Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Volkswagen Roadshow In Atria Shopping Mall, Petaling Jaya & How I Rated A Saleswoman

Did I go to the shopping mall to book a Volkswagen?

It's a sunny and fucking hot Sunday afternoon. Instead of being a couch potato or taking a nap like some of you, I decided to window shop at the new Atria shopping mall in Petaling Jaya. I stumbled upon a Volkswagen roadshow where a dealer displayed 7 models, namely Polo sedan 1.6, Polo HB GP 1.6, Jetta 1.4 TSI, Passat 1.8, Tiguan 1.4 TSI, Golf  1.4 TSI, and Beetle 1.2 TSI Sport.

Since I was there, I thought I might as well take a closer look at those German babes and appraise the salesmanship of the  saleswoman I talked to.

Do you need music for a car roadshow? 


I don't think it's a good idea since it doesn't do a salesperson any good when it comes to sales talk. I had to raise my voice when I was talking to a saleswoman. The music this young sexy DJ picked weren't my cup of tea either and a bit too loud.

If you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it.

I would say these toys aren't meant for any Tom, Dick, and Harry (or more precisely Ah Beng, Ali, and Arumugam) in Malaysia. You need to belong to the high income group even to get the entry-level Polo.

About The Saleswoman


I didn't take a close-up pic of her for obvious reason but she was a Malay lady in her late twenties wearing a black head scarf by the name of Siti. Here is her business card.

I was reading the price list and a couple of leaflets and Siti approached me. She struck up a conversation by saying, "Can I help you?" with a smile. I told her I was just looking around. She wasn't going to leave me alone after I asked her where her showroom was. She handed me her business card and told me the location briefly.

One thing let to another and I chatted with her for at least 30 minutes while checking the interior of 3 cars. I bantered her a little bit during our conversation so that she would feel more relaxed and she thought some of the things I mentioned were funny. I won't go to the details of our conversation but let me appraise her in terms of her salesmanship, which include but not limited to the following, on a scale of 1 to 10:

(1) Command Of English - 7

I would have rated her 8 if she didn't make the mistake of calling the luggage compartment of a car as "bonnet" instead of "boot" in British English. I pointed out her mistake and told her that North Americans call them "hood" and "trunk" respectively.

In terms of fluency, she was above average comparing to most Malay Malaysians.

(2) Product Knowledge - 5

I expected her to know more about the products than me and highlight the main features of the car and what benefits did the features offer.

(3) Her Appearance - 7

She wasn't an attractive woman ( doesn't matter to me) but she dressed in an presentable company uniform, i.e. long black pants and white shirt. She was wearing a head scarf which I think is unnecessary although she's a Muslim. I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't bring your religion to work life.

(4) Digging Info From Potential Customers - 4

She didn't try to ask me some pertinent questions to help me to make a better choice; questions such as:  

(1) What's my budget?
(2) What am I going to use the car for?
(3) Do I have a car to trade in?
(4) Do I need financing and for how long? Etc.

(5) Attitude - 9

She was polite, listened attentively and didn't interrupt what I was trying to tell her throughout the selling process.

(6) The Prerequisite Of Following Up - 5

She did ask me whether I need a test drive but she failed to request contact phone number from me so that she could follow up. She just assume I would call her to ask for more info and/or arranging a test drive.
Overall Impression Of Her As A Salesperson And The Company She Represented

She might not have yeas of experience of selling passenger cars under her belt but she can definitely brush up her selling skills. She was the only salesperson, out of 5 of them, who approached me when I was showing some interest in those prestigious cars.  I don't blame her but I think her superior didn't do a good job in training her.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Movida Restaurant & Bar

Are you a beer drinker who are looking for a watery hole to quench your thirst after a hard day's work in a new, cozy environment where beers are priced below their competitors in PJ? Look no further.

My friend, Paul, invited me to join him and two other acquaintances for some beer in this new watery hole recently. He said the beers there were cheaper than those in Merchant Pub, Armada Hotel. Let's check them out.



It's situated at this new commercial hub called Center Stage in Section 13, PJ. where you can find retail outlets, restaurants, pubs, hotel, and designer suits all under one roof.

Exterior View Of Movida 

This establishment, unlike many others, wasn't enclosed although it's air-conditioned. There ain't a resident band but I saw a DJ inside.

In Spanish, movida means party or social gathering.

Beer Prices At A Glance


It cost RM55++ for a tower of Carlsberg drought and RM100++ for two, i.e. RM7.25 (inclusive of GST and service charge) which I think is a steal.


RM 38++ for a bucket of Carlsberg (5 bottles) and two buckets for RM 70++ which works out to be RM8.12 per bottle (including service charge & GST).


