Monday, September 25, 2006
Captain wannabe and the World of Tomorrow 2
I know it's high time I updated this thing. I did type an entry a few days ago but somehow the browser ate it up, and I was too sian to re-type the whole entry once over on that very same day. Things IE likes to do..
15 more days before:
- My head gets shaven
- I get to see her less
- I start getting vulgarities as my morning call
- Start the interesting next 1 year 10 months of my life
- Get to meet more people
- Start to earn the money back from what the goverment had taken from me
- Wear that blue uniform and probably carry that retractable baton around
- Become a full-fledged sai-gang warrior
Definition of "her" : The little angel in my life, who had shown me so much love, care, support and guidiance - I cannot thank you more for making me a much more happy and motivated person. You govern my feelings, guide my thoughts and warm my heart. You play an important role in my life.
The next segment of my life is pretty plotted out. 1 year 10 months of NS followed by 66 weeks of pilot training till I am at the age of 24+, become an assistant flight instructor at a malaysian flying club, clock hours till I hit 25+ with much self study on aviation, apply for the position of pilot @ singapore airlines, hold my breath, hopefully gain acceptance and start my Lerjet training phase. If I fail, not all is lost, maybe down to South Africa or up to China, take my pick, pack my bags and hopefully return with my wings.
What a uncertain journey I am embarking on. If I lose my hands/legs/eyes my dream is gone for, should I stop riding my bike? Hell no.
I was talking to a senior flight instructor who happened to be a father of my friend's. He told me, riding a motorcycle trains you to be alert, and encouraged me to continue, as he said, "Rise and shine! Bushy tail" like a squirrel, alert and always active.
Pilots are a uncommon breed. You don't have to be good at memorizing thick history books or score straight As in exams, but be hella good at a whole lot of other things. Be it mental sums, 3-steps ahead anticipation, high level stress managment, keeping cool in life-threating situations (Especially when the plane is plunging down to earth like a meteor with a passengers pissing in their pants and screaming
Besides being service orientated and having a smooth voice over the intercom, you must be fit, have an understanding and non-paranoid wife who is not afraid you would get seduced by the stewardess.
He told me, "Think twice before entering this profession, for when you are a pilot, you become a porcelain, smooth and shiny while still intact, but once broken no mending back."
When you are at the bar drinking with your friends, you slap your head and go, "Shit my medical's tomorrow!". (Pilots undergo stringent medical checkups to validate their licence annually.)
When you have enough money to own a nice car, you can only drive it 2 weeks in a month.
To me, if I were to worry this much, I would never be a pilot. So who cares if I don't get fixed weekends? I get to travel the world while working, fly expensive planes and ferry people with a sense of professionalism.
This is my chance to be a pilot. I gotta take it by the balls and shout, "Once in, I ain't going to look back!", soar to the sky unafraid if I would ever come crashing down to earth. I will try my best to follow what I have just stated. I know the very huge shoes to fill. Whatever it may be, to the sky I come.
As in the words of Leonardo da Vinci:
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."
Posted at Monday, September 25, 2006 by zhang747
Friday, September 01, 2006
Captain Wannabe and the world of Tomorrow
Let's put Myanmar aside for awhile. The photos ain't coming soon.
It was over dinner once at this flashy posh "God of Chefs" restuarant that my father reminded me of my future plans. He prompted, "So are you keen on pursuing your degree in Aviation?", and though slightly caught by surprise I answered, "Of course!". I was immediately awoken.
Time to start doing my homework and hunt various pilot forums for much needed information. Getting a pilot's licence is not as easy as get a car licence unfortunately, as there are tons of papers to sit for and lots that need to be learned for one to qualify to soar in the sky. There's various levels of licences, starting from PPL (Private Pilot's Licence) to CPL (Commercial Pilot's Licence) and finally to ATPL (Air Transport Pilot's Licence). I am going for ATPL definately if I am serious on making flying my career.
There's something about this profession that I just got to mention. If a Singaporean told you he was a pilot, who would you think he works for?
Let me guess...SIA? RSAF? And you would go on further thinking: Wow this guy must be loaded.
I am sure almost all would think so. The thing is however, there are many other interesting roles pilots can take on, eg. Flight instructing, crop dusting, water bombing, sea-plane/domestic transport, or air-taxi service. HOWEVER, that proves to be another problem. The problem with Singapore is:
There are no 100-hectre farms, so no crop dusting.
