Saturday 1st of October 2011 and I woke up at 9, and that's even though I had not set my alarm. I had set my alarm to a 12 'clock back up call so I would make it to my flight just in case. Well, luckily enough I managed to fall asleep again and I woke up at 11 so no need for my 12 o'clock back up alarm. Good, I had time to pack my last things when I had enjoyed my morning omelette with tomato & onion. I took my weekend bag and the plastic bag with shirts and I f@cked off out of here. Singapore next! Well, of course with a stop at Bangkok International, Suvarnabhumi.
We were on Soi 23 when I realised that I had forgotten my glasses and we had to turn around. I told the driver that I had forgot my money or he might not have taken my request to turn around seriously. We arrived to Suvarnabhumi just before 2 o'clock and I had checked in 5 minutes later.
I asked where I could get a re-entry permit and it was at Immigration check point #3, at the other end of the terminal. 1000 Baht for the re-entry permit and 200 Baht service fee and it took me 20 minutes to get my re-entry permit. The expected me to go through the immigration when I got my permit. I expected to get my pass port and to go line up at the immigration. But obviously there was a PRIORITY LINE included in the 200 Baht fee.
I told them that I would be back a little later on, I had to run a few errands and I left to take care of stuff before I returned. Gate C4 and that is at the wrong end of the terminal, but I was lucky to discover that they had Tiger Light at Nero Cafe so I sat down and I ordered a Tiger Light and according to my camera I had the bottle in front of me at 15:26. And I had Roffe Ruff blasting high in my iPod and I was in a good mood.
Just hit the PLAY button and you will soon enjoying some excellent music
3 beers was enough, I remember last time I had a few beers before my flight. I ended up with 3 girls standing around me. They were moving their mouths and they were obviously talking to me so I stopped my iPod.
- You have to come to your flight!
Well, there must have been millions of passengers, but they know it was me they were looking for.
I paid for my beers and I walked towards gate C4 and we started boarding a few minutes after I arrived to the gate. I have not been wearing any shirts for a very long time. Just t-shirts for the boxing. Back home from the boxing and I change the t-shirt and I'm off to the next boxing session. So I have forgotten how it was with all the “Nice shirt” and “Where did you buy your shirt?”
If I had a dollar for every time I would have been a millionaire just for the short walk from Nero Cafe to the gate.
By the time we left the gate my hangover had started to kick in.
- Where is the darn beer cart?
We got a stupid menu and they offered us Champagne, but I wanted beer. Yeah, I could really need a beer now and when the beer cart finally arrived I was jumping up and down in my seat.
When they were at my seat I asked for a San Miguel Light and she looked puzzled.
- Do you have Tiger Light?
She gave me a Coke Light
I asked for a Heineken and a glass with ice.
The Stewardess was soon bringing my second beer and I was in a pretty good mood. Light beer taste much better, but if I add ice in a normal beer it tastes almost like light beer. I don't know, but I think the ice does a bit to alleviate the hangover.
They served excellent salmon onboard Thai Airway's flight TG 409 and I had the Sea bass for dinner. Darn, that was some good fish, I had to take a picture of the menu to remember what it was I ate. Must be the sweet chilli sauce. They had some Indonesian sweet chilli sauce onboard DE/T Randgrid and it tasted very good.
I will look out for the Sea bass next time I'm at a restaurant.
We were soon approaching Singapore and I can put yet another nice experience with Thai Airways behind me. Can't say that I have had any bad experiences with Thai Airways. Bad experience, well, New Deli to Paris was a terrible flight, but I can't blame that on Thai airways
We arrived to Singapore in time and the Immigration was ready in a jiff. I had to wait at belt 20 for my t-shirts and I was ready to take off to my hotel.
I was looking for a 7 Eleven or a Supermarket as soon as I was finished at the ATM machine. No sign of any supermarket. I walked to the transportation desk and they were out of Chryslers and I had to go in a Mercedes. I asked her to double check, but no Chryslers.
- Very bad!
- Sorry Sir, but we're out of Chryslers
- OK, where can I buy beers for the ride.
- You have to go to terminal 3. This terminal is under renovation and the supermarket is closed
- Are you joking?
The taxi driver promised that he would stop on the way so I could buy beer. Took us about 10 minutes to get to a gas stop and I went inside to buy beer. The guy at the cash machine was screaming when I came inside the mini mart at the gas stop
- MR. HANSON!!!!
- I'm Mr. Aladdin
- You very very hanson
I paid for my two bottles of Tiger Light, or as they are called Tiger Crystal and I left. When thinking of it, think this is the first time I have bought Tiger Light in Singapore. When I was asking for Tiger Light last time in Singapore they just looked at me.
- Tiger what?
I put my bag at the hotel room, but first I had to pay the driver 15 dollars extra for the stop at the gas stop. Yes, I got a little angry and I will never use their service again. The hotel, or it is a Mariner's Club run by the MPA, the same authority running the Maritime Academy.
Well, it is Singapore's Maritime Authorities, but I don't know what MPA stands for. But the hotel is in China Town and very close to the Boat Quay and Eski Bar.
