Archive for August, 2011

Driving Manners

August 30, 2011

I read today’s article on newspaper with interest. “Driver’s attitude the main challenge on the road”

This reminds me of Kuching. Kuching people drive like Singaporeans. They are really courteous! They do not selfishly hog the road, and they actually let our car cross the junction even when traffic was heavy! I was so surprised. They even stop for pedestrian when you are standing at the road side, waiting to cross the road. And they really stop for you when there’s zebra crossing. I thought this only happens overseas. Wait a minute.. Sarawak is “overseas”! Over the Southern China Sea! Hahaha! Joking! It was such a welcoming change compare to the idiotic road users in KL!

When I got back from Kuching, we hired a Van Persiaran and the van actually ran on a break neck speed all the way to Selayang – with 10 people in the van! (One driver, 8 of us plus Ern Ern, the baby). Both my legs have to be mounted on some angles to ensure I have the buffer I need should the driver suddenly apply emergency brake! Ah.. we miss Kuching!

Being a driver myself, not to say that, I am an impatient driver, my patience has its limit. If one is driving slowly and hogging the fast lane, something is very wrong with these people! If you are too scared to step on the gas pedal to observe the speed limit, I guess the only solution for you is to get a bus pass. Don’t drive and make other people’s lives miserable.

Just now, I was on my way to Damansara Utama when I saw an Alphard cruising on a break neck speed on the fast lane, displacing vehicles in front of it, turning dangerously into the middle lane. Well, maybe the driver has an emergency.

Last week, a car with super noisy engine (it’s just a modified Wira) bullied everyone on the road to make way for himself, so he could pull over to buy nombor ekor. Serious. We saw the idiot parked indiscriminately and coolly went to the booth to buy number!

Once, I almost met with an accident when I was driving to a junction, when suddenly a Waja swerved into my lane from the opposite direction, with laughing teenagers in the car. I think my face must have turned all white coz I was really in shock. I think they wanted to go straight but then last minute changed their minds and swerved into my lane! It was a lucky thing that, I was driving rather slowly that time – otherwise, it would be an unfortunate head on collision.

Another time was, I was on my way for my facial appointment when a car suddenly turned into my lane as I was nearing the junction. The car decided to come out only I was very near! I stepped on the brakes and honked crazily at them – yet, the two very young girls sitting inside the car went GIGGLING as if they have done something really funny. These people’s licenses ought to be revoked!

My brother in law is also impatient when it comes to driving. Once, there was a trailer in front of us, making a sudden u turn – imagine, an A class big ass trailer and he had to go so near the vehicle! We almost knocked into the trailer if I didn’t shout at him to stop his car. He was arguing that, it was the trailer’s fault for making a sudden illegal u turn in front of us. I said yes, but then, if the trailer guy wanted to be a fucking idiot, that doesn’t mean we have to stoop low to his level and be fucking idiots ourselves! Keep your distance while driving! I learned the hard way! I got into an accident because I was following too close!

I think one cannot teach etiquette or manners when it comes to driving. It is all inborn and also, it depends on the person’s attitude. If one is a selfish bastard, he will drive like a selfish bastard. There are also instances where a really nice person turning into a road bully whenever he’s behind the wheel. Somehow, in KL, the moment you sit in your car, you morphed into this impatient idiot. Hahaha. I wonder why? Perhaps, we are all just too stressed out in our lives that the only way to vent our frustrations is while we are driving.

Let’s not our emotions get into our head when we are driving. Safety should come first.

PS. Am glad that a friend decided to be more “cultured” when it comes to his driving. No more driving “Klang” style.

Fraudster

August 27, 2011

This morning, I received a phone call from “Hong Leong Bank”.

Caller: Is this Ms Gina?

Me: Yes.

Caller: Ms Gina, your credit card bill is long outstanding and you owe the bank RM7,000++.

Me: I don’t have a credit card with Hong Leong Bank!

Caller: But the system said, you owe us RM7,000++. It’s been 3 months.

Me: Then, that is your problem. I don’t have Hong Leong Bank credit card and I don’t give a shit.

I hung up.

I quickly call up Hong Leong bank to find out if someone applied for credit card using my stolen IC. Hong Leong confirmed that, I don’t even have a credit card with them.

I called up EON Bank also to cross check.

I was told by the officer in EON Bank that, people knew that EON and Hong Leong are integrating now, so these fraudsters are taking this advantage to con gullible people. Imagine, if I were in a state of panic and uttered that, I have EON bank credit card and they would have twist the story and perhaps, made me bank in money in some dubious accounts.

