I’m moving! July 13, 2008
I’m in the midst of transferring my WordPress posts over to Blogspot.
Bear with me while I find my way through Blogspot, though. It’s like a whole new ballgame lah! And I’m not happy with my current theme so that’s going to change for sure.
Anyways, you may need to update your bookmarks if any.
Fuel rebate – at last! July 10, 2008
After my ordeal last week at the post office, it was not without some feeling of apprehension and dread that I decided to make one more attempt and make my way to the post office to fulfill my unsuccessful mission of acquiring my fuel rebate.
After an amazing 4 minute wait and a process that took all of 2 minutes, I finally received it. In cash. All RM625 of it. Which I promptly used to pay off my ever mounting credit card bill. Surprisingly, there were hardly any people around when I arrived at the Ikano post office today – past noon, some more. I thought I’d have to go through another round of killing time. But the gods smiled upon me today.
All I had to do was fill up the rebate form – very easy and if you don’t know how, samples are and should be available for you as a guide. At the counter, I had to produce my IC, leave a thumbprint (left side) and sign. And that was it.
Ok. I’m happy.
Love Classifieds Singles’ Party 2 July 5, 2008
Date : 5th July 2008
Event : Love Classifieds Singles’ Party
Venue: Michaelangelo’s Italian Kitchen @ Sunway Pyramid
This has been quite the busy weekend for lil ol’ me. On Saturday, the RedFM DJs and I all made our way to Sunway Pyramid for the Love Classifieds Singles Party held at Michaelangelo’s Italian Kitchen. Mind you, I haven’t been to Sunway Pyramid for yonks and going there on a weekend and looking for parking is a b****. Alison and JD told me it took them ½ an hour to find parking. Luckily for me, it took me all of 5 mins of arriving to find myself a sweet spot right near the entrance to the mall near McD’s, which is where JD found me so we both walked to the other end of the mall to the restaurant cos I had no idea where it was and he did.
When we arrived, we found that all the participants had arrived and Aly, JD & I were the final three. Shaz, Terry, Nisha and Jeremy were already there. So I made my way round to say hello and introduce myself to all the singles and found to my surprise that an ex-colleague of mine, Evelyn, was one of them as well as Hubert, a friend-of-a-friend. Shaz also was pleasantly surprised to see her ex-colleague there & JD was shocked when one of the single guys clapped him on the back – turns out he was an ex-classmate. As well as for newbie RedFM DJ, Jeremy, who was attending his very first Love Classifieds (this being the 2nd event held), he found himself in the awkward position of having to make nice to the mum of a girl he once dated. Small world.
So with all the niceties set aside, it was time to eat. The restaurant had cordoned off the back section of their premises to facilitate the event and one corner of the room was dedicated to the little spread they had prepared which consisted mainly of finger-food : bruschetta (very nice), bite-sized sandwiches (salmon, chicken slice, egg, avocado with pesto), popiahs (VERY nice), samosas and for dessert, bread pudding with custard sauce. Being me, I myself had two helpings of everything.
Once everyone was done eating, Nisha, being the Love Classifieds hostess, stepped up to the plate to let everyone know that the Speed Dating session. There were 17 ladies who turned up but only 14 gentlemen. So DJs Terry, JD and Jeremy were roped in to even out the numbers. Since there were enough women, I and Alison didn’t have to fill in the way we did the last time.
So Nisha and our PM, Tim, explained the rules of the game. Basically, each couple gets 3 minutes to find out about the other person and once their time is up, the men get up and move on to the next person. Everyone were given only numbers, not names, and score sheets to fill up. And each time the 3 minutes were up, Nish would ring a bell to get everyone to shuffle. The aim of the game at the end of the day is to help pair up 2 people who both tick ‘YES’ for each other and get them to exchange e-mail addresses and send them out on a date. What happened in the last event was even better. Though nobody discovered their new-found love in the event, the singles ended up forming their own little group and organising get-togethers of their own ! Which is really cool, kan ?