The bar tender recognised me when I arrived to Eski bar even though it was, maybe 2 years since I was last time in Singapore. Lo and behold, they had Tiger Light at Eski bar as well so I ordered a bottle and it didn't take long before I ordered my second Tiger Light. But darn, it is expensive to drink in Singapore. Between 12 and 20 dollars for a beer
I had 7 beers at Eski bar before I moved to the bar next door. And here they only had Heineken so I didn't stay so long. I remember taking a taxi to Clark Quay from Boat Quay and if Boat Quay was empty it was the opposite at Clark Quay, packed with people and it was hard to get in to some of the places.
Sunday 2nd of October 2011 and I woke up in my hotel room around 10 o'clock. Yes, 9 o'clock Bangkok time. Darn, it was a big room, well, it was an apartment. 2 rooms and a kitchen, can come in handy when I'm going to stay here for 10 days. I can have my GOOD MORNING tuna and tea in my room and I will hopefully not return to Bangkok as the Human Balloon
I knew, wise from previous experience that the hangover would develop as the day progressed so I could as well get out of here as soon as possible. I was told that I could take a TAXI from Queens Street to my hotel in Malaysia.
- The taxis at Queens Street are allowed to cross the border.
I was also advised to take a Malaysian taxi.
- The driver will most likely know the hotel and no need to change taxi!
I took a taxi to Queens Street and when I got out of the taxi it took less than 2 seconds before I was surrounded by drivers
- Nice shirt!
- Ear rings
- I want to go to Johor Bahru
I found a Malaysian driver and he knew my hotel, he wanted 55 dollars for the ride. I only had 52 dollars in change so I told him 52. Should be 40 or something like that to the border so it was OK. And I was in no stat to start haggling about the price.
We left Singapore and the driver handed me a Malaysian Immigration form that I filled up in the back seat.
It was a nice ride and as the driver spoke f@ck all English it was quiet in the car, just what I needed today. We approached the border and we passed Singapore immigration before we crossed the bridge over Johor Strait to Malaysia.
We were not allowed to take pictures at the Immigration in Singapore. I never understand this forbidden to take pictures. What do they think I will do with the pictures? Finding a way to sneak over the border? For sure, if I was interested in having pictures for some shady business I would set up a million SPY CAMS in my car when passing the border.
It took us a few minutes at the Immigration in Singapore and I never had to get out of the car and we were soon on the bridge over Johor Strait.
I had expected it to take a few minutes to get over the border to Johor Bahru, but as we approached the Malaysian border I saw that there were millions of cars waiting. But it went pretty quick and we were soon speaking with a Immigration Officer in a booth. He wanted to join me on the Advanced Fire Fighting course and I told him that it was just to pay up to join the class.
Turned out that the driver could not find my hotel so we had to call the hotel. 3 minutes later I had checked in and I decided to go to the shopping mall just close by. I was hoping to find an Italian restaurant or something. I had not had any breakfast and I was hungry. There were only Chinese restaurants around my hotel and honestly, nothing they had on display looked like it was possible to eat. There was a Japanese restaurant across the street but it was closed.
So the mall it was and it took me about 10 minutes to walk there. No sign of any Italian restaurant, only these American fast food chains, but I managed to find a sushi place and I had a few salmon sushi. When I finished my sushi I moved a few shops down the mall and I had myself a strawberry shake before I went to buy tuna. And they had an impressive collection of tuna.
I bought tuna flakes in extra virgin olive oil and I bought two cans of tuna with green curry. Just to try and if it tastes good I will buy more. So it will hopefully be nothing but tuna for breakfast from now on. A hangover milkshake is OK, but I refuse to return to Bangkok Fight Club as Porky, the human balloon.
I saw that they had plastic bag free Saturdays at Jusco, and that is a laudable idea. But I can't help thinking about the F1 race they had last week in Singapore. How much is one of those races destroying our globe? And what would have the greatest impact on the quality of our environment, plastic bag free Saturdays or to forbid the F1 race?
I walked back to my hotel and I had a shower and I brushed my teeth, I bought tooth paste at the shopping mall, travel size container of shaving foam and tooth paste or it will be confiscated at the airport security. Yeah, wouldn't that be a dream come true, passing the security with a raging hangover.
- WATCH OUT!! INCOMING TERRORIST!! HE HAS 3 MICROGRAMS OF THOOTPASTE IN HIS CARRY ON!!
Well, anyway, I had my shower and I decided to go buy an alarm clock at the shopping mall and I took the opportunity to take a walk around the neighbourhood. Well, I started with a fish and chips at an Irish restaurant and pub. If I had a dollar for every Mulligan's Sport bar in the world.... Of course, it would be a different story if I had a dollar for every time I have had fun at a sport bar....
I found a excellent cafe at the shopping centre and I had a pot of tea and way to many Danish pastries before I continued around the block and I discovered that they had put up a market during the evening. Pretty crowded and I went to check it out. Can't say that my fingers was itching to spend any money. It was mostly knick-knacks and what was it the taxi driver said to me in London.
We came up to the low end of Oxford Street and he told me that we will go further up the street if I wanted to find nice stuff.
- Looks like they only sell knick-knacks around her
- Yeah, but we don't call it knick-knacks, we call it shit.
Well, anyway, I bought 4 DVDs and I walked back towards my hotel, I passed a Mc Donald and I stopped for a hamburger. Must have been more than 10 years since I was at Mc Donalds and as soon as I started to eat I remembered why I had not been at Mc Donald for a very very long time.
Nä, en stor jävla Sibylla 750 grammare, även kallad “dassalocket”, ska det vara. Helst klockan 5 på morgonen när man e lite salongs berusad och på väg hem från krogen. Och givetvis, en kokt med bröd medans man väntar på “dassalocket”.
