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Archive for the ‘Becklee’s Tales’ Category

I can’t remember when was the last time I used this phrase “the road was like a car park”.   Many moons ago when I worked in an office located in the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur I would be late for work occasionally.   Whenever my boss asked me why I was late, I would reply, “Bad traffic jam woh, the cars all stationery on the road like in a big car park” .   Since I started working in Petaling Jaya, traffic was slightly better and I had forgotten what it was like being in a big car park on the road until……. yesterday. 

I had left my house before 7 a.m. and noticed that there was not a single policeman at the traffic light junctions directing traffic as was usually the case in the mornings.  Where have they all disappeared to?  Their absence contributed to the chaotic traffic and by the time I entered the Penchala Toll on the LDP, traffic was very heavy.  Oh yes, I saw speeding police cars and motorcycles with their loud sirens and we had to make way for them.  Was there some motor vehicle accident or disaster?  No, it was merely the Le Tour de Langkawi!  How I wish the police would react to a distress call with such speed.   But we all know the reality of it all, don’t we?

So there I was stuck in a big “car park”  on my side of the road whilst on the opposite side of the road, it was clear, an airplane could land on it and not hit any motor vehicle… 

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And then several cars (could be sponsors or what) started zooming past, oblivious of the massive traffic jam and mess this whole event had created for the thousands of people.  I didn’t see the cyclists participating in the Le Tour de Langkawi passing by though, as they were due to cycle past that area some time later.

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I think it was bad timing on the part of the organisers of the event.   Can they please pay us back (the thousands trapped in this massive jam) the time and money spent on petrol that we lost.

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Kepong Brem Mall

The weather has been very hot and sunny this Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur.  Our friend, Dixie paid us a visit on the first day.  She took a taxi to our house and got a shock when the taxi driver overcharged her.  He didn’t use the meter and demanded that she pay him RM16 which was double what she normally pays when she comes and visit us.  There is only one word to describe this taxi driver but since it’s Chinese New Year, I’m not allowed to say it.

When Dixie decided to go home after spending some time with us, we decided to send her home and also to drop by Kepong Brem Mall.  This place is next to the Crystal Crown Hotel Kuala Lumpur and is quite new. 

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The entrance was closed ….. aiya, none of the shops were opened so I just took photos of the decorations inside the mall. 

 These are little golden oxen hanging down.

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More golden oxen.

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Toyota service centre

On Saturday, I sent my car for maintenance service at the Toyota service centre.  I headed towards the reception counter and told the receptionist that I had an appointment for 10 a.m.   She looked through her list of appointments and couldn’t find my name.  I thought, oh no, don’t tell me these Toyota people bungled my appointment and was about to start swearing when  the receptionist found my name ….. it was on the list for 8.45 a.m.   I was late by one hour because I got the time mixed up (yeah, getting old), but the receptionist said it was okay, they would still accept my car for servicing.  I was relieved as I was told that they work until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Within minutes the maintenance guy called me out to inspect my car and advised me on the maintenance work  to be carried out.   

After my car was taken away to the work station, I went up to the customer lounge to wait for about 3.5 hours but the time flew by very fast as there were refreshments provided and many magazines and newspapers to keep me occupied.  There were also two computers which provided internet access.   A few customers were already there at the lounge including one who brought along her daughter (about 9 years old) who hogged one of the computers.  Not that she was surfing the internet or anything.  She was merely watching some cartoons.  Why can’t she just watch the TV which was also tuned to the cartoon channel?  Her mother should have been more considerate and not allow her daughter to hog the computer to watch cartoons.  From the time I stepped into the lounge she was stuck to the computer until her mother’s car was ready which was more than 2.5 hours.    

Anyway, in that 3.5 hours I was there, I observed the people who used the computers.  All were young people, I would say in their twenties.  And I noticed this identical behaviour: 

1)   Walks towards the computer with an expectant look on his/her face and sits on the chair.

2)   Moves the mouse with his/her right hand to click for internet access.

3)   While waiting for access, the left hand moves up to the jaw to cradle it or rub the lower jaw.

4)   Then the fingers attack the keyboard going “click, click, click” as he/she visits the site of his/her choice.

Since the little girl was clearly more interested in the cartoons on the computer than the TV, I decided to change channels.  Took the remote control, pressed a button or two and then hor, the screen went blank.  I then tried to press every other button on the remote but nothing happened.  By then, I was beginning to look silly and fortunately the rest of the people sitting there were too busy reading the newspapers and magazines to notice.  So, I decided to just leave it, after all nobody was watching the TV and it was a bit noisy. 

