Monthly Archives: March 2010

Funny snake oil advert found at a Sabahan tamu

If there’s a perfect example of Mangrish, this is a strong contender.

Greeted with this, would you still buy? Someone quipped that if you apply this to any part of your body, you’d surely die. Another commented that the only thing this ointment cannot do is make one rich quicker.

Somebody tried calling the number belonging to a Pak Kadil but was greeted by voicemail.

Let’s just say that that Pak Kadil is not quite ready for mass catalog printing of his “merchandise” just yet.

Exact location of tamu unknown.

tamu = weekly open-air market

Pitimungan Do Dusun

The end of the drought in Sabah is here?

UPDATE 31st March 2010

It did not rain at all, at least in Kota Kinabalu on the 30th and today there was a little rain. Nothing like what happened on Monday though. So it would seem that what happened then was merely a respite.


UPDATE 29th March 2010

Yes, it definitely seems to have ended. Rain started falling at 10am in Kota Kinabalu. As I drove home to Penampang during lunchtime, it was pouring. The rain was so heavy that the next day, accidents caused by it were reported – websites like must’ve seen a jolt in the number of readership.

The contrast between yellowed roadside grass and heavy rain pouring on it was a magical sight. The switch was so radical that apprehension towards prolonged drought quickly turned into apprehension towards the possibility of flash floods!


After about 2 months of searing heat and very little rain, is it going to rain cats and dogs soon in and around Kota Kinabalu? As pointed out by Lee this afternoon, according to the BBC, the weather forecast for Kota Kinabalu for the next few days is as follows:

Then, if you type “kota kinabalu weather forecast” or similar on google, you’d get:

The following forecast by CNN seems more accurate, as I didn’t see any rain during lunchtime today – instead it was extremely warm:

Well, what do local meteorologists say? The weathermen at Jabatan Meteorologi Negara were less optimistic about rain falling today and tomorrow, but they did predict that it would rain every afternoon after that.

Whatever it is, we are surely looking forward to water from the heavens.

Celcom does not allow online topping up of AirCash account

AirCash seems to be a grand idea, never mind its RM1,500 limit. Registration is also quick and easy.

However, I was surprised to learn that it is not possible to top up Celcom AirCash online; you’d have to trudge offline to a dealer/branch to get that done. This was confirmed by Celcom Careline which I called during lunchtime.

It’s like hearing you need another round of toilet-trip-galore-inducing colon cleansing.

But why not? I can reload my Xpax prepaid airtime via Maybank2U, so why can’t the same thing be done with AirCash?

The lady at the other end of the line could not answer that question.

RM130,000 printer on display at Sabah Trade Centre, Kota Kinabalu

UPDATE 19 March 2010

On another corner of the same booth is what is billed the world’s first UV inkjet printer/cutter, the Roland DG VersaUV LEC-300 with a list price of USD52,495, that’s more than RM173,000!


17 March 2010

The “Ekspo Industri Desa Malaysia dan Pameran Mesin IKS Antarabangsa 2010″ (2010 Malaysian Rural Industries Expo and International SME Machinery Exhibition) is on at Sabah Trade Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 18-21st March 2010.

Among the things I saw on display is the world’s first inkjet printer/cutter with metallic silver ink, the Roland DG Soljet Pro III XC-540MT, which is a 54” (137cm) inkjet printer/cutter featuring CMYK, white and new, metallic silver, ink. According to the manufacturer’s website, its cost is almost USD40,000 (more than RM132,000!).

But what caught my eye initially was the brand name: the very name Roland evokes images of keyboards/synthesisers in my head, much like the name Omnipage reminds me of scanning software.

Also on display is the only slightly less expensive Roland DG VersaCAMM VS-640, which, according to the same website, costs more than USD26,000 (more than RM85,000).

Bicycles will never be a popular mode of transport in Sabah?

I’ve seen it countless times on TV, but during my recent visit to China I saw it with my own eyes: there are really a lot of bicycles in China used on public roads, and hardly any motorcycles. And quite a lot of them are electric-powered bicycles.

Perhaps as a direct result of this practice, most of the locals I saw looked fit and lean, xenadrine reviews postponable for the time being.

At the same time, I also saw many nice cars and very few shoddy-looking ones.

Admittedly the cities I visited had flat roads, so that could account for the popularity, but perhaps Sabah roads are only flat for a short distance before it gets to a hilly part. But what if electric-powered bicycles get heavily marketed in this part of the world?

Breathtaking view of Mount Kinabalu from plane going north

Prior to 4th March, I had never done a plane trip going north of Kota Kinabalu before: it was either West or East.

