Thursday, March 31, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
|A CONCISE GUIDE TO DREAMS|
By Philip Clucas and Douglas Clucas
- One should not worry about the amount of sleep we are having.
- Live a active life.
- lessen your tension before you go to bed. Do some light exercises, go for a gentle walk and if possible have a warm bath.
- Don't over eat before going to bed. Leave at least 2 hours between your last meal and when you go to bed. If you want to eat at all, then try restricting to only light meals like a piece of fruit etc.
- Don't drink any thing that is caffeinated. Don't even smoke or drink any alcohol.
- make sure the bed is very comfortable.
- Also make sure that our bedroom conditions are ideal for our sleep. Check the temperatures (16-18 degrees on thermometer) the room should be neither too dark nor too bright. play some soothing music like a sound of nature,
- Keep a dream diary to record some of the thoughts that worries you and avoid pondering into them.
- go to bed 30 minutes before we actually sleep. during that 30 min, read something that relaxes your mind but don't get too absorbed.
- If you feel you have problem falling asleep, then try tip No 8. try to divert your attention. Think of a place or a person that makes you feel safe and secure. Focus on a image that comforts you.This will make your mind easier to slip off to sleep again
Friday, March 25, 2011
|Nima in Orange, Sonam in Red and Peldhen in Blue|
Amidst all this chaos and insecureness, It's from the face of my lovely angels, that I draw reason to continue ahead in my life. They are truly the light in my darkest hour. I love you girls and I hope you'll read what papa wrote here, someday.
The memories from Melaka mall are unforgetable, because it was there I did my major shopping. I bought toys and garments for my daughters and shoes and socks for my wife and parents. Our colleagues from Malaysian customs, sometimes took us to a different mall and treated with traditional Malaysian tea too.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Universal Aviation Safety Audit, will conduct aviation safety audit and publishes its findings to the public. The public will be informed about those point of entry, that have low safety compliance record and hence not worthwhile for the travel and vice-versa.
The main aim of IHR is to contain the risk at the origin through public health services and public health surveillance. Therefore health is the security is everyone. Without a secure health system, we are as strong as a weak link in the chain of security system.
Note: I am afraid, that this article is rather haphazardly written. The points are not in sequential order and I would like to remind all my readers that this is what I have learned in just 1 hour about the IHR from the experts.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
|Here comes your Photographer|
Saturday, March 12, 2011
|On the joyous occassion of my Birthday!|
Thursday, March 10, 2011
As we proceeded to collect out luggage, we also met a person from Mongolia who have come for the same course. She looked exactly like a Bhutanese lady and that brought me more comfort. She told me to call her Magie.
With H1N1 pandemic sweeping the region, not many people were seen in the terminal (which was otherwise designed to accommodate thousands) The ladies in the immigration counter spoke less but did their job of expediting our clearance. The customs was not in my worry list.
Suddenly, I was outside the terminal building, sweating in the heat and breeze of tropical vegetation. An old cabbie took me in his old and noisy cab along with Mrs. Magie from Mongolia to Melaka. As he stopped at a nearby gas station and to refuel his gas, I could see his elderly muslim white bear around his mouth and a beautiful taqiyah on his head. He spoke not even a word to us. He occasionally used his cell phone while driving and conversed in language, far foreign to me and Magie. I tried my best not to fall asleep but to no avail. The racing cars and motor cycles on the high way, along with the occasional screams form Magie, however kept me awake.
We reached the Customs Academy of Melaka, popularly known as AKMAL at around 2 am. Exhausted and worn out, I immediately went to my room and slept on the bed.
I was given room No 26. It had all the facilities far far better than the ones I have seen in customs academy in Faridabad, India. The bed was comfortable and cozy. The mirror; large and clear, and LCD TV screen fitted on the wall. The bathroom appeared bit old but was clean and hygienic. The sleepers in the bathroom were worn-out but were still usable.
The surrounding was clean and calm. It had all the beauty associated with the academy. The dining was well set. The utensils bore a testimony of all the good foods it served; starting form orange juice to lemon tea, tasty fish curry to sticky rice and fresh banana to juicy melon.
The staffs of the academy were friendly and were very hospitable too. They helped me understand more on Muslim culture and tradition. They told me that drinking liquors and eating pork are considered gross. Visiting a lady's room for a man is prohibited and if found, one will be charged for a breach of sharia law.
With all those beautiful things and beautiful people around, I anticipated my trip to be a success, both in terms of knowledge gaining and familiarizing my self to the uniquely Malaysian society.
Friday, March 4, 2011
|Recipients of MTCP Scholarship, Aug, 2009|
Thursday, March 3, 2011
As we came out of the bus, it was a bright sunny day then, the officials from the Customs Training Institute (CTI) of Kashiwa came to receive us. There were three men and four ladies to greet us at the gate. All of them looked young and I supposed them in their mid 20s. They all looked gorgeous in their tidy dress. All men wore black suits while ladies wore skirts and long jackets. They all bowed their head to welcome us.
