Monday, 31 May 2010

Batangs in the KTM Komuter Ladies Coach

I was travelling in the KTM Komuter yesterday and noticed many batangs in the Ladies Coach. Some were standing (no pun intended) and some were sitting smugly as if though they owned the Ladies Coach.

We ladies can't do anything but look at them in disgust. Nobody wants to take the risk of getting spat and shouted at if we tell these batangs to change coach. 

One lady passenger commented at the top of her voice: "IF THESE MEN CAN GET INTO THE LADIES COACH, THEY CANNOT BE GENTLEMEN AT ALL!" The guy sitting beside me was fidgeting in his seat when he heard the lady. But he didn't budge.

The only people who can get these uneducated batangs to change coach are the polis bantuan or KTM Komuter employees in uniform.

I've witnessed for myself in KL Sentral when the polis bantuan came on board the Ladies Coach and asked all the batangs to get out. And the batangs moved their asses immediately because they know the polis bantuan will belasah them if they objected.

Sometimes I wonder whether these batangs are unaware of the Ladies Coach, or are they just plain defiant.

Coaches specially for ladies have been implemented in countries like Japan and Egypt. I don't know bout Japan (cause I haven't been there), but when I was in Cairo and used the LRT frequently, I didn't see any batangs in the Ladies Coach at all. I guess the men there are more capable of following simple instructions compared to their Malaysian counterparts.

Of course not all Malaysian men are idiotic batangs who can't follow instructions. I've seen many male commuters who immediately enter the both sexes coaches when the Ladies Coach stops in front of them. Kudos to this group of commuters. To the rest of the batangs, please go for a sex change if you're so eager to sit in the Ladies Coach.

Excuse me, do you have a vagina? Then why are you sitting in the Ladies Coach?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Which Herb is This?

Last week I bought a herb plant which I don't know its species.
Unidentified herb plant.

Here's a close up shot of its leaves:

The Ah Pek who sold me the herb said it's usually eaten with chicken rice. But I don't remember eating this herb together with any chicken rice ever - whether it's Ipoh Chicken Rice, Hainanese Chicken Rice or Whatever Chicken Rice.

Do you know the species of this herb? Please leave a comment if you know the answer.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Why I Didn't Like Jogjakarta

Jogjakarta is famous for two attractions that begins with the alpahabet "B" - Borobudur and Batik. Apart from these two attractions, there's practically nothing to see and do in Jogjakarta.

Many people use Jogja (that's the short form) as the base to visit Borobudur, the biggest Buddhist temple in the world. They also come here to shop for batik. But apart from that, Jogja has nothing else to offer visitors, at least from my experience lah.

Sure when you research about Jogja you'll read about places like Kraton, Water Castle and Benteng Vredeburg. But all these places are nothing to shout about. Some of it are even in a dilapidated condition.

Let's take a look at a few attractions:

Kraton is the palace of the sultan. I paid IDR3,000 to see a vintage cars, horse carriages, mannequins and exhibits that were dusty and as old as Jogja itself. And if you want to take photos you would have to pay another IDR3,000. Eventhough it's not much after conversion to Malaysian Ringgit, I still think it's daylight robbery.

The Benteng Vredeburg is an old Dutch fort that has been turned into a museum. I was not interested to go in so I can't tell you what's inside.

This monument is situated beside Benteng Vredeburg. I don't remember its name. Must be some monument built to remember those who perished whilst fighting for independence. 

There's also another attraction called Taman Sari or Water Castle. However, the locals told us that all the water in the Water Castle had dried up and the place was closed for renovations. How ironic.

According to a friendly taxi driver, Jogjakarta is known as a university town because there're many universities there. If you ask me,

Many universities = many students = human congestion = pollution

Just take a look at the number of motorcycles parked outside a shopping complex on Jalan Malioboro, the main shopping area in Jogja:

Motorcycles are probably the most economical and practical transportation option for university students. That's why there're lots of them on the road in every nook and cranny.

Everywhere you go you'll see people and more people. Sometimes this can be overwhelming. And when the heat and humidity got to me, I just wanted to return to my room and chill.

