Archive for the Travel Category

Top 10 Dream Jobs

Posted in Careers, Dreams, Sports, Travel on October 8, 2008 by garyyfong

Some of you may be happy with the job that you have and picture yourself doing what you’re doing for the rest of your life. Some of you may be content at where you are now, not sure what the future will bring, but you’re satisfied in your near future. And then there are some of you that absolutely hate what you are doing and desperately wanting to get out, fast, only to be hampered by the recent economic nightmare.

Well, where ever you are, I’m almost positive that there are times at your job where you crumple up a piece of trash, raise up your hands, get on your toes, and for a second pretend you are Kobe Bryant as you shoot the trash into the wastebasket. Maybe not Kobe Bryant. Maybe not even basketball. But something along those lines. You get what I mean. I say almost positive cuz I’ve recently talked to a friend that actually thought that was strange and claims he only thinks about stuff he can actually do. Well that’s no fun. Maybe I can’t throw a real football 70 yards, run a sub-10sec 100m, or do a 360 dunk or a regulation basket. But it’s only pretend, and if I saw a 8 foot basket while I’m playing ball you knowI’m gonna try that dunk. Ha ha. It’s just something you do. Aspire to be something great, and in a sense, indulge a little to your imagination.

So, what would you like to do if you could have any job in the world? Since this is kinda about dream jobs, let’s put a cap on somewhat realistic careers. We’ll define “realistic” as being an actual job that any human could attain, given the right God-given born talents, skills, and opportunities. So in other words, no, you can’t be Superman. And no, you can’t be the benevolent emperor of the world (both of which would be top choices for me haha). Although I suppose if you had enough charm or political tact you could marry your way into royalty or work your way into sole leadership like Caesar. But let’s throw that out. Also, don’t let money be a factor, pretend whatever you do pays the same bills any other job would. So you can’t say I wanna be an oil tycoon just cuz you’d have all the money in the world unless you are really interested in the part of looking for oil and running a business. In fact, let’s take out a ridiculously large amount of inheritance too so you can’t say you wanna do nothin but have parties on your yacht in the Mediterranean. So that rules out being Batman as well.

Now that we have “dream job” defined, what will it be for you? Comment at the bottom at what your dream job would be. To give you some ideas, here are my top 10 dream jobs.

#1. Formula 1 Race Driver for Ferrari

Not a big surprise for those that know me right? Yeah, I’d drive for any team in Formula 1 even as a test driver, but we’re talking absolute dream job right? Of course driving is my #1 passion and Formula 1 is the pinnacle of competitive driving. Plus I love to travel across the globe. Pulling multiple G’s in the corners while zipping around the track in an absolute state-of-the-art engineered driving machines at over 200 mph at tracks across exotic locales; couldn’t get any better for me. Unless, of course, I’m the top driver of my favorite team with the fastest car. (I’m also gonna lump WRC Driver here too because “Driver” is what this really is. Even though rally racing is a completely different skills set and I think all rally drivers are crazy. Also this will effectively lump in major racing championships like Euro-LeMans, etc. Not NASCAR or Indy Car or any other forms of glorified drag racing tho.) If any of this is a surprise to you, you obviously don’t know me.

#2. NFL (Football) Quarterback

Ok, this is a tough one for me because #2 and #3 are soooo close! I guess it comes down to that I think football is the sport that would make your friendships tighter than in #3. But it’s close. I love the game of football and the quarterback is the guy who (under normal circumstances) has the ball the most. Not that I wanna be a ball hog, but I just love to play and want to be a part of every play. Also usually the quarterback has the most control of how the game goes and is also leader of the team. A great quarterback is usually the best player on the team too. In my pipe dream world I’d wanna be as great a quarterback as Tom Brady, but also be as fast as Randy Moss, and as quick as Chris Paul. Oh oops, wrong sport.

#3. NBA (Basketball) Mega-Star

Notice that I didn’t pin down a specific position because I’d want to be a versatile player who could play multiple positions like a Kobe, LeBron, KG, or KD. I’d probably most like to be a Kobe to LeBron size player so I can get some good speed and flashy dunks. Ha ha. Maybe it’s #3 cuz it’s football season. Or maybe it’s cuz the Sonics left and Ray Lee still drinks starbucks.

#4. A-List Actor

Obvious choice. This is the one job on this list in which part of the job could be to do multiple things on this list. Acting and making movies is fun for me and the traveling is also another big plus.

