Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Relax in Tokyo, Work Worldwide



Am I dreaming?

Being on the lap of ultra luxury. Everytime this occurs, my mind would go back to the days of desperation. Now I can breathe a sigh of relief from all my hard work, at least for now. Tokyo is a completely different city from Kuala Lumpur. I recalled sitting in a laundry shop in KL when this Chinese woman came picking up cans from the garbage. She looked at me and smiled. I seem to attract a lot of strange woman. (And men.)

Sometimes I feel like it's a curse to have a friendly and youthful face because people would come to me and initiated useless conversations. In KL, I would be wary of such people approaching me because most, if not all, are looking for money. She asked me firstly about my race and then asked to help her crush the cans using my feet! She explained further how old she has become, and nobody wants to give her work and needed money for these cans. I didn't even ask her for the reasons but she told me in detail anyway. I told her about the surveillance camera in the shop and immediately she changed from a superficial friendly, sympathy-seeking woman into a rageful self-pitied hysteric. Just a little bit, but I was able to detect her angst towards society.

Sometimes it's good to be back in KL because of how desperate it is. It made me stay grounded. But nobody can remain in a place too long where the rich gets richer and the poor remains the same. I never consider myself to be fortunate or lucky because I never started out my career as an actor that way. I basically started out in a barren land that was never flourishing well. It was a land of little water and sunshine, but as a plant - I knew I must only grow stronger. To fight against all odds -- be it my race, short height and unimposing presence. Never believe when people claimed themselves to be an overnight success.

The picture for a Japanese magazine
Life is a journey. It's everybody's job to enjoy the journey. Getting to the goal is so blown out of proportion until so many became blind to the beauty of the journey itself. It is all about what's happening right now. And for now, I can finallly rest a little. Truly, every little bit counts. After all the exhaustion of travelling, this little bit of heaven was truly a welcome.  To be free from fear and homophobias. Yes, Malaysia is a homophobic society, unlike Japan and Thailand. It's no wonder that their creativity is at its height and Malaysia's creativity level stagnated. In Malaysia, we give ourselves too many excuses to be racial, religious, homophobic and lazy.

How I wished if there's a superfast train that travels from Bangkok to Tokyo - that way I can earn those high-value Yen and live like a king in Bangkok. In Tokyo, almost everyone is glad to be of service. They'll say sorry when they're wrong and extremely humble when they're right. But they never fight to see who's wrong or right, you see.

To them, it's all about beauty and harmony.

And we should be, too.


Read more about my TRAVELS:
Bangkok, Thailand
* INDIA: Kailash Colony , Chowdhi Chonk , Quila-I-Mubarak
Europe


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CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame



Monday, May 18, 2015

Microsoft Lumia smartphone is my first purchase in the category. Here are 6 reasons why I bought something I swear off never to buy.





Microsoft Lumia finally becomes my first official smartphone purchase.

At least in the smartphone category. I've purchased features phones before - from Sony, Nokia and Motorola. Then tablets from Samsung and Asus (different category). But for a specific category such as smartphone, I have long held the disdain and tried my very best to stay away from purchasing anything smaller than 7.7-inch for I held the negative impression of small, compact devices as merely trends to waste the consumers' spending.

Drop Accident (not test)
But accidents are unavoidable. I dropped my Samsung tablet 7.7 and the screen cracked for the first time, strangely even with the covers on. I've dropped it before and it never cracked this bad. The tablet still functions but the aesthetic quality on the front was marred considerably. I've got no choice but to send it for repair, hence the search for a cheap smartphone to temporarily substitute its place began. I simply cannot view the front with its deformities - a great looking screen matters a lot to me!

Coincidentally right at that time, it was Microsoft's first day opening of its retail outlet at KLCC. I didn't queue up in the early morning like the other fans do to get the freebies. But don't get me wrong - I am as guilty as others too for I am a freebies junkie like them, never doubt that. It's just that since Microsoft took over Nokia's handset business, it never interests me a bit to see what they do with Nokia.

By the time I arrived at the new Microsoft outlet, there wasn't so much of a crowd. It was well past 7pm. I was surprised to not see any price tags on any of its products display. Well, that's the first thing a consumer look for right - the price? Being that was the first day, all the salespeople there are hyped up and full of good energy to help.  So I asked for the cheapest smartphone they have. It was a Lumia 4-incher priced at RM320.

The first thing that piqued my interest in purchasing a Lumia is the Metro interface. The whole look seems new and different to me, with its huge panel button in which I can touch upon easily. Personally, I still find the price tag a bit too expensive, considering I was only purchasing it for emergency purpose since my main "phone" is in the process of repair. So I queried about the freebies.