Back on my room and the internet is still not working, they have had problems with their router for 2 days and a Service man will arrive tomorrow to have a look at the problem. I hope that they can fix the internet, I don't want to go through the trouble changing hotel. The staff is very friendly and it is a good location.
The girl at the reception arranged for the van from MSTS training centre to come pick me up at 07:40 tomorrow morning. They charge me 40 Scooby Doo dollars for a two way ride so this is OK. About the same price as with taxi, but I don't need to order taxi and stuff in the morning. I asked for a 7 o'clock wake up call, I do not trust my new alarm clock and I went to bed at 10 o'clock. But it took me quite some time before I managed to fall asleep.
Monday 3rd of October 2011 and thank God that I had asked for the wakeup call. I had forgotten to turn on my alarm clock. I had a hot shower and two cans of tuna and I was ready to take on the world. It was almost 8 o'clock when the van came to pick me up, good, I told the driver that the new PICK UP time would be 8 o'clock from now on.
We arrived to MSTS Training centre 20 past 8 something and the people taking the Advanced Fire Fighting course meet in the cafeteria on 2nd deck. We had to fill up forms and stuff. A cubic ton of paper work and I wondered why I had filled up all the application forms they had sent me via e-mail.
I also paid for my course and I had a walk around the barge while waiting for the other participants to complete their paper work. They had the HUET course here as well and the helicopter thing was in a pool just outside the cafeteria. When we were ready we left the barge bound for the fire fighting ground in 2 vans.
It took us a few minutes to get to the fire fighting ground and we started with a 5 to 10 minutes break. And there would be quite a few of these breaks. As I said:
- If we cut down on the breaks we could finish at 2 o'clock.
Yes, Aladdin, always obstinate but why does someone wanting to have a break losing time? We started the day in the class room where we talked about the course and we introduced each others. Everyone told the story of their life and when it was my turn.
- Aladdin from Sweden
- That's all?
Time for yet another break and then we had a tour around the fire fighting ground with one of the instructors and we returned to the class room when we were ready.
We discussed fire fighting in the class room until it was time for lunch 20 minutes past 12 or something like that.
Food was delivered to the training ground by a girl and it turned out that she was from Thailand. One of the Instructors told me that she was from Thailand and that I should speak Thai with her.
She asked me if I wasn't going to eat and the food didn't, well, there was nothing that I recognised so I decided to skip lunch.
- Is there a 7 Eleven nearby?
There was nothing nearby and she asked me what I wanted. I told her that I just wanted a Minute Maid. She told me that she could take me to a Mc Donald and we took off to Mc Donald in her car. 2nd time at Mc Donald in 2 days and I have never been so many times at Mc Donald before. The food wasn't good and on our way back to the training ground I came up with a plan. A brilliant plan.
I will bring a can of tuna and a bottle of Minute Maid for lunch from now on Never again Mc Donald, it really taste bad and I felt worse than it tasted when we left Mc Donald. But my tuna in virgin olive oil and the green curry tuna will be just fine for lunch.
After lunch it was time to get dressed for fire fighting and I expected some fire fighting extravaganza as I was taking the ADVANCED fire fighting course.
We started with the fire extinguishers, OK, a refresher could be nice, but for sure, at an advanced fire fighting course you expect the participant to know how to use an extinguisher. Our Instructor showed us how to do it. He was screaming:
- FIRE FIRE!
Then he walked to the fire alarm and pushed the button and he walked back to the fire extinguisher. He removed the safety pin and he walked back to the fire again and he extinguished the fire. I could not believe my eyes. Is this the advanced fire fighting course?
Then we had to do the same one by one and when we were finished we had to do the fire blanket. The fire blanket! This is what the cook does at the cooking school.
Well, the above picture is from my fire fighting course in Go:teborg 2004 and if you follow the link you will end up at my fire fighting courses in Sweden 2004 and 2009. This was real ass kicking fire fighting but the Swedish authorities' just call it the “Scooby Doo” course and is thus not recognised internationally even though it is several levels higher than the Advanced Fire Fighting course. Yeah, Sweden, always top notch and its right. Safety first and competent people, but I don't understand how they can hand out certificates to Filipino Officers that has their courses from the Philippines. If I take my course on the Philippines in is not approved in Sweden.
And no one can understand why. The Swedish Authorities says that the courses on the Philippines are sub standard and not good enough. I agree, the Swedish course is outstanding. But why handing out certificates to substandard Filipino Officers? I think it is the pressure from the shipping companies to approve the cheaper officers and thus the SAFETY FIRST means f@ck all as I always have claimed. At least not as long as it comes with a price tag.
When we finished the fire blanket we started to learn how to connect a nozzle to a fire hose and then it was instructions how to walk a stair. I asked the Instructor if this really was the advanced fire fighting course.
- Yeah, but there are only 3 of you in the advanced fire fighting class. The rest is basic fire fighting. So you will do the course together.
- What the
So the basic fire fighter are ready on Thursday and the 3 of us taking the ADVANCED course will spend 3 hours in the classroom on Friday morning and we will be ADVANCED Fire Fighters.
