27 December 2007

Jakarta’s Public Transportation

Back in Kuala Lumpur, I rely solely on the LRT to commute to work. Even though my office in KL is only about 5 km away from home, I prefer taking the LRT. Return ticket would only cost me RM2.

No frantic search for parking space. No parking tickets to pay and no fuel cost.

Every morning I would walk to the LRT station, which is about 500m from my house. The journey on the LRT to the office would take less than 5 minutes. After three stations, I would disembark and walk for about 600m to my office building.

Senangkan? Bukannya aku takde kereta but I find it a whole lot easier using the LRT.

Most of the times, when I have errands to run in the city centre, I would opt for the LRT (unless kalo urusan tu kat KLCC aku drive coz senang pakai Ampang elevated highway).

Sometimes, when the place which I was heading to has no LRT line, I would take the public bus. Hey, I still use the public bus in KL ok. The last was during my Raya holidays in October. Masa tu aku nak gi Jln Raja Chulan from Puduraya.

Takde mende nak di malukan. I grew up taking public buses. Sekali sekala tu buat le mende yang selalu kita buat masa kita susah dulu. It would help keep our feet firm on the ground and remind us to be grateful for what Allah has given (loaned) us.

I have friends who live very near to the LRT station and whose office is just a stone’s throw away from the LRT station but still insist on driving to work. Aku tak paham betul le dema ni. Pemalas betul. Ni le masalah ngan orang-orang Malaysia ni.

If something requires them to walk just a short distance, they would rather not do it. Notice how at parking bays people would desperately search for parking lots nearest to the mall entrance even though there are plenty vacant spaces available some distance away? Why? Because memang dasar pemalas tak nak jalan jauh sikit. Ada setengah tu sanggup double park semata-mata tak nak jalan sepelaung je.

If this is the attitude of most KLites, constructing miles after miles of new LRT lines would not help in lessening traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur.

We should be grateful KL ada LRT, monorail dan komuter nih (though I believe the operators could do a lot more in maintaining high standard of services). Kalo kat Jakarta, abisle kome.

LRT? Mimpile. Monorail? Dah bertahun dah start construction tapi yang sempat siap tiangnye aje. A testament of Indonesian efficiency.

In the absence of modern and efficient public mode of transportation, the people of Jakarta rely on a host of public transportation services.

Firstly there’s the TransJakarta or popularly known as Busway. The poor man’s version of LRT.

It’s a bus service which operates using a designated lane along the main roads. Other vehicles are prohibited from using this lane. Along the routes, there are bus stops or halte at strategic points.

The buses used are also specially designed in which the doors are placed higher than the normal bus. Hence, these buses could only make their stops at the halte where there are raised platforms where commuters would embark and disembark.

Inile rope Busway tu...

Recently, the routes have been expanded to many parts of Jakarta and soon it will reach Pondok Indah, much to the chagrin of the rich residents of Pondok Indah. Construction of the Busway lane had just started in front of my office. Traffic has become worse ever since. The once three lanes of road have now been reduced to only two for each direction.

Then, there’s the MetroMini. Ni le raja segala raja atas jalan kat Jakarta. Remember KL’s own mini buses which not long ago ruled the streets in KL? Haah… sama le tu ngan MetroMini…. Tapi darab ngan sepuluh.

Kalo bus mini KL at the near end of it’s life dulu ada le jugak improve dengan better looking buses siap ngan aircond, tapi MetroMini kat Jakarta ni seemed to be stuck in a time machine.

Bas ni tak evolve... sama je sejak dulu. Drebar bas plak mcm jahanam...

Once, as I was flipping through TV channels, I saw an Indonesian movie (from the gigantic hair-do of the actress, I reckon the movie was made in the 8o’s) and in one of the scenes it showed the MetroMini. Memang sama dengan sekarang! Tak berubah langsung!

If Bangkok has it’s tuk-tuks, Jakarta has Bajaj.

Bajaj is a modified three-wheeled motorbike with 2nd row seats which could fit two (average sized adults) comfortably. What’s not so comfortable about riding on a Bajaj is the black smoke emitting from its’ exhaust pipe.