So on a direct flight to Shenzhen, a few minutes after taking off from KKIA I was treated to the following mesmerising sight, where Mount Kinabalu and the coastline are visible at the same time:

A closeup of the mountain, with clouds at the bottom of the photo:

So awe-inspiring was the sight that I momentarily forgot to eat my breakfast, now how about that for a natural appetite suppressant?

Daredevils at Chimelong International Circus, Guangzhou, China

During my recent trip to China we went to see the night show at Chimelong International Circus, Guangzhou. One of the most interesting stunts was what I’d call the Ferris Wheel of Death.

These daredevils performed without any safety nets or harnesses whatsoever.

A video of them in action:

These guys and gals are amazingly strong and supple, avid browsers of muscle milk reviews perhaps?

And there’s another amazing act during the same show, a very high dive in the dark:

China trip: Shenzen, Guangzhou, Panyu

Early March 2010: it was my first overseas trip in almost 10 years.

The People’s Republic of China – I kept reminding myself: remember, you’re in a communist country. That wasn’t too difficult to keep up: at many buildings the red flag could be seen.

It takes less than 3 hours direct flight via Air Asia from Kota Kinabalu.

5 days, 4 nights – first 2 days were surprisingly warm – only slightly less warm than El Nino shrouded Sabah. Then the last 2 days were cold: must’ve been below 10C at night.

Other tidbits seen/learnt:

I was quite surprised to see a Malaysian connection at Huanghuagang Martyrs Memorial Park in Guangzhou. Amongst the 72 stones representing the 72 people who died in the unsuccessful 1911 uprising by revolutionaries against the Qing Dynasty was one referencing Kuala Lumpur and another referencing Muar:

China is really Feng Shui-land, and Engrish-land:

They really take International Women’s Day seriously, which fell on 8th March, our last day there. Women get preferential treatment, like jumping queues at popular shows, on that day. We ordered takeaway at McDonald’s on Monday morning, and they included FOC what else but tea for my wife.

Rosedale Hotel in Guangzhou (4 stars) had spacious, excellent rooms. The other one at Shenzhen, Malaysian-owned Sunon Holiday Villa had much smaller rooms (like Cititel MidValley KL). But they had astoundingly many channels on the hotel TV: 42 in Guangzhou and 63 at Shenzhen!

Every meal in the tour was heavy. 11-course lunches are the norm. Some dishes are not quite what one would expect in typical Malaysian Chinese cuisine:

They serve local beer with every meal: either Tsingtao or Kingway. There’s another local brand I saw: Pearl River. All very cheap, equivalent of about RM2 even at 7-11.

Some said I could find pork at KFC / McDonald’s there but went I went to check them out – couldn’t find any in the menu.

Went to one of those 3-door-to-go-thru “warehouses” at Lo Wu City, Shenzhen (I’d call them Sarang Tikus Sdn Bhd) where fake (some say “used actual raw material”) designer goods can be bought at probably a quarter of the original asking price, and merely observing negotiations underway is an interesting social experiment in itself, even if you don’t understand a word being said. If I learnt and applied anything in this respect, it’s “stand your ground, no matter what tantrum they throw, then walk away slowly”: most of the time they’d call out and give you what you want.

Another person said prices at Shenzen, probably the fake goods capital of the world, is not like it used to be: much higher now.

Anything and everything was on sale, electronic cigarettes included. But perhaps the most unforgettable sight of the whole trip was seeing, with my own eyes, centipedes and scorpions on sticks being sold on one of the pedestrian streets in Guangzhou.

Still a common sight at Sabahan houses?

When I was small, I remember that many of the houses that I visited had animals heads hung on walls, like so:

Popular animals seem to be the buffalo and the deer – with the horns being the centrepiece.

Definitely adds an exotic touch to the home living room – if ever I get hold of one of those highly sought after Outer banks foreclosures, I’d consider putting one of these babies on them walls.

It seems to be very much “in fashion” now, but amongst younger Sabahans, this is probably not practiced anymore. Modern small kids could be terrified of these heads jutting out of walls with unblinking big eyes staring right at them.

Car scratched by hit-and-run woman

During lunchtime today, somewhere in Penampang, I legally parked my car just as a woman parked next to me driving a 4WD backed out.

I was still in the car when I felt a movement; when I turned back I saw that the woman’s left front bumper vehicle had made contact with the right hand side of my car, right above the right back wheel.

I looked at the lady, our eyes met. I stepped out of the car, she drove off. Someone mentioned that I must’ve worn a bouncer’s suit, but perhaps she was quite jittery after consuming prenatal vitamins, I’ll never know the real reason as I didn’t bother to make a report.

Damage was quite minimal anyway: