Malaysia : Independence Day

9:00 AM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

It is 31 August and a very memorable day for me and the rest of Malaysian alike.  It is the day back in 1957 where the hail "Merdeka" .... "Merdeka" .... "Merdeka" fulfiling the atmosphere of Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister.

Eventhough the independence was gain without any bloodshed with the British Empire, the nation have to endure several events that each events are significant milestone towards achieving the independence.  

It started with the Japanese Occupation during WWII from 1942-45, the hardship was told from generation to generation.  I remembered my late grandfather, told me his experience as British Army during Japanese occupation.   He told how the people find very hard to find food to eat and killing and bombing never stop during the occupation.

Another significant event that brings Malaysian together between Malay, Chinese and Indian together was the state of Emergency which happens from 1948 and ended on 1989. This is the longer duration where eventhough Malaysia gain its independence in 1957, the peace interruption by the Communist of Malaya Party (CMP) was told again and again from generation to generation.  My father was in the Armed Forces during 1960s through 1987 and told the story how the three races get together facing the imminent forces of evil.  Lots of soul buried in the Malaysian soil defending from the attack of Communist Ideology.  

We get through the emergency totally in 1989 where the CMP surrendered totally to Malaysian Government and starting that point, there's to turning back for Malaysia to build the nation to what it is now.  Still there some conflict here and there but as a nation we take it one at a time and move forward to achieve common goal.

As 53 years passed by, I'm proud to say that I'm Malaysian and proud to be the son and grandson for those who fight for its nation.  

I am concern though with the new generation that seems to forget how hard to erect the "Jalur Gemilang" (Malaysian Flag), develop the constitution and build the nation.  Some of them a playing fool with the sovereign symbol of the nation just because a small conflict they experience with the authority.  They seems to think nation should be perfect without any conflict and a conflict is unacceptable.  They forget about being born and being called Malaysian sometime we need to participate in the problem solving of the conflict around us.  

To my new generation, nation is not build overnight. It take sweat and blood to erect it.  Just because we endure the prosperity due to the sacrifice of our founding fathers it doesn't mean we need to trade our flag, constitution and national symbol toward satisfying our pre-mature needs.

Our job is to maintain this prosperity, harmony and security so that our next generation can enjoy this independence and can pass on to the next generation.  Don't let our mind be messed with unnecessary ideology that will ruin the nation.  Don't let racism break the development of the nation.  And finally don't let other nation that envy with our prosperity to cloud our mind with their ideology and so call "democratic" practice.  We build our nation with our own mold.  Let not this mold be compromise with what we learned from outside.  What we learn from outside is to make the mold better and not to change to mold to something else. 


3 Days Silent

11:36 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Dear friends, 

You may realized that I've been silent for 3 days. This is due to some planning that I made to improve this blog particularly to add new topic categories such as "Health and Diet".

I'm also working on adding few other categories like:

  • Running for Own Reason.
  • My Malaysia.
  • Book Review
  • And finally Project Management.
Most of these new entries will be seen in September and hopefully they will add value to your reading experience for the month of September.


Showdown Air Combat

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Night of Aug 25. I was sitting at my living room watching one of my favourite TV Channel, the "Discovery Channel". In this show (Showdown: Air Combat : JET ACE: F-86 SABRE vs. MiG-15), I was triggered by a quote "It takes the plane, the pilot, and the tactics to win the dog fight"

The significant from this quote, enabled me to connect to my workplace discussion with another three keywords which are the technology, the people, and the process.

I was a practitioner of this concept when I was working as satellite operator. Implementing this concept helps me to drive through rank and file from a senior engineer to become a manager within three years.

I learned that by blending these 3 keyword it been proven to drive your idea to become organization practice.

It started with understanding the nature and nurture of people I work with. Then communicate the idea through technology and best practise, and finally converting those technology into organization process that been followed by everyone.

Look simple to write huh... but it is not easy to implement it.

However, the success rate were contributed by consistent communication to create awareness and educating target people. The idea then been supported by your intergrity and the manifestation of your ownership on the subject.

