Sunday, December 31, 2006

Penang Trip - One To Remember For

There is so much to write about in Penang, I do not even know where to begin. Okay lets begin with our journey up to Penang to start. It was 26th December, the day began very early morning when everyone is in deep slumber, however I do suspect some people were religiously attending BodyCombat class all. Sayang and I had other plans, although it was not a good one, we were going to pig out for the next few days.

Morning - On The way up

It began 6am, Sayang was already preparing to come over to pick me up for the trip up. I was still in slumber knowing that my stuff were all packed. By 9am she
already had half a day ahead of me in terms of activity, while mine began.

First assignment - Cari Sarapan Pagi yang sedap !!

Kuay Teow Thng, Loh Mai Kai and Char Siu Pau,hardly the breakfast for champions but it
would suffice until we reached Ipoh to look for the legendary Taugeh Ayam. Anyway the breakfast was actually randomly selected at a random breakfast place in Taman Midah. Not bads.

After breakfast we stopped by at Giant to get some water and junk food to accompany us on the way up. As soon as we were done we really got on our way up to Penang via Ipoh first. A pitstop to refuel or tummies. The hunt is on for Taugeh Ayam. A mission that sounds quite impossible, because, neither of us are familiar with Ipoh town.

The drive up to Ipoh was relatively quick, we were both excited and full of energy. It was filled with hope as to what we food we would eat and how fat we would all become. We reached Ipoh with a slow cruise up, nothing much to see on the way except for a truck full of cute pigs. So we managed to stumble upon the famous Taugeh Ayam restaurants in Ipoh. It was closed and they will only open for dinner that day. Alamak !! So we walked around and stumbled on this huge sign .

So we walked in and tried a bowl of their tau foo fa. It was ok la, to be frank I do not know what is different about this tau foo fa, but when you put it into your mouth, it was firm and soft at the same time. Many people came to this shop to order take away. Something new, Tau Foo Fa, famous stall in Ipoh.
We asked the tau foo fa shop owner where else can we makan Taugeh Ayam. They gave us directions, but told us, this stall not a famous one. So we headed off to those directions. We saw one corner stall, at Jalan Mustapha Al Bakri. We got our White Coffee ( so so only the taste) and our taugeh ayam. The kway teo was smooth, just like ipoh kwai teow the soup was nice. Quite tasty.

After a late lunch we resumed our journey up to Penang. It was a slow drive , which took us an hour plus. We stopped by Sg Perak R&R to do some business, and stumbled upon a stall which sells Tongkat Ali capsules. Did not buy them, but it seems like a good deal. Rm12 for 30 pills. So we reached Penang at about 4 in the evening, checked in to the hotel and rested . The bridge is a magnifiscent view and this one taken from the cockpit of the car. Lovely. It was to be an adventure for the next few days. The mission is to find the best char kwai teo on earth. The best prawn mee and the best Cendol / Ais Kacang, etc. Oh ya, this one is new, Roti Babi.... muahahahaha.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It was supposed to be a long trip home !!!

Woke up 730am, dragged my hang over ass down to the reception and asked them to arrange for airport transfer.
So they asked me, what time your flight Sir ?
My flight is 10am, what time should I be there ?

Usually sir, you have to be there one hour, sir.... but you have to pay
How much ?
6 dollars sir.

How much in KIP ?
Sisty Thousand ... *smiles*
Ok , get it ready 845, thanks.


Dragged my freezing ass out of the hotel and went find something to eat for breakfast. As usual, I'd be walking along the Mekong. It is 745am, the temperature was about 17C and the sun was already happilly shining down on us. I found this little stall with an old woman, manning it, with her adolescent daughter ( looks like that ). What you have ? She said noodles. Ok.. Give me one noodles (thats how I said it). Top left is pigs blood, they have the pig fat crisps, pork and pieces of chicken, and one big bowl of taugeh. The noodles looks and feels like pho (viet noodles). It was a hot soupy dish and the weather was cold, I happilly chowed down the noodles. Its simple, but nice. USD$ 0.50 only.

With tummy filled up, and feeling warmer, I took a slow walk back to the hotel. This was to be my last minutes of looking at the Mekong River. Already planning to look for a nice secluded spot to get online at Suvarnabumi Airport in Bangkok and this time around, will try to makan the Triple Whoper Burger from Burger King. The last pic from Mekong River side, you see some ladies bringing vegetables, fish and meat outside of a hotel near mine.

