Tuesday, May 29, 2007

MONEY$$$$$

Uncle Lee wrote in his blog,”…. I worshipped money.....my restless ambitions knew no bounds nor loyalty....." WOW…WOW….WOW….and more WOWs…… the brutal honesty of it all. I like it very much. **clap-clap**.


I salute you, Uncle Lee. Seriously, not many a man or a woman dare to utter these words. I'd like to believe that I am someone who is honest with myself too. I was and still am totally candid when some people asked me why and how I came to be in the sales line, a low in the job prestige scale and hence at the bottom of the popularity polls too. I have faced many people…friends and relatives alike, who have no qualms about asking me, “Aiyoh…why lar..go and become a saleswoman. Sit in the office not nice meh?” and remarks such as these are just too common, “I can never understand how you can stand doing sales…bla…bla…bla..”

Never mind what others think and I will still sock it to them off the cuff….straight and honest..."I like the MONEY$$$$$ and I want the MONEY$$$$$." And not some crappy answers like, "Oh, I like meeting people./Oh, I like to serve and help people/Oh, I tell you, I am not making money from you wan.....etc. etc..." Oh, cut that out for me, please. This is soooo not me! But then of course, liking to meet people and serving people certainly makes the job easier. Marketing and Sales is definitely not a job for recluses or hermits. Anyway, it’s not a crime to like MONEY$$$$$ and to want MONEY$$$$$, right?

I resigned from my previous job because I wanted more MONEY$$$$$…I wanted some real MONEY$$$$$ in my hands. Ahh… MONEY $$$$$ is such a great motivator and believe me, I dived into something which I initially know nothing about other than with a simple and clear goal….I WANT THE MONEY$$$$$. I learn and I earn and I tell you, it can be intoxicating at times. …..you just wanna pull out all the stops and charge. Just fantasizing what a big and fat bank account can do, and I’d be on a high. No need for those motivational gurus or whatever…I’d be on auto-pilot flying after the juicy carrot…….MONEY$$$$$$

I just want to run faster, go further and climb higher to bring in more MONEY$$$$$, but thank God, I have my 2 lovely boys to keep me grounded and balanced and in checked. Going home each day to hold them in my arms, I am reminded that I am a mother first…my career comes second BUT not less important. As much as I want lots, and lots of MONEY$$$$$, I know I have to strike a balance. I want to be a mother and a career woman at the same time. I want to cook for them, send them to school and pick them up, sit down with them to do their homework, play with them (taught them how to play Black Jack and mahjong too..hehehe), talk to them, do fun and crazy things with them, watch TV with them, go for some movies and ice-cream treats with them, holiday with them, sit through a raging fever with them, wait out at the basketball courts for them, etc..etc. Time spent with them, this I realized, is what I truly can never have enough. I made a conscious decision to balance things out, time to make MONEY$$$$$, time for my family and friends and time for myself.

I settled for less MONEY$$$$$ then? Oh yes, I could have worked for more. It’s one thing or the other. The MONEY$$$$$$ I earned helped put my 2 boys through college and allows us some creature comforts and the occasional treats and I am thankful for this. Not rich, but can get by….3 square meals a day, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs AND most importantly, TIME to build a lifetime of memories. My superiors have often goaded me...telling me that I am not pushing hard enough...that I am just like a 4.0 lit engine going at a mere 60 kilometres per hour and one fella even asked if I got a problem with earning too much money or sometimes on a more sarcastic note, if I fear that the money would bite me. hahhaha....What a joker…a silly man, he is! How much is enough, actually? Well, everything has a price and everyone has paid some and more. To each, his own. This is only so much I am willing to pay and this is so much that I am getting and I will always want to be the master and let MONEY$$$$$ be my slave.

I LIKE MONEY$$$$$. Do you?
Get this right - LOVE PEOPLE AND USE MONEY and you’re set. So have fun making pots of MONEY$$$$$, and of course, do remember to stop to smell the roses too, sometime. Right, Uncle Lee?

 
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:55 AM, | 39 comments
Sunday, May 27, 2007

Irresistable Apoms

My favourite food - This is a tag from King’s Wife. The barn charn kueh she put up in her blog had me lau nuar on my keyboard. :P I like my barn charn kueh with brown sugar and lots of peanuts and drizzled with butter. **yummmiesss**

Anyone for apoms here? I like apoms...ahh...my comfort food.....so,I’ll put up 2 different types here.



