Friday, July 13, 2012

Forward Friday

As much as I would like to move forward and post something new, I still want to go back to my previous post about getting the driving license. I thought that I would vlog about it, but my work laptop does not have adobe flash installed so the Youtube webcam can't load :-( Sux. I need to get a new laptop at home *sigh*

Anyway, I get good response on my photo once I put it on the social media network.

For those who haven't seen my Youtube vid, then they do not know my "battle" with getting the driving license. Once I thought about it, why it merits to be told and untold for several times. I didn't write a long post about it because I was thinking, does it merit a post?! LOL But I have come to accept that this is part of the story of my life. I have to tell this story over and over again!! But again, I'm proud of it and I have never regret the journey.

Just to think again, I'm crazy to take the driving test in Brussels, a capital city. Imagine the difference if you take the exam in a small town (where you grew up in) and a city where there are trams, busses, cyclists, cars, trucks... LOL

The best about the whole experience is the process here in Brussels. As you may know or may not know, in Belgium once you passed the theory exam and learn 20hrs with driving school, you get a temporary driving license 'L'. With this, with some restriction, I could drive alone within the country. As a person who strive on practice and practice, I find that this way is a good way to learn. What? Putting people in danger? What about those people who drive fast? Or who drives thru red light?  I find that experienced drivers are as much as danger prone as 'L' drivers. Having to drive to work everyday helps me too. So far I've driven almost 6000km.

As I mentioned, the process in Brussels is good. To set the exam date and time, you can just go to the website and register online. You may choose up to 5 dates of your choice and either AM or PM. Then, in few hours, you get a confirmation email on the time and date and you confirm online. So just in few hours, I get the confirmation of my exam date and exact time. Just to compare in France, the registration can only be done via your driving school. So you do not have control on when you want. If the driving school wants to toy with you, they will set the exam further, and ask you to pay for more lessons so that you won't "get out of touch" with your driving skill.

So mine was on 3rd of July at 10:51AM. Yeah very precise LOL.

You can do the exam with your own car or with the driving school car and there must be 1 person comes along. Since I'm using my own car, I bring my husband :D

The day itself, we went and it was so stressful!!! We paid the fee and wait for our turn. Surprisingly, they are on time. So I have to pick a little card from a deck. The cards have number and this suppose to determine the exam route. I got N° 2.

We walked up to my car, myself, the examiner and my hub. Th exam started with the tech knowledge test: Lights, Wiper etc. I almost forgot how to switch on the anti-fog light. Phew! Then check under the hood. Then it's time to roll.... My hub sat at the front and the examiner at the back. So my route n°2 mainly consists of urban area where the speed limits are 50 or 30 km/h. There is one long stretch where the speed limit is 70km/h, but it's a street with traffic lights every 100m. Yeah it's wierd. There are 2-3 cars ahead which were slow, so I just stayed behind and drove at 50km/h. I was tempted to overtake but lucky that I saw it's a street with lotsa traffic lights. One thing about driving during the exam is 'drive like a grandma' LOL At any exam there will always a 'trap/trick' area. This is usually where the street upfront is a no entry, and you have to either turn left or right. I was concious about this, especially when we kept on going straight.

There are 2 manoeuvers only to be done here: U-turn in a small street and parallel parking. While in France, you could be asked for 3rd manoeuvre which can be either backward along the street (yeah having to drive backward seems to be very important if you are french LOL) and side parking. Since the beginning I have no problem to do these things. A lot of people have problem with parallel parking, but I grasped it well and I think it is fun. :-/

During the ride, the examiner made some comments like "You know we are not in 30km/h zone?" - In my defense, I was looking for the sign, and I think I missed it LOL and "Careful" - This is where I was a tad fast at a little corner :-/

When we arrived, we had to go to the other part of the building, and wait for the examiner for the verdict. I told my hub that I won't get it because the usual comment would be insufficient skill, thus I need to practice and practice. While waiting you witnessed other people's verdict. Huhuhuhu...

Then the examiner came out with papers in hand. I thought this is not good. We asked if I passed and he said, "What do you expect?" . I said "oh god, OK what did I do wrong". He hesitated a bit and then he said, "Congratulations" . I can't say for my hub but I was like so close to hug him LOL But I managed to refrain and hug my hub instead :P

I said that I didn't know the place well, so I was so not sure of my driving and you would've told me to go get more lessons with school and learn the exam's routes. But the examiner said that the best way is to not know where you are going because you will and should be careful. And this is what you have showed. People who know the routes tend to drive badly.

Whoever invent motorized vehicules just didn't know what they did to millions of people!!!! Imagine if we are still stuck with horses and donkeys? LOL Well it will be whole new experience! hahahaha :P

All in all it was a great day! :D


Foo Friday

There is a time that you don't feel like doing anything.... Thus, you write a post in a blog -_-

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Midyear Mardi - It's half a year already?!

This is crazy!!! What have you been doing all this months? What have I been doing?!