#5. Superstar Singer

Come on, you knew this was coming. I love to sing. Traveling on tour would be great. It would be awesome if I was actually HK Superstar. Or American Superstar. Or both.

#6. FIFA (Soccer) Mega-Star Forward

This could be a surprise for you. I actually do like soccer a lot. It’s fun and any job where part of your job is to stay in top physical shape is good for me. I think if I had to choose a position it would be forward because I like to take it to the house and shoot. But in modern soccer, like basketball, a lot of the positions are not totally rigid so it really doesn’t matter what position I play. Plus soccer is the main sport in most of the world, which mean global exposure and travel. That’s cool with me.

#7. Top Ranked Tennis Player

Much like the same reasons why #6 is on this list, I love to play tennis too and the job consists of staying in top form. You also get to travel to compete at opens worldwide. And if you aspire to be something of course you aspire to be the best. (Ok, I know Federer isn’t the current #1 but he most definitely is the #1 of the past decade, I’d take #1 of the decade by far and current #2 over current #1 any day.) Not saying that it’s the main reason, but having some smoking hot women tennis players you see day in-day out is a major perk.

#8. Supermodel

You can call me shallow but if I’m wishing I could be anything I don’t see anything wrong with wishing I was insanely good looking on top of having a good personality. And really, your job would be just to look good. Besides staying in shape which I’ve pointed out is something I’d like as part of my dream job, there really is no work involved. And again I love to travel. Also again, working with women supermodels is a nice perk too.

#9. World’s Fastest Man

This actually requires an incredible amount of work. I know. Ok, not that I’m close to being anywhere near as fast as Usain Bolt, but from experience, besides just God-given genetics, once you are running up there at your peak in 100m sprints, to gain a tenth of a second faster takes a huge amount of training. Sometimes even that training for speed wouldn’t even matter cuz it’s about training for a good jump on the start as well. One tenth of a second is a lifetime when you’re running sub-10sec 100m. But world’s fastest man is quite an accomplishment, and if I could I so would. Also I guess if all this is dream jobs anyway, I could “dream” that I could be a genetic freak that doesn’t have to train 24 hours a day, can eat the oiliest of foods, and still easily run sub-9s.

#10. Big Time Engineer

No, this is not what I am now. I’m an engineer, but not at all big timing. By big timing, I mean like engineering engines for BMW’s next M5, or engineering the longest cable stayed bridge in the world, the tallest skyscraper in the world, physics defying landmarks, or the world’s first acrology. That’s what I envisioned when I went into engineering. Using new innovations, technology, and materials. Not saying that wouldn’t be where I’m headed towards in the future, but that is definitely not what I’m doing right now. No such glory, no such glamour, no such challenge or interest.

Honorable Mention. Bus Driver

No joke, when I was little, when I was asked what i wanted to be when I grew up like any other kid, I actually in fact wanted to be a bus driver cuz you get to drive around the city all day. My parents were, not surprisingly, terrified. I mean, I guess not so much in a calm easy going town like Seattle, but this was when I still lived in Hong Kong. If you’ve been there, you should know that driving a bus there would be challenging and take a LOT of skill, concentration, and extreme sense of awareness. It is nothing like the chill type of driving done here. You bet if I was a bus driver in HK I’d push it to the limit. Also, in a big city like HK, you won’t get bored as easily because there’s always so much going on.

So there you are, my top 10 dream jobs (+honorable mention) if I could have any job in the world. Go ahead, imagine what you’d like to do, and don’t forget to write it in the comments below!

There is such a thing as TOO good

Posted in Formula 1, Sports, Travel on September 30, 2008 by garyyfong

It’s Monday, my most hated day of the week. I could complain about how tired I am. I could complain about how my fellow HS class of 2003, Dan, just turned 24 which reminds me that I’m getting older as well. I could complain about how summer has officially ended and we’ve got about 9+ months of gray, rain, and cold ahead of us. I could complain about how for the 3rd time in 4 weeks my favored fantasy football team got blown out due to different people under-performing. I could complain about how much I hate my job and that I’m ready to quit if it wasn’t for the economy being so bad that it’s tough finding a better job here or in Asia, effectively throwing a big wrench in my plan for the semi-annual HK trip. Lastly, after seeing this last weekend’s F1 race, I could complain about how my favorite driver once again ended with zero points along with my favorite team and thus making his chances at repeating his championship almost nil.