After several failure, improvement efforts and timely execution, the idea now had become a process and the standard practise in that company today.

It also takes some leadership skills to make this happens. I'll share with you in my next entry.


Topkapı Palace, Istanbul

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Topkapi from the sea
For 400 years, the Sultans of Ottoman Empire resided here as their official and primary resident. It is now a huge museum which tells a story once an Islamic Empire stood in the edge of Europe and become one of the icon of the civilization of 15th Century.  I took this opportunity to visit this historic site.  I heard and read that some belongings of Prophets Muhammad (SAW) are displayed here.  There are lots of area to cover in this huge palace which give me an impression how the muslims during those year think big in what ever they do ... Just like the superpower today.

Imperal Gate: Wikipedia
To get in, your entered the Imperial Gate, you'll than landed on the First Courtyard.  It is like going back in time.  However, that is just the tip of the iceberg ...  Walking through the beautiful garden facing the bosphorus sea, I'm seeing some kiosk for drinks and meal for visitors. The lawn and the flowers .... amazing.  I think this entry is going to be the longest entry I made so far ... :) .. 

Wikipedia: Royal Mint Building
I passed by the building that used to be the Royal Mint building and also a church called Church of Hagia Eirene.  To tell you the truth .. this is my first time going into a fort or castle ... 

Salutation Gate
The next gate is the Salutation Gate, this is the entrance of Second Courtyard.  To enter, from here forward, you need to pay about TL 20.00 to get in. From my perspective, it worth every penny you pay. The exhibits, the workmanship of this old site, the historical value that it got ... it will go with you in your heart.  You'll remember this experience for a long long time.

Scale Model: Wikipedia
After the security check at the Salutation Gate, I saw the scale model of Topkapi Palace.  Looking at the scale model, and imagine how it looks like back then, I would say it is not a palace but a city !!!!  Then follow the straight marble arranged path to the door toward Third Courtyard.  On the right side of the path are some building which they said to be a kitchen ... a kitchen!!!!! .... suddenly my stomach is growling ... I need something to eat first .... I'll come back in next entry tomorrow.

Note:  I'm still collecting the pictures I took from the visit as it is scatter all around by picture folders.  Once I've organized the picture the wikipedia pictures will be replace with the one that I have. For those picture that I missed I'll still use wikipedia picture


Building trust at workplace

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Workplace is like a marketplace.  The only different from the normal marketplace is everybody are working under one roof to achieve organizational goal.  In this workplace, idea and solution are commodities.  

Everybody in the workplace come from different background... for example, accounting background, human resource background, engineering background and so on. We also call these different background domain.  We sometimes appreciate other domain less due to our focus on our own domain or we feel comfortable with our own domain where we may think that other domain are not necessary to work with. If we think like this, we are in "Alice Wonderland".  In real life, everybody needs everybody.

We need each other to make things work, thus it is important that you build a trust between these people  Build the trust and be consistent with the idea and the progression. Keep people in the loop, highlight difficulty and options. Finally be decisive and responsible. Pointing fingers will not solve any problem.  Keep the communication language simple. This is because we are communicating across domain.  Accounting people speak different language than engineering people ... and we must accept that.


New Category to be Introduce

7:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments


I was browsing and following few blogs today and health food and diet content seem to attract some attention here.  So, I'm building some simple concept to bring in health and diet into this blog.  Tentatively the first entry on health and diet would be somewhere next week. 

Wondering if this is a healthy food???


Keep doing it...

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

On Thursday, 19 August 2010 I went to CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accounting) Office to listen to an evening talk. The topic of the talk was "Speed Reading".  I do not have any association with CIMA proffessionally. My proffessional association is with PMI (Project Management Institute).

So what in the world do I mingle with the accountants :)? People says that knowledge is everywhere it does have to be within your domain.  It can be outside of your domain. 

What did I learned from this evening talk?  The speaker, shared for two hours the techniques for speed reading which is skills that is not gain within the session but it need discipline and consistent practice to get the skill of speed reading. 
The other lesson learned from this evening talk was, in what ever we do regarding new skills, we'll go into this processes;
  • Learning and understanding.
  • Forming stage.
  • Performing stage.
Learning and understanding is quite straight forward. It is where you'll be expose to the definition, techniques and examples.  This first stage is more toward preparing you with the awareness and understanding. 

