Sunday, April 30, 2006

Nature: Born to be in fashion

This, I bet is the grossest pouch I have ever seen...

Spotted it at the Philippino Market in Kota Kinabalu town. It's probably a REAL skinned frog, judging by the feet and also the texture of the leather.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Food: Tenom coffee

After hearing people brag about Tenom coffee, I just had to get me a pack to try.

I tell you ah, you smell that coffee that time... man your jaw muscles will loose control. Fuuuuuuuuu yoh, mouth will just hang there like it dun wan to move like that. You won't stop salivating, until your whole body drained of liquid, you shrivel, and you pengsan...

Somemore ah, you try once already... MAN! I tell you, you won't try another non-alcoholic drink ever except for coffee... not just another cheap substitute ~ only T.E.N.O.M. coffee. Even if you're an alcoholic, you'll be sure to give it all up, since you've tasted something even more addictive ~ Tenom coffee!

- Quote by Vincent Tan

Anyway, it's freshly grounded, packed.... and I'm sure I must have been ripped off, since I paid like RM5.00 (USD1.50) for that wee small little excuse for a 300g bag of coffee.

Actually, it's about the same as that Arabica breed of ground coffee mum buys at the local store back home... also roasted with a tad of butter and salt. Funny as it sounds, but I think that roasting it in that manner basically removes any after taste to the brewed coffee! Try it, and tell me it doesn't work.

Instead of hearing me rant non-technically about Tenom coffee, have a read 'HERE'.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

About me: Australian prospects

Guess all that hassle paid off, having to deal with my IELTS test, and persistence in haggling with my case officer, which if you remember ~ ended in disaster.

I am a permanent resident of Australia. :)

Only thing left for me to do, would be to make a flight into Australia, get my visa validated, and I will have free access to Australia for the next 5 years. I basically get equal rights with any Australian, except the right to vote, and the right to get on the dole in the next 24 months.

*D'uh! I've got hands and feet. I want to work, forget about social welfare!

Then again, with my job travelling all over the place, I have concerns about whether I'd be able to meet the requirement of living in Australia physically for an accumulated 2 of the next 5 years. But there seems to be a wee light in the yonder... more on that when it's all confirmed.

*I could leave Malaysia sooner than you think...

Ah well, I'll deal with whatever concerns when I get to them... Melbourne, here I come!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Nature: Ribena berries

Spotted this at the Gaya Street Sunday Market.

What the...

Ribena berries??!!

I mean, what in the world are these things anyway?

From memory, Ribena berries are nothing like the spikey puffer fish-ish looking thing in that basket. They should be ROUND, PURPLE, cute and adorable… like on the Ribena drink advertisements, that is.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Travel: Gaya Street Sunday Market

Gaya Street… What a glorious address to be perched at on a Sunday mornings. Packed with people of sorts, it’s definitely one of those places to go on a weekly basis just to get de-social anxietilized (is there such a word?).

A weekend market opens here from wee hours of the dawn, up until 2pm in the afternoon on a Sunday only. Don’t ask me what time it opens, because it was already bustling when I got there at 8am.

With stalls sprawled all over the vicinity of Gaya Street, overflowing into the side streets, you could pretty much get EVERYTHING: From local produce, clothing, tools and potted plants, down to these friggin weird looking vegetables.

Just a piece of advice: If you intend to visit after 8am, don’t drive if you can afford a taxi. Otherwise, just walk. Parking and traffic is horrendous, especially later in the day.

I won't tell you about the girls that hang out there, and the fact that KK's hooker district is in the vicinity.

Paid the market a visit a few weekends ago, and I must say that my life was finally completed then ~ I got my grounded Tenom coffee powder.

I think I'll be there again tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Language: Menggatal

Have a go at me for insulting somebody else’s language, but this just cracks me up.

The area where our power plant is being built is an industrial area with power plants and factories called “Menggatal”.