There are no large forest fires, so no water bombing.
Singapore is so tiny, I don't think people take planes from Tuas to Pasir-Ris or Pulau Ubin for that matter.
Singapore does not have multiple commercial airports, so no air-taxis.
Singapore has only one flying club, and most of the instructors there are ex-air force.
Crap. If I attain my ATPL, come back to Singapore, and get rejected by SIA, I can kiss working in Singapore good-bye. Hah.
Me and my friend has discussed this before, and we are prepared to go wherever empolyment takes us, be it flying small single-propeller planes over jungles in South Africa, or teaching China students how to fly in Shanghai, or maybe crop-dusting at a small farm in Australia to get more experience and flying hours in order to qualify for airliners.
After all, if I don't get a job after spending $70K studying at the Malaysia Flying Academy, my paps would probably kill me. The course I would most likely be enroling in is 1.5 years long, and the academy is based in Malacca.
This is definately a road less taken with many bumps in the road and dead ends to crash into. I guess eventually if I keep chugging at it, I will be flying the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 747 at the right had seat.
That's all for the Pilot Wannabe. Take care poops.
Posted at Friday, September 01, 2006 by zhang747
Thursday, August 24, 2006
For those of you who did not know, I was in Myanmar from the 5.8.06 to the 13.8.06 and at Redang Island off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia from the 13.8.06 to the 17.8.06.
Let's start with Myanmar first.
First stop together with Mum and Dad, Myanmar's capitol, Yangon. This trip was more of my Dad's idea rather than anybody else, which meant early mornings, looking out for birds, looking out for birds and more looking out for birds. Yeah he loves birds. The hotel we stayed in was really nice, it had teak walls and comfy rooms. I got a room to myself as my parents were sharing the other, just loved the bathtub I got to soak in.
Myanmar is a poor country, although probably not as bad as Cambodia. However, the people there are very welcoming and do not show any racial dislike whatsoever. Most of them lead humble, simple farmer lives and don't go around looking at tourists as if they were walking dollar signs.
The city is some crazy place, with people crossing the road as they liked, cars honking anything they could horn at, and on some days even the sun seems angry, and tries to roast you. In Myanmar anything important (Eg. Palaces, Temples, Pagodas) are not hard to spot. If it's made of gold, it's important. And near the hotel where we stayed, there was the mother of all Pagodas, the Shwedagon pagoda made of a few tons of gold. It's some huge gold errected tower. I will get the pictures soon.
If you want to go Myanmar, forget about shopping, it welcomes more of sight seeing/ Buddha viewing. Monks linger the streets while bag carriers wait hopefully at airports and railway stations for people to hand them their bags to carry, so that they can earn tips. Tipping in Myanmar is a common pratice so prepare to give away money like free.
We stayed at Yangon for about 2 nights are were off to HeHo. When we arrived there on the small bumby propeller plane, I noticed the HeHo airport consisted of only a single-storey building and a strip of runway. Nice basic airport - Cool. And the adventure continues...
Posted at Thursday, August 24, 2006 by zhang747
Friday, July 28, 2006
I have gotten my NS enlistment! Finally. It was actually somewhere I was hoping to go, and woo hoo! I ain't going to Tekong, I ain't going to wear the green camo uniform, I ain't going to carry a SAR21 and run in the jungle, and I ain't going to become a commando. Phew. I am one lucky *beep*.
I am going to wear a blue uniform, probably carry a baton, a revolver, a pair of handcuffs and a walkie-talkie, patrolling the streets for gang fights or attend to suicide cases (Hopefully not).
I am required to report at the Home Team Academy in long pants and t-shirt on 10 Oct 2006, which is located at Old Choa Chu Kang Road. The only down-side is, the academy's far. But If i get to ride my bike there, problem solved - which is likely.
I heard a NSF police's life is good, and I get to stay in a "Chalet" while doing my police training. The pay's supposedly higher and I would be able to come out almost everyday after I am posted to a unit.
I look forward to becoming a police man. I am excited actually, not too sure why though? Anyway, 2 more months to go. This is weird but I am actually looking forward to NS. Anyway, next time I hope you won't have to meet me if I am on duty, for the wrong reasons that is. =)
Tc. Chow. Yantz out.
Posted at Friday, July 28, 2006 by zhang747
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
My Dad went for an examination at a specialist yesterday, and they told him he already had 3 blocked heart arteries, a illness called coronary artery disease. His father had a similar problem and got into stroke before passing away at a young age of 50+. He has been administered strong medicine to tackle the arising problems.