Once you got the awareness and understanding, you are pretty much on your own. This stage is called forming stage. It is were you start experiencing with the techniques, learning best practise, make mistake and learn from it.  This stage is the most challenging part. This is were most people stop the effort probably due to they reach their breaking point, efforts which does not achieve their expectation and frustation with all the effort that goes to the drain. For me, the effort will be worth if we continue with it. It is like learning how to ride a bicycle. You fall down and frustrated because you cannot properly ride the bicycle. However, after a while after consistently try and try and finally able to properly ride the bicycle. 

The same goes with new skills. You try and try and fail and make mistake .. until one day .. the skill becomes natural and you're very comfortable with the new skill.

Once you reach this level, you'll reach the next level which is the performing stage.  Performing stage is where you're comfortable with the skill. The skill is no longer new to you. And at this stage you start improvising your skill and start doing lots of magnificent technique which sometimes comes from your ownself.

So the lesson learn from this talk was.  No matter what do you do ... don't stop doing it ... failure and mistake is normal...keep doing it .... get support and going deep into the learning until the skill becomes part of you. One day ... it becomes so natural that you can just do it with your eye close.


Managing Workload @ Workplace

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Ask yourself these questions when there's workload in your plate: 

  • What are the priority items? 
  • What are the loads which not my specialization and who can do it? 
  • What are the loads which need extra efforts? 
  • What are quick wins load?
The benefits of having these questions answered are you'll be getting better understanding on your limitation and energy level.


Iftar With College Friends

3:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

It was Friday 20 August 2010.  I accepted Pak Tam invitation for iftar with the ex-IU9s. Driving to Putrajaya Equestrian Park excitedly to meet old college mate.  

It was King Sawa's birthday and the host intend to make this night a memorable night for him.

Arriving at the park, we we're greeted by police !!! Tun Mahathir was there for the iftar with the kids from ophanage house.
Anyway .. that's his function .. we the xIU9 .. got ours to enjoy ...
Some improvement seen compared to the last iftar ... most of us have shaped up especially on their belly ... :) ...

Howeverrrrrrr ... the forehead areas are gaining some grounds ... it's deforestation :) ...
It is a good evening, all of us manage to catchup with each other, recalling the memories and sharing jokes.  Something that we missed after college....

The food was excellent and I recommend this place for those who intend to have iftar at this place.  Fees is quite reasonable. It is around RM 45 per pax.
So guys keep in touch ... we may catch up more frequently after this....


What !!!! Workload ...

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Every single individual are unique. Each has strength, weaknesses and limitation. Workload is an unlimited component. It keep coming and coming. You can yell at the workload and it wouldn't stop, it will keeps coming.

Individual's limitation lies on time and energy. Incoming workload traffic need to be control and not to be stop. Never blame your superior for giving you some big workload, they are like us too with limited time and energy. 

Communicate about the workload, share your thought ... you'll see the light at the end of the tunnel.


New update on Galata Tower

10:11 AM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

I've place few pictures on the Galata Tower entry, just to add some spice to the article.  Enjoy the reading.


Positive Placement

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

To win or achieving your goal depends on blends of these elements:

  • Right amount of efforts.
  • Right timing.
  • Right amount of information in hand.

Too much information is not bad thing but it will increase your efforts to win.
As efforts increase, potentially you will miss your timing and also overuse your resources. So planning is very critical in winning or achieving.


Istanbul : Galata Tower.

11:00 AM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Galata Tower
Hi again, I've spend few days writing about workplace stuff in this blog and today I'm going to share again my trip to Istanbul. This time is Galata Tower. The temperature was quite low in February when I reach this tower and it was windy too. They said again this tower exist since 1324 AD during the Byzantine empire functioning as a light house.  It was made of wood back then but it evolve through renovation works during different administration the final look is made of bricks and mortar.