For those of you who think it’s just another name, it’s not. For those who think that it probably sounds perfectly fine in the local lingo (Kadazan and what have yous), it probably does… but consider the following dissection of the Malay grammar:

Verb/Adjective is put into it’s context of time and intent, with an verb-modifiers stuck to the front and back of the word - affixes. For example:

Use ~ GunaBeautiful ~ Cantik
Uses/Using ~ Mengguna/menggunakanBeautify ~ Mempercantikkan
Used (past tense) ~ DigunakanMost beautifullest ~ Tercantik sekali

Hence, “men-/meng-/memper-” puts a verb into the context that it is being done… or implying “to be” and in the process of doing/being.

Gatal on the other hand, is the Malay word for “itchy”, and sometimes in slang, also meaning “horny”… go figure why it is. ;)

So technically, Menggatal means:

“In the process of being horny”

I think I might have just signed up to build a power plant in a redlight district, and gosh I love taking apart languages!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

About me: My new Motorola L6

For the life of me, I finally bought a new phone after saving up money for the last 5 years…

Sounds pitiful? Shower me with money!

Anyway, you can read all about the phone’s specifications on the web, I am sure. Hence I will not elaborate, except some things about the phone I noticed:

  • It’s small and flat. It takes time to get used to, since all the keys are so close to one another.

  • The cover is brushed metal and not cheap plastic... so cool!

  • You can’t text message in any language other than English, even though menus are available in Chinese.

  • The camera sucks, judging by the picture of the mysterious wild panda sighting in the last post.

    Then again, all I needed is a phone, who in the world would be in their right mind to compare the photo quality with a *Canon digital camera anyway?

    *You know where my loyalty stands ;)

  • Text messaging ~ Motorola uses it's proprietary iTap system.

    I love Nokia’s T9 system (messaging predictive text input) much better than the rest. But honestly I am starting to change my mind about that, even though this Motorola takes a wee while to get used to. I can see that iTap is a lot better than what people give it credit for. Let's compare...

    iTap CONS
    For example, when typing a non-standard word such as “Xceed”:
    Nokia’s T9 will prompt you with different combination of letters, and choices of words. When you finally decide that the choices are not what you want, you will be prompted by the system to input a word manually. Once done, the word will be used in the current message, and stored in the dictionary for future messages.

    Motorola’s iTap will also go through a list of words. At the end of it, if there were nothing that suits your needs, you’d have to delete the whole word, and start all over, switch to manual input mode, and type.

    *What a waste of time!

  • PROS
    Note though, that ANY word you type on iTap, not only in messages, but also names in the address book, will be stored in iTap for any future use. So when you get a brand new phone, it might take awhile to get the empty iTap dictionary going. But after some time, it gets better. This is the strongest point of Motorola over the others, because T9 ‘remembers’ only when in messaging mode.

    Another key thing about Motorola’s iTap is that it does symbols really well, such as the apostrophes. Typing a word such as “Vincent’s” on iTap will be no problem. It even remembers smileys of the likes of “:)”.

    Smileys are absolutely hopeless with the likes of T9. By the time you get to “Vincent”, and try to continue with “ 's ”, it would have switched off when you press the 1-button (symbols). Manual mode is needed input the last two characters.

    Bravo iTap!

Note that I bought this phone in Kota Kinabalu. Initially, I thought it would be more expensive, comparing with the "main land" on the likes of grocery and car prices. I compared prices with those my sister quoted me from around Kuala Lumpur, between RM750 (USD$200) ~ RM850 (USD$226). It isn't even guaranteed that I'd get an original warranty.

*Surprise surprise!

I believe I got a good deal ~ RM670 (USD$180), which includes all original Motorola warranty. From what I hear from word of mouth, KK is indeed cheaper overall, simply due to the competition.

Come buy a phone in KK!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Nature: Wild Pandas in Borneo

Coming into work a few days ago, we found thrash sprawled outside the site office in a total mess.

Before being cleaned up by the cleaning lady, I managed to capture a quick and dirty shot with my new *ehem.

I swear it was wild Pandas on the loose in Borneo, tearing up thrash bins at night!

Well, of course... that's all subject to blog reader scrutiny. :P