Johor Bahru 2D/1N Work Trip

I was in Johor Bahru for work last week! I ate at the famous Woon Kiang Kuey Teow Kia in JB but didn’t manage to eat other local food since we had an event there. We mostly ate near the hotel, branch office or the airport at other times. Our HQ team was staying at Midori Concept Hotel – we arrived slightly past lunchtime and headed over to the shops nearby for food.

Grandma Traditional Tastes was one of the few restaurants still open at 3 pm. We ordered their Traditional Curry Seafood Bamboo Pot, which is a medley of prawns, mussels and squid inside an open bamboo tube. The broth is a curry sauce base which tastes really good with rice.

Signature Golden Crust Beancurd is their version of in-house fried tofu. The exterior was crispy and it had some kind of seaweed crust. There’s a bit of gravy at the bottom and some mushrooms and broccoli to round up the tofu with vegetables.

Signature Ice Gu Lao Pork With Lemon was our choice of protein. This is sweet and sour pork served inside a bed of ice! It’s one of their flagship dishes. The gu lao pork is cooked normally but chilled down inside the ice until it becomes cold. It’s unusual and different. I think it works better as an appetizer than a main dish to go with rice though.

I grabbed a boba at The Yunique Tea for dessert. This is a bubble tea from Taiwan with a similar logo to Daboba (bear) but with a cap on the bear.

We headed over to Woon Kiang Kuey Teow Kia for a very late dinner later that night. This is a JB institution which is open till late – or more like, early in the morning. There’s a busy station with various cuts of pork and pork innards.

The place was packed even at midnight on a working weekday!

This is everything we’ve ordered – there’s braised chicken, braised egg, tofu, stomach, liver, intestine, pickled vegetables and lean pork.

You eat the dishes with this kueh tiaw kia soup dish. This is a thin, flat noodle inside a mild tasting broth.

I like it. I can see why people enjoy these things. It’s not my first choice since I prefer more heavily seasoned food but I’m glad I tried it. They’re very popular!

Breakfast the next day was a quick Malaysian style spread of kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs at the café below our JB branch office.

We had Korean BBQ at Mount Austin for lunch!

This was a set for 8-10 pax with seafood, pork, kimchi soup and pancakes.


There were a whole bunch of us and we all ate our fill.

We were slated to fly back to KL that night so the four of us from HQ grabbed a quick bite to eat at the airport.

This is Lavender Bistro & Café in Senai Airport. It was still Ramadan at the time so they took a really long time to serve our food coz we ate around buka puasa.

I liked my order of salmon on crusty focaccia bread. I haven’t been to JB in at least 8 years so it was good to be back.

A lot of work…and a vacation!

a lot of work

This is an MSN drawing that Michelle with her gifts of artistic talent (?) scribbled yesterday. Sorry for the lack of updates but there’ll be more travel posts soon coz…


Yup, I’m flying tonight and I’ll be there for 4D/3N. In true style, I haven’t packed or made hotel reservations yet. I am a firm believer of flying by the seat of my pants.

Catch you on the flipside! I shall eat a lot of balut. smirk

The Chronicles of Tsathoggua


Tsathoggua vs Shugo


The Battle of the Titans

Once upon a time, Shugo, a seal from his genetic makeup, emerges from the sea to dwell in the Land of Man. His fur was as white as snow, and everyone loved his soft and pliable body.

Little did Shugo know, his days of peace and quiet among the humans were numbered. The Elder God Tsathoggua awakened from his millennia-long slumber deep beneath the seas. That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die.

shugo life

Tsathoggua is an Old One, fallen from his position among the Elder Gods for black magic transgressions. The Sleeper of N’kai has since dwelled beneath the darkest seas, bidding for time when he can arise again.

Tsathoggua, an amorphous, toad-like god-creature mentioned in the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon of HP Lovecraft is a fearsome creature which I bought in Melaka and placed on my desk at work to guard my workspace.

I’m not really sure that purchasing Tsathoggua was entirely of my own volition. It could very well be the Toad-God himself sending emanations from deep beneath the ocean in an effort to manifest himself in the fabric of the world we are living in…just to kill Shugo.

I’m sure there’s a history behind these two aquatic creatures. Some beef (pardon the pun) from aeons past which I unwittingly became part of, along with Naoko (who owns Shugo the seal).