Recently, I’ve been receiving many e-mails also stating that my accounts have been tempered with. The best part is, the e-mail is from some weird address – and it said – my CIMB account has been tampered with. Good news. Because, I don’t even have a bloody CIMB account at the first place! A colleague actually fell for it and as a result, RM5,000 was sucked out from her account instantly.

My other friend’s company – five colleagues received sms of the same nature – telling them their account has been tampered with. One of them replied the sms and money got sucked out from their accounts as well.

Please bear in mind – all banks will not call or e-mail you to ask details of your banking accounts.

So people, be careful. There are so many criminals out there just to get your hard earned money!

Friendship Garden

August 25, 2011

The reason that our host put us up at Jinhold Service Apartment is the proximity to the Taman Sahabat. At least, we could just walk over for a short visit and also, the service apartment is quite near amenities such as One Jaya supermarket and local eats. But I still prefer to stay in Grand Continental – walking distance to the waterfront, Grappa (to club!), temples and food along Jalan Carpenter.

Taman Sabahat was built in 2004 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China. Here, you get to visit a small man made garden with magnificent statue of Zheng He, the great Admiral who did 7 voyages from Asia to Africa. Here, there’s a zig zag bridge, a koi pond (there weren’t many fishes, though), a building resembling a Chinese house, temple arch, and many beautiful willow trees which added colors to the already vibrant place.

Many locals come here for morning walk and exercise. They were a few children playing football around the area too. It’s nice to take a leisurely walk here. Some came to feed the fish in the pond. Here are some pictures of the place.

A magnificent statue of Zheng He

The zig zag bridge

The gate to the friendship garden

After the short visit, we satisfied our hunger pangs at the nearby shop, opposite the church at Jalan Song. Finally, I had the Sarawak Laksa. It’s still rather bland in taste, but it was tasty.

Sarawak laksa

Another round of kolo mee!

We ended our Kuching trip by going to Kota Sentosa for some food. Our host took us to the hawker centre nearby the 7th mile, Penrissen camp. They have delicious oily rice with steamed chicken, sausages, roast pork and char siew. The rojak is rather special too, they have quail meat!

Assortment of meats

We also tried the local delicacy – the cerokot? It’s made of gula melaka. Not too sweet. It’s good as dessert.

Cerokot

We wish to thank our gracious hosts for accompanying us the three days and made our trip a memorable one.

Going Cultural

August 23, 2011

Mee Pok at Kim Joo

We started the day late for breakfast. We went to Kim Joo along Jalan Carpenter for breakfast of kolo mee and mee pok. Our host said, this place is good for kolo mee. But the other nice one is at Sin Min Joo. In order to see if the noodles made is nice, you have to see of the person preparing. Usually, heavy set people would have prepared a better tasting noodle because a lot of energy is required to knead the dough. So, my mom said, then I should change career to be a noodle maker since I am so large in size. Very funny!

Kolo mee earlier yesterday at Padungan food court

Our host’s nephew came along with us for kolo mee. He’s half French, ¼ Chinese and ¼ Bidayuh. And yes, he’s a very handsome little boy. He was on vacation for two months in Kuching. He eats kolo mee 3 meals a day- everyday! He is leaving the same weekend as us, so, he prayed to God that, 10,000 kolo mee will fall on him before he leaves. LOL! So, kolo mee must be a damn big deal! He joined us – all Hokkien speaking aunties and happily tucked in his bowl of kolo mee.

A very pissed worker at Aladin Cafe

We went around Jalan Carpenter for a look see. We were introduced to Teo Chew temple, Hokkien Temple and the Tua Pek Kong Temple aka Banjir (Flood) Temple. Why is it called Banjir Temple? It’s because during the days before the temple was built, the area was flooded all the time. Once the temple was built, there is no longer flooding. So, many people are very grateful to the deity, Tua Pek Kong for stopping the flood which affects many livelihood. Am not too sure how true this is lah. He could be right because he’s being born and bred in Kuching and lives in Kuching all his life! Even if he decided to bullshit us, we will never know. One thing for sure, his stories are super entertaining!

It’s a hot, hot day!

