Where did it go wrong?

One of the first few interesting things I saw on my maiden trip to Jakarta. I wonder who was the electrician who did this.

Power point

Roasted potato with duck fillet

One of my favourite restaurants around Ban's place is Rosemary Bites. It served Western food. Finding seats is not a problem because not many people go there. I'm not sure why but I hope their business is doing fine.

Rosemary has special meals on a daily basis. On a particular occasion, Ban decided to try its roasted potato with duck fillet, something we had not seen before. It cost around RM15, around the same price as their grilled chicken, if I'm not mistaken.

Its serving, however, was significantly smaller than the grilled chicken. The bowl was about the size of the herbal soup bowl that's typically served in Chinese restaurant and it contained both potatoes and the duck fillet. In addition, Ban didn't like the taste. It was "barely edible".

Upon paying the bill, the cashier/waitress asked us for feedback regarding the duck dish. When we told her about the steep price (relative to portion), she revealed that it was the same feedback from other customers. She then voluntarily reduced the price to RM9.90, which was more appropriate in my opinion.

That was a pleasant surprise. We definitely will go back there again as they have many other delicious (appropriately priced) meals but I'm sure Ban will not have the duck fillet dish again :)

Nokia 5250 stylus pen

One outcome post-Jakarta trip was the lost of my phone's stylus pen. I lost it between after work and reaching my hotel room. It's quite likely I lost it at the restaurant.

The phone has its own compartment to store this stylus easily. I found it handy to use and to type messages quickly without having the fat-finger issue. Hence, I wanted to get the same one, rather than other kind that didn't fit into that compartment.

I tried asking like maybe 10 shops and most of them did not sell stylus pens. A couple of shops didn't have stock and one recommended another pen to me.

So I googled and found someone selling it on lelong.com.my for RM5 plus RM3 shipping fee. I had never used that website before and not sure how trustable the sellers there. On the other hand, it was cheap and so I decided to just try it.

Got it in a few days and it fitted in well :) On hindsight, I should have specifically requested for black pen (as per my original stylus pen) but white looks ok with black and red phone.

Nokia 5250 stylus 1

Nokia 5250 stylus 2

Butterworth chendol

During my last trip to Penang, I didn't have the chance of having teochew chendol there although I was at the shop. I was at the tail-end of my recovery from cough and didn't want risking reigniting it. About a week later, I recovered but there wasn't suitable time for my sister to bring me to that shop in Georgetown.

In Butterworth, I walked to a small stall by a main road that served chendol and ice kacang. The chendol's ice was fine and the ingredient was quite good but alas it was ala ice kacang style i.e. with normal brown sugar and not the palm sugar. In fact, the size and shape of it was also of the ice kacang style i.e. pyramid shape and on a bowl that was typically slightly larger than the chendol bowl.

Just before I went back to KL, my sister and her hubby managed to find time to bring me to have this chendol in Butterworth:

Butterworth chendol 2

Butterworth chendol 1

It's the best they had so far in Butterworth and that's also true for me...based on a sample size of 2 :P

It is good and definitely better than many chendol I had these days - its ice was fine, had generous amount of chendol and beans and right amount of sugar.

However, I agree with my brother-in-law that the best chendol ever is still the one at Jonker Street, Melaka, although they had decrease the ingredient portion the last time I had it. Its taste was still great though.

Stand fan saga

When I started visiting and staying at Ban's place (before I permanently moved in), I bought a stand fan. It's not that I don't like aircon. It's bad for my sinus. Prolonged use usually ends with me having headache.

The fan was bought at Senheng @ the Curve, that has closed down since then. It was a Delonghi, with filter at the back that was really good at filtering dust. That lasted like over 3 years. 

Guess how was it spoilt? People stared at me with disbelief when I told them I snapped the stand into halves. Yah, I was carrying it to the bedroom (we used it in the hall too) to prepare for sleep when its stand snapped. Shocking, huh?

Then I bought a brand new fan from Cash Converter. Yes, it's not an obvious choice but surprisingly it was difficult to find electrical shop that sells stand fan around  Ban's place. We had problem with it once we got home because it was very noisy when oscillating. Fortunately I noticed on the receipt that there was a 30-day warranty for electrical items. Phew. After testing it, they willingly exchanged it with another one that worked well.

Less than 2 months later, it stopped working. We switched to another power outlet and it still didn't work. So disappointing. Haiz.

So once again I went out to hunt for one. I disliked hunting and so when I heard about HLK on radio, I thought to visit them. We went to the one at SS2 (which later they told us that that was their newest outlet), I was a little disappointed that they had only 2 brands of stand fan. I chose the Pensonic stand fan and tried to bargain by merely asking whether they could lower the price. I pressed even further when they told me that that was the last one i.e. there no new one in stock. I was given 25% discount :).

Hopefully this one would last for years, if not forever! Hehehe.

Here's something quirky to think about: the first stand fan we dumped was presumedly picked up by a karang guni person (someone who picks up recycleable material). As stated before, it was only its stand that was spoiled. Its motor was still working well. If we dump the second one, where its motor kaput but its stand was still good, at the same spot, that would help the person, wouldn't it? :P

Post-Jakarta

The Jakarta trip went well. The work there, in fact, went much better than expected. Client was competent and friendly. Yes, they asked tough questions but they were fair as well and treated us well.

Feedback from the actuary indicated that I did my part very well and he thanked me for it. He was grateful that I managed to go on this trip.