Anyhoo, looking around at that day’s event, you could see that everyone was genuinely having a good time and there were smiles all around and everyone was chatting away comfortably. Once all 17 couples were done with the rounds, it was time for a big group photo session and here is the result :
Next on the agenda was something that I personally was looking forward to – The Treasure Hunt. One of the girls had to leave so I ended up filling in for her and I was paired up with a loyal RedFM listener of ours, Dalbir. Coincidentally, his green shirt matched my green and blue dress ! So anyway, we were all asked to follow Nisha and the RedFM crew (Jack, Cindy, Shen Yan, Puiyan & Willie) to another section of Sunway Pyramid where a little stage was already set-up and also served as the starting point for the Hunt.
Nisha, who looked positively radiant in her brown handkerchief dress, as I called it, explained that we all had to pair up, go to all the 20 outlets listed on the sheet given us and get them to put their stamp on the boxes which was printed out on another piece of paper. And we all had to do it in 30 minutes or less. Anyone who exceeds the time limit will be disqualified.
I tell you, as soon as she said the word ‘GO !’, everyone ran helter-skelter into the shopping mall. At one point, I was so fed up because I couldn’t run as fast in my heels, that I took them off and carried them with me while I ran barefoot in and around the mall. I tell you, those weekly 2 hour walks in the park helped a lot. Poor Dalbir though seemed out of breath trying to catch up with me.
Trying to strategise, we thought we’d cover the top floors and make our way down. We just didn’t realise how huge Sunway Pyramid had now become what with the additional New Wing attached to it. We ended up running from one end of the wing to the other and even had to go outside the building itself to get stamps from outlets like Ole Ole Bali and such. Managed to spot Al-Ikhsan and TGI Friday’s well enough but we couldn’t for the life of us find the Yokoman outlet. Looking at the Information Directory, it seemed pretty near and on the same floor, but there were initials next to the outlet number, ‘AV’, that we couldn’t figure out what they meant until Jeremy told me much later. Turns out AV meant Asian Venue. And the whole time Dalbir and I kept on going past it. If only we had decided to venture into that area, we would’ve seen the japanese ice-cream outlet. Oh well.
We ran back downstairs to try to get to the other outlets. Along the way, we saw a few of the other contestants and we even ran past JD and his partner, Evelyn (yes, the ex-colleague). Dalbir and I asked all sorts of people on where each of the outlets were located : the information desk, the cleaning lady, security, the outlet staff..
By the time Dalbir and I found ourselves at one of the lower levels, we had lost track of time. So I decided to call Nish and find out exactly how much time we had left. “29 mins and 36 seconds !!!” she cried. We had less than a minute to go. At that point I knew that by the time we came back to the starting point, we’d be over the time limit and would’ve been disqualified. As was Jeremy and his partner who we bumped into on the same floor. (That’s a lotta ‘times’ in one paragraph). And we were still scrambling to find the outlets and get their stamps. Jerry, our Music Exec, was busy trying to chase after all of us with the videocam. Can’t wait to see what that looks like.
We finally made our way back to the stage and handed in our papers. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have time to go and get all of the boxes stamped. Anyway, we were disqualified. Turns out only 3 other teams managed to make it in time. It was extremely hot outside and everyone was sweating. My makeup was melting. Ugh. After 15 minutes or so of waiting for the rest of the teams to come back, Nisha decided to go ahead and proceed with announcing the winners.
Third place winners ! Won RM500 worth of OSIM cash vouchers!
Second place winners ! Won RM1000 worth of OSIM cash vouchers!
First place winners who got to walk away with RM3000 worth of OSIM cash vouchers!
Terry and his partner strolled in soon after nicely eating Yokoman ice-creams.
Just before we wrapped things up, Jerry took video testimonials from each of the participants to share what they thought of the event. We also had more group pics taken. Unfortunately for JD, he and Evelyn didn’t come back in time to be able to be featured in those pics. Tough luck, guys. Shaz also had to leave early before the Treasure Hunt to get back to her kids and Will had a family matter to attend to that day as well. Audrey also couldn’t make it so you won’t find them in the shots, sadly.
After a fun and fruitful day, we said our goodbyes to the listeners and headed to Cafe Flam to unwind. ‘We’ being Nisha, Aly, Terry, Jeremy, Tim, Jerry, Kah-Wai, Shen Yan, JD, Dalbir and I. We were served oysters. Terry and I aren’t oyster fans but I decided to try one. Not too bad. And me not being a drinker, I opted for a mocktail. JD was still on meds so he chose a chocolate milkshake and Kah-Wai, our designated photographer for the day, chose the OREO’s milkshake. Yum. Shen Yan had orange juice and the rest decided to go the easy way… BEER !