If you're planning to visit Jogja, make your trip as short as possible. Trust me, you won't miss much.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Story of a Cheap Bastard

I met Jarrett Chin online. He sent me a message and his profile looked quite interesting. So I replied and we started corresponding and chatting casually.

He travels to Singapore frequently cause his ex-agent is from Singapore (Jarrett is a struggling actor). But he has never been to Malaysia despite the two countries merely divided by a causeway.

In December last year, Jarrett was travelling to Singapore again. This time he was making a trip to Malacca and then come to KL to meet up with me.

Despite being an American-born Chinese and having been to Singapore countless times, Jarrett doesn't know what is kuey teow and nasi lemak. Don't they have kuey teow and nasi lemak in Singapore?

One of the most irritating things is having to explain to a Chinese what kuey teow is. It's like trying to explain what pasta is to an Italian, and it irritates the hell out of me.

So when Jarrett got his arse to KL, I brought him to Little Penang Cafe in Suria KLCC where they have both kuey teow and nasi lemak dishes.

After scanning the menu, Jarrett decided to order lam mee instead cause it reminded him of his childhood and he hadn't had it for years. He didn't want to try the kuey teow or nasi lemak, which was fine with me.

During dinner, I learned that Jarrett is a 40-year-old struggling actor with no steady income. Despite his pitiful background, he is looking for a life partner.

(At this point I'm gonna digress a little ... Lo and behold to the lady who ends up with guys like Jarrett. Guys in their 40s who are not financially stable and who are still unsure of what they wanna do with their lives will most probably die misers.

And any lady who is blinded by love and still wanna be with losers like that, would most probably have to sell hotdogs to feed the both of them.)

Soon dinner came to an end and the bill came to RM41.30, which was approximately USD11.80.

Before the meal, I was already planning to foot the bill. But I let the waiter bring the bill to Jarrett cause I wanted to see what he would do.

And you know what? The cheap bugger hesitated to pay. I mean, wtf is USD11.80 to an American? Is that a lot?

I quickly handed the waiter my credit card to save Jarrett's face.

Then we walked to Pavilion to try the roti bakar at OldTown White Coffee.

You see, prior to his KL trip, Jarrett was praising the Singaporean Yakun toasted bread. And after tasting it for myself, I know Malaysia's roti bakar is far better (sorry, Singaporeans!). So I wanted to prove my point.

After whacking the OldTown roti bakar, Jarrett agreed it's better than Yakun's (thank goodness for that!).

Bill time came and it was about RM17 something. Jarrett hesitating to pay again. But this time I didn't bother to save Jarrett's face, so he had to foot the bill. But come on ... RM17 should be nothing to an American, right? After all, he has money to travel to this side of the world, and frequently too!

Before parting ways, I tried to be courteous and told him to keep in touch and to inform me if he plans to make another trip to Malaysia in the future.

The story however does not end here. In fact, this is the part where Jarrett takes the cake for being a super huge bastard.

When Jarrett got back to the States, we continued corresponding casually, albeit less frequently. But one fine day I saw he had unfriend me from Facebook !!! WTF is that ???

I sent him an email asking why he did it. But obviously he didn't reply.

After paying for his food in KL and bringing him around, is this how you repay a person??? I think he was just trying to take advantage of my hospitality.

So I decided to let the whole world know how cheap Jarrett Chin is.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Budget Accommodation in Jogjakarta - Jalan Sosrowijayan

If you're looking for cheap and reasonable accommodation in Jogjakarta, look no further than Jalan Sosrowijawan (Sosrowijayan Road).

All the budget accommodation are located here and you won't have any problems looking for a hotel that will suit the depths of your pockets.

Jalan Sosrowijayan

Jalan Sosrowijayan is centrally located along Jalan Malioboro (Malioboro Road), the main shopping street in Jogjakarta.

Jalan Malioboro. If you can't remember the name, just remember "Marlboro".

I stayed at Merbabu Hotel which is situated in Gang 1, a small lane along Jalan Sosrowijayan.