I looked into the Mekong River one last time, the view is not much to savor, but there is that
respect for a great river such as this one. The other side of the River is the Nation of Thailand. From Ventianne, Thailand is just about 100 plus meters away. It is a very wide river considering this is the Ulu of the Mekong River. So went up to the room, packed up some lat minute stuff, locked up the bag, and went down to the reception.

I am checking out. Can you get the MiniBus ready? (referring to the MPV, my ride out of this place)
Ok, sir, 60,000 kip.
Handed her the money and collected the receipt.

One blur looking fella came and helped me with my baggage. And off we went.
The usual chat , small talk most of it began shortly after the car moved. These people drive 40kmh most of the time. They is no rush , and everywhere is but a short distance from each other. I took the opportunity to experience more sights and sounds of La
os, the last minute ones. You know, its like the feeling of , I wish I had more time, there is so much to see and eat, kinda feeling. 30 minutes later we arrived at Ventianne Friendship Bridge. I asked the driver, hey, Friendship Bridge and airport very near ka ? He said no. Why ? I told him, I wanted to go to the airport. One blur fragga made a mistake and it began to make my day a totally different one.

My day has begun.
They all have handphones, but they are not required to use hands free, I suppose, with the speed they drive at, they don't need handsfrees. He couldn't believe that he made a mistake and called the hotel to reconfirm. After he made that call he apologised profusely. He kept telling me, that I will make it on time to the airport. In mind I was like, ya rite, if we don't ? I am gonna cut your balls off and feed it to the dogs.

All hell broke loose. The driver, who happens to be the Genera
l Manager of the Hotel, I just found that out after he sent me to the wrong place, suddenly became the fastest driver in Ventianne. He started taking our vehicle to 80kmh. In my mind, ya man, its about time you drove like a man. He was zig zagging, honking at everyone and anyone who gets in his way. The tuk tuks are just bloody annoying, they hog the road and drive at 30kmh. You honk them they just pretend not to hear. So after going through the morning traffic and en route to the airport, the irony is, we drove past our hotel, and I sarcastically laughed and showed him the junction, turn off to the hotel. He laughed too. So the airport was indeed 10 minutes from the hotel, but he took me for a ride for 30 minutes and sent me to the wrong place. What a blur frag !!!

So after all the comotion he caused to the otherwise peaceful Ventianne City, we arrived at the Airport. There was no planes parked there. And I told m
yself, thats it la, no need to come home jo. Surprisingly I did not say anything out of the ordinary to him. We missed it, thats it, I am staying in Ventianne one more night. I am going to break his glasses then I am going to break his nose and I am going stick my fingers into his left nose hole, and pull out his nose hair one by one. At that time he could not stop apologizing, and he took a break from apologizing only to talk to the Thai Airways official in Ventianne. They spoke in Lao, so I did not understand. So a solution has been found. I was to change my connecting flight. Instead of Ventianne - Bkk - Kul, I will have to travel by car, go to Udon Thani airport in Thailand. Which means, I will have to go to the Friendship Bridge again cross the border. Board a Thai car, where a driver will be ready to send to Udon Thani to catch my connecting flight to Bangkok. So my itineary now changed liao, UTT- BKK - KUL. The cab ride from Laos border to Udon Thani will cost me an additional 800bahts. Of which the blur frag offered to pay half.

They was not much talk as we made our way back to The Friendship Bridge. The irony was that, when I arrived on Wednesday, it marked the opening of the Friendship Bridge. In my mind, it was just another link to Thailand, and hopefully it will be able to help the Laos economy improve. Now I get to use the bridge and cross it.

ARRIVAL at The Bridge

We got here, and he took care of my passport. This driver seems to know how to do this stuff. My passport was chopped and handed back to me, and we drove into the DMZ. Plenty of Duty Free Shops around here. Booze and Cigis man, plenty of it here. Must be cheap but we did not have time to look at it. It looks like a cowboy town and lots of crooks hang around here to take advantage of some people. The driver was already waiting, so without wasting much time we transfered. A quick transition from Left Hand Drive to Right Hand Drive. Off we went, goodbye Laos, Hello Thailand.


Nong Kai, is the name of the city we drove into. I have never heard of this city before today. So its a tourist attraction, Sayang said. One thing struck
me as we crossed the bridge. The Mekong is indeed a grand river. By now, the river is already a few kilometres wide. I can not imagine how big this river when it meets the sea. Second thing that greeted me was, a 3 lane highway, something I missed while I was in Ventianne. The difference is vast. I saw with my own eyes, kampung roads for the Capital city Ventiane (Laos) and three lane highway for a small city Nong Kai , in Thailand.

