23 May 2006

KL - the rest of the trip.

Okay .. nothing much happend after the drama of the first night.

we did however arrive at 6 am in KL bus station (pudu raya) and since both of us are so gundu and have not been to KL alone before, we had no idea where to go at that time. We were faced with a choice of three roads - only on the second day did i know where the three roads led to: 1. chinatown area, 2. the HOTEL, 3. train station. We chose the train station and decided that it is early so we could go and queue up for the tix to visit the skybridge at KLCC. I can now say that i have walked around KLCC at 6.20 am - no one was there or at least we thought so. We saw a signboard telling us the opening time for the skybridge (8.30 am) and there was no one at the queue so we went to have breaky.

Breakfast - the indian waiter preson only understood Malay so WF went safe and chose the nasi lemak that was on the table, those packet ones wrapped in banana leaf. Me being the brave and intrepid advanturer (well .. not really :) chose to have roti prata. BUT in malaysia, it is Roti Chennai and not prata. The waiter tried to ask if it was roti and with planta (which i guess sounds like PRATA but) or kaya. I thought that he meant Roti (as in toasted bread) so i chose kaya. What came out was roti prata (chennai) with KAYA. yummmm o_o ... but then it tasted not bad .. kinda like roti prata with sugar.

we madea pit stop to the toilets .. and we chose to use Mandarin's toilet. :) FYI their toilets are nice. If you are ever caught out in KLCC area with no place to go, visit Mandarin's toilets and there are sofas outside for you to rest/sleep/chat. Pretend that you belong and noone will come and bother you.. hehe

Skybridge - opening time was 8.30 an we arrived at 8.20 and saw no queue. We thought "great .. we are the first". Then i noticed that there was a map .. "You are HERE .. QUEUE up HERE (as in go left. then right, then down the escalator)" and what do you see... at least 60 pp in the Q already. BUT we were lucky when we reached the counter, someone gave up their tix and we were able to get the 9.15 am tix. BEWARE - there is a very LAME video at the holding area where they tell you that the twin towers is the first kind of project in malaysia. DUH ... WHERE ELSE WOULD IT BE?? PENANG? JOHORE? MALACCA? .. please...

We were able to finish up the skybridge walk and then the shops open. We walked till 12 plus and decided that we should go to the hotel. We walked out and there were LOTS of touters which got us irritated. We thought we should just take the monorail as it was near our hotel. We asked 'information" where it was and we followed the directions and walked to the station.

We wlkaed and walked and walked ... and walked .. but there was not station in sight. Then i saw that we were reaching bukit bintang and then we reached the area where our hotel is. We stupidly walked all the way to the hotel... my feet hurt but then now i KNOW where the bukit nanas monorail station is (exit the KLCC where the office lobby is and walk towards the open university building and then follow the road to the left. :) Lesson learnt!!

Nothing else stupid happened. Just that we were able to shop (i bought a few shirts/t-shirts, ties, and a cufflinks) and we ate a lot.

we got back at 11.45 pm sunday evening and then i went red-eyed and zombie-fied to work the next day. At least it was fun :)

KL Trip - first night and we are not even there yet

As some pp may know, i recently went to KL but i decided that i should go there and fully enjoy myself and stuff myself silly with the food and shopping :P .. so off i went with WF over the weekend.

The drama started in tryign to book the ticket. Being the DIY (anti-tour group) person, I thought i will book the hotel and bus separately instead of going to get those package. I went to Transnasional to get the bus tix - it was painful to get the tix as there was some prob with their system (more on this later) and also they do NOT accept credit cards or Netts (and the only atm was 10 mins away .. arghh).

So on the day of the bus to KL, WF and I rushed down to the bus depot to catch the 10 pm bus. We reached at 9.45 .. thinking that we were on time (or even early), contgratulating ourselves that we were on time and saying that we were going to sleep thoughout the trip to KL. BUT .... (dum dee dum dum ... this is the part where there is a flashback to the scene where there was a system error on their comp when issuing the tix) ... there was ANOTHER TWO PP BOOKED ON OUR SEATS!!! We stood in the bus while the bus driver (who cannot speak a word of english) go and check on the status of our seats. The tix seller basically told us that we cannot take the bus cos there was only one seat remaining and she will refund us the tix. I thought of cancelling the trip altogether and demanding that the bus coy also pay for our hotel (yes HH ... i did think of that :) ) BUT she offer to book us on the morning bus ride which would get us into KL at 1 pm, which is not good as we will waste half a day.

