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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Guangzhou Stopover

If you are not rushing to your final destination, you can always take your time by having 24 hours stop over/ layover in between your long flight. Book a 1 night stay and do a quickie city tour. This will make you appear having a jetset life (LMAO) and your travel diary seems has more stories to tell. Today you are here then the next day you are there. You save on your flight ticket and you can tick off one more destination out the world map. Flight from KL to LA has few stop over such as Guangzhou, Jeddah, Seoul, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Istanbul, depending which carrier you choose.

Since Mike never set his foot to any part of China, so we took a 23 hours stop over in Guangzhou. Although Guangzhou isn't fancy as big capital Shanghai or Beijing, but it has something that we really like to see.



We booked Holiday Inn Guangzhou because 1) nearby airport 2) it provides free airport shuttle, 3) 99% reception staffs of chain hotels are fluent in English 4) chain hotels has standard service which you can expect. You do not want to be surprised on your short stop!

We were ready to get cheated upon arrival in Guangzhou airport. All sign mostly in Chinese, most people couldn't speak English. We tried to get the direction where to find Holiday Inn shuttle area, and suddenly, this guy so eager to help by willingly to call the hotel with his mobile. Ching chong ching chong on the phone, then he said we have to inform the hotel earlier if we wanted to get pick up by free shuttle. So since we didn't inform the hotel, so, no transport provided. That guy put his hotel transfer price - RMB100. I am in Tourism industry and dealing with hotelier for quite sometime. Knowing the standard service they provide, I don't think it is totally different in this part of the world. Holiday Inn is no boutique hotel that can set up their own service by their own grandmother's standard.

I was mad at Mike. Because he was the one who booked the hotel. Why he didn't give them the flight details. But at the same time, we do not want to surrender and succumb to the stranger's kindness. I grabbed his roaming mobile phone (and I don't care how much the bill will cost) and called Holiday Inn directly and thank God English speaker Chinese on the other line. It turned out that we only have to go to DEPARTURE HALL UPPER LEVEL, Gate A and we will see MPV with Holiday Inn  logo waiting every 10 minutes. Simple as that.

So, we won the 1st battle and got checked in safe and sound. Room is big but only Chinese TV program and English TV program with Chinese voice over on telly. So we sleep.



...and woke up to very limited choices of breakfast. I respect them Chinese eat veggies for breakfast but it is overly salted so it might give me high blood pressure instead of good nutrition.


and we were surprised that the hotel provide this in case of fire! Usually hotels asked you to stay low while get your way to the fire escape, which can slow down your move, so mask like this can make a very big difference during the emergency. What a good practice.


Anyways, with the help of English speaker reception staff, he helped us with the direction and map. He suggested us to take the train from the airport to access the city. So we checked out and return back to the airport, stored our luggage over there and so excited to explore the city. 


The train costs us like RMB 10 per way. It is cheap. And the route connected to all touristy spot.



We have like 7 - 8 hours before our next flight to LA. So we heading straight to Canton tower. The entrance fee ranging from RMB 150 to 498 depending on levels and what's include. We go for RMB 228 which enable us to the 488 lookout and spider walk, minus all the attraction such as bubble tram and sky drop. 






Standard pose stating that "hey, I've been there, done that"


We created our memories by eating ice cream up here.


We are here to witness the massive architecture of Guangzhou. Unlike most Malaysian see Guangzhou for shopping - ONLY.

I must admit that I was amazed by the buildings in Guangzhou. It looks like so 'Asgard' in a glance and very futuristic. BUT what amazed me more is that the people living among these futuristic landscape and construction still refused to step up to modern civilization. Spitting in commercial building and I saw a mother helped her son peeing in the city light TRAIN conclude that civilization and sophistication is not about the landscape, able to built tall building, your outfit or currency you are holding. Civilization is in your mind. There is no 1st world country or city if you still thinking and act like a 3rd world class. Macam KL, kencing air bersepah sepah di public toilet. Macam kera baru dapat toilet bowl.


