Archive for February 23rd, 2009

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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