Apom Manis – Made from a batter of rice flour, coconut milk, eggs and sugar. I like the ones with the soft and fluffy centre. Don’t quite take to the paper-thin ones…one bite and half of the apom breaks and falls onto the ground.


Apom Balik – Ahhh….This one lar, we call it apom balik in Penang. The original recipe of rice flour, fresh grated coconut, coconut milk and sugar comes with thin slices of ripe bananas…pisang raja is the best. Another variation comes with cream corn. Gimme the ones with bananas, anytime. Dr Chen, how many should we order?

## both pics nicked from a good friend's archives.

I am not really a 'tag' person...I am actually terrified of tags/memes..... so I won't be tagging anyone. However, all are welcome to contribute their favourite food here.

Have a great weekend!


**Start Copy**

Proposition: What is your favorite food in your state or country?

Requirements: Find some info about the food and show delicious pictures of it.

Quantity: FIVE PEOPLE.

Tag Mode: You leave their blog and post link and add to the list below.

Mybabybay loves Asam Laksa from Penang, Malaysia
JustMyThoughts loves Penang Char Koay Teow
My Lil Venture loves Laksa Sarawak
Monterssorimum loves Teluk Intan Chee Cheong Fun
Chinnee loves Melaka Wan Tan Mee
PeimunLeah loves Hakka Lei Cha
Hui Sia loves Crispy duck skin from China
Karen loves Pan Mee
Simple American loves Cheese Enchiladas
Nicole Tan loves Char Tau Kueh
velverse loves Otak-Otak
Giddy Tiger loves Dim Sum
Kenny Ng loves Jawa Mee
Erina Law loves Wan Tan Mee
may loves Roti Bakar
King’s wife loves Dai gau mee

Wuching loves Wood fired oven Pizzas!

nyonyapenang loves Apoms

**End Copy**


 
posted by nyonyapenang at 1:27 AM, | 44 comments
Friday, May 25, 2007

It's Lidat

After the ear-smoking episode at the big ‘kongsi’, I came home to expect to spend the next 24 hours without internet connection. Can you imagine 24 whole freaking hours wor??? How lar lidat?

I was in for a surprise. The internet connection worked just fine and I actually got to put up an entry in my blog. I guessed then that those fellas at the big ‘kongsi’ understood me after all – that wrong billings has got nothing doing with a 24-hour disruption of services. Way to go man!

I was in for a bigger surprise the next day. I came home after work and switched on the computer and I clicked and clicked and clicked so many times but it came up as ‘server cannot be found’. I thought my computer rosak or dunno which of the many wires I may have kicked loose or what, when my no. 2 came home from class. I did what I know best…. I yelled for help.

No. 2 : No internet connection lar. DSL light is blinking.

Me : Oooohhh…Lidat ar?

I called up the technical support department but I thought that gentleman spoke Swahili or something. I could not fathom what that affable chap was trying to say, so I passed the phone over to no. 2 and after a couple of minutes of “umm…arrrmm…yaaa…ummm..” , he finished the call. I quickly asked him what did that technical support fella tell him. With a serious look on his face, no. 2 said, “He told me my mother is a woman.” KAKAKAKAKAK…..both of us burst out laughing.

No. 2 then got down to check for any loose wires and then re-start the computer but still ‘tak jalan’. Sienzzzz lar lidat. I then made another call to the technical support centre and this time I indulged him with my ‘ear-smoking’ story of messed up billings and how I was told that to correct the mess, I will not have connection for 24 hours, commencing Tuesday evening.

Me : It’s Wednesday evening now lar. What has this to do with messed up billings huh?

Tech Support : Your line active and OK. Nothing doing with the billings.

Me : The DSL light is still blinking wor. Tolonnnnng …lar. Don't tell me to cabut ini and cucuk sana lagi ler.

Tech Support : OK, I submit your report to Technical Level 2 and they will ‘re-format’*.
(* Cannot remember the exact word he used.)

Me : How soon?

Tech Support : Tomorrow.

True enough, I got the connection back yesterday morning. Happpies….. And in the evening, I got a call from the customer relations unit to enquire if everything is OK.

CRU : Hi Ms Tan, I am calling to see if everything is OK with your connection now.

Me : Oh yes. All running smooth already. Thank you.

CRU : If there is anything else, please feel free to call us anytime. Thank you and have a nice day.

