Shan Pin Koh's Blog Travel, Photography, Food, Randomness


The Year 2011

It has been a great year. Things moving fast, almost too fast. January felt like a long time ago but it was 11 months ago. Sometimes it feels like I have not done anything this year.

This year, I have been to Asia three times. I visited China for the first time in February, again in June and one more time in October. Each of my visit slightly better than the other. The details are fuzzy and clear at the same time. There are just the times when I remember what I said or did. There are places that I was at, things that I saw, words that I said. Every bit different and exciting at the same time.

In September, I was in Malaysia too. Got a new passport and stayed through the hot days at home, not doing much. I often wondered how hot can it get but it's quite unbearable without air conditioning... Yes, I'm spoiled.

Job wise, this has been the year. I was promoted in May. Title changed and with more responsibilities but with same $. Sucks but good experience. I'm preparing myself for what's to come. Or I'm just getting screwed. In October, I started a new role. I had agreed to sign on to start up one of the production lines in Saudi Arabia. It will be a good change of pace for me and I eagerly anticipate the challenges ahead of me.

To what may come...


Having fun in Kansas City, MO

In Kansas City, at one of the museums in 2009. Saw this photo and still seemed funny. 🙂


24 Hours in St Louis, MO

24 Hours in St Louis, MO

I was in St Louis, MO for a business meeting. After the meeting, I gave myself a day to see the highlights of St Louis before I headed home.

I went to the City Museum. I got there, saw that it was more 'family-friendly' and decided it was not for me. Coffee in hand, I headed towards the Gateway Arch. It's an impressive monument and most famous in this city. It's immediately recognizable by its stainless steel structure, rising 600+ft into the air.

What's interesting is that St Louis is the last big city before the big exploration out west by Lewis and Clark in 1804 and 1805. The Gateway Arch is also a national monument so there's park rangers. I paid $14 for a ticket to the top of the arch and a movie. I chose the Lewis and Clark feature as I was more curious about their adventure. The pass is good for 7 days, so I came back the next day for the ride up to the top.



First trip to China was amazing. Met a bunch of good friends, ate some delicious food and enjoyed the culture of feeling good. Life is good.

Shanghai, China

Reflection Bridge in Huzhou, China



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Home at last

I've been going back and forth from Freeport, TX for the past 2 weeks. This past trip, my flight was cancelled and the airport was closed due to snow and sleet. They automatically rescheduled me for Sunday but that would have been too much flying because I would have to leave again the next day.

I made preparations to stay but at the last minute, found a flight home. Now, I'm happy to be home. 🙂

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My first day to Houston started rough. I got home around 2:30. Started packing and doing my laundry. My flight left at 7 and I was planning on leaving for the airport around 5:30. Decision time - sleep or stay awake?

I chose to sleep. Got an hour after spending an hour getting ready. Got to the airport before 6. Amazingly awake. But the lines were long. Note to self: avoid Sat 7am flights as people are going on cruises leave at this time.

Miraculously I got through getting my boarding pass and going through security in 30 mins.

Fast forward to 10 am. I'm in Houston. Weather is warmer and the shock of being in a strange town kicks in.

Somehow I got myself a car and drove myself to Tila. It's a mexican restaurant that my friend Angela had blogged about.

Well, I sat outside as it was warn enough for my liking. Ordered sangria. Yum.

I ordered a tortas with grilled chicken for lunch. It came on 2 large bread and I realized it had cheese on it. Uh uh. Took it off and started eating it. It actually tasted good. The beans wasn't overpowering. You can taste the avocado and chicken. It was well balanced.

I finished my tortas. I like tortas a lot but this is not the best tortas that I've ever had. Nevertheless it was good. Plus the waiter had a good attitude so some added plus.

Final verdict: it was okay. I'll have to try another tortas in Houston to be amazed.

After lunch, I looked around what's around Houston. I went to the Houston Center of Photography. Admission was free. They had an auction going and there was some good pieces on display. Verdict: must see if you like photography.

Next, I tried to go to the Natural Science Museum. Spent a lot of time looking for free parking. I finally gave up and left. I decided to check in. Took an hour nap to improve my mood.

Woke up and got some Jamba Juice. I walked there as the hotel I'm staying at is at a very busy intersection by The Galleria.

Walked around The Galleria and it's just another shopping mall for me.

After all that walking around, I went to dinner. Drove to Pappas steakhouse over on the west side. Had Kobe rib eye. Very good. Not as soft as I had imagined but it filled me up. Definitely full and definitely satisfied.

Sunday. Day 2. I spent the entire day at the Space Center. It is one amazing place. I'm always fascinated with space and this is one way to live it.

Overall, Houston is kind of interesting. Still have places that I could visit like Kemah.

I'll be back. 🙂


Going to Houston

I'm going to be in Houston this weekend. What sort if trouble can I get myself into?

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2010 – A Look Back

2010... Wow. It was definitely a year to be remembered.

Work-wise, the last few months of the year, it got really busy. It's hard to imagine but in the last quarter, I managed to go to Chicago, Madison, Nashville, Toronto and spent more time in Madison again. All in 3 months.

Niagara Falls