I walked to my room with the slippers on and finally made to my room. The room had a metal door and it didn't have a number. They have put my name and along with the National flag of Bhutan. This honestly made me feel proud and happy. I took out my camera and took a picture if it. I felt like I was given VVIP treatment.
|My Name on my door|
That moment surprised me because I was paid a hefty sum of US dollar 1400/- for a five day seminar with free accommodation, free food and free air travel. I honestly couldn't believe my eyes. To pull myself back to reality, I even approached the organizers to find out whether the amount they paid to me was right. That was a lot of money and it truly was a windfall gain and cornucopia of fortune. As the day drew closer to dusk, I went back to my room, with my hands still holding the money in disbelief.
In the evening, we were all invited for a welcome dinner. I couldn't eat much but talked a lot. I talked with most of the delegates and all of them had a fair knowledge of my Country. They knew about the benevolent king we have. They also knew that development in my country based more on human happiness than material well being.
Next day, the seminar on IPR actually began. We were given countless handouts and reading materials. There were also some delegates who gave their presentation on the status of IPR infringement and IPR protection action plans in their country. We had few of the resource speakers from companies like YKK, HONDA, NOKIA, MPA and SONY etc. Participants were mostly educated on the subjects like, IPR policy of Japan, Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), WCO IPR strategy, IPR and the problematic postal system and WCO Model legislation of IPR. Some of us carefully took notes form the presentations when some of our friends peacefully slept on their chair.
Back in the dining hall, I felt comfortable dining with my colleagues for India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal. We basically had the same manner of dining compared to those people form China, Japan and Europe. We were mostly served rice and fish. Sometimes we were also served egg and and vegetables too. Of all the meals, I enjoyed breakfast most because of its sheer varieties. I went to thank cooks after every meal and sometimes our conversation got prolonged. They were mostly elderly looking ladies and they had very good knowledge of geography; Mot of them knew where Bhutan is.
We also had a day half day program in Tokyo Customs in Odaiba. The officials there basically took us through the working areas of Customs like the scanning area, assessment area and to the Customs museum where the seized IPR infringed goods were displayed for the public to create awareness. The museum also had a collection of uniforms of the different customs administrations around the world. The seized wild life products like crocodile skin and polar bear skins were also displayed.
|During my shopping day in Akhiabara city with my friends|
We all went out to check the authenticity of the statement ourselves. We were given only limited time but it was worth spending. I spent most of my time in just one departmental shop. They virtually sold anything between the sky and the earth; from food stuffs to flowers, garments to garlands, cameras to candy and toys to truck. They had it all. I bought a gold plated spoon which had a picture of a lady in traditional Japanese costume and the beautiful mount Fuji. I bought it for my daughter.
Most of our friends came back with different items. Few of them bought digital cameras without even knowing how to operate. Few of our friends, whose main purpose of the trip was to ensure IPR protection, came back with counterfeit laptops.
On our lat day of the seminar, we were all given a CD that contained seminar materials and the pictures taken during the seminar. The organizer of the seminar reminded us to get proactive with the IPR enforcement. They also gave us the certificate of participation along with a gift form Japan Customs, which was digital watch. The certificate with the WCO logo looked prestigious and digital watch with the logo of Japan Customs looked precious. We were also given a list of all the participants which also included details like e-mail address and telephone numbers. We all agreed and promised to keep in touch, both officially and personally. We took numerous photographs and vowed to remember the place forever. As we bid adieu to each other some participants went emotional.
With that, I closed my beautiful and fairly tale like stay in the beautiful city of Kashiwa. Today after 4 long years, I still fondly remember the city in its full beauty; the beauty of foot paths where elderly people went for walk along with bicycling youths; the beauty of noiseless and unperturbed traffic; the beauty of peach trees and the spring festival; beauty of the sun rays and the clear blue sky; beauty of cold ocean current in the early mornings and late evenings and the beauty of the warm breeze in the afternoons, Those memories still enchants me and makes me nostalgic.
Today I look at a faded gold plated spoon, a non functional digital watch and certificate with torn edge and tell myself that I have lived in my "dream land" once.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
|Me, during the seminar|
By then I realized, that I have waited more than an hour. I reluctantly approached the information desk and requested the lady there to do me a favor. Although she understood my need in advance, I, in my most polite manner still, requested her to announce my name and that a person, waiting for me could kindly come and pick me form the information desk. Another person followed my suit too. His looks confirmed me that he was a Thai national, His round face, some what flattened nose, dark black hair and tropical fair skin said it all to me. On seeing his jacket, he became a subject of more interest for me because the logo on his back read "Customs". I choose not to be explicit about my interest and kept silent
The lady at the information desk proceeded to make the announcements, but faced a difficulty pronouncing the name of a Thai man. I tried to help her out and amazingly it worked. A minute after announcements were made, a pale and exhausted looking lady soon appeared. I saw in her hand, a torn chart paper with my name along with the name of that very Thai man. Before she could even utter a word, I told her that we were waiting for her. But she had her own points to prove to us, She told us that we have come through a wrong channel, (the residents returning) and not through the right channel (Foreigners channel)
She not only dragged our bags but dragged us as well. She warned us about the possibilities of missing a bus to our hotel. We ran helter-skelter down the steps and finally made it to the bus that was about to move. We hurriedly got into the bus and took a seat next to each other. As I took a deep breath to sigh out all the anxieties, he finally gave me his visiting card and at the same time began his introduction. I had no visiting card in response but I gave him my introduction too. Later, we also went on to discuss about the same flight we took from Bangkok. We also discussed how popular our future King was in his country, known as "Prince Jigme"
With those discussion, we finally reached our hotel. The large sign board read "Washington Hotel" and the huge concrete building dazzled in the evening light. Inside, there were few hundred people who eagerly waited for the room keys to be distributed by a man at the counter.