OK I'm taking time to write a post today because I think it deserves to be written. LOL :D

Woohooo!!! I passed my driving exam :D
Having a diving license is a looonnggg journey for me. And yes finally at 36 years old, I get my driving license :P
If you want to know the history of my driving license, you can watch me on Youtube venting out / more like explaning my journey HAHAHAHA

However, it is not an easy journey for me. It is my second exam. The first one was about a month ago, and I did it well but apparently it is insufficient on my 'turn left'. Yeah, you tell me.
I must say that the guy that I got as examinator today is very nice (well, he passed me, so of course he is nice! LOL).

What can I say. It was a stressful thing to do, before, during, 2 weeks before, 1 day before. Gaahhh!!!
But yeah, I DID IT :D

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wonderer Wednesday

Haha I don't know what title I should put today.
There are few things came up on my mind this morning...
Someone here has some heavy fingers. At times I can stand hearing keyboards clicking sound, but when this person starts type, all I can hear is hammer hitting on my head! I can't think, I can't talk when this person is typing. GGgrrrr...
I could think clearer with music in my ears!
I wonder if I did the same. I mean hitting the keyboard like hammer hitting nails thru the wall. But I don't think so. Each time I saw this person's hand leaving the mouse, I cringe. Hahahahaha

Anyway, let's not talk about other people....

What's new with me? This week, suddenly I have the idea to take tennis course. I don't think it's because of Roland Garros that just finished. I don't even watch the matches. I don't know, suddenly I want to take it. I used to take beginner course back in Uni. It was great. The problem is, I could not find anyone else who wanted to play tennis with me. So I didn't play ever since. In addition, as I searched for tennis course, this is one very near where I live! Near, I mean like really 10 minutes walk! Hahahaha They have 15 courts and I didn't even know! LOL

Yesterday I called them and the course will only start in October thru March but they have open the registration. The guy told me to come this Saturday for level test. LOL I would say my level is between -1 and 0 Hahahaha But I'm looking forward for this.

Other than that there is nothing special going on I guess :D Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wild Wednesday

Hey guy... I guess I will put the vlog idea aside for the moment. I do not have the good moment to do it, and only my work laptop has a webcam. I don't want to do vlog at the office, though I could. Just being respectable to the company's property LOL.

So let's us continue :-)
What happened last weekend? Heheheh... Well this happened!

Yes! Yes! I did it... I am a 20km Finisher!!!!!

For someone who doesn't like to run and had a bad running experience at school, I am happy that I have crossed this line and prove to myself that I can do it. You see, I am not at all a runner. Main reason is that at school, it had always been a sport that I hated. There are kids who are faster and when I did the race, I had the impression that I am moving backward and not forward!
Then, I hate it when I run and my vision is troubled by the motion.

However, I don't know where this desire comes from.... I guess, it's because my colleague did it and I had followed some people from the gym training for last year's 20km.

I have never seen the run before. Although I live near to the route, but in 2009, I think I was in France for the weekend, 2010, is the same. In addition, my physical condition was not as I am now. Then, 2011 where I had family commitment. So I am determined to make 2012 is the year I participate in the 20km!!

What I did to prepare myself? I had to push myself to 'learn' to love running. People said, you should do it because you love doing it, and not because you HAVE to do it. There's a lot of truth it in.
I started with doing a lot of readings on the Internet. I get the information like how to run, tips for half-marathon/marathon, run for beginner, preparing for half-marathon plan etc. So it came down to 2 plans which I found quite similar. I opted for 10-week training plan. In addition, the weather was not that encouraging. I only started run outside in mid-March. I do not have a specific running clothes for the cold and rainy weather, but as I went along, I picked up a 'breathable' running jacket and a mighty expensive GPS chrono watch.
It keeps me motivated and also I think with a bit of investment, the running became easier.

So I cut my gym time to still do my Body Step and add the running. I put in my calendar with alarm the number of km that I have to run. This helps as it keeps you alert of what you have to do and not to decide: to run or not to run.

The furthest I've trained is +/-15 km.
Referring to the map below, I trained only on route 1km-7km, twice. I have never been to the route after the 8th km.

From my experience, getting to know your route makes it easier. I guess it applies to everything, right? Otherwise, you will be like me, where I had to constantly remind myself on the kilometers left to run. It worked, but it would be easier if I knew where I was going to.

