Saturday, June 30, 2012


24th June >> Run For A Reason – I have completed 5KM Fun Run of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2012. It took me 45 minutes altogether. The plan time was 30 minutes. Nonetheless, as this is my first marathon; I consider it a success. Tired legs. Strenuous at times too. But awesome feeling :)

For our category – we even have our DPM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Sports Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek to flag us off. Playing emcee for the day was the loveable Rashid Salleh. Lots of fun, great atmosphere :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

German Bull

Brotzeit - 3 days before I left the French, I joined Ling Ling & her 2 good buddies for dinner at the Brotzeit which was situated at the main entrance of Sunway Pyramid, just in front of the Starbucks Coffee and it is beautifully made with the settings of outdoor & indoor dining. It’s a modern and contemporary German restaurant and bier bar; serving authentic Bavarian Cuisine and premium Paulaner family of biers. Ling Ling bought this Groupon Voucher which entitle us to a mixed cold platter (presented on a wooden board) where it is served with various types of authentic German delights. On it, there are the leg ham, pork belly, hunter sausages, pork knuckles, pork ribs, obatzda cheese, green bell peppers served with a selection of German sauces. The combination of it is simply good and the overall taste of it is simply excellent & fresh. Tasty, crispy, salty, tangy, sweet! For beer lovers, you may order their bier which comes with different flavors as well as from the lightest to the darkest bier. The bier comes in 4 sizes – Klein (0.3L), Halbe (0.5L), Mass (1L), and Trophy (3L) where they cater for different crowd and customers too. The ambiance was nice, the service was excellent, the food was great. It was a very good dining experience, I recommend it :)

Melbourne Victory

First day at work – well, the place is huge and they do not put up any color scheme to indicate different department or any signages around, thus I got lost twice :( There is no covered car park…so very pity that my Proton Saga has to be park under the hot scorching sun :( The food varieties here are very limited…I missed Chatime :( Job wise – I think Buying / Merchandising / Sourcing is the same everywhere but what I am really struggling with right now is their system. They are such dinosaurs! :( I have my own room now. There are pros & cons to it. I guess after being with the French for 3 years & 10 months, I am so used to the open space and now I feel so alone & lonely. No doubt having a room means privacy and good for the ego but getting help means walking next door to Leonardo’s room. Where as previously, Rufus, Celtic & Stewart was just a table away. But I also thank GOD that Leonardo’s room is just next door so help is easier to get. Due to the walls, the people here seem to be colder & unfriendly. They are not so much community-oriented people. Or perhaps that they have worked here for so long that they have their own gang that they didn’t want any newcomer to mix with them. I feel that the place is lacking of warmth, laughter & love.

Of course the other perks of working starting at 9am (means I can sleep in late), the office is much nearby to my house, I can claim for handphone allowance and getting 10% staff discount is also good too. I guess there is no such thing as perfection. I gained some, I lose some. I’m wondering…hmm…what if…IF…I have stayed for another for 6 months with the French…for my CV to look nicer as I have been a Division Manager for a year and also to join in the fight with my fellow comrades…what will happen? :) Stop thinking too much Yingze. Move On. Keep Going. All Is Well :)

Shanghai Shenhua

My last day with The French – of course I am sad. I am here for almost 3 years and 10 months. I didn’t even get to celebrate my 4th Anniversary with them. This is the place where I have learned lots, gained lots and experienced lots. My trade knowledge was built here, my personality was forged here. I have grown here. I have graduated from the school of hard knocks :) I will miss everyone and everything here. The hardest part was saying my goodbye to Stewart who has been such a good mentor, role model and parental figure to me. I also feel guilty that I have to leave Stewart alone to fight the uphill battle that is ahead of the team. And this is also Stewart’s second time of losing the whole Team Baz. Well, Stewart is indeed the true survivor and the last Team Baz member standing. But I know that Mrs. Simon, Victoria, John Doe & Azreen will do their best in assisting Stewart. I also will be missing both of my William & Henry. Even though our time spend together is short – they have been excellent to work with and have helped me so much in many ways. Without them, I would have been struggling from head to toe and would have given up earlier. I will missed my Leisure, Luggage, Toys, Furniture, Gardening, Household and many others past & present suppliers, the store people, the supporting team and many more. We are so tight-knit; like a big family. And I hope that I will be extra hardworking moving forward in keeping in touch with this "La famiglia" of mine. I don’t deny that there was a deep down of reluctance to let go of everything that I have with the French and move on to a new one. It would be like…really…truly closing a chapter in my life and starting a new one. Thank you, thank you all so much for the teachings, the fun, the love, the joy, the pain and most important…the beautiful friendship :)