If you think of bringing your female companions to drink here and want to save some money if they prefer drinking Margarita or Blue Lagoon , go there on Tuesdays after 8 pm. Why? Ladies nights, that's why.

Foreign Employees

Just like many service outlets you patronize nowadays, employers are forced to "import" foreign workers since many locals have shunned front-line jobs like this. Movida had employed 20 or so Bangladeshi and Filipino workers at this establishment.

With The Exception Of


These two cashiers as pictured and a manager are Malaysians. I chatted with this cashier (on the right) for quite a while to get to know her better. It was her second day on the job. To be honest, I liked her.

Will I Come Back Again?

You bet. If you can find a watery hole as cozy and beers priced  cheaper than this one, please let me know, okay?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Three Iconic Malaysian Food

I don't know about you but in terms of varieties and tastiness I think Malaysian food should be ranked numero uno in the world owing to the diversification of race, and culture.

Among others, here are the 3 iconic Malaysian food I love to eat. They are not only cheap but yummy too.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak , a typical Malay food, is a  rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves served with fried peanuts, boiled eggs, sliced raw cucumbers, chili paste, anchovies,  sambal and various side dishes. The Malays call it nasi lemak biasa (literally means normal nasi lemak) if it is served without side dishes and it's cheap.

How cheap is nasi lemak biasa? You can get it as cheap as RM1.30 (S$0.46 or US$0.35 based on currency exchange rates as of  Jun 20, 2015) a packet even in cities like Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya sold by some hawkers.

This is how it looks like  after you unpack it and put it on a plate.

Well, for that kind of price, they do cut corners. As you can see, there ain't cucumber, chili paste and anchovies;  only a few peanuts and 1/6 of an egg.

As a comparison, nasi lemak biasa (Malaysian celebrity chef, Chef Wan called it "naked"nasi lemak) served on Malaysia Airline to passengers flying in economy class say, from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, what you get is about the same except you get half an boiled egg instead of 1/6.

What about those served in a cafe or restaurant? They look something like this:


Now, this is a "full-fledged " nasi lemak that comes with an egg, 2 pieces of curry chicken, sambal, 2 slices of cucumber and acar.

Like I say, this is Malay food but ironically, the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia recommended the nasi lemak of Sakura Cafe, which is run by a Chinese woman called Madam Kuan, as the best in Malaysia. The price of a plate of nasi lemak as pictured above in Sakura Cafe cost RM16.9 two years ago. I won't say it's very expensive since it's a famous, cozy, full-serviced cafe located at the Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur.

Char Kway  Teow

It's a very popular Chinese food that you can find in many hawker centers or coffee shops. Basically it's flat rice noodles (or mixed with noodles) stir-fried with bean sprouts, fish cakes, prawns, cockles, dark soy sauce, chilli. Used to be fried using lard but not anymore since many years ago for health reason. You just need to pay RM5.50 for the one pictured below in a coffee shop or a hawker center. You won't find this in a restaurant, okay?



Roti Canai 

Another favorite food that most Malaysians enjoy eating is roti canai. It's an Indian pancake served with dhal (lentil cury) or any kind of curry; usually with fillings such as either onions,eggs, or sardine.

You can find this food in all mamak (Indian Muslim) stalls, coffee shops or restaurants. The price starts from RM1.50 for a plain roti canai, i.e. without fillings, in a coffee shop.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What Have "Nasi Lemak" And The "Terminator" Got To Do With Malaysia Airlines?

Malaysia Airlines

I ain't a frequent flyer but I have flown numerous times on the national carrier of Malaysia in the past from Kuala Lumpur to Pulau Langkawi, Singapore and and from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur in the past.

For other international flights, I had tried Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, and Northwest Airlines.

To be fair to Malaysia Airlines, I would say their cabin crew service was good comparing to those of other competitors.

Their Air Stewardesses

Look at the uniform of the cabin crew, isn't that simple, conservative and yet feminine, close-fitting, and seductive? On top of that, their sweet smiles warmed the cockles of my heart.

Okay, to those ultra-extreme Islamic scholars and morons of Malaysia, don't ever suggest or pressure Malaysia Airlines to instruct them to wear burqa.

Anyway, to be honest with you, I have got a real sweet spot for Malay women.

Nasi Lemak

Did I tell you that I love eating the iconic Malay food called nasi lemak also?

I don't really mind if they serve me this "naked" nasi lemak on a short flight as a passenger in economy class.