Naoko choreographed Shugo and I orchestrated the attacks of Tsathoggua. It was totally unrehearsed, a very impromptu thing. The covert attacks were done early morning or during lunch so both of us didn’t see the results until we came back separately. The photos were all taken using cell phones. All photos by Naoko except the ones with the watermark. It was the most fun I had in the office for ages! It does wonders for creativity too. 😉

Without further ado, the battle report:

shugo club

Tsathoggua attempts to club Shugo. It appears the human habit of clubbing seals doesn’t work too well with fallen Elder Gods.

shugo stalk

Shugo stalks a frog. Tsathoggua is infuriated by being called a mere frog.

shugo hump

Tsathoggua clubs Shugo for real.

shugo taunt

Shugo goes into hiding. The taunt: You can’t catch me.

shugo tp

Incensed, Tsathoggua emulates the juvenile behavior and proceeds to TP Shugo with a spare roll of toilet paper.

shugo hand

Tsathoggua immediately launches a follow up attack – The righteous smiting hand of (The Elder) God.

shugo hide

Shugo goes into hiding after being mortally wounded.

shugo nerf

Unfortunately, the nefarious Shugo snuck up with a Nerf gun (nefarious, Nerf, geddit?) and struck Tsathoggua in the head.

shugo killed

Tsathoggua is made of wood. He cannot be hurt by mere foam. Angered, Tsathoggua unleashes The Eldritch boomstick from Out of Time to finish off Shugo.

Thus bound by elastic bands, Shugo the seal is unable to use his flippers and drowned in the deep, black seas. THE END!

The melee lasted almost a week but after a long and prolonged attack, with heavy casualties on both sides, Tsathoggua emerges, victorious!

Tsathoggua is happy. Tsathoggua is so pleased he’s positively croaking with malignant joy.

Happy Birthday Teng Loo, Cup-bearer to the Gods!

ttl birthday

I hardly ever get close to people at work, due to a personal necessity to separate the two identities (work Huai Bin and play Huai Bin), but one of the people I got close to was Teng Loo.

ttl cake

I think of her as my older sister in a way, she’s the same age as my biological sister, and she’s my mentor of sorts. Thus, it is only befitting that I got her a cake for her birthday. 🙂

tll knife

The cake reads “Happy Birthday Teng Loo, Cup-bearer to the Gods!” coz she’s Aquarius. We share the same affinity for horoscopes. It’s like Lucifer’s sauna at our workplace coz the A/C broke down so we moved to the conference room for the cake cutting ceremony.

ttl blow

I hope you get your birthday wish TTL. You deserve it more than anyone else. You have been a friend, and more importantly, a confidant. You know more about me than anyone else save my parents, and perhaps not even them. 🙂

ttl cut

Teng Loo’s birthday falls on Valentine’s Day – the 14th of February but Secret Recipe doesn’t do deliveries anywhere close that date so I’m doing an early one for her.

Live long and prosper, TTL. May the best of last year be the worst of this year. 🙂

Last day at work

brave new world

Today is my last day at work and I must say that I have mixed feelings about moving to KL. I am excited at the prospect of working at the new company but I will miss all my colleagues and the familiarity (comfort zone?) of working in this company for 11 months.

E, you have been a great mentor and I couldn’t have asked for more from a superior. Always willing to give more than receive, generous with advice from your experience and above all, going beyond the call of duty and being a friend to me instead of a boss. You have a great sense of humor and you accepted me despite all my piercings and tattoos and am able to look below the surface to see what I don’t even see myself – as a talented and gifted person. You have made me more confident about myself and my abilities and for that, I am forever indebted to you. I love you as a bro, heterosexually speaking, of course. You will be missed. Thanks for all the good memories.

J, thank you for your kind offer. It takes a great leader to be able to talk to his employees as a friend and to genuinely care. You will be in my thoughts always.

A, I was surprised that you are such a humble person despite your wealth of knowledge. Always unassuming and quick to smile, your imposing stature which made me think of you as unfriendly in the beginning has quickly changed to one of respect. I will miss your comments about politics and general life. I will miss the good conversation and your easy going nature.

J, thanks for being the first one to approach and befriend me. In spite of all that has happened, I still appreciate that you included me in your social circle when I just started work.

A, thank you for the ride home…and dreams come true. 😉

To my two teammates S and S, thanks for everything, we work as a team and nothing can break that. Esprit de corps!

…off to a brave new world!

