A million Indonesian Rupiah-aire that is. Which, according to today’s exchange rate is exactly RM384.90 only.
Still, it feels good to call myself a millionaire eventhough it’s a different currency. I mean, I always dreamed of swimming in a pool of dollar notes when I strike it rich one day.
Anyway, the reason why I’m converting my Ringgits to Rupiahs is because it’s the long weekend here in Sarawak and I’m using the opportunity to take a 4-day trip to Jakarta. I have never stepped foot to Indonesia before, so this is gonna be my exciting virgin trip into the country we only know as the main exporter of maids, terrorists, earthquakes and The Annual Haze™.
I hope language wouldn’t be a problem for me here. Although I used to have heaps of Indonesian friends back in Australia, the only Indonesian word they ever taught me was “ngentot”. And I don’t even know what the hell that means.
Indonesia has been in the news a lot lately. Not necessarily for the right reasons though.
Because the income gap between the rich and the poor is so huge, people in cities like Jakarta is notorious for scamming, pickpocketing and mugging, even under broad daylight. Jakarta isn’t exactly the safest city in South-East Asia, and to make things worse I’m gonna be travelling over there all alone.
A tourist like me is definitely gonna look like a walking ATM machine waiting to be robbed in Jakarta.
Why did the ATM machine cross the road?
Having gone through the nightmare of losing all my money in a foreign country before, I certainly wouldn’t wanna repeat the same hellish experience over again.
To prevent the worst from happening, I came up with the brilliant idea of hiding my stacks of cash in different compartments.
In the very likely scenario that I do get mugged or have my wallet stolen, at least they’ll just take what’s inside my wallet and I would still have some Rupiahs covertly stashed away in my bag.
.. in my jeans pocket.
… inside my underwear.
… inside my socks.
… and heck, even underneath my shoes.
Then, with all my cash safely hidden away, I will just pretend to walk around the streets of Jakarta as innocently as possible.
SEGi College Malaysia recently unveiled their brand new flagship campus in Kota Damansara. I was invited over to write about them during their Open Day and OMG it was HUUUUUGGEEEEE.
As if everything in Damansara is not big enough.
People here already live in HUGE condos, walk around HUGE shopping malls and living off their HUGE paychecks. With the addition of the college campus, Kota Damansara has just gotten bigger.
I thought their new campus building looks kinda like a mosque from the outside, but SEGi College insists that it was Roman-inspired. Whatever lah.
Seriously though, I won’t be surprised if our Prime Minister mistakenly walked into it because SEGi College looks so much like his office in Putrajaya.
The whole campus looks straight-up spectacular. Walking up some huge staircase into their lobby, I was like “Whoa! This isn’t a place where people come to study. This is a 5-star hotel!”
Reinforcing the whole Roman theme are some more Roman statues scattered all over the place.
The place is so Roman, I felt like I should come in here wearing a toga.
Don’t you think this picture looks FUNNY?
It’s like the statue is trying to tell the little boy something.
Anyway, I embeded myself to a student counsellor and took the tour around campus.
The whole place just looks downright amazing. Places of education used to resemble more like a prison, so this is quite a pleasant change.
They really pamper their student these days. The outdoor setting tastefully decorated with plants and statues; the indoor area all fully air-conditioned and equipped with wireless internet so students don’t have to break a sweat when they’re cramming for exams.
SEGi College has been around for 30 years and is the country’s largest group of private colleges.
The new Kota Damansara campus is now accepting July-intake students, offering courses ranging from the more popular ones like business and engineering …
… to creative arts …
… to the more niche ones like psychology and nursing.
Speaking of nursing, their nursing department put on the most interesting exhibition ever.
I had so much fun with their displays. Like scolding them.
“OI! USE YOUR BRAIN LAH! No brain ah?! Nah, give you.”
“Hey congratulations. Your weight loss is a success!”
“See lah! This is what happens when you study too much and forgot to eat.”
The SEGi College Kota Damansara campus looks so gorgeous it can make anyone feel like going back to becoming a student again.
A hostel is built onsite next to some excellent sporting facilities, including a gym, a squash court and an indoor multipurpose hall that could be used for badminton and tennis.