I nearly couldn't enter Jakarta. The immigration officer at the airport told me that since my purpose of visit was "business", I needed to apply and obtain business visa before arrival. I kept asking him what I should do then but he just repeated what he told me. In the end, he asked me to keep quiet about this until I leave Indonesia 2 days later.

The person whom I was working with in Jakarta was puzzled enough to search and print out the relevant immigration law that clearly stated that citizens from Malaysia (and in fact all ASEAN countries) do not require visa, for whatever purpose of visit, if their stay is within 30 days. A few other websites said the same thing too.

The immigration officer probably was looking for bribery but since it never occurred to innocent me, he didn't get what he wanted. Gah. I'll check the requirement again before, and if, I go there next time.

I reached Seremban at night. I worked a little the next morning before going back to KL. Worked more. Later that night, there was Ironclaw session. There was tuition the following morning. Then a little more work because there is something we have to do before the week is up. There's a small chance I may need to work a little (maybe at most 2 hours) during weekend. Sigh.

I also had tonnes of e-mail to go through and FB updates to go through. I have yet to catch up on local and world news. So much to do!

I'm feeling a little exhausted and I'm not sure why. I just feel that I want to live in a cave for a while. Here's to recovery!

Servant of the Empire


Servant of the Empire

This is the sequel to the book "Daughter of the Empire", again courtesy of William.

Think of it as a simpler version of Game of Throne. Plenty of posturing and intrigue. Actions were few but they were exciting and necessary given the setting.

Lord Shinzawai's second son, Hokanu, appeared more times here. In fact, lords of quite a number of houses made appearance here as politics went all the way up to the Emperor himself.

SPOILER AHEAD



The High Council elects a Warlord (the actual voting is interesting - plenty of whispering, lords moving here and there, definitely not straightforward like putting up hands) who then conducts war to advance the interest of the Empire. The Warlord can be disposed by the High Council but again not a straightforward affair.

The Emperor traditionally acts as spiritual leader and rarely interfere with the Council's politics, although he could...which was what the current Emperor did.

Essentially, with the support of significant number of lords (and highly likely at the instigation of Mara, the protagonist here), the Emperor abolished the seat of Warlord and appoint what we would recognise as ministers to assist him in running the Empire.

Now, I understand that this is better than the alternative i.e. letting a dangerous but powerful mad lord assume the Warlord mantle and what's a Warlord to do but wage war, right? That's how he earns honour...well, mainly through that. On the other hand, the current Emperor is a benevolent, wise ruler who wants to change the Empire for the better.

However, in the hand of an incompetent Emperor, who is going to stand against him? Previously, there is a balance between Emperor and Warlord but now all power resides with the Emperor. Is that really wise?

Jakarta

I thought I escaped the need to go there but alas, fate determined I have to lol. Yes, it's for work. Colleagues there and client want either the actuary or me to be there while the actuary prefers me to be there. So I have to be there.

When it was confirmed, I had to rush like crazy to update address on my IC and to renew my passport. Managed to do 5 days before scheduled departure. Took 3 hours to get IC while concurrently it took 4 hours and the next day to collect the new passport. Crazy.

So I have to dig out my office apparel. I'm sure I can still wear my shirts but gosh, I was a little shocked that 2 out of 3 pants I tried were a little tight @_@ My waistline has grown a little. Time to swim...everyday? @_@ Managed to dig out 2 belts.

My biggest problem is shoes. I can't seem to find my shoes at either my home in Seremban or at Ban's place. Gah, it bothers me because I'm pretty sure I have 2 pairs of office shoes and it's such a waste if they are lost. Hope they'll come up soon, even after the trip. I'll be a little happier.

Meanwhile, I hope I can wear my dad's office shoes and at worst, I'll have to way my dark brown walking shoes. Hope no one will be offended.

It'll be my first time there. I asked and obtained advice from William (thanks Mr Skanky!) re money, food and travel. I think I brought more than enough since I'm pretty sure I'm sharing taxi with the actuary between the airport and hotel. I'm a little concerned about food though because of my rather sensitive stomach. Need to make sure I bring enough relevant medicine.

Hope the trip will go well lah. It's a little rushing for me.

Ichiban Boshi's salmon goodness


Ban and I met Simonlover for lunch at Sunway Giza about a week ago. Due to some miscommunication (misreading of sms), we ended waiting for each other for a good 20mins @_@. Fortunately, Simonlover had the sense to call me.

He wanted to let us choose where to eat and we chose the nearest Japanese restaurant: Ajisen Ramen. However, Simonlover hesitated to agree and instead lead us to Ichiban Boshi. So much for letting us choose hor :P

It was a good thing though because I loved their salmon set (can't remember its exact name). Normal price was RM19.90++ but due to an ongoing promotion, it was discounted to RM16.90++. The sushi pieces were of good size and for sure larger than that at, say, Sushi Zanmai. The latter also had a salmon set that cost the same but that pales in comparison to this set.

It was my first time having half-broiled salmon with cheese. Interesting taste but I may just ask to change them to normal salmon sushi the next time I'm there...which I will!

Even cheaper chap fan (mixed rice)

Hehehe I couldn't believe that I found cheaper chap fan than the previously cheapest mixed rice in Butterworth. It's just next door.


This cost only RM2.60. Almost RM1 cheaper than PJ.

However, its vegetable dishes are a little bland. So the next time I went over to buy packets of mixed rice, I aimed straight for the previous shop but alas it was closed for yet another day. I suspected that the owner went on a holiday with his/her children (school holiday). So, I had no choice but to again buy from this shop (Ching Bee's the name, by the way).