Saturday, April 28, 2007

Natural History Museum

I decided to drag myself out for the weekend and guess where did I go? Well, one of my fave museums in London, the Natural History Museum. Watch this Video I captured on my newly purchased 4GB SONY Memory Stick. It is of the T-Rex.



Saturday, April 21, 2007

Isle of Wight

It is the weekend again and guess where I choose to spend my Saturday at? Oh, well the title was already a giveaway. Myself, Eunice and Jin Siang whom are colleagues from work that I managed to convince to join me on the trip set off to the island in South of England.

We departed from London Bridge at 7.30 a.m. on Anderson Tours coach and left London after the last pick up at about 9.00 a.m. in Earls Court. We arrived at Southampton whereby we took the Red Funnel ferry to Isle of Wight. The journey took us 55 minuntes before we arrived at Cowes.

Godshill
The first stop at the island was Godshill where there was a church on top of the hill.

Isle of Wight
We soon made our way to Shanklin where there was the Chine and the beach. We had burgers for lunch here and spend just little over an hour. The beach was of reasonable English standards.

The next stop was along the coastal road for a picture opportunity before heading to Yarmouth.

Red Falcon
I was dissapointed when I heard that I would not be able to go to the Needles at Isle of Wight but can understand the limitation of hours we have in the day.

Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Oh well, to me it was a well day spent out of London. Please look at my flickr page for the pictures as I will update them on this post soon.

That's all for now...

Benny Ong ; )

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Monday

Once again I started off my day late. I was planning to rot in the apartment until I received a text message in the morning from Margherita. She was a colleague of mine when I use to work at H&M. She said that she will be working today and I figure I might as well just drop by then.

It was 3.00 before I finally pulled myself out to Knightsbridge. I arrived at the perfect time as she was on her lunch break whereby we decided to grab some drinks from Starbucks before comfortably seated ourselves behind the store. It was nice because it used to be the spot where I spend my lunch times and tea breaks.

She shared her stories on what was happening and I shared my portion as well. I continued on exploring the store to see a few familiar faces where I met a couple of them. We exchange contact details and agreed to have a drink before I leave London.

I headed on to High Street Kensington to look for another ex colleague of mine Geoffrey. It was nice to see him as I enter the newly renovated store. High Street Kensington is the flagship store for H&M. He looked much thinner now. Well, he commented about my website.

I then drop by Boots to get nail clippers as my nail is growing at a surprisingly fast rate. I headed home after. What a way to end my long Easter weekend.

Well, I am going to force myself to disconnect from the internet to catch up with some work for tomorrow. Till my next post, take care!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Sunday

Day three into my super long weekend break from work. I still have not got into finishing up some stuff for work which most likely I will get to later.

I met up with two friends today, Alvin (High School Friend) and Sarah (Buddy from H&M). I started the day late at about 2.15 pm where Alvin came down to Mansion House Station. We bought Subway for lunch (The Sub of The Day Meal Deal is only GBP 2.99!!!) and headed to sit outside of St Paul’s Cathedral to soak up the sun.

We started to catch up on things and went off to walk across the Millennium Bridge to South Bank to kill time before picking up Sarah which arrived at 3.30 p.m. We decided to head on to Tate Modern where there is a new display by an artist consisting of spiral slides. With me being afraid of heights and due to the other slides being fully booked, we tried the lowest level one.

After walking into a couple of the other exhibitions, we left South Bank to my apartment where everyone had a drink and chilled before 6 p.m. when we joined up with Alvin’s friend Michael and Carrie for Easter Sunday Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. We bid farewell to Sarah who had to leave. The service lasted about over an hour and I joined the queue to receive blessings.

Soon it was dinner time whereby we headed to Earl’s Court for Thai food in an apparently well rated restaurant called Adie’s or something like that. I had Phad Thai and Green Curry. The bill came up to £ 55.00 for four of us which is reasonable.

I bid farewell to the bunch and called it an evening after that. That’s all for now and till next time. Take care.

Benny Ong

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Day Trip To Wales

Today, I manage to get my lazy bum out of the apartment for a day trip to Wales on Anderson Tours which only cost GBP 37.00. It was one of those trips that I did not manage to get around doing when I was in London last time.