Pearl River.


I unable to take the picture without having the column in it, left or right. Because of the tower spiral  design structure, the column of this tower is kinda close to each other so it gives the visitors very limited wide panorama view to capture.



and this is why you need to include 488 lookout observation in your ticket entrance.


488 lookout is the height in meters, the highest outdoor observation deck visitors can reach in Canton Tower. It offers 360 degree view of Guangzhou city but um, still with a little obstruction - that damn bubble tram. So, if you really wanted unobstructed view, you need to pay the ultimate price which is RMB498.



That day was kinda foggy, so I told Mike it is best to come here at night. We can see the city lights and colder. So we might come here again at night, with the bubble tram ride.


and this is 'sky drop' in Canton Tower.







Some picture taken by the professional photographer during the sunset



and this is mine :(



Next, we headed to Shamian Island.


We decided to visit Shamian Island due to the descriptions -  'Historical building' left by the French. It is a sandbank island, so do not expect blue beach and breezy wind.


Well, nothing much I can say except it looks just like Penang. Most of the building refurbished and nothing really old over here. Rows of franchise cafe like Starbucks and Subway can be founded here.



some little girl imitating the statue pose



and this is rivalry pose by another little girl.



Why I felt like those statue is 'pervert' kind of statue?


On the bridge away from Shamian Island, there is a familiar sighting. Street sellers selling souvenirs and all.


I think he meant 'Muslim Local Flavor'


This, I couldn't help but stop by to try it. It is pure mandarin oranges old skool squeezed into a bottle and it taste so fresh and sweet like a first teenage love.


Love in a bottle. RMB 5. Once you tasted this, then you will find Peel Fresh or any drinks with no additive, no sugar self pro- claimed is BS.


 Shamian Island and its surrounding.


So we had our very late lunch at Pizza hut somewhere across Shamian Island and back to the airport.

That's the end of our stop over tour in Guangzhou.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Open Letter to Pos Malaysia

First of all, kudos to anyone behind POS MALAYSIA's Twitter account to respond to my hashtag. Your little gesture eliminates my urge to write this letter with vulgarity and thus, this going to be very short one. You are doing your job right -  A good PR. 



At first I can't believe POS MALAYSIA has twitter account. Like, for what? But now it makes sense.

I appreciate to know that POS MALAYSIA has came out with beautiful parcel / box with many sizes and it's cheap. You are not just making everyday shipping easier, but you also help us in personal shopper business looks presentable.




There are so much upgrades in your service and products since 1992 except on things happened to me yesterday.

I believed that everybody has at least one sour experience with POS MALAYSIA. So here is mine.

I walked under the scorching sun to your office in Kelana Jaya, half kilometer to be exact, to get your beautiful parcel and shipped it to my brother. I purchased your "pizza-Box" parcel (which is my favorite), stuffed it and wrote the addresses (front and back).

Then I went to the last counter asking for cellophane tape, so that I can securely seal that beautiful box before I send it out, and you know what shocked me?

"Oh, kita tak bagi salotep free. Kita jual." (we don't provide cellophane tape for free, we sell it)

I was like "Tapi, 2 hari lepas saya datang, ada salotep dekat meja tempat lekat setem dan saya pernah guna" (But, I came here 2 days ago and I saw there was a cellophane tape at the writing/ stamp table and I used it before)

She replied me with sour face "saya tak tahu maca mana salotep ada kat situ. Tapi kami memang tak sediakan. Kami jual"  (I don't know how come the cellophane tape was there, but we really do not provide it for free. We sell it)

Well, I do saw your little shop a.k.a  STATIONERY CORNER. But all I see is envelope. Envelopes with many sizes. I didn't see any notice, stating/ showing that POS MALAYSIA also selling Cellophane Tape, Pen, Glue or even WATER for us to stick your stamp onto our letters and packages. OR, POS MALAYSIA IS PLANNING OR MAYBE STARTING TO BRANCH OUT ITS SERVICE BY SELLING ALL KIND OF STATIONERY NOW without Malaysian knowledge.

