Sunday, December 31, 2006

Season's Greetings from Joanna (2006)

Visiting San Francisco, Great Ocean Road (Melbourne) and Scheveningen (Netherlands)

I hope you’ve all had an exciting and enriching year in 2006. I’ve had heaps of fun, as usual :-)

As you’ve probably guessed from the photo spread above, the theme of this year’s newsletter is the RETURN OF THE NOMAD. I have again succumbed to the lure of the suitcase and spent much of the year working and holidaying abroad.

2006 began on a bittersweet note when my little sister Julie flew off to California search of greener pastures. She has happily settled into the American way of life, but we still miss her very much. In May, I also took a big step and bid farewell to life at Genting, choosing to return to consulting – this time with Shell Global Solutions, which is based in the Petronas Twin Towers in KL. This new job gives me the opportunity to travel again. Trips to USA, Australia, Netherlands, Philippines and Singapore means a lot of frequent flyer miles and I’m loving it!

llow me to share some other highlights with you
  • Inspired by lots of exhibitions this year including “Monet in Normandy”- Legion of Honor San Francisco, “Picasso & Dora Maar” – Victoria Art Gallery Melbourne and “The Golden Era” – Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • Visiting the hideout of Anne Frank in Amsterdam evoked many emotions ranging from sadness, anger and despair to hope, courage and awe - all of which culminates in my belief that discrimination, however well-justified, cannot be right
  • A vacation in San Francisco saw me traipsing around Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Napa Valley and every single premium shopping outlet within a 100-mile radius. I love COACH handbags!
  • I've certainly had some gastronomic adventures this year such as learning to cook an authentic Spanish paella, enjoying Filipino delicacies like balut (15-day old duck embryo – beak, feathers and all) and sisik (pig snout fried with vegetables), all-American fare like IHOP and Denny’s pancake breakfasts and authentic Mexican fajitas and tortillas…yummy to all
  • It was a rather strange experience watching the World Cup in the States, listening to insipid comments from US commentators. I much preferred watching matches on the passionate Spanish channels although the only word I understood was GOOOOAAAAAALLLLL!
Most importantly, here are the people who made 2006 sparkle with special moments….
  • Playing godma to Kiersten & Katelynn and watching them grow up is an absolute delight. Another little Australian bub named Alyssa Joanna Wong was also added to my list of godkids in July – she’s a darling!
  • Lovely farewell karaoke party with my Genting mates saw us polishing off 6 bottles of wine, 2 bottles of whisky and a couple of jugs of beer …it was a good night J…and a rather painful morning after L
  • A return trip to Australia saw me catching up with good friends, and making new ones. Also took the opportunity to see more of Australia and sample some lovely new wines.
  • My dad was awarded the Pingat Jasa Kebaktian (PJK) by the Governor of Penang for community service and we’re all very proud of him.

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