Monday, August 22, 2011

Can They Perform Better??!!

One of the things I hated most is dealing with government departments.I will always try not to come into contact with them.However sometimes we just unable to avoid them.

Today is another frustrating day when coming to deal with government departments.I needed a letter from this department in order for me to apply for xxxxx.Only this department can issue this letter.I think it is a simple procedure as they have all my information and with a few clicks on the computer, I am sure they will have all my details ready.Then in a matter of few minutes I am sure they can just print out the letter as it has been set in a particular standard format.

However,life is not so straight forward.I am in a hurry to get this letter but the people involved in issuing it are not in the same mode as me.

I faxed them my request using their standard requesting form at noon today.It stated in their website that I will be notified once my application has been received.No news from them and after a few hours I decided to call them.

Miss X who received my call said the person in charge is not around (a very common answer).Please call back later.I asked her to check if they have received my fax,she said she will check for me later (another commonly used answer).Do you believe her?I will not.So I insisted that she check for me immediately.She went off for few minutes and return to the phone informing me that they can't find my fax.Aiyoo......this is what I don't like about government departments.Missing files and documents!!

She asked me to fax in again and to call back immediately after faxing to check if the fax has gone through.Without delay,I faxed to them and within 5 minutes I call them again.

Ring..ring...ring.....and no one answer the phone.It was only 4:50pm and all the staffs are not picking up the phone.

I have no choice but to call them again tomorrow.Don't be surprised if they tell me that they still have not received my second fax.I wonder if anyone is working now as many are already in holiday moods.This euphoric holiday mood is expected to last for another month.So be prepared for slow response until next month,hopefully.It is just frustrating.....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

London Marathon 2012

Today is the start of another new season for the English Premier League and I was invited to play in an online league in the Fantasy Premier League.Suddenly it struck my mind that the ballot result for the London Marathon will be out very soon...about 2 months from now.

How do we (the S2 running group) get involved in London Marathon?

It all started in April with an email from Steve to the S2 group of runners informing us that the ballot for 2012 London Marathon has started.Everyone of us signed up immediately either that we are all very keen to run London Marathon or because we are "kiasu".However I heard that it is very difficult to secure a place to run in London Marathon.So,being 'kiasu" myself,I just submitted my application.Will I go if I got a place?I have never think of that until I spoken to Heng.Heng and Teng were not interested because of the cost involved.Only then it struck my mind that in order to run London Marathon,one has to spend quite a lot of money.

As a rough estimate if one is going to London Marathon:

1)Flight ticket with budget airline AirAsia KL-Gatwick return RM3000.00

2)Hotel accommodation: about RM600/night which is the 2/3 stars hotel.The better hotel near to the starting point like Ibis,Holiday Inn and Novotel can easily cost above RM1000/night.Most likely will spend about 5-7 days which will include some sight seeing trips around London.RM600 x 5 days=RM3000

4)Food: 4 times a day X 10 Pound=40 pound/day x 5 days x RM5 (estimate exchange rate of 1 Pound to RM5)=RM1000.I wonder if this will be enough unless one decided to control spending too much on foods and drinks.Eg:McDonald meal cost 5 pound/meal;fish and chips price from 6 pound/meal;meal in a cafe from 7 pound/meal.

5)Transportation: cost of using London tube 4 pound per way.

6)Expenses for traveling and sight seeing,entrance fees,transportation,buying souvenirs etc for 5 days:about 600 pounds or 120 pounds/day=RM3000

Total cost will come to about RM10,000!! which not inclusive of loss of daily income when not working.

RM10K+ to run a marathon.Worth it?It's all depend on one's passion or how addicted is a person for running.Passion or addicts?Just to quote my friend Liau:

"A hobby, no matter how healthy is it in nature, will not be a wholesome activity anymore if you are engaged too much into it. When you are ignoring your family, friends and career for such activity, then it is not a hobby anymore. It is an addiction." Maybe just to rephrase his words to fit them better in term of money:if one is to spend too much time and money into an activity,it is more likely an addiction.Right or wrong?Definitely debatable.

I still remember during those period when I was crazy for Arowana fish,I was willing to pay few thousand ringgit for a small Arowana fry.Crazy?

The London Marathon link:

This is their email:

Dear fyc,

Thank you for entering the overseas ballot for the 2012 Virgin London Marathon

We'll let you know in early October 2011 if you've secured a place.

If you're selected in the ballot we'll also contact you asking for your entry fee payment of £65.
If you need to contact us between now and October, for example if your contact details change, please call us on +44 (0)20 7902 0200 and quote your reference number xxxxxxx.

One really important thing...
Please don't enter the overseas ballot more than once as this could result in all your entries being cancelled.

Entry being cancelled??Ha..ha..ha....Currently I am not keen to participate in this London Marathon and I have decided not to attend even if I successfully got a place to run.Just couldn't find the time and unable to afford taking too many days off from work.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Update.. is all settled.It has been almost 10 days since my car was broken into during the Seremban Half Marathon.Initially I thought there wasn't any signs of break in.My friends and relatives were all curious how can it happen without a trace.They were speculating the thieves might be using a "master key".I wonder what is a master key?Do master key really exist?

The next day when I was feeling better,calm and relatively free after my father's birthday celebration,I decided to do a detail inspection of my car under the bright day light.I discovered there was a slight damage to my front passenger car door lock.On further checking,the lock was damaged.I cannot insert my car key into the key hole.Then I knew how the thief has managed to get into my car.

Then came further bad news...I need to replace the car lock.The original set costs most one thousand per piece.I decided to go for the cheaper alternative...getting the second hand version which only cost me RM180 but came in a different colour.I have to spend another RM30 just to repaint the car handle.More expenses!!

I think I am the most unlucky runner on that day...lost money,camera,hand phone,have to repair my car lock,respray the car handle and not to mention the amount of time wasted going around having the car lock repair.

I also received an email from one Mr.Andrew who suffered the similar fate as me during the Seremban Half Marathon.His email:

Dear Mr. Foo,

Good Afternoon! I just read your blog about yesterday running event. I think the car burglars were celebrating big day in yesterday event. Why?

I and my friend also participated in the Seremban Half Marathon yesterday. Unfortunately, we are having same fate with you. Our car has been broken in by car burglars and we lost one handphone and one Marathon T-Shirt.

I heard from my friend, these people got a team and always target like this type of event. i hope that the organizer and policemen can patrolling as frequent as possible at car parking area during the running period.

We also do not leave any valuable things inside our car in future.

We cannot do anything just prevent only but GOD will punish them!



I think we have to be extra careful in the future.These thieves are getting bolder.Last weekend I came to know many cars were broken into during the Men Shape Run in Putrajaya.