Life Inspired

This month of June – 2 very significant events have taken place in my life :)

First – I turned 30; officially a year older (again) and hit another new milestone in my life :)

Secondly – I have decided to tender my resignation with the French and will pursue a new adventure with the Hong Kies at G13. It was not an impromptu decision. It was something that I have planned since February. However along the way, nothing suitable turns up. I did not have faith in the Rocket Internet business model. I become very sien when I hear that the Japanese have to work on alternate Saturday on a full day basis. Courts Mammoth is too far; all the way in Setapak. I did not want to be a part of one of my supplier new furniture business venture. FMCG companies cannot wait for me for 3 months.

Thus, this G13 opportunity arises when Juan Carlos decides to hires Jonas from G13, Jonas’s immediate Boss (now my new Boss – Leonardo) gives me Jonas’s portfolio. So yeah…in a way…Jonas & I are swapping places. I know that there are people who have voice their concerns on my departure, some are claiming that I am making a mistake. I am letting go of my Division Manager position to become just a Category Manager. People are wondering why I am downgrading myself. Don’t get me wrong. I love my work at the French. I enjoy the relationship that I have over there. However, the environment is really no longer conducive for me to stay. When I came back to D33 January this year, Juan Carlos gave me 2 Missions which are to Fix The Department & To Get Back The Suppliers Support. But along the way – the tasks that Juan Carlos has instructed me to do began to contravene with the above objectives. I am not aggressive in climbing the corporate ladder but I am aggressive in making sure that I do my job well, that I know that I have given & do my best and have contribute one way or the other.

Being 30 also – I realize that I just want a day job and to spend more time to pursue my other leisurely interest. I don’t want a high flying job anymore. If I have paid off everything for my car or any housing loans – I wouldn’t even mind an administrative or customer service work. I’m not a fortune teller. I don’t know how my journey will be like for the next 6 months. I don’t know how I will end my 2012. Staying or going – my chances are 50 – 50. If everything turns up good – awesome. If it turns out completely the opposite – then life still moves on. I have to fine-tune it, make some adjustments and make the best out of it. It's called living. Life is short. Like I have always said – I want to be a better person, I want to manage my life & relationship better and I want to lead by example. I don't want the years to pass by me just like that. I want to add value to my life & to others, to give back to the community & society and to be fully contented. I thank GOD for continuing working in me, for putting me on the right track - I think I am much more cantankerous, passionate, agreeable, light hearted, wondering, can-do, secure in myself, compassionate, and, more often than not, having thoughts of giving back to the community.

So Happy Birthday to me, and here's to hoping that the next decade is as fun and joyful as the last has been. Hoorah! :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Direction

So, to continue my below story…yup, after I came back from my holidays…I was right…both William & Henry indeed got some minor bashing from Juan Carlos. I feel a little bit guilty about it as well. Now, I am like the giraffe above, helping to put out the fire :)

Maybe I have been pampering them and being too protective. Henry comes from the operation level and I didn’t want to rush Henry too much, if Henry cannot cope with the whole situation, I won’t be surprise that Henry will be willing to forgo this position and find another job elsewhere. When I was a Management Trainee in M13 – I was very fortunate that I was given the space to grow and to develop myself and I would love that Henry would have that leisurely pace as well. Not every newcomer can withstand the retail pressure. What’s more, if we are going to do it for the long haul.

