Greetings from Aonang!

elephants

Sawadeekap! I’m in Ao Nang right now, came here straight from Krabi.

hotel pool

This is our hotel room.

broken elephant

My friend killed the elephant. :(

chillin

Just chillin’ yo.

…with Cheers Beer! You remember the hilarious TVC?

Yes, not a lot of words, but according to my math that’s 3,000 words. Geddit? Pictures says a thousand words? ;)

I’m on vacation. w00t!

Posted: 4:23 pm Thailand (Krabi) time

The Middle Finger

dui

I have a confession to make. I am not the safest driver out there. In fact, calling my driving reckless would be something of an understatement. I hereby list the sins of the road that I am guilty of:

– Speeding
– Tailgating people who are “slow” e.g. driving in accordance with the speed limit
– DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
– DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
– Cutting people off
– Using the emergency lane
– Running red lights
– Using the horn and middle finger liberally

damage

Hell, I once nearly got into a fight for the last one. I would have definitely had the crap kicked out of me considering there are three guys in the car but after a heated exchange we parted somewhat amicably. I don’t want to go all Hong Kong bus uncle and it wouldn’t have been pretty (for me) if they were obliged to violence since in the frame of mind I was in, I was all too willing to indulge them.

I’m sure a lot of us here in KL are under a lot of stress from work and often we take it out on the road. I am not proud of it but once I chased this MPV that cut me off on the LDP and swerved right in front of him to make him stop to get out of his car.

back damage

I don’t know what I was thinking coz I was in serious road rage mode but when I got out of the car, I realized it wasn’t just a man – it was an ENTIRE family, grandmother and kids et al. The man apologized and said he didn’t see me and that made me feel really bad. I was in his blind spot and I overreacted and I took my stress out on him.

I have tendency of drinking and driving as well, which is Really Bad (TM). I used to have a statement tee that goes “If I don’t drink and drive, how the fuck am I going to get home?” but there have been a lot of incidents that has given me pause.

My car has gone through so many accidents I couldn’t keep count. In fact, I totally wrecked my previous car in Kuching. I also ran down a pedestrian while running a red light on a zebra crossing which took me ages to settle while I was in Kuching. I’m so embarrassed of that incident I always tell people it’s a person (being vague) while in actual fact..

tires busted

…it was an old woman crossing a low cost flat while buying groceries. I did not see her and the pedestrian crossing usually is empty so I didn’t stop. The bones in her right arm were all broken so they had to install steel rods. I still feel guilty about that incident.

Well, I guess that’s the trick isn’t it? What if it was your grandmother I ran down? Won’t you hate me and want me to burn in hell for all eternity?

towing needed

My sister recently gave birth to my niece and I went down to New Zealand to visit them. It was eye-opening, the way she took care of her baby. She’s super safe, it takes her 15 minutes to setup the car for the baby to go in.

my neice

I don’t have to wonder how I’LL feel if my niece got hurt just coz a speeding drunk driver rammed into my sister’s car. I’ll take it REAL PERSONAL.

We flaunt road rules when we drive – whether it’s due to bad attitudes or plain carelessness but take a moment and think about others. I drink and drive and sometimes forget how I even got home and it scares me sometimes…what if I ran someone over? Someone’s wife? Someone’s child? Someone’s niece?

Malaysians are known to be rude on the roads but it doesn’t have to be that way. MUFORS (Malaysians Unite For Road Safety) is a big advocate of road safety and it’s a community project aimed at changing the mindsets of people about road safety. I’ve pledged mine.

MUFORS is also running a contest for students of institutions of higher learning (which means all you college and university people out there). It’s called MUFORS Road Reels and it’s a short film competition where you can speak out and capture your opinions Malaysian drivers (either negative or positive).

accident

The MUFORS Road Reels contest aims to educate people that safety on the roads is up to the attitude of each and every driver (that means YOU too). It enables you to make the roads of Malaysia a safer place and change the mindset of drivers to reduce road accidents and deaths.

RRM_short_film_competition

There are prizes up to RM 10,000 in each of the three categories and the closing date is 30th October 2010. You can find out more about this awesome initiative and contest at the MUFORS website.