The art of the sickie


I took a sick day today due to an URTI infection according to the doctor’s diagnosis. I have been coughing really badly for the past few days and getting symptoms of the flu for about a week now. It took a turn for the worse last night when I came down with a fever. I went into work this morning anyway, but felt I was too sick to be there, so I went to one of the panel doctors and he told me I had an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection and put me on a course of antibiotics. He wanted to give me three (3) days sick leave but I told him I only wanted one (1) day since there’s a lot of outstanding work to be done at the office.

I’m not being sanctimonious or anything like that, it’s just that I really enjoy what I’m currently doing in the office right now. I went over to Sandra’s pharmacy and she gave me some hydroxyzine gratis which makes me really sleepy so I’m going to catch some sleep and shake off the fever.

I know that one in three sick days are from people pulling a sickie but I’m seriously ill right now (not as in terminally ill, but feverish). The title of the post doesn’t help, but I just thought it would be funny. 🙂

I’ll reply the comments tomorrow. Mr. Sandman is calling.

Jae Sern’s birthday @ XM Malaysia (2003)

Here are the photos of the XM Malaysia office gathering just now to
celebrate Jae Sern’s (from Creative) birthday. I couldn’t get shots of
everyone coz of the distributed congregation, so the photos mostly
feature the birthday boy. 🙂

Azli putting up the candles on the Secret Recipe chocolate cake.

Happy birthday song. L-R: Shen (Project Manager), Jit (General Manager
aka the boss), May (Project Manager), Jae Sern (birthday boy).

Jae Sern blowing out the candles.

The cake cutting begins. I helped myself to a rather large slice too. 😉

Jae Sern smiling at the digicam. Jit is to the left and VJ is to the right.

I’m still at the office…I’ve got some stuff to do, sorry about not
having time to reply the comments. I want to get my work done with and
head home.

Klinic Bangsar Baru damn expensive – RM 150!

Klinic Bangsar Baru @ Bangsar Telawi

I was feeling sick yesterday morning, feeling much better now
though. I couldn’t make it to work coz I kept on throwing up (again),
so I went to see a doctor. It was the Klinic Bangsar Baru at Bangsar
Telawi and I noticed that they’re panel doctors for companies like
Telekom, TV3, KLCC, NSTP, Tenaga National etc etc but I also saw the
word POLIKLINIC and where I come from (Sibu, Sarawak), policlinics are
cheaper than either private practises or GH. I was about to be shown
the errors of my ways by the policlinics in KL (second time this
happened, the first was bearable though).

Nothing funny, unfortunately.

Anyway, I went to this doctor and the waiting room was empty since I
went at noon…told him my symptoms – constant throwing up, can’t get
anything down – not even water, vertigo when not lying down, diarrhea,
migranes (he didn’t give me anything for this though, dammit ;)), etc
etc. He asked me a few questions about this and told me to lie down on
the bed so he could fondle me a bit. Oops, give me a checkup I mean.
Well, after a bit of prodding here and there, he said that my body
temperature is very warm and he’ll like to give me some antibiotics for

Enclor Capsule 250 mg – Chloramphenicol
Antibiotik – Perlu Di Habiskan
Antibiotic – To complete course

Doctor: Hmm…how are you going to swallow the pills if keep on throwing up?
Me: That’s a good question. I guess I’ll just force it down and keep it down.
Doctor: Oh, I’ve got a better idea. I’ll give you an injection in the buttocks, just pull your pants down a bit.
Me: Erm…..

I couldn’t very well back down, and I figured an anti-emetic wouldn’t do me much harm so “OK”, I said.

“Vomit” – no it doesn’t induce vomiting, it’s just an anti-emetic pill. KL doctors like to name their packs this way too.

Doctor: Right, I’m going to give you one shot in the left
buttock…here it goes. Okay. Hold this (cotton swab) right here while
I get another syringe.
Me: Another syringe?!?!?!
Doctor: Yeah, I’m giving you 4 medicines in two syringes. The
one I gave you just now is to stop you from vomiting and to harden your
stools. Now this one I’m giving you is an anti-biotic and (something
else I forgot).
Me: Er…*cough*…an antibiotic…is that really necessary?
Doctor: Of course it is, I’m giving you a course of antibiotics,
starting with this shot. This is a strong one, not one of the lesser
ones, this would be more effective.
Me: Right…..
Doctor: Okay, I’m injecting this one into your right buttocks, hold still. OK, hold this right here.