As for William, everyone has been commenting that William is just only doing 1 category – Luggage and they feel that William can and should take up more responsibilities. Well, they don’t know how messy the luggage category is right now. Once the whole Mid Valley Store have been re-launch and the planogram has been rolled-out to all the stores…my mission for William is to start to do the nitty-gritty work of developing new collections, selecting new designs and to spot-check on the suppliers in order to ensure standardization across all board. I have made the decision to let William to just concentrate on Luggage and have them respect it. But I can’t please everyone now, can I? Why is it whenever I want to do something for myself, I end up feeling really bad about it? Like I’m not supposed to be happy. Maybe the reason I’m left alive is to serve others’ happiness, not my own. Well, let’s just monitor how things go from here.

Cosmetics Unmasked

This is how I feel before I went off for my China holidays last month. I am using the picture above to illustrate my emotions at that point of time :) I can’t swim, so if you ask me to go for swimming or surfing…I will probably have a panic attack, my stress & anxiety level will shoot up to the maximum and I will chicken out from the whole situation. Swimming makes me nervous! The crashing waves. The sea spray. The unrelenting energy of the water smashing and sweeping through the rocks. The rhythmic tide of an ocean is so immeasurable and wet. It can be very terrifying out there. Terrified that I will drown of course. Terrified of breaking my head on the rocks. Terrified of being swept out to the sea and end up like Robinson Crusoe :)

But I am not going swimming or surfing this time around. I am actually going off for my well-deserve holiday break…I will be out from the office for a solid 8 days…leaving both William & Henry alone to look after our fort :) Yikes! I know that my 2 buyers are very capable and independent & they can work with minimum supervision, but I am only afraid what if Juan Carlos tries to make it hard for them. I know Stewart will be around to act as a protective shield but Stewart will also be very busy supervising on other matters as well. Juan Carlos gets very “Kan Cheong” very easily and changes his mind very frequently. I cannot blame Juan Carlos as well as he never did Bazaar before. He has always been a Textile guy. So, Juan Carlos can’t actually visualize the final outcome until he sees the whole picture – Merchandise + Layout – then Juan Carlos starts to make the necessary changes. And this is where the whole team suffers because we have to re-do everything again. Another bad habit of Juan Carlos is that he will go and visit our competitors or other retailers and he will then try to combine all of their concepts into 1. Juan Carlos is so different compare to Iron Butterfly and Snow Petrol because the latter would have sat the buyers down in the first place and decides which concept & direction to pursue. So, the bottom-line is, Juan Carlos makes things very kelam-kabut for everyone because things keep on changing non-stop :) And he is only steady & stable in condition when Stewart or I am around. If the both of us are not around, Juan Carlos will be in fright-mode and whatever we have briefed him earlier on, he will totally forgets about it and he doesn’t believe what the rest of the buyers have told him.

I know it’s silly of me…but a prayer was said. I actually prayed to assure myself that there will be no problems, troubles, annoyance & irritations affecting my suppliers, my store people, the top management and my fellow colleagues & to put a hand on both William & Henry. I know that they are big & brave but I don’t want them to feel de-motivated when Juan Carlos puts them down. Like they haven’t done anything at all. To handle Juan Carlos – is to manage his expectations, informing him what we can do and what we cannot do.

A Greater Glory

Snow White & The Huntsman – James & I were having 2 movie marathons on last Saturday afternoon at 1 Utama. Luckily, James pick the right seating location, thus it helps to eliminate all of our potential body aches. First, we watched Snow, then it was followed by Madagascar 3 :)

