So How?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Adios from PHOENIX

Ola Friends,

Here my ramblings continue. After exactly 3 months in this desert, it's time to leave & move ( again ).

The average temperature here has been around 110 Fahrenheit, which is 43 Celsius !!...Lagi panas dari Mekah. The good thing is the weather is DRY, not humid so you don't sweat as you do in KL. During the first 6 weeks I was here, Phoenix was terrorized by a Killer Sniper who had randomly killed more than a dozen people. So we have been advised not to go out at night, especially if alone. Apparently they think they have caught the suspect. Some interesting things I did during this period:

* Went to the Mini Grand Canyon in Sedona. Awesome landscape. Went on a Rough Jeep tour for 3 hours. By the time habis, tercabut segala sendi tulang.

* Salt River Tubing...As in 1 of my previous emails, this is where you & your friends sit on a TIRE, tie them up together, and flow along a river for like 3 hours whilst enjoying the scenery. It's a popular activity among college students here during their summer break. Full of music and drinks ( yes, they actually hire an extra tire to place their Stereo and Booze).

* Aircraft Desert Museum...This is where you see Hundreds of aircrafts lying in the desert. Includes jet fighters, commercial planes, NASA space shuttle and even JFK Presidential Air force 1 was on display. The dry heat here ensures that the planes don't get rusty. So it's like a cheap storage for unused airplanes.

* Watched a baseball game between Arizona Diamondbacks and another team...I must have now gone to more baseball stadiums than I have for any other sport.

* 4th July in Tempe...An American Institution & National celebration....we watched the firework display and the pesta in Tempe, another city near Phoenix.

* As with all American cities, one of the big attractions are the Shopping Outlets. The things are much cheaper than they are in London. In fact, baby & children clothes are much cheaper than they are in KL even ( if u refer to specific brands like GAP, Osh Kosh, Carters, Ralph Lauren ) etc. With $50, you can get a LOOOOOTTTTT if u know where to look.

My team mates left me after 2 weeks ( they went to Paris, New York, Connecticut ) so I have been left all alone in this city for the last 1 month. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't that bad and I started to go back to my old routine of dining alone, driving alone, sightseeing alone.
Now, tengah tidying up my desk, shredding all confidential documents & planning what to do for my last weekend in the state of Arizona.

One thing that I wanted to do but did not end up doing was going to Grand Canyon. It's only a 5 hour drive up north tapi macam malas pulak. Normally I am quite good at going everywhere tapi sekarang ni macam tak kuasa. My weekends are spent either in Phoenix or in Tucson ( 1.5 hours south) where I have a Malaysian friend who married an American. So time weekend, pegi stay over at their nice house surrounded by Cactuses ( am not kidding! )

Next plan ?

* Sunday, flying to Tampa, Florida for our Conference. Surprise, surprise, CAS always goes to Florida during the Hurricane season !! Hopefully the weather won't be too bad.

* Will be there for 3 days of conference + 2 days of manager training. Then fly to London on Saturday, 1st Sept.

* Btw, my parents are flying into London today to see their new granddaughter. So it will be a family mini-reunion which I am really looking fwd to.

* My next review will be based in London. So tak payah nak travel banyak. But the Audit Kick Off will be in Boston, so that is where I will be heading on Sept 5th. I am trying to avoid airports now especially after the recent scare in London. Malas nak kena "random" searched.

After 7 months in the "Land of the Free" ( 4 in LA, 3 in Phoenix ), time to leave and don't know if I will ever have another review in America. Tapi tak pe. Dah puas kuuuuuttt kat sini.

It's 10.30 now. Thinking of watching the Twin Tower Movie tonight.

All right people, talk to you later.

Hopefully tak de ribut taufan in Florida, or not, we will end up the whole time in the Hotel.