I finally got my room key, which rather looked like a voucher card and not like the keys that I was used to for the last 27 years in my life. with key, I was also given a complementary breakfast coupon too. I was given a room at the 6th floor and there were also others who had the room on same floor with me. I cautiously entered the elevator with other people and carefully observed which buttons to press for exit and entry respectively.
The sound like a gong indicated that I have finally reached the 6th floor. I got out and went on to open my strange door with the strange key. To my relief, the instructions were clearly given and I could easily open the door. It was something like "insert the card and twist the knob when the green light blinks"
I entered my room expecting so many surprises. I carefully vouched the room with all the leaflets and brochures in the room. One leaflet said "Never leave your key inside the room while you go out" I sincerely obeyed the instruction and put my key in my pocket. I started to check my room in detail to find that there was a bed that rather looked too large for a single person along with the side table that had switches at the side and lamp on it. The window appeared large but were permanently locked. I was later told that those windows were permanently locked to protect people form committing suicide. It had a rubber curtains which I did not bother to open or touch it. The small refrigerator was stocked with all the fizzy drinks. I later realized that it was my wise decision to have not even touched those items. If I did, then I would have ended up paying a fortune for that. The Telephone set looked just like the one I had back home, so it drew no attention of mine. The television screen however attracted my attention. The thin and slim screen was connected to a cable but had only one channel; -Japanese version of BBC along with a channel that played short clips of porn movies. Later I came to know that TV subscription cards were available at the lobby for one thousand yen. I bought one thinking that I could also watch other channels apart from BBC and short porn clips.
Then I went on to check the bathroom. It was quite dark inside but never the less it was well furnished with a tub, toilet, detergents, clean towels, bathrobe, shower and a torch with a chargeable battery. I thought to my self that, perhaps, people in Japan also keep contingencies like torch.
By the time I completed my inspection, it was already dark out side. I could see the resplendent street lights on the road and airplanes with lights, hovering in the nightly sky. I had no appetite for dinner. The light form lamp was simply too faint and dim and therefore I felt a pressing need for my room to be electrified. With the right option safe and intact in my pocket, I completed all my wrong options and ended up spending a night with a just table lamp and a a torch lighting up my room.
With my bitter failure to put on the light, I was about to go to my bed for a sound sleep, when my door bell suddenly rang. It was a lady from the transportation department. She gave me a few handout papers and told me to be there in the lobby at 630 am. She disappeared immediately.
As I went through the handout papers, one clause suddenly worried me. As per the clause, it required me to pay a sum of Yen 26000/- next morning to the organizers. It also stated that the participants should at least have another sum of yen 26000/- to cover up the other incidental costs.
For gods sake, I had only USD 300/- which is equivalent to Yen 34800/-in total. where in the hell am I suppose to get that much money form. If the thing of light was insult, then thing of yen surely came as an injury to me. It took away all my sleep and peace. I regretted being there and thought that these people have all gone nuts. suddenly I started missing my home. I became insomniac and became wretched. That was the first time I felt home sick in my entire life.
Deep inside, I consoled my self and said that, things should work out well because I have come here to represent my administration; -my country. I tried multiple ways to bring down my emotion with multiple self consolations.
The next morning, I got up way before the wake call and got dressed. I tried to make a phone call to my family but someone in Japan responded and I was charged 10 Yen. I couldn't even eat my complementary breakfast.
I met my Thai colleague in the hotel lobby and I tried to discuss the same matter with him. He showed no interest and seemed least bothered. When I showed him the paper I was given, he took a glance at it and said that I was given the wrong paper. He told me that those papers were actually meant for the private sector people and not for government delegations.
I immediately approached the lady and told her of the errors (of her) that took away my sleep and made me home sick. She was swift in acknowledging her mistakes and immediately apologized me.
Soon all the participants got into the bus, that apparently looked like a house in itself and we began our onward journey to Kashiwa. I slept the entire journey to compensate my lost sleep.
We finally reached, Kashiwa at around 9 am local time.
Opinions, thoughts and reflections I wrote in my blog are all personal. Readers are strongly advised not to draw any conclusion what so ever on the basis of my write ups. The objective of creating this blog is to renew my passion for reading and writing. Unless otherwise stated, any resemblance to person (living and dead) and place are purely coincidental. The contents in the blog are written in the best of my ability in English but are prone to numerous grammatical and spelling errors. Big or small, silly or funny, they are all mine. Please bear with me.
Without my prior approval and consent, reproduction of my work in any form is strictly not allowed. Suggestion to improve this blog are most welcome