Wednesday, April 25, 2007
1.1 Million Cheap Tickets Up For Grabs
By WONG SAI WAN and ROYCE CHEAH KUALA LUMPUR:
Malaysians can now look forward to more cheap air fares as the country’s two rival airlines are offering some 1.1 million cut-price seats to domestic and international destinations.
Prices as low as RM1 for domestic AirAsia flights and RM19 for domestic Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flights will make passengers spoilt for choice.
AirAsia is also offering low-price seats for international destinations with one-way flights to Macau from RM61 and Chiang Mai from RM41. Flights to holiday destinations like Phuket will cost RM21 or to Hanoi from RM51.
MAS’ cheapest flight is for a one-way ticket to Penang, Johor Baru or Kuantan whereas the most expensive tickets are at RM139 to Labuan and Kota Kinabalu.
The sales period for AirAsia is from April 23 to 29 for travel between Oct 1 and March 29 next year.
As for MAS, the sales period is from April 23 to 28 for travel between May 7 and May 22, and, June 14 and June 30. However, travel will be restricted to certain days within those periods for some destinations.
MAS’ cheap fares fall under its SuperSavers promotion with 500,000 tickets allocated over six days for domestic locations only.
AirAsia’s low fares promotion is a celebration of its recent F1 Grand Prix partnership with the AT&T Williams team, with the 600,000 low-fare seats offer going under its Fast & Furious campaign.
Both airlines are only allowing booking of seats online and prices do not include airport tax and other surcharges.
AirAsia and MAS denied they were in a price war, saying the offer had already been planned for some time.
AirAsia executive vice-president Kathleen Tan said they were “extremely flattered to observe other carriers imitating our successful marketing model.”
She added that AirAsia promises the lowest fare that no other carrier could match all year round.
“I will let the public decide who is responding to a price war. Smart consumers will vote with their own pockets,” Tan said .
MAS senior general manager for network revenue management Bernard Francis denied that the carrier was copying AirAsia.
“We have a strategic rollout plan for our promotions. In fact, from December last year, we started our monthly promotions for domestic routes to encourage travel in support of Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and to address lean travel periods,” Francis said in an interview.
When asked if MAS was reacting to a market that demanded such offers, he said MAS promotions were targeted and planned.
“In addition to attractive fares offered during the Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair and during MATTA fair, we will continue to do a series of domestic and international promotions this year to stimulate travel as part of our strategy to maximise revenue opportunities,” he added.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Go to http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/24/tillman.hearing/index.html and read it yourself and you'll know what Im talking about.
After the failed attempt at securing the "best deal" off we go to the Asian Mall to get something to drink and eat. Iv never been there before so the moment I stepped into the mall, I was taken back to KL. Sg Wang Plaza to be exact! Well, almost. The kind of shops and food court reminds me of sg wang plaza except that everything is in viatnamese rather than cantonese/english/malay and the fact that the food vendors were surprisingly rude. Yes, you read me correctly. They were not at all friendly unlike the viatnamese in Vietnam. When I visited Vietnam in 2003, the people were very friendly and polite. I was taken aback alright! What happen to them? Does living in the US make them lose all that that good quality? Im not saying all of them are rude but Iv never been treated that way before. How can you be rude to your customers? Maybe they just dont care if we dont come back since there's a huge viatnamese community esp in OC?
Anyways, overall it was a nice day. I got to hang out with my friends and not to mention having had a dose of sugar cane juice and some durian. ;)
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Friends will always be there for you when you need them not just when they need you and will never ever put you in a danger. You should always know and select the friends that you're hanging out with. Just because you know that person for years or even grew up with them, doesnt necessarily mean they're good for you nor justify why you should still be "friends".
The world that we're living now is not like what it used to be. Not to mention the so-called "peer-pressure". Why is it that people nowadays like to use the word "peer-pressure" anyway? Why do some people think that being popular or famous or rich give them the right to belittle others? And why do others feel like they "must" follow suit? How many times have we heard on the news about school children going berserk or even killed? The recent one is of course the VA-Tech massacre. (My heart and prayers to all the victims and their families).
I know its almost impossible to know what people are going to do or how they're going to react or even worse, retaliate to what you did to them. And that's why its first and foremost, up to the parents to teach the kids to be responsible for their actions. Make it known to them that actions=responsibilities. If you know your kids are lying to you and keep on lying to your face when you know they're lying, do something about it for goodness sake! And I dont mean just, "no tv for a week" kinda thing.