However, let see what the Malaysian celebrity chef, Chef Wan has got to say about the food when he flew to Bangkok as an economy class passenger in January last year: "I flew on economy to Bangkok thinking its such a short trip and so early pulak tu pasti i will close my eye and have a short nap tak payah lah membazir duit naik business class. This Sad looking Nasi Lemak from Mas for sarapan sungguh memeranjat kan..The fact that its our national career and we dont take pride in providing our so call most famous Malaysian breakfast that kita Agong2 kan bangga serata dunia and to show case this on international flight without the proper timun and kacang serta ikan bilik nampak macam miskin sangat sarapan Malaysia ini. Kita orang Malaysia sudah pasti la tahun akan quality Nasi lemak serta pilihan lauk2 that goes along with it but hey....what about all that international travellers. Seriously i feel sad that our Msian Breakfast can suffer its own image so misleading to the point where i felt the need for them to realised how serious this can be. Why la so much in consistency when it come to serving This dish at various destinations? Why my flight ticket cost me rm850 tu maka its not business class enough ke that i am serve Nasi and Sambal with telor that make my breakfast so mcm " Telanjang la" Come on la Mas tak kan kita nak selalu membebel pasal simple basic thing of serving the country national heritage food and dah macam pahat serta pemukul? Why sent letters to act on my complain and appology and then repeat back the same mistake? Hello am i being to difficult here or being sensible to request for a normal Nasi Lemak?"

Now, chef Wan, I just want to mention 5 things:

(1) I think you better brush up your English. You made so many spelling and grammatical mistake on your comment and you didn't use paragraphs in your long comments;

(2) Write either in English or Malay but don't mix them;

(3) You get what you pay for; and

(4) There are at least 4 more airlines providing flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok besides Malaysia Airlines namely, Thai Airway, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian Airlines. and Ethiopian Airlines.  The question is, do you get to eat the authentic "naked" nasi lemak on those flights?

The Terminator


Source: Malaysian Reserve
 Even before the two recent disastrous accidents involving MH370 and MH17, Malaysia Airlines has been struggling to keep its business afloat.

Finally, Malaysia Airlines "para-trooped" a German called Christoph R. Mueller, nick-named the "terminator" earlier this year as the CEO with the hope of turning around the ailing national carrier.

The billion-dollar question is, can this man save the airline the way the Terminator saved John from being killed by the cyborg in the movie? 

My Love Affair With Car Started With Fiat 127

I Fell In Love With This Italian Babe And My Dad Bought It.

If you were to ask me what my happiest moment in my life from my late teen to early twenties, I would say it was the moment when I collected my brand new Fiat 127 in 1975 and it was registered under my name.

I didn't know how my dad feel but I knew he was RM6,000 poorer after he bought me this cute Italian babe with cash. RM6,000 was quite a lot of money 40 years ago in Malaysia for my him. My dad must have loved me so much to be willing to part with his hard-earned money without hesitation.


Why Did I Choose An Italian Car Over A Samurai Rival?

At that time the only Japanese rival in the same category was Mazda 1000 which cost slightly more. I had a soft spot for Italian car right from the beginning simply because Italian cars, until now, have souls unlike the Japanese. On top of that, the former have unique styling that stands out among the crowd and yes the performance.

Did I Love This Car?

You bet. Although it was a super-mini class car powered by a 903 c.c. four-in-line petrol engine mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, it was front-wheel driven, independently sprung, spacious inside, fuel efficient and it hugged the road like a leech. In fact it won the European Car Of The Year Award for 1972.

I drove it aggressively on winding roads most of the time and I remember vividly that I overtook many Japanese cars of bigger engine capacity (1.2 to 1.3 Liter) such as Datsun 120Y, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Colt Lancer and Mazda 808 when I drove this car to Genting Highlands back in the mid 70's. I guess all those drivers would have been pissed off.

Did I Date Any Girls Driving It?

Not trying to tell you my romance in details but I did date 5 girls - 4 Chinese and 1 Malay. Holy cow, I even made love with the Malay girl twice in a row inside this car at a park at night! Most of us guys did crazy things when we were young, didn't we?

How Long Did I Keep This Babe?

Four solid years and kind of reluctantly. Finally I upgraded my car ownership to a bigger car but that's a different story altogether.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What Has Islam Got To Do With Sport?

Farah Ann Hadi

Farah Ann Hadi, a Malaysian gymnast who did Malaysia proud by winning 4 medals (2 gold, one silver and one bronze) at the ongoing Singapore 25th SEA games was in the limelight two days ago on social media.

Source: Malay Mail
It wasn't just about her achievement but also about some Malay Malaysians giving her a piece of their mind. According to those moralists, she had committed a "sin" in Islam by exposing her awrat (intimate parts of a body in Arabic) wearing  standard approved leotards in the competitions.