That's high
To go up, back in those days they use stairs.  Don't worry, it's modern day now .. we will use the escalator.  I remember that I have to pay around 10 Turkish Lira .. which is about 5 Euro.  At the top, there is steep stair going one floor up and ended at the entrance of a restaurant.  Food up there is quiet expensive but no harm trying the sandwich and coffee while enjoying the view from about 90 meters above.  You can step outside to experience the wind blowing and at the same time enjoying the panoramic view of Golden Horn, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Sea of Marmara and lots more view.
Going down to ground floor, there's a sourviner gift counter where you can buy sourviner at reasonable price.

Fresh fruit .. yummy
There's few kiosk selling tea and some snack that you can go for a good price. My one favourite kiosk was the fruit juice kiosk. Fresh fruit squeezed to bring out the juice out of it. ... it is just yummy...


Positive and Winning

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

People always associate positive attitude with winning attitude. Being positive does not guarantee that you're be winner all the time, but it guarantee that you'll be at the finishing line.  Placing some number of efforts and endure on the efforts contributes to the winning. There may be some failures along the way but things that keep a person to reach the winning line is the one with positive attitude.   However, being negative will ensure that you will consistently lose.


Good Life?

12:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

A friend approached me through facebook, two weeks ago saying she envied me for having a good life and job. Looking at my update in facebook, people will believed that I'm having a good life and good job.  Well let me share with you something ... a good life and a good job depends on how you define it .... the life that I'm having may seen to be good to some people but not for others.  
I define my good life as having a job that give me the chance to travel around the world, three beautiful kids and a loving wife.
I once met a security guard working in the island of Langkawi.  I was at the beginning of my career at that time and just having a friendly conversation, we touch about the definition of good life.  The security guard was 60 years old and a good life for him is having what he have now... an average hut facing the beach living with his wife and 12 kids. He also owned a paddy field for him to work on. Asking about the job ... he told me the job is just to kill time ... 
See how different his and mine ... how about you ... how do you define your good life .. it is up to you.... you good life is what you choose .. not what people see...



5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

We now converge the concept of keeping things simple, communicate and solve problem, use this convergence to manage people.
I went for a training on how to manage people skill back in 2006. What I've learned from this training, was to manage people is to manage expectation.
Went you successfully manage expectation again through communication, you can have a clear mind to set your career in the organisation and at the same time go back home on-time most of the time.


Changes on Topic Categories

4:12 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

I'm reviewing my blog and found that the content under business category does not really suit with the topic name. So in order to keep things simple, I am changing the "business" category to "Workplace" category.
I feel that the topic will suit better with the content.


Communicate solve problem

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

In our daily working life, we faced problems either at work or at home.  We cannot avoid problems, it comes when you need it and comes when you don't need it. There's a conversation once that I had with my colleagues,  and the key note that I pick from that conversation was "if we don't face or have problem...we're no human" ....
So what should we do? Solve it ... through communication.
Communicating problems among colleague/family helps to initiate action plan and at the end of the day produce results.
Action plans helps to identify source of the problems.  

Note: Sounds too general ya ... don't worry, more things to come and improvement on the content will be consistently happen. 


Keep talking

5:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

We have touched on how keep things simple. Reason for keeping things simple will help you to communicate. The result of being able to communicate are:

  • You be able to delegate your task for the day.
  • You be able to leverage your time for the work day.
  • You be able to update your team members and superior and get the right support in.

Consistent communication helps you to go home on time most of the time.


Keeping Things Simple

5:30 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Back in year 2000, I was working on a project with Boeing subsidiary.  The engineer is much-much older and more experience that I am.  Well, being a junior engineer and inexperience about some technical and management nature of the work, I complained that there too many problem to solve within stipulated period. .... I complained it to him ... his answer is simple ... if there's no problem .. then there would be no job for people like us.... hmmm...he got a point....  but being so naive .. I ask him back .. to solve this problem????? ... He smiled and say ... "Keep it simple son"..... 
That really struck me ... I sat down rethink back what he said and yes .. keep things simple make sense ... as long as you can explain what you're doing and explain what's going on in a very simple language ... you can come up with how to fix it ... and also getting appropriate support from related specialist.
Lesson learned from here was, work is not about capability to present jargons or showing some technical diagram or flow to people.  Not everybody knows what your are doing ... so the best way to explain what you're doing is in a simple form ... no matter how complex the problem is keep it simple when explaining.