Arrival at Udon Thani Airport

We arrived at 1230, my flight was 1355. I checked in and we had lots of time to kill.
I was starving already by then. Went up to the cafeteria and ordered my Nescafe Ais (havent had that for ages) and Fried Kwai Teo. Not exactly Penang style, but it is Fried Kwai Teo. I managed to find some Fridge Magnets in this airport. So bought them for my boss.

Another delay happened, this connecting flight from Udon Thani to Bangkok was delayed. At 1355 the plane was nowhere to be found. Belum sampai. Numerous reasons about why this is happening started popping up in my head, terrorist attack ka? , maybe the pilot took the wrong route and landed in the wrong airport, or perhaps the headwinds were too strong, so the plane cant fly as fast, or maybe got traffic jam. It doesn't really matter isn't it ? Coz, its late and I have to make it to Bangkok before the plane flies to KL. Luckilly I found a little friend in the airport, who needed some attention. MiniDog was there to keep me company. Flight delayed for 1 hour.

Arrived at Suvarnabumi, decided to capture a few shots of this beautiful airport. Its one huge airport and a very busy one too. Again comparing this with KLIA, I must say, Bangkok built an airport because they needed one, not because they wanted to show off.

We arrived at 1555, while my flight to KUL was scheduled at 1640. As I got off the plane I rushed to the baggage claim area. Oh gosh, the size of this airport is really annoying. I practically ran out, on the walkalator, (winks at Faz), this time I
did not have the time to enjoy the wall paintings. While running, my phone beeped , a message arrived. Sayang reminding me of my flight at 1640. Ok.. I suddenly realized that I might not actually make it for the 1640 flight, because my bag is not out on the conveyor yet. No bags are out. Thank god, there was a customer service counter, and they knew exactly what they wanted me to do. Went out to the departure hall, to collect my Boarding Pass, paid Airport Tax, and I began running to the GATE. It was two floors up and I remembered how far the gates were. This time I had all three bags with me.... A bit far, but akhirnya sampai juga. Everyone was already seated, I was assigned aisle seats. Those 2 fellas were already sleeping, I bet they must have been on the plane for quite long liao. Phew !!!!

Its winter solstice festival for us chinese. Sayang got me home and mom greeted us with a big bowl of thong yuen each. I never fancied those stuff, but this year's Thong Yuen was extra special. I had gone through so much to be home just to reunite with family and have thong yuen together. In the end thats a happy face, we got home in time for thong yuen.

Half Day Free and Easy Ventianne.

Man it all began yesterday, I woke up, ass frozen and all , and what more my balls got frozen too after I took a shower. The weather must have been 15C or something like that. I woke up early in the morning, my first one in Laos. Not exactly a very nice place to be, considering that it is a communist country and all, and the police are said to be everywhere. I had a briefing before I came over to Laos, they told me, we actually have a plain clothes policeman following us, wherever we go, I wonder if that is true.

I had a good time sleeping thank you, thanks to this bottle of Lao Beer. Only USD0.80, big bottle man, not the single one. I walked in the darkness of the night by the Mekong River, until I reached this Convenience Store, bought myself a bottle of RO water (USD 0.50) and a bottle of beer (0.80) . Thought I might forget , I also got myself a Laos Prepaid number, Tango Lao GSM provider. Mission accomplished la for first night, now can chat and sms with sayang oredi while I enjoy my local beer.

So after a quick breakfast of Fried Rice and Coffee at the hotel which costed my 6 dollars, my contact arrived and picked me up to work.

By 12pm they asked me if I wanted to break for lunch. I said no, we will finish this up before we go. For lunch we took a little drive in their nice 4WD , to a nearby restaurant. The city is apparently slow moving, and by that I mean this people drive about 40kmh tops. They have many people on Motorbikes, thank god, there wasn't
any Lao-Rempits here. We drove about 3 minutes from their office and stopped by one shop, we ordered, Ginger Onion Chicken, Kung Po Pork ( I think), Mushroom and Taufoo Soup and Rice. For my sake they ordered a bottle of mineral water for us to share.