Will Malaysia Become A Taliban State?

One of the persons who came forward to defend her was the daughter of the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia (Mahathir Mohamed), and social-political activist, Marina Mahathir.

In replying to the question two days ago at a panel discussion at the Cooler Lumpur Festival, she said: “No, I don’t think we’ll be a Taliban state yet. We’ll be a stupid state first.”

Where Do I stand On This Issue?

If I were you, Farah, I would have asked those morons to go and fuck themselves.



Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sarong Woman

Recently the Road Transport Department of Malaysia yielded to an outcry aroused due to a security guard who abused his power and acted like a religious policeman insisting a Chinese Malaysian woman to wear a sarong when she was in the process of transferring the ownership of her car at one of the offices. The Deputy Director apologized and subsequently transferred the guard to another section according to a newspaper report.

Who Was The Sarong Woman?

Her name is Suzanne Tan, She uploaded images of her on her Facebook post earlier but was later removed.

Credit: The Star Malaysia

What's wrong with her clothes? Well, based on the conservative dressing codes, her pink skirt was too short; a few of inches above her knees and hence it's considered as indecent exposure. See that?

I don't know about you but this kind of indecent exposure certainly won't arouse my sexual desire at all.

Then, how about if she were to dress in a long sarong like this?

Credit: Alibaba

Nope, that won't conform to the dress codes either although I would love my girl to put on this sexy and fashionable peacock sarong.

The Dress Codes Of The Public Transport Department For Visitors

So what are the codes? In English, the codes stipulate that:

Visitors must dress in clean, tidy clothes that conform to the practice of the Malaysian society.

Wear appropriate dress shirts, T-shirts with collars, shoes, long pants, long skirts that extend below the knees especially when dealing with the departments on official businesses in the premise.

Visitors are prohibited from wearing indecently and too revealingly such as: skirt's hem that is above the knee level or short pants; sleeveless shirts; tight pants or skirts; and sandals.

Visitors are advised to follow the dressing rules in the Public Transport Department, Visitors who violate the rules will not be allowed to enter.

Credit: Public Transport Department of Malaysia

To be on the safe side, I would advice women who deal with the department to wear burqa like what the Taliban women do; something like this:


Malay, Chinese and English Proverbs That Share The Same Meanings

The Malays, Chinese and British differ greatly not only in their physical appearances but also cultures, religions, languages, and values. However coincidentally, they have some proverbs, idioms or sayings that contains the same or nearly the same meanings. This shows that they share some common values.Translating those sayings in other languages is a tedious task since the 3 races have very different histories, customs and environments.

Some of the examples

Kalau bertepuk sebelah tangan tidak akan berbunyi.
It takes two to tango.

Berfikir sebelum berkata, berunding sebelum dibuat.
Look before you leap.

Batu yang selalu bergolek dalam sungai itu tiada dihinggapi lumut。
A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Berpahit-pahit dahulu supaya manis kemudian.
He that will have egg must endure the cackle of hen.

Biar lambat asalkan selamat.
Better be safe than sorry.

Masuk kandang kambing mengembek, masuk kandang kerbau menguak
When in Rome, do as the Roman do,

Payah-payah dilamun ombak, tercapai juga tanah tepi
Every cloud has a silver lining.

Bagaimana acuan begitulah kuihnya
Like father like son.

Bumi mana tak ditimpa hujan
To err is human.

Cakap sejengkal dibawa sehasta
To make a mountain out of a mole hill.


Nasi sudah menjadi bubur.
Don't cry over spilled milk.

Di mana ada kemahuan, di situ ada jalan.
Where there is a will, there is a way.

Hutang darah dibayar darah, hutang nyawa, nyawa padahnya.
Blood demands blood.

Jiwa bergantung di hujung rambut
To hang by a thread.

Air yang tenang jangan disangka tiada buaya
Still water runs deep

Jangan difikir air pasang sahaja.
All good things must come to an end.

Diberi betis nak paha.
Give (someone) an inch and they will take a mile.

In Memory Of My Dad Whom I Respected

In memory of my dad, I'm going to write, for the very first time in my life, about him. I will talk about how he brought me up when I was a kid, the relationship between us, the sacrifice he made, his religious belief and his outlook on life and so forth.

The Way He Brought Me Up

In the eyes of my dad, I was a mischievous boy and he didn't hesitate to discipline me using corporal punishment when I was a kid resulting in skin bleeding and leaving behind red cane marks on my buttock, thighs and legs for days. My sister was always the one who treated my injuries if I am not mistaken. At one time I even thought of running away from home as I hated my dad for beating me with a rattan cane or the handle of a feather duster.