Pictures from Hagia Sophia Istanbul

2:17 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

I'm placing some picture below to sharing:
Picture 1
Picture 1 is the arch gateway inside Hagia Sophia.  I heard that on the second floor they burried someone back during the Roman Empire.  Huge and well maintained column. The time I visited this building some restoration work is in progress.
Well that's interesting .. the question now how to get up there?  Ha .. ha ... to get there you need to go up the ramp not a stair but a ramp...  How does the ramp looks like ... I present you the ramp ... in picture 2.
Picture 2
The camera that I use contribute to the darkeness of the ramp.  In the real case, it is not that dark after all, the light is there.   Reaching at the top, it is back to normal light again .. from the second floor, you can see the first floor ... hehehe ... obviously you can see the first floor ... how silly I am .. 
There's a tomb that I mentioned was in this floor (picture 4) ... Well that's about it for Hagia Sophia at this moment.  I'll update you went I have more picture and some stories that come with it.
Picture 3
Picture 4


Hagia Sophia Istanbul

10:57 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Tonight I'll be talking about Hagia Sophia. During my first visit to this superb structure, it was after the Blue Mosque visit. Too late to go in.  Several visit around Istanbul during weekend brings me to the Hagia Sophia but still I did not dare to go in.  
I don't know why, probably because this building existed since the Byzantine empire which give me goose bump about this building.  
Anyway, on my sixth visit to Sultanahmet Square, what the heck, there lot of people going in and enjoying their experience.  It is not that this building going to fall down is it? It survive the last earthquake so why worry?
So I paid at the ticket counter for 20.00 TL and moving close to the entrance.  Wonderful finishing and I give a lots of respect to the those who design and build this building.
Next step is to walk into the center hall.  Wow!!!! it is so huge .... I became like a kid wondering around the hall observing and appreciating the internal architecture of this building.
Let me share the picture with you ... let the pictures tell the story.

At the Main Entrance
Ruins from Byzantine Empire
What a huge door
Centre Hall
More picture to come on Hagia Sophia in next entry  .......


Blue Mosque

11:07 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

A Walk From Grand Bazaar
My first visit to this wonderful mosque was in February this year. It was evening, me and colleague walked from Grand Bazaar to this mosque area. Walking is not recommended due the distance between this Grand Bazaar is quite far. I would suggest to take the tram (just 1.50 lira per person) to go there if you're from Grand Bazaar. Or else, you'll spend time sitting at the bench, massaging your own feet and finishing one bottle of drinking water to refresh after nearly 45 min of walking...:).
Front of Blue Mosque
We were facing the front door of the blue mosque and all of us were mesmerised by how the 1500 years old building make it own statement by the strong structure and expression of blue colors that look like coming from the marble stone.
We move into the centre court. I was trying to bring me back into time thinking how did the people back then build the building. Amazing architecture and construction.
Prayer Hall
We then walked into the prayer hall. It was maghrib, or evening prayer time and we joined the prayer session. It felt like being pulled back into the Ottoman empire time and the feeling was unique.  After the prayer, I've look around the prayer hall. Amazingly everything is red in here with the lighting and the placement of the light.  The ambient was supported by the "imam" who recited  the verses in Quran in melodic tone.  Beautiful ... it stunned me for about few seconds looking at the internal surroundings.  Later we went outside and it was dark.  Again I was amazed by the beauty of this mosque from outside.  It is just amazing.  I would recommend those who visit Istanbul to drop by this mosque and experience it yourselves.  For my non-muslim friend, not to worry, they allowed visitors to come in no matter who you are.  This mosque is a must see item when you visit Istanbul. 
Taken at night from the courtyard
Keep on following this blog as I'll be posting another amazing building in my next entry "Hagia Sofia"...