Our 19 year old intern, Shen Yan, who we’ve decided to rename Bridget because she’s so cute and has a British accent, had to go back so Jerry had to send her back. Some time after, JD and I decided to make a move at the same time as well – him, because he was feeling spacy from all the meds he was taking and me because I was feeling tired and had to go back and sleep early for my jungle trekking trip the next morning. But that’s another story….
Have to say though, Love Classifieds seems to be getting better and better. Well done Nisha and the rest of the team members who put it together. Great job, you guys ! Can’t wait for the next one !!
Here’s the “full” interview with the Chief Minister of Penang!
Dilly & JD Do Penang – Part 2! Finally! July 4, 2008
So I awoke and got out of bed the next morning only to find that my room mate, Cindy, was not sleeping in the bed next to mine. Won’t get into too much detail here but turns out that she had gotten a mite tipsy after downing 2 beers and got a little loud the night before, demanding food and promptly falling asleep elsewhere before she could even eat it. Nothing scandalous happened though, alright?
Anyways, JD & Jack were awake already that morning despite going to bed around 3 A.M. The original plan was that we were to go for a nice Penang-style breakfast before the interview with the CM. (Oh yes! We got to interview the guy! More on that later!) Unfortunately, due to the untimely little incident with the radiator overheating to maximum levels, things didn’t go according to plan. In fact, quite a LOT of things didn’t go according to plan during this trip…
Thankfully, JD knew a mechanic friend who he trusted enough to fix the problem with the car. Timing was crucial because we needed to get to Komtar for the interview on time by noon. Plus I had to do my hair (hello! Interview with CM lah and some more it’s supposed to be aired on Star Online so must look at least halfway decent, mah!). So JD decided to get everyone to check out of their rooms ASAP. Unfortunately, one of our crew members needed a little longer (an hour to be exact) to get ready – because after all, she IS the Malaysian Dreamgirl, heheh. (Just teasing, Cindy!).
So after the rest of us checked out, we (JD, Jack, Jerry and I) headed straight to Kelawai Road Shell station where we left the faulty Sorento with his friend, Ah Kang. So next time you want to go and get your car fixed, Ah Kang can give you good discount. Beeeesssst price, some more!
With one car down, everybody had no choice but to cram into the “gorgeous” Sorento and headed to Komtar where I had just enough time to go and have a wash and blow – for RM20!!! – at the nearest salon where I had to explain to the lady that no, I’m not Chinese… no, I’m not mixed.. no, I’m not from Penang… no, I don’t want the special hair serum scalp treatment package….
Meantime, Jerry went to pick up Tim & Cindy while JD and Jack went out for brunch. According to JD, the food was terrible. So next time you’re in Penang, you might want to avoid the kopitiam located at the underpass of Komtar where the outstation buses are. Just a word to the wise.
Once we finally managed to gather everyone together, we crossed over to the MPPP office located inside Komtar itself. Unfortunately, our Star videographer wasn’t there yet.
Apparently there was some form of miscommunication – our original interview was slotted for 3pm. And then it was changed to 12pm. The thing is, the videographer was not informed of the new schedule. Poor guy had to rush over immediately (but by the time he arrived, we were already halfway through our interview). Once all that was finally sorted out, we all got our passes to head up to the 28th floor – the Chief Minister’s office…
(Ok, from here on, JD takes over the storytelling…)
We were greeted by a Mr. Ong and were promptly ushered into the Penang CM’s board room which was just like the man and his policies … no frills, thrifty and clean (too clean if you ask me … and that raises my suspicions that he might be a spy for KAOS … but that’s a different story… just kidding!).
Anyway, the Honorable Tuan Lim Guan Eng appears from his chambers not long after we had set up our equipment. He was all we had expected him to be … humble, straightforward, confident and polite – all that just from the first handshake and ‘hullos’.
We soon got comfy and started ‘grilling’ Penang’s current man-in-charge on his day-to-day life which he responded with “Busy! Busy! Busy!” and then moved on to “paradigm shift” and “CAT government”. All that just from our first question “So what’s a day in the life of the CM?”. This goes to show that you can take the man out of politics but never the politics out of the man.
