Monday, September 26, 2005


Is what sums up the mood right now. I had delayed my returning flight to the 2nd of October last week. But it seems the PD of the main contractor is facing difficulties in renewing our visa extensions and what is worse still, my passport is in his hands. Damn. And I have heard from sources that we are unable to just leave the airport and pay a penalty fine of RM 400 for overstaying anymore. The new law dictates that we must get the extension before we leave the immigration border. How true is that I am not certain. But it is a very risky move to just ignore the rule and attempt to depart.

Another delay seems imminent. I have to get out of this place for as long as I could. Ramadhan here is not a welcoming month. They should realise not everyone is going to fast in that month.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pilot launch

The date has been set. The Prime Minister of Bahrain will be coming to officiate the launching of the smart card pilot along with several other Ministers. This has set a sudden frantic pace all over the building. Furnitures and decos are moved from left to right and later right to left again depending on the fickleness of some certain people. Out of the blue, they've now got more than enough people to sit as counter operators and were brief with what if scenarios and how to pretend to do their work. They request tons of things from our side as if we can produce miracles.

The Prime Minister's protocols later came. At least 4 of them came and stayed till late midnight to observe, check and instruct many indian labourers to install red carpets, decos, fountains, grasses, plants, fake plants, posters and flags. The Prime Minister's protocol had a grave look amongst them and all of them never did break into a smile. All done in a couple of hours. The site itself is a wonder really. Astonishing to see the changes that were made in such a short period. We have a fountain and grasses now. How the hell did they make grass over one night? It's a welcoming sight at least unlike the barren sand over the pavement that we are much used to before.

As we arrived at an ungodly hour the next morning, the building is controlled by police and nobody is allowed to park within the vicinity of the building. We were told to park at an obscure car park further away. The main counter section was packed like never before and I suspect they are not allowing the Prime Minister to set foot unless there's carpeting beneath.

After watching the presentation on plasma flat screen and officiate the launching ceremony, the Prime Minister is then led back to the ground to see a demo of a card enrolment. However, a smart card that was prepared the day before was handed over just like in cooking television shows.

Television interviews were conducted later when the Prime Minister and other Ministers have left. The crowd then disperse into various groups to capture photographs.

Our team with some of the clients

It was a great success, particularly to the image of CIO and to his political career. Our bosses and the Sheikh has ostentatiously shown that by thanking everyone profusely. One which he had never done so. We bailed at around 2 pm to rest and to celebrate ourselves later at Ritz Carlton.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

After the dark, spring beckons

After initiating the talk, the bulk which were in a gravely manner, I was made to understand that the total personnel here will be reduced to only two person. The reason was that the management did not wish to place two senior personnels over here. And with that being the case, therefore one senior personnel will eventually be brought back to KL of whom is yet to be determined. Sonny said that in either case, since I am the only one who is not a senior personnel, I will still remain here until no longer needed so.

I asked about the plan for the coming three months and was told that he foresee that our long term presence for the project is to go on until the end of December. I then inquired what about year 2006? And he told me, occasional fly ins will be done to solve problems and issues.

I quickly turn back to the main issue which is to confirm when would be my turn for a trip back again. I suggested early October and I was pleased but expectedly so when told that early October seems to be a good opportunity.

I am no longer able to spend another Christmas and New Year here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Where has the weekend been?

My weekend is robbed yet again. It still remains true when I told a friend of mine that I had forgotten what is a weekend. Everyday passes by monotonously such that I had had unlearned an ability. The ability to remember what day the day is today for it now became unrelevant.