After lunch we finished up the remainder of the training and the boss asked me, any place you want to go ? I said I wanted to buy Fridge Magnets. He looked blurr a while and said I bring you to one place, you might be able to find the things you want there. Off we went, to Ventianne's Morning Market. It was 3pm , and I wonder why the market was still open. Its called the morning market isn't it ? As we pulled over, we noticed 4 bus loads full of Thai tourists are also making their stop here. Its indeed how a market should be like, bustling with activity. This place is like a Pasar Pudu, except that it is not only a Wet Market, it has got shops which sells food, clothes, electronics, pirated CDs & DVDs, cameras, apparels, gifts, etc to make it short, everything but Fridge Magnets (FRAG !). The higher floor sells only jewelry. The thing that struck me was find a lady selling baguette kaki lima all. Didn't ask how much. On the same verandah a few meters away, another lady was vending somekind of more exotic foods, smoked fish, river weeds, pig parts which are deep fried.

I had another mission. I was on the look out for some deep fried worms, cricket, grashoppers, etc. Couldn't find any, but instead I saw some stalls selling Pisang Bakar, hmm something new, Ubi Bakar and very standard serving in ASEAN cultures, Jagung Bakar.

The boss sent me back to the hotel, after which I changed out of work clothes into something more comfy, shorts and Tees. Packed in a jacket , just in case la. So I walked along the Mekong River, which was supposed to bring me to the Evening Market. Now, you see, the Evening Market, as I thought the name suggested was like Petaling Street, or Pasar Malam, but actually ho, the place closes at 5pm too, just like its counterpart, the Morning Market. Only difference, this Evening market is ruled by Chinese and Vietnamese traders.

I walked and walked, but couldn't find the evening market. So decided to ask some tourists, the whereabouts of this evening market, they pulled out their lonely planet guide, referred to it, and said sorry, there is not evening market in here. In my mind , I thought, belah la, tunjuk pandai only show lonely planet guide all... In the end, had to pay the Tuk Tuk USD 2 for a short ride from where I was to the evening market. I was close, but not that close also. I over walked a junction for 15 minutes.

TukTuks in Laos are a rip off. They have a per entry or per ride fee of USD 2. Nevertheless, destination reached, I found out that they sell everything under the sun except for Fridge Magnets. Besides, the Evening Market looks more like a market place for the locals, rather than for tourists. I did not want to pay another 2 dollars for a ride back to the hotel so I decided to walk back to the hotel from there. It took me about 40 minutes to get back on foot, but I did get some really interesting shots of a local lawn bowl type game, interesting sights, and some interesting foods.

I started my eating trip with Laos Satay. BBQ Pork Gizzard and Roast Pork. One stick each. Walked around, saw some Chicken Feet Kerabu, din fancy those so I passsed. 5 minutes later I saw a Yaw Char Kwai Stall and decided to try some unfamilliar shapes, but they all tastes just the same. I also had s
ome Keropok Pisang, tastes just the same like the ones we can find here and Thailand.

The boss came pick me up for dinner at about 645. By then, the sun was completely set. The weather at a cool 20C. Pretty nice for winter. I believe at about 4am, the temperature drops until 15C. We went on a floating restaurant on Mekong River for dinner. We had Mekong Fish for dinner, Mekong Fish Masak Tom Yam, Masak Kerabu and Masak Kari. Aiyak suddenly Jelak already, if you ask me, I will pass on Mekong fish the next time I am offered. Its just another version of the popular CatFish, however so, the fish is a much larger specie compared to the ones we have in Malaysia. I suppose he really took my word literally when he asked me, What would you like to eat ? My answer was Lao Food.

Tom Yam Mekong Fish and Ikan Mekong masak Kerabu(behind)

So we had Beer and after dinner, we adjourned to a Karaoke Joint. Nothing to shout about, but to them singing and drinking must be Laos' people's favourite past time. They have night clubs and discos too, but I felt like singing some old songs, so the boss brought me to a singing place. He opened a bottle and we finished it.

Sent me back to my room at about 12am. Watched some ESPN and eventually dozed off.

The next day will be one fragging day to blog about.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bangkok International Airport

First impression counts a lot they say, and defintely Bangkok doesn't have the nicest airport, thats the first impression I got. although they can boast to be the biggest and newest and whatever la. Maybe the reason behind it is because their airport , which was only recently opened, September 2006. Suvarnabumi International Airport brags of biggest, tallest, newest. What the heck, first thing you see upon arrival is that you have to board a bus to get to the main terminal. Alah, I was clearly dissapointed.

Anyway it is a pretty airport if compared with KLIA. Since AirAsia moved out of th
e KLIA main complex, I must say the airport looks abit empty. I can't say the same for Bangkok's new aiport. It is huge, got lots of planes parked here and there. Many foreigners all whom speaks English their own way. Nice to see that Bangkok doesn't make a huge airport just for show.

