www.xes.cx wishes all Muslim readers Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.
Month: September 2008
Bandung, Indonesia: Overview
Bandung is the 4th largest city in Indonesia. Located above 768 metres above the sea level, it enjoys a cool temperature.
Although Bandung has only 2.7 million (and 6 million on greater Bandung), I find that the buildings in the city are built very close to each other. But in the in the outer region, I saw bungalows and mansions including mansions as big as shopping centres.
Beggars, street buskers and ‘road side salesman’ are a common feature in Bandung. In the city, you’ll find many beggars and ‘road side salesmen’ knocking on your window. And at night, you’ll find street buskers which sometimes are a group of students singing songs like “Seribu Aja”.
We stayed at one three star hotel by the name Sukajadi Hotel. The location of the hotel is quite good as it is nearby a decent shopping centre with Carrefour. The other good thing is that their television has around 60 channels – a good feature for coach potatoes like me. However, the drawbacks of this hotel are that their food sucks big time and their towel smells bad.
I under budgeted my trip and had to make a trip to the local money changer. Our driver bought us to one place by the name Golden Money Changer, which occupies a building. The place is unlike our usual shopping centre money changer but it operates like a bank with ticketing system and armed security guards. When I arrived, there were loads of people and I had 30 people ahead of me!
One problem that most people encounter in Indonesia is the amount of zeros they have in their currently. On one occasion, I paid 20000 Rupiah for a 200,000 Rupiah bill. The waiter was speechless when he saw me paying his bill and turned away thinking that his bill is settled. To overcome this problem, most Indonesia shorten the pronunciation of amount above 100, 000 Rupiah by taking out the last 3 digits e.g. 100, 000 Rupiah becomes 100 Rupiah (Seratus Rupiah).
Also another trick I’ve learn to convert Rupiah to Ringgit Malaysia quickly is by taking out the last 3 digits and divide the remaining amount with 3. The total is the amount in Ringgit Malaysia.
Indonesia has also adhered to the rounding up system. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself being short changed.
We rented a Toyota Avanza with a driver for 3 days. Our driver, Hari brought us around Bandung and waited patiently for us all the time. The charge for rental of the car is around 400, 000 Rupiah (RM120) a day. Hari’s fees is 100, 000 (around RM34) Rupiah a day. The best part is that the contract between us and Hari is that he has to serve us for 24 hours. If anyone needs a car and driver in Bandung, you may call Hendro at +62 22 70282027 (Phone) or +62 85624390036 (Mobile) or Hari at +62 81322928907.
We took a picture of our car to record down the license plate number.
Bandung is well known for shopping. Many flock to Bandung’s designer warehouse to purchase rejected designer clothes at dirt cheap prices (around RM5 to 20 for tshirts, RM20 – RM40 for tops). However, to me, shopping at warehouses is overrated. Sometimes you will find doubtful products being thrown together with other genuine designer clothes. For example, you’ll find two apparels with identical design or similar design with a different trade mark. This is quite apparent when the product in question labelled with a high end brand.
Left Adidas – Right Puma – Notice the similarity? I took this picture in the changing room. Heh
For me, Distro, a shopping outlet that sells locally designed products, is a place worth purchasing clothes. I didn’t mind forking out extra to buy locally designed tshirts than rejected and doubtful designer clothes.
Other than shopping, the other attraction would be Mt. Tangkuban Perahu, an active volcano. The top of mountain is accessible by car and one can see the crater.
Looks like a blocked sink.
As for food, the prices are reasonable and for a reasonable rate, you can have top class service at top class places. There are also couple of unique places to have a meal.
Looks like brains Heh
Details coming soon!
Malaysia: Not A Country To Go
I stumbled upon this article published in Ghana News on 26th September 2008.
In the wake of recent serial killings and severe discrimination of the Africans by mainly the Malaysians I wish to advice my fellow Africans who were made to believe that Malaysia is a “humble” destination for foreigners to consider Malaysia as “not a place to go”. Malaysia appeared to be a country of mixed races namely, the Malays, Indians, and the Chinese. One would expect that there should be high degree of racial tolerance. One would also expect that Africans or foreigners in general should be tolerated under normal circumstances. We once heard of our own Kofi Anan urging other countries to emulate Malaysia due to her racial harmony. I wish to tell him and all Africans that “she” cannot be our role model. We should not forget that a country that is racially harmonious must tolerate people from all walks of life. Malaysia is not such a place, this is due to the fact that (1) Africans are regarded as social misfits (2) we are not protected by the law and (3) we don’t have job security.