It’s even got a swimming pool located smack in the middle of their Roman-esque piazza. How cool is that?
Although from what I know happens in colleges, I don’t think this swimming pool is gonna be used so much for actual swimming, but to throw your friends in during their birthdays. 😛
Heck, the college is so awesome, it even grew a set of BALLS!
Reader Cheryl sent in this photo of a toothpaste she saw at her local supermarket.
Think it’s a toothpaste of a popular brand?
Take a closer look.
Oral Me! Would you like to oral me?
What kinda dumbass came up with the brilliant idea of calling a toothpaste “Oral Me”? What was he thinking?! The guy has only one job coming up with a product name, and he stuffs it up by calling it “Oral Me”!
Bloody hell, I could think of a million different names for a toothpaste, and all of it would sound better than “Oral Me”.
They might as well call it “The Blowjob Toothpaste”, and it would still sound better than “Oral Me”.
Can you imagine the TV advertisement for this product? “Oral Me… Toothpastes That Suck!”
In what must be a gross administrative error, Yahoo! Answers Malaysia has classified me as a ‘celebrity’ and featured kennysia.com this week’s “Celebrity Question Asker” alongside actual real celebrities like Daphne Iking and Amber Chia.
I don’t know since when I was promoted to “celebrity” status, but I bet Amber Chia must be pretty fuming right now, sitting at home tapping her fingers furiously asking “What?! I am being put on the same level with THIS IDIOT?”
In fact, I think Amber Chia is gonna be so angry she’s gonna put her head on the floor, turn herself upside down and spin around on her head like in the movie Possessed.
Anyway, the question I posed to the public this week is “Bloggers as role models – to what extent do bloggers have a social responsibility to their audience?”
I’m not asking this question on behalf of myself, but I think everyone who has a blog will face this big bad dilemma at some stage.
One of my favourite bloggers, Kurt Low, was in a similar situation a while ago.
Kurt serves as a vocalist for his church ensemble. Automatically that makes him a role model little bible-toting kids should look up to. Like mine, Kurt’s blog has always been about his own personal thoughts, rantings and lewd jokes typical of any 20+ year old hormonally-charged male. I enjoy reading his blog. And I’m sure he’s nicer in real life.
But when Kurt posted one too many photo of Sayaka Ando in bikini and reference to the human reproductive organs, his CHURCH PASTOR called him up to express “concern over contents”.
While I don’t serve for any religious establishments, some teachers told me they have recommended their students to read my blog. Heck, some mothers even told me they have been discussing my blog with their 16-year-old daughters.
What are they doing talking about my website? These are teengers you know. They should be talking about how Sanjaya getting voted off American Idol is the biggest crime of the decade. Not kennysia.com!
The biggest wake-up call was when Mix.fm promoted my site over the radio (thanks, guys) strangely describing it as “safe for kids” (no thanks, guys).
Yes, around 20% of my readers are teenagers and yes, I realise that some of them are subconsciously trying to emulate me. Like it or not, I have been pushed into the unenviable position of a “role model”. That is one BIG reason why I have toned down so much over the last two years.
While my new readers come in by the bucket loads, old-time readers lamented that I have gone “soft” and that I am “not as entertaining as before”.
I know, guys. I know.
Old readers may not enjoy kennysia.com as much as before, but how am I ever gonna forgive myself if some 15-year-old learnt how to be obnoxious after reading my unforgiving piece on FurongJiejie?
I thought the dirty jokes I made back then was funny, but how many mothers who have teenage daughters reading my blog would find it equally as hilarious?
I used to poke fun at myself all the time, but how the hell am I gonna explain to my boss when he sees this?
See my dilemma here?
We all know R-rated movies are infinitely more entertaining than G-rated movies. Sadly, unlike the movies, we cannot control which audience we want to read our blogs.
Don’t say “Oh, I don’t have that much readers so I can write anything I want.” Like it or not, ANYONE of you guys who owns a blog are gonna have to deal with possibility that your blog will be read by a teenager who might consider you as a role model, and in the process try to emulate you.