I’ve tried using the Bajaj once but decided against it because when I was negotiating the price for a short ride to my apartment from Pasaraya Grande, I was taken aback by the asking charge. Baik aku naik teksi. Sama je harga. Air-cond lagi.

Makcik tudung merah tengah usha drebar Bajaj... chenta ka?

However, Bajajs are not allowed on the main boulevards. Cuma jalan2 kecil aje.

Lastly, there’s the Ojek.

Anyone with a motorbike can be an Ojek. Ojek is very convenient if you would like to get from point A to point B in the shortest time. The Ojek would take you on a terror ride weaving through Jakarta’s traffic. Make sure you have insurance coverage before taking one of these.

It is quite risky taking Ojek. Especially at night. Ye la… mana tau di kidnapnya bawak tempat2 takde orang then di rompak, tak ke naya. Jangan terlalu percaya sangat ngan Ojek ni. But of course bukan semua le yang jahat. It’s better to exercise some caution than be sorry.

As for myself, I rely solely on taxis. Bukannya mengada taknak naik Bajaj or Ojek, but as I mentioned earlier, sometimes they would ask for exorbitant charges more so when they know you’re a foreigner. Kekadang stress betul nak bertekak nak dapat harga rendah.

Mind you, taxi drivers do give problems too. In my two years in Jakarta, seldom I encountered a taxi driver who would return my change. The classic excuse used “nggak ada uang kecil”.

Once I hailed a cab from Kemang to return to my apartment which was about 1km away. Upon reaching the apartment lobby, I glanced at the meter and it showed Rp8,000. And I gave the taxi driver the exact amount.

Taxi driver : “Kurang ini pak. Mana ada taksi ongkosnya Rp8,000”.

Me : “Itu argonya Rp8,000, saya bayar Rp8,000” (argo = meter)

Taxi driver : “Bapak pikir ini Bajaj? Minim Rp15,000 dong!” (in a raised voice)

Me : “Di mana ada tulis ongkos minim Rp15,000? Mana? Mana?” (in a slightly raised voice)

Taxi driver : “Emang Rp15,000. Lain kali bapak naik bajaj aja nggak usah naik taksi!”.

Me : “Ambil ini uang Rp15,000!. Saya tidak halalkan sampai kamu mati!!

I did not hand over the money to him. I threw it onto the backseat and slammed the rear passenger door. That’s for raising his voice with me.

To those planning to visit Jakarta, it is highly recommended to take Bluebird taxis. The taxis are clean (Vios paling baru ok). Most of the drivers are courteous and they use the meter all the time. The unpleasant experience above was not from a Bluebird taxi.

Sapa yang rindu dengan bas mini KL tu boleh le try MetroMini. Ehh… lupa… MetroMini kat sini ada onboard entertainment. Kalo time berenti kat traffic light tu, ada Ariel and Kris Dayanti wannabes siap ngan gitar nyanyi2 dalam bas.

Preview of my next entry:

Cuci kain ker?

Bisa? Bonar?

I just got back from Pondok Indah Mall. My mission was to search for a new water dispenser to replace the old one in the office.

Not that the old one has broken down but my boss insisted on getting a new one because he suspected the water storage in the old dispenser had been contaminated.

Typical me, instead of asking my staff to carry out this simple task of buying a new water dispenser, I wanted to do it myself.

So, this afternoon, there I was, standing in a shop similar to your neighbourhood Seng Hup store looking at several water dispensers which were on display.

After deciding on the type and brand to buy, I called the store assistant.

Me : "Mas, dispenser yang ini garansinya berapa tahun?"

Store assistant (SA) : "Merek ini garansinya satu tahun pak."

Me : "Terus, jika saya beli ongkos kirimannya berapa?"

SA : "Jika sekitar 5 kilo, gratis pak."

(kilo as in kilometres yea, bukan kilogram)

Me : "Ok deh, saya ambil yang ini aja. Dikirim ke kantor saya. Dekat aja kok. Di Wisma blablabla, Arteri Pondok Indah."

Me : "Tapi mas, sebelum itu, kamu ngecek dulu kapan bisa kirim. Saya maunya paling telat esok."(esok meaning Friday)

SA : "Ok pak. Saya cek dulu ya."

He rushed to the back of the store and came back a few moments later.

SA : "Maaf pak. Yang tipe ini lagi kosong" (tipe=type)

Me : "Kapan ada stock nya?"