I am not sure what made him write his Will some while back? Was it the civil war in Tibet (The country he went to the last time) or was he already aware that his time left was not long? He suffers from asthma and high blood pressure too, damm that's alot of complications for a 56-year old doctor.
I think it's better not being a Doc and being unaware of what's likely going to happen to you, at least maybe the surgeons at the hospital could bluff their way through to console you.
From now on, I gotta be on alert and whenever he looks pale or complains of chest pain, the number 995 I gotta dial in case he gets a heart attack. I pray he will be fine, I just feel he's too young to go. I shall just think positively and keep a look out for him. I have to brush up on my CPR drills too.
Posted at Wednesday, July 26, 2006 by zhang747
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The general manager's coming for a tour later, and my supervisor instructed me, "Just tell him you are a temp staff stationed here to learn more while waiting for your clearance to be done." I guess I just have to look hardworking and busy, something a GM would like any employee to be.
I think this is the best job I have ever done - I sit in the office, watch Youtube, play PSP, do chinese assessment books(don't ask) and munch on biscuits, plus I get paid $6.50 per hour. I come to work everyday with a big smile on my face.
I have been going to Tan Tock Seng Hospital quite frequently as my friend Yi Feng is in for a collapsed left lung due to decompression sickness caused by diving. Apparently she was playing with her cat when she started to feel breathless, a week after a diving trip in Malaysia. When she was told by the docs who stucked a tube into her lung that she might not be able to dive forever or at least a very long time, she got really sad.
Diving is her passion and to have it taken away from her is like preventing me from windsurfing or riding my motorcycle. I wish her a very speedy recovery and I heard from her that she might be discharged very soon, which is good news indeed. I guess the Doc's giving the worst case scenario, and I am sure she can dive again one day, well hopefully.
I am going Redang again with 2 friends during mid-Aug as they want to attain their dive licence, after seeing YF in the hospital I felt a little worried for them. As for me I am just going there to slack and take some time off before my untimely enlistment. Before going Redang however, I am going Myanmar with my parents (Yes only me and my parents), coming back on that same very day and leaving for Redang late that night. - A travelling spree!
Somehow all my siblings are too busy to go Myanmar, therefore the result. I haven't been to Myanmar so it's going to be an eye-opener. I will probably be the equipment carrier cum map-reader on this trip again.
I have started taking my car lessons under scholarship by father, and taught by my friend's father. He's name is Mr leong, and he's a really nice guy, although sometimes he says I am too "kan cheong" and pulls the handbrake to help me stop sometimes even though I can on my own. I guess you can never be too careful with noobs learning to drive and nearly crashing your car. My first lesson went pretty well considering I only stalled twice. I am going for another today and boy oh boy it's going to be at 6pm.
6pm = Rush hour = Angry crazy impatient drivers = get out of the way = Screw off slow "L" plate driver = Road rage
Nevermind, whatever it is I have trusty Mr leong to help me settle anything that's going to happen. I am on my way to getting my licence, Dad's car here I come!
Alright gotta go gotta start looking busy....gotta start looking busy...gotta start playing PSP - Rhymes huh?
Posted at Wednesday, July 19, 2006 by zhang747
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I am at work now. I am writing during work time, again (Shows what an employee I am). That's how precious my free time is. I have stopped working at Samsung customer contact centre last Saturday and no words can describe how thankful I am to be out of that hell-hole. Besides, I left with a bang - I will elaborate further later.
In comparison, over here at kaki-bukit, firstly, it's much nearer to my house, I start work at 9am (Half-hour later), there's pratically nothing to do (I only had to clean the white-board yesterday), and I get to use the com whenever a full-time staff is not around. Besides, I am getting paid $6.50 per hour for nothing. This won't last for too long though, as they are stationing me here while awaiting my EDB pass to be cleared, after which I would start working at raffles tower for a month.
Now what Bang did I leave the security of Accord distri center? (The building where Samsung is located in). Here's how the story goes.....
On the 30th of July's delightful morning, I routinely reached Accord distri center at 8.30am and unusually all the motorbike lots were full. I was already going to be late for work and so I tried to search for an alternative place to park. I decided to park at the basement carpark (a little stupid i must admit) where all the BIG Ceos and directors parked their shiny expensive cars. So, in all that haste, I did not notice a wheel clamp notice for illegal parking, as I rushed to work. I had parked my bike at the corner of a handicap lot, trying my best not to block any car that might have wanted to park there.