And if you know that, what will your conscience say?
Okay, so I published a blog entry. Quite a few people didn’t like it and I copped it left, right, centre, upside-down, inside out.
It is amazing to read through the 700+ comments and watch the vicious insults fly and the name-calling get taken to a whole new level.
When I did not mention how I helped, people say I am useless in a critical time. But when I explained exactly how I helped, people say I boast about being “hero”. The more I try to explain, the more I kena attacked. But if I didn’t explain, they said “OH!!! He did not answer my question so it must be true!”
As one reader so appropriately put it, “I felt more traumatized reading all these comments than reading about the accident itself.”
If people are more interested in telling me what to do and not listening to what I have to say, what can I do, right?
kennysia.com is and always has been about the quirks, the unusuals, and most importantly the reality of the world around us. Ideally I’d like people to leave this blog feeling a little entertained and maybe learn something new they didn’t know about before.
Unfortunately, with close to 20,000 people reading this everyday, each demanding something different out of me… the truth is, it ain’t easy to make everyone happy. And frankly, it sucks to be in my position.
So yes, sometimes I slipped and I made some people angry. For that, I am sorry. Sorry that I didn’t perform up to your expectations. I tried. It was difficult.
But unlike most bloggers out there who adopt the mantra that “this is my blog and I can write whatever *toot* I want”, kennysia.com aims to please ALL.
I want to please everyone out there, and that includes those who claim to hate me but still come in here and leave me an insult on a day-to-day basis. Which is why to make your job easier, I have decided to specially create this kennysia.com Hate Comment Generator. Just for you.
kennysia.com Hate Comment Generator
Sorry guys, I hope this makes up for all the naughty things I’ve done.
On the streets of Cairo, this frail old lady sitting on the side of the streets by herself. It was 6 in the morning.
I don’t know who she is, or what she does for a living. What I do know is that she possess one of the most hauntingly blue eyes I have ever seen.
It was as if behind those pair of deep blue eyes was a story of despair and hardship.
What is her name? How did she end up sitting alone in the streets so early in the morning? She couldn’t tell me because we do not speak the same language.
I believe that every single one around us has an amazing story waiting to be told.
Most of us think that we all lead normal lives and that other people’s lives are just so routine and boring it is not worth telling. We don’t make an effort to get to really get to know someone because we throught there was nothing special to learn from them.
It is only when we managed to get someone to open up, then we truly get blown away.
I just witnessed a horrific car accident earlier today. I am still in distraught.
Potentially disturbing images ahead
*~*~*~* Public Service Announcement *~*~*~* Please note that kennysia.com has received permission from the involved’s direct family to publish the photos of the car accident on this website. kennysia.com wishes to advise anyone reading this entry that not everyone may wish to have these photos published as such. If you encounter a potentially fatal car accident in the future, please always ensure that the victims are safe first and foremost. *~*~*~* Public Service Announcement *~*~*~*
It was along the Batu Kawa-Matang Road. The driver of a Honda had tried to overtake the vehicle in front of her. She didn’t succeed, and was met with a head-on collision with a cargo truck instead.
When I was driving past the scene, all I noticed was a bystander shouting for help. He couldn’t get a phone signal in the new area so I offered to help by calling the emergency number.
I had received First Aid training before, but when I was put into a situation like this, I honestly do not know how to react.
For a long time I stood there in shock and distress, not knowing what to do except run around asking for help.
More volunteers had arrived. A man was calm enough to open the car door to check on the conditions of the passengers.
I looked inside and took a glimpse of the driver. She was a young lady around my age, still in her seat belt, body slouching to the side, eyes half opened. Lifeless.
The spoiler of the lorry had gone right through the windscreen and smashed into the headrest of her seat. She couldn’t have survived.
Then I saw that there were children inside the car. Young kids, no bigger than my own nephew and nieces. Their bodies, covered in blood, sprawling over the car seats of the car.
My heart sank.
We noticed a young girl still breathing. Immediately, one of the volunteers carried her out of the car and rushed her to the hospital.
I don’t know what happened to her eventually. The newspaper report said that she survived but suffered serious head injuries.
