Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Apologies for the Long Absence!

Apologies to all my Loyal Followers! I have been most negligent (lazy, perhaps) in posting to my blog over the last several months. Part of the reason for this lapse in posting was caused by the fact that I did NOT haul my laptop with me during this circumnavigation of the globe. (Just too much baggage to carry along for so far a distance.) For the record, I departed Houston on Monday, March 28, flew to Los Angeles and then boarded Singapore Airlines bound for Singapore where I arrived - exhausted - after a 16 hour-50 minute flight early in the morning (5:20 am) of March 30. I checked in to the Four Seasons Hotel and proceeded to spend a blessed 5 days in Singapore, allowing myself three extra days over and above what the company normally permits as a reasonable layover. I find that the older I get, the more time I need to readjust my internal body clock to accommodate the 13 hour time shift (midnight Houston = 1 pm Singapore).

I had a wonderful time in Singapore - I took in the Singapore Flyer (see picture below) and stopped by the new Marina Bay casino. Also visited (again) the National Orchid Garden (excellent) and several local museums.

After Singapore, I flew (Sunday, April 3) to Jakarta, INDONESIA and then immediately connected to a Garuda flight to Pekanbaru, Sumatra for what turned out to be a one-week visit to our company's steamflood facility in Duri (Central Sumatra). On Friday (April 8) the smoke levels in the Sumatran rain forest proved so intense that my early morning chopper flight to turned into a three-hour bus ride to Rumbai. No problem - the ride was pleasant enough and afforded me a few picture taking opportunities. I boarded a Garuda flight that afternoon and returned to Jakarta and checked in to the Mulia Hotel in central Jakarta. This is an excellent 5-star hotel with great security. I thoroughly recommend the Mulia Hotel.

Next: On Saturday evening (April 9) I boarded my Emirates flight to Dubai and we departed on time and arrived into Dubai at about 10:45 pm Dubai time. I checked in to the Intercontinental Hotel (Festival City) and rested for two days.

Next: On Monday (April 11) I flew on Saudi Arabian Airlines to Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The flight lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes; then came the wait at Saudi Immigration!! That took one hour and 15 minutes!! Ten desks but only two Saudi immigration officers on duty! C'est le vie. I spent the next four days in Steineke Hall in Dhahran, courtesy of Saudi Aramco.

My brief stay in Saudi Arabia ended on Thursday, April 14 when I flew (via Doha, Qatar) on Qatar Airways to Kuwait for three weeks of work in Wafra Field (inside the Kuwaiti portion of the Partitioned Zone). I departed Kuwait on Thursday, May 5. After an overnight rest stop in Dubai, I flew home to Houston aboard Emirates 211 on Friday, May 6th.

PS: I managed a short (9-day) vacation in the New York City area from May 19 to May 27. I visited a long-time friend in Long Island; met up with another long-time friend that Saturday and the three of us took in Billy Elliot ($135 per person!!) at a theater on 45th St. This was an excellent play by the way! Then a few days in upstate New York followed by a return home from LaGuardia Airport that following Friday (May 27).

And there you have it!

I will endeavor to post some memorable pictures of my journeys as soon as possible. Frankly, my life has become quite hectic recently and I find precious little time to manage this blog. I hope my followers will please be patient during these seemingly long absences of mine!


Hindsfeet said...

well welcome home! and *who* is the adorable puppy in the picture?!

chemist said...


Thanks for hanging in there during my long absence and for remaining as a follower of my blog!

Traveling Chemist

Lloyd Munjanja said...

I am a Chemistry PhD student whose one question for you is: "How do you get a career like this???" I know you might be way too busy to respond to me but I will be way so happy to get an email from you! I have so many questions for you because I do so admire your career and I want to be like you after I am done with my PhD.

my email is lmunjanj@z.rochester.edu

chemist said...


How did I get a career like this?? Simple question - but a complicated answer! Not all companies function in the same manner as the place where I work. In fact, some departments in my corporation probably never let their employees travel since their job location is where they have their office. But as for me, I managed to work in our company's central "Technology Department". Our department's main goal in life is to serve our customers who are the men and women all around the world who's work it is to produce the oil which our company then markets all over the world. So, basically, in serving my customers and in trying to solve their unique problems, I often need to be in locations other than in Houston which is where my home base is located. Some things I cannot do in the office - I need to be out in the field (literally!) and so I often find myself on a plane heading to who knows where.

Traveling Chemist

Melody said...

I can see why a young Chemist would envy you position. Even an old non chemist finds it absolutely intriguing to have a career that pays you to do 2 things you enjoy. Just goes to show you never know where life is going to take you. I do hope you don't have a family waiting for you while you are gone for so long at time... Yet that would be sad also. But then again, all the interesting people you meet along the way, you must have forged many wonderful friendships. Oh well toss a coin... Enjoy...Happy travels

chemist said...


Many thanks for those kind comments! True enough, travel does make one lonely - and tired (jet lag, ugh!) but the new horizons encountered and people met during my adventures away from home all help to mitigate the 'pain' of being away.

You also left a separate comment to my posting from Arizona: (http://travelingchemist.blogspot.com/2010/04/vacation-in-tucson-arizona-march-11-15.html). Mt. Lemmon was a great place to visit - highly recommended! Sadly, I was unable to return to Tucson this year. But I hope to return to Arizona in early 2012.

Traveling Chemist