Wah…….I’m impressed. You see, I can be easily placated. IT’S LIDAT, lar.

p.s. I almost forgot.... I am still waiting to hear from them regarding the error in the billing dates.
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 4:26 PM, | 42 comments
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's Lidis

It’s like this. The bills came yesterday and I being someone who dislike to handle a piece of paper more than once, decided to go over to one of the ‘companies’ to settle all in one go…the electricity, water and phone bills.

I walked in, looked at the queue number machine and OK, Button ‘A’ for ‘Payment' and Button ‘B’ for ‘Installation’ and I pressed **teeeeet** ‘A’. Okie, just 3 more numbers to wait. Heard my number called and I plonked myself on the chair in front of the cashier. I saw someone paying with credit card and I too whipped out my card and gave the stack of bills to the cashier.

Cashier : Dis and dis, phone punya can use card. Itu water and letrik punya, you pay cash.

Me : Why?

Cashier : It’s lidis.

Me : Ok, nevermind. I'll pay cash for all.

Me : And I want to pay for this phone line too. The bill not arrived yet. Dunno lost or what.

Cashier : I cannot check. You go reception and check and come back here and pay.

Me : Why?

Cashier : Because the system is lidis. Only can collect payment. Cannot checking punya.


To the reception I went. And queue up again lar. While waiting for them to print the latest bill for phone line no. 3, I realized that there was a mistake in the other bill for phone line no. 1. The receptionist printed the latest bill for line no. 3 and I was to pay at the cashier’s and as for the other complaint of wrong billing, I had to take another queue number from Button ‘B’ for ‘Installation’. Whatever lar.

But Holy Cow, I was like 19 numbers away and let me tell you, to move one number, it takes an average of 20 minutes, and a few I noticed, been stuck on the chairs for more than 30 minutes, and I saw too, a customer at one of the counters yelling his head off. Wah....I felt my temperature rising already. I stood there for about 10 minutes or so, my eyes staring intently at the numbers flashing on the screen, as if to will them to skip and jump 18 numbers faster.

Anyway, 2 numbers down and I then heard another 2 consecutive numbers being called but no takers, so I just walked to the corresponding counter and sat down there. I told the service executive that I was at this office last month in April to sort out everything AND her colleague who attended to me assured me that the transfers has been done AND that the bill for the new package plan would be effective May 4 2007 BUT now the bill in my hand dated May 4 2007 still showed the old billing! Then she said to me, “Sabar, sabar (Be patient)…let me check.”

So she check-check here and check-check there and check-check everywhere and then told me the new billing will commence on June 10 2007. What? Why? How? I wanted to know.

Executive : OK, I go ask my senior.

She walked inside and got a senior to come to the counter. This senior came and keyed in some buttons on the computer and then told me the same story…something similar to 'that your mother is a woman'. As if I don’t know. **roll eyes** Get the drift? You all, my frens, I know you know. **geezzzz***

I shot my questions at the senior and she tried to give some convoluted explanation which I of course don’t buy lar. **tskkk…tsskkk…** And she then got another gentleman to “tolong explain, sekejab” to me. Wah....as if I am so dense or thick or what? Wahhh….I felt smoke coming out from my ears already…..

The junior executive had to brief the gentleman again, the story beginning from April 24 2007 and I had to take a piece of paper to write out why I think the billing dates are all wrong and I want them to correct it pronto. He nodded and then asked me to fill in a complaint letter and then only they will investigate and then only do the adjustments.

Me : When?

Gentleman : Wait. We check and call you.

Me : When?

Gentleman : Dunno yet. We check first.

Me : Whatever. But I expect a full adjustment.

Executive : Meanwhile, now you no internet for 24 hours.

Me : WHY????

Executive : It’s lidis.

Me : **slaps forehead**

The dispute is regarding the BILLING for the phone line. How come the physical line is affected? Oh, I forgot, “IT’S LIDIS”
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:41 AM, | 41 comments
Monday, May 21, 2007

Hold That Tongue

I was with a friend the other day having our afternoon tea at the local kopitiam and enjoying our tete-a-tete when her handphone rang. She excused herself and took the call and after a couple of “ungghh.ungghhh…angghhh.angghhh", she ended the call and let out a **SIGHHH…**

Knowing her, I can guess that the call was not about any juicy gossip but probably work-related. I pretended I did not notice the sigh and continued to pick on the kuih angkoo and ondeh-ondeh and exclaiming how heavenly the kuih tasted, how yummylicious the buburchacha was and all, and that we should visit this place more often and bla…bla..bla….I had just put in a ball of ondeh-ondeh into my mouth when she suddenly let out, “&%(*&%#@!!!...” **Cough….cough..sputter..sputter…arrrrgg…**, I almost choked on that soft glutinous riceball.