SA : "Nggak pasti. Tapi kami pasti kirim ke kantor bapak hari Jum'at"

Me : "Barusan kamu bilang kamu nggak pasti stock baru kapan nyampeinya. Tapi kamu pasti akan kirim hari Jum'at?"

SA : "Benar pak."

Me : "Kapan stock barunya sampei?" (my 2nd time asking the same question sebab aku dah confused)

SA : "Itu nggak pasti pak."

Me : "Terus, kapan bisa dikirim ke kantor saya?"

SA : "Ya, kirimnya pasti hari Jum'at"

Me : "Ko nak kirim bulu hidung ko?" (dalam hati)

Me : "Nggak pa pa deh mas. Saya nggak percaya kamu bisa kirim besok."

And I walked off. Sometimes, the simplest of things could be so frustrating here in Jakarta. The guy was not sure when the new stock would arrive and yet he had the audacity to assure delivery on Friday.

When someone says "bisa" here, don't bet all your money on it. Most of the time, it's something they say just to please you or to seal a deal.

Indonesia Bisa!!

26 December 2007

Pasar Baroe

The government declared 21st and 24th December as cuti bersama, equivalent to compulsory leave. I only had two days of annual leave remaining and had planned to utilize those two days during the move to the new house. Terpaksa le pakei untuk cuti bersama ni.

Now you know why the Indonesians are less productive. Suka sangat cuti panjang.

Anyway, on Friday, feeling bored at home, I went on a tour to Pasar Baroe (baru).
Pintu gerbang Pasar Baroe

Apa ada kat situ?

Well, apart from the textiles shops, there were shops selling shoes, cameras (used and new), cosmetics and clothing. There’s even a Levi’s factory outlet but only certain items were cheaper than those sold at the Levi’s Store.

In addition to the shops lining the main street, there were peddlers selling t-shirts, head-scarves and even fireworks! Those on holiday in Jakarta looking for cheap t-shirts to be given away as souvenirs to friends back home (especially yang dok kirim pakei ayor liur je tu), then Pasar Baroe is the place to get them.
Pasar Baroe's main street
T-shirt Malaysia Truly Asia pun ada...

I wandered off into one of the buildings along the main street. It’s quite gloomy inside. Macam kat Campbell (korang tau ke Campbell kat maner?). There were three floors. On the ground floor, most of the shops were selling cosmetics. One has to be careful before purchasing cosmetics here as imitation are rampant. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell between the fake and original goods.

The packaging might look similar but the ingredients are worlds apart. Kalo tak takut rope jadi macam nenek kebayan sendayu tinggi boleh le try beli cosmetic murahan kat sini.

Model hazab memang takleh masuk kedai ni...

Naomi Campbell Dang Wangi & Tyra Banks Rakyats... elok benor le dress tu!!!
Merocun untuk New Year le ni...

Then, on the second floor, the theme was cameras. Shops providing camera repairs, shops selling new and used cameras, camera lenses, batteries, pokoknya semuanya berkaitan camera ada kat sini. I know nuts about the prices of cameras hence tak taule whether they were cheaper compared to other places.

Oh… upon reaching the second floor, I was stopped by a man. He was speaking in the softest tone bordering whisper.

“Tsskk.. sssss….sssoseh..sssssoseh ….ssssosssseh”.

Aku : “Haaah?!!!”

“Mas mau beli kamera? Ayo saya tunjukin mas ke toko kamera”.

Sialan! Mati-mati aku ingat dia ni father chicken macam kat Bukit Bintang tu. Pehal jual kamera nak kena cakap pelan-pelan.

“Nggak mau”.

“Ayo mas ke toko kamera di situ. Kamera murah-murah lho”.

Dia ikut aku.

“Nggak mau”. Terus aku jalan selaju V. Anggamah tinggalkan dia. Menakutkan le pulak mamat ni.

On the top floor, you could find shops selling second hand clothes, kalo kat KL tu baju bundle le. Sesape yang rajin boleh le go through racks after racks of clothes. Aku tengok-tengok le jugak tapi tak ade yang berkenan. Furthermore, the condition of the clothes here are not as good as those found in KL’s kedai bundle.