The D-Day:
Despite of my trainings in the cold and rainy days, it's only a week before the race that we were blessed with warm and sunny days! That's Belgian weather for those who do not know :-)
I had my breakfast sandwich at home, and off I went by public transportation. It took me about 30 minutes to reach there. So there was the stress, the pressure, the excitement, AND the heat!
In the morning, I think it was already 22 degrees Celcius and it's expected be get warmer when reach noon! I walked around and keep drinking my water that I brought from home. Keep hydrate is very important. Just an hour before the start, I ate a multifruit powerbar. I don't know why but perhaps the stress that makes me want to eat LOL.
We get a small mineral water bottle before the race, so I ditched my big water bottle I brought from home and keep the small bottle.
Usually I am not a fan of carrying things in my hand during running. But that day I listened to my gut, and I am happy about it!
So I have on my left hand the water bottle, and on my right hand I have the multi-purpose cloth that I got from my last year's 10km. It's a cloth that you could use as bandana, or as scarf or as wrist cloth. So I have it wrapped on my right hand, so that I keep my hand relax (when running, your hand should be relaxed as if you are holding an egg-not crushing the egg).
I kept the water, and when I'm reaching the water booth, I quickly finish off the water, and I throw the old one, once I got my hand on the new bottle.
Sometimes, they uncapped the bottle for you, so I keep the cap of the previous bottle and reused on the new bottle. 
Once, I had a lady who asked me for a little bit of water. Made me feel good for helping someone. I hope she did well in the race!
At one point, I wet the hand cloth and it serves as a wet towel/sponge. 
In the news, they said that there were about 650 cases during the race, mostly due to hyperthermia.
I'm very happy that all went well for me, and I finished at 2h16mins! I wish for 2hrs, though. Perhaps, next year :-)  

Al in all, it a very good experience, and I am happy that I did it. One 2012 resolution that I can cross out!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Maybe Monday

How media changes for the past years and now I am sitting here while thinking my blog is technologically obselete. I'm talking about how people do blog nowadays and pass the information from one person to the world.

Somehow some smartasses have a phone which can take videos and internet connection at the sametime and put 2 and 2 together, and there you go.. Now you have vlog.
I start to think, who read blogs nowadays. If it's not for some serious article or recipes, no one wants to read 'stories' or information. It's much better you have 'story tellers' or some one who read articles for you.

The disadvantages of blog is that you have to type. Blogger needs to have time to sit and type what's going on in their head. However, I find it's frustrating, because no matter how long your blogpost is, you still could not reach to your readers emotionally.
The good thing about vlog is that there is a kind of rule, it should not be more than 5 minutes. 10 minutes if the story is really interesting. But that's the max and you can only do it occasionally. Then, you can convey your message using your face expression and body language. While in the blog, everything is black & white. No emotion >.<   <-- See here, what do you think my face express? hahahahaha
My point is, vlog reaches out to people in a different level.

Talking about level, you can reach different kind of people. With blog you need to watch what you typed. If you have your own wording or spelling-kind of way (like the texting acronyms) you can only reach certain categories of people. But with vlog, unless you talk gibberish, you do not have to pay much attention on spelling. As long as the words came out right, you get the message passed on to basically anyone.

When I think of it, up until 1998, I have kept journals, diaries.. whatever you call it. I remember that I always write something before go to bed at night. And when I did the International student US trip, I wrote in my travel journal. Hmm.. I don't know where I kept those books now.

Before that, I remember when I was teenager, do you remember Dougie Howser M.D? Yeah he is now Barney Stinson.. Hahaha.. But he wrote his journal on his computer/e-diary. Wow.. and look at me now.. almost 20 years after that, I am like Dougie Howser (NOT) LOL
I tried it once, and save it of a floppy disk. But it doesn't really work that well because floppy is very rare at the house so if it's missing one, one of my family members will notice hahahaha

Then, as a teenager, I have a radio in my room which I could record. Eureka!! So I did it for sometime. Then, my mom would come into my room while I record and asking who am I talking to or was I talking alone. In the 90s, hearing someone talking alone in a room where there is no one else, is like close to that person is a psycho HAHAHAHA So the tape thing didn't work out.

As I mature *cough* I forgot about keeping up journal. But I have a lot of things to talk about. And I find that it's therapeutic to bring out what's in my head >.<

I'm thinking about vlog as it is THE trend now on Youtube. But also pictures are much better than this black and white writeup. However, I do not have phone with video capability yet. So this whole thing have to wait... I guess..

So what will it be? Blog or Vlog?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fit Friday

Hey guys! What's up?
Nothing much going on this week other than maximised my workout routine. I've been thinking if I should ditch today's Body Step. I'm still thinking to do some Body Step video though. I love doing that, it's just that I have no time to go to gym on Saturday anymore. I can't tomorrow because I've planned to do so much thing tomorrow around town. I gotta pick up something at the post office, and I would like to get a running cap for my 20km. That would take me the whole morning. Then at 4pm I have hairdresser appointment. Gaahh!!!

Anyway, I think I have finalise my running playlist. Of course, there are lots of NKOTB and BSB songs LOL

I still can't get over those guys yet, especially NKOTB. Huhuhu Soon they will be off from this continent, and that's it! Then, have to wait for another what... 3 to 4 years till I met them again. Oh gosh! It's sux!

I felt powerful on my running. It's great. The first 3km is always hard. But I picked up the tempo after that. I'm so looking forward for this!

Other than that, next week will be a 3-day working day. Woohoo!! I will go to Paris. Didn't plan anything special though. But I'm looking forward to just enjoy the long weekend :D