Snow White was an astounding movie from the technical aspects – I love the stunning visual and effects of the gothic imagery of the Dark Forest, the fairy tale-like Sanctuary and the very impressive transformations that the Evil Queen undergoes. And the Evil Queen has the most amazing wardrobe ever! The costume of the Evil Queen was absolutely grand & queenly as well. I am not a big fan of Kristen Stewart…I find her acting too stone…but Charlize Theron…oh mind…I fell in love with her character…she steal the show so well and basically overshadow everyone & everything. She was a fearsome queen, twisted, insecure and with just the right amount of vulnerability in her. As a matter of fact, I think if it weren’t for Charlize Theron, I think this movie would have been a flop. I feel pity for the Evil Queen…I truly understand that if one needs to be in power and authority, one have to be young and beautiful…how unfortunate that she was brought up in such a way. It’s a story that does justice to the fairy tale that every child knows but with a darker & edgy twist. I think this movie will even outshine another Snow White movie where the evil queen is being played by Julia Roberts…Julia Roberts? Come on…she is too sweet for that…she can never carry the dark side with her.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Circus Rescue

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – when it comes to milking a good idea, you really have to hand it to the Hollywood film producers. In the first Madagascar movie, Alex the Lion, best friend Marty the Zebra along with Gloria the Hippo and the shy Giraffe Melman escape from the New York Central Zoo and somehow end up in Madagascar where they experience what it is like to be out in the wild for the first time. In Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa – the four try to leave Madagascar in a plane but crash land in an African Sanctuary where Alex is reunited with his family. One would have thought that the franchise would end there but alas it did not.

In this latest installment – the four of them still want to return to their zoo in New York. They somehow manage to travel to Monaco in pursuit of the Penguins who ingeniously flew there in their own plane. The Penguins (with the help of some chimps) are using the golds & gems they mined in Africa to make their fortune at the casino. When the animals are discovered, overzealous French animal control officer Capitaine Chantel DuBois is called in to nab them. Her relentless pursuit of these animals soon lands them among the ranks of a group of circus animals traveling by train to Rome. The newly introduced circus animals such as Vitaly the Tiger, Gia the Jaguar and the soft-heart Stefano the Sea Lion are welcome additions to the movie.

The movie has many funny moments…I love it when King Julien was courting a circus bear that is way bigger than him & rides a Ducati Bike and just about every scene that features DuBois. Plus it’s better than Part 2 and more colorful. As for the rest of the movie, just let the logic fly out of the window :) If they want to continue to make money out of it – I think that the animals next stop will be in Asia since they have already covered the African & Europe continent…they will probably land in China and make friends with the native Pandas.


'HOUSE' Marathon is back – after like what – 2 years? The last time I watched a HOUSE episode was in August 2010…yup, that’s a pretty long long time ago. Stop at Season 5. Now, I am going to continue Season 6…

Pop Pixie

Being a Division Manager is not an easy task.
I always prayed to GOD to grant me wisdom and common sense, put HIS hand on me & to guide me in my everyday decisions, selections and choices because I need to read the situation well, handle the situation appropriately, understand why people behaves in a certain way, unite & organize people around to achieve a common goal or task. Every day I have to make bold decisions for my department and for my people, in the best way possible. Thus, to draw on the strength, on my working table in the office – there lies the below quote that have been consistently guiding & inspiring me to do what is right to both of the internal & external parties involved.

The challenge of LEADERSHIP is to:
BE STRONG, but not rude,
BE KIND, but not weak,
BE BOLD, but not bully,
BE THOUGHTFUL, but not lazy,
BE HUMBLE, but not timid,
BE PROUD, but not arrogant,
HAVE HUMOR, but without folly.

Sometimes – it’s ok – that everyone is telling you what you have to do but it will be best if they can help you to find out, to discover for yourself. So I will learn to better myself. And I will listen. And we should always learn, and listen anyway.


How To Care For Introverts:

(1) Respect their need for privacy.
(2) Never embarrass them in public.
(3) Let them observe first in new situations.
(4) Give them time to think. Don’t demand instant answers.
(5) Don’t interrupt them.
(6) Give them advance notice of expected changes in their lives.
(7) Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing.
(8) Reprimand them privately.
(9) Teach them new skills privately.
(10) Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interest & abilities.
(11) Don’t push them to make lots of friends.
(12) Respect their introversion. Don’t try to remake them into extroverts.