You may find it "funny" for me to talk about this topic since we ourselves dont have any kids yet. I believe that you dont need to have 1 before you can talk about it just like when my friends asked for my opinion about their marriages when I was not even seeing anybody. I admit that when I see/hear things like that, Id immediately think of how my parents would react or what kind of punishment I would get from them. I may have been a pretty good kid when I was young but I was really stubborn. I never cut class or made noices in-between classes. During my primary school time at SRk(2) Bt 4, Jln Ipoh, KL (equivalent to grade school) my Math & English teacher always use my name as an example to the other kids. Im not being vain here. I never felt proud because of that. To me, I just didnt see any reason why I should be making noices when I can do my math questions. Do you? Not to mention the determination to do better in school than my 2 older brothers. I never thought about being popular although I have a few friends who'd follow me around wherever I go. lol!
Well, being a girl, my parents never slapped nor kicked me. But my mom always pinched me (yes it hurts) and once found my mouth "kissing" the red hot chili just because I talked back to her and insisted on going to the public library in the city with my friends. I was maybe 11-12 yrs old then. Of course I was sad then but I learned my lesson. Never ever talk back to your parents and no means no. In Asian culture, talking back to your parents and elders is a no-no thing. Its considered very rude.
Back to the horror stories in schools (not just in VA Tech), I think its time everybody accept the fact that most of the times, it happens after a long series or harassment by the other "superior" group of people. While most survive the mental (and physical) torture, there are some who dont and until and unless we stop this so called "popularity" mentality, we are going to have more violence in the future.
In the meantime, talk to your friends and keep them closer. Be a FRIEND.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
A Malay style sambal. Chilli is pounded together with a little toasted belacan in a stone mortar. Tomatoes are optional ingredients. Sometimes, sweet sour mangoes or equivalent local fruits are added. Salt, sugar and lime juice are the last items added. Eaten with cucumbers or 'ulam' (local leafy herbs) to add zing to a meal of rice and other dishes. A Malaysian Chinese version is to fry belacan with chilli.
There's no other thing that compliments the simplest meal of white rice and fried ikan kembong other than sambal belacan with ulam. Doesn mean that you cannot have your sambal belacan with your rice if you're having anything but simple meal!
Mmy friends have been asking me for a "malay"-style sambal belacan. Apparently there's a malay-style sambal belacan and I didn even know it. lol!
Ok. This is how I make my sambal belacan here in the US. The reason why I said, "here in the US" is because its not easy to find red chili (cili hidup) and there's no limau kasturi either. The size of the red chili is also only half or 1/3 of what Im used to back home.
5 red chili
3 thai chili
1/2sq inch of belacan
2 teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoon lime juice
If you have a mortar & pestle, you can use it to pound all the ingredients. I do have them but minre is too small so what I normally do is to grind the chilies in the food processor and then only I transfer them. I still use the mortar & pestle to pound the rest of the ingredients. If you find it too hot, play around with the amount of sugar, salt & lime juice until you like what you're tasting. Like I said before, the same thing made by 2 different ppl will not taste the same.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
In spite of me ranting about missing home, Im actually pretty lucky compared to others. I may not get to go home as often as I would like to but there's quite a number of Malaysian living in SoCal (actually within 30min radius) and we hang out pretty often too. I would say that at least once a week, id be hanging out w one of my fellow Malaysian.
Yesterday was 1 of those occassions, in a slightly bigger scale (8 pax). This time the venue was Burbank at G&J's place. Hubby cudn make it since he had to work the whole day (bummer!) so does RM's hubby so she drove over to my place and MW&K pick both of us up. I5 really sucks even on saturday. The supposedly 45min journey turned into almost 1hr 45min. MW suddenly said,"PJ is quiet. Give her something to eat before she gets the headache from the gastric" so 15min before we reached destination, we raided RM's yummylicious Yong Tow Foo in the car. Thank u girls, esp MW for detecting my hunger. heheh. Nevertheless, it was a feel good gathering with sinful-licious food and great company.
Thank u G&J for hosting the gathering. :) Now its time to plan for the next gathering. Who's hosting?
