First day in Toulouse

27 04 2011

I finally arrived in Toulouse yesterday at Noon, 18 hours after leaving KLIA. Arriving in Toulouse our small entourage was greeted by an Airbus staff who took us directly to our hotel. Adagio Parthenon is actually an apartment hotel near the centre of Toulouse and 30 minutes drive from the airport and Airbus production facility.

The hotel reception is actually on the 9th floor. I was checked into room 1206 which faces the city. The apartment has a living room and a kitchenette. The brown sofa you see in the living room folds out into a bed which can sleep another 2 persons. The separate bedroom is small but very comfortable. The apartment is also equipped with a decent  internet connection but no wifi.

Above is the view of  Toulouse from the apartment. As you can see the city has no tall buildings. Most of the buildings in this part of the city are apartments and about 4 to 5 stories high. It is because of this that I have a commanding view of the city. By contrast, if this was Hong Kong, I’d be surrounded by tall buildings and my view limited to a few hundred metres if not just metres.

After a brief rest and a shower, we went out for lunch. En. Kamal of the DCA took us to a Kebab restaurant nearby the hotel. Here  you can have your lanb kebab with cheese or plain nan and/or fries. I ordered a kebab with plain nan bread and fries. Total cost was Euro 5.70 with a bottle of water . They don’t give you a plate. The fries comes wrapped together with the meat in the nan bread.

After lunch we took a walk around the city. Toulouse is a very old city and it shows in the buildings. The architechture is gothic. presently we entered a square in the middle of the city where we came by a mime performing for money.

All his belongings are in the trolley which doubles up as a pedestal. I watched him for a good 5 minutes before moving on. What you’ll notice immediately about Toulouse are the people sitting around the square, public parks and sidewalk cafes. It was 3.30 p.m on a weekday and it seems that nobody was working!

Today, I’ll be going to Airbus Industrie at the airport.





First Time in First

25 04 2011

I’ve been in the airline business for nearly 22 years and work in two countries for two different companies but never have I had the privilege of flying in first class.
Tonight will mark a few firsts for me. It’ll be the first time I fly in first class and also the first time I am traveling to pick up a brand new aircraft from a production plant.
I am heading for the Airbus Factory in Toulouse, France via Amsterdam.
Firs class travel is a whole world of difference from economy. Before I even get a chance to sit I am asked if I wish to have a drink.
Earlier on I had the chance to use the first class lounge operated by the airline in the airport. It was superb. Ok they have closed the air raft doors and we are about to push back so I’ll have to continue this post when I arrive in about a day’s time.

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Two “Egg”traordinary

16 04 2011

Never count your chicken until the are hatched, so goes the old saying. I saw this on Yahoo today and thought it was really bizarre. Nature really is unpredictable.

I wonder if both the eggs would have hatched and how the chicks would have looked like. I guess we would never know now.





A Good Lesson to Remember

8 04 2011

Since coming back from my holiday in Hong Kong I have been a little slack in updating my blog. I admit being too caught up with work. I have taken loads of pictures, had lots of ideas but never got down to writing.

Then today a friend and colleague of mine emailed me a story which I thought was very appropriate not only for restarting my posts but for the times we live in.

The Money is yours but the resources belong to the Society

Germany is a highly industrialized country. It produces top brands like Benz, BMW, Siemens etc. The nuclear reactor pump is made in a small town in this country.
In such a country, many will think its people lead a luxurious life. At least that was my impression before my study trip.

When I arrived at Hamburg, my colleagues who work in Hamburg arranged a welcome party for me in a restaurant. As we walked into the restaurant, we noticed that a lot of tables were empty. There was a table where a young couple was having their meal. There were only two dishes and two cans of  beer on the table. I wondered if such simple meal could be romantic, and  whether the girl will leave this stingy guy.

There were a few old ladies on another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food for them, and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates.

We did not pay much attention to them, as we were looking forward to the dishes we ordered. As we were hungry, our local colleague ordered more food for us.

As the restaurant was quiet, the food came quite fast. Since there were other activities arranged for us, we did not spend much time dining. When we left, there was still about one third of unconsumed food on the table.

When we were leaving the restaurant, we heard someone calling us. We noticed the old ladies in the restaurant were talking about us to the restaurant owner. When they spoke to us in English, we understood that they were unhappy about us wasting so much food. We immediately felt that  they were really being too busybody.

“We paid for our food, it is none of your business how much food we left behind,” my colleague Gui told the old ladies.

The old ladies were furious. One of them immediately took her hand phone out and made a call to someone. After a while, a man in uniform from the Social Security organization arrived. Upon knowing  what the dispute was, he issued us a 50 Mark fine.

We all kept quiet. The local colleague took out a 50 Mark note and repeatedly apologized to the officer.

The officer told us in a stern voice, “ORDER WHAT YOU CAN CONSUME, MONEY IS YOURS BUT RESOURCES BELONG TO THE SOCIETY. THERE ARE MANY OTHERS IN THE WORLD WHO ARE FACING SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES. YOU HAVE  NO REASON TO WASTE RESOURCES.´”

Our face turned red. We all agreed with him in our hearts. The mindset of people of this rich country put all of us to shame. WE REALLY NEED TO REFLECT ON THIS. We are from  country which is not very rich in resources. To save face, we order large quantity and also waste food when we give others a treat. THIS LESSON TAUGHT US A LESSON TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CHANGING OUR BAD HABITS.

My colleague Photostatted the fine ticket and gave a copy to each of us as a souvenir. All of us kept it and pasted on our wall to remind us that we shall never be wasteful.

-end-

I really do not know who wrote this story but it is so true of Malaysians nowadays. We indulge in expensive buffet dinners, hardly finishing the food on our plates before going for seconds and thirds. We leave our engines running while waiting for someone to arrive. We do not bother to report a leaking tap or broken toilets.

“Waste Not, Want Not”, goes the famous Engilsh Idiom. The meaning goes somewhat like this, “if you are not wasteful (of food, resources, money etc), you’ll probably not end up lacking the same”