Fadli Riza Ramli

Joke Cikgu Anand

Rakan rakan yang dikasihi sekalian,

di jumaat malam ini, boring boring, sambil bergolek golek atas katil and surf the net, I came across website MCTA (Malay College Teachers' Association) yang dimanage oleh CIkgu Malek.
So sambil aku browse the link, I read that Cikgu Anand and Yatex have been in Ireland for the last 15 months sebagai Education Attache at the Malaysian High Commission in Dublin, Ireland.
Agaklah terkejut membaca berita itu ( tak de reason pun nak terkejut, saje je nak bagi drama ) and then sambil sambil browse in the net, ada lah pulak bagi phone number mereka berdua di Ireland. Tanpa berfikir panjang, aku terus mengangkat gagang telefon lalu memicit nombor tersebut. Suara lunak serak serak basah menjawabnya.

First first aku cuba main game "Guess who is this?" tapi lepas 10 tahun, aku sure diorang takkan tau siapa aku. Anyway, I introduced myself as Fadli to Cikgu Yati and then berborak lah kitorang for about 30 minutes.

But the reason for my email ini adalah berikut. According to Yatex, when they first arrived there and jumpa students students di sana, ada sorang ex budak koleq came to Cikgu Anand and introduced himself very excitedly:

Budak Koleq: " Cikgu Cikgu, I am bla bla and I was in koleq during your time"
Cikgu Anand: "Oh Ye ke ?"...( muka blur ) Budak Koleq: "Maybe you dont remember me because I actually came in Form 4. So I am a Burung"
Cikgu Anand: " Wow...Oh You Burung ?..You have flown very far from Kuala Kangsar to Dublin ! "
Budak Koleq: ( Muka dia blur buat buat gelak layan joke cikgu)

so kesimpulannya, u can take a budak koleq out of koleq, but u cannot take the Koleq characterisctics out of a budak koleq.

Aku rasa Rembell je kut yang gelak kat joke di atas.
Aku hanya mampu senyum sinis bila yatex told me the story.

Sekian saja bebelan hamba jumaat usual aku tak main 1 liner, biar panjang asal berisi (gadap, jangan ghairah ) dah dekat 1 pagi dah ni nak pi tidur.

Ini ada gambar in case korang nak "reminisce"....Its such a classic piece of history.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Planning & Promotion


As some of you might realize, I have been with CAS for exactly 2 years now. The way it works, we have to do 6 reviews in that 2 years and on our 6th review, the CAS Senior Leadership Team (approximately 20 people ) will go through each & everyone of us to decide on who will be promoted to AM (Audit Manager).

If you are promoted, it means another 1 year of travelling ( 3 reviews ) but you will now be in charge of leading a team. Normally, AMs will select whether they would prefer to focus on the Industrial side ( e.g. Healthcare, NBC Universal, Plastics, Energy, Oil & Gas, Consumer Products, Aircraft Engines etc) or Capital ( Consumer Finance, Commercial Finance, Equipment Leasing, Corporate Finance, Equity, Asset management, Pension, Derivatives etc ).

If you don't get promoted, that means you will Graduate from CAS and able to choose which GE business you want to join, which country and what role ( finance vs. Risk vs. operations vs. BD etc ).

The P&P (Planning & Promotion discussion ) takes place after the Mid Op, which is NOW. Following the detailed review of each individual, the EAM's will call everyone to tell us whether we got the Promosion or not.Just wanna share with you guys that we were told to expect the call sometime on Wednesday / Thursday this week.But for some reasons, the EAM called me just now, at 8.30 AM Malaysian time to tell me that I have been promoted to AM.

Alhamdulillah & am extremely happy with the news. Especially as it could not have come at a better time, when I am back home with family & friends and so more excuse to go out and celebrate !

Anyway, thought of sharing this happy news with you as it is the culmination of a VERY LONG 2 YEAR JOURNEY.There were 70 people who joined CAS at the same time as i did ( we call it the class of 3T 2004 ) and I anticipate that maybe around 15 of us will get the AM title (that covers all poles: North & South Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia ).