Ayam yang penyet dihempap buntut Marieya gamaknya
Ni yang asli.... Yang tiruan Sadiah kewwww??

A tip before visiting Pasar Baroe. Dress down people!! Jangan nak mengada pakei hensem2 and cantik2 ngan sunglasses Prada le, kasut tumit tinggi, camera kat tangan le, dari 10 batu orang dah tau ko tourist. Susah nak haggle nanti.

Then, bila dah pakei baju ala kadar je tu, when the haggling takes place, limit your verbal communication. Kalo cakap banyak bebenor, your accent might give away your identity. Once they know you’re a Malaysian, the starting price might be higher and there is a big possibility of them asking about Siti Nurhaliza. Seriously, I get this question a lot. Bosan tul nak jawab.

After almost an hour at Pasar Baroe, I left for Grand Indonesia for lunch. Grand Indonesia is the latest addition to the many malls in Jakarta. It is the mother of all malls. Besar giler tempat nih.

Setakat window shopping je la. Tak mampu aku nak beli barang kat situ. Here, you’d find high street brand boutiques and shops.

Ni le Grand Indonesia...

But it is a nice place to wind down as there are a number of cozy cafes. Even the food courts are tastefully designed. Sedap and tenang je mata memandang.

After my meal, I went to the ATM located on the basement floor. Immediately after stepping into the ATM area I was greeted by the security guards.

"Selamat siang pak... silahkan"

Then, after I withdrew my cash, as I was leaving the ever so friendly security guard said thank you!!! Can you believe that???

Now, what are the chances of that happening in Malaysia? I don't know about other banks, but as far as I could remember, jangankan Pak Guard, officer kat teller Maybank pun tak pernah sekalipun cakap terima kasih kat aku!!!

Seriously, Maybank especially, please treat your customers better instead of finding more ways to charge us for every little services.

25 December 2007

Hari Raya Qurban

It was my 2nd consecutive Raya Qurban in Jakarta.

At 5.45am I was all geared up to head to Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque for the Eid ul Adha’s prayers. By 6.00am the taxi arrived.

I was excited as this was going to be my first visit to Istiqlal.

I honestly thought I was early. Upon reaching Istiqlal, I was astonished to see thousands of people who were already creating a long queue at the main gate to enter the mosque.

Berdoyun-doyun orang nak masuk mesjid

Pakcik jual peci (ketayap)

The atmosphere was carnival-like. There were peddlers selling skull-caps, sandals, traditional medicines and of course, food. Dah rasa macam Pasar Tani plak dah.

I was approached by a teenage boy offering me a black plastic bag. Nasib baik aku dah bawak dari rumah. Plestik beg ni untuk isi kasut. Bijak tak aku? Anak sapa le ni.

Anyway, I managed to inched my way to the ground floor entrance. Tak pernah seumur hidup aku bila nak masuk masjid kena go through the metal detector apparatus. Well, that’s Jakarta folks! Nak masuk malls ada menda ni, nak masuk exhibition halls pun ade, nak masuk hotel ade, nak masuk masjid pun ada!

But I guessed it was only because the Bapak President was attending the prayers there, the police had to take precautionary measures.

Ok. Back to the mosque. This place was huge! I was a bit disoriented and followed the crowd hoping that I would be led to the main hall. Unfortunately, the main hall was already full and the jemaah were beginning to form saf on the huge open-air compound just outside the main hall.

I was left with no other option but to find a place on the open-air compound. But there was a slight problem. It seemed every other jemaah had brought along prayer mats and some had newspapers as the prayer mat.

Mana aku nak cekau paper ni? Nak mintak kat orang segan. Pesal la tak bawak dari rumah tadi. Bodoh tak aku? Anak sapa le ni.

I looked around and suddenly I saw a cowok standing not far from me holding what seemed to be newspapers. Alhamdulillah. I approached him and bought two pieces of newspapers for Rp1000 (40 sen). Enterprising sungguh mamat tu.

See that guy holding newspapers? I bought my "sejadah" from him.

Nampak mamat berdiri pakai vest jacket tu? He's a photographer complete with a portable printer hung from his neck. Enterprising sungguh.... anak sapa le ni.

I joined the saf and waited for about half an hour before it was announced Bapak President had arrived and soon after the payers began.