My eyes wide-opened, I stared at that flushed face of hers. Did I hear her right…this sweet and soft-spoken lady cursing in the most colourful language and so loud summore, enough for the 3 other ladies sitting at the next table and other patrons a few tables away to have heard every single expletive that flew out of her foul mouth? For the few years that I have known her, she is one of the most polite, gentle, shy and unassuming friends in the circle. What the devil has gotten into her? What broke? Arrggghhh!!! I was shocked and horrified and embarrassed and wished I could just hide under the table. From the corner of my eyes, I could see that the other 3 ladies were equally embarrassed, if not more. Suddenly, I felt I lost my appetite. I stood up and with one hand pulling my friend’s hand, I hissed, “Let’s go.” The short walk to the car, I told her in no uncertain terms that I do not appreciate her cursing in public for all to hear and whatever reasons she may have for feeling and behaving that way, I still think that she behaved badly and that she should be terribly ashamed of herself and that she shamed me too.

Throughout the drive back to her office, not a squeak came from her. I guessed she must have felt really horrible then and sure wished she had exercised more restraint earlier. I don't know. I am no angel myself but I draw the line at cursing out loud in public for all to hear. Should try harder to hold that tongue…..
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 1:57 AM, | 36 comments
Friday, May 18, 2007

What's In A Name

This hot momma, eastcoastlife tagged me! Helppp……I have an aversion to tags and memes. Under normal circumstances, my brain works slow but it’s still good for putting up intermittent posts in this blog. Just tell me that I am tagged and for some strange reasons, the brain seems to freeze and hang up. I am just not a tag/meme person.

Anyway, she wants to know why and how the names of my boys came about. Ahh….This is easy…….Go ask my father-in-law. ^o^

I married into a traditional family and the paternal grandfather has the honour of naming all his grandsons. First is the family name/surname; then their middle names which have to follow a certain generation name and then followed by their given name. No English name to officially precede the family name/surname. Father-in-law, with the date and time of birth in hand, would flip through the Chinese almanac; count and ‘weigh’ the number of strokes in the Chinese characters, checked through the family tree to make sure there were no ‘clashes’ of names with any of the elders, whether dead or alive, would then bestow the most compatible name on the new addition to the family. I did not chose my sons’ names…I was not given the privilege. I only made sure it is spelled correctly in the birth certificate. Itu saja…kau tim.


Well, if I were to name my kids, I’ll keep it simple, short and easy to spell and write. Just like my name…all a mere nine alphabets and for the Chinese characters, it is just some quick and simple strokes…nothing that makes you wanna scratch your head and cry each time you have write it out. Say, with a name something like this, Bartholomew Sebastian McRitchie Kwong Nguok Leung*…all of 44 alphabets. How do you teach a 3-year old child to properly pronounce, spell and write his name? I don't know. How long do you think it will take to shade in the full name on the exam answer scripts? In all probability, the classmate on the next table would have already finished shading in the answer to the 8th question.

I love my name…I love its meaning…I love its simplicity…..I love it because it is unique…..so far, I have not come across anybody with a name same as mine….I love it because…because…because it’s soooo me. Thanks, poppa.

I shall not tag anybody but I welcome feedback. Please shoot. Terima kasih.

Note: * Just a fictitious name.
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 1:51 AM, | 43 comments
Monday, May 14, 2007

On The Grind

No. 1 remarked how fast time flies, that it has been already 5 months since he started work and that he felt it somehow passes faster than when he was in university. Just couldn’t agree more with him. Counting my fingers and toes and more, wuahhh…. I have been on the grind for close to 3 decades already!

My first job after leaving school was at one of the electronic factories in the Free Trade Zone in Penang. I had applied for an office position but those factories hardly hire out; for clerical and admin support, they would normally offer to their production floor staff first. So, I went through that way too. I went in as a Quality Control staff earning a daily wage of RM5.30 per day and worked on 2-weekly 3 rotating shifts, 6 days a week. The ‘graveyard’ shift from 11.00pm to 7.00am paid an extra of RM1.50 per night. On that measly rate of pay, I could still save RM50 per month. I was at this job for a short 3 months before I was offered a regular hour office position and I if I remember well, my pay then was RM300 per month. I stayed for 3 years.