The soya bean nasi lemak truck @ Pusat Bandar Damansara

soya station nasi lemak

One of my coworkers told me (or at least I thought she told me) that there’s a truck that serves nasi lemak cooked with soya bean instead of santan (coconut milk) opposite our office. I trust Lee Fen a lot when it comes to nasi lemak coz of an act of kindness that she did – when I first started working here, she asked me if I would like nasi lemak for breakfast and went down and got a packet for me. *touched

soya station nasi lemak truck

She wouldn’t accept payment either so I somehow associate Lee Fen with nasi lemak. Of all things. Anyway, I had wanted to try the elusive soy bean nasi lemak since she told me about it – the truck comes every day around 12 pm and parks smack dab right in front of Watsons opposite our office during lunch. It’ll be gone by 1 pm or so when they sell out.

soya station nasi lemak lauk

It doesn’t have a name, or at least I didn’t see one (except Soya Station), so let’s just call it the soy bean nasi lemak truck. Anyway, I was rushing work today so it was perfect to go down and finally taste this elusive soy bean based nasi lemak. My expectations were high coz it’s such a different way to go about this Malaysian classic. Nasi lemak cooked without santan but with soya bean!

soya station nasi lemak aud

This nasi lemak mobile truck sells out INSANELY fast – you have to be quick since they have a very limited supply of packets. I’m not sure what their business model is since the food is really popular. This woman started grabbing drumsticks when I was taking my order and I glared her.

Wait your turn, woman!

soya station nasi lemak soy drinks

Anyway, it turns out that I either misheard Lee Fen or she was joking coz its regular nasi lemak with santan. However, don’t let that detract from the food. They have fried chicken, rendang chicken and ayam masak merah as add-ons in addition to the regular peanuts, sambal and fried egg which are staples of nasi lemak.

soya station nasi lemak eat

I went for the regular nasi lemak with peanuts, veggies, a fried egg and extra sambal (their sambal is awesome) and added a piece of ayam masak merah (chicken cooked in red sauce) as well as a drumstick from the rendang chicken. It cost me RM 9.

soya station nasi lemak chop

Regular ones would cost RM 5 (with your choice of meat). Their forte is the homemade soya bean drink (RM 1.50) so don’t forget to grab one of those while you’re there as well.

soya station tau fu fah

Oh, and one other interesting thing – their soy bean turns into tau fu fah when you leave it for too long. smirk

soya station nasi lemak macro

The nasi lemak is pretty good but I wouldn’t compare it to Village Park nasi lemak. The strength of Soya Station nasi lemak is in their awesome sambal.

The African man

car keys

I feel like blogging about this coz it doesn’t happen very often (or at all) in KL. I was supposed to meet Michelle at Coffee Bean, bsc and I parked my car near the lift. Usually I instantly put my car keys in my pocket but I called her instead to see where she was since she arrived before me.

Thus, the keys were still in my hand and I put it on the table when I saw her.

We adjourned to Dome to meet someone and then sat at near the water feature in the central concourse to discuss several matters. Out of a sudden, this African man in a suit came up to me. I thought he wanted to sell me something until he asked me whether I had my car keys with me.

I checked my pockets and FML I really did leave my car keys behind!

(and didn’t even notice it)

Now, the time when I arrived to the time at the water feature was about 2 hours. The man searched for me for two hours while his daughter waited at Coffee Bean.

I’m pretty sure he’s not Malaysian but we can learn a thing or two from this man.

Thanks man, for your act of kindness. It’s very rare in this city. We sure could use more people like you. :)

Public transport

public transport

Judging from the photo above, you might be inclined to think that I’m going to write a long and insightful post about public transport in Malaysia or perhaps launch into a heated and passionate diatribe about the woes of it.

I’m not.

I’m actually busy playing Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. smirk

Public service announcement: Alcoholics Anonymous members should refrain from playing the game. Seriously. It has a lot of triggers in the starting campaign.

Starcraft II SUCKS BALLS

starcraft ii sea edition

I was waiting in anticipation while the installation screen brought me through the grand memories I had playing Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood Wars. Jim Raynor! Sarah Kerrigan! Mengsk!

I quickly dropped the sad excuse of a manual in the SEA version and rubbed my hands in glee as the game finally installed and the grand sound effect loudly proclaiming that YES, THE GAME IS INDEED READY – with the Play button blinking seductively, begging to be clicked.

I moved my mouse cursor and did just that. It proceeded to start downloading a host of patches that took about 45 minutes. No worries. It’s a small price to pay to get my grimy paws into the meat of the game.

The starting cutscene which was released as a teaser last year came on and I watched it – fascinated with the detail and armed with a refreshed memory of the storyline in the previous iteration and it’s expansion pack.

I couldn’t wait to play the game and see what happens next! I was so excited I could jizz in my pants!

I eagerly entered my Battle.net login and was confronted with:

starcraft ii error message

I tried and tried and tried again and still couldn’t get it.

I had the urge to shout at someone. Loudly. With lots of profanity. I called Blizzard’s support number and told an incompetent dumb fuck my problem with the game. Do you know how hard it is to recite a CD key through the phone?

