Friday, 27 August 2010

Planning for Syria and Jordan

It's finalised - I'll be travelling to Syria and Jordan next month, and I'm bloody excited about it!

I plan to make Damascus my point of entry. After a couple of days exploring the oldest continuously inhabited city, I'll travel north to Aleppo.

After Aleppo, I'll hop onto the direct bus south to Amman in Jordan. Using Amman as my base, I plan to join ground tours to places like Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan and Mt Nebo.

After Amman I'll travel further down south to Wadi Musa, the nearest town to Petra, another awe inspiring place that will take your breath away, or so I heard and read about. When I return from my trip I'll tell you whether Petra really lives up to its name as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

After Petra I'll head back north to Amman for my flight back to KL.

If you're not sure what Petra is, look here:

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Pic from the internet)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Pic from the internet)

Both movies were shot on location in Petra. Now I can hear all the 'Aaahhhh ...s'  :-)

So my journey would look something like this:

(A) Damascus - (B) Aleppo - (C) Amman - (D) Wadi Musa (Petra)

I know I proclaimed to the world about Royal Jordanian offering cheap tickets to the Middle East. But recently I discovered that Kuwait Airways has the cheapest flights instead. A return ticket with taxes would cost around RM2,400 only. Also, Matta Fair is on from 3-5 Sept 2010 at the Putra World Trade Centre and hopefully I can get a damn good ticket deal there. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Mie Kuah Gepeng from Indonesia

I love instant noodles to the extend that I wanted to start a blog focusing only on instant noodles. But I sheleved the idea cause it entails too much of work.

Anyway, when I was in Yogjakarta in February this year, I was so bored that I went to the Malioboro Mall to see what sort of instant noodles they have in Indonesia and how different they are from Malaysia's.

One of the instant noodles I bought was the Mie Kuah Gepeng.

Because it's a foreign instant noodle (to me), I made sure I read the instructions carefully before attempting to cook it.

According to the instruction, you're suppose to pour the flavouring into a bowl and later add the noodles together with the boiling water. The Malaysian version is you dump everything into the pan and remove it when it starts to boil.

So I thought I'd experiment and modify this Mie Kuah Gepeng into a 'Mie Gepeng Goreng' instead, just like how Malaysians modify a Maggi mee into 'Maggi Goreng' :-)

So after the Mie Gepeng has boiled, I drained away the water and mixed the flavouring together with the noodles.

This was how my 'Mie Gepeng Goreng' looked like ...

(Pardon the blur image)

... and it was super salty. I think my blood pressure shot through the roof with one taste!

So I had to 'repair' the noodles by emptying it into a bowl and add boiling water. This was how it looked like:

It was not tasty at all - the taste was blend and did not have any kick.

Maybe I shouldn't have attempted the 'Mie Gepeng Goreng' in the first place. But I think even if I had done the soup style from the beginning, it would still be tasteless. Anyway, it was a good try.

And I still think Maggi Kari Berapi is the best instant noodle of all time!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

RM599 Laptop Expenses This Month

My lappy was throwing tantrums like a toddler recently, and that explains my infrequent updates on this blog.

Anyway, the tantrums started when lappy could not start-up, and sometimes half-way in the middle of something the screen will suddenly blur and freeze. Damn sickening, man!

When these tantrums started, I quickly got myself an external harddisk to back up all my files, especially my travel photos. Losing my travel photos would be utter horror for me, and I don't even want to think about it.

RM249 for a 500GB external harddisk. There were a few colours to choose from but I think red is the best :-)

When my lappy finally could not start-up at all, I sent it to the Toshiba authorised dealer in Low Yat Plaza for repairs.

The technician told me it's a graphic card problem and apparently the Toshiba Satellite M200 series is synonymous with graphic card problems.

It would cost RM360 to repair the graphic card and RM600 plus to replace it. I was lucky the damn card could be salvaged, and therefore it costs me only RM350 (managed to bargain the price).

I bought my lappy in April 2008, and just after 2 years 4 months I have to repair the bloody graphic card. How disappointing!

I wonder how come when I was researching which brand and model to buy, I missed the part about graphic card problems being common in Toshiba Satellite M200 series. Well, now you know.

A friend has been using his HP lappy (can't remember the model) for the past 5 years without any problems whatsoever. I'll remember to get a HP the next time. It may be a bit pricey, but it's worth it compared to buying a cheaper brand but having to fork out more for repairs later on. And not to mention the threat of having your files wiped out if the cheap lappy crashes.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Taffy Met Her KPIs

In the wee hours of Saturday morning I was in my room reading. Suddenly Taffy, my sister's Australian silky terrier started barking incessantly.


I dismissed it as another one of her usual barking frenzy whenever she see a lizard or any other creature which she finds irritating.

The next morning when I woke up, my mum told me that someone had climbed over the fence and searched through my sister's and my car (we don't lock our cars cause they're parked inside the compound).

My mum also found the doors of one of her cabinet wide open. Luckily the cabinet only contains junk.

I quickly went to inspect my car.

All the small change I keep in a small compartment for paying tolls were gone. I think it was about RM1.50.

The thief also took all 3 pen knives which I keep in the dashboard. I keep them there in case I need to stab any Mat Rempit who grabs my bag at the traffic light or whenever. But later I found one of the knives on the floor; the thief must have dropped it as he made his gate away. One of the knife stolen was a made-in-Germany solid knife that I inherited from my late dad.

My sister lost her shades, which is a pirated Adidas brand (thank goodness!).

Later when we exchanged notes, my sister said that whilst barking incessantly, Taffy had jumped onto the bed and licked her face. She tried so hard to tell my sister that an intruder was outside, but my sister just brushed her off and told her to shut up. Poor dog!

Taffy certainly met her KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) as a guard dog. But unfortunately we didn't heed her barks and therefore lost a few items. Although the loses were minimal, I regretted not going to check outside when Taffy barked incessantly.

Moral of the story:
  1. Never ignore a dog's bark, and especially when these faithful creatures come to "call" you. It may even cause you your life, e.g. fire, flood, etc.
  2. Don't keep valuables in the car.
  3. Always lock your car door, even if it's parked inside the house compound.
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