The African had been and continues to be a “nuisance” in the eyes and minds of the citizens of Malaysia, not excluding the police personnel. Do not be astonished if you realize that the moment they see any black color from Africa he or she is perceived to be a criminal. Their conclusion is that all blacks are criminals. This perception was long ago infused in their minds by the media. The media always portray the negative and the deplorable states as well as the conflict zones of Africa. The youth always refer to us as “Negros”. These very bad remarks ended in the painful death of many Africans in Malaysia. In the recent periods two Nigerians were poisoned in a restaurant, a Yemeni guy lost 3 fingers as he was trying to block a knife that was aimed at his chest, 2 Egyptians were asked by some locals to give whatever they have, when they refused, a fight broke out and all the locals at that area came to fight the Egyptians without knowing the reason!!! Another Egyptian was robbed of RM4000 and beaten up. In Melati Utama, bikers usually rampage the net cafes from time to time with knifes and baseball sticks frightening the people in it and taking whatever they have. These are just very few of the cases.
Let me give you a recent case in Wangsa Maju that has led to the untimely death of an African student from Chad. African undergraduate, HELP University College, Abdel Aziz Hassan Abdraman, 22, (his picture shown above) was brutally murdered just because of his color.
On Saturday, there was a mob attack by some 20 youths wielding metal rods, sticks and knives on 10 African undergraduates in Wangsa Maju which landed in his death and injured the rest, they were unjustly harassed and mocked by the youths for four consecutive days before the attack. The youths even went up to their Tar Villa apartment and demanded money and cigarettes. According to the students and as reported by the Malaysian Newspaper ”Malay Mail” the drama unfolded when three undergraduates were on the way to board the LRT to perform “terawih” prayers (long prayers by the Muslims after they have broken their fasting) at a nearby mosque at 8.30pm.
They were confronted by some 20 youths who were believed to have hurled abuse at them (they called them Negros) and demanded money.
When the trio ignored them and walked away, the youths, carrying switch blades, pursued them and struck one of them on the head.
The students took refuge at the LRT (Train Station) and sought assistance from their African friends living nearby.
Seven of their friends, including Abdel Aziz, went to their aid and together they went back to where the trio was attacked.
Abdel Aziz’s cousin, Abdraman Moussa Mohamat, 23, said: “We asked the youths who were seated at the stalls why they had attacked our friends but they came for us suddenly without saying a word.
“We ran for our lives when they began swinging metal rods, sticks and knives at us. In the fracas, Abdel Aziz was stabbed from the back.”
The police confirmed that the victims had been regularly ridiculed by the youths who expressed their displeasure at the increasing presence of Africans in the neighbourhood.
BUT WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF THE POLICE?
Sentul district police Chief Assistant Commissioner Zakaria Pagan told Malay Mail that initial investigations revealed that the attack stemmed from the uneasiness of the residents over the behavior (increasing umber of students) of the Africans.
“We believe the youths who attacked the Africans wanted to teach them a lesson to behave themselves in public.”
What a shit?
WHAT ABOUT THE TAXI DRIVERS?
All the taxi drivers categorically refused to pick up the boy when he was injured. Within 15 minutes all the taxis DROVE AWAY without even stopping. It was not a surprise since they always don’t want to pick up blacks. You may be at a taxi station waiting hours while there are taxis available but will refuse to go just because you are a black man.
It is clear in all material respect that Africans are treated like animals and must not live together with “them” in the society. Discrimination we acknowledge is everywhere but not to this extent. I could remember the very first time I arrived in Malaysia, right at the airport people distanced themselves far away from me as I approach them. I could not ask anyone for direction. It was a foreigner who rescued me. In the classroom, Malaysians sit far away from us unless they have no choice. Lecturers themselves who were suppose to be agents of change follow the same suit when marking our papers. We work very hard to achieve excellent results and they try very hard to making sure that we land in futility. They do not want us to outcompete the local students. We thank God, despite all odds we do emerge as the best of all in all.
