Between 10% and 15% of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) in plantations were reported to be left to rot due to the labour shortage. Sarawak is losing an estimated RM1billion in revenue a year in uncollected FFBs.

- news article "Severe labour shortage in Sarawak estates" in The Star, 17 January 2011.

Reminds me of Cityville hehe.

Three near collisions

Since driving my car, I had 3 near collisions:
(1) Reversing too close towards a Kancil which was parked at an angle, stopped in time by a family friend's urgent tapping on my window.
(2) Changing to left lane but didn't see the car coming on the left, apparently due to the blind spot (should I get those small mirrors?), stopped in time by Ban's warning.
(3) Changing to the right lane this time but it seems the truck didn't see me and they had to completely brake to avoid hitting my car.

A little traumatised each time. Next time, with respect to the latter two incidents above, I should just take a detour rather than take the risk.

Better late than dead.

First petrol pump

The first petrol pump I did for my car cost a grand total of...RM0.49 :P

When I wanted to use the latch on the pump's handle, I accidentally pushed the handle upward and thus causing the pump to stop but I didn't know that was what happened. So I just put the pump back in its place, took my credit card receipt and redid. The second time I did realise what happened earlier and so I was careful then.

My mum and I had a good laugh looking at the first receipt hehe.

Delicious claypot chicken rice

Last week, my family and I went to Damansara Jaya to have one of the best claypot chicken rice I've ever tasted. It is better than most claypot chicken rice because it is moist and have this rather delicious unique taste, unlike the usual dark soya sauce taste. It is not any oilier than others. The portion, both rice and chicken, is rather generous.

We chose to add Chinese sausage, which I personally wouldn't do that since I generally don't eat it, and salted fish, which I believe is a must for claypot chicken rice.

The restaurant is clean and airy, ample tables and chairs. Still, it's advisable to go there early if you want to lunch there. We were there just after 12 noon, I believed. It was a little crowded by 12.30pm.

Clapot 1

Claypot 2

Claypot 3

Anyone knows what does "charcoal burn" means? Does it mean the rice is slightly burnt on purpose?

Maternity leave

Mothers can take a very negative view of themselves when returing to work and yet, when they talk of motherhood, they sound like empowered multitaskers. We should really be viewing maternity leave as a leadership development course that equips women even better for the workplace.

- Jennifer Liston-Smith, maternity consultant at advice service Myfamilycare.

Which Perodua? Myvi!

After pondering and asking about which Perodua to purchase, I have decided and just purchased a secondhand Myvi, 2006.

Quite sometime ago, I already came to know of this particular car on sale by a relative. Its price (discounted quite heavily due to family ties) was reasonable and in fact considered to be attractive by some. I was at first apprehensive about its size but after surveying the prices of other Perodua, old and new, I decided to test drive this Myvi.

The drive went smoothly, with quiet engine. Yes, it appears to be as wide as, say, Wira but certainly shorter in length. It didn't seem to suffer much wear and tear and I like its metalic colour (dark reddish orange).

I'll probably be able to get the car before Chinese New Year. I'm nervous but excited.

Next to get: GPS.

Which Perodua?

I'm thinking of getting a secondhand car. My essential criteria are that it must be small, has automatic gear and power steering. Naturally, besides that, it'll be good if it, relatively, uses less petrol and sturdier. So which of these 3 model you will recommend?
  • Kelisa
  • Viva
  • Myvi
  • Kancil

Fraser's Hill Nov 2010

It was Alex's idea to have a get-away during his birthday weekend. A few suggestions did come up and in the end, for reasons forgotten, Fraser's Hill was chosen. I was all for it as I had fond memories of that place. Prefer it to Genting and Cameron as a place to relax.

So the 7 of us set off late morning on Saturday in two cars and stayed there till 2pm Sunday. Ban and I fetched Janvier, who had much difficulty in waking up (slept late due to pain from mouth ulcer) and then due to wrong coordinates, we ended a little lost. Luckily we saw the other car passed by us from the opposite direction. The irony is that iPhone has no reception while good old fashion handphone worked ok.

I still remember that the coffeeshop is at the border of Selangor and Pahang but most of Fraser's Hill lies within Pahang. It's only later on I was reminded by my parents that the coffeeshop is owned by a relative. Oooh. It was closed though.

FH Cicely

We stayed at a bungalow formerly called Cicely. For its current name, please look it up on the net. The birthday boy banned us from using its current name :)

FH Cicely rooms

In the house, there were 3 bedrooms, including 1 master bedroom. Structure was similar within each room: 2 sofa opposite the bed, wardrobe on the far wall, door to a spacious room with nothing but a sink and mirror (it's strange) and then further in was the bathroom/toilet which was on a lower ground. Interesting.

FH Misc

Some interesting points:
  • There was a fire hydrant in the niddle of the lane. So dangerous, especially at night with few lamplights.
  • Impatiens flowers?
  • Freestyle Jenga! Look carefully at the horizontally placed block at the bottom left. It's not leaning on the right block.
  • The dam was further down from Fraser's Hill. Ominous clouds with large dam. Scary.
  • The birthday boy's leaning chocoloate cake! Glad he was happy and pleased with his gifts.

Salmon sushi in KL

I had craving for salmon sushi these few days. Not entirely surprising as I have less of it in KL compared to Singapore. The reasons are:
  • My income in SG was much higher
  • On a one-to-one-basis, sushi is more expensive in KL
After tasting sushi from different shops, I find that salmon sushi from One U's Jusco is better than most restaurants' and it costs only RM1.50 each. It is even better than the salmon sushi from a Japanese fine dining restaurant at Jalan Imbi.

So today Ban and I bought some sushi at Jusco and had a late but delicious lunch :)

PS: I drove to and from Jusco, without much hiccups. Yay!