After the sermon, as the jemaah dispersed, I made my way to the main hall. Besor benor main hall nyer. There were four floors of prayer areas on each side of the hall. The huge columns were just breathtaking.

After snapping a few pics, I left the mosque. Since it was still early, I decided to walk to Monumen Nasional (Monas) which was adjacent to Istiqlal. I walked, and walked and walked. Bila naik teksi rasa macam dekat je. Tapi bila jalan kaki baru le tau betapa luas nyer kawasan Monas ni.

Monas, also dubbed as Soekarno's last erection.

Lepas Monas, bagaikan magic, tetiba aku sampai depan Istana Merdeka. Then, ntah apa kena ngan aku pagi tu, I continued my morning walk until I reached Starbucks (next to Sari Pan Pacific) where I had my Raya meal. Sedihkan, makan pagi raya kat Starbucks. Hehe… takde rendang tuna sandwich pun jadile.

Istana Merdeka

I was invited to my boss’s house for Raya lunch but I was too tired to go.Ye lah, pepagi dah jadi macam V. Anggamah jalan about 5 km mau nyer tak penat.

Juadah ku di pagi Raya...


My deepest condolences to my dear friend, Ms Talullah whose mother-in-law passed away on 21st December 2007.


19 December 2007

Salam Aidil Adha

Tonight is the eve of Eid Adha. Can't wait to hear the takbir from nearby mosques at my apartment. I know I'd feel homesick tonight more than any other days.

Selamat Hari Raya Qurban to all.

16 December 2007


It's that time of the year again. Sales galore!

Ni yang buat aku malas nak gi mall kat Jakarta ni. Daripada tak plan nak beli apa2, nanti terbeli pulak. Those of you who have been to Jakarta, you know how difficult it is to resist the temptation to not buy anything while at the malls.

I'm a discerning shopper. Before I decide on making my purchases, I would visit a few shops to compare the prices. The evaluation is more detailed if the item is expensive. But sometimes, bila datang mereng aku, for simple things like a pair of sandals I would go back and forth between shops just to complete my "evaluation".

I guess that's why I work in Finance and Accounting.

I don't mind pondering for weeks, before finally making my purchase. But this is only applicable to mende2 mahal le. Idak le aku gila nak pikior berminggu samada nak beli Milo or Ovaltine, M&M's or Smarties, Durex or Kamasutra (opsss...).

But last Sunday my habit took a holiday.

Feeling bored and craving for a glass of teh tarik, I headed to Senayan City to have breakfast at Little Penang.

On the ground floor concourse area of Senayan City, a Lego display was being held. There were two huge play-area where kids could freely build anything from the Legos provided. Kalo idak mengenangkan umur aku yang dah 30-an ni, mau aku duduk join bebudak tu.

I grew up playing with Lego. Kereta, rumah, bas, space-ship, kapal... you name it, semua aku pernah buat dengan Lego. Because of Lego, I even aspired to be an architect. Tapi apakan daya lukis rumah banglo pun dah jadi rope reban ayam semi-mewah.

All made from Lego

Sarung konak berlampu

So, after spending some time at the concourse area, I entered Debenhams. They were having a "Buy One, Get One Free" promotion but it would only start at 9pm and would end at 12am. Malas pulak nak kena datang malam-malam buta.

Then I came across this section where they were selling gadgets from notebooks to mini hi-fi's.

I saw Ipods.

Asked a few questions about the range of Ipods, the price, the accessories and ntah jin apa rasuk aku masa tu, aku pun terus beli Ipod Nano.

Punyale ketinggalan zaman aku ni sampaikan mamat yang dok explain macam mana nak upload lagu ke dalam Ipod tu senyum-senyum busuk kat aku.

Ms Talullah, ko kena explain banyak mende kat aku nanti. I spent considerable hours last night uploading songs which I believe there must be a faster way of doing it. Then there's the organizing folders, editing song titles, inserting name of artistes etc. Banyak aku nak tanya ko nih.

Nano-Nano Ku

Eventhough the decision to buy an Ipod was a compulsive and at the spur of the moment kind of thing, I guess I'll be using it a lot especially during my workouts. It will be useful too during my journey home in the taxi. Daripada aku melayan drebar teksi borak baik aku dengar Maliq & D'essentials.