Table manners was something he attached importance to. In addition, he insisted me to use chop sticks and a rice bowl when taking a meal as he wanted us to follow the Chinese traditions.
He detested my listening to popular songs, which I like, except for classical music which I didn't know how to appreciate. I learned how to play harmonica from him though.

He expected me to perform well in school and I did, I was the top student in my class for 3 consecutive years from grade 10 to 12 in a private secondary school. He tutored me English as he knew the importance of it for my future.

He dislike me for keeping long hair and mustache but I didn't listen. He suggested saving at least 10% of my income for rainy days but I found it hard to do that. He advised me to control my temper but I did give some people a piece of my mind.

He never talked about the birds and the bees with me or how to date girls, either he didn't have much experience or he felt uneasy. I taught myself in sex through reading adult magazines.

The Sacrifice He Made For Me

My dad was a very thrifty person who never bought any toys for me to play with during my childhood and never showered gifts on me. However, he wouldn't think twice in spending money on me when it came to education. Although he never said he loved me or hugged me, he did pay for my first motorbike and followed by a new car and two used cars upon my request further down the road.

My dad was never a rich man but he was the one who paid for my university education and my living expenses with his life-time saving and the money he got by selling his only house when I was studying in Texas Tech University. Much to his relief, I obtained a bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering eventually.

I couldn't pay him back for the sacrifice he made for me no matter how much I tried and I feel bad about it for the rest of my life.

Our Relationship

I seldom talked to him before I furthered my study in the States. However, during my stay as an international student in the university, I did write to him very often and he replied to every single letter I wrote him. We exchanged views on lots of subjects under the sun. I believe he knew me much better as a person during the four years or so than all those years combined before that.

I dated an white American girl who was pursuing her Civil Engineering bachelor degree in the same university. My dad didn't object to my seeing her but nether did he encourage me to date a girl outside my race. He told me that my priority was to complete my study and everything would fall into place when I returned to Malaysia where there were many Chinese girls for me to choose from as a life partner.

We did have something in common but we didn't agree on many things as he was a conservative Asian and I was a very Westernized one after having stay in America for years

His Religious Belief

My dad was a devoted Buddhist. We discussed on religions in general and Buddhism in particular.
Over the years since I returned home, he had been trying to convince me that Buddhism was the best religion and he hope that I would be a Buddhist too. I don't deny that Buddhism is the most peaceful and tolerant religion in the world. I was and still is a non-religious person due to my inclination and academic background. Nevertheless, I am a semi-vegetarian partly out of compassion for animals.

Drinking in Buddhism is forbidden and he advised me to stop drinking but I didn't simply because I enjoyed it.

His Outlook In Life

There were lots of things we discussed and naturally we didn't agree on some of them such as the my freedom in selecting my life partner. Somehow he didn't like me to marry a woman whose race and religion are different from his.

He asked me to work hard and enthusiastically. On the other hand, he said if I had a chance to accumulate wealth, be satisfied when I could live comfortably and not kept on accumulating it.
He asked me to stay away from drugs and I listened to him and I never tried any drugs until now.
There was once I told him in no uncertain terms that I was an individual and I was entitled for my opinions and I won't let him run my life. I think he was hurt by what I said and the way I exhibited my rebellious nature.

What Do I think Of My Dad

My dad passed away at the age of 84. He died of natural death during the wee hours. As he was a Buddhist, he was cremated.

In retrospect, I feel proud of him for being able to feed the entire family of six and provide full financial assistance for his two sons for the entire duration of my pursuing my dream as an Industrial Engineer and my youngest brother's as a Medical Doctor although he wasn't earning a high income. He sacrificed a lot on material comfort for the sake of my tertiary eduction and that of my youngest brother.

He was a great father to his children although I disagree with the way he punished me for my behavior when I was a kid. Also he was a faithful and responsible husband to his wife even though he wasn't romantic towards my mom or showed physical affections in front of his children. I know deep inside my heart, he loved my mom and the rest of the family members.
Dad, I sincerely thank you and will forever remember you for what you had done for me and I take my hat off to you.

Do You Want To Know How Clean Or Dirty Public Restrooms Are In Malaysia?

If you are interested in knowing the conditions of public restrooms in Malaysia, look no further. This is my firsthand account of some of those I had used over the years

Kuala Lumpur 

If you are interested in knowing the conditions of public restrooms in Malaysia, look no further. This is my firsthand account of some of those I had used before.