Then I decided to uproot and went over to East Malaysia. I resigned from my first job and it was the first time I was leaving the comforts of my own home for a totally unfamiliar environment. The first time I was taking a flight and all alone and I remembered I almost succumbed to cold feet at the Bayan Lepas airport on that fateful morning and now, in retrospect, am I glad that my head ruled. It was one of the best times of my working life….a time I recall with much fondness…….

I had joined a small company selling heavy-vehicle spare parts which offered double my last salary, with lodging and meals fully taken care of too. It was a typical 'china-apek' outfit and my boss had his 2 brothers and their 70-year old father as well as 2 other young male shop assistants-cum-delivery boys to help run the business. I was the only female employed to help maintain the books for my ‘chinaman’ boss who had little formal education and could only write and sign his name. The first time I met my boss, I kinda felt intimidated. He looked like a big time 'taikor'. With a thick gold doggie-chain round his neck, two diamond and jade rings on his fingers, a diamond-studded solid gold Rolex on his wrist, gold fountain pen in his shirt pocket and flicking his gold Dupont lighter every few minutes…errm..this is one man you wouldn’t want to mess with.

From a big Finance Department in an American high-tech facility to a cramped and tiny office in a small shophouse; from a vibrant Penang to a sleepy hollow of a cowboy town; from Penang where our singsong Hokkien is predominant to a community where Hakka , Mandarin, Kadazan-Dusun and the localized Malay dialect rules; from Penang, a food haven to a place where even the belacan looks and smells different. I have never felt that lost before and the worse is when the weekends came around, when for the first couple of months, I would find myself close to tears. From Penang where I had spent my weekends at the movies or at the nightspots; to a dusty little 2-street town where the only cinema was a stuffy, close to broken-down wooden shack with bugs-infested seats where it was the norm to bring in a small jar of Tiger Balm to soothe itching bums and oh ya, a pair of Wellingtons would come in handy too, during a downpour halfway through a movie. And how I missed wearing my nice office clothes and 3-inch heels and open-toed slippers. After a few times accidentally tearing my dresses and kicking my toes against big pieces of vehicle spare parts stacked on the floor in the cramped shop, I had to contend with wearing jeans/pants with T-shirts and sneakers. Practicality ruled.

I learned to communicate in the local lingo. I teased my tastebuds to accept the local cooking and occupied my weekend mornings putting wok to fire in attempts to satiate my nyonya cravings. After one nasty episode of sore bums from bug-bites, I got a few friends to share the cost of rental of Betamax video tapes @RM5 per piece, and how we spend night after night watching Hong Kong movies such as ‘Man In The Net’ and ‘Shanghai Bund’. And of course, games of luck and chance were never short of players….games aplenty from the old deck of cards; to mahjong; to impromptu bets on a box of matchsticks; to a crudely drawn chart of ‘fish, flower, prawn and king-crab and a spin of a die with corresponding pictures….yes, it’s a game the locals called ‘belangkas’. And there were the occasional weekend illegal cock fights normally held at the fringes of the jungle and once a while there would be raids by the police and then you would find a motley crowd of suspects together with noisy crowing cockerels spilling out from the tiny compound of the local Balai Polis.
Once, I followed a few friends to watch a cock-fight and half-way through one of the most interesting matches, someone naughty played a prank and shouted, “Polissss!....Polisss…..” sending all and sundry scampering like frightened squirrels.

I settled in soon enough and slowly but surely, I began to feel comfortable and safe in this small town where practically everybody knows everybody. Twenty-five years ago, when the banks in West Malaysia had cashiers sitting behind counters with high clear plastic dividers, the only bank in this tiny interior town was already practicing the open concept. There were no robberies, no snatch thefts, no burglaries and I used to carry bundles of my office’s daily takings to the bank; no problems at all. It’s not uncommon to see others carry bundles of cash carelessly wrapped in old newspapers and plonked it at the cashiers…nobody batted an eyelid. Never seen anyone using a credit card there. And when the towkays decide on a game of cards, it was either cash or cheques and I have helped my boss cash in as well as pay out some not so small amounts too. And of course, when cash is low, land titles and vehicle registration cards would be readily accepted too.