But surprisingly, I’m actually not too bummed by those things. Yeah, I’m most bummed about my job and my trip but I’ve still got time on that issue. The weather is still nice out which is holding my Seasonal Affective Disorder off for now. And as bad as bad fanatsy team was this week, I know with the players I have they won’t stay bad all year and I’m like 100% sure I’ll make the playoffs.

What’s got me so rattled is how AMAZING something was that I only witnessed through a video from the screen of my computer. Have you ever loved something so much it made you cry? How you ever needed something so bad you can’t sleep at night? I’ve experienced that feeling now. Knowing there is something so special and great but also knowing you can’t have it at all is the worst. The Formula 1 race this past weekend. It was SO awesome that it made me a bit sad that I wasn’t there to experience it first hand and I will never get that chance on this inaugural race again. Despite Raikkonen crashing out and Ferrari not scoring any points at all due to some bad breaks, I could not take my eyes off the race. It was that cool. The first F1 night race EVER set against a wildly amazing backdrop.  

With its similarities in the  skyline overlooking the water, the culture,climate, cleaniness, captialism, democracy,and even proximity to what is obviously one of my favorite cities (Hong Kong), Singapore had already been one of my favorite cities in the world after only going there once years ago. Watching this race taking place there tugged at the very core of my soul. Not being there for it all really rips my heart out.

Those pictures did not serve it any justice. If you are interested, do visit the following links to more pictures from the official F1 site. Those don’t serve it justice either. You should see the breathtaking shots they took in the video of the race. And I bet physically being there would have been even better by a 1,000-fold.

I felt a tingling sensation all over my skin seeing that amazing track at night. I’m not joking when I say I felt chills up and down my spine from the spectacle. AND I’M ONLY WATCHING IT ON A FREAKIN SCREEN!!! I can’t imagine how great I would have felt had I physically gone like I planned to (see previous post). I totally and utterly regret so much that I didn’t just go on my trip as planned. There is, afterall, such a thing as too good. So good that it makes you disappointed. My friend informed me after the race that the price for admission to the race ran $1200. And you know what my immediate thought was? ONLY 12 hundred? I would have paid double that on top of airfare,hotel, etc. now that I saw what it was like. The cars at night looked absolutely amazing. With the lights glaring off the fresh paint of every pinnacle of racing engineering machine streaking through the brightly lit track. The sparks flying off the titanium bottom of every car from the bumps of a street circuit.The excess fuel catching flame at the end of the exhaust. The action, drama, and excitement of a brilliant street race. And the whole atmosphere of a night race at a place like Singapore. Wow.

Unless one day there’s a night race in Hong Kong, this was the race I think I would’ve most wanted to go to EVER. The inaugural Singapore Formula 1 Night Grand Prix. The following ones in the upcoming years will never be the same as the first, but they are still already about as appealing to me as attending the Monaco Grand Prix would be.

Had I been the winning driver of that race, I KNOW, that even at my age as I am now, had I won the race and immediately dropped dead after getting the trophy, I KNOW I would’ve die a happy man with the biggest and most ridiculous smile you’ll ever see on my face.

Semi-Annual Hong Kong Trip

Posted in Hong Kong, Travel on September 19, 2008 by garyyfong

So, as some people may know I was planning to go to HK again around this time. I had aimed for this next week mostly because I was hoping to catch a tour to Singapore next weekend from HK to go to the inaugural night Formula-1 race there. However, seeing as how my hero Kimi Raikkonen is all but out of the championship as he continues to struggle, and mainly because I haven’t been able to find any plane tickets of what I would consider reasonable pricing this time of year, it looks like this next week is not going to happen.

Last year, someone I knew said their parents got round trip tickets to HK for about $400, I was almost tempted to go for a weekend. But having just got back to Seattle in July, I decided to wait and eventually went in the winter time with some awesome friends. This year tho, the Olympics have jacked up the prices over the summer, and I think it’s still having a bad effect even now.

I’ve been keeping tabs with 2 travel agencies in Chinatown and they’ve so far quoted me $850 as the lowest price possible but that price is available from now until the 13th of December. That’s a $400+ difference from last year! Not that I’m not willing to pay $850 to go to HK, but I’m not trying to pay $850 to go in September. I’d rather pay a little more and go during December or at least wait to go over Thanksgiving to tie in 4 more extra days I can miss from work.

So in another words, I no longer have a timetable for this trip. It doesn’t really matter at all when I go so I will go whenever. Anyone trying to go to HK or Asia anytime in the near future?