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Vol II: The Mis-Adventure Continues
Funny stories, witty encounters and serious reflections from Malaysia as experienced by a vegetarian struggling to understand the world.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Working on my website

Just realised recently that I've actually been neglecting my own website - www.adriantai.com. So I've been keeping a low profile and not posting much here for the past few days coz I'm working on getting more things up and running over there.

Hmmm... I've not finished posting all my wedding photos as well... Oooops... *shy*

Tomorrow should be fun... I'll be away from office. I'll be meeting up with a few friends to watch Transformers. Lots of activities over the next few days... Will write about it soon...

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On 6/30/2007 05:05:00 PM Blogger Phenom said:
Hee...just saw...actually not too good ler... seem to be based more on the movie rather than the series..where Megatron is a plane rather than a gun...
On 6/30/2007 05:22:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
i think its one of the better movies for 2007.

michael bay did explain why megatron is not a gun. he wanted it to be as 'realistic & logical' as possible. such big robot can't possible transform into a small thing and be held by starscream, right?

i hope they make transformers 2 and base it on cybertron instead... :)
On 7/01/2007 12:53:00 AM Blogger Phenom said:
haha... just realised that you said "best movie I've watched for this 2007!!!"
Better not blow ur bubble...

But seriously... I don't think they should land on earth, then mimic what vehicles they come across... they were supposed to have that form in cybertron before moving to earth rite?... Maybe next time, Optimus would be a bicycle or a bus or something..hee

Sure kana flame by you after this comment...hahahhahaa
On 7/01/2007 01:58:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
ya... dats one part i dun like... i think michael bay added that part. how the shapes got adapted. but then again, i dun think the cartoon did explain much as well...

aiyah, u spoiling it for those who never watch it yet la...

ya... i did joke that optimus may just change into a bicycle... :)
On 7/01/2007 02:40:00 PM Blogger Phenom said:
Wah surprising... neva kana flame.. hahaha... Also, didn't really like the way they transformed... I prefer the good old small movement big body part shifting... rather than the computer animated one million pieces shifting at once kinda transformation...

Hee.. spoiler again..hahaha
On 7/02/2007 11:06:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said:
Not true. The cartoon series, Transformers Armada, did explain how the robots adapt to the shape of earthly machines.

It did show on a number of episodes how newly arrived Autobots took the shapes of earth vehicles.
On 7/02/2007 01:49:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
oh, taikor... dat, i din know... :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How much is a glass of water worth?

Yes, this is currently a hot issue. If you have been following the news lately, you would have read about the government and the restaurant owners going head-on over this water issue.

So, how much is a glass of water worth anyway? Note the term used is 'worth' and not 'cost'. I'm sure we all know a glass of plain water costs about 1 sen (or less). Well according the the government, a glass of plain water is worth 5sen. The cutthroat coffeeshop owners, on the other hand, thinks it is worth 50sen.

I can where the government is coming from. I can see the government is trying to fight for the people. After all, election is just around the corner they are the representatives elected by the people and for the people. But aren't they forgetting that the businessmen/ coffeeshop owners are also entitled to a vote? Then again... That's only a few votes.

But I can also see where the businessmen are coming from... After all, every item they sell should at least earn them 50sen or so, otherwise, it is just not worth selling. It would be a waste of time and more importantly, shop space. A can of Cola can easily cost rm2 in a coffeeshop. Buy it from Giant during the festive seasons, you can probably get a can at 80sen or less.

It is not just plain water. With the recent increase in civil servant's salary, I have noticed a few other items going up. A restaurant I frequent started charging rm1.60 for a glass of coffee. This shop even had the cheek to post a memo from the area's coffeeshop owner's association claiming all the shops there agree to the price increase. Even bank employees are now asking for a 30% pay rise.

And I seem to recall a minister saying the government will not allow anyone to raise prices just because the civil servants got a pay rise (it seemed that each time the civil servants get a pay rise, everyone else takes the opportunity to also increase their prices).

Is all these 'publicity' actually necessary? I sincerely think not. After all, if someone feels a glass of plain water is not worth 50sen, then just don't order it. I stopped ordering drinks from the coffeeshops I feel are 'cutthroat' business operators. I am not shy about that. It's my money and I decide how I spend it. If they boss ever asks me, I'll just tell him I don't like to pay rm1.60 for a glass of coffee.

Anyway, nowadays, I carry a Tupperware of plain water with me everywhere I go. Plain water is good for health and it is very cheap when you 'pack' it from home.

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On 6/25/2007 09:31:00 AM Anonymous happy4ever said:
Point is, if nothing is done by the government, inflation will set in. All it takes is one small price increase, the rest follows.

Singapore's standard of living, if I'm not wrong, is lower than KL. Food and clothing is cheaper. Way cheaper.
I think it all falls down to enforcement, which we lack very much.