After 2 years, home beckoned – I flew back and landed in KL. Not a very good time, because the country was in the throes of the economic recession. I managed to get a job and as the recession worsened, I had to settle for a pay cut…small, but nonetheless painful. Seven years and two changes of employers later, I quit my job to become a full-time mother. It was bad decision because I could not cope. I missed working outside but I did not miss my office-bound job. I then dived straight in to a totally different line…something that I have zilch experience in - marketing and sales and I have since stayed for more than 15 years. To say that it was smooth-sailing, I’d be lying. It was, and still is tough but then who ever said that anything worthwhile doing is going to be easy? I am blessed and it’s not too bad a grind actually.
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 5:22 PM, | 39 comments
Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lai...Lai...Lai...Langchia, Anyone?

The last time I took a ride on a trishaw in Penang (here, we call them ‘langchia’) was like more than 5 years ago. Ya, now I remember, at that time, I was putting up at Cititel Hotel in Penang Road and just outside the hotel was a long row of gaily decorated langchias all parked neatly waiting for their fare. These langchias I was told, were waiting for bookings from tourists visiting the island and that the locals seldom ride on them anymore.

My no. 2 was with me and I walked up to one of the riders and enquired and I was pleasantly surprised. This neatly dressed man I presumed to be in his late forties spoke good English and introduced himself as Rocky. Was I impressed! I spoke to him in my Penang Hokkien and straight away he could tell that I am a Penang native. Rocky then told me he specializes in bringing his guests around the heritage trails in the inner city, to the mosques, temples, churches and clan houses, etc. and it’ll cost RM25. Since no. 2 has not been to this part of the town, I thought it a good idea for him to be acquainted with his momma’s childhood ‘playground’. Ya, I grew up in Penang and I am familiar with the nooks and cranies in the older parts of town. It has been a long, long time since I left Penang and it’s been a long, long time too that I last visited those old buildings and shops. The most enjoyable ride lasted about an hour or so and Rocky then sent us back to the hotel.

I enjoy langchia rides but the past few times when I was back in Penang, I had the car at my disposal, so I forgot about the langchia. Just two weeks back, I was in Penang again and as I was without a car, I rode on the buses to town and then ‘chartered’ the langchia to bring me around the town area and to my favourite feeding grounds. This time around, I got a very genial Pakcik who agreed to take my young grand-nephew and me from Penang Road to Swatow Lane. I wanted my ice-kacang fix and the young boy, his chicken-rice. As I am not too familiar with the bus routes near this place, I asked if Pakcik would wait for us and then take us to the temple and then Padang Brown after that. “Boleh...Boleh.”, he answered, giving us a toothy grin. I then asked if he would like to join us for lunch but he politely declined and said he’d wait for us under the shade of the big bodhi tree. We were done in 25 minutes and quickly walked out to find Pakcik, climbed onto the langchia and we were on our way.

The sun was scorching hot and we had the shade up to cover us and Pakcik had a big parasol too. **heave ho…heave ho** Pakcik pedalled hard…the scorching sun and the strong winds made it so much difficult for him but this did not stop him from chatting merrily with us and made us laugh with his funny quips. Just as we passed along Anson Road, a strong gust of wind blew and upturned his parasol. He slowed down the langchia and pulled over to the side of the road to straightened back the parasol. I think one of the frames must have twisted or something because Pakcik decided to just fold it up and continued the journey without his shade. So kesian, Pakcik riding in the hot sun with only his baseball cap for shade. We arrived at our destination shortly and this time, I again offered to buy him Indian mee goreng and drinks. Pakcik shyly declined but asked if he should wait and then send us home. Told him, we would take a bus back to Air Itam as it's too far for a langchia to go. I paid him his fare and more…some tips would be appropriate and sure made his day. Pakcik thanked us profusely and as he rode off, he gave a wave and a ‘cring-crinnng-crinnngggg’ on the ancient langchia bell.



Go, take a leisurely ride on a langchia. It's fun.
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 1:23 PM, | 49 comments
Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pre-Loved Vehicles

“So, you are buying a second-hand car. And it’s coming cheap. You had better beware. It could be a kereta potong”….this follows the headlines “Cut and Cheat” in the Sunday Star today.


Wah…like this also got ar? I can just imagine myself unwittingly buying one of these ‘cut and weld’ cars and driving around and one fine day while driving over one too many potholes, I’d suddenly feel ‘drafty’ and then realized that the back portion of the car has broken off. Bad joke! Could be worse, huh?