Freebies
The salesperson told me I would get a RM50 voucher and a headset valued at RM99. So I added and subtracted the value. I came to the final number of only RM170 in purchasing the Lumia. I needed a new headset anyway, so everything seems to fit in perfectly. That is of course, if I really wanted the headset and cash voucher. The cash voucher could be used in Tesco, H&M and some other outlets I couldn't remember. But Tesco sounds more practical because I could get my groceries there.

Powerful Google
But my reason for purchasing a Microsoft Lumia is bigger than just using it as a temporary replacement. The first and foremost in my thought is how powerful Google has become. Their operating system is almost everywhere. But the thing that irked me the most is how they control the search engine segment. Personally, I don't think Google have the most accurate search results when I type in a specific set of words. For example, when I search for my name - other name results appeared along with mine which clearly are NOT me. (Note to Google: I would prefer only my name results to appear - it's Law, not Lawrence) The reason Google is becoming more powerful is because of the popularity of the search engine. That's why sometimes it's good to ditch them...at least temporarily.

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New Interface
The secondary reason is Microsoft's Metro-style operating system - which is completely new to me. I love to try out new stuff, and with my current situation - it's the most opportune time to try it out. It gets some getting used to - for the interface really requires a lot of swiping right to left. That's still bearable when I use only one hand. The Metro design language looks quite glamorous too with its billboard-like panels which rotates like the flight departing and arriving panels at the airport. I was hoping to open Flash websites on it, but it just appears blank.

Quality Music Player
The third reason was a surprise to me. I find that the music playing on a Lumia actually sounds better. But don't mistaken the quality to come from its earphones. The earphones that comes with are actually quite terrible. So I used my Philips earphones instead and the music really sounds great. But there's a downside to this - the storage is only 8 gigabytes, which means I need the micro SD slot. Please don't believe when others tell you that you don't need micro SD slot like what Hugo Barra did recently for Xiaomi. Just because a person have a pleasant face means anything at all (seriously?) and you should believe that change will happen. We are the consumers and we dictate that micro SD slots are IMPORTANT! This point brings me to the fourth reason.

Convenient Size
The 4-inch size! Yikes, I never thought it would be so convenient to listen to my music with a 4-incher versus say a 7-incher. This Lumia fits right into my palm and I can increase the volume button on the right side. The great thing is I can change my music just by using one hand! And that's a real convenience when you have things to carry with you when you're moving about. But I do have a few gripes about managing the music with its interface. Sometimes I need to swipe a few times to get to the list of music. It doesn't just get me straight to the music I want.

Below are the cons of the Lumia:
1) Takes long and complicated to insert SIM card to read on phone
2) Low quality earphones
3) Requires effort to manage music player
4) You can't open the apps without a micro SD card
5) Flash websites cannot be accessed
6) Small storage size

For more articles on IT Products, click below:
Samsung M3 External Hard Drive
Samsung Service Centre Review
Asus Transformer Infinity Review
How to Increase Storage Capacity of Smart Devices
Shopping for Electronics as a Way to Shorten Learning Curve
Shopping Tips for Electronic Gadgets
Music Player Review
Tips to Better Touchscreen Care
The Best Tablet
PC Fair Review KLCC
Smartphones Unveiling Event
Launch Event - Pikom ICT Capsquare

Monday, May 4, 2015

Revisiting a dear friend - Bangkok city.




When was the last time I was in Bangkok? My mind suddenly began to drift into nostalgia....

The last time I was in Bangkok was in 2006 - the time when I took that scandalous modelling assignment.

During that time, social media wasn't accessible to everyone yet. There was no such thing as a smartphone, the Internet was still confined at cybercafe shops and I don't even have a compact camera of my own! But with the advent of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and my growing audience base - the pressure to produce pictures was staggering. That was the beauty back in 2006. There was simply no pressure! Everything was come as they go. I didn't need to carry any smart gadgets - only a backpack of my clothes and clean underwear.

This time it was for an international commercial shoot. Personally, I wasn't too excited about the trip for I have been there before. But it's always refreshing to visit an old friend - at least that's what Bangkok is to me. Bangkok is indeed a friend for how friendly, soft-spoken and similar it's cultural background with myself.

This trip was the one I nearly missed. I received my ticket itinerary which stated my flight time at 8am, flying with Malaysian Airlines. Then at the VERY last minute, my flight time was changed to 9am by the production people all across the Indian Ocean. In the end, I flew with Thai Airways and was equally surprised. Yes, surprises never ends for a globe-trotting artiste.

Flying is much more direct and clinical as compared to taking a long train ride to Bangkok from Kuala Lumpur. With the train ride, you can walk anywhere you like in the train and see all kinds of folks from the very poor to the rich. But in the plane, most of the passengers think they're better in one way or the other. I took a long train ride to Bangkok for my modelling assignment and LOVED every minute of it. I get to cross over miles of paddy fields and green hills and valleys. Totally loved the view. But of course, the hours are long. But with a plane, it took exactly 1 hour and 45 minutes, more or less.