I've bought an Ipod but still have not had my breakfast which was the reason I came to Senayan City in the first place. So off I went to Little Penang which was located on the 5th floor food court. I ordered teh tarik and from another food outlet, I ordered roti canai Italiano.

It's so hard to find good teh tarik in Jakarta but the one at Little Penang is the closest you could get to the real thing in Malaysia. And the price for a glass of teh tarik.... Rp18,000 or RM6.67 ringgit. Memang aku minum pelan-pelan. Savouring every single drop.

One of the things I hate about Jakarta is the price of food at foodcourts, cafes and restaurants. It's so bloody expensive! I'll blog about this soon.

Meanwhile, I'll have to upload more songs into my Nano-nano.

The RM6.67 teh tarik and roti canai Italiano

13 December 2007

Kintamani (Pt.3)

Tempat Berkubang

Mesah, Princess, Talullah & Halijjah Pose Angkut Tempayan

Marieya ker?

Malam2 Tempat Ni Jadi Tempat Bebudak Korea Beromen

12 December 2007

Kintamani (Pt. 2)

As I was downloading these pics, I received a call from HQ.

The new house has been approved!!!

Mimias... get ready to ributkan Jakarta this coming March!!!

11 December 2007


My CFO has yet to approve my new residence. I'm badly hoping that I would be able to get the house.

Meanwhile, here are some pics of my current residence.

10 December 2007


No. This entry is not on Public Service Announcement.

It's about Public Show of Affection - showing of affection between two people in public.

Am I against it? Depends.

If it's done in a manner where it is not bordering foreplay in porn movies it's OK with me. And it must be done in the appropriate places.

Gym is definately NOT one of those appropriate places. Well, certainly not for over the top PSA.

Last night I went for my workout. Reached there around 9pm. Started with my stretching. Then I headed to the free weights area. As usual my eyes were on AWACS mode.

Not far to my right was a male "sinetron" actor Adrian Maulana. Next to me on the sit up bench was another familiar face. Julie Estelle, an actress. Kalau dia ni ada kat sini sure boyfriend dia ada. True enough, her current bf, Moreno Soeprapto, the Indonesian A1 driver, was not far away doing lats pull downs. Kalau Kak Raja nengok mamat ni sure terus menari poco2 kat situ gak.

Suddenly, my eyes were drawn to a lady who was standing not far to my right just about where Adrian Maulana was.

To say she was visually annoying is an understatement. There's nothing wrong with her figure. But there's EVERYTHING wrong with her outfit.

NEVER in my entire gym-going life have I seen someone going to the gym looking like she had just clocked-out from a brothel and heads straight away to the gym.

If only I had bought the cam-phone earlier.

Let me describe the top. She was wearing a black top... err more like a bra complete with lacy strings. The midriff is made of sheer material.. yang mcm kain net tu.. giving a see-through effect. Oh yes.. I could clearly see her naval piercing.

She wore a bright purple bottom complete with flairs! AND she had make-up on complete with striking red lipstick!

She would put akak2 at Lorong Haji Taib to shame.. hands down!!

At first I thought she came alone. Well whaddya know... moments later she was joined by a buff guy who I presume was her boyfriend.

And that was when it started. The PSA.

There they were, at times seen cuddling, arms around each other, giggling, smooching, behaving like a couple of hormone charged teenagers (in this case they are waaayyyyyy past their teen life).

They were like exercise - smooch - exercise - cuddle - exercise - hug - exercise - another smooch - exercise - giggle - exercise - sit on the lap - exercise - big hug plus smooch. In that order.

Hey... don't get me wrong. I wasn't directing all my attention observing them but it so happened it was my free weights day and they were there at the free weights section all the time. It's impossible not to notice their PSA!

I don't know about others who were there but I certainly was loathing seeing their acts. Please lah... kat luar takleh nak beromen-romen ke? This is a gym for goodness sake! And please woman... go take lessons on how to dress up properly to the gym!

Ms Talullah, if you do come here, kindly bring along your gym attire. I'm entitled to bring a friend for a day visit to the gym. Seronok kalo ada sparring partner untuk kutuk orang2 mcm pompuan tu. And yes.... also untuk cuci mata.

