Friday, November 28, 2008

The day the cars stood still

Was there something special I missed about today?

It seemed like everyone else in Kota Kinabalu knew about it except me and my wife. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the JAM! It was ridiculous! It seemed like every household in KK decided to go to town today and so, jammed the whole city up. I wanted to go to the post office to pick up a package (which was delivered when I wasn't home, btw. Why do they always come when no one's at home?), but all my running to the post office from my parked car (it was almost five) was in vain. Upon reaching the counter, the lady said that that section was closed already. Apparently, they close at 4.30 pm (why?). The worst thing was, she also said that I could only collect my package on Monday. Aarrrrgh!

After that fiasco, we headed to Wawasan Plaza because my wife wanted to go to Parkson to exchange her member points for some items. So, we were approaching the place, and we faced a jam into the entry of the complex. Knowing another entry point, I drove round and was enjoying a smoother ride until I faced another standstill. And we stayed in the queue for half an hour, just to get to the parking. Aarrgghh!

So, when we finally got to the parking, we went to Parkson. Wife got her items, and we decided to go to Giant (yes, that same leading low-price leader I talked about before) to get some diapers for Adelle since it was on offer. So, wife took one pack and we proceeded to the counter. And the cashier scanned it, and the price was not the one on offer. Wife told her about the offer price we saw in the newspaper advert (the offer price was RM39.99, usual was RM51.99), but she didn't seem to know anything about it. So, without saying another word she left her counter, and went somewhere (to see her superior, we hoped).

And so, we waited. And waited some more. It was a good 15 minutes I think by the time she came back, and she told us that the offer was for a different range of the same brand. But we insisted that it wasn't. Anyway, wife mumbled about cutting out the advertisement to show her the next time and that ended our rather unpleasant affair at that place again (I never learn, do I?). Right after that, we left, got into the car...

and faced another jam!


Foul-mood-inducing outing today. Sheesh!

Tis the season to give

Hi peeps.

It's been a long while. I know I'm on a long break right now, and I 'm supposed to have all this free time on my hands, but that's just it...the holiday bug has gotten to every bit of me, especially my brain and fingers. I've been wanting to post so many times, but boy, the transformation of that desire into actual action is downright tough!

But, something's moved me to post today. My church is organising a Christmas concert next week so I'm just doing my bit to promote it. It's called "Festival of Hope", and though I'm not exactly sure what is going to happen in the concert, you'll definitely be enjoying some Christmas carols sung by a full-fledged choir. You'll have to pay to get in (RM30, RM50, RM100 and RM15 for students) but the proceeds will all go to several children's homes here in Sabah. All in all, it's for a good cause and what better time to show the spirit of giving than at Christmas time right.

Just to share with you a video my church did to promote the event.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Shopping blues

Have been wanting to check out a new landmark in Kota Kinabalu but was not able to do so until today. That landmark is KK Times Square. It was opened not too long ago, though it has been completed for many months now. The architecture is not too shabby, and the whole place has a kind of regal feel to it but one thing that it clearly lacks is the one thing that makes such places come alive - tenants. During our short tour of the place, it seems that the entire place has just eight! And there are hundreds of lots!

Probably it has something to do with the accessibility to the place (you can only get there from one side of the road. You'd have to make a u-turn if you're coming the other way. And the u-turn is a long way off), but I think it has more to do with the glut in the commercial buildings here. KK is booming, no doubt. Shopping complexes are being built left, right and centre, but more often than not, a lot of the shoplots in these complexes are empty. You see, Kota Kinabalu is a small city and there are only so many people who can visit these places at any one time. Already, we have a few examples of these - even shopping complexes right within the city perimeter.

Yet, still more shopping complexes are coming up. There are at least 4 more big projects in progress that I know of within a 20km radius of Kota Kinabalu. So, I wonder - where are the shop owners going to find their customers?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trying to get back on track


I've really done it this time. It's been two whole weeks since I've written anything substantial here. It had nothing to do with the lack of material, nor was it due to the lack of was just, well, not done.

So, I thought I'd drop a little something here just to get things started again. Some two weeks ago, my sister-in-law who's in Melbourne tells my wife and I that she's going to get married (finally! Congrats to you and Tim!) and now she's all busy trying to plan for the big, momentous occasion. Well, I've been appointed the wedding photographer, and I must say that I'm pretty much excited about it already, though the wedding is still pretty far off. I'm already starting to think of what kind of shots I'd be going after. And they so kindly offered to buy me a book on wedding photography as my Christmas present (which I will gladly take, thank you!) and so I've been browsing which one is worth buying. And I think I've found one...

Closer to home, my wife just got her exam results today. It was for the test all government servants have to sit for to measure your competence in discharging your duties. The method for measuring your capability? Multiple choice questions! But lest you think that the exam is a piece of cake, it took both me and my wife three tries before we could get a distinction (required for a pay increase). I got mine last year, and she got hers today. So, it was reason enough to celebrate.

We went to Kampung Nelayan Seafood Restaurant. It's a floating restaurant, and it's specialties are steamboat and barbecue steamboat. We opted for the original steamboat since it's been quite some time since we last had it. So the food came, and it was pretty ordinary. The stock in which you boil your food was almost Evian-like: sparkling clear (that would mean pretty much msg laden without actual stock). But, we enjoyed it anyway.

Adelle had the greatest fun. There is a live cultural show every night at about 7.45 so we were in the middle of dinner when it started. We had told Adelle that there would be dancing earlier, and when she heard the live traditional music starting, she became all excited! She quickly wanted to go nearer the stage (our table was not too far away, but it was at an awkward viewing angle) and asked me to carry her there. She was nothing short of memesmerized by the whole performance. The show consisted of several traditional dances from the various indigenous tribes here in Sabah, and at one point, my wife actually had the opportunity to try out a blowpipe! Her prey - a bright yellow balloon. She missed the first time, but a loud pop rewarded her the second time she tried.

We stayed until the end of the show before leaving home. It was a simple, relaxing and enjoyable dinner all in all.

p.s. School holidays are coming soon!!! Only 9 days of school to go!