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Every year during Hari Raya (Eid Mubarak), we'l have the open house and that would be my time to cook. In fact, my mom would tell everybody (yes, she did!) that our open house would be the only few times in a year that il be in the kitchen cooking. Not that id say anything back since it is the truth. But the good thing is, my specialty dish which is soto ayam, is always a hit among our guests. There was 1 year when we were expecting only 50-60 ppl but somehow we had almost 100ppl came thruout the whole day and by 3pm, i actually had to make another batch of soto ayam. I was sweating but i survived that year and every year eversince.
The 1 thing about malay cooking is that there is no particular measurements used. Ask any makcik at your fav stalls or even your own aunties and most likely theyl just tell you what the ingredients are and how/when to put them in the cooking. This is because, each person has their own way on how they like their food to taste like. The easiest example is nasi lemak. There are thousands of places that sell this yummylicious food, from the roadside stalls to hotels (definitely not my choice to get my dose of nasi lemak!) and none of them taste the same. Then ask 10 different ppl on where is their fav nasi lemak place and you'l most likely get 10 different answers.
Thats why I find it hard to post certain dish in my blog coz that's exactly how i cook my food. The truth is I never use the same amount of stuff nor do I use all the exact stuff. Sometimes I would find that I dont have enough, for example shallots, so il use more onions and ginger. Other times, I dont have fresh beggies so il use frozen mix vegies. Now, do u know what i mean? But for the sake of my readers and friends, im gonna try and start measuring the ingredients that i use so as to make it easier for you though it means for me to take more time than im already taking when im cooking. Be patient, ok?
Monday, April 9, 2007
Yesterday, we went to watch the new Hillary Swank movie, The Reaping. Only few minutes into the movie iv already gotten my first jump. Let me warn you that though the story is not gory, it will stil make you jump a few times. Haha. The movie is basically about the "plague" thats mentioned in the bible and the different kind of people (believers, non-believers and those who used to believe) Not that i know about it but its pretty similar to Islam. We, too have the signs of the end of the world.
Anyways, the movie (which is only abt 1.5hr) was nicely made and Hillary Swank(HS) is really a good actor. The story is about this 12yr old little girl who is accused of killing her older brother and how eversince that day, the river has turned into red (whc is later proven to be human blood). Then came the dead frogs falling fr the sky followed by the worm and flies in the food, crazy stock disease and so on. The whole village wants to kill the little girl. The professor (HS) was asked to come to prove tht happenings in a scientific way (being someone who stopped believing after she lost both her husband and daughter for a sacrificial ritual when they were in Sudan). A few days in the village, she herself started to believe that the little girl is indeed evil and she was supposed to kill her, herself. Then came the twist. She saw a vision that the villagers have been sacrifising (that means theyv been murdering!) their very own 2nd child for a very long time and only the 1st child will survive. She then turned her back on the villagers and saved the little girl instead. yay! right? It would be a perfect movie in my dictionary if only it has stopped there. But no! They just have to have a twisting twist. Why? Why? Why? Maybe you'd have a different opinion but to Me, the end spoiled the whole movie. tsk tsk And if your wondering how the end goes, you've got to watch the movie yourself. ;)
Friday, April 6, 2007
On valentine's day, hubby bought me James Patterson's latest Step on a Crack. I started reading it the day after. By "my" standard, I should have finished reading it a long time ago, right? Unfortunately until today, iv only read up to page 161. Whats wrong with me? Am i losing my super fast reading power??? Maybe i should go to a support group. :P
I cudn remember what it was called until my cousin, Farah told me about it. So I changed the title fr sira pisang to pisang palembang. Thanks Farah. muah!
Thursday, April 5, 2007
And then the country was hit very badly by the financial crisis back in 98. If i remember it currectly, the worst was when the exchange rate was at USD1=RM5. Yikes! Our beloved former Prime Minister then made a very bold move against the IMF, foreign government, investors and etc. That is to peg the RM to USD at the rate of 3.80 and also imposed on capital control. What a hoohaa he created back then but now everybody agrees that that was the best move ever and to me personally i think it was the best thing he had ever done to the country besides other things. (You know like the Penang Bridge, KL Tower, Petronas Twin Tower and KLIA)
Now back to the exchange rate. Im not exactly sure when the RM was unpegged but it did. To Malaysian living in Malaysia and earning in RM, its always good when RM gets stronger. It means that we can travel more and shop ever much much more. hehe. But not so fortunate for me, now that Im living in the US and unemployed and yet having to send money home to pay for my expenses. I so want to sell my condo back home but oh well, that's another story for another time. The USD is getting weaker and weaker every week. You can see how much USD has dropped (or is it RM has gained?) in the last 5.5months courtesy of x-rates.com.