09 December 2007

Busy Week

Just a short entry.

As the norm with every 1st half of the month, I'm very busy with closing of accounts and preparing management reports hence the absence of new updates.

Just had my appraisal done by my boss. He insist on giving me higher grades than last year. Baik pulak le boss aku ni. Aku siap cakap bagi sama mcm tahun lepas pun takpe... boddoh tak aku?

I viewed two potential houses last Friday.

The first house was nice. It has three bedrooms and three baths, one on the ground floor and two on the first floor. A living area on the ground floor and a family area on the first floor. And then there is one room and a toilet for the maid. It even has a garage for two cars, indoor rock garden and a nice front lawn.

At the time of visit, it was under minor renovation. The house is located in Pondok Indah, an elite area, Jakarta's equivalent to Tmn TAR.

However, the problem is, the house is too big! Plus, it is quite far from the main road and it will be difficult to get taxis. Susah ko nak jalan2 nanti Ms Talullah.

So, the property agent took me to the second house which she said was slightly smaller and cheaper.

Surprisingly, the second house looked better. It has a modern minimalist facade. It has three bedrooms and two baths with a maid quarter at the back. It also has an indoor courtyard (a small one though) and a nice front lawn!!! Boleh aku ngan Ms Talullah minum teh and makan goreng pisang sambil mengutuk org!!

The part I like most is that it is practically at the doorstep (rear doorstep la) of Pondok Indah Mall! Just to illustrate how near the mall is from the house - kalau kawan aku si Marieya jalan kaki boleh sampai dalam 4 minit... and Marieya is not even a fast walker!! Easy access to food, cinema, gym, ATMs, shops, taxis... pokoknya semuanya ada just next door!!

Apparently the house is owned by a young couple. The wife of the landlord was present that day. Cantik minah ni. Typical Indonesian features (tipikal features orang kaya and cantik Indon bukan mcm bibik2 korang yea). She's very accommodating and even agreed to a 6-month lease contract instead of one year.

This morning, I prepared and submitted a proposal to my CFO in KL seeking approval on the new house. Fingers crossed, doa banyak2, hopefully she approves la. Otherwise, I have to find another house which might not be as good as this one, location wise.

In the meantime, untuk tidak menjemukan Ms Talullah yang suka tengok gambar, I've found a suitable camera phone. I'll be getting it soon. Tunggu le.. aku letak pic banyak2 sampai muntah ko nengoknya.

03 December 2007

Mommy says....

I had an encounter with one weird woman.

You see, last Sunday, after my workout at the gym, I headed to Melayu Deli, my favourite nasi campur joint at the Pasaraya Grande foodcourt.

As it was not crowded, I decided to eat-in rather than take-away which I normally do. I scanned around and sat at a vacant table for four.

I ordered my meal. While waiting, instead of fiddling with my handphone, I looked around, observing others.

On my left was this middle aged lady who had just finished her meal and was busy pouting her lips putting on lipstick. She was alone.

The table on her left was vacant.

Diagonically across my table, were this group of people (the whole family I assume) having a hearty lunch.

The table next to them (directly across where I was seated) was vacant.

Out of nowhere, a lady (form her looks, I'd say she's in her mid 30s) suddenly appeared before me.

"Mas, ada orang nggak?" she asked while pointing to the chair right across me.

"Nggak ada" I replied thinking that she would drag the chair and join the table where the big family was having their lunch.

Surprise! Surprise!

She sat herself at my table, right in front of me!!

Well... ok. Instantly I felt awkward and to disguise that awkwardness I reached for my handphone. Yela... takkan nak tenung pompuan tu plak kan?

She ordered a drink. Alamak... biar betul pompuan nih... takkan nak minum kat meja aku??

Apa masalah minah ni? Why didn't she sit at the vacant tables? A lot went through my mind. Was she trying to sell something or worse still, was she one of those "gores dan menang" lady? Ye la... baru je aritu kutuk Ms Talullah... mana tau it's bad karma.

Aku jadi paranoid.

"Mas menunggu teman ya?"

Oh no!!... she's trying to start a conversation. The next thing you know I might be scratching the Gores dan Menang card!!

I just shook my head. Malas nak kuar suara.

"Saya lagi nunggu teman. Saya kira mas lagi nunggu teman."