The security system in Malaysia is well designed and perfectly carved to protect the Malays. We foreigners have no security. Anytime we have a dispute it always goes against us. Any case reported to the police is discarded if the Malaysian is found to be guilty. “We believe the youths who attacked the Africans wanted to teach them a lesson to behave themselves in public.” You teach us a lesson by killing us? The police records will prove that about 99% of the reported cases were initiated by the Malays. Many were arrested for a crime they did not commit. The only misbehavior as they claim is that we blacks talk loudly thus disturbing them. Therefore, as the number of students increases they feel uneasy.
I urge all prospective students who wish to study here to reconsider their decisions. Malaysia is not a suitable atmosphere for education due to intense discrimination and insecurity. It has the entire physical infrastructure needed to facilitate learning but the student’s mind is constantly occupied by security concerns. Almost every month, if not a week, a student must die like an animal without any concern by the government of Malaysia. The worse of it all is that the African embassies in all these cases voiced not. We did not know before we stepped in. Now you know make a wise decision. Our lives worth nothing in the face of their security personnel. Some of us may not see our families and loved ones in the years to come if still in Malaysia. Some dropped their studies prematurely and went away just to feel secured.
For those who came here in the name of job and went back home within some days will bear us witness. It is very difficult to secure a job. Once you are through you could be dismissed anytime unnoticed. They don’t just trust foreign workers. Jobs that they consider as demanding, dirty, risky, and dangerous to their lives were those given to foreigners. Examples are working in the petrol shell, shopping malls etc. Just this month, the government came out with a decision to have a zero percent of foreign workers in these areas. Hence, the companies in the mentioned areas were told to terminate the contracts of all foreign workers since the Malaysians are now ready to work. On top of that, all foreign companies in Malaysia are now required to employ only locals with narrow space for the foreigner.
In fact students here face difficulties to getting companies for their industrial training. Not because of our academic inability. We have the potential. We usually turned back to our nations if affordable for the training. Master and PhD students in most cases have no choice than to teach in the primary and Junior high schools. The lucky ones may get senior high schools which otherwise they will not have accepted if at home. Exceptional cases may lead some of them to university level.
In a nutshell, let us not again risk our lives to travel all the way from Africa to Malaysia for education or in search of jobs. Let us stay where our dignity is respected, where our minds find rest, and where our blood will not be shed just because of our color. LET’S LOVE OUR HOME COUNTRY AND WORK TOWARDS MAKING IT A BETTER DESTINATION AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEEN. STAY IN AFRICA… FOREIGN AFRICAN STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS SHOULD GO BACK TO AFRICA AFTER STUDIES TO SHARE THEIR TALENT.
Bandung, Indonesia: The Trip
My trip to Bandung, Indonesia took off with a rough start. On the eve of my trip, I didn’t have a single rupiah. I was planning to head to the money changer after dinner but I had a little mishap while sipping a hot cup of Chinese tea. I slipped off my hand and the hot tea splashed onto my thighs and.. umm.. It was hot.
Immediately after dinner, I rushed to the nearest money changer and found that it was closed. It was almost 830pm and most money changers would close by 9pm. I rushed to another money changer nearby and lined up about 10 minutes…
All I got from the money changer was “Sorry, No more rupiah”
I panicked. The nearest money changer would be Mid Valley which is around 10 minutes away. I drove like a mad man to my destination and found that the entrances to the car park blocked…
I was at the verge of dumping my car by the side of the road but fortunately the car park entrance at the Gardens (another annexure of Mid Valley) open.
Within no time, I found myself in Mid Valley changing my money to Rupiah. I’m all set for my new adventure!
Tiger FC Fantasy League
I just set up my team for the Tiger FC Fantasy League. Tiger FC Fantasy League is an online football game where you can set up a virtual team and choose your favourite Barclays Premier league players (at a certain price tag) to join your team. It’s like playing Roman Abramovich. The scores are calculated through the real life performance of the players in your team.
Unfortunately, we are only given a 115 million pounds budget to buy players and a manager. Further, we can only have maximum 3 players from a team. Frank wanted choose all his players from Manchester United. Tough luck mate.
Choose your profile! The third one from the left looks like Steve McLaren. Sure fail.
Since I have a limited budget, it took me some time to choose my players. After choosing all my preferred players, I realized that I ran out of money to buy a manager! Argh!!
Finally! My team! I wanted Berbatov as my striker initially. I got him out cause he’s too expensive.
After selling off Berbatov, I bought Alex Ferguson as my manager. But after Manchester United lost to Liverfools 2-1..