It was beyond comprehension for me. Well, actually not. IMO comes up with some stupid rules and regulations. A good example is the rest hours, and the rest hour regulation is always on the agenda. Amend or not to amend and onboard the crew are expected to lie when they record their rest hours. And everyone knows about it. We had a guy from the Swedish Authorities onboard for a week so he could do an inspection of the ship. As soon as he approached my office I reached for the rest hour log and he just turned around.
- I know about the problem!
Good, and I was left alone with my tea and music in my office.
It was very important to learn how to walk in the stairs. They told me that they had had many accidents with participants that haven't followed the Instructors instructions.
- What the are you saying? It says ZERO accidents on the board in the smoking area.
Yeah, we have all seen them. Seems to be the latest thing to have around a work place. You walk past the construction sites in Bangkok. They are building high risers and people are falling down like there is no tomorrow. And there is a big board stating that they have been operated for 100000 DAYS WITHOUT ANY ACCIDENTS.
The day came to an end, it was almost five and we had learnt how to connect a nozzle to a hose.
- Hold your horses! I forgot the extra hose.
We also learnt how to connect an extra hose between the nozzle and the hose if it was too short.
The van dropped me at my hotel and I had a shower before I walked to a computer shop a few shops from the hotel. When I left for Singapore I rammed a CD in to my computer just to realise that there was a CD in the CD slot. Impossible to remove and I wanted to try my luck at the computer shop. I went to buy tuna while they were working with my computer. I also had a stop for Danish pastries and a pot of tea. It will never happen again.
I stopped at 7 eleven on my way back to the computer shop. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Malaysia must be the country to be in when you have a hangover.
THEY HAVE 25 LITRES DRUMS OF MINUTE MAID (Well, almost, but they have JUMBO bottles) and I bought a few bottles. So now I have drinks to last me for breakfast and dinner with my tuna.
The guy at the computer shop had not managed to remove the CD from the slot.
- GIVE IT TO ME....DARN.... SHI** COMPUTER.....
I rammed a pair of pliers in to the slot and i ripped out the CD. The guy was impressed but the CD player was caput. There is still one remaining CD that refused to eject. The darn Bluetooth keyboard didn't work. Had not been anything but problem with this keyboard since day one. So I returned to my hotel with my computer and I asked the girl in the reception to call a taxi. I took off to a mall with computers in Johor Bahru.
I checked all the stores for a lap top with a 17" screen
- We only have 15,6"
- Any other shops with 17" screen
- Not around here.
I found one laptop with an 18 or 19" screen but it had the loudspeakers outside of the screen so it would be too big. Well, I gave up and I decided to buy a new computer in Singapore and I took a taxi back to my hotel.
And what the duck? There is a disco across the road and they kept me awake until almost 4 o'clock in the morning. Cars driving up and down the road and people screaming.
Tuesday 4th of October 2011 and I was dead tired when my alarm went off at 7, 2 minutes later and I received my wake up call. I moved over to my desk and I opened a can of tuna in green curry and a bottle of Minute Maid. When I finished my breakfast I brushed my teeth and I had a hot shower.
I was tired but in a good mood when I came down to the reception 10 minutes before 8. And I managed to stay in a good mood even though it was raining. 10 to 8 and the van arrived around 8 o'clock and we took off toward MSTS training ground with screamin' and smokin' tyres.
There were quite a few people in the van so there were obviously some participants from some other courses in the car.
We were soon running in to heavy traffic and we didn't do many kilometres per hour but we managed to get to the training ground in time.
I was in the class room a few minutes before 8 thirty when I expected us to start. But we didn't started class until 10 minutes before 9 and I considered it 20 minutes of lost sleep.
The whole day today would be about the BA set and we would spend the day until lunch in the class room and after lunch we would be on the training ground with our BA set. Time in the class room went pretty quick and it was soon time for lunch. When we arrived this morning we passed a gas stop and I thought that I saw a mini mart at the place. So I walked there when we had our lunch break.
Yes, they sold orange juice, not Minute Maid, but I bought a bottle of some other brand and I returned to my can of tuna at the training ground.
I finished half of the can and then I filled the can with some steamed rice to make the tune a wee bit more exciting. And yes, it tasted good and I was ready to take on the afternoon excitements. We got dressed in BA sets and as we were 12 participants we were divided in to 2 groups. And there is no cookie as reward if we can figure out that we were 6 men in each group.
We entered a rebuilt container and they had built a kind of a steeplechase course inside the container and we had to pass through the container coming out on the top. When we were finished we had to look at the Instructors showing us how to carry an unconscious person.
Next drill was a search and rescue drill. We had to enter a smoke filled accommodation with 3 rooms looking for a missing person.
The Instructors showed us how to carry the unconscious person and I asked how they did this with a fire hose.
- Fire hose??!! Why do we need to have a fire hose? We're search and rescue!
- Yes, or are you entering a fire place without a pressurised fire hose?
- We don't need a fire hose! The fire is extinguished.
- Then, how do you find your way back, when you carry the person you lose contact with the wall.
Always one hand on the wall so you can find your way back. But never ever enter a place without a fire hose, as long as there is smoke there is a risk of a flashover.
- You were sleeping in the class room when we discussed this!
Now I got f@cking angry, telling me that I was sleeping instead of asking my question.
- Yes, I was awake and you showed us how to walk with one hand on the wall, but as soon as you find the missing person and he is in the middle of the room you lose contact with the wall. Especially if we're going to carry him as you just showed us. And no fire hose, in Sweden it is absolutely forbidden to enter without a pressurised fire hose as back up and as the life line to find your way out.