So there it goes. I will be in KL till Friday / Saturday so definitely have to try and meet up with as many people as I can as this is the only time I can belanja maa ! The Formal List of PROMOTED AMs & SAMs ( Senior Managers ) have not yet been released. Maybe early next week. So I am not even allowed to share this with other people in GE.

But since you are not in GE, i might as well let u know now !
Adios & how now ????

Friday, July 21, 2006


Boys & Girls (semua muda muda lagi kan )

After 4 days in Fairfield, Connecticut, our Mid Op is finally over !!...As usual, this is when each Extended CAS team has to present their audit findings, observations etc to the CAS VP...and as usual, the time & effort it takes to prepare the pitches ( YES, in Powerpoint of course with Blue FONT ) can be very laborious.

On Tuesday night, we were still prepping till midnight from the hotel. Anyway, alhamdulillah, the discussion went well and since yesterday I have been in a Merdeka type of mood.

I am flying back to KL ( after 9 months ! ) from Newark airport. Because of the flipping traffic into NYC, the 70 miles drive from Fairfield to Newark took more than 2 hours...memang buang masa duduk dalam kereta.As everytime I fly I nearly always miss my flight , so this time , I have been super Kiasu and arrived at Newark like flipping 3 hours in advance. So sekarang ternganga kat boarding lounge tak tau nak buat apa.

Apparently the MAS flight is very full and each seat, even in Biz Class are taken...who the hell flies to NYC from KL ? Kalau London tu logiclah jugak dengan students + parents for graduation + normal tourists. But I wouldnt expect the same full capacity for the NYC flights. Well, actually now that I look around the boarding lounge, I think most of the passengers are those who seem to have been settling down in US for a long time and now are going back with their young kids yang cakap mat salleh berhabuk.

The flight is going to be nearly 20 hours....Stop at Stockholm for 1 hour or so and then continue to KL...Alamak, itu dia the pramugari & pramugara tengah jalan macam buat fashion show towards the aircraft....I wonder how long the MAS cabin crew outfit has not been updated. The stewardess rambut semua sanggul tinggi tinggi macam Leaning Tower of Pisa.

OK, as u all can see, I am really membebeling here coz tak tau nak buat apa whilst I have another 1 hour to board.Actually I am very sleepy as I only slept 4 hours last night and hopefully will be able to catch some sleep on the flight.

Alright mates. better stop here if not these fingers can go on rambling forever.Hope to see some of u when I am back.

PS: My team are having a Bowling Tournament in New York, sibuk buat Inter-team tournament bla bla bla....kuasaaaaaaaaa..I told them so long, I am more interested in going home. Anti social or wat ?

Take care.
Newark Airport - 8.30 PM - Gate 55

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Missed Luggage

Kawan kawan ....
aku baru sampai New York about 4 hours ago dari Phoenix..
sampai sampai, bag aku tak de !
diorang kata, maybe it was missed and they will put it in the next flight to NY from Phoenix..
so here I am, dah after Midnight, tak de baju nak pakai untuk office, tak de baju tidur..
so how ???

they say that if they can locate the suitcase, it should be at the hotel around 7AM..
kalau tak, aku nak buat apa ?
tensionnnnnnnnnnn......some hotels ada bagi Bathrobe, so boleh lah guna tu untuk tidur.... ini hotel sheraton, bagi hangar je.
oklah, sekian bebelan aku atas sebab frust.
hopefully they will recover my luggage and I will have clothes to wear to go to the office.

Sunday, July 16, 2006



i'm on cloud nine canavaro lift the throphy....FINALLY!


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona

Allo allo kawan kawan,

As some of you might have already known, I have started my new review about 2 weeks ago. I will be based here in Phoenix, Arizona for at least 2 months or it can go for the rest of the 3 months.

