Monday, June 28, 2010

St. Michael's Institution, My Alma Mater

Introducing St. Michael's, my beloved school where I studied since young. It is the most beautiful school in Ipoh, if not the whole of Malaysia. The building itself is now designated a heritage site in Malaysia. Not only having a beautiful appearance, the school is equally strong on the inside; producing many bright students and future leaders.

I had the opportunity to visit my school again after graduated from there 10 years ago. The school is as magnificent as it was 87 years ago; surviving the world wars, test of times and mother nature. It's just that the interior is really in need of restoration and uplift. It has changed from bad to worse compared to the last time I studied there. Cracked walls are plastered shoddily and unpainted while the doors seem like they could fall anytime.

Histories and more info about the school can be read here.

Click on the image for picture gallery

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Flying Dream Achieved

Exactly 4 years since I joined the airlines, I have finally achieved what I aimed for; to work in an office with the best view in the world. It was really a long and winding road compounded with the unfortunate economic downturn. At times, it was so uncertain that I felt like being trapped in an eternal tunnel of darkness. I came back from my jet training 22 months ago right at the start of the downturn. Had to stay on the ground for a year before I finally start commercial flying as Second Officer. During that year, I had worries everyday not to be retrenched as the situation gets worse. I'm glad the company held out the storm and kept me in the job.

Learning to fly was tough, but learning to fly commercial planes with few hundreds of passengers was even tougher. My Second Officer days were by no means as easy as auto-pilot. Basically a Second Officer is a pilot flying under probation. We were scrutinized down to every last bit of details in terms of knowledge, operation skills and flying finesse. After all, flying with so many lives is a huge responsibility and safety is the top priority. Therefore, the authorities and company made sure only the competent ones are granted the license; not just any button operators. Along the way, some frown and some tried to humiliate newcomers like us. Those are really not so nice people. But I must say I also met many great people and crew members that made my stay-over so enjoyable. I really enjoy traveling to new places with great people as there is never short of joy and laughter.

All my stressful and sleepless nights are now behind me. The last peak was sure a hell of a tough climb. The highest and most treacherous in my entire life. But with a little push from the instructors, my coursemates and my loved ones, I managed to conquer it and checked out as First Officer. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all those who were behind me through the thick and thin. Happy 4th anniversary to Course 121; a bunch of nobody that went through all odds together to become somebody that everyone envies now. To all my friends, happy flying. Hope to see you someday in the air.

Related links:
Life of a Cadet Pilot, Ultimate Jet Flying
Life of a Cadet Pilot, The Jandakot Story
Life of a Cadet Pilot, Part 1