If anyone reading this website knows the family of the unfortunate souls who perished in this incident, please drop me an e-mail.
I may not know you, but I apologise because I was there at the time of the incident and I do not know what else there is to do. If you know the condition of the little girl in hospital, please tell me. And if there is anything at all that I can do to help, financial or otherwise, please let me know.
It all started when I wrote as part of my New Year’s Resolution that I planned to climb Mt Kinabalu before the end of this year.
Su Ann of quaintly.net had sent me an e-mail saying that if I’m going, she’d wanna tag along.
Though I was initially skeptical of having an 18-year-old school girl climb a mountain with me, I thought I could use some company. After some planning together over e-mail, we’re on our way to our first ever mountain-climbing expedition.
The coolest drink I’ve ever had in KK. Coconut Shake at Anjung Senja
Our trip didn’t exactly start off on a good note.
Because it was already close to midnight when I touched down at Kota Kinabalu, I thought it would be a better idea if I hired a car instead of paying ridiculous charges for a taxi to take us to Kinabalu Park, located some 2 hours away.
I got a Proton Wira for RM170 a day, which is all fine and dandy.
There’s only one problem though. As if it isn’t difficult as it is to drive at an unfamiliar place at night, Sabah doesn’t exactly have the best street signs to direct us to Kinabalu Park.
LOST AND FOUND: Camwhores in Sabah
As a result, we got lost and ended up in a quaint little town called Tuaran. Lucky its called ‘Tuaran’ and not ‘Tua lan’. Heck, I wouldn’t wanna get lost in a town where all the men have huge testicles.
When we finally arrived at our destination some four hours later, it was already 4:30am. Great. Just two hours of sleep before we have to trek six hours up the mountain.
The view from Hill Lodge at Kinabalu Park. Accomodation is cheap at RM110/night.
A lot of people think that Mount Kinabalu is South-East Asia’s tallest mountain, but that is not true. According to Wikipedia, it is only the third tallest after Myanmar and Indonesia’s.
Still, at 4095m high, it is by no means gonna be a walk in the park, especially for beginners.
After registering ourselves at the Park HQ (costing us about RM70 per person for guide, porter and park fees), we set out to Timpohon Gate at 10am to begin our ascend.
Our guide-cum-porter is a friendly local by the name of Jikon Michael. As Su Ann and I later found out, he’s probably the best guide beginners like us could ever wish for.
Most people take two days to ascend and descend the mountain, staying overnight at Laban Rata resthouse (RM50 per dorm bed) before the final attack of the summit.
The first thing that we passed by is a signboard telling us the fastest recorded time up and down Mt Kinabalu. Apparently, some crazy Mexican called Ricardo Mejia managed to complete the mountain in 2 hours 50 minutes!
Who does he think he is? Speedy Gonzales?!
The first kilometre of the climb was fairly easy. We passed by a beautiful waterfall and strolled along well-defined paths amid the lush rainforest that Kinabalu Park is famous for.
Yea, right now you see us goofing around acting like we’re damn tired in this photo. Later on we didn’t even need to act ‘cos we were really damn exhausted.
The whole journey up to the Laban Rata resthouse is about 6km, which should take us about 6 hours.
Along the way, we were treated to spectacular views of rare plants and vegetation.
It’s not uncommon to spot some hungry wildlife looking for food as well as well.
Mt Kinabalu is described as one of the most accessible mountain, and rightfully so. Every 800m or so, there are pondoks or huts where you could rest your feet and drink fresh untreated rainwater in tanks.
If you want to, you could even use the toilets.
And it even comes with flush!
And you don’t even have to pay twenty cents!
Apart from some light rain, the weather has been kind to us for the better part of the journey. Su Ann and I chatted along the way to keep each other entertained. We were wondering why there were people who made it to Laban Rata but chose to gave up before reaching the summit. A bit wasted, right?
3km in, we started to notice that our surroundings are getting a bit misty.
The mist gives us an illusion that we’re in some kinda surreal alien world, which is actually not so far apart from the truth.
Everything around us didn’t feel like anything we were familiar with. It was like we’re transported into a completely different dimension.