Kuala Lumpur

Bierhaus is a pub at a residential area called Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (abbreviated as T.T.D.I.). The restroom was clean mainly because there were only a few customers at that time. Do you really need a urinal and a flush toilet bowl to answer the call of nature? The toilet papers were not put in the dispenser.


This restroom, which was designed for handicapped persons, in a fast-food outlet was clean and spacious.

The photo below shows one of the uni-sex restrooms in a pub called Thai Club was dirty; the management cut cost by not providing toilet papers and the seat of the bowl was missing.

Customers threw trash on the floor since there was no trash can. Always remember to bring along your own toilet papers when you feel like quenching your thirst or eating there.
By the way, the name Thai Club is misleading since you can hardly find a Thai girl there. However I saw many Vietnamese women there either accompanying male customers for a fee or soliciting.

The restroom next to the reception area of Kuala Lumpur International Hotel is reasonably clean although the hotel was pretty much run-down. Again, do not be misled by the name. It is not even a 2-star hotel.

Same old story. This restroom in a coffee shop at Taman Melawati is filthy and wet. I had to stand on the elevated side of the floor to take this photo since the left side was flooded. Did you forget to bring some toilet papers with you again to do number two?

The two photos below show a restroom in a government general hospital. The water pipe was leaking and the maintenance staff tried to stop the leak by tying a piece of cloth round the pipe. Why couldn't they fix it properly? Sorry, no sign of toilet paper.

Belakong, Selangor

I found this coffee shop restroom at Belakong disgusting. I could not flush the toilet since the handle of the cistern was damaged. The tiles were stained as you can see.

Do you see the plastic pail on the floor? You are expected to use the water in the pail to flush the squatting toilet manually after you are done with your business. The trash basket was hung on a valve next to the cistern. Toilet paper? Forget it!

Petaling Jaya, Selangor

The two photos below show the same restroom, which was quite shabby, of a mini-mart at a residential area called Taman Magah. Someone forgot to turn off the tap when I was there. I turn it off after I had done number one.

A lot of times you can judge a place by checking out its restroom like this one. Right! It's a restroom of a coffee shop. A urinal is the only thing you can find here. Dirty, to say the least.

This one wasn't that dirty but the toilet seat was damaged and toilet papers were not provided.


Bukit Tinggi, Pahang

What you see is what you get in this coffee shop restroom. Does it look familiar to you? It was filthy but you need to ease yourself in this place, what choice do you have?

 Shah Alam, Selangor

I went to view the latest models of Mazda in a big Mazda showroom at Glenmarie, Shah Alam. As usual I inspected one of the restrooms and found it to be very clean. I wish all the coffee shop restroom could be like this. But it remains a dream until now.

 Your Verdict?

I am a Malaysian and I feel ashamed to show you all these especially for tourists who visit my country.However, I have got to tell it like it is in order for those who intend to travel to this country to be psychologically prepaired.
So after you have explored the restrooms, what's your verdict as comparing to those in your country?

What Do English And Chinese Proverbs Have In Common?

As far as some proverbs are concerned, I find that there are similarities between English and Chinese even though the cultures are very much different. It is interesting to compare the two. Almost all Chinese proverbs can be expressed in just four words. Take a look at some of the marvelous examples:

Killing two birds with one stone.
Chinese equivalent: 一箭双雕.
Literally: Killing two eagles with an arrow.

Don't teach your grandmother to suck milk.
Chinese equivalent: 班们弄斧.
Literally: To show off your skills in front of an expert.

As close as a clam.
Chinese equivalent: 一毛不拔.
Literally: Not pulling even a hair.

As plain as a nose on one's face.
Chinese equivalent:一目了然
Literally: It is clear at a glance.

Love at first sight.
Chinese equivalent: 一见倾心
Literally: The heart inclines at first sight.

To carry off with a smile.
Chinese equivalent:一笑置之.

To owe one a day in the harvest.
Chinese equivalent: 一饭之恩.
Literally: The favor of a meal.

As like as two peas.
Chinese equivalent: 一模一样.
Literally: Exactly the same.

To hang by a thread.
Chinese equivalent: 一发千钧
Literally: Hanging forty thousand pounds with a thread of hair.

A drop in a bucket. .
Chinese equivalent: 九牛一毛.
Literally: A thread of hair from nine oxen.

All things to all men.
Chinese equivalent: 八面玲珑.
Literally: Octagonal porcelain vase.

A wolf in sheep's clothing.
Chinese equivalent: 人面兽心.
Literally: The face of a man but a heart of a beast.

Putting the cart before the horse.
Chinese equivalent: 本末倒置.
Literally: Putting the root at the top of a tree.

Silence is golden, speech is silver.
Chinese equivalent: 沉默是金.