Now they started with “the fire is out” and “black out” so it was dark.
- Do we need a BA set every time there is a black out?
F@ck, use a flash light then. Now it is easy to understand how popular I was. I get f@cking angry, I pay for a course and when I ask a question the best they come up with is that I was sleeping in the class room. I knew exactly what they said and I knew exactly how they showed us how to carry they guy. Fer f@cks sake, if they don't need any back up in Malaysia when smoke diving, JUST SAY SO! Don't give me any bullshit about me sleeping in the class room.
Yes, Aladdin the trouble making. During all my fire drills I have sent the crew in to the accommodation to extinguish fires and to do search and rescue. ALWAYS! ALWAYS WITH A FIRE HOSE AS A LIFE LINE AND TO FIGHT THE FIRE IF THE FIRE STARTS AGAIN!!!
And I had never ever met anyone questioning the decision to bring a fire hose. Hell, they even bring the fire hose without being told, that's a well recognized way to do it all over the world. I have worked with people from all over the world and, well, common practice. But here I was told that I was sleeping in the class room.
It was always 5 o'clock when we left the training ground. There are a hotel in the town called The Zon and I had decided to go there looking for a computer. I was told that there was a shopping centre and The Zon was a TAX FREE ZONE. I asked the driver to let me off at 7 Eleven and I bought 2 bottles of Diet MAX and I walked back to my hotel where I had a shower and 2 cans of tuna and I washed it down with Minute Maid.
The Zon, what a disappointment, looked like an East German shopping mall and there was no sign of any computer shops and I left. When I left the area there was a Police that told me that I had to go through the custom. Yes, a tax free zone and we had to pass the custom when leaving. I asked the Police if he knew a computer shop around here.
- There is a 7 Eleven just down the road.
- 7 Eleven!!??
- No, a computer shop
- You don't have to be afraid, just to walk through the custom
I have found that they are generally very bad in English here in Malaysia. I turned around and I passed the custom. I don't understand why the Police thought that I was afraid of passing through the custom. I walked down the sea front until I found a taxi and I asked the driver for the city centre.
- A shopping mall with computers
- We have City Square
- Sounds fine!
We passed the Malaysian check point at the border to Singapore on our way to the city centre.
The driver dropped me at City Square and a walked around looking for a computer shop. One computer shop and the biggest screen 15,6" and I gave up the lap top idea. I will have a look for a new lap top in Singapore on Friday.
I was walking around when I passed a sushi place
- Do you have salmon & avocado sushi?
- Do you have avocado
- Yes, we have a (Scooby something) maki
- And you have salmon?
- Can you make me a salmon and avocado sushi?
- Not possible, Sorry sir!
OK, there was a sushi king next door, the same chain as I have my first meal in Malaysia at Jusco Shopping Centre. I ate salmon and some teriyaki something, it was delicious. I tried a chicken something, it was OK, but not as good as the teriyaki and salmon.
I had a few plates from the belt sending the plates around the restaurant and I felt for a milk shake when I left the place. Sushi king was on the ground floor and there was a milk shake place on the first floor and I went to order a strawberry shake.
- JUMBO SIZE!
- We only have regular size, he said holding up a cup.
I could wee barrel sized cups and I pointed at them and I told him that I wanted that size.
- Only for soda!
- Fill it up and charge me for whatever goes in to the darn cup!
- Not possible.
Now there was a guy with a tie showing up, obviously the manager and “IPSI WIPSI WU” it was possible to have a barrel of strawberry shakes. I paid up and I left. I swear to you, I had not walked more that 5 steps before the agony stroke me. And it hit me hard.
I came home from the training and I had two cans of tuna in my room. And now here I am eating sushi and drinking milkshake. STUPID!
I left the shopping mall without any new computer but with a giant milkshake. I crossed a street to go watch a temple that I could see from the shopping mall. It was very colourful and it was an Indian temple. I'm obviously in Little India, there is one in Kuala Lumpur and one in Singapore, but is there a Little India in Johor Barhu?
I don't know, but it was Indian restaurants and Indian music everywhere so if it wasn't Little India it was an Indian neighbourhood. I walked around for a while before I hopped into a taxi and I asked to be taken to my hotel. I need sleep!
I was back at my hotel around 9 thirty but I didn't felt a sleep until 3 o'clock. DARN! I will be dead tired when they come to pick me up tomorrow morning.
Well, the week is soon coming to an end and I can sleep.
Wednesday 5th of October 2011 and I was dead tired when my alarm went off. I was thinking about getting back to sleep for a few minutes until they came to wake me up. Luckily enough I got out of bed because they forgot to wake me up. I enjoyed a can of tuna with some Minute Maid when it knocked on my door 10 minutes before 8 o'clock.
- The van is here to pick you up!
- I'll be down in a jiff!
I was stand-by when they knocked on my door so I was in the reception 1 minute later and we took off towards the training ground.
I went straight to the changing room when we arrived to the training ground. We were starting the day with fire fighting and no theoretical studies. No more theoretical studies until Friday when we will spend the whole day in the class room. Good, I don't have to smell like “What the ” in the car when going to Singapore Friday afternoon.
We started the day by fire in a busted pipe and we had to move forward towards the valve behind a water shield to close the valve. And I was like “Yeah, finally some fire fighting action” When we finished with this exercise, we did it a few times and that included spreading fire through radiation.
And our Instructor was very good and there was no dead time between the exercises. It was fun and time turned quick. When we finished with the burning gas tank we moved on the the next exercise, a burning flange on top of a tank. Now we had to climb stairs with the fire hoses.
we did this drill a few times and then we had to fight a oil fire in a pool. And when this one was ready we had to take on yet another burning flange, this time we had to climb 3 floors to reach the valve to the flange.
As you understand we need to close the valve to stop the fuel (gas, gas oil or whatever it is) in order to be able to extinguish the fire. If there is new fuel flushing over the fire it will just continue burning forever.
And how do we reach the valve in the middle of this ball of fire. On the picture above you can see how we use a water shield. The fire can't get through the water shield and the water shield is cooling down the area as well. But it is hot, believe me, it is really hot behind the shield. And looking to the fire through the shield is like watching fire through a window. The fire is coming against you with a roar. If you get scared you're f@cked, a little like the boxing, when you get scared and look away you have lost. As I tell my sparring partners:
- LOOK AT ME!!
Same with the fire, keep an eye on the fire all the time. On the picture above you can see how the fire is inside the shield, but it never gets through the shield.
But you must know what you are doing and I always keep an eye on the guy in charge over the fog fighter if I'm not in charge. And yes, it is a little like sparring at the boxing clubs back home in FUNKY TOWN, you get hit some times but it is funny.
We had a last break and we were going to do the last exercise for the day. A burning gas tank on 2nd deck and we were finished around 4 o'clock. I was looking forward to return to my hotel after a long day. Fun and educational, the first day since I came here on Monday morning.
But our transportation had not arrived so we had to wait for our transportation. I was hungry after a full day of kicking arse. Our Instructor told me to have some sponge cake.
- Are you joking? I'm on diet.....Ok, I can try.....
I don't know how many pieces of sponge cake I had, but it was way too many. But I know that I had 3 cups if Milo before out transportation arrived. DARN! 1 can of tuna for breakfast and 1 can for lunch. It was a very good day until I ran in to the darn sponge cake and Milo.
I shower the pictures I had taken during the day and he saw the picture that I got of him.
- I want a picture of you and me!
He asked one of the Trainees to take our picture. When he got his picture I handed my camera to the Trainee and I got a picture of us for my web page.
It was nice when our transportation arrived and we could f@ck off out of there leaving the sponge cake and Milo behind. Our driver had a hard time to find my place so I asked him to let me off at the corner at Jusco shopping centre.
He continued to drive a few hundred meters and I could not help myself.
- What the f@ck is wrong with you? You asked me “here” and I say “yes” and you just continue driving.
I got out of the car and I walked to my 7 Eleven where I bought two bottles of Diet MAX. And back at my room I had 2 cans of tuna and some Minute Maid. Good, I don't need to go to any restaurant. I will just go to Jusco to buy tea bags and a real size tea cup for my time in Singapore. I will only drink tea and eat tuna during my time in Singapore.
In I will spend the night at my room, no trip to Johor Bahru to look for computers. I will buy my computer in Singapore on Friday. Unless of course, if I have a few beers when arriving to Singapore on Friday afternoon.
Last Sunday it seemed like an idiotic idea, never drink beer again. Monday and I really didn't feel like drinking any beer during the upcoming weekend. Tuesday and I was like “we will see” and today, Wednesday it sounds like the best plan ever to let my hair down Friday and Saturday night in Singapore.
Well, anyway, I finished my tuna and Minute Maid before I had my shower. I walked down to Jusco and I asked one of the staff for a tea cup.
- No BABY SIZE
We found a beer mug, but I decided to have an almost as big mug. And wise from my experience in Pembroke. Yeah, we remember the darn mug I bought in the souvenir shop.
Yeah, that f@cker lasted me for a few days before the bottom felt off the darn tea cup. And of course, the tea cup was full of tea when it happened. And I had tea all over the bridge on M/T Ternvik.
I bought the tea cup, 17 something in Malaysian Scooby Doo dollars and I went to Jusco supermarket to buy teabags. I will not finish my tuna before Singapore so I will have everything when I wake up in Singapore Saturday morning. Tea, cup and tuna in case I will wake up with a hangover and I don't want to get out of my room.
The cup was dirty and I needed to get it cleaned. I went to my cafteria whee they have the excellent Danish pastries. Lo and behold, I changed my mind. My diet is more important than to get my tea cup cleaned. I checked out a few other coffee shops, but they didn't have anything that I liked.
Cheese cake and well, I'm better off without. But I stopped at Sushi king for salmon sushi and the Teriyaki and I walked back home.
I was in a really good mood, no pastries. OK, the sushi and teriyaki was a minor setback. But I was really happy that I had skipped the coffee shop and the cake. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?
I passed MELDO in a good mood and I decided to go inside. I enter the place hitting my new tea cup in the glass door so the BANG makes the staff soil them self.
I asked if they had tea.
- Earl Grey tea?
- Do you mind cleaning my new tea cup and serve me tea in my new tea cup?
- No problem
I ordered some snacks to my tea. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME? I need a guardian! Yes, a guardian that would be in charge over my valet. A 5 dollar per day allowance would be perfect, no money to spend at any restaurants.
When I asked for the bill they only accepted cash so I had to go to the ATM.