Are you telling me, in the near future, we have to bring our pen, glue, cellophane tape and even water (to stick the stamp) every time we visit your good office?

How much is that cellophane tape cost to seal my "pizza box" parcel which is prolly like 10"+12"+10" / 32" in total until I can't get your value added service so I have to pay for it after I purchased your box, paid your stamp and paid the register fee for my box weight and destination?

Oh, you think I'm stingy because I am complaining about paying 32" cellophane tape now? What about big sticker on every of your staff's forehead sitting behind the counter stating that, WE ARE NOT ONLY SELLING BEAUTIFUL PARCEL/BOX WITH MANY SIZES, WE ARE ALSO SELLING THE CELLOPHANE TAPE TO SEAL IT"

I was lucky that I only walked HALF KILOMETER in the afternoon (1 KILOMETER IN TOTAL AFTER GOING BACK TO MY OFFICE) to find out I have to purchase cellophane tape to seal the box that I purchased from POS MALAYSIA, at POS MALAYSIA. What if the old uncle and auntie who came all the way from ceruk Felda with heavy item to be sent to their kids, bought your pretty 10kgs parcel and then you said  "Oh, kita tak bagi salotep free. Kita jual." (we don't provide cellophane tape for free, we sell it)". Very nice of you.

I walked back to my office to get the box sealed. I told the whole office about the incident, they are all shocked and asked me why I didn't argue and try to get 32" cellophane tape for  free. I told them I do not want to argue when I know there is no way I can win by looking at the way the girl served me WHICH, ONLY GOD'S KNOW WHERE POS MALAYSIA SENT HER/ THEIR STAFFS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE'S TRAINING.

Plus, I do not want to be seen arguing with a person like that (although I've seen too many times, aunties and uncles did it) like, bring myself down to her level, creating drama where there are 100s of people queuing over there. I do it my way. I twitted it and blog it, share it on facebook and all social network that I am signed to.

Right, maybe you will reply me "if you don't like POS MALAYSIA, please go to DHL, UPS, CITYLINK, NATIOWIDE EXPRESS and all other mother of courier services out there since you are so highly".

Tak suka Malaysia, pindah la negara lain. Ayam mahal, makan la ikan. Kalau selalu komplen hidup susah, pegi la mati. (you don't like Malaysia, go migrate. If chicken is expensive, go eat fish. If you always complaint life is hard, go die) Like that?

What a cliche.

I know POS MALAYSIA's rate is the cheapest. But with the volume you guys still make it until now. Please stop with the idea selling cellophane tape. It's like you selling the karipap but you asking your customer to pay for the plastic bag to carry the karipap. Like you selling the drink but you asking your customer to pay for the straw. But if you really think cellophane is so costly and it will cause POS MALAYSIA to go bankrupt if you keep providing free cellophane tape, here is my suggestion;

FOOL US by Cost in the cost the cellophane tape into your stamp or beautiful parcel price.

Just don't ask me to pay the whole bunch of cellophane tape separately every time I visit your place.

JUST DON'T.


p/s: my office is located on 1st floor and your delivery guy NEVER sent registered parcel up to my office. They always left the ticket/ coupon in our letter box at ground floor so we have to pick it up at your office the next day. Sometimes your delivery guy never left the ticket/ coupon. Our sender get the parcel back and asking us WHY. Can we ask you WHY?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Alaska All White pt. 1

Initial plan was "All Blue Caribbean". I packed 2 big luggage, and suddenly my husband and I diverted into a new plan so one of my luggage left untouched due to this. It was all bikinis and sun dresses but lucky me my second luggage filled with thick clothes because we were planning to visit San Francisco.