So far, I have had 3 pre-loved cars, 2 sourced out from the classifieds in the local newspapers and one from a friend. Had been lucky thus far….no ‘cut-and-weld’ machines and certainly not ‘black-marked’ too. My first car was 14-year old jalopy pre-loved by, if I remember right, 5 different owners. I bought it direct from the last owner who put up a ‘For Sale’ ad in the local daily. This young Malay gentleman became a good friend after that.

The second car, I bought from a friend whom I know to be someone who loves his cars dearly and care for them well. And yes, I got a good and reliable set of wheels which served me faithfully for 2 years before I sold it and got another pre-loved car.

This third car, I sourced from the local dailies too, and before I signed the papers and paid the money, I ran a check at the Traffic Police Headquarters. Thank God, I took the trouble. The car had accumulated a total of RM4300 worth of unpaid summonses for various offences, from illegal parking to speeding. I made a quick phone call to the young car owner to tell him to settle everything, if not, it will be ‘No Deal’. He settled and cleared everything the following day.

I have been lucky with my purchases but this could not be said of my friend LP. She not be knowing much lar (not that I know any better), got her dear husband to look for a second-hand car for her. And hubby found a very good deal….nice 2.0L car, a model that LP actually wanted very much, very well-maintained and cheap too. Okie, deal closed and LP got her dream car. A couple of months later and one fine day while LP was driving to town, she somehow sensed that another car was tailing her. From the rear-view mirror, all she could make out was 2 men in dark glasses behind the wheels of a car with tinted glass. She continued driving round and round and decided to drive into the open-air carpark at the market. Not seeing the car from her rear-view mirror anymore, she shrugged off any uncomfortable thoughts. After a good 15 minutes or so, she got back onto the road to continue her journey to her hair salon in town. She must have driven for another 10 minutes or so when from God knows where, that familiar looking car re-appeared and was coming up very fast behind her and before she could do anything, the driver of that car sort of ‘forced’ LP to drive onto the grass verge and stopped there. Two young men came up to her and knocked on her window. LP now pale and shaking, wound the window a bit and heard one of the men yelling at her, **&^%$#@, you bitch..#@@&&*%....you hooker....^%$#@...You stay away from Aileen’s husband..**&&%$ This is just a warning......You hear that??...STAY AWAY FROM ALEX!!...@&%#@**...."

And just as quickly, the 2 men walked back to their car and sped off, leaving LP cold and sweating on her seat. She can’t remember how long she sat stiff in the car before gaining her composure and drove home. She later discovered that the previous owner of the car was someone’s mistress and the unhappy wife must have sent the two menacing fellas to do the job. It was a case of mistaken identity. The 2 fellas must have been told to look out for a woman driving that car with that particular number plate. So takuttttt.....LP managed to sell off the car after 2 months.

We just have to be extra vigilant when buying pre-loved vehicles. Make sure that it is not a ‘kereta potong’ and pray too, that it does not come from dubious backgrounds.
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 6:55 PM, | 34 comments
Friday, May 04, 2007

Are You Titled?

I had a doctor’s appointment for 2.30pm yesterday and I arrived at the clinic right on the dot. In the waiting room and spilling outside were about 10 other people whom I assumed were there for their appointments too. The clinic nurse was no where to be seen and after a short while, she appeared from the consultation room and called out for the next patient to go in. I then reported to her that I was there for the 2.30pm slot and she told me, “You gotta wait.”

Me : For how long?
Nurse: 4 to 5 more patients.
Me : But my appointment is for 2.30pm.
Nurse : You have to wait. All these came earlier.
Me : But you told me to come at 2.30pm? I cannot wait for so long.
Nurse : You have to wait. Got VIP here lar.

Nurse then walked towards another room. I followed and gave her a pissed-off smile, and through gritted teeth, I whispered to her in a most civilized manner, “Listen here. VIP or whatever, I am not here for free. I PAY FULL fees FULLSTOP”

I was called in next.

What’s this pre-occupation with titles and VIPs and whatever? And at clinics too?

Note:
Apparently, everyone was given an appointment at 2.30pm but when at the clinic, it will go ‘first come, first served’. Don’t they understand the meaning of the word ‘appointment’ or is it a different application at clinics only?
 
posted by nyonyapenang at 10:42 AM, | 30 comments