Monday, September 6, 2010

The Two-Year Mark!

Mmmm... chicken rice, one of my favorite local dishes. I can't believe it... two years in Malaysia. It's gone by so quickly in many ways. I arrived here on September 5, 2008. Everything was different and exciting and new. And now I've lived here for two full years -- learning the culture, eating the food, meeting the people. I feel that, for the most part, I've done what I set out to do. I think that if jobs were plentiful back in Colorado, I might be at least considering a return home. But in reality, it doesn't make much sense to move back and be unemployed.

My job here keeps me busy, probably almost too much so. About three weeks ago, I got to go down to Singapore to host a VIP event at our office and executive lounge there. Honestly, for those unfamiliar with fine wines, this sort of thing wouldn't make much of an impact. However, for people who know wine, and know the very best wines, telling them that I got to drink all five of the legendary wines from the First Growth estates of Bordeaux evokes a sense of envy and wonder. These five wines are regularly among the most expensive and highly sought-after wines in the world. As I told my guests that night, even getting to pop the cork on any one of these wines would be a treat. To have the opportunity to drink all five in the same night is an event of singular rarity, something that for many on hand that night, would indeed be a once-in-a-lifetime
chance. Here's a snapshot of me before opening the bottles... from left to right, Château Haut-Brion, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Château Latour.

That's the wondrous thing about life, isn't it? We never really know what's just around the next corner. As recently as four years ago, I'd never have even dreamed that I'd be living in a foreign country, and even after arriving here, the prospect of being in senior management for an international investment company in Asia, serving up the finest wines in the world to our happy Singaporean clients never would have even entered my wildest dreams. That's not to say the job is a great dream — most of the time, it's a true job. Frustrating, tiring, overly demanding. You know... work. But this great journey, this life I feel so fortunate to lead, always surprises me with fascinating twists and turns. Not all of them enjoyable... not by a long shot. But if everything was always terrific, we wouldn't even know the difference. The rough patches just serve to make
the good times that much more enjoyable. And without this attitude, and this weird sense of adventure, I'm sure I'd never have discovered "Chad Potatoes." Of course I have no idea what they are (they look like plain ol' standard potatoes to me), but they're all mine!!

Next up for me, a return trip to Bali with friends. It's my ninth time to the tiny "island of the gods" since my inaugural trip there in June 2003, perhaps the catalyst for the tiny bit of wanderlust that brought me to live, if only for awhile, here on the Malaysian peninsula of Southeast Asia. Where else would I find such deranged flavors of Pringles?? In addition to these, I've also seen "grilled shrimp" and "seaweed." So it's not just pizzas they're messing up, it's good ol' American junk food, too. Is nothing sacred??

Shortly after the Bali trip, I'll be flying back home for two weeks to enjoy the spectacular Colorado autumn and to tend to my mother, who will be recovering from major surgery by that time. She'll be having a mass near her pancreas removed, so I'm not sure if that will help remedy her issues with staying balanced and upright, and it'll almost certainly not do anything to help her complete lack of proficiency with anything involving technology, but it'll be a good thing nonetheless. With any luck, she'll be in full recovery mode by then, and with even more luck, my baseball team will be in the playoffs and we can catch a game.

The journey continues ever onward... stay tuned!


sheryl said...

Chad I have enjoyed reading every entry..I feel like I am right there on this fabulous journey with you! I have even told friends about it and one that worked with me who is now back in KL. Keep up living life to the fullest..I am jealous

Adrian M said...

No tasting notes on the wines??!! please share.

I came across your blog and Id love to pick your brain, Im a Sommelier in Canada sick of Canadian winters. Im looking for a new adventure, Singapore sounds great. Any advice?
I can be reached at otherwines @

Thank you and keep living the dream!