The interestingly labelled “Guts”. No, I don’t think it’s Marinol. 😉

The doctor called me after the IM injections (I was still lying on
the bed as per his instructions) and TALKED for at least 20 minutes
about people from Sarawak he knew, even went through this guy who had a
daughter who was also in Melbourne and now working here. I nodded and
smiled politely and thought about how to raise the issue regarding
my…ah, migranes. Unfortuantely, the doctor didn’t let me get a word
in sideways so I gave up on that.

“Diarrhea” pills.

Anyway, the doctor wrote me a sick cert/medical cert and off I went
to wait at the dispensary. Here was where another interesting thing
happened. The nurse called me over to the counter and on the dispensary
table laid two small plastic containers – one with a mix of colorful
pills (about 5) like the ones they give out at psychiatric wards and
the other with some thick milky substance (milk of magnesia).

Nurse: Wait ya, I’ll give you a drink of water.
Me: Am I supposed to eat all these?
Nurse: Yeah, here’s a glass of water.
Me: Can’t I eat these at home instead?
Nurse: No, you’ll get some other meds to bring home, these are the ones you eat here.
Me: Erm…okay…


Nurse: Okay, here’s your bill sir. RM 150 please.
Me: I’m sorry? How much did you say it was?
Nurse: 150 dollars.
Me: Right…
/me looks into wallet
Me: I don’t have RM 150. Is there an ATM nearby?
Nurse: Yeah, walk straight down and turn left.

Milk of Magnesia – certainly need it for my heartburn after the bill.

I went to withdraw some money, which left my bank balance at RM 2 (I
shit you not – good thing we get our monthly paychecks tomorrow) and
paid the clinic and left with a bunch of medications which I have no
intention of consuming. No, not even the antibiotics. I’m protesting
against the completely non-judicious use of stronger antibiotics when
the lesser ones would do just fine. I should send veritas over since
this doctor is so keen on giving out “strong” medications…he’ll
probably give veritas oxycodone (Oxycontin) for his headache. 😉

Anyway, I went home and noticed that either the cupful of medication
or the things in the IM shots interacts with certain sedatives and KO’d
me for the rest of the afternoon. I woke up at nearly 7 pm and felt
fine again.

RM 150 “only”.

RM 150 for a doctor’s visit indeed. I didn’t even get anything nice! Ouch my ass hurts.

I swear all those tablets, injections and liquid administered parenerally made me feel sicker.

Oh yeah, I passed by Taryn (one of my coworkers, except she’s my superior) this morning:

Taryn: Hello, so have you recovered?
Me: Recovered from what?

Someone please give me a very hefty kick to the ass…

Good thing the situation was salvaged when I IM’d her later to
explain that I thought she meant “recovered from the weekend” instead
of “recovered from my sick leave”.

I’m exhibiting all my medications (I brought them along) on my desk now for all to see and also so I won’t forget again. 😉

My Sijil Cuti Sakit.
Sijil Cuti Sakit = Certificate Holiday Sick (direct translation). It’s a medical leave cert.

Biometrics – fingerprint scanners


Do we teach the scanners to recognize our fingerprints or is it the
other way around? I used to have to make at least 10 tries to log in
and out of my work place, but now I’ve learnt how to put my finger just
right so it always works on the first try…

Anyway, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m feeling sleepy and
tired and I need to sleep coz I’ll be working late tomorrow. I’ll reply
the comments tomorrow okay? My apologies…didn’t get much sleep last

The fish at Komplex Antarabangsa


This is a photo of the fish pond at the entrance of Komplex
Antarabangsa (next to where I work). I have been meaning to take a
photo of it ever since I realized that Kenanga International and
Komplex Antarabangsa is interconnected internally, but never got around
to doing it. I passed by today while going to the bank (and realizing
that my account balance is very low – I will not turn down any
voluntary donations ;)) to pay for my new domain registration and
hosting fees and took a photo, but unfortunately, the fishes do not
congregate the way they do in the mornings…there’s a lot more fishes
than the photo suggests.

Anyway, I have some Coldfusion + Fusebox stuff to do, so I’ll post
again tomorrow. I am pleased to announce that is going to
have a sister site, where veritas would post and I would host some of
my images (for load balancing – bandwidth bills are killing me). I
won’t reveal the domain yet, to allow it the 48 hours to propogate to
all the DNS servers, but the new site will go live on Friday! veritas
says he’s already got a good first post, so stay tuned! 🙂

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