As I walked from the arrival place to the international transfer terminal I walked the Horizontal Escalators, I wonder what you call them in English, they put nice paintings on the walls. I believe those are historical landmarks in Bangkok or something like that.
There are lots of shops everywhere you go. Selling just about the same stuff. The shops sells booze, perfume, chocs, and oh ya, durian chips and jack fruit chips too. The include some local stuff over here, interesting la. But I wonder who will come buy the stuff here. So I have only just arrived at Bangkok International Airport and I have already been Caught Water Fish Liao ( Sui Yee). I bought a bottle of mineral water for 90bads, and a power adaptor for 220bads. The currency is bad man.STRUCTURES

They also put up some really nice structures, and this airport resembles one huge Shopping Complex. There is nothing much to do here other then to eat, shop and drink (they have bars here). They also put up nice Ugly Statues by the side of the walkway, they are 6m tall and very very ugly. Its like they wanna scare 9 visitors away from Bangkok like that. Its a really huge terminal this one, at least to my expectations. Much improved from the last time I was here of course, in 1988. It used to be small, and smoky, everyone smoked everywhere. Now they have smoke lounges.


Talking about food, I haven't actually looked around the terminal yet. I know what I am having for dinner for sure, and that will be Burger King's Bacon Dbl Cheeseburger. Yum yum. It cost a whooping 195 bads. Shit man everything in this country is expensive. Duty Free stuff also expensive. I did not recall seeing a McDs in this terminal neither did I see some KFCs. I was looking for a Starbucks in this terminal, tarak also. Not that it is important, I am definitely doing the Bacon Burger... slrrrrp !!!

As I look around I didn't feel like I was in an airport terminal. It really is like a shopping complex, minus the bowling alleys and cinemas. You have people hanging around here and there, occasionally you have a lone ranger walk up to you and try to talk to you. People here are generally helpful, and I am not talking about the staff. The travellers are nice, helpful and try to be as informative as possible.

Right at the back of me is a large kids playing area, floor laid with foam like material so that kids can run and bump into floor as much as they like. Not really my kup of tea. They provide you power points, for travellers with notebooks to hook up and wifi is available also. From here i could connect to any of the 12 access points. A lot better compared to KLIAs lounges which only open up 45 minutes before the flight. No power points at KLIA.

My stay here at Bangkok International has been quite okay la. On my left you have Chung Kok Lous ( mainlanders) , An Aussie in front of me, a fellow malaysian just about 10ft away. Interesting crowd. The view from this pic above is the lounge. One half of it, with my booth in the middle, and a seating lounge of equal size at the back.

Its 512pm now and people are beginning to gather round this booth again. People come and people go. Mostly ang mohs la, no big deal. Anyway its a new Airport, I hope they are still working on improving their services and ammenities here.

KLIA on the way to Ventianne

Alamak, this must be one of those dreaded days, of travelling. The idea of travelling for the whole entire day does not amaze me a single bit. Here I am sitting in KLIA waiting to board my flight to Bangkok where I will wait another 4 hours to board another friggin plane to Ventiane. They claim to be the world's best airport, whose world you would wonder. The wifi here is free to say the least but very very slow.

So far managed to get to window shop at the sports shop, nike having 10% off, the duty free shop as usual a haven for Ziggys, Chocolate and Booze. Oh and look what I found in one of the KLIA shops. A friggin TV waving at me, so I took its picture. I bet I will see a lot more of those in Bangkok... wakakakaka

I just found this out, this airport announces in many different languages, English, Malay, Chinese and Arabic. Fuiseh.. terrornya. Anyways its time to go off and board the plane after having to wait and wait for the pics to upload. Here is me blogging at the station, opps I am actually another 10 minutes walk from my boarding gate. 1240pm signing off now to board the bloody plane.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ikan Patin @ Some Jerantut Restaurant