Air drying some paddy

A very friendly uncle welcoming us by spinning the gasing

After that, we went to Kg Annah Rias, a Bidayuh longhouse somewhere in Padawan. This is a real long housing area. It sure looks like some normal kampong in West Malaysia- just that, instead of houses built on stilts only, they have elaborate flooring made of bamboo all over the area. It reminds me of the kampong orang asli in Gombak – just that this one is more elaborate. We were greeted by a welcome drink, tuak. Entrance fee is RM8 per person. Here, we could see how real Bidayuh people live. Actually, the place is already modernized. We had a peek at one of the good auntie’s house when we asked for permission to use her toilet. This auntie also provided lodging here in the longhouse. For those who are interested to see how the natives live, probably it’s a good idea to do a homestay here. I guess they also provide for nature adventures such as picnic to hot spring, river rafting, jungle trekking, etc. For further information, please click here.

The very entertaining orang Ulu

When we left the longhouse, it was already 2 pm. We made our way to Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong. Had a short walkabout before we went to watch the cultural show at 4 pm. The cultural shows are performed daily at 2 pm and 4 pm only. So, I guess it’s advisable to go to Cultural Village early to have a walkabout before attending the cultural show at 2 pm or 4 pm. The place is closed by the time the cultural show is over, so be early. SCV is easily accessible from most hotels or hostels in Kuching. They have a pick up time in vans for most hotels and only cost RM10 for two-way journey.

The entrance fee for SCV is RM60 for adults and RM30 for children above 6 years old. For senior citizens, it’s half priced as well at RM30. We enjoyed the cultural show a lot. I think when I was there 6 years ago, I enjoyed it as much as I do now! 6 years ago, I paid RM45 only for entrance. :(

The walkway towards the beach front at Damai

The Damai beach, just opposite SCV is now visible from SCV itself. I remember the last time I came here, we had to use the backlane going towards the beach! Now, you can see the entire beach in its splendor from a man-built waterfront. The giant hornbill is still in the process of installation. I guess this place would be splendid in no time! We took a stroll to the beach but didn’t go down to the sands because of the coming torrential rains.

Fish porridge and kueh chap – remember to pile on the chilli for the spicy and sour goodness!

We made our way back to Kuching town for dinner of fish porridge, prawn porridge and kueh chap (opposite the Teo Chew temple along Jalan Carpenter) before heading to Kuching Food Festival for another session of pigging out. Kuching Food Festival is organized every year from 31 July to 31 August to commemorate the Merdeka day. I wish that this festival would serve more native food though. It is more inclined towards Taiwanese street food – like the ones I saw in my trip to Taipei.

I Heart Kuching

August 22, 2011

I first visited Kuching in 2005. That trip was a rather haphazard one (the not so golden MAS holiday and dim wits arranging it for us) but I guess we managed to make the most of it. Heck, I even think the photos I took back in 2005, using my old ixus 3.2 is even better than the pictures I take now!

Check out this photo compared to the old blog’s - Reflection of the Square Tower

So much have changed over the period of six short years! I always remember Kuching as a rather clean place – it certainly still is. When we reached the Waterfront, a new building perch on the opposite side of the river – the much controversial Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. It was a sight to behold though, in its golden splendor! Hats off to its engineers and architects!

The Dewan Undangan Negeri standing majestically across the river

The old Fort Margherita that I used to love is no more in sight. It seems, the place is still there but our friend told us, we could no longer visit the place. A quick check on the internet seemed to say the contrary. We could still visit the place! I guess perhaps, they sealed off the road to Fort Margherita because of its proximity to DUN – am not too sure though. Kuching people, what say you? Anyhow, I am glad I got the chance to visit the place before it’s being closed to public. You know how “good” our government is when it comes to handling heritage buildings. *Roll eyes*

A woman hitching a 50-sen ride on sampan

Our friend warned us that, Kuching is not as safe as it used to be. Just a month ago, an Australian tourist was hurt when he tried to prevent his belongings from being robbed. So, he was hospitalized. So she told us to be careful with our belongings while we are walking. Yet, we see her in her gold necklaces and bracelets. She should be more careful! I guess this is the general rule – you just have to be careful everywhere that you go.

Main Bazaar

We went about the Main Bazaar for some window shopping before we went back to Jinhold Service Apartment to freshen up. Then we head to Top Spot – the ever popular place for seafood in Kuching for some scrumptious meal. Our host decided to take us to stall no. 33. He ordered some midin, powdery butter prawns, lalas, bamboo clams, mani chai (pucuk manis – the vege used for pan mein) with eggs (a must order) and the special styled oyster pancake – crispy and delicious!

The oyster pancake, Kuching style!

After the scrumptious dinner, we were chauffeured around to take a look at Kuching’s night life, and being filled with historical information from our gracious host.


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