Rates are IDR 95,000 for a private room with bathroom ensuite. Breakfast is also included. I was happy cause it was cheap and the room was clean.

Why do they call small lanes like these "Gang" in Indonesia? Feels like I'm walking into a triads lair where everyone is waiting to bash the other person up with silat (cause it's Indonesia) and kung fu (cause I like kung fu).

Guests at Merbabu Hotel have a choice of 2 types of breakfast which I can't remember the menu. All I remember is choosing the egg omellete sandwich and orange juice option for the 2 days I stayed there, and it was delicious.

There are many tour operators at the entrance of Gang 1. You can book tours or transport to Borobudur and Mr Bromo here.

Every evening many hawkers would set up their stalls along Jalan Sosrowijyan for you to pig out. 

Look at the menu on the stall. What's "Bihun Godhok"? Sounds like one kind only, man ...

These stalls sell a variety of food like Indonesian sate:

Indonesian sate is thinner than Malaysian sate. Even the sate sauce is different. Malaysian sate sauce is peanut based, Indonesian one don't know what based. But got lots of starch.

I wouldn't recommend eating at these stalls unless you have a strong stomach. I think Mat Salleh (Caucasian) tourists would give it a miss cause they are not used to such stalls.

As for a Malaysian like moi who have been trained at the mamak stalls back in good old Malaysia, it was not a problem at all.

Me sipping some ice lemon tea

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Desperate Headhunters

Since we're on the topic of headhunters, let me continue by telling you a story of how some headhunters resort to get candidates for their clients.

In my previous employment, a headhunter called up the Corporate Communications (Corp Comm in short) department looking for the person in-charge of Corp Comm. She introduced herself as a "conference organiser" who wants to promote a Corp Comm conference to the person in-charge of Corp Comm in my company.

When the departmental secretary put her through to me, the secretary explained to me briefly about what the "conference organiser" wanted.

When we finally connected, the "conference organiser" told me she's a headhunter and asked if I would be interested in exploring a Corp Comm position with another company. I was irritated at the way she lied her way through and I politely told her I was not interested.

Do you think that was a correct way for headhunters to look for candidates?

Monday, 10 May 2010

How Headhunters Tempted Me

Even since I started my new job 2 months ago, 3 headhunters have contacted me to "explore opportunities", as what they always say.

One headhunter was looking to fill a senior position while the other 2 were looking for small fry positions. I turned all of them down due to various reasons.

And then the biggest question starts forming in my head:
What if I didn't turn those opportunities down ...?

... which leads to other smaller questions:
  1. What if I had explored the senior position, impressed the interviewers and given a package that is better than what I'm currently getting? Wouldn't I be tempted to leave my 2-month-old employment?
  2. What if I leave my 2-month-old employment to join the new company only to find out that the company is shitty to work for with bosses from hell? Wouldn't it be too late to go begging for my old job back again?
Eventhough I'm happy in my new job, all these "What Ifs" leads to temptation and confusion at the same time!

But I guess I need to stick to the decisions I've made and make the best of it.

What do you think?

Monday, 3 May 2010

Now I Can Visit Jordan

Visiting Jordan and Syria has been on my travel radar ever since I travelled to Egypt and fell in love with the historical wonders of the Middle East.

There're lots to see in both countries - Damascus is the oldest inhabited city in the world and St Paul was converted there too. Jesus Christ was baptised in the Jordan River, and people who have visited Petra said it would blow your mind. I could go on and on.

Anyway, when I was doing research on cheap flight tickets, I found that Qatar Airways has return flights from KL to Amman in Jordan at an average of RM3,500.

However, it was reported recently that Royal Jordanian will resume flights from KL to Amman via Bangkok after leaving the market for 5 years.

So I went to their website to check out ticket prices. What I found put a smile on my face :-)

Return tickets from KL to Amman are going for RM2,965! That's about RM500 cheaper compared to Qatar Airways.

I'm so ... going to Jordan and Syria, if everything goes to plan. Even my Lonely Planet is ready and ever ready to be packed into my trusty backpack.

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