A bit further down the tracks, we spotted some strange-looking trees that look like they come from straight out from a horror movie. You know, the type that have tree branches grabbing you from behind when you’re not looking and strangle you to death.
Slowly, the path we trudged on changed from soil to rocks.
We started to feel the punishment on our bodies. Our legs were sore and every step just seems to get harder and harder.
A drop in temperature as we go higher in altitude meant that we cannot stop to rest for too long or we’ll get really cold and slow down easily.
Under such heavy rain, the final 500m trek up to Laban Rata resthouse was so difficult that I could sense the exasperation on Su Ann’s voice. Instead of climbing up rock staircases, we were climbing mini waterfalls.
It was cold, wet and we were all very, very exhausted.
“How long more to goooooo?” she asked with a tinge of frustration. “Just a little bit more. Real food and hot showers ahead!”
That is the only encouragement I could give. Fact is, I was just as frustrated as to why I am subjecting myself to this sort of torture.
By the time we reached Laban Rata, we were soaking wet from head to toe. Su Ann took a well-deserved hot shower and hung out with some climbers she met along the way.
I could only managed to change into my semi-dry clothes before falling into a heap on my bed and pass out.
Later that evening I developed a fever. Maybe its the rain, but my body temperature shot up so high it’s not funny. I was weak and miserable.
All through the night, all I could hope for was that I would be in a good enough condition to climb to the summit the following day.
For a tourist accomodation that has been established for such a long time, it is disappointing that Laban Rata doesn’t even have basic drying facilities for our wet clothes and shoes.
We were not allowed to but because we had no choice, Su Ann and I dried our wet socks and shoes over our in-room heater.
*sniff* *sniff* “I think I smell rubber burning…” — our European roommates.
Lucky Laban Rata didn’t burn down.
Because my sports shirt was still wet and cold, I folded it into a rectangle and placed it over my forehead to ease my fever. It helped.
I always thought I look kinda weird wearing a beanie
After barely 4 hours of sleep, we woke up around 1am and got suited up for the second part of our climb.
And that’s Su Ann putting the G-string torchlight over her head. Haha!
Not a lot of pictures here, but suffice to say this was definitely the most gruelling part of the climb. The rocky path up to the summit is unforgivingly steep. At some point, the level of inclination was almost 70 degrees, with only a rope separating us between life and certain death.
The weather up here is icy cold and although I was wearing four layers (windbreaker + sweater + thermal underwear + my layer of fat), it was almost impossible to stay warm and focused. My lack of sleep, fever and the lack of oxygen as we go higher makes mobility even more difficult.
At one point Su Ann and I were practically walking every ten steps and collapsing, walking every ten steps and collapsing… until we almost felt like giving up. “Never again…” she muttered lifelessly as she sprawled down next to me.
We had not even a single ounce of energy left in us. Now we know why some people turned back even when they were so close to reaching the summit.
But we’re not ready to give up. Not just yet.
Somehow, we managed to dig down deep inside ourselves and stand up.
And we kept going.
Relying on nothing mroe but 100% pure determination alone.
We really, really wanted to reach the top.
By 5:30am, we witnessed the break of dawn.
One by one, the many famous features of the Kinabalu’s mountain peak began to reveal themselves. It was a sight to behold.
The magnificent faraway landscape.
The South Peak. That’s the image at the back of the RM1 note.
The St John’s Peak.
And the grand daddy of ’em all, The Low’s Peak. The highest point in the whole of Malaysia.
Su Ann got a sudden surge of adrenaline and pushed forward. For me however, the fever and altitude sickness were starting to consume me.
Only 15 metres left to go.
As she pressed ahead towards Low’s Peak, I followed slowly behind trying to stay conscious. I was as pale as a ghost. Many times I felt like vomitting, but nothing came out.
Su Ann was waiting for me. I dragged myself towards to sign post.
And finally, we reached the peak!
Then we took this photo.
Yes, after two days of hiking, battling sickness, climb 8.7km up the tallest mountain in Malaysia, our moment of pride was ruined by a Japanese photographer in the background and a silly-looking Chinese lady wearing a puffy jacket in the front.
