How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why I think my wife deserves a medal from Tourism Ministry

Daughter mentioned about a French colleague in Bangkok on official duty in Cyberjaya and asked if we could take her round in KL during the weekend.
When I mentioned this to some friends, different people have different reaction:
'You mean you don't know her?'
'You have not even met her?'
Actually, apart from an exchange of emails, we did not even have a photo of her when we met her in Cyberjaya!
As for my wife, she is game whenever there is such an opportunity to meet daughter's friend as well as her own need to travel (she lives to travel) and revisit some of her favourite local tourist sites.
We had to travel from Batu Gajah (200 km between BG & KL) to make this possible, but it was also an opportunity to visit our son and grandson in PJ.
We were in PJ on Friday so that we could meet Clotilde the next morning (at 7.30 am!) in Cyberjaya. The cyber township was new to us and I had terrible experience before, having got lost once when trying to find Marriot in Putrajaya (main reason was being misled by its name when in fact, the hotel was not in Putrajaya!), and the worse was when travelling from LCCT at night using Maju Expressway for the first time. This time, my son gave me instructions on how to get there via the route familiar to us, ie. the way to KLIA. We were to take the turning (to Cyberjaya and Putrajaya) just before Dengkil rest area. Believe me, apart from the sign (to KLIA, etc.) at the exit after Subang interchange, there were no reassuring signs pointing to Cyberjaya/Putrajaya until just before turnoff to Dengkil rest area. This is typical of our road signs: show you the way and then leave you wondering at various junctions after that. It is as if the highway authorities have a wicked sense of humour and enjoy having travellers making mistakes.
Not sure how long it had been there, but there were a couple of diversions in the form of makeshift junction or roundabout before we come to a necessary U-turn (before Lim Kok Wing University) to get to Cyberjaya. As first-timers, our problem wasn't solved even after finding Shaftesbury Square (commercial centre). It was only later that we realised we should have used our common sense (Shaftesbury Suites should be near or next to Shaftesbury Square), instead of listening to a foreign security guard who pointed us to a junction just before Petronas station. Not finding it, my wife asked an Indian taxi driver who was having his taxi refilled with NGV and was kind enough to offer to lead the way. But alas, he led us to Prima Suites instead! By then, we had no choice but to call Clotilde 's French mobile number and was told the Suites were behind the Square!
The reason we made the appointment at 7.30 am was because of our being new to Cyberjaya, and also to ensure she could join a Heritage Walk at Merdeka Square in KL at 9.30 am. We decided to use Maju Expressway on our way to KL and found it rather convenient coming out to join Jalan Bukit Bintang. Since we were early, we stopped at Jalan Imbi for breakfast. We had to suggest something suitable for a vegetarian and she liked the char kway teow and nyonya cakes we ordered. I dropped them off at Merdeka Square and went home until they were ready for the next destinations. After the walk, she was shown Central Market and Petaling Street.
I picked them at Jalan Sultan, near Petaling Street junction. My wife suggested that we go to Craft Complex before going to Batu Caves. From there, I missed the turnoff to join Jalan Kuching and ended up on Jalan Kepong and had to turn into the road to Taman Bukit Maluri so as to go through Segambut and head towards Lake Gardens. After that, my wife suggested Hokien mee and we went to Ah Lok on Jalan Ipoh for it. Then we sent Clotilde back to Cyberjaya, this time at night to test our sense of directions again.
My wife made appointment for the same time the next day, this time, to go to Melaka. We stopped at Air Keroh rest area for some hot drinks. From there it was a long drive to get to the city centre. Knowing her, I knew it was going to be a long day again. We parked our car at the car park next to Stadthuys. Then we walked to the Tourist Information centre to get some information. As we were walking around, we saw a long queue leading towards a coffee shop or restaurant. Instead of joining, we went into one with less customers for brunch. The problem with having an obvious foreign tourist with us, I could sense some overcharging, especially Rm18 for a quarter chicken! First stop at Hereen Street was a heritage house. I waited outside and then left a text message, 'Take your time, meet at the car park'. Well, my wife literally took her own sweet time! By the time I walked around for more than an hour and had a cold drink, it was 12.30 pm when I reached the car park. I dozed off in the car and did not take note of the time when my wife came to change her pair of sandals and said, 'We covered most of the places, now we are going up St Paul's Hill.' I honestly expect not more than an hour for that. But it turned out much longer - by 4.30 pm, I texted her, 'Can we go back now?' and she replied, 'We need another half an hour.' Again, it meant another hour and I was told they took a trishaw ride and visited several places of interest! Based on my parking receipt, we parked for almost 8 hours! Despite my earlier request to go home, she insisted that we go to Portuguese Settlement for dinner! Again, we had to find our way there. It had been transformed into an attractive place for dinner by the seaside. How I wished I was in a better mood.
We had problem trying to find our way to join the North-South Expressway. There was a sign which showed the direction to NSE with an arrow pointing North-East in between other  directions on the same signboard. We went in a loop before we realised that it meant turning North east at a junction a few metres further down the road! Then we came to a T-junction with road signs on a blue signboard - nothing to indicate which way to NSE! We took the right turn (Muar was shown) and it turned out to be the right one when further down the road, we came across the familiar green signboard leading to NSE.
Between my wife and me, we have this usual problem of one who insists on spending more time at a place while the other wishes for a short and sweet visit instead.  There was no consideration given to the fact that the aging driver is now not what he used to be. Coming back from Malacca at around 7.30 pm, it meant driving at night on a busy 3-lane expressway. Just imagine having to focus your attention on the road (while she dozed off) until we reach the place where she helped to look for signs to get to Cyberjaya, this time from a different direction.
Don't you think my wife deserves some kind of medal for being a committed unofficial tourist guide who went out of her way to take a foreigner around?
I guess Clotilde must have felt as if she won a prize to a two-day guided tour!