Some interesting facts about Phoenix:

  • Located in the state of Arizona...Famous State Senator, John McCain...In fact John McCain's office is about 5 minutes drive from the Hilton Resort we are staying.
  • This is a DESERT !..Temperature here is around 110 Fahrenheit during the day ( which is about 42 Celsius !! )...Awfully hot.
  • Air is VERY DRY...u get dehydrated easily and hence you just need to keep on pouring water down your throat.
  • GE biz I am auditing here is the GE Travel Center...i.e. all GE employees who make travel reservations for biz purposes, will have to book / coordinate their flights, hotel through this center. Definitely a very different & interesting biz to audit compared to the other traditional industrial or capital GE businesses.
  • City is full of Cactuses...and these are enormous...double my height...just everywhere.
  • 3-4 hours drive north and you will reach the Grand Canyon...I am not sure if it's going to be as hot as Phoenix.


  • Yesterday our team went to do a Salt River Tubing activity. Basically, this is where you take a BIG TIRE (as big as the ones you see on the commercial trucks ), you lie on this "TUBE" and then you let yourself float following the Current of the river. The whole journey takes between 2.5 hours to 4 hours depending on how far down the River you want to go.
  • Obviously, at some parts of the river, the current are very strong and there are "jerams"...donno what the English word is..basically very very low, shallow waterfalls where u fall as well.
  • It is not as dangerous as it sounds because the whole river is actually quite shallow, maybe 4 feet - 7 feet even if u fall, you still can walk / swim and try to catch your Tube back.
  • You can easily fall asleep laying on ur tube whilst absorbing the whole experience.

This is the best part of it all..

  • You can tie your TUBES together ( in our case there were 3 of us ) so that all of you flow down the river together during the whole journey and you don't get lost.
  • This is a typical American College Recreation...groups of 12 and even 20 people all in one big circle.
  • Beer consumption is rampant...they have an additional TUBE specifically to put their Water cooler so that they can drink beer all the way down the journey and by the time we reach the end, some of these guys are too drunk even to walk.
  • Unless you are not scared of losing your camera, you only use Disposable camera...We took many good photos of the scenery, the river and the many people tubing but the camera was soaking wet by the end of it..I am drying it and see if we can still develop the photos !
  • We are planning to go there again during Independence Day, July 4th...But I am sure it's going to be fully packed with people, not to mention the 110 Degrees temperature !...Most of them will be roasted & as red as a lobster by the end of it all.

I am spending the whole Sunday in my room, working, emailing, coz its too hot to flipping go outside anyway...and besides, we Malaysians are not very fond of TANNING in the first place. Not that I need it anyway.

So anyway, that is Phoenix...Definitely not a common place for GE CAS to send its auditors to but nevertheless a very different kind & type of experience. I'll let you know if I survive this heat for the next 2 months.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Russel Falls

OK, I thought i must show you guys this russel falls..
as u can see, its bertingkat tingkat...and it goes foreveeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
scary looking and amazing at the same time...

The first photo is the Horseshoe fall in the same area....the shape of the falls explains its name..
Not as high as Russels but equally stunning...


Tasmanian Adventure Part 2

The famour WineGlass Bay...the view after berjalan sampai tercabut kepala lutut....You guys tell me if it was worth the effort..
It was a spectacular view from that u can seee....but a bit dangerous though cause there was nothing below that..
Anyway, tomorrow we are going to the PENGUIN ISLANDS....its 2 hours drive from have to be at the beach around 10PM at night to see the penguins coming back....its gonna be damn cold but its one of those things which I think I will have to see at least once..
OK, will show u real life pics of penguins ( If I manage to get near them )...
enjoy ur weekend....

Tasmanian Adventure Part 1

Rakan rakan.

Since it's Friday at 6:15pm, Thought of giving you guys a download of my tasmanian trip....few things to note:
1) the island is much bigger than what people say it is
2) driving around the island in 1 one day is not possible
3) book ur accomodation in advance...dont think u can just get a B&B or hotel easily
4) i think half of the island, if not more, is made up of National Parks.....we went to 3 of them...first one is well known for its Russel Waterfalls. The reason why it's unique is that unlike normal 1-tier waterfall, this one was "multi-tiered"...when you see it from the bottom you think it's like one of those bumpy slides..but a huge one though.....very very nice..