The air stewards in Thai Airways was different.

Their uniform is not as tight-fitting as say, Malaysian Airlines. I noticed one of the air stewardess uniform resembled a lot like a hospital nurse because of how loose it was! But just the way the Thai Airways air stewards speak is comforting enough to put me at ease that they won't have even the slight potential to be rude ..... unlike some the Malaysian Airlines stewards would be with their condescending tone. Interestingly, the Thai Aiways stewards aren't as young looking as they should be. Or maybe because I was in the economy class and they intentionally shifted all the pretty young things to the first class? But nonetheless. the service was actually not bad.

Upon arrival, all the passengers are taken to the main terminal by a shuttle bus. There were renovations taking place everywhere! As usual, after the customs and Immigration - I looked for my name among the crowds of people holding their placards with names of different nationalities. I spotted one with the name "Kris", but when I enquired further, discovered it was for another Kris from a different continent. I waited for more than an hour for my pick-up to arrive. Upon entering the Column Hotel room, I needed to charge my smartphones quick to anticipate any calls from the Thai production team. But the hotel didn't have any adaptors left! So I immedaitely went to Terminal 21 shopping mall - which is huge. I walked to the shopping mall from the hotel, and within a few walks I've already began to sweat - that's how humid Bangkok is.

My trip to Terminal 21 was my first. I started to enquire where I could buy an adaptor, and one of the salesgirl told me to go up all the way to the 6th floor! The escalators was the longest from the ground floor up. Here was where I got a see a bird's eye-view of all the shops at all the floors. But the purpose of my trip there was only to get that adaptor - not shopping. After getting my adaptor and back i my hotel room, my whole body just dropped "dead" on my bed - with the comfort finally in my mind that my smartphone is charging up.

Half-way through my half-dream state, I decided to wake up because of the heat. (strangely, the air-conditioning was working). Usually, when I woke up like that, I knew something was going to happen. Then my phone rang, and I was instructed to take a cab to Srinakarin Market. Take a cab? Hurriedly, I changed my clothes, shaved and informed the concierge to book me a cab. I hated surprises, because I was expecting a ready driver. But I am ever flexible and willingly have to endure a slightly high-tempered cab driver. He simply refused to drive into the market because of the jam! I called the production manager and passed the call to the cab driver to let them sort things out. Already my head was swimming from lack of sleep and now I have to deal with transportation issues. This is unbelievable.

One word to describe Srinakarin Market. Retro. At least that was the section I was visiting because of all the shops. It was actually more like brick houses - many quaint shops selling retro furnitures and equipments and toys. There is also a few bars that double acts as furniture shops. There is also a food court where I noticed a few mixed-food stalls that resembled very much like the mixed-rice buffet-style Chinese food back home. I was tempted to buy some of the food, but I don't want to look bloated before I go in front of the camera! I wasn't starving exactly but my good senses won me over eventually.

That was only daytime. But when the night comes, this market was bustling with music, alcohol and plenty of young Thai patrons. There was plenty of music bands playing at the bars and restaurant type establishments situated mainly at the side of the road. But I was too exhausted already after filming to visit any of the places and decided to hire a motorist to take me back to the hotel. It was nearing midnight and tomorrow I've got a plane to catch!

The motorcycle trip back to the hotel really opens my eyes to my friend Bangkok. It's a huge city and at night can looked scary too. But on the motorbike, I caught glimpses of many night activities in the city - a group of transgender drinking alcohol, construction work on the road and other food shops selling interesting foods I wished I could taste! Seriously, I need to watch my weight. As the motorbike entered more into the city centre, I could see how much the buildings resembled like Tokyo city - all the high-rise are so close to each other or maybe it was night time and my mind was a bit blurry to make any definite comparison due to exhaustion?

In my hotel room, I watched as much Thai television as I could. The commercials they produced are really one-of-kind, very much similar to the Japanese. I don't need to understand the language, just the editing and characterisations of the actors were enough to keep me entertained! There's also one TV channel in the Thai channel that kept me glued - full of black magic, half-naked bodies, deception and mystery. That's the beauty with Thais and Japanese. They're actually quite similar in many aspects. The way they treat their guests are impeccable. They are polite, cultured and full of respect for each other.

As I bid farewell to my dear friend, my mind is full only of fond memories. And lots of interesting stories to share with my acting students.



THANK YOU! If you enjoy my blog, kindly click "Join this site" button on the left side of this page AND 

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*For enquiry about my coaching and requests to write and feature your product/services here in my blog, kindly click Email

CREDENTIALS:
* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame