Archive for February, 2009

Trader jail haiku

Future home is jail
Another slimy trader
Thought untouchable

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Afternoon coffee haiku

Afternoon coffee
Elixir to wake me up
Trade-off is night sleep

(Photo from my trip to Maubisse, East Timor – speaking of coffee and East Timor, if you ever find yourself in Dili go to the City Cafe.  Very relaxing place with incredibly friendly staff)

Written during the afternoon lull on the HP Mini 1000

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Slumdog Millionaire haiku

Slumdog Millionaire
Little kids around the world
You can dream big too

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Not that far apart

From the Straits Times – this is the winning entry for the Mixed Media Nail Art Design category at NailsAsia 2009.  It’s called “Angel Of Love”

Flowers growing out of the fingernails.  Uh-huh.

First thought that came to mind was it is the female version of the Tree Man.  Picture of the Tree Man (might be unsettling for some people).

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Wistful donut haiku

Half-eaten donut
Was it the jelly inside?
Goodbye my dear sweet

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Enjoy the difference!

Can someone explain the logic behind the Budget Terminal’s slogan “Enjoy the difference!”

Is it being sarcastic?  What part should I enjoy?  The walk in the rain from the plane to terminal since there’s no jetway?  Or the 400 meter slog to immigration along a concrete hallway lined with iron bars on the windows?

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Photo from StarvingFox

Clearly I’m not the only one with this opinion.

A nicer slogan would be:
"Budget Terminal: Welcome to Singapore"

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Kuala Lumpur Taxis

I’ve been staying in the downtown area of Kuala Lumpur – near KLCC.  To get around the central area I have been using taxis.  This has led to a lot of annoyance and stress.  I have adjusted my mindset to accept that I will be ripped off by every taxi driver, but I find it offensive when they try to gouge me in extreme ways.

For example… I feel that 10 ringgit is already a high price to get around the central area.  If the taxis were to use the meter, it would probably only cost 5 RM – 8 RM to get anywhere downtown.  Typically the drivers will refuse to use the meter and instead throw out the price of 20 RM.  After a bit of negotiation (and not wanting to deal with too much time loss / hassle), I end up settling for 10 RM.

Last night, while trying to make my way back from a wedding, a taxi driver quoted 25 RM as the price to get me from Pavilion to Pacific Regency.  Their reason?  “Traffic”.” At 1 in the morning?!?  Wrong.  So moved on to a different driver… who gave me the price of 40 RM.  WHAT!!  That was just offensive and over-the-top.

I ended up finding a taxi for 15 RM.

Anyway, I chatted with a taxi driver who provided some interesting info (whether it is true or not I have no idea):

  • The flagdown fee is 2 RM – this has not changed in 20 years
  • When going to the budget airport terminal or KLIA, a fair price should be 60 RM – 70 RM
  • Taxis are not allowed to pick up passengers from the airport and take them to the city so they have to come back to the city empty
  • The government mandates that taxis should use the meter.  But no government officials use taxis so this is not enforced.

In conclusion, every time I get in a taxi in Kuala Lumpur, I feel like I am voluntarily #!$@-ing myself in the ass.

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 at Kuala Lumpur’s Budget Terminal – which honestly may be the worst designed airport terminal I have ever been to. Perhaps a blog entry about that…)

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Shark haiku

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Sharp teeth deadly strong
Like a drunk Australian
Chasing a female

(Observations from 6 years in Asia)

Written on the HP Mini 1000 in the Pacific Regency – highly recommended hotel!

Kuala Lumpur haiku

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2000 I came
For the first time from US
I ate beef noodle

(Written on the HP Mini 1000 – heading to Kuala Lumpur in the morning for a wedding.  First time taking this laptop “on the road”)

For the first time in my life I’ve snagged one of the “zero dollar” airfares.  After airport taxes it comes to 50 SGD roundtrip for a flight.

The haiku exercise will be suspended (probably) while I am overseas.  I might not have an internet connection. Or I might be dead from eating too many ramly burgers.  You never know.

I used to think Kuala Lumpur was one of the most exotic-sounding places on earth.  Now I view it the same way people in San Diego feel about Tijuana.  A hop, skip, and jump right over the border.

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MRT Haiku

Deep breaths, hairy arms
rub their bristles on my skin
We all roll along

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