Simple Things that We Sometime Take for Granted

9:00 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Hi again,

Hi .. how are you
It is night, and thanks for still following this blog.  Hope you're smiling today and have a good day.  If  today is not a good day ... don't worry ... it's a new day tomorrow. So make it a good day for you.  Tonight, what I'm going to share is this:
We sometime take for granted some simple things in our daily routine.  Things like greeting people me meet.  Sometimes we're get stuck in a bad traffic where we bring the frustration in traffic to office.  Sometimes, we make mistake on our daily office work which the bosses will spray you with some powerful and heart breaking bullets, and you cannot forget that event where you bring your bad experience to a new day next day.
Try this steps when you face this kind of event.

  • Step one, every morning when you enter your office, again SMILE.
  • Step two, greet everyone you know with a smile and say, "Good morning .. how are you today?"
Well, it may sounds stupid ... but it is something that some of us take for granted. Give it a try and see how it works.


Smile ... and some problems goes away ....

12:03 PM Iskandar Hussein 1 Comments

From Tilly Bud and Laughing Housewife
It it lunch time and I want to discuss about smile today.  Going through some blog about smile, I landed to Tilly Bud and The Laughing Housewife.  The keypoints that I got from this page was "Smile and the World Smiles at you" ....
I wanted to add to this, when you smile, you're indirectly relaxing and refreshing your mind. When you smile to your friends and colleague, you'll realized that most of the time they will smile back at you.
Smile make you feel good ... so lesson for today .. try to smile at the beginning of the day everyday.  It will make your day.


What I do for living?

9:00 AM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

weee..i'm flying!!!
What I do for living? Good question.  Let me share with you what I do for living. I manage project. That's it.  Hehehe .. so simple? Yup .. life is simple ... don't let your life complicated ... actually I'm working with a software company providing solution for Telco company around the world.
This is not my intention on this entry actually.  The real intention is to share with you that what I do for a living is I help people not to go home late from work and have quality time at home with their family.
How do I do that? Few key points to share:

  • Keep things simple.
  • Keep communicate.
  • Keep solving problem.
So what I do for living is not about 9 to 5. It's about enjoying the life that you have.  So a question for you ... If  I can solve some portion of your daily challenges in your organization or some portion of your daily routine would it be worth 10 minutes of your online day to read this blog?

Keep following this blog and see what I going to share with you.


In Malaysia for Ramadhan

3:52 PM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Once in Office
Lots of story to tell and lot of things to share with my beloved wife and kids.  It is 9 August 2010 and still got 1 day to go before the grand month of Ramadan.  Being in this job allows me to control my schedule so for this whole month until aidilfitri I'll be spending my time in Malaysia with my family and friends.
I'm not on vacation ya... I still have to go to office in Malaysia as usual.  And yes, I'm not some top gun of a company. I'm still an ordinary people who earn their living working in office and have bosses to report to.  But I have an extra ordinary life and I'm enjoying my life.
Ramadhan is a boot camp for me to refresh my soul and health.  I'm going to enjoy waking up early before dawn, crawling to the dining table for some early meal.  I'm going to enjoy going back early to enjoy my wife's iftar cooking.  During weekend, I'm going to enjoy my mum's cooking and tell story over dinner and supper.
My small family
I'm going to enjoy going for tarawikh with neighbours until near midnight.  It is going to be my routine  for the next one month and a half until my next assignment in Istanbul.
For this month is a month where I'll be devoting by life to my family and God.



Dubai : Transit Story

2:31 AM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

Gate to Istanbul
The flight from Istanbul was at 7:25 pm.  I like taking Emirates flight because of good experience I have with this flight.  Food is good and the cabin service is exceptional.  My flight to Kuala Lumpur transited in Dubai. 
If you ask me about Dubai airport, I would say this is a massive shopping mall rather than an airport. Lots of people but still you still have rooms to walk around.  Facilities are superb and the free duty good are reasonable.
Something that I learned is there's lots of Philipinos and Indian nationality working at the free duty shops which sometime while having a minor jet lag, I felt myself not in Dubai.
The internal decoration of this airport is simple but nice to look at. They did a good job in making the airport green friendly.  Chocolate shop is my favourite destination everytime I reach this airport. My favourite choice of chocolate is patchi chocolate.  It got some good texture that amount of nuts inside is just nice for you to enjoy the taste.  
I'm hoping in my next trip I would like to try to stop by in Doha.  The field works that I'm been assigned right now allows me to commute until first quarter next year so .. lots of things to explore and share.
At the Airport Garden