Conducting a site visit to Jerantut is one of the activities which is not exactly our favorite. To begin with, our base is in Lipis. We have to drive to Jerantut town, then from town take another 45 min drive towards Kuala Tahan, which is Taman Negara in layman's terms. Yes, you can now get to Taman Negara by bus, car or 4WD. The road to Kuala Tahan is not the most pleasant to drive to, the view is constant, Left and Right you get Kelapa Sawit, bottom your legs and top the sky. The roads are often bumpy and winding. Potholes fill up most of the roads as we also share the same road with the lorries who transport wood out of these jungles. More often than not, these lorries are overweight.
There is this feeling though, that going to site feels longer to reach than when we come back. My gut instinct tells me, that when we go to Kuala Tahan, we are going uphill. So the car takes a longer time and we strain the engine a lot more. We can always check on the river levels at Sungai Pahang at Jerantut Ferry and compare with the river levels at Kuala Tahan.
Travelling around Lipis, Jerantut, Temerloh and Raub, you will always have someone come up to you and recommend you the famous Ikan Patin dish, cooked with tempoyak (not a nice dish for someone who doesn't like Durians). I love it. This is supposedly the authentic masakan kampung. My favourite is still Nasi Kerabu, Lontong and Nasi Lemak. These fancy dishes like Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak are all fake patins I call them, not ORI wan. These are all Patin Sangkars, reared in cages by the river, their meat is often Soft and of without texture.
I get the feeling that these people have some obsession with this fish, and before long, I sense they could fish Patin to extinction as they did to Ikan Kelah ( another very very rare river fish). So after these site visits, we would always drive down to Jerantut town and help ourselves to Patin Tempoyak and Patin Curry. Whenever we enquired, Patin Ori is always sold out. We are talking about fish which costs RM80-110 / kilo. The Kelah which is almost extinct now, although still available on your table goes around at the rate of about RM300 / kilo.
Just drive around town and stop by any Malay stall, you are sure to find Patin Masak Tempoyak, and make sure to ask the mak cik for extra Tempoyak paste ( it looks like yellow mustard paste) yum yum !! This is the place I went to recently , Lot 20, Jerantut, don't really know where it is, but apparently quite a well known place in Jerantut, owned by some local orang besar here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Online Pub Christmas Party Dec 15 06

It must have been one of the earliest Christmas Parties I have attended ever. No punt intended , but, I think they must have had this planned out early early to avoid clashing with other pubs. The Online Pub in Damansara Kim, in case you have never heard of it, is a pub which their Guiness Draught tastes a little bit better than the one you drink at Finnegan's. You know why ? This pub serves some of the best Hokkien Mee I have ever tasted, I wonder why it tastes so nice, but it look oily and greasy. Anyways, if you ever have problems eating, first down two glasses of Guiness and then anything and everything will go down a lot easier.

Now first look from the outside, it looks like a small little pub which serves a small community in Damansara Kim. You know, business is slow, everybody knows everybody kinda scenario. Look, on the contrary its not. The pub is full of people. Packed and this picture only shows you one half of the pub. Re
member this two dishes, Hokkien Mee and Pork Ribs !! Yum Yum !!
Oh ya, we were talking about the Christmas party, they served up some roast lamb, roast chicken, salad, mashed potato cubes, mushroom and chicken soup (I think campbell wan), and some bread. Simple, but suffice and it tastes nice. Whats our favourite drink there ?

Yup, thats it, the drink thats so frothy and rich in taste, it leaves a
moustache for you after you drink it. There you go half a pint of Guinness, and people will start snapping pics of you left right center. And it was a party wasn't it, and what more, whats a party without a live band. Yeap, one small shop lot can definitely fit one small band. 2 and Half Man Band. kekekeke.. and they played The Reason, hoobastank to begin their performance.


Hmm what else did I miss out. Hey Carolling... we have a bunch of little kids, adolescents, grown ups and senior citizens who came by to sing Christmas carols. Oh how sweet !!! A bunch from Sec 12 PJ Church.

And of course we all had to leave because it was getting kinda late. So we all said our goodbyes and went home with our bellies bulging with Food and Guinness and a feeling of time well spent in the pub.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dec 14 - The Day I got jammed up

Its has gotta be one of those days, where the roads of KL were all totally jammed up. I came back from Lipis, as usual after getting conditioned with the Over Maintained and under utilised roads of Kuala Lipis, I come back to Kuala Lumpur ( both also KL) a get lambasted with traffic jams here there and up everyone's asses.

I set off from Home (cheras) towards Kepong at about 7pm. Here is what I see on the other side of the road, @ Tmn Connaught. No wonder Calvin C always comes late for his class in LM on Wednesdays.


So smartla being a KL fler myself, I have had many years of running away from jams , and driving a longer distance to get to my destination. Just imagine this, when we need to get to one place from another, for example Origin A to Destination B.... a visual map will appear in my mind and instantly alternative routes will be plotted. In an instant a route will be chosen. In case Route A you still get stuck, this virtual map is pulled out and more routes will be plotted and chosen , so on and so forth.