Secondly was Lake St Clair, the deepest freshwater lake in was high in the mountains so it was pretty cold considering that it is supposed to be summer here in Australia........the area was a bit surreal because there were fogs covering the nearby mountains and it felt a bit like dalam cerita hantu...

the round trip drive from Hobart to these places was like 7 u can imagine by the time balik Hobart, dah pukul 11.30 malam...finding a place to eat was like finding a jewel in the Tasmanian bush...punyalah susah....last last, aku buat muka kesian dekat one of the Indian Restaurants......thank God they were nice enough to take our orders and let us have some food...

whilst eating, suddenly baru tersedar yang we have not booked any accomodation !!....well, the original idea was that we were to drive around the island and wherever we stopped, we were going to find a B&B...however, since we decided to come back to Hobart, we could not find any vacant places....B&B, hotels, motels, brothels semua midnight, we thought we had to definitely spend the night in the car !!..boleh ke ??

once again, using whatever muka kesian that I had, I asked the restaurant to find a place for us to crash...he called everywhere but apparently there was something going on in Hobart that weekend sebab tu semua tempat full....last last, we said, OK, let's try one of those BACKPACKERS HOSTEL that we used to frequent in our old student days.....Memang nasib, ada satu backpacker hostel that had 2 beds left for the night !! cepat cepat lah kitorang lari ke situ and then baru realize that it was a mixed dorm with 3235454 people from 235445 nationalities....

kena ke ??....not to mention that it's been a long time since aku kena share bathrooms with 3434 strangers...but ANYWAY, the bed and the bathrooms were actually much cleaner that the ones I have encountered when backpacking around US 7 years ago....our "dormmates" were from Hungary, Korea and Japan....but by the time we arrived semua orang dah mengantuk and tak kuasa nak bersocial social....

On Sunday, we had to go to somewhere that is supposedly one of the most beautiful sights in the Southern Hemisphere....The Wineglass bay on the East Coast of the Island...In fact, the east coast of Tasmania is very well known for its scenic route..We spent hours hiking up and down to reach this place called the "Wineglass Bay"....I have to admit that the hiking memanglah memenatkan especially for someone yang gila fit like myself....but once u reach the top and see the bay beneath, then its like "wowwwwww"....

Seriously by the time habis satu hari berjalan, semua urat macam nak tercabut...
I haven't had the chance to download the photos yet and do the now infamous "Fadli slide shows" but I have this 2 pics below:
1) My colleague took this of me standing on the "Friendly Beach" facing the vast Tasman Sea ( which then joins with the Pacific Ocean ). Look at how big the waves are....people were was lepakking...

2005 Hari Raya Recap

Hello rakan rakan,
I am sure by this time all of you must have already had a great holiday and spending Raya with families and friends...

So the time has come for me to share with you my first ever Raya WITHOUT ANYONE...Seriously bosan.

As far as I can remember, I have always had friends to celebrate raya with masa kat London / Scotland etc....basically there is always something to do..By the way, before I even start with that, let me inform you all that for some strange reasons, Australia was the only one who decided to have Raya on Friday (unlike the whole wide world who celebrated it on Thursday )..apparently tak nampak anak bulan....helllooo...mananya tidak, that Wed evening was a cloudy day + hujan + gloomy....kalau guna telescope NASA pun sure tak nampak anak bulan...

So terpaksalah aku puasa extra satu hari on Thursday...but having said that, ada jugak orang orang in Australia yang buat mazhab sendiri and raya on Thursday anyway....which says a lot about Islam Unity and consistencies.