We departed from Earl’s Court station at 9.00 a.m. and made our way on the M4 directly to Cardiff. The coach was full and the journey took us about 3 hours inclusive of a 45 minutes break.

City Hall, Cardiff
City Hall, Cardiff
We arrive at Cardiff a little over noon when we picked up our Welsh guide (luckily the guide speaks English or else I would have never understand a word!) and headed straight for the city center where we commenced our sightseeing tour on board. I was kind of struggling during the one hour sightseeing tour as the weather outside was about 23 Degrees and the bus was cold. I couldn’t wait to get out as I can hardly snap any pictures from inside the coach.

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
Once we pulled to the side, we were only left with about an hour to do our own leisure sightseeing. If you can’t see any pictures attached to this post is because I am still waiting to upload it. Places that I managed to take photos of were the entrance of The National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff Castle, City Hall, Cathay’s Park and the Millennium Stadium.

Entrance of Caerphilly Castle
Caerphilly Castle
We left at about 3 for Caerphilly Castle which is only just 15 mins away. According to the guide, the castle is one of the largest in the UK along with Windsor and Dover Castle. This castle even has a portion of its tower leaning which out leans Pisa’s famous example.

We started our journey back to London 45 minutes later with a scenic view of Wales. The journey home seemed longer and I arrived safely back at 8.30 p.m. I quickly ran into the first supermarket I can see to stock up for the long Easter weekend.

That’s all for now and I am still deciding where to spend my next weekend. Definately not in London.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Beauty of E-Filling

Today, I just completed declaring my income to the Inland Revenue online. It was fairly simple although I would have appreciated a better description of each field. Kudos to Malaysia for taking it a step further!!! The good thing of the whole online process was that I did not have to be physically present in Malaysia to do it.

My company e-mailed me a scanned copy of the EA form which assisted me in doing my e-filling online. The presentation conducted by the Inland Revenue at my office was also beneficial as most of us have never done a tax declaration before.

All you need is your 16 digit pin number provided by the Inland Revenue and your IC number. I am not too sure on how people who don’t have their pin numbers can retrieve them. I am pretty sure the friendly people at your closest tax office can assist. Call them at the number on their website.

Oh well, since I was on the topic of taxes, it stirred my curiosity to see what I can spend on this year 2007 to pay less to the taxman. I discovered two major tax rebates that I would fully utilize:

1) RM 3,000 rebate for Personal Computer every 3 years. (Previously RM 500 every 5 years)

2) RM 1,000 for books, journals and magazines. (Previously RM700)
What does that figures mean to people that are paying taxes in Malaysia? Well, that means you can spend that amount which will be rebated from your taxable income. For me, I will be purchasing a new PC and RM 1,000 worth of reading materials. However, do remember to keep your receipts for up to six years because it is the right for the Inland Revenue to request for them during that duration. That is the law that hasn’t change.

Click here for a transcript of the Malaysia 2007 Budget to see what else you can benefit from.

That’s all from Benny!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

From London to Chicago

 
Chicago

  

Today my boss is making her weekly trip from Amsterdam to London for some meetings and she was very kind to have allowed me to choose a theatre show of my choice to watch as a treat.

 
Tina Arena

Tina Arena as Roxie Hart

 

It took me a while but I decided to go for Chicago at Cambridge Theatre because Tina Arena is playing the lead as Roxie. She was one of the singer’s that I listen to when I was just starting secondary school. It was surprisingly to see how tiny she is in person.

The whole play lasted about 2 hours with a 15 minutes interval. The performance was no doubt amazing by all the actors. I particularly envy the well build body of the male actors. I wonder how much effort they put in getting those firm chest. Loads of hard work I reckon.

Well, there is nothing much I can elaborate further about the play as the story line was exactly like the movie. I was particularly impress that the band sits and face the audience which is usually not the case unless my two theatre experience is not sufficient. They also fully utilize the whole stage to the maximum the small area.

It was well worth the whole evening and it took some stress of my back although I was a bit struggling to stay awake from the alcohol earlier. 

Benny Ong