Monday, August 31, 2009

Nuffnang Australia's Melbourne Office

For those of you who have been following me on Twitter, I've been in Melbourne for the past week with Ming to handle some work stuff.

I dragged Princess along with me too. When I told Princess I was going to Melbourne for business for a week, she said "So you're going to leave me alone for the long Merdeka weekend?".

My heart softened and I said "Okayyyy you can come along...".

Not sure if she kinda regretted it though because for the first few days of our trip here I was spending most of my time working in our office. Most of the mornings she didn't even make it up in time for breakfast so I always ended up stealing a muffin for her at the breakfast buffet so she can eat on the way to the office.

This is where I feel really stupid. I just realized that I didn't take any pictures of our office in Melbourne. I mean I have a picture of how it looks like on the outside.

But not on the inside.  Shall make it a point to take some tomorrow. In the mean time for illustration purposes, I'll steal one of Ming's older pics of the Nuffnang Australia office.

I did however take a picture of our hotel room at the Westin. 

It's really really nice.

Working in the Nuffnang Australia office was a bit of a culture shock for me. I mean... back in Malaysia, the Nuffnang team starts work between 8.30AM-9.30AM and they finish at least around 7PM. Some even stay till 12AM or later. 

If you leave at 5.30PM or something, someone will surely shout "OI!!! HALF DAY AR?"

In the Nuffnang Australia office though. Everyone starts work at 8.30AM and starts leaving by 5.30PM. By 6PM... the entire office is empty! But in those 9 hours though... everyone is extremely focused on work and nothing else. No water cooler chatter, no Facebook, no nothing.

Just serious work for maximum productivity.

Lately, the Nuffies here in Nuffnang Australia have been working on a number of blogger initiatives. Like the Challenge 1000 where they send out all these gifts to some of their most loyal bloggers. 

And if you walk around Melbourne you'll see they've been doing some guerilla marketing. Sticking these Nuffnang stickers all around.

Our meetings are very very intense and very very productive. We cover a lot in a short time. But after a while we all decide to take a break from it all and go for lunch... like the other day we went to this really nice cafe.

This is David, one of our local partners who has been extremely hospitable to both Ming and I. Taking us places and buying us way too many meals!
This is Princess and me.
And this is Ming. At first I wanted to take a nice "gazing into the sunlight" picture of Ming since there was sunlight coming into the window he was sitting next to but he only ended up with this angry face.

Ming and Pinky

This is David Krupp, one of our latest additions to the Nuffie team. 

Because he has the same name as the other David, we call him Kruppy. He used to work in MySpace before he came to Nuffnang.

He's really really intelligent and very passionate about social media and blogs. He's also really really nice, easy to talk to and of course charming on the ladies (I can tell). We're lucky to have him.

Did I mention that he's also really tall?

Much taller than Princess.
I really like the team here. Maybe I'll blog more about them someday. In the mean time, here's a picture of some of us in Nuffnang Australia.

There's Pinky, Ming, our partners Martyn and David and Kruppy.

It's been a fun trip so far and the Aussie Nuffies have been extremely hospitable towards us. Gotta go to bed now everyone. Tomorrow morning I've gotta get up to go buy some stuff from the market then head to the office for some work. Yes... I have to work even on Merdeka.

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Five Stones Home


Welcome to my new home

Come in come in. Let me show you around.

This is my living room.

This is me getting drinks for my guests at my kitchen.

This is me entertaining my guests on my balcony

This is me watching football with my friends.

This is me deciding what to wear on my dinner out in my huge ass walk-in closet.

This is me reading a book in my bedroom while waiting for Princess to get ready.

This is me relaxing in my living room on a nice Sunny Sunday afternoon

This is me in my home office at home where I do some work over the weekends.

This is me taking a crap in my nice beautiful toilet.

This is me scolding my son for having an untidy room….

And this is my living room with…. With some strangers in it.

Ok fine… I’ve snapped out of it. This beautiful exclusive condo isn’t mine *cry
Last week Selangor Dredging Berhad invited me to view the show units of their new development in SS2, Petaling Jaya. Desmond and Paul came along as well for the little advertorial adventure. We were given a tour by a nice lady named Lina.

Just listening to Lina, you could feel the passion she had for the development that was called Five Stones.
Everything down to the principle of it.

Each stone in the name was meant to represent the 5 precious values that create a great living experience: A spacious home, a lot of outdoor space & facilities, the sense of a community to grow up in (where you would know your neighbors’ well), getting to spend quality time with the family and being in the middle of all the action in PJ. The sculptures in front of the show room represent the Five Stones.

I thought the facilities were really cool: the gym, the sports complex, the huge swimming pool but what caught my attention was this modern looking playground from Denmark apparently meant for kids.

Heck even swings these days have gone modern. Look at this!

I was sitting there for like a minute trying to figure out how to “play it” when the security guard came over and spun me round and round. My guess is he was probably playing a lot of it to become the expert he was.

But as much as I thought all that was cool, the most important thing to me was the space. The units I saw were about 1.800 sqf & 2,400 sqf which is a lot of space for a Condo. Yet, it’s only about RM450 per square feet so the price of the unit starts from about RM 800k. In some other areas around the Klang Valley they sometimes cost 50%-100% more than this.

My Hong Kong friend Joe was down from Hong Kong. I showed him photos of this apartment and told him how much it cost he was shocked. “RM 1,000,000 will get you nothing in Hong Kong” he said. Then again, Hong Kong’s property prices are just insane!

I don’t know whether it’s something you experience when you grow a little bit older but I kinda grew to like shopping for houses (or at least looking for them). When I was younger, I only thought about buying cars. How it would be nice to have a Lamborghini… but somehow those luxuries don’t matter as much to me now.