SO .. ala amazing race ... we had to rush to golden mile but the taxis were not picking us up. I suspect that they were all rushing to city hall area cos they will be able to get city charges and booking fees (BOO!! to all the taxi drivers that refused to pick us up). Luckily I went up an SBS bus and the driver told us his bus does go to golden mile. Even better .. there was a nice lady on the bus that gave us directions and said she will press the button for us when the bus stop comes.

We reached golden mile and went door to door asking if there was a bus going to KL. This was already 10.30 and the last bus have already left at 10.30 pm. The only other place was this travel agent that had a 12 midnight bus. We went there and we told that there was only two seats left but one of them was on hold by someone. We had to wait. Only at 11.15 were we told that the seats were available and we relaxed enough to go to toilet (BTW the toilets in golden mile are FILTHY, DISGUSTING AND CROCROACH INFESTED... DO NOT GO THERE!!).

No more dramas that night. ... the bus came and we went on it to KL.

7 May 2006

If you like danae and lucy...

Go read this collection of comics of them ... hilarious. Just LOVE danae!!

Congratualtion Mr Chiam

You are an institution. :)

Would vote for you if i was still in Potong Pasir.

6 May 2006

More pictures from Oman

These are pictures that you would not normally associate with a desert country :)

- nightscape when we were having dinner.

- this is their fantastic Al-Bhustan hotel. 6-star ... very chi-chi. Felt like as though we were in some kind of Arabian jewel box.

- another photo of us in front of Al-Bhustan

- the tunnel through the hill and shangri la was on the other side of it.

- the BEACH at Shangri la. It was an amazing view and there were a lot of caucasians sun-bathing themselves till lobster-red. Found out there that Oman is a popular beach vacation spot for Europeans.

Pix for Oman (finally)

these are some pic that you would expect from a trip to the middle east .. sand sand and more sand :) .. haha

- the sultan's palace. But apparently he does not use it unless for State visits.

- The Souq (marketplace) in Mutrah, Oman. Interesting things to look at but things are not cheap. A T-shirt was 4 Oman Rials, which is roughly $16 Sing.

- view from the hotel room

- view from another hotel room

- this is the biggest mosque in Oman and has the biggest CARPET in the world!

5 May 2006

Typical pics of Oman (not)..

sorry .. pictures will have to wait. Somehow it is taking too long to upload the pictures. I will continue tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Trip to Oman

It has been a long time since i have blogged about anything. Mainly becuase I have been busy with work and have nothing really interesting to blog about. Also, can't really blog about my work since i am suspect it might be breaking some laws (who knows?). But recently I have been Oman for business trip and at least THAT is something to blog about. I have photos to show too :)

The temperature there was an insane 40+ degrees .. kinda like melbourne in summer only somehow it was much worse. Prob due to the fact that i was mostly in work clothes (jacket, shirt and pants) or jeans. I thought that i would be quite inappropriate for me to wear shorts and T-shirt around. The surprising thing is that there are SO MANY South Asians and Filippinos and Oman working - South Asians in the hard labour areas or menial tasks; Filippinos more in the service sectors, like waitering or sales.

It was really funny that our host was so nice that it became more like a holiday rather than a business trip. After the first day of meeting, we were offered the car and driver to go sightseeing. And then the host had a dinner for us. After the second day of meeting, we were picked up by our host and (get this) brought to his house, like guests, to meet his family. So Amazing!! This is not a normal business trip now is it. .. After meeting his family, WE (us, host, and WIFE AND KIDS) went to the mall to have dinner. After that, the goodbyes became more like one of friends departing rather than one of business colleagues. VERY STRAnGE but nice :)

Anyway, the only thing i can complain about is that there was a HUGE wait in the Bahrain airport for the transit flight. We had to while away 5 hours in the airport and so i ended up changing all my Oman Rials to Bahrain Dinars and I spent all of the Dinars at the duty free shop. I bought some wine (french chardonnay). Don't ask me what is the name... i have no idea. I just bought it cos the wine cost the exact amount I had in Dinars.

All out, it was a very interesting experience. ... and Now on the pix.