- Can you please just rinse my tea cup before I leave?
- No problem
They girl gave my tea cup to a guy and he really washed my tea cup and it is clean like never before. And I must say that the Malaysian people are very friendly, everywhere I go they are so nice and helpfull.
I walked back to my hotel and I was back in my room at 7 thirty or something like that. I need sleep, but it is too early to go to bed or I will wake up at midnight just to have f@cked up the whole night.
When I came back the girl in the reception told me that she had her day off tomorrow when I said:
- Good night and see you tomorrow
- I will not see you tomorrow, my day off
- Ah, then you can go to disco!
- With you??!! She asked very hopeful.
- No, I have to wake up at 7. But you can go look for a boy friend
- I don't like disco
The other day when I asked her to call a taxi we had a chat and when I said “Thank you” after a few minutes she asked why I didn't stayed at the reception talking with her.
- I need to catch the cab
- Oh it is not coming yet.
I stayed at the reception and we were talking about life in general. She told me that she didn't had any boy friend and that her Great Grandfather came from Thailand.
- I only stay home playing Facebook, she said.
- So you need to get out looking for a boy friend.
I was about to leave again when she told me that there wasn't coming any taxi.
- What the
- They didn't have any taxi available.
Well, I asked her to call another company and 5 minutes later the taxi came. Well, she is very friendly, but I will not stay behind in Malaysia getting married, that's for sure.
Thursday 6th of October 2011 and they forgot to wake me up again. So my alarm clock turned out to be a good investment. I left my room 10 minutes before 8 and I ran in to one of the staff in the stairs. He was on his way to my room to tell me that my transportation had arrived
Today we were early at the training ground. DARN! I found the MILO machine when we waited for the van yesterday so I started the day with a cup of MILO.
Well, anyway, we were getting right on with the fire fighting and I was the Team Leader at our first drill. Fire in the accommodation and 2 missing person. As I mentioned before there are the 3 of us taking the Advance Fire Fighting course. So there will be 3 exercises during the day and we will take turns to be the Team leader.
So I would start by picking out 2 Fire Fighting teams and 2 search and rescue teams. After a few days with the guys and I knew exactly what people I wanted where. Fire Team 1 and 2 was the people I trusted the most. I would be standing outside scratching my arse so it was not all that important today. But yesterday when I would be in the middle of the fire I needed the best guys.
Well, anyway, we started the drill and Fire Team #1 extinguished the fire and when they came out I sent in Search and Rescue Team #1. They found the first missing person and they came out. Second Search and Rescue Team entered the accommodation and they came out with nothing. So I had to send in Fire Fighting Team #2 and they searched until the first LOW AIR alarm went off on the BA set.
Took 4 or 5 Search and Rescue parties to find the last missing guy. One more exercise and it was time for lunch. At this exercise it was our Filipino friend that acted as Team Leader. I ended up as a nozzle man and I selected 2 of the ass kickers as my number 2 and 3 on the hose. Search and Rescue Team #1 was nowhere to be seen. So I was lucky to have 2 ass kickers as # 2 and 3 and we took care of both the rescue and closing the gas to the leaking pipe.
I had forgotten my lunch tuna so I just had a cup of MILO. When the Thai girl arrived with the lunch she asked if I wanted to go for lunch someplace else.
- It's OK, I'm on diet.
But there were two other guys from my class that was going for lunch so I joined them. The Thai girl drove us to an resort not so far away from the training ground.
It was a golf resort with three 18 golf courses and I think the Thai girl said that it was a 4 star hotel so I was looking forward to a nice lunch. Our guy from South Africa ordered Laksi, a Malaysian speciality. I ordered fish and chips and our friend from Azerbaijan ordered fish and chips as well. Our South African friend recommended the Lakis, I kept to my order but the guy from Azerbaijan changed his order. The Thai girl ordered fruit.
My fish and chips were OK, but the tatar sauce was terrible. The Laksi was uneatable so they left the food behind. We finished our lunch and we were a wee bit worried about coming back late for the last exercise. But the Thai girl told us that we usually had lunch break until 13:30. I disagreed and I told them that the Instructor told us to be there at 1 o'clock.
The Thai girl took care of the bill, not bad, a free ride and a free lunch. I asked her how much I owed her when we were back in her car.
Well, that's how they operate in this part of the world, always friendly. When we came back quarter past 1 there were no sign of anyone starting to do any exercises. Good, it was the guy from Azerbaijan that would be the Team Leader on the last exercise.
We started the last exercise and I was a hose man, that means that I was able to take pictures. I wanted to take some pictures from the last drill and I asked to be a hose man. And it was hot, a fire ball in this size radiate heat and that's even though I was far away. I think everyone knows what I'm talking about, we have all been in front of a grill doing BBQ.
And that's hot even though it is only a little charcoal at the bottom of the grill. So imagine the heat from the fire above and every time the kerosene squirts out from the pipe there was a fire ball and the fire dropped down on the ground under the fire fighters.
I was a little worried about my camera, but, hmm, did I ever mention that I have a Canon and not a Lady 750? No problem, my Canon can take the heat.
And as this was our last exercise the Instructors lit up fires everywhere so as soon as we had extinguished one fire there was a new fire starting at another place on the training ground.
I remember one time in Bangkok when the fire department came down Rama IV. The fire fighters were standing at the back of a pick-up truck in shorts and flip flops. Bamboo ladders and they were screaming and waving at the traffic to stay clear and let them pass. Of course, this was a few years ago now, but anyway, I was surprised to see the Bangkok fire department in BA sets during the Red Shirt row in Bangkok back in 2010.
When we finished the exercise we had to do one fire in the pool that we had to extinguish with foam. Then we could go home so everyone was of course eager to get started. The best time of the day is when I can take off my darn fire fighting boots and the fire fighting suit. Yes, I could almost sign up for another week just to get this feeling when it is time to take of the gear.
Believe me, I'm in no hurry to get back to the hotel, there is f@ck all to do but eat at different restaurants. But to get out of the fire fighting suit when we call it a day is so nice. Hmm, maybe because I need to lose a few more kilos.
Yes, it was nice to go have a cup of MILO waiting for our Transportation when we had finished yet another good day at MSTS training ground. The last two day has been very interesting and usefull, and fun. But of course, we had a very good instructor.
We had to wait for the guys who had finished their courses today. They were going to get their certificates and when they were ready we took off with screamin' and smokin' tyres. First stop was to let me off at 7 Eleven in Permas Jaya. So this is what the town where I live is called. I just found out today and Permas Jaya is not even a suburb to Johor Bahru. It is a small town between Johor Bahru and the training centre.
My last night at my hotel. I will stay in my room all night? Nah, the boredom is driving me up the walls but if I go outside I will just end up at a restaurant. And that's even though I have had 2 cans of tuna and a little Minute Maid when I came home from the training centre. But HEY!!
I can try to go out without any stops at a restaurant!
I asked the guy in the reception to call me a taxi, the girl have her day off and I will never see her again and I took off towards Johor Bahru to have a look at the town in day light.
Day light, I don't know. This time of the year and it was gloomy and grey. There were a few drops of rain falling, but I was lucky and it stayed with a few drops. Johor Bahru reminded me of how I saw Singapore the first time I visited Singapore. Today Singapore looks a lot different and my guess is that Johor Bahru will look very different in a few years from now.
Of course, I ended up at Sushi king and the place was almost full. Si the Waitress placed me next to a Malaysian girl and she was smiling to have Mr. Hanson next to her. She had just finished her internship and she was going for a few months of training in Singapore on Monday.
It was interesting to talk with her and we talked about the life's mysteries while I was eating my salmon and drinking my orange juice.
I took a taxi back to Permas Jaya and I asked the driver to drop me at 7 Eleven so I could finish my last Scooby Doo money. I have 192 Scooby Doo coins for my trip to Singapore tomorrow afternoon and I spent my last money on Diet MAX.
Friday 7th of October 2011 and they forgot to wake me up. Good, I had put my alarm for 07:25. 25 minutes of extra sleep and I had a quick shower. When I was out from the shower they knocked on my door.
- Wakeup call!
I brought my bags to the reception and the van arrived at the same time, quarter to 8!! Never the same time any of the days. The first day they were 20 minutes late, same on the second day. Third and fourth day they had to come knock on my door. Today I was early to the reception and the van arrived at the same time.
I was out of Minute Mad so I never had my tuna for breakfast, but I expected to be in Singapore with in very soon. We arrived to the training ground quarter past 8 and I meet the 2 remaining participants at the Advanced Fire Fighting course, one Filipino and one guy from Azerbaijan. And last day we had the same instructor as we have had during the last 2 days fighting fire and we started at 08:30 prompt.
The first days we started late and I was a wee bit annoyed, I pay for a course and then I have to stay waiting in a class room. Would have preferred to be back at the hotel sleeping.
We had 2 hours of theory, including a video and we went for a short break. Just enough time for 2 cups of MILO. When we were back we had a written exam and when this was ready we had to wait for them to bring or certificates from the office. More MILO.
DARN! It was very very no good that I found the MILO machine the other day. Now I drink MILO like there is no tomorrow. My diet is suffering and it will be nice to get out of here.
Finally, the certificates arrive and I take a picture of the Instructor handing me my certificate.
- No handshake? He asks
Well, he could see that it would be problem for me to take the picture while receiving the certificate and shaking his hand. So he called one of the others to take our picture.
Thank God, out transportation was waiting for us when we left the class room. But my good mood were soon turning in to a bad mood.
- We have problem!
- What??!! I don't want to hear about problem
- I don't have any driver for you
- What the
- Maybe you can share with our Japanese friend, he is going to Singapore airport?
-OK, he can drop me in Singapore and I take a taxi from there
I only had to pay half the price, of course, now we're sharing a car. And it was very nice to pass Jusco on our way to Johor Bahru. No need to turn off and go to my hotel. I took a picture of Jusco and I was in a good mood. DARN! The driver turned off the high way at Jusco.
- What now??!!
- We need to change the car. This will only take a few minutes and we're on our way again!
We changed car at our Japanese friend's hotel, just a block away from my hotel. When I had moved over my bags to the new car we took off towards the bridge to Singapore in Johor Bahru.
It took us maybe 15 to 20 minutes to reach the Malaysian Immigration in Johor Bahru and we passed the Immigration at 13:00. The whole procedure took us only a few minutes
We were soon on the bridge over Johor Strait and I could see Singapore and I knew that I would be sitting behind a beer very soon. Well, that's it about Aladdin's adventure in Johor Bahru in Malaysia. Aladdin's adventure in Singapore is just a click away!