*looks at picture of the beautiful car*
Okay fine… I mean the Lamborghini is really nice but it still don’t really matter as much.
What matters to me now is the home that I choose to buy and stay in for the rest of my life. 

When I think about this home, I think about the memories I will have in my many years staying in it and I think of the kids that I will eventually raise in this home and the memories that they will have in that home.

Then I think of how that home will always leave a mark on my life, more than a car or any other material thing will. Growing up, I will always have a nostalgic feeling towards the home I grew up in, but not as much of a feeling towards the car my Dad used to drive us around in.

So now every day when I save as much money as I can, believe it or not I’m not saving towards buying a nice car or to go for a luxurious holiday somewhere. I’m saving to be able to buy a nice home one day. There are so many nice homes out there….

The Five Stones development is one of them.
I guess that’s why according to Lina they’ve sold over 65% of their units just a week after launching.

I think I’ve found a new hobby… looking at beautiful homes and dreaming of buying them. I just gotta make sure I start saving enough money to have one of these beautiful homes some time in the future.

If you already have saved enough and are looking to buy a beautiful home… you can check out Five Stones here.

Thank you for showing us around Lina.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Gap Shopping Spree

Early last week, I got something from the nice people at Gap. They gave me RM1,000 worth of cash vouchers and asked me to do them an advertorial at one of their stores.

I jumped at the opportunity of course.

Me and Gap go a long way back. I first started buying Gap while I was studying in London. They had a flagship store on Oxford Street that I used to get a lot of my clothes from. Even the jacket I wore in the first year was from Gap.

So last weekend I made it to the closest Gap store to my home. The one at Pavilion.

Princess, who also doubles as my fashion consultant came along with me. I’m not allowed to shop for clothes without her for fear that I might end up buying jumpers and looking like a hillbilly.

I remember the first time she came into my room. She headed straight for my closet and then she went through everything, putting together a small pile of clothes. Then she pointed at the pile and said “This… is what you are allowed to wear from now on. If I see you wear anything else….”.

That is how she officially became my fashion consultant.

Anyway, I had never been to the Gap store in Pavilion before.

It’s pretty big!

And with clothes everywhere.
Having RM1,000 to spend in a store filled with clothes is like the shopaholic’s wet dream. I was spoilt for choice but I made a dash first for their new 1969 Premium Jeans'.

Heck I wear jeans every day. I wear it on weekdays to work and on weekends to wherever I go. It’s like the most versatile form of pants. You can wear it for anything and you don’t have to worry if you spilt anything on it. They’re hardy, comfortable and they work for everything.

To satisfy my jeans appetite at Gap, I tried on jeans after jeans….

There was straight cut, standard, loose and a lot more but soon enough I had found a winner. Or more like two winners.

The “Standard” and

the “Authentic” cut which had only just been launched.

They were really nice. I mean they were really comfortable, fit well and I really liked the cutting of them both. The length of the Standard cut was a little too long for me though, so I got the really helpful staff at Gap to help me alter it.

After I had gotten my hands on 2 pairs of jeans, I attacked the shirt department.

Check out a couple of the shirts I bought.

Princess said she liked shirts with white collars so I also got this.

Heck it’s like I have a whole list of things that Princess likes and does not like to see me wear. I know she likes shirts and t-shirts but she doesn’t like collared-t’s. She also does not like (or more like hate) any shirts with stripes on them. It took me a long time to learn all that.

Both the shirts though were stamped with Princess’ approval.

She said they were really nice and she also particularly liked this shirt.

Went well with my new Gap jeans.

Then I got a bit more ambitious and decided to try on a Gap hoodie.

When I put on the hood and pulled the strings to tighten it, I ended up looking like this.

Princess thought it was funny so she took a picture.

After what was like… 45 minutes in the store. I settled on what I’ve decided to spend the RM1,000 on.

Went to the counter and it turned out to cost more than the RM1,000 of vouchers I was given.

I had to make a choice…. Take out something from Gap pile or…. pay the extra in cash.

I decided that… you just can’t let nice clothes go to waste. So I ended up paying close to a hundred bucks more. It was totally worth it though. Got some really really really nice clothes then. It’s true. I’ve started thinking like a Shopaholic. I blame Princess!!!!

After we were done shopping, Princess and I went downstairs to look for the person who made this little fun shopping experience possible. We found her in this big Gap truck parked outside for anyone to go in and try on the new 1969 Premium Jeans.

The nice lady’s name is Jeanine.

They were having a little contest in the truck where they put up pictures of people holding up a white board to say what they were “Born to be”.

Gap jeans are born to fit… but we had a lot of people with different things altogether.

Princess liked this one though.

I think she could relate :)

Princess and I had an idea. We decided to write the white board for each other. So on her white board I wrote (with my poor handwriting and my pathetic attempt at drawing a heart)…

And on mine she wrote.

I got Jeanine to do one too. Wrote this on her board.

And yes if you’re wondering why the hand-writing on Jeanine’s white-board is so much nicer. It’s because it was written by Princess. Even the small little t-shirt on it was drawn by Princess.

Before we left the truck, they gave us some souvenirs including the pictures we had just taken a few minutes ago.

I thought it was really thoughtful.

We left the truck then to go back to the store and pick up my altered jeans but not before I took this last picture with Jeanine and Claire from Gap.

By the time I got back to the store to collect my jeans, they were all ready.
They fit perfectly.

Thank you Gap… for the wonderful shopping experience. And for some really really nice jeans :)

If you're a fan of Gap, you can join their Facebook group here. I'm already a fan!