Due to time constraints, we weren’t able to fully explore (and dig up some dirt on) the CM’s personal life. When he was informed of his day’s busy schedule, he seemed disappointed that he couldn’t divulge as much info as he had wanted to and actually suggested that Dilly & I come along with him and continue the interview in the car! Unfortunately, his schedule was WAYYYYYY too packed for an excursion of that sort as he was to be with 98.8 in minutes, we weren’t equipped (takde portable video recorder) and we weren’t about to drag our tireless videographer along. Dude rushed over from Bayan Lepas for this interview, man!
After his final words for our video cameras, Lim Guan Eng thanked us and promptly rushed off (apologising as he did so) for his other interview scheduled for that same afternoon with our (Chinese) sister station, 98.8. Gathering up our equipment and moving over to the waiting room of “Pejabat Ketua Menteri”, we were greeted with an amazing view. 28 floors up, you get a pretty awesome view of the sea, the Penang Bridge and mainland Penang. Sometimes I wonder why I decided to leave this Pearl of the Orient.
Having sorted out our official duties, the Red FM team decided to have a proper Penang lunch (we’ve been making do with McDonald’s for awhile much to Dilly’s disappointment) and do some major sight seeing. Penang’s changed quite a bit in the 3-ish years I’ve been gone. First things first though … the call of the wild-tummy was too much to overlook and we found our way at Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (near Campbell Street) for some good old-fashioned-arse-burning nasi kandar aka nasi ganja.
Let’s see if my memory is as strong as I claim it to be – I had curried sotong, veggie (kobis), fried egg and kuah campur ‘banjir’; Dilly had fish curry, fried chicken and kobis; Cindy had curried sotong and a myriad of other things … so much so that you couldn’t find the rice; Jack had chicken curry and veggie; Tim and Jerry just had ‘sambal ayam’ (sweet chili chicken) but no rice – probably trying to watch their ever growing waistlines. Thank goodness for the cooling Lychee drink … we must’ve ordered like a ton of ‘em!
Having soothed the savage beast i.e. our raging tummies, we decided to check out some touristy spots for some kick-assed photo opps. So off we headed up to the land of beautiful beaches – Batu Ferringgi.
It was a long and winding drive up and with the air-conditioning on full-blast, the girls soon drifted off to a much deserved nap. Since Jerry (who was driving), Tim and myself all formerly lived in Penang, it was an interesting ride up as we reminisced about ‘the good old days’. What surprised us all was the high number of new housing developments in that area. One wonders how Penangites who decide to live up in Tanjung Bungah/Batu Ferringgi will travel to work daily. It’s already congested on the road to the city now! Tim’s suggestion for a monorail line that runs right around the island too might not be a bad idea – he should submit this idea to our new friend Guan Eng (who just happens to be the state’s CM).
Back to our journey up to ‘tourist land’ aka Batu Ferringgi. We had driven all the way up past Miami Beach (which was hit hard by the 2004 tsunami) when we decided that it’d be a better idea to stop over at Parkroyal Hotel (for a much needed toilet break) and also have some fun at the beach.
Apparently, unbeknownst to all of us in the car, Jerry was in need of some No. 2 type relief. So off we headed to the little boys’ room (for Tim, Jerry and me) and the little girls’ room (for Cindy and Dilly).
Oh how I wish I could put in some sound effects here cos words will not be able to fully describe the sheer velocity and decibel count of a certain someone’s No. 2. Long story short, it’s an experience that I’m never gonna let Jerry forget … PFHHHH !!!
With our bladders drained and someone’s stomach content slowly oozing its way to sea, we headed to the beautiful beach at Parkroyal Hotel. It was a hive of activity with sunbathers lapping up the rays, water sports aficionados on jet skis and parasails; and kids building sandcastles. It was the perfect setting for a crazy photoshoot that Tim decided to do. Here’s some of the pics that he got !
After getting all nice and sticky in the humid heat at the beach (and also checkin’ out some snake show at some kid’s birthday party at the gardens next to the pool), we headed back down towards Gurney Plaza mall since Dilly needed to get a pair of jeans while Jack and I needed to pick up the now-repaired Sorento from Kelawei Road (which was a 5 minute drive from the mall). It was nice to just be able to have a walkabout the mall and not worry about schedules and meetings and interviews and concentrate on chilling out. Gurney Plaza is THE place to be around this area so you can imagine the number of people who frequent this mall. Good news for the guys as we had time to ‘cuci mata’ … Penang chicks boleh tahan.