By the way, Tiger FC Fantasy League also offers prizes to be won. The highest scoring manager at the end of the season will win a fantastic prize – A Trip for 2 to the UK and RM1,000 Spending Money each!
I’ve joined a mini-league created by Nuffnang. Mini-League with the highest average score at the end of the season will win a prize.
– 1st Prize x 1 Cash RM2,000.00 + 3 crates of Tiger Beer
– 2nd Prize x 1 Cash RM1,500.00 + 3 crates of Tiger Beer
– 3rd Prize x 1 Cash RM1,000.00 + 3 crates of Tiger Beer
I’ll be off to Bandung, Indonesia tomorrow for 4 days for a break.
Bandung is one of the largest cities in Indonesia. It is well know for its many universities, textile industry and many roadside cafes. A friend of mine went there recently and bought back this…
I can’t wait!
My only mean of transport, my 8 years old Proton Satria is aging considerably. It no longer provides me with the cool air from the aircon and it shakes all the time. I guess its time for me to change my car.
I’ve been eying on the Suzuki Swift for quite some time now. The design is sleek and it’s quite affordable. I’ve been checking on the prices of the car on www.mudah.com.my, an online buy and sell portal which I just discovered. You can actually post your stuff online for free.
On the other hand, I don’t want to spend my hard earned cash on a car. It’s going to be a liability. My other alternative is to save up enough to buy a piece of property. It’s forced savings and if I’m lucky, I’ll get a tenant to cover up my monthly payment. I was surfing Mudah.com.my’s property listing and I note that it listed properties all over Malaysia – even Sabah. Mmm…maybe I should buy a retirement home there.
But warao, houses in Kota Kinabalu are not cheap!
Since Mudah.com.my is quite informative, I surfed the website for more stuff. And I found this..
HAHAHAHAH STUD SERVICE!!
SOMEONE PIMPED HIS DOG ONLINE!!
P/S “call me if u really want to mating with my Boder Collie condition can be puppy or cash”… What does this means? His Boder Collie can mate with a puppy or cash? -_-
Uncle Shuffler Sow has decided to leave everything behind to seek his fortunes in London. He will be sorely missed by many including myself.
This year, Sow the plastic bag man will not be in service for my birthday.
Sow – my official barfbag holder 2003
Sow – my official barfbag holder 2005
Sow – ivN’s official barfbag holder 2007
All the best bro, may you steal a lot of water and suck a lot of oil in London!
One of the problems faced by bloggers is “internet trolls” i.e. a person who posts malicious, annoying, insulting or degrading message anonymously. For many years, this website has been subjected by assaults by internet trolls, for example, crazy woman iloveu .
And today, Malaysian blogosphere has taken another step in combating internet trolls. The latest news is that Cheese@Ringo has publicly revealed and humiliated an internet troll!! AAHHH I CAN TASTE THE SWEET REVENGE…mm
Unfortunately, the post has been amended and all references on the troll has been removed. The post was removed after the ‘troll’ publicly apologized. Boohoo.
Perhaps it may be useful to reveal that message posted by internet trolls may give rise to an offence under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. Section 233 of the Act provides that:
233. Improper use of network facilities or network service, etc.
(1) A person who-
(a) by means of any network facilities or network service or applications service knowingly-
(ii) initiates the transmission of,
any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person; or
(b) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address,
commits an offence.
(3) A person who commits an offence under this section shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both and shall also be liable to a further fine of one thousand ringgit for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction.
This section of the act has been used before in Malaysia. Opposition party member, Tian Chua was investigated under this section after he posted certain images on his blog.
/me waits for the first Malaysian internet troll to be charged in Court.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival
While many of us had the comfort of celebrating the Mid Autumn Festival at their homes, the Member of Parliament for area, Teresa Kok is locked up at an unknown place. She was arrested under the Malaysian Internal Security Act which allows a person to be detained for an indefinite period.
According to media reports, Teresa was accused of stirring up racial sentiments by instigating residents to petition against mosques in Kinrara and Kota Damansara to lower the volume of their speakers. Teresa has denied these allegations and both mosques have come out to deny these accusations.
My area is relatively calm and so far I’ve not seen any street protest in my area.
Whatever is it, I hope that Teresa Kok will be released soon.
Teresa Kok’s blog – http://teresakok.com
Petition to free Teresa Kok