It makes me want to commit seppuku!!!

After the person on the other end got it wrong fro the 5th time I went from F for France to F for fuck. *rage

He gave me a whole lot of runarounds before admitting that a number of users have this problem and they’re working on it.

I tried changing my Battle.net password and trying again after 30 minutes.

I tried using the Guest Pass to register under a new Battle.net account.

It still didn’t work.

I was told it would take days for them to fix. DAYS!!!!!!!

I can’t play the damn game coz it’s my first time running it so I can’t even go offline mode since I haven’t even created my Battle.net character name for Starcraft II.

It. Will. Take. Days. To. Fix. It.

I can feel my fever returning already. Or maybe it’s a heart attack. Or a stroke. Perhaps even a brain herniation. Odds are, it’s all three in one. >.<

Preserved food in China

preserved food in china

One thing I admire the most about the Chinese when I went to China is that they can preserve just about anything and package it as a snack. I love savory food and during one of my eating binges I managed to consume everything that I bought (which is saying a lot considering I brought back a box full of food and liquor).

L-R: Chicken feet with the famous Guilin chilli, hard boiled egg in dark sauce (lu tang), BBQ chicken wings.

Verdict:

The chicken feet was surprisingly good, and the Guilin chilli adds a lot of oomph to it. Delicious!

The hard boiled egg in dark sauce (you can see this is chicken rice stalls) was absolutely delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it. >.<

The BBQ chicken wings should be relegated to food hell. It sucks. The preservation method totally ruined the moisture of the chicken and I felt like I was eating jerky…in MSG laden sauce.

Fraser’s Hill travel report

frasers clock tower

It took me this long to finally write the full Fraser’s Hill trip report (not that kind of trip) but I swear to God, I’m going to get it done today! Fraser’s Hill has a very interesting history behind it. It was named after a Scotsman who had dealings with opium but after falling off the face of the Earth it was turned into a colonial hill resort.

ye olde smokehouse frasers hill

There are basically three hill resorts within reasonable driving distance in Klang Valley. The most popular one would be Genting Highlands, where fortunes are won or lost at a roll of a dice (as the saying goes). I got rather bored of the place, I can’t remember how often I’m been to the Amusement Park alone. Also, I’m still sore about the RM 35k loss. hmph

Cameron Highlands is more family friendly with it’s strawberry plucking and tea plantations but I’ve been there about a year or so back and found it crowded and over commercialized while I’ve never been to Fraser’s Hill.

(or so I thought)

charles suite

My dad told me that we went to Fraser’s Hill on one of our family vacations when I was a kid and even stayed at the same place – Ye Olde Smokehouse!

bed

I had doubts about Ye Old Smokehouse at Fraser’s Hill due to reports about noise (true), ants (didn’t see any) and general non-maintenance (not sure about this one). I found the place nice, rustic with an old English charm. The room we got is spacious, with a living room, a large bed and even a fake electric fireplace.

fireplace

Charming!

There is not much to do in Fraser’s Hill – it’s a chill out place for sure, but make sure you:

1. Visit the Fraser’s Hill Clock Tower
2. Take a dip in the freezing Jeriau Waterfalls
3. Have Devonshire tea

tea frasers

It’s primarily a destination for people into hiking and bird-watching. We managed to see several (old) Caucasian people with binoculars and books titled “Species of birds” at the resort we stayed at.

ye old smokehouse frasers hill

I went there primarily to chill and get some R&R. We went up quite late and Ye Old Smokehouse was kind enough to let us check out very late too (5 pm). You’ll need your own car and food is quite limited around Fraser’s Hill. We ate at Puncak Restaurant where the food courts are.

restauran puncak

The food is alright but nothing to write home about. Be careful of the puzzling entrance to the food courts!

frasers breakfast

Ye Olde Smokehouse serves a complimentary breakfast which is pretty good. However the best part of the trip for me is soaking in the tub for hours and hours until our skin shrivelled while talking, drinking vodka and smoking cigarettes with my friend.

manual censorship

I don’t think Dr M would approve though. smirk

suites

The reports about Ye Olde Smokehouse not having soundproofing is true. We woke up the second day hearing soft conversations and spoons being dropped in the dining room. Imagine how many families we kept awake with our excessively loud and raucous lovemaking at 3 am in the morning! FOL. smirk

frasers panoramic

Fraser’s Hill is awesome if you want a place that isn’t crowded or over commercialized – a cool, relaxing weekend break in an old English style hilltop resort. Go there if you want to get away from the stress in the city and take in the cool weather and slow pace of life.

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