As the day went by, my bike was noticed by the security and clamped. While I was locked behind 2 pass-card accessed doors answering phone-calls, The security guards combed the whole building looking for me in the good-will to give me a chance to remove my motorcycle from the carpark and possibly waive the $100 wheel clamp removal fee.
But of course nobody would have known FS5902T belonged to, since I had only been working there for 3 weeks. And so, after finishing work, I headed down to the carpark and saw my motorbike's rear wheel clamped. I was shocked and was a little sian as I had a problem at hand - I only had $60 in my bank, pay day was only coming just tomorrow.
The first thing I did was talk to the guards to negociate, and they refered me to their supervisor who was quite a by-the-book person so I knew my chances of escaping the $100 was a slim since I have already unintentionally pissed them off by making them walk around 8 floors of building.
I made a few phone calls on who could help me with the remaining $40 and only by the 4th one, who happened to be a Temp staff I got to know recently offered to help. The first few who were full-time working adults had no money to help, strange but true? I can only guess.
I then approached one of the Samsung managers (Many thanks to him) to try negociating with the security supervisor to postpone payment till the next day so that I could at least go home and get the cash. They came to an agreement and the security asked me to surrender my IC in exchange for the release of my bike.
I did not bring my IC out and so I gave them my driving licence as I laughed at the back of my mind. I am supposed to come the next day, pay them the $100 and collect back my driving licence. Well, If you think logically, a driving licence only costs $50 to replace, and who would prefer to pay $100 instead of $50?
But I guess none of them knew that I have 2 driving licences in hand. Why so? A wallet which I thought had been misplaced was found at home after replacing my driving licence in the past. So I have 2 driving licences. It's a goodbye gift from me to them I guess.
Anyway I did write an appeal to the director, but he was not in on Friday and Saturday to address it. I did not get his phone call yesterday and so I guess I shall let them have my driving licence and a $100 less profit.
That's some story. Just one of those incidents which makes life interesting. I will try to stay out of trouble next time. I seem to be a fine-magnet.
Alright Justin, I have updated. Happy? Haha. Till next time.
Posted at Tuesday, July 04, 2006 by zhang747
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Here I stand waiting for you. I love you.
I am working now right now, battling through the ever incoming calls on my callmaster V, which serves as a portal between me in this little protected room shielded by 2 doors and the customers of Samsung, as I see the phone lines light up like christmas lights, prompting me to pick the lines up and face the uncertain possibility of facing a repeated caller.
Repeated callers are the ones that come back at you with a vengeance, and some of them take it personally. And their anger is in proportion to the amount of times they have called. Usually those who have called more than 5 times have a rather loud voice I must say. Anyway, I will be out of this crazy warzone soon, and I am contemplating on a job offer which happens to be in a field that I have had bad experience in.
You might want to call it following, or rather, legal stalking, or in other words, Private Investigation. Now now...before I actually sign any papers and happen to get myself cornered again, I shall study this company from head to toe, scrutinize their whole contract with a magnifying glass in my hand, and ask my friend who has worked there before for as much insider-info as possible.
That's the problem with PI companies. They are so good at being discrete not only to subjects, but even to their own empolyees. The pay's great definately, and I can use equiptment from them instead of some crappy one bought at cash converter. Besides reimbursement for petrol and handphone bills, I would have the right to reject any assignment given if I am too tired to perform. - I think every PI needs that.
Lastly, I won't have to give them any offical resignation notice as I am only doing this part-time. Anyway, I might just give it one more shot, and if it turns sour once more, I will kiss being a PI goodbye for eternity.
I have finally received my long awaited PES status, and after being so much checkups, wah-la....It's an "A". And then came my remark of, "Right." - With the eyes rolled.
Anyway, since my PES status is A, I have proceeded to complete the online application for the career as a fighter pilot. Now all I have to do is wait for their letter.
I just hope they give me my enlistment date alittle sooner. Take care peeps. Chow.
Posted at Tuesday, June 27, 2006 by zhang747
Friday, June 09, 2006
Call it retribution. Call it a plot. I was happily laughing at the customer service agents who are working at M1 in the previous post and now here I am, in the same position as they are in, fighting the phone war that happens between customers and customer service agents almost every single day.
