Discovering Croatia

After almost 5 years of not having to do business travel, this year will be quite different.  In addition to the routine work trip to Bucharest, I’m glad that I’ve finally visited a new country AND learning new part of the business.

Recently I went to Croatia twice in the period of 4 weeks.  The first trip was to Zagreb and stayed for 3 days to close an Audit.  That means I didn’t get to see the city much except trying out some local food in the city centre.  So it’s quite uneventful.

For my second trip, I had to travel 2 hours by car to a small town named Virovitica.  The town is quite near to the Hungarian border, in the middle of no where.  The “hotel” is an old castle, 10 mins drive from office and only serve breakfast.  Luckily we had a rented car which means we were able to spend weekend in other parts of the country.

We managed to spend the weekend in Plitviče Lakes National Park, known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon.  The park was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979.  It was an amazing site and due to ‘winter’ timing, we only managed to visit part of the lakes.

Breathtaking beauty.  Highly recommended.  #waterfall #croatia #unescoheritagesite
Great view of the terraced lakes

Big waterfall #croatia #unescoheritage #waterfall Big waterfall

There’s lots of walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes.  There’s also bus service that brings you to different parts of the lakes if you’re not keen to hike.

Besides the National Parks, Croatia is also famous for it’s Adriatic coasts and not forgetting Dubrovnik (GoT – Kings Landing).  A few locals recommended a road trip along the coast to enjoy the beach and lagoons.

I will definitely go back with David to discover the country.

 

10 years in BAT

Yup, 10yrs just gone past. #auditorforlife #bat #10years

Who would have thought I will be working for the same company for 10 years! This is probably more common in my parent’s generation….

Time flies when you’re having fun ??

Let’s see how long I’ll last… lol

Movember Bake Sale

We did it!

We raise over £500 in just one day. There were soooo many cakes and cookies it was amazing. I spent the whole day tasting that I didn’t even eat lunch.

Cookies on display.

Moustache butter cookies. I used a different recipe, recommended by my sister. It was a much better cookies than the Hummingbird version.

Even Dav likes it. It was very yummy.

2nd attempt. Looks good. Hopefully taste good too.

Crumbled choc marbled cake. This was yummy too but slightly dry.

Movember

A few colleagues got together and formed a team to do Movember. During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

To support my colleagues in this great cause, the ladies in the team (Mo Sista) is organising a bake sale to give a helping hand. So I’ll be baking some cookies in the shape of moustache to contribute to the bake sale.

If you want to contribute, here’s the link.

Back from another business trip

Before I could recover from my KL & HK trip, I was off again for 5 days. This time the destination is Brazil, Rio & Porto Alegre to be specific. I went with my manager to run 3 workshops on risk & control for the local IT team. It was very very tiring. As this is the first time I’m delivering such workshop, there was a lot to learn and adapt after every workshop to help improve the content and delivery. But I’m glad that it went well and based on the feedback we received, the participants also enjoy it.

This is only my second business trip this year but somehow I dont feel very enthusiastic. I’m starting to wonder whether my passion to travel for work is slowly changing. Perhaps its the short duration I’m away for such a far away country (11hrs flight for 5 days!). Will I ever come to a stage where I do not want to travel for work?? I hope not!

It’s winter in Brazil but it was nice and cooling in Rio. However when we got to Porto Alegre, it was freaking COLD! We were experiencing 5-10 degrees temperature during the day. I was totally not prepared for it although I knew that it is winter. So we went from a nice 20 degrees to 10 degrees in 2 days! Naturally my cold came back and thus I knocked myself to sleep on the flight home by taking the drowsy medicine.

It was a fun but very tiring trip. Apparently my manager wants to go back there again in September to close an audit. :S

Breakfast @ Copacabana

We stayed in Sofitel on Copacabana beach. This is the view when we have breakfast every morning. Very relaxing.

Sunset @ Rio's Airport Sunset over the Rio airport.

PorcaoThe local audit team took us out to lunch at one of the famous churrascaria in Rio, Porcao. Each person is given a ‘red/green’ card to indicate whether you want more meat or no.

Latest happening in office

Sorry for the lack of an update. I’ve been busy hunting Easter eggs around London. 😛

While going through my Flickr album I noticed there’s been a few things that happened in office which I thought would be interesting to share in the blog.

International Women’s Day

All the ladies in my department was presented with a stalk of red rose on 8 Mar 2012. The rose was left on our table during lunch, so it was a very nice surprised. This is the second time the men have shown their appreciation in the office on this day. Not sure if the ladies will do the same. But I thought it was a very nice gesture. I dont even get flowers from Dav!

 

Evil Table

We have a communal table in the office which ppl share snacks, sweets or delicacies brought back from exotic locations. Lately the table has been constantly filled with lots of chocolates and sweets. The most interesting sweets found was a combination of caramel popcorn on top of a donut filled with caramel !! Definitely have to stay away from this table if I want to maintain my sugar level…. luckily my table is not next to the ‘evil’ table and I’m not facing it either. *phew*

Back to reality

We’re back in London for a week now. Time really flies. Been trying to get back to the usual routine. Jet lag certainly helps to make us wake up early and get to work feeling all fresh until about 4pm where it just hits you in the head to remind you that your’e suppose to be sleeping!

We did lots and visited many places over 3 weeks holiday. It will be too long to blog about it in one post. So be patience while we sort out our pictures and for me to write about them here.

On a separate note, Dav bought me this grow-your-own mushroom kit before we went on holiday. We saw it in a stall in Southbank and we thought it would be interesting to try it. So today I have finally opened the package and started the growing process. Let’s see how many days it takes before we can harvest our first batch of mushroom.

To find out more, checkout the supplier’s website here –> www.minichamp.nl.

This is all you need and a little bit of water everyday.

Let’s see how it progreses over the weeks. Wish us luck!