More so when our enforces choose to fleece & exploit citizens. From police to Rela, to citihalls and puspakom...etc. We are doomed.
On 6/28/2007 03:22:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said:
I'm in total agreement with you, Adrian. I've been carrying a water bottle to wherever I go because I think the water and beverages that people serve are not worth the value.

happy4ever: Food and clothing is cheaper.

Food I'm not sure but clothes are cheaper because they're tax free. JBrians always flock to S'pore to buy clothes because they're always up to the latest trend and most importantly cheap.
On 6/28/2007 07:59:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
happy, its not that bad la in malaysia... :)
On 7/03/2007 09:33:00 AM Blogger team BSG said:
it is strange actually this malaysian behavior. Logically if one thinks something is expensive go for alternatives ( like you did ). Businesses who charge more than norm shud according to economics become uncompetitive and soon close shop. Why are they still around ! ? ya lah loyal customers what the heck !
On 7/03/2007 06:07:00 PM Anonymous happy4ever said:
team_bsg, unfortunately, it will be the norm, as others seeing those shops which jackup the price still have customers, they will follow. In the end, every shops jack up their price. >_<

Malaysia is expensive, corrupt and not safe anymore. >:(
On 7/04/2007 09:07:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
happy, why so negative.

team bsg, i dun think its out of loyalty to the shop. i think the business owners have done 'marketing research' and they know that for many, 50sen is still 'not too expensive' and affordable.

i know of one vegetarian shop that had a stall in another location. that stall sold really solid vegetarian bahkutteh @ rm5.90, inclusive of 1 bowl or rice. the main shop, on the other hand, sells the same thing at rm8.90, without rice. if you want rice, add rm1 (or was it 50sen). anyway, the stall closed down and so i was left with only one place to have the BKT. but i was not willing to pay the extra $$$, so i stopped going to that shop... maybe instead of twice a month, i go like once every 2-3 months (cannot resist such good BKT and stay away for good... hahahaha).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My lunch

Vegetarian rendang with lady's fingers
Yummy... Vegetarian rendang with lady's fingers

Yummy food with little or no MSG (I believe the auntie actually don't use any). Brown rice, lady's fingers and vegetarian rendang. Notice it's in a tupperware and not in the white polystyrene box.

Yes, GREEN is for vegetables and GREEN is for Earth.

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On 6/24/2007 10:13:00 AM Blogger Phenom said:
Hey, should think of what to plant at your backyard.... since you're going all the way Green.... plus can pluck out and cook...no need go market..hehehe
On 6/24/2007 07:15:00 PM Anonymous adriantai said:
already planned that out la... :)
On 6/25/2007 10:17:00 AM Anonymous happy4ever said:
Ya, like Jamie Oliver did, plant herbs and spices in his own yard. :D kewl.

You are so skinny, yet eat so little. Mana boleh. U need more carbs!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Singapore and Samy

I was in Singapore for a one day business trip.

I like Changi Airport. They have free local calls. Free internet. Free movie screenings. A nice sunflower garden and a nice mini ‘park’. It is ironic that Changi Airport seems have more plants in the airport than our KLIA, considering the fact that KLIA is supposedly nicknamed ‘Jungle in an airport’ (or maybe it was 'Airport in a jungle'?). There are hardly any trees and plants in our ‘jungle’!
Sunflowers in Changi
Sunflowers in Changi Airport

Flowers in Changi
Flowers in Changi Airport

More flowers in Changi
More flowers and trees in Changi Airport

It was a business trip so it was nothing really eventful. I had my usual there – Mushroom soup at The Soup Spoon. I also got to meet up with 25-kid.

I took the evening flight back to Malaysia. To get to my seat, I had to go through the business class section. While walking in, I suddenly noticed a familiar head (hair, actually). The guy seated at the front seat was non other than... Mr. Samy Velu, our Works Minister.

So can you imagine how difficult it was for me NOT to walk over to him when we were in mid-flight to ask about the 150 years guarantee he gave (he had recently guaranteed that the Parliament building will not leak again for at least the next 150 years), about MRR2, about the toll charges and the leaks we seem to have these days, etc... I was very tempted to ask if our planes will start to leak as well... I wanted to also ask if he’s willing to carpool and let me hitch a ride back to town. I could save some money from having to pay the toll and we’d be ‘greener’. In the end, decided to just let it rest. He probably just start to rant and rave about anything and everything and not tell me anything.

In case you’re wondering... No, I’m not sure if he took the KLIA Express or he had a driver waiting for him. I couldn’t be bothered. I was tired and just wanted to get home to Mrs. Tai.