So this particular route takes me from Cheras - Connaught Highway - Mid Valley - Mahameru. As such in the Mid Valley - Mahameru strecth I was able to record this on the opposite side of the road, it was going towards PJ from KL. Perhaps the video was blurry but believe me, it was fragged up , and I cant imagine myself sitting in that jam ( more examples of Newbies to the City getting jammed up in traffic in KL). Welcome to KL you outsiders. Do you know of anything else to do other than getting stuck in a fragged up jam ? I am sure you have , but loads of people doesn't as such they contribute to this mad rush to go home from their work places.

I finally reached Mahemeru and I felt like I was travelling at the speed of light ( with Coldplay - Speed of Light as background music all.. kekekeke), although I was actually only doing 80kmh. So bloody song man.... From Mahameru - Duta - Kepong. All in a jiffy.

So managed to meet up with Sayang who wasnt feeling well.

( Fast Forward till midnight, time to go home.)

Guess what ? Only in KL will you get stuck in a Jam in the middle of 12am. Fragg !!

It must have been a terrible accident, a pile up of some sort under the bridge. I thought I could read about it in the papers this morning ,but nothing except for NEW TOLL RATES. Fragg again !! So we live in a town where we pay some of the lowest Toll Rates, we earn some of the lowest incomes in the world, but then we get stuck in the most Traffic Jams also. I am sure the government will be looking a new plan to ease the traffic for KL citizens. Well done sirs ....

Dec 14 was the day that commemorated my return to KL, and witnessed terrible traffic. Dec 15 the government announces increase in TOLL rates and they kept reminding us we are paying the lowest toll rates in the world, and yet still get stuck in traffic jams. Sigh !!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Things you notice when you have time to kill

It was an extra long drive up to Lipis this week, reason because the client decided to get his immigration stuff done up so he could be ready for his long long trip. So I was busy , collecting and delivering the equipment to another one of my clients, and decided to shoot off from Shah Alam straight to Kuala Lipis.

It might have just been a normal 2.5 hours drive but because they were gonna be late I decided to make a few stops on the way whenever I could find something interesting. First thing first, Durian Season is back , and Bentong is a town which I pass through on the way to my destination, so happened to be famous for producing some mouth watering durian kampung , and I decided to look for it.


Guess what, this town also has a road called Jalan Loke Yew, kekeke, the only difference is that this one you couldn't spot a traffic jam unless its chinese new year. Its in season alright , they were selling some kind of Durian Kampung, over there, the lady said something like , Shi Mai durian.

Raub was my next stop. To me no big deal with this town full of Balak Tycoons. I did blog about Ratha's Famous Curry Fish Head , which wasn't very special. Famous maybe, but food so soonly. From Raub I drove towards a small Village called Cheroh. On the way , I saw a field full of cactus like plants, so I stopped the car and went into the field. The field was full of it, and the field looked like a desert if you ask me. Not only after I got off the car with 4 fellas in the field staring cock at me, wondering , what I was doing. I just slumberly walked over and asked, whats this ? Still wondering what or who I was , they answered, Dragon Fruit Farm ....Any fruits for sale ? Tarak.. oh,.. thanks, and I was on my way.

I slowed the car down as I approached Cheroh. Small little town full of rubber tappers I think, I spotted one coffee shop, and pulled over. I wanna try their Kopi-C Ping, see anything special or not. Walked into the shop and noticed, hey, this place is a real KopiTiam... minus the air conditioning or pretending to sell you Authentic KopiTiam Food. They sell those real KopiTiam Bread... kekeke, it doesn't serve you peanut butter sandwiches, it doesn't sell you pork chop/chicken chop. It apparently only sells Drinks and Bread.... and according to the auntie the knife she uses to cut the bread has been used for many years, berpuluh puluh tahun wo... so I took a pic of that blade. She can even fix the blade , check that old handle out.

Ok so I managed to get my Kopi C Ping, no big deal. Ok only. Then I reached the site 20 minutes later and waited for the other car to come. I picked up a bag of Limau Nipis from a tree nearby. Hmm... should be nice to have limau nipis. Yum yum, home grown or wildly grown wan some more.....