Here’s a better picture.
I felt awesome to have made it to the top. I have never climbed a mountain before on my own. This is the first time I did it and I felt so damn good about myself.
I felt exactly how it feels like to be standing at Low’s Peak… on top of the world!
Unfortunately for Su Ann, things took a downhill from there. No pun intended .:P
As she was making her way down from Low’s Peak, the girl sprained her ankle. Badly.
It was so bad, our guide-cum-porter Jikon had to piggyback her down to Laban Rata. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the girl had to be put on a stretcher to be carried down the the foot of the mountain. A lot of climbers who saw the incident must have thought that someone died. Haha!
Ok, so my travel partner was carried away by our guide.
How about me?
I was left alone to make my way down the treacherous Kinabalu mountain peak carrying TWO bags!
My bag and HIS bag. Hey, I thought you’re supposed to be my porter!
I still wasn’t feeling well. To make things worse, halfway down my walking stick was broken.
So much for a canggih-RM42-metal-alloy-walking-stick-with-suspension-spring-somemore-dun-pray-pray.
When I arrived downhill at the 4km point, Su Ann Lim, being the one tough cookie that she is, managed to get off the stretcher. Joining me, she even managed made it all the way down the mountain by herself, sprained ankle and all.
It was raining all the way down too. But heck, does that even matter? We’ve already made it all the way to the top of Mount Kinabalu. And we are ROCK STARS! 😉
Looks like the front cover of my Form 3 Geography book
Though Su Ann and I had never even met before this, I reckon she has been a fantastic travel partner to be on my side. Thanks for a memorable experience and for being such an absolute legend! Looking forward to travelling together again.
Here’s a video of our Mt Kinabalu trip.
I learnt a lot of things about this trip. When we went to Mt Kinabalu, we were exposed to the spirit of comradeship. We gave each other encouragement and worked as a team until we successfully completed the journey. The expedition had changed me and I believe I am now a better person.
Oh, and I learnt all these without even having to jump out of a plane in North Pole.
Six weeks before I am about to run on Malaysia’s longest bridge in a 42km race, I am setting myself a physical challenge by attempting to climb Malaysia’s tallest mountain.
I am now in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
In a short while, I’ll be meeting up with my travel buddy and head down to Kinabalu Park together, where we’ll catch some sleep before waking up at 6:30am the next day to prepare for our climb.
Technically speaking, this will be my second time climbing a mountain. My first attempt was 2,200m Mt Sinai in Egypt, where my legs eventually gave way and I cheated by hiring a camel to take me 3/4 way up to the top.
I was desperately underprepared back then (all I wore was a piece of sweater and jeans), so hopefully I could redeem myself this time round by going all the way without the assistance of some four-legged desert beast.
I certainly won’t be underprepared this time round.
My packing list includes:
– Sports shorts and shirts
– Long johns or thermal underwear: Looks damn ugly but supposed to keep you warm
– Sweater and trackpants
– Windbreaker with waterproof hood
– My adidas Cardrona outdoor shoes: Heel and ankle support is so important when you’re about to climb a total 18km up and down the mountain. Good traction on the soles when climbing up the smooth rock wall could mean a difference between life and death. My collection of running shoes just wouldn’t cut it.
– Carbohydrate-rich energy bars and electrolyte powder. I use Powerbar.
– Water purification tablets: There’s only rainwater on the trail to Mt Kinabalu, and I ain’t keen on drinking rainwater. Not in Malaysia anyway.
– Panadol: For altitude sickness.
– Tiger Balm: my trusty all-purpose Chinese medication.
– Flanal analgesic cream
– Gloves and beanie
– A RM42 metal-alloy walking stick. This one got suspension spring somemore dun pray pray.
– Headlamp: ‘cos on Saturday I gotta wake up at 1am to climb. You’re supposed to wear the straps over your head, but I thought it kinda look like a G-string. Makes me wonder if there are actually people wearing it like a G-string, and more importantly, for what purpose.
– Raincoat or poncho: I seriously hope I don’t have to use this.
The weather forecast for Friday 11th May is “scattered thunderstorms”. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.