Turkish Hospitality

11:06 AM Iskandar Hussein 1 Comments

I've been commuting from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul since February this year. How time flies, it has been 6 months, I've been on this field assignment. Lot of things learned, and I learned new things every time I step in Istanbul.
Today's topic is about Turkish Hospitality. What I learned from each visit was they never failed to greet their guest in their own way. They never fail to smile and say hi even though they did not know you.
Their taxi drivers is the group of people that I always amazed. It worth every penny you spend on them.
I'll share you 2 experiences that I have with them.
Experience 1:
Me and team were working late at in office in European side. It was like 50 km from hotel.
It was late and we need to go hotel. This taxi driver didn't know where was our hotel because it is not within his coverage area. Guess what, he called his friend who knows the way to our hotel.
Then he brought us safely to the hotel ...
Experience 2:
I left my phone in the cab one day. Realizing that it's hotel taxi. I called the hotel to report that I left the phone in the cab.
The reception told me to pick up my phone when I finish work because the driver had returned my phone to the reception desk.
Talking about integrity...probably my taxi friends in Malaysia should take these example as their working culture.

On the other experience not related to taxi driver but related to Turkish people:
During my first visit to Istanbul me and team were greeted at the office by the customer. And they pay us lunch... I told them that I'm their vendor so I should pay the tab.
Guess what did they say ... "You're our guess in our country, so we treat you"
Well that's some experience that I have while in Istanbul. I'm blessed that I did not experiencing an unpleasant moment here in Istanbul.
Thanks Istanbul ... For your Turkish Hospitality.


Maltepe Markezi

2:07 AM Iskandar Hussein 0 Comments

It is 8:39 pm Turkish Time, another 23 hours before my flight to Dubai.  I did go to Maltepe Markezi today for some windows shopping.  Alzam and Izwan bought some handbags for their beloved wife.  

I went to my friend's shop at Medine Pazari to see what's new things that he got for me.  It is not my day today, he's not in his shop .. He's in Pendik.  Nevermind I bought some souviner for my parents in law .. hope they're happy. 

At Maltepe Markezi Tea Shop
I forgot the name of this tea shop. I didn't went it today but this picture was taken back 3-4 months ago.  This is the best place to hang out.  As you see the small buildings next to the three Turkish girls, that are all cafes.. so I would recommend you to come down to Maltepe Markezi for evening hang out.

This area is fully pedestrian area and lots of small shops.  From what I see here not much tourist here probably because this is where local people get their daily consumables, clothes and etc. 
Not to forget hanging out.  We do have some problem communicating in English with them. But local here are nice.  They try their best to understand what you're saying.  They try to find their friend who knows English.  Talking about Turkish is something that will make me to come over and over again.
Maltepe Downtown
Picture on the left is the area where the traffic is. This is where more shops lots and most of well known brand products were sell here. I'll name a few like Adidas shop, Sony .. you got the picture.
Pedestrian area
And the picture on your right is the pedestrian area.  Again lots of small shops selling various things and you can get bargain ... unless you know how to speak Turkish a little ... keyword .. "Inderim" .. :)
Let see if I have some more picture to share here. 

Cooking Pita Bread from here
I was sitting on one of the kiosk, waiting for my sandwich.  Something caught my attention.  If you see a picture in the middle, there's a steel body and blackish dome like object.  It's a stove for turkish pita bread.... they feed in the cooking gas into it and it heat up the dome. 
Place the knead dough on the dome for few minutes and walla... lunch is served. ....
Talking about lunch ... it's 9:05 p.m.  I start feeling hungry ... I'm going down to the cafe for some snack....

See you in next entry....