, Indonesia for the project completion party being held there when the barge arrives to demob.

Day 1 - 17th September, 2009
Reached the airport around 7am to catch the 8.20am flight to Kuching, and I'm booked on Business Class for this leg of the trip since there were a shortage of seats due to the upcoming Hari Raya holidays. You get bigger seats in Business Class, I think a better selection of foods, but it was just breakfast, so I couldn't really tell. The flight was delayed a bit though, and there was a bit of turbulance due to bad weather, but we made it to Kuching in one piece.
We had a two hour layover in Kuching, and I looked around the very long departure hall while everyone else hung out at the Coffee Bean. Found a Mary Brown fast food outlet and had some chicken nuggets for breakfast.
Our connecting flight was supposed to take off at 11am, but it was delayed since they had to refuel and seemed to have a lot of cargo to load. The flight was a little more bumpy this time, but I made it through again. Touching down at Changi International Airport, we had to wait on the plane while it made a LONG taxi ride to the terminal, and then it was a LONG walk to the arrival hall. Not a good thing when you have an urgent need to visit the men's room.
I was surprised to see my brother waiting for me at the arrival hall. I got my bags and went to see what was up with him since I did inform him I wouldn't be spending the night in Singapore and was heading straight to Batam that evening. He just came to pass me the Singapore SIM card. I get it from him, turn around, and find that I've been left behind at the airport by my posse! WTF? I was supposed to go with one group to visit the Singapore office, but now I was stuck with the B-team who were going to hangout at Vivo Mall by the harbour where we would be taking the ferry to Batam that evening. I didn't have a problem hanging with them, it's just that I really wanted to check out the Singapore office since I don't know if I'll ever get another chance now that the project is over.
So we hung out at the mall until meeting up with Team-A later and had a Japanese dinner at Sushi Tei before boarding the ferry for Batam. We reach Batam earlier than expected and catch our ride to the hotel, and when we get there, surprise surprise, no hotel booking for ME. So 2 of the girls share a room and I get the scraps, while everyone else goes up to their rooms. The room was good though, with a lovely view of a dirt hill. I give the missus a call to let her know the day I've been having, and end up watching TV till about midnight Malaysian time before hitting the sack.

Day 2 - 18th September 2009
I wake up to find it's only around 6am Malaysian time, so I kill some time playing PSP and taking a shower before heading down for breakfast. The hotel breakfast had the worst waffles I ever tasted. I think maybe the chef accidentally poured too much salt in the mix, but wouldn't throw it out to make a new batch. I take my time and wait it out for everyone else to come down so I can find out what the plan for the day is. So at about 10am we get picked up and are given a tour of the Batam fabrication yard before we go to visit the 2 work barges. We get caught in the rain getting to the second barge cause the girls wasted a lot of time on the first one relaxing in the message chairs in the leisure room, but other than getting a little wet, it was ok checking out the boats.
After the yard visit, we had some time to kill before the big party that evening, so we visited the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall near our hotel. Nothing really to shout home about, but they did have an A&W, and I haven't had that in years! I changed RM50 for 134,000 rupiah, and paid 38,000 rupiah for a meal that sucked save for the root beer. The food was dry and tasteless, and I had to actually get ketchup to add some flavor to 'em! At least I got a big cold mug of root beer out of it.
The party that evening wasn't really much to scream home about either. The food was simple, but it was more about giving the crew a chance to drink cheap beer on a working night. Back to the hotel after, and I spent the rest of the night in my room watching TV and playing PSP again.

Day 3 - 19th September 2009
Getting up at about 8am and heading down for breakfast, remembering to stay clear of the waffles this time. The eggs were good and so was the miso soup. We meet up in the lobby at about 10am to check out and catch our ride to the harbour and board the 11am ferry back to Singapore. Bit of a rough ride this time since it was also raining that morning.
Met up with my bro at the harbour and parted ways with the rest of the guys. We dumped my stuff in my bro's car and went to check out Vivo Mall some more. Toys'R'Us was having a clearance sale on WWE figures and I had to get me an action ring that came with 2 figures, Ken Shamrock and Arn Anderson. We then had lunch before heading out to another mall to get my MMA gloves which my bro finally found. Unfortunately he didn't get them for me first, and it ended up that the place was out of stock! It's all good though, since the store had a website and I'm ordering them online from them.
We then went to check in at the Hotel 81, and admittedly it was a pretty crappy room for S$89. I'm guessing the room was roughly the size of a prison cell. Open the door and there's your bed with a mini desk and cabinet in front of it. Close the door and you see the bathroom. Class.
I go out with my bro for the rest of the day and we went to China Street and there really is a lot of cool stuff down there, and a whole lot cheaper than what I usually get them for when I order from KL. We went on a wild goose chase looking for old Sega Dreamcast games since my copy of AJPW Giant Gram 2000 was shot. We had dinner at McDonalds before hitting another mall that had the DC Comics clothing shop, and as luck would have it, they were having a stock clearance sale, so I manage to get some stuff. We then hit the arcades till late night. I got my shot at Street Fighter IV, and the players there kicked my ass, but I like to think that I held my own. Heck, I won a round against Abel using Guile! That has to be worth something?
We then head back to my hotel and watch Van Helsing before Al calls it a night. I play some more PSP before finally calling it a night myself.

Day 4 - 20th September 2009
Can't remember what time I woke up the next morning, but my bro picks me up at about 10am and we check out before heading straight for the airport. Took a while to check in since the MAS counter was all the way at the other end of the airport from where we came in. We had lunch at the Burger King before I make my exit for the departure hall to board my plane. A one hour transit in Kuching, and I buy myself a new wallet as well as high tea at the Marry Brown before catching my connecting flight back home to Miri.

1 Comments:

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10:23 PM  

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