I know it wasn't think enough for winter in Alaska. But I layered myself with some of my husband woolies, and that is why I look fat in all pictures below. *Lame excuse*






I remember during my visit to Alaska last year June, it was summer with 10 degree celcius. That is summer in Alaska. My boyfriend's - mom - then my mother in law told me I should visit Alaska during winter. "It is much more beautiful here in winter". That was what she said to me. 6 months later, I got married to her son and here we are for the reception in winter!


It is very beautiful in winter, indeed. I never been to any part of country during snowy season - so, once again, this is another huge life experience for me. I don't know how big is the loss for not getting my ass on Caribbean's white sandy beach, but how many of Malaysian get to experience winter in Alaska for 3 weeks? 


It was February. But I feel it's Christmas in here - all weeks. I keep on telling my husband "it's a Christmas town!" when we drove to Palmer to get my Valentine's balloons.


Winter in Alaska is so beautiful. It is so beautiful until it hurts. I am all tropical girl basking under the sun 365 days a year and I love the rain. I can't stand my office air conditioned and now we are talking about -17 Celcius. "hmm February this year is pretty warm though" said the Alaskan. WARM?


I got severe chapped lips and my skin itchy as fuck. I swear I scratched my ass and legs like the skin is almost come off. I scratched like monkey and my nostril bleeds. That was how beautiful Winter in Alaska treated me :(



It took me forever to get dressed in here. First I had to layer my face with many kind of moisturizers, then foundation with SPF and powder. Next I had to wear at last 2 layer of pants, and top. Socks had to be 2 layers too. Then hat plus thick jacket. I see myself as Michelin Man everyday. So plump and bulky. Not sexy at all. But at least here, tak ada la dosa aurat gitu. All covered up. Patut la laki aku baik je walau berjauhan. Tak de benda yang menaikkan nafsu kut kat sini.

 Outside, still had to wait for Mike to get all the snow off the windscreen and window.



Depan rumah mentua sahaja ni. Dah boleh buat poster.


We Malaysian always imagine the snow is just like ABC (shaved ice). But actually it is finer than that. So soft like a sifted cake flour. I can watch my foot walk on it forever and the sound it make is kinda addictive.


You can put me into JAKUN category. But Sejakun jakun aku, I never put those snow into my mouth. But I did scooped it with my bare hands and it burnt me like hell. Too cold until it's too hot. I can't feel my hands for a minute and whine like I'm dying.


I love to walk on untouched path. Because I love to see the foot/ shoe print I left behind. Well, that is how I live my life though.


When you stay long enough at one place, then you can see the real beauty of it, sit at your backyard or the road you use everyday to go to work. You don't need to travel so far and find touristy spot to see buena vista. It is all around you if you pay attention to it.



Like me, I love driving in traffic from work back to my house in Shah Alam. The sunset view from fucking Federal Highway compensate the suffocate traffic. I even took picture of it with my mobile phone and I think it's one of the most beautiful sunset I have seen and deserves to be Instagrammed. 


But here in Alaska, oh how I love the crispy clean air. I considered myself a little bit luckier than other Malaysian at that moment because friends keep telling me how hot Malaysia was plus haze from came from burning forests. Alhamdulillah. Nikmat tuhan.




These photos taken at my parent in law's backyard. I spent quite sometime to enjoy the snow piling on the tree branches. I wish I can stay out longer, but it was too cold :(






..and then I found where Eric the dog and the cat buried too.



Snow piling up on trampoline.


I found icicle without going into cave.


From here. Underneath the car. haha.



This is the view along George Park's Highway. I took it when we heading to Anchorage.




and this is neighbor's dog. I think it is Korgi because it has short leg like munchkin cat. So cute and he ignored the call from his owner and busy posing for me and even wanted to play some throw twig with me.




Then we get off from highway and found a very beautiful neighborhood.



I get to experience walking on hard icy lake for the first time too. During winter, people drive their car on the icy lake for fun (?). I don't know how slippery it is to drive on ice, but I almost fall when I tried to walk on it. So I guess this would be the best place to do the Tokyo drift.

To be continued Alaska All White pt. 2

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