Pehal ngan ko nih? Ada aku tanya ke ko tunggu sapa? If she was really waiting for her friend as she had claimed, why did she choose to sit with a total stranger? Lelaki pulak tu. Why couldn't she just sat at an empty table by herself and minding her own business? Or if she really had wanted a company while waiting for her friend, why didn't she sit at the table next to mine where the middle aged lady was sitting all alone (and was still putting on her lipstick... lama benor pakei lipstick pompuan tua ni... besor benor le bibior tu).

From paranoid, I turned to feeling highly irritated. My meal was about to be served. I hate the idea of being watched and having a conversation with a total stranger while eating. I had to do something.

It crossed my mind to switch to take-away but WTF menyusahkan diri sendiri just because of this stranger.

"Mas sendirian?"

Bodoh ke bahlol pompuan ni. Tak nampak ke aku sorang kat situ before ko happily decided to sit at my table right across my face. With that, I snapped.

"Maaf ya. Saya lagi nggak mood untuk bicara" while holding up my right hand with the palm facing her. Dalam hati "speak to my hand weirdo!!"

She was startled.

"Oh OK. Saya kira mas lagi nunggu teman karena saya juga menunggu teman."

Pehal le ko nak ulang apa ko cakap tadi.I continued fiddling with my handphone while putting on an irritated face.

I think she got the message. She quickly finish up her drink and left.

My meal arrived. I finally get to enjoy my lunch, alone. God knows what the conversation might lead to had I allowed her to continue sitting at my table.

Bukannya nak jadi sombong tak tentu pasal, but hey, there are so many ordinary looking weirdos out there whose intentions you might never know.

Masa kecik2 dulu mak aku selalu pesan kalau tunggu bas kat depan sekolah tu jangan layan orang-orang yang kita tak kenal... funny how it is still valid even though aku dah tua2 mcm ni.

02 December 2007

New Gym

I made a mistake joining Fitness First when I first arrived in Jakarta. On my first visit after signing up, the whole place felt like a pasar malam. The worst part is the members' seemingly lack of gym etiquette. The instructors were only friendly with those who engage them as Personal Trainers.

That was when I decided to join Bodylife.I truly love the atmosphere there. Okla... their equipment are a bit dated BUT the place is not overly crowded even during peak hours. The members are somewhat more civilised. The instructors are pleasant. Ramai bule (omputih) and a few Indonesian celebs.

Unfortunately, recently, the management decided to increase the monthly dues to Rp1.3 million (approx. RM481). Tak ke bunuh diri namanya tu? I don't mind if the raise is justified i.e new state-of-the-art equipment or additional facilities but the price increase does not come with these improvements.

The most hillarious part is when a gym staff told me that the management plans to make the gym an exclusive high-end gym BUT they are charging the new fees BEFORE they upgrade the equipment and facililities. BODOH NAK MAMPUS!!

After searching around for the perfect gym I finally settled for Celebrity Fitness Pondok Indah Mall. The sales personnel was honest when he said the gym is always crowded during peak hours but he says the crowd is lesser 8 pm onwards. The part I like best is that the gym closes at 12 midnite. Bolehle aku eksesais lambat and dalam ketenangan. Back in KL my gym hours are above 9pm.

Having been frequenting the gym for almost 8 years, you can basically categorise the members into 4 groups.

A) The serious ones.
They are serious with their fitness regime. You can easily tell this lot apart. They are always seen doing their workouts with determination written all over their face.

B) The casuals.
Once in a while you get to see them at the gym. They are the ones who join the gym just because it's the in-thing to do. This lot usually have lots of money at their disposal. In other words, orang kaya yang tak reti nak buat apa dengan duit dia.

C) The socials.
Going to the gym for them is like attending a social event where they expect to meet and make new friends on every visit. Sure, you are bound to make new friends at the gym but this lot make it THE purpose of their visit. You seldom see them on the exercise equipment. They are usually by the equipment chatting away and annoying other members.

D) The perverts.
They are seldom seen outside the changing room. Most of the time they are sweating away in the steam room/sauna or soaking in the jacuzzi for the longest times. They love people staring.

I'll be going to Celebrity Fitness for my first workout this Wednesday. Lets see if the place is worth the money I paid for.