You see, I did not apply for a customer service agent job, and the best part is, I only knew I was in for the fun when I got to Samsung at Toh Guan Road on that faithful Monday morning. What seemed like a harmless 2-week temp project at Samsung turned out to be a "DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER" job on my "I will never do this job" list, amongst other jobs such as insurance, working as a reporter or a tour guide.
Me and my secondary school friends are stationed here by my company, Opus IT, to await a G50 clearance pass issued by the goverment to gain entry into the EDB (Economic Development Board) which is our real project that involves dealing with computers not customers.
Anyway, being a customer service agent ain't the most pleasant of a jobs, and besides listening to every customer's little personal request, one must cater to their impatientness and half the time, scolding and raising of voices etc.
One would realize how sian is it to not actually be able to scold the bugger back and skin him alive. All I gotta do is sit-there, go "yes-sir", "Uh-huh","ok sir", and if he is still not happy give him my supervisor's contact number. I feel I really need an alias for the job, as I feel my name has been framed up in various houses and darts are being throw at it.
The office is a crazy warzone, where phones just keep ringing as the agents struggle to fight the ever-incoming bombarment of calls. My phone had never once had an instance where it had stopped ringing for a period of 30secs, and that in itself is quite amazing.
Anyway, Samsung makes almost every electronic product you can think of - Phones, monitors, Laptops, TVs, Washing machines, Fridges, MP3 players, DVD players, Home-theatre systems, printers, fax machines, cameras, video cameras, air-conds, vacum cleaners, and many more. That all equates to more headaches for the customer service department. And with only 14 people attending to the whole Singapore, it's definately a losing battle, as we fail to hit our 96% answered calls target.
Thank god I am only doing this for 2 weeks, if I did do it for 2 years, it would be quite certain that I would shift residence to Hougang chalet. This job is catered to a very special group of people, and unfortunately, I do not belong to that group of people.
Work smart, not hard.
Posted at Friday, June 09, 2006 by zhang747
Friday, May 26, 2006
employer in Singapore has yet to confirm my employment date. I don't
know when they would want to employ me, but I sure hope they
can speed up alittle when making the decision of me having a position
in the company as someone fighting with papers and pencils
or guns and grenades.
kinda hard to plan ahead especially nowadays when most jobs (Yes even
part-time) need commitment for several months and having the
threat of an unavoidable overriding of the nation's greatest employer
ain't helping. Anyway whatever isn't in my control, I shall not
dwell on and patiently wait. I have been working for my computer
company Opus IT and was involved in a 2-week long project at M1 (My
worked together with several of my secondary school friends and a
rather rigid project manager. Usual project managers grant some leeway,
and allow us to eat phytons. The more favorable ones allow us to eat
anacondas - Hah, some lame terms we came up with after direct
translation of the word "Jia Zhua" or eat-snake.
given a bunch of slacking free-loaders, it wouldn't be of any surprise
to see frequent stops at the coffee machine, photocopying machine,
toliet and canteen. These are the worst empolyess you can get,
hey, in all that leg-shaking, we actually finished the
project way ahead of schedule, and damm we knew this project manager
had too much experience, and knew too well how employees make
every hour and every minute of work worth it. Lol. I guess he had
deliberately planned a week extra for a week's project in case we
decided to play lazy, which made it supposedly 2 weeks. So yah we got
"fired" in a week, or disposed of - Another statement of the cruel
it's interesting to see how M1 looks behind those
walls, especially at the customer service department where
employees speak with a fake-friendly-tone that doesn't match their
appearence. By facial expression, you can see how frustrated they get
while talking on the phone to customers but yet having to still
maintain that friendly, gentle tone.
have passed my 2A and boy oh boy you won't wanna know how much I would
really want to get my hands on an italian beauty. But first, I gotta
work for my stallion. My horse needs to change breed from Japanese to
Italian, and italian is more sexy, definately. The monster is calling
to me, and I cannot resist it's calling. You will be mine one day,
and it's only a matter of time.
It's not impossible. It's inevitable. Muhahaha
Good night cowboys.
Posted at Friday, May 26, 2006 by zhang747
This life cannot be taken for granted,this life cannot be led by this so called "Fate" because this is MY life. You are in control of your mind, body, soul, spirit and destiny. Let no one rid you of such power, for which this is what makes you yourself. Believe in yourself, because you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Life is the relentless pursuit for love, wisdom & happiness.
I would live this life with these words of mine
- Z e r  -