Monday, December 28, 2009

living in an Ice box

This is the title that best suits the weather condition in Beijing (aka Peking) - Mainland China last Friday.
I was in Beijing from Monday till Friday. Upon arrival it was cold, like around zero, which is ok, however by Friday morning the temperature drop to a frigid (-13 C) with wind chill approaching near (-20 C) with Sunny skies. Beijing lies in the northern part of china and towards the eastern tip of Asia close to Japan (relatively close); This kind of cold weather reminded me of my college days at the Urbana-Champaign campus.
Beijing turned out to be a very modern city with really organized infrastructure, clean streets, and excellent shopping malls. It does not fall short of any of world’s renowned capitals, while still accommodating some 15 million inhabitants. I was impressed right from the beginning upon entrance to Beijing Airport terminal. A Very well organized, clean, and huge airport. How huge? Well, you take the subway to reach the luggage pick up area. The hotel was a good 4 star hotel with excellent service and nice restaurants. Even though I was in Beijing on a business trip , but on Friday , i had some time to spare and defied the frigid cold temperature and went shopping. I ended up with nice Chinese gadgets to take home on a nine hour flight to Doha, 8 hours transit time and another 2 hours to Amman. It was a quick journey, and I felt that I visited Tokyo and therefore, I still have plans for future real China visit. To sum up, a well worth while trip that I need to try again when the temperature is not as cold and when I have more time to ramble around.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unpleasent Treat, Movenpick bahrain

I am leaving Kuwait now back to Jordan, after spending 6 days in Kuwait.
I have not been in kuwait since 2003, but then, i had a splendid stay at Marriott (I was treated lavishly, really pampered in all sense). This time I thought i was making the best decision by staying at Movenpick Kuwait (Free Zone). To be honest, i was a bit disappointed. The only 5 Star aspect of the Hotel is Service, however, the hotel is of poor quality, you can notice that as soon as you get to the reception area. It looks old and unmaintained and the finish is not good.The room is Ok, spacious and clean, but the furniture does lack the 5 Star luxury feel.
I did not enjoy the TV since it has been a while since i watched a NON-LCD any kind of display. It is an old 29 Inch regular TV, with a bad sound quality, and not to mention, a rather poor choice of channels.
One point worth mentioning is the fact that there seems to be a sewage treatment plant nearby, and as such, some times (especially at night any in the early monring hours, it smells like Sh.t). Unfortunetly, these are the periods when i was most likely to be in the Hotel.
The food is good, but the buffet is not a 5 stars buffet from an assortment point of view. That applies to both breakfast and dinner.

In essense, for the amount of money paid, i will not return

as for the general stay, i was there for a short consulting engagmemt at Kuwait University, to check how the team is doing with the Jdeveloper 11g New ADF technology. In all fairness, they are doing very good job and definitely, they are an early adopters to the technology

ammar

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