You made your bed, now lie in it.
Chinese equivalent: 自作自受.
Literally: One is responsible for what he has done.

You make a mountain of a mole-hill.
Chinese equivalent: 小题大作.
Literally: Writing a long essay on an minor subject.

Where there's a will there's a way.
Chinese equivalent: 有志者, 事竟成.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Chinese equivalent: 以牙还牙.
Literally: A tooth for a tooth.

It's never too late to mend.
Chinese equivalent: 亡羊补牢.
Literally: To mend a fence when a sheep is killed.

A burnt child dreads fire.
Chinese equivalent: 惊弓之鳥.
Literally: A bird dreads a bow.

Prevention is better than cure.
Chinese equivalent: 预防胜于治疗.

Strike while the iron is hot.
Chinese equivalent: 打铁趁热

When in Rome do as the Romans do.
Chinese equivalent: 入乡随俗.
Literally: To follow the customs when one enters a village.

Blood is thicker than water.
Chinese equivalent: 血浓于水.

A leopard cannot change its spots.
Chinese equivalent: 本性难移.
Literally: It is difficult to change one's character.

Between a rock and a hard place.
Chinese equivalent: 进退两难.
Literally: Either advancing or retreating is difficult.

You can't have your cake and eat it.
Chinese equivalent: 鱼与熊掌.
Literally: It is difficult to have a fish and a bear's paw at the same time.

An Introduction To Block Board

What Is Block Board?

Block boards are not recent invention. In fact the Egyptians had conceived and built furniture with block boards in their pyramids dated back thousands of years ago.

Block board (also known as lumber core) is a man-made board similar to plywood but the center layer or core is made from strips of softwood.The strips are put edge to edge and sandwiched between veneers of softwood, hardwood, particleboard or MDF (medium-density fiberboard), pasted under high pressure and heat with glue.

In terms of construction, there are three main types of block board , i.e. 3-ply, 5-ply and 7-ply.
A 3-ply block board consists of a core sandwiched between two layers of veneers whereas a 5-ply and 7-ply block boards are made of a core and covered with 2 layers and six layers of veneers on each side respectively.

The first one is normally used for hidden application. The second is preferred to build furniture that requires decorative quality. The last is utilized more in manufacturing doors and construction.

The picture below shows an example of block boards.
An exploited view of a 5-layer blockboard is illustrated below.
The following pictures show some good examples of what block boards can be utilized for so far as furniture are concerned.


Depending on the market, the most common sizes are: 2070x5200mm (German), 1850x3660mm (Italian), and 1220x2440mm (Chinese). Thickness varies from 13mm to 60mm.
Manufacturers can fabricate a variety of applied finishes for block board such as plastic laminate surfaces, wood veneers and melamine papers.

Classification Of Blackboards

Basically block boards can be classified based on: (1) types of wood used i.e. softwood and hardwood, and (2) composition and quality, i.e. grades.
(1) Classification Based On Core:
Softwood Core
The cores, which consist of softwood strips placed adjacent to each other lengthwise, are sandwiched with one or more hardwood veneers.
Hardwood Core

The cores and veneers are both made of hardwood. Not only are they heavier, they are more expensive in general.
(2) Classification Based On Grade:
Interior Grade
Moisture-Resistant (MR) grade block boards are used to fabricate furniture and doors.
Exterior Grade
Comparing to MR grade block boards, Boiling-Water-Resistant grade ones provide superior quality for exterior applications.

Advantages Of Block Boards

Besides being a poor conductor of sound, heat and electricity, block boards are light, stable, easy to cut, reclaim and to preserve in sea water than most competative materials. In addition, these boards are cheaper, lighter, stronger and more resistant to warpage as compare to raw wooden planks. Owing to their light weight, block boards extend furniture and door life span as they exert less stress onto hinges.

Manufacturing Process

Basically there are 6 steps in fabricating block boards:
1. Mixing glue using a glue mixer with water and powder resin proportionally.
2. Spreading the glue on core and veneer by using a glue spreader.
3. Setting different layers of core and vaneers on wooden batten frame and followed by compressing under high pressure and temperature with a hydraulic press.
4, Drying the boards.
5. Using a saw cutting machine to perform side cutting.
6. Finally, top layer finishing is done by a sanding machine.
As this article is meant for the general public, I have skipped the technical aspects such as mechanical/physical properties, specifications and quality standards.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What A City Dude Like Me Doing In A Small Town Like This In Pahang, Malaysia?


Most of you, even Malaysians, have never heard of a small town called Lanchang, let alone been there. Lanchang is a sleepy small town located in the state of Pahang, Malaysia. It's about 109 km from Petaling Jaya and accessible via the tolled East Coast Expressway. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes depending on traffic condition.

