Thursday, July 25, 2013

Phuket.... lets go.

My professional background is Luxury hotel management for many years, and have recently venture into Hotel Software consultancy… and with that it means I’ve spent a lot of time in Hotels and Hotel rooms…
Having said that however, it was still nice to get invited on a small trip to Phuket with my Buddy Huai Bin.
Himself and 2 other bloggers were invited to experience the newly refurbished and re-launched Outrigger - Laguna Beach Resort in Phuket. And I was allowed to come along for the ride.
Having sort of Lived “out of Suitcase” for most of the previous year whilst working and settling in Australia and Malaysia it was nice chance to have a break and actually have space in my Hotel room….(I had in all honesty already had a nice little 3 day break in Bali in December with a good friend, but this wee trip to Phuket was free d-:  )

When invited to go on these trips you are kind of expected to review the place you stay at as well, (when I was in Hotel management myself, we used to have bloggers and Journo’s over frequently in the hope they would score us favourably… and since I only worked in excellent hotels I can tell you that Favourable reviews were always on the agenda.. ;-)  ) Luckily I wasn’t asked to participate in reviewing, I was just enjoying the stay … IT was up to my travel companions to blog about our stay… and here and here are Huai Bin’s review…

 At the same time, I did think I wouldn’t be a wrong thing to put my thoughts on virtual paper so to say.. .

Initially I thought I had the perfect angle… “The Vision challenged experience” see how things go when you sometimes have some sight issues… how do hotels accommodate for that etc?… then I thought about it and laughed out loud….
Why would I do that… ? So far, my entries have been about , getting on with it, not letting limitations get the best of you… so would reviewing a hotel on how it handles the “less abled ones” be a thing to do in my case? Nah… never….
And rest assured… the hotel didn’t limit me in anyway… all was nice and even, and smooth, no potholes or level floor changes I could trip over… the only thing that caused me grieve was some sand from the beach (when I was on the beach) that blew into my eye and started irritating in between my contacts and I had to take them out… wow… nothing to do with the hotel anyways.. More with my own stupidity for not wearing shades (-:

So then what? Judge it on my professional experiences? Yeh, why not? …well…. I got to a conclusion on that as well….. the NOT that is…. Its work!!!!!! I’ve spent the bulk of my living/working hours since 1995 inside a hotel in one way or another…. So when I’m at a nice relaxing resort… do I want to start taking notes? Nah… not really… .. (or at least, not for now anyway)
I can tell you it was nice and relaxing though… that I had some great food, one of the longest breakfasts I’ve had for a long long long time, (and that says a lot for someone that doesn’t really do breakfast in the first place)  I can tell you that the Night market in Phuket was amaaaaaaazing, and that I had a great Thai massage in a rickety old Beach Bar from a lovely little lady that tortured me and my feet…. But if you really want a review…. Read the ones Huai Bin did…

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To Blog or not to Blog

I was invited by my friend Haui Bin to join him on a visit to Phuket, he is a very active blogger with a large following in Asia.

I had met him via Suanie from, who previously had been introducing me to the Blogging culture here in Malaysia, she as well has a large following and on these blogs they write about food and products, general aspects of their daily going’s on etc… and as such they get invites to newly opened or re-launched bars and or restaurants, product launches and more… this also includes Hotels and Resorts on occasions and whereas I had joined Suanie on a Restaurant re-launch tasting and event once, this time Huai Bin had a spare space for someone to join on a trip to Phuket and I was the lucky one. (See my next post on that specific trip itself….)

These couple of outings have been a bit of an eye-opener for me.
(yep, given that this blog is mostly about my eye –sight.. this is a pun indeed… a bad one at that, but still…)

Blogging encapsulates soo much its an interesting thing to observe.

So many people have different reasons and different approaches.

I have friends that blog to just get “things out of their system”
I have friends that use it to chronicle travels
I read blogs on “Lifehacks” TechieStuff” “Android Phones” and many other stuff.. for either info or an opinion on a subject I guess..

I started writing my blog because I was initially frustrated about not being able to find out much info about living and experiencing Keratoconus… in the hope that by writing my frustrations and experiences down, I might be able to make someone else’s situation easier to navigate…or alternatively for them to use it as a tool to make others understand what it is we are going experiening, and that its not just a matter of getting a new prescription for your glasses…
(I know for instance that my circle of friends and family have approached me with different responses from:
 “Wow….. that made me cry” and “Man, I never realised it was this bad” to compliments about my style of telling my story.)

In all honesty, whilst hoping it might help others, I also have a very selfish point here and that is….to get my frustrations “out of my system” as well of course..

Then again, when I first signed up for this blog in 2005 it wasn’t to do with any of my eye problems( i didn't have any then), it was a vain and failed attempt to write “HotelBabylon Style “ about my experiences in the luxury hotel industry where at that stage I had been working for about 10yrs.

It turned out that at that time in my life that definitely wasn't the thing for me to write about, and although currently I can still come up with plenty of stories, and maybe one day might just do so, at that stage I gave up quickly and retired the blog so to say.

It wasn't until a friend of mine pointed out that maybe blogging about my Keratoconus experiences wouldn’t be a bad thing I decided to see if the bloglink actually still worked after all those years, and as we know, nothing disappears on the internet, so here I was able to re-instated the blog as such, gave it a bit of a face-lift, and started writing..

So far its been a good (and at times cathartic) experience, and although I do have moments where I can’t think of what to write, and admittedly do run out of things to write about KC wise,  then again, when there is something to tell, I always will…

That’s why my experiences with the bloggers I mentioned at the beginning of this article, were so interesting…

For instance, initially I was kind of bemused by the taking of pictures before eating a dish from many different angles to just make sure it looks good on the blog, to taking photos of the whole hotel room and hotel and surrounding area’s from different angles, once again, to make it look great for the blog…

And props to them for having made this a semi source of income, as I saw for instance that during our trip to Phuket, it wasn't all just fun for Huai Bin, it did involve quite a bit of time spent on updating his Blog and his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare feeds…
So, although it might all look like a Jolly.. these guys take it serious and are indeed providing a professional service in way to inform us, the public, of whats out there…

As for all the picture taking that initially bemused me….I started thinking….. its exactly what we do nowadays already when we go on a trip or evening out… taking pictures of out meals, or the place we stay at anyway..

So maybe, when I don’t have anything interesting to say about my adventures in Keratoconus land, I could write about other experiences… or maybe not…. Maybe I should just give it a go and see what happens…in any case, given my vision, my pictures might end up a bit more blurry then theirs..