Its just ironic, when you have time to kill, you often notice things that usually you don't , even if they are in front of you. Some people take this time to reflect of what they have done in the past, while some make use of the free time they have to plan for the future. While I know some who take this opportunity to communicate with their respective Gods. Perhaps we should take time off everyday just to reflect on all things beautiful and positive. Maybe then this world could be less stressful. One minute a day ? Thats a start...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Day I got Stuck in Jam

Whoa ! So long no post liao... *wink* lazy plus buzy combined to prevent me from posting. Anyway it was one nice Monday to wake up to, it was a public holiday for me. I'd anticipated to work this Monday, but what a pleasant surprise after a long drive back from Lipis on Friday evening, after having driven up and down from no where back to home, a colleague caught up with me and informed,

" Tau kan ? Monday holiday "... '
ya ka, ok la, thanks.....

So nice kan ? Holiday ma... But Sayang had to work so I decided to go look her up for lunch.
This was what greeted me. Check out that pic on the left, ridiculous traffic, at Mid Valley. Lucky me, I had my early warning early on, so I parked my car far far away and walked in. First thought that came to mind was, Got Gold to pick meh ? wkakaaka.

Anyway lunch was at Little Penang. Nothing special, I ordered Hokkien Mee ( Prawn Mee or Mee Yoke), and Sayang ordered her Nasi Lemak. Ice Kacang for me and Cendol for her. Their food nothing special to be honest. At least not up to my taste. Although I gotta say, the Prawn Mee was quite tasty, the prawns were too small. The Nasi Lemak was a rip off, other than the Nasi, the sambal, the chicken the fish, all tasted like , so so only. Ice Kacang, yucks.... they put raisins and huge ground nuts into it. Cendol was good though. kekeke.

So lunch was ok... I wouldn't say the food was all lousy, but when you call yourself Little Penang, you better serve extra good , extra Tasty Food. You gotta do justice to those Penang flers from the North who are so proud of their food. So after lunch we walked around and shopped abit before Sayang had to get back to work. So back to the question what so nice about Mid Valley ?

Look I found this Lady doing a workout Demo in MidValley. Workout1 and Workout2.

I rushed back to my car and took another picture of the jam on my way back. Oh my gosh ! The little red Kancil only moved two inches , after I had lunch and shopped. Either these people love to sit in the Traffic , listening to Mix FM or they just got no life. Maybe and perhaps they were all queing to catch a glimpse of the new workout sensation ? Makes you go , Huh ? ... isn't it.

So I was lucky to escape this magnificent Traffic Jam surrounding Mid Valley. Next time take the Train.. Mid Valley apparently offers Free Shuttles every 30 minutes to and fro a few places. One of them is Bangsar LRT Station.
Take MetroBus I saw a few picking up passengers. Take A cab, etc...

Managed to get home in about 1 hour plus. I wasn't listening to the Radio, otherwise I could have caught the Traffic Report from Mix or Hitz. Mid Valley not the only place tersekat kot. I wonder how the traffic report would have sounded like on Monday.

Welcome back to another edition of the DHL Road Ranger Traffic Report ( or some shit like that ). DHL Road Ranger Kong just called in to report that he is stuck on his way to Mid Valley. Another Road Rager, called up to report that there is no more empty car parks in Mid Valley. So please find alternative car park spaces , he also recommended we stack up our cars on the streets and keep our Radios tuned in, for more traffic reports.

All Roads leading to Jusco Maluri, Kepong, Balakong, 1 UTama all non moving. The DBKL camera reports shows a stalled lorry on the left lane of KM10.5 of the LDP. Please guys do not slow down and look , the number plate is WDD 6769. For those who are stuck in traffic please stay tuned for more reports, the others please just stay at home.
No wonder they don't pay me to do traffic reports. Wakakaka, I suck big time. Anyways, Dinner was something else. We opted to dine simple and headed back to Kepong's One Noodle for some nice noodles.
The one on the left is Seafood Curry Noodles ( Lai Meen , pull noodles) while the one on the right is Seafood Tom Yam Lai Meen. They put in everything you call seafood into this dish. It is worth every penny you spend on it. It has fish, mussels. three big prawns, La La ( wat you call that in Engleesh ah ? ), sotong, everything la in short. They give you lots of stuff. The Lai Meen ok la. Only complain is that the Curry , not thick enough leh. Lets compare this Curry gravy with those they serve you in Red Ginger @ D'Sara Heights or even the Stall at the 1 UTama Food Court, whoa the Auntie serves superb curry mee there. Anyway I'd still recommend you go One Noodle at Kepong or SS2, they win just on the amount of seafood they put into that bowl.