Anonymous said...

Yes she deserve a medal but this glowing report from you in the blog is much more meaningful, especially coming from her better half. You must be very tired too from such a hectic trip. The long queue you saw was for the famous chicken rice balls. Next to it is the Hard Rock Cafe, a good place (air conditioned) to wait for guests especially in the current heat wave. Else put up a night in one of the budget hotel nearby. That would be less tiring and would allow more time for sightseeing and food tasting. BTW I was also a tourist guide and driver for 2 group of tourists to from KL to Malacca recently. I stayed at a budget hotel in Cheng Lock Road next to Jonker Street. It was comfortable and clean. A day trip is too hectic especially for retirees like me.

KoSong Cafe said...

Thanks for the info. We had chicken rice balls too but at the less popular place which took the opportunity to overcharge tourists for mediocre food. My main complaint, besides price, was the pouring of soy sauce on the chicken meat instead of leaving it to customers. Coming from a place near Ipoh which is famours for 'pak chum kai', Rm18 for a quarter chicken is pricey compared to Ipoh's Rm24 for a half. It could be because of too good business, a few items on the menu were unavailable, and to me, no Chinese tea was unacceptable too.

Just wondering how the prices compare with the famous one mentioned by you:
Cucumber juice @ Rm5; lemon tea Rm3; mixed veg Rm12; Tofu Rm8; and aubergine Rm5.

KoSong Cafe said...

Anonymous, the 'glowing report' is not what it seems, it has a bit of sarcasm and a feeling of resignation that I had to go along with her idea of a full day and having to drive at night. If not for trying to help her in driving and navigation, I would not have joined. I cringe whenever she invites friend to 'go for tea at Boh tea plantation in Camerons' like it is just 'teh tarik' down the road!

Anonymous said...

It is difficult to find cheap food in a tourist area. I don't remember the details but they go by per head basis. No need to order unless you want more rice balls etc. Down the road, a small bowl of chendol costs RM6.50! But walk area from Jonker Street towards the junction after Hotel Casa Del Rio and you can find cheaper food. I can only symphatise with you. Being a driver on long day trips are very especially tiring. One have to find a place to nap to recharge our battery!