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On 6/15/2007 11:39:00 PM Blogger Vicky said:
of course everything free loh, b'cuz u already paid the airport tax mah!
On 6/16/2007 01:13:00 PM Anonymous Anonymous said:
Should have taken his picture and show it online.
On 6/16/2007 04:56:00 PM Blogger Phenom said:
Send my regards to Mrs Tai! hee...actually KLIA also not too bad la... manage to catch the whole Jurassic Park 3 wide screen again while waiting for my flight... hee
On 6/18/2007 10:29:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
eh... KLIA also got free movie?!? hmmm... where... where...
On 6/20/2007 10:48:00 PM Blogger Phenom said:
wa..u swaku ah... before the skytrain la...
On 6/22/2007 03:47:00 PM Blogger adriantai said:
basket... call me swaku.

skytrain?!? you mean the train that takes you to the satellite building/ terminal? i din know they show movies there. most of the time, i see only ads.

but Changi one... really got the 'cinema feel'. the place all dark...
On 6/23/2007 10:30:00 AM Blogger Phenom said:
Hehehehehe.... next time u take flight... go ronda ronda la... like me, that time no choice...got coffee craving...so walk around until find latte then saw people watching the movie there ma.. hee

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Maxis 017 experience

As my foreign visitors will be here for the next few weeks, the company (decided) thought that it would be easier and also cheaper for them to have a local mobile number. So off I went this afternoon to get them a Maxis number. Having been a Maxis user for more than 5 years now, I have to say that even though I’ve had some bad billing experience with them, they have never failed to solve the problems and made me feel happy again.

With so many tourists coming to visit our lovely Malaysia (after all, its Visit Malaysia Year 2007), I would have thought that the policies and procedures we have in place would only serve to make our visitors confortable. If we want the tourists to spend a few weeks here, they must feel at home and be able to easiely call back to their family, right? Getting a prepaid/ disposable mobile number should as easy as buying bread from 7-11 (unless its Gardenia bread – 7-11 dun sell them), right?

Yes, its not really difficult buying a prepaid number. But its super difficult trying to get it activated. Some joker somewhere must have thought its fun to let our visitors go through all the hassle like I did. This is what I had to go through:

1. Look for a shop that still sells prepaid starter pack. I had to try at least 5 shops before I finally found one.

2. Choose a number. It is actually amazing how many nice numbers are available at the price of rm8.80.

3. Complete a stupid form and show proof to the vendor that I are who I claim to be in the form – show IC to the vendor. Tourists would need to provide their passport as proof of identity. Yes, you can’t buy on behalf of your friend.

4. Vendor will then tell you that the line will be activated in 1 hour’s time. So after one hour and the line was not activated, I started to panic. We’re trying to give our foreign visitors a good impression of Malaysia and this is not good – especially after their 2 days in a Proton Wira. And there’s no way to call the vendor since its one of those small shops with no phones – and this is a shop selling mobile starter packs!

5. Tried to activate the line again after another 1 hour. Manual says that it will automatically be activated after I make my first call using the new number. But each time I try to make a call, a stupid automated voice will tell me that the number cannot be activated until I have registered it.

6. Called Maxis Customer Service hotline. They told me its bullsh1t – activation is only 1 hour if I personally walk into a Maxis Service Centre. Maxis Customer Service also told me that activation via vendor may take up to THREE days. I explained the situation to Maxis but this time, they were more of Customer Dis-service than anything else. To think I have been a Maxis user for so long and it is still so bl00dy difficult to register the line under my name! How ironic when you think about it... I can have a supplementary line activated and sent to my house by just calling Maxis Customer Service hotline but I cannot register a prepaid number?! They expect a tourist to know where their service centres are located?! Any tourist staying in Malaysia for a week or less is better off just using their roaming service. Dont bother about public phones, it’s been many years since I have seen one that works. Public phone booths are actually meant more as a one man shelter from rain.

I know... The Telcos will just blame this on the goverment and say its the law. So... How?

In the end, I was not too sure if the number got activated. I gave the sim card to my foreign visitors and told them that the line should work. Otherwise, they can continue to use their roaming services. Oh ya... They are planning to visit Singapore this weekend. I’m not stopping them.

So much for Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

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On 6/05/2007 10:40:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said:
Oh dear... I'm sure you were really in difficult time.

Actually, I've long know that our country is not fully prepared for tourism. Only certain tourist spots are and some mechanisms and procedures are relaxed and improved in those places.

Just ask our Singaporean and Thai neighbours. They will tell you in full details.
On 6/06/2007 09:25:00 AM Blogger adriantai said:
yalor... sometimes i just feel like all these campaigns are very half-hearted.
On 6/13/2007 04:46:00 PM Blogger naeboo~ said:
eeeyer... hate maxis!! so much probs with them last time now i ban them. digi soooooooooooooooo much better!!!

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