That’s how I should be treated :)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Mad Woman

Finally, the best of the best – Jade Dragon Snow Mountain - about 15 kilometers to the north of Lijiang Ancient Town. It is the highest mountain at the lowest latitude in the northern hemisphere with its major peak of 5596 meters above the sea level. Along the mountain top, it is all covered by snow all around the year and that makes it look like a jade dragon lying on the top of the mountain, therefore it was named “Jade Dragon Snow Mountain”.

I was disappointed that I didn’t manage to get to the peak but reaching the mid-level was also good enough. The mountain also boasts a large quantity of trees, medicinal herbs and various flowers.

This holiday trip was certainly worth it. I found that during this trip, it makes me more focus on nature and I am more in-tune with its pleasures. I feel like all of my senses have been awaken alive. I find that the world is so different – and beautiful – at that point of time.

On The Fringe

The second most memorable place for me was the Jiuxiang Cave. Another joyful & wonderful experience. I was simply at awe and speechless with Mother Nature's amazing creation. Jiuxiang has over 100 caves in total, making it the biggest cave clusters in the whole of China. These cave clusters are listed as one of China’s national-level key scenic areas. Inside the caves, we can find karts caves & picturesque thick forest, twin waterfalls, gorges and the huge natural stone dam cluster. Jiuxiang is also known as the "Natural Museum of Karts Caves" claiming to have the largest, most wonderful and most number of Karts Caves in China. There are about a hundred caves naturally clustered in together. The caves in the area are extremely well-known for its grotesquerie in shape and magnificence in its natural wonder. Jiuxiang; is the home of the Yi ethnic group, has a strong minority ethnic custom, a long and colorful history, and a widely spread ancient myths and tales :)

Fair? Unfair?

Last month – I was in China for my holidays, touring the Yunnan area – covering Kunming, Dali & Lijiang. And one of the most memorable places that I have visited was the Stone Forest. Beautiful isn’t it…simply gorgeous…welcome to the Stone Forrest.

Walking through the site…I am simply marvel and bewitched by the natural stone masterpieces with its intricate formations of vistas and landscapes. All of the stones or rocks over there were strange, steep, elegant, rugged and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characters. The tall rocks seem to emanate from the ground in the manner of stalagmites, with many looking like petrified trees thereby creating the illusion of a forest made of stones. Hence, the name. There were some animals, plants and even human figures that can be found here if you look at it very closely.

The Stone Forest is divided into 3 zones - Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest and Naigu Stone Forest. This Stone Forest (Shilin) known since during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 A.D.) as the 'First Wonder of the World.' Geologists say that the Stone Forest is a typical example of karsts topography; a notable set of limestone formations. Approximately 270 million years ago - during the carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era - the region was a vast expanse of sea. Over time, the movements of the lithosphere gradually caused a retreat of the waters and the rise of the limestone landscape. Due to constant erosion by the elements, the area finally developed into the present-day Stone Forest.

Many beautiful legends originate in this magical place, passed along by the native people known as the Sani, a branch of the Yi ethnic group. One particular story is about the faithful love of Ashima, a beautiful, clever and warm-hearted Sani girl; is the most popular and has been told for thousands of years. After falling in love, she was forbidden to marry her chosen suitor and instead turned into a stone in the forest that still bears her name. The Sani people celebrate their national festival - the Torch Festival - every lunar year on June 24th. They take part in traditional performances such as wrestling, bull fighting, pole-climbing, dragon-playing, lion-dancing and the A-xi Moon Dance. During this time, the Stone Forest is alive with a particularly joyful, festive atmosphere, making the area even more attractive than usual. However, the Stone Forest - with its sculptures engraved by nature, herself - is always a true miracle for visitors to behold. The site is classified as a AAAAA-class tourist site. Wow – 5As.

I think this place is very suitable for a Bollywood Production – the lead actor & actress can play hide-and-seek and then roll down together on the grass, accompany by a fast-moving Hindi song :)


Liverpool has a new manager on board – former Swansea Head - Brendan Rodgers! Good Luck :)