Malaysian Ringgits to 1 USD
latest (Apr 5)3.449
lowest (Apr 5)3.449
highest (Oct 20)3.674
Im done talking about currency so now im gonna talk about factory outlets. Have you been to one yourself? I dont know if its just me but I find the factory outlets nowadays defeat the purpose. I mean the outlets that I was used to are outlets for branded store where they'l be selling the off-season collections for a fraction of what they used to cost when they first came out. Nowadays they even have jc penney, old navy. Im not insulting them (i do shop at old navy) but come on! You'r not gonna go broke if you shop at old navy stores, are you? Who else is gonna have their own "factory outlet" soon? Walmart? target? bestbuy? (oohh i like that one! lol!)
If thats not bad enough, now even the branded stores no longer have nice things. Yes I know they cant sell the current seasons items there but selling items from 10 years ago dont make any sense either right? Recent visit to carlsbad proved tht to me. S & i both agree that the stuff that they have are so 'makcik' and wont even sell in Malaysia. It was so frustrating indeed.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Outside the office around 3pm there will be makcik (aunty) selling varieties of delicacies from goreng pisang, (fried bananas) to keropok lekor (fish cracker) to ais cendul. (Those of you who dont know what cendul is, uv got to google it yourself. hehe.. ) Living away from home is definitely not easy when you're so used (and damn spoiled!) to all those goodies. Thank god i can stil find plaintain here where i would make my own fried banana but sadly, having eat them all by myself. You see, back home (that's Malaysia, in case you dont know already) eating time is like a feast. You dont have to have a special occasion to eat with your friends or colleagues. What id usually do is collect between RM1 to RM2 from the ppl in my department (incl the bosses) and go down to buy something from the makcik. Our tea-lady then would put them on a plate for us all to eat with our evening coffee or tea. And that's basically on a daily basis so you can imagine when we really do have a feast in the office. Be it birthday parties or farewell parties or hari raya (Eid Mubarak)or just-because feasts. What is just-because-feasts? Well, sometimes, when someone feels good and just wanna buy a round of lunch, he/she would order some food for everybody in the office. There would be loads of food in the pantry and everybody would gather during lunchtime to savour them. If you happened to have a friend visiting you in the office during that time then he/she would be invited too. That's the typical Malaysian hospitality to you and thts only in 1 of the companies that iv worked for in KL. (Kuala Lumpur).
I brought that habit with me when i moved to the US. Everytime my in-laws came over, I always let them know that Il be cooking either lunch or dinner. Even on the last day before we moved to CA, i stil made lunch for everybody despite most of our cooking utensils already packed and sealed in boxes. My mil kept telling me that i didn have to do it but im a true Malaysian at heart. Il never let our guests leave with an empty stomach.
If you somehow find yourself in a Malaysian home or be among Malaysian, dont be surprised if after breakfast they'r already talking about what to eat for lunch and dinner. Hubby is already used to me asking him what he wants for lunch after he'd just finished his cekodok.
Have i "shared" the meaning of makan to you? Well, maybe i have and maybe i havent but there's no better way to experience it than either going to Malaysia yourself or attending any Malaysian gathering in your area. ;)
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
So which version are you using? The maharajah or the pariah?
Monday, April 2, 2007
Unfortunately for us, most of the bars that join the league are those in the east coast. With WSOP held in Las Vegas every year, you would have thought that everybody or at least most people in California know how to play poker, right? That's what we thought but boy were we wrong! Unless you see/meet them at a casino, most likely they dont know how to play poker.
So, a shout out to worldtavernpoker, please send your representative here to SoCal so that we can go back to playing poker at least 3nites/week!
What should i write first. The title says, "i know its not just me". Im actually talking about getting a job here in sunny Southern California. Hah! If u think its easy, please do think again .. and again. Work experience is not as useful (or is not as powerful?) as contact. Of course luck has got its hand in it too but when you already have more than 10 years of working experience with big companies and have worked with the who's who in the industry, wont it get to you if you cant even get that damn admin position????? maybe it means that im over qualified. (if there is such a thing!). bruised ego? You damn right my ego is bruised!! its so bruised i think my skin is now the colour of purple. sometimes i wonder if i should just say that iv never worked before? but then again, they might tell me that they want somebody with some sort of working experience. sigh.