A few minutes later an Indian lady walked in and tried to bring the TV back to life but as I had messed up the remote control :-; she got a blank screen until one guy went to help her out.  As it turned out, the remote control was for Astro channel and another remote control had to be used to tune in to the TV channels.  Aiyah, how was I to know, I don’t have Astro at home.

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Ah Loot and I were at Tesco Selayang shopping for groceries when this guy, what’s he called anyway, came up to give Ah Loot an “ang pow” (red packet).  Inside got sweets only lah.  He gave other shoppers the “ang pow” as well.  He didn’t give me any, why ah?  Ah  Loot said maybe it was because she was wearing a red outfit whereas I was wearing black.  Anyway, I managed to take his picture……

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There were many Chinese shoppers stocking up goodies for the Chinese New Year which falls on 26 January 2009.  There was quite a big crowd and I thought I better get all the stuff I need today instead of next week, when it would probably be chaotic.   I bought some mandarin oranges and they tasted sweet. 

The atmosphere was festive with Chinese New Year songs and red and gold being the prominent colours everywhere.  As usual I prefer to remain in Kuala Lumpur during this festive season rather than travel outstation or overseas.  No traffic jam, no crowds at shopping malls, just peace and quiet.

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On Monday, I dragged myself to the park for some physical work-out after work.  My colleague had been to this park for quite some time and I decided to accompany her.  After all, one of my New Year’s resolution was to exercise more and stay healthy.  So what better time to go than now. 

There is ample parking space and there is a jogging track, a couple of lakes and lots of greenery.  There were also a few exercise equipment there, nothing like the ones found in the gym but adequate.  What’s there to complain as it’s all free of charge.  The only thing that will prevent us from going there is the rain.  I have gone there twice this week and I met a couple of nice ladies with whom I got to chatting with. 

One of the ladies told me that she used to exercise there at 5.30 a.m. every morning but stopped after she was attacked by a man.  She wasn’t sure whether he wanted to molest her or rob her.  She was fortunate because she managed to run away from him before he could harm her.  Nowadays, she goes there in the evenings when there are more people around. 

So far, the place looks reasonably safe in the early evenings.  I don’t think I’d go there if  it’s too late in the evening.  I wonder why there aren’t more of such parks in my neighbourhood.  There is a playground and now the football field is being upgraded but these facilities are hardly used by the residents in my area.  The football field (before it was upgraded) was used by people outside our neighbourhood and they would litter the grounds each time there is a football match.

Well, at least I’ve got one resolution out of the way…. wonder if I will maintain this exercise regime?

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Happy New Year 2009

The year 2009 has arrived and it was sad to say goodbye to 2008. The year 2008 flew by so fast and I am getting older too. One resolution I made last year has to be forwarded to this year.

This year, Chinese New Year falls on 26 January and looks like it’s going to be another round of celebration. People here are still spending and the shopping malls are packed with people. Not sure if they are actually spending money or window shopping.

I went to the tailor yesterday and she told me that my clothes will only be ready in February! Her shop was full of clothes in various stages of completion.  I guess women do need new clothes for the new year.

My poor cat, Tiger spent New Year’s eve with a swollen left ear. I don’t know how he got injured but he could possibly have been hit by some idiot.   Tiger is prone to being bullied by humans.   He’s such an obedient cat and whenever someone shouts or tries to hit him, he will just roll over on his back instead of running away.   I can’t imagine how some people can be so cruel to animals.

Anyway, hope all of you will be blessed in the year 2009.

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ASIMO at 1 Utama

I was at 1 Utama last Saturday and looking at the crowd there, you wouldn’t think there’s a recession going on in some parts of the world.  The car park was almost completely filled with cars.  I could only find a car park space on the fifth floor.  I forgot to mention that getting into 1 Utama itself was a hassle as there was a mini traffic jam on the road leading to this shopping complex.  Indiscriminate parking by inconsiderate drivers around the complex made the traffic congestion worse.

There were quite a number of activities going on at the shopping complex.  One was a batik fashion show, I think it was some kind of competition.  And there was also a sign-up for a Batik Run. 

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At another part of 1 Utama, a robot named ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) made an appearance.  Many children were attracted to this robot and I found it fascinating too.  It could talk and answer questions.  It could also walk, run, dance, kick a ball and serve drinks.  I couldn’t help laughing when I saw ASIMO run because it looked like an old person running. 

I suppose a robot such as ASIMO could help humans in future.  Maybe I should get one for my mother as a companion because with me, she says it’s like “talking to the wall”.

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ASIMO answering questions.

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ASIMO dancing with the children

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ASIMO serving drinks.

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