So Hari Raya masuk office....9 - 8 pm....but lucky for me, my team and I went to the beach side area, St Kilda, and we came across a Malaysian Restaurant ( Chinta Ria ) and the food was actually quite I had my ikan asam pedas, sayur belacan, karipap....agaklah was a pure coincidence as no one actually planned to have Msian meal for the night...
then on Saturday Nov 5th, a muslim GE employee in Melbourne invited me to go to this Annual Eid Festival...It's more like a carvnival to be honest...Family Day type of thing with Rides, Ferrys Wheel, a lot of stall selling food etc...Tapi unlike in the UK where the majority of the muslim community is made up of Pakistani, Indon & malaysians, in Melbourne the whole festival was actually made up of Middle Eastern Communities ( arabic, egyptians, lebanese etc )...

In fact, I was soooo sure of meeting some malaysian people but after 2 hours, I realized that was not going to happen...actually the reason why i went there in the first place was KUT KUT ada makanan melayu....but haraaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... more like Kebabs, Halal Nandos, smoking shiha etc....More than 10,000 people came...apparently its a big annual event here in North Melbourne....

today, Sunday Nov 7th Hari Raya 3, went for Dim Sum then came to the office...its nearly 7pm time for me to leave coz want to go and eat something before the week starts all over again...

ok lorrrrrrrrr...
I bet u guys in KL yang dah cuti berhari hari agaklah keberatan nak start balik kerja tomorrow....
suddenly, teringin nak makan satay pulak....have to think where I can find one...

Raya Plans vs Lost Phone in Melbourne ??

Allo friendsssss...
It is 1AM here ....sitting in front of my laptop...Jerry Springer is on the tele...thought of sending this email before I go to bed...

so here it is....5 days before Raya...the whole flipping malaysia is all over with balik kampung plans, what to eat, where to go and me as usual, will most probably be walking into the office as usual where I guess I'll be the only person in this 1,000 people organization who realizes that Raya has actually arrived...

Puasa hasn't been that different anyway from the dozens I've had in UK in the fact it's a bit less exciting coz no one to share the buka puasa "ritual", semayang terawih sorang sorang dalam apartment and the most saddening part is Buka with Biscuits + Coke...
ANYWAY, to make things more depressing, last friday after semayang Jumaat at the City Mosque downtown, I lost my PHONEEE !!!!

AARRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!..Tension...I was pretty sure I lost it in the cab from the masjid to the GE office...the problem is on that day I took like 5 cabs....zig zagging from 1 GE office in North Melbourne to the other one in South Melbourne....Called the cab company, lodged a police report...U name it, I did ittt !!!...In fact that saturday, the weather in Melbourne was sooo terrible, raining mengalahkan banjir kilat in KL

My whole life ( ok a bit of an exageration ) is in that phone numbers, friends in UK, Malaysia, GE people...memang sakit jiwaaaaaa...more than 500 entriessss...I have no idea how long it will take me to rebuild the blardy "DATABASE"....So memang mengdepressing kan.....Before you guys ask, YES I did try to ring that number but it was switched offf...which makes it pretty obvious that someone might have found it, took out the sim card, threw it in a bin and just took the phone...

apa nak buat ? dah nasi badan....I am trying to get a new simcard with the same number PLEASE SEND ME YOUR PHONE that I can try and RESTORE you lot into my very important you all can imagine, without a phone and numbers, feel a bit lost..especially in a country without that many friends in the first place !

ANYWAY, I know most of you guys are leaving for kampung today or in the next few let me take this opportunity to wish you all a VERY SELAMAT HARI RAYA.....MAAF ZAHIR BATIN....HALALKAN MAKAN MINUM.... I guess that is the standard speech right ?

Oh before I forget, Nov 1, Tuesday is a public holiday here in Melbourne as it is the Melbourne Cup ( Race Horse )...alangkah baiknya sekiranya that thing were to fall on hari Raya so ada excuse tak masuk office....

Anyway, am having Buka Puasa tomorrow with a friend of my dad who happens to own a restaurant in Melbourne, aptly named SATAY INN...
that is the highlight of the fact of the week !
Salam to alll....
its time to go to beddddd.....