Credit: Google Map

What The Heck Was I Doing There?

I didn't go there for holidays, for sure. As a matter of fact, Lanchang was never my holiday destination unless I choose the life style of a hermit.

I drove a friend there many times about 2 year ago as he was trying to sell some fertilizers to a fruit/vegetable farmer and also help him to apply for more farmland to expand his business.The farm is actually some 8 to 10 km away from the town. You need to go through a stretch of narrow and winding road (4 to 5 km) before it leads to a non-paved and dusty road for the remaining of the trip to the destination.

Bukit Tinggi

We stopped for late breakfast at this coffee shop. This was my friend's favorite "pit stop" whenever we went to Lanchang.

For those of you from the first-world countries, don't be surprised when you see the restroom of this coffee shop. You need to squat to shit. Not only that; you have to bring your own tissue papers or wash your ass with the water only, okay?

Rest Area

On our way to Lanchang in one of the trips, we stopped at a rest area to smoke and to stretch our legs. I saw a whole bunch of wild monkeys on a slope looking for food.

A Very Old Tailor Shop

There ain't such a run-down tailor shop in Kuala Lumpur anymore but I found one here before reaching the town center along the main road. I thought I was going through the time tunnel turning back the clock by half a century.

I saw 3 sewing machines arranged very closely to each other in a row. 2 of those machines were antique; operated by a foot paddle and the center one was electrically operated.

A Workshop In Bad Shape

Next to the tailor shop was a workshop in this shabby building. It was closed for business on that day or forever; I didn't know.

Meaningful Life Quotes

While taking our budget lunch at a food stall close to this building, I saw these life quotes, in simple Chinese.

Do you want to know what do they mean in English? Here you go:

It doesn't matter whether you have lots of money or little, as long as you have enough to eat.

It doesn't matter whether you are attractive or ugly, as long as you don't look disagreeable..

It doesn't matter whether you are old or young, as long as you are healthy.

It doesn't matter whether your family is poor or rich, as long as you live together amicably.

It doesn't matter your husband coming home late, as long as he returns.

It doesn't matter your wife being long-winded, as long as she cares about your family.

Teach your children to be a good person when they are still young.

It doesn't matter whether your house is huge or small, as long as it's habitable.

It doesn't matter whether your clothes are branded, as long as you can wear them.

It doesn't matter whether you own a 2-wheel or 4-wheel vehicle, as long as you can ride or drive it.

It doesn't matter whether your employer is bad, as long as you can tolerate him.

It doesn't matter having all the problems, as long as they can be solved.

It's better to let go than to hold on to something.

It's good enough if  we lead a peaceful and safe life.

It doesn't mean you will definitely lead a good life if you have money.

Your fate will be good if you have done good deeds and are kind-hearted.

It doesn't matter who is right or wrong. as long as God knows.

Take it easy on lots of things.

Every day will be good if everyone is doing fine. 

If you and I are doing fine, this will be a better world.

In short, think not on what you lack as much as on what you have.

I have said so much but being able to walk the talk is the best.

The Farm

I left my car near the junction of the road leading to my final destination and we continued our trip in a 2x4 twin-cab Toyota pickup truck driven by a farmer.

Finally we reached the fruit farm.

This was the farmers' house and they were extending it.

Their Myanmar workers were not just farming assistants but also good at basic building construction.

The farmers, who were bothers, kept 2 dogs by the names of Bobby (white dog) and Black Woman (black dog). They greeted their master when his truck pulled over. The dogs were barking at me as if I was an enemy. Maybe I was their enemies in my past life; how the heck do I know?

They finally crawled under the truck when their master assured them that I ain't an enemy but just a friendly city dude visiting.

There were lots of lime trees at their farm. During my last visit, some other visitors, whom  my friend invited, were there as well.

The elder brother showed them his fruits of his labor and answered all the questions the visitors threw at him in great details; and he could talk for hours, non-stop. Unbelievable. That showed how knowledgeable and passionate he was about what he did for an honest living although his methods of farming was self-taught.

I thought of filming a documentary on his farming and upload it to YouTube.

Besides limes, he planted other fruits also, such as mango.

Bobby liked company and followed us wherever we went.

Water supply

 They got their water supply to irrigate the farm from this pond.


I have no idea how often he put up a night here, but if he did, he would sleep on this bed.


My Friend bought some vegetables at this fruit/vegetable stall at Bukit Tinggi on our way back to Petaling Jaya. Those fruits and vegetables were fresh and cheap. Worth buying.