All that shopping and walking got us hungry and since we were at Gurney Drive, it was chow time. So off we headed to the most overrated makan spot in Penang for some laksa (Dilly had mentioned that if she didn’t get her laksa, her foot would be up my ass), pasembur/rojak, ‘muar chee’ (which is a Penang sweet & sticky treat), deep fried chicken skin (MUAHAHAHA … my cholesterol level is over the roof) and ABC.
The hawker area of Gurney Drive has changed quite a fair bit – it’s cleaner and the stalls don’t have their familiar signboards anymore. They’ve all been given their own little standardized stall … which made it a nightmare for me to find the good stalls. Unfortunately, I could NOT find ‘The’ stall and I settled for stall #79 and instructed the stall owners that I wanted 6 bowls of laksa with everything. It wasn’t till the laksa arrived that I understood what ‘everything’ meant – laksa noodles, fish balls, a hard boiled egg and some lousy diluted laksa ‘kuah’. Had dinner been laksa only, I would’ve been in sooooo much trouble. Thank God the rest of the grub weren’t half bad. Still, Dilly wasn’t satisfied and I could half feel her boot up my soft cheeks.
With our tummies filled and our funny bones activated thanks to yours truly (Cindy causing quite a number of heads turning to look in our direction with her cackling and Dilly collapsing to the ground on one knee in a fit of giggles), we headed back to the mall to get the cars and head back to Tim’s hotel (where our bags were). Midway there though, Tim (who was in the other Sorento) calls me up and says to make a detour to … SWATOW LANE !!!! Nirvana of Penang hawker food (for us at least).
So here’s what we stuffed in our faces this time!
Penang assam laksa – fishy excellence
ABC – ice cold excellence
Rojak – fruity excellence
Banana pancake – banana-ee excellence
After significant overeating (and laughing again), the gang jumped back into their respective Red Sorentos and headed over to Traders Hotel where Dilly and I left our luggage in Tim’s room (which had thankfully been visited by the housekeeping crew). It was a welcome respite to be able to use the bathroom in the comfort of Tim’s room as we had been using public restrooms the entire day. Dilly showered, I wiped myself down with some clean wet towels (basically mandi kerbau la) while the rest of the crew were all slouched over some sofa or on the bed.
While we were there recuperating, Tim hooked up his laptop to the power supply and we transferred the contents of the many camera memory cards we had into the hard drive. From the pics we saw, one could say we had an awesomely fun day. A fun but tiring one. It was getting close to 9:30pm and I gathered up my troops (Dilly and Jack) for the long trek home leaving behind Jerry, Cindy and Tim. Tim would stay on for a few more days as he had business to settle in Penang but for Jerry and Cindy, it’d be time they’d use to unwind and probably catch a little shut-eye before they drove South bound. I wanted to get back to KL ASAP as I had plans on Sunday with my brother at the F1 circuit in Sepang for the Japan GT races so tired as I was, I decided to drive home.
It was a rather uninteresting drive back with me at the wheel most of the way from Penang till slightly after Ipoh (while Jack slept) and from then on, Jack took over while I caught forty winks. Thank goodness for Dilly who was an absolute trooper for staying awake and keeping Jack and myself company while we drove.
All in all … it was an amazing trip to Penang for all of us for varying reasons. For me, it was sorta like a trip home as I had spent 6 years there and it was nice seeing the changes and all-too familiar haunts. For Dilly, it was all about the food (as usual) and the sights. For Jack … well, you’d have to ask him yourself cos he’s a kinda quiet guy who’ll only say anything or laugh at my wisecracks when they’re directed at Cindy. While in Penang, I found myself saying “Why did I leave Penang … this place is awesome … the beaches, the food, the party places” … but I gotta say, the moment we saw the Petronas Twin Towers in the distance from the NKVE, we all felt the same thing … it’s great to be home.
Well whaddya know! The Star has a little teaser of our interview with the CM of Penang from when we were in his neck of the woods. Check out the little article :
And here’s the online teaser!