ADV: Do You Know UNIQLO?

When I think Japanese fashion, a few things immediately come to mind.

Cute girls in kawaii short skirts…

Harajuku teenagers in outrageous cosplay outfits…

A man in a cow suit talking on his handphone…

Oh wait.

Okay, maybe not the last one.

One thing I know for sure about Japanese fashion is that it’s always unique, always attention-grabbing, and also always very very expensive.

When I was in Japan early last year, one of the things I enjoyed most was visiting the boutiques there. Not only are their store displays creative, I like it that their shop assistants go an extra mile to make you feel welcome. These Japanese girls have the chirpiness of a canary. Everytime someone walks in, they are greeted a "HELLO WELCOME!" and a smile that never seems to fade.

Heck, some of the bigger stores even hire a “greeter” whose full-time job is nothing but to smile and bow at customers as soon as they walk in.

Being a sucker for good service, normally I would flip out my credit card immediately when someone do that to me. The problem is… the cheapest T-shirt in a typical Shibuya boutique costs at least RM300! It’s way more than the amount I’m willing to spend on a simple piece of fabric.

After all that window-shopping in Tokyo, I finally stumbled across is one boutique store that offers everything chic and stylish, yet easy on the wallet.

They are called UNIQLO – one of the largest clothing retailer in Japan. It’s my favourite store in Japan – think Topshop stuff at Cotton On prices.

I stocked up on a whole bunch of T-shirts and fleece. My favourite stuff in their store is their video game inspired UTs – creatively packaged inside a cylindrical jar!

I totally bought it. And they aren’t too expensive either. Only RM30!

“Tonight the stars. Tomorrow the Moon.” That’s some kick-ass philosophy to live by.

“A T-shirt is more than just a T-shirt. It’s an expression of who you are. Where you’ve been. What you love. That’s the UT philosophy.”

Deep, very deep.

The point of this whole story is this.

I haven’t been back to KL city for nearly 2 months. When I finally returned to KL again last weekend, I was shocked to see that KL Plaza has received a complete make-over and is now called Farenheit 88.

Then I received an even bigger shock.

UNIQLO is coming to Malaysia this 4th November.

I just about died from fashion orgasm.

UNIQLO’s selection of fleece wear.

Don’t think you’ll be wearing a lot of that in hot and humid Malaysian weather.


A sneak peek inside what goes on behind the doors. I already saw a pair of khaki pants I wanna buy, and it’s only RM49.90!

A quick search online yielded some interesting prizes they have in conjunction with their grand opening.

The first 500 kiasu customers who queue on on their opening day will get 1 in 100 chance of winning an all-expense paid holiday to Tokyo, Japan.

For those who are a little bit less kiasu, there are online games on both their Facebook page and you can play to also win a free trip to Tokyo, Japan.

There Go Uniqlo website was particularly an interesting one. The website asked for my location. So I input my Kuching address and the website showed me a “clothing trail” all the way from Kuching to Farenheit 88 in KL.

Gee, thanks!

Trust me, if I could swim across the South China Sea, I would!

But hey, a free RM20 UNIQLO voucher ain’t that bad.

So now the khaki pants I wanted is only RM29.90! If that ain’t a bargain I don’t know what is!

ADV: Oktobeer!


Look at the size of that mug! Whoever did a “bottoms up” on that beer right there must be a happy man sleeping on the pub floor right now.

As if we couldn’t find enough reasons to drink beer after New Year, Chinese New Year, Christmas and Arthur’s Day, we have now resorted to importing St Patrick’s Day from Ireland and Oktoberfest from Germany.


And that 1 litre Tiger beer mug is just one of the reasons Malaysians are celebrating Oktoberfest. For the whole entire month in October, the country’s most popular beer brands have all bandied together to celebrate the world’s greatest beer festival.

We’re talking street parties and happy hours all month long for Tiger, Heineken, Guinness, Kilkenny, Strongbow and Paulaner at selected pubs across Malaysia!

Spend over RM200 on grub at like Sid’s, Laundry or Souled Out, they’ll even throw you a bucket of Tiger Beer on the house. That’s German hospitality for ya!

The Oktoberfest celebration isn’t just confined to pubs.

People can go to your typical neighbourhood supermarket, buy a 12-can pack of Tiger, and they’ll give you this funky oversized mug hat for free.

Heck, people can even go to your typical neighbourhood Chinese kopitiam, buy 2 bottles of Tiger, Guinness or Heineken, and get RM2 off.

Kopitiam uncles also can celebrate Oktoberfest!

To get the most out of the German festival, you must go to one of those Oktoberfest parties held at some of the most popular drinking holes in the country.

Here are the dates of the parties.

Hang on. Where is Kuching on that list? 🙁

They’ve got 3 pubs in Klang Valley, 1 in Penang and 1 in Kota Kinabalu doing the ‘Fest but Kuching is no where to be seen. Come on Kuching pubs, you guys gotta up your game!


For those who live in Kota Kinabalu, be sure to check out Waterfront this coming Saturday for the final Oktobestfest celebrations in the country.

Because seriously, where else can you spend RM50 on a litre of Tiger beer AND get to bring the mug back?

I once spent RM50 on a girl and didn’t even manage to bring her back. 🙁

ADV: The Apple iPhone 4 Review

You know you’re doing something right when people start bashing you mercilessly even before you’re officially released onto the market.

Way before Maxis brought the iPhone 4 onto the market, fanboys from the Blackberry and Android camps are drawing swords against iPhone supporters.

Blackberry fans say the iPhone is meant for kids and Blackberry is for business users. Android supporters claim their handsets can do much more at a much cheaper price.

But at the end of the day, only Maxis can still draw soooo much crowd that they had to hire a Grand freaking Ballroom at Gardens and put 60 registration desks in there just to handle the launch day sales.

Just like Shakira’s hips, these photos don’t lie.

People were queuing up even at 11pm on a Thursday night just to get the Apple iPhone 4. And I was one of them.

So I am a proud owner of an Apple iPhone 4.

Am I aware that the iPhone 4 can only do video calls on Wi-Fi? Yes. It frustrates me too when I want to show it off to my friends and I can’t.

Do I know that iPhone 4 is facing "Antenna-gate" controversy? Of course. Like Steve Jobs say, it happens to every smartphone out there.

Ultimately, all these pale in comparison with one plain and simple fact:

The Apple iPhone 4 just works.

Everything works right out the box, without needing to download this, install that and read up "How-To" guides online. If it can’t do a certain thing, then there will be an App for it. If there is no App for it, then you know it cannot be done.

Simple as that.

The first thing that struck me was how crisp and sharp the display is. Apple crammed so much pixels into such a small space to create what they call the Retina Display. Reading stuff off the screen is almost the same as reading text off magazines or newspapers. After looking at the iPhone 4, it is difficult to go back to regular LCD screen again.

The crispness extends beyond just the screen.

Everything about the iPhone 4 – the speakers, the buttons, the camera – is newer, sharper, crisper, harder.

Check out this photo I took using my iPhone 4.

I placed a layer of protective sticker over the back of the phone, but there’s no need for it. The phone is harder and more scratch-resistant than the previous iPhones, as well as other major smartphones out there on the market.

The iPhone 4’s FaceTime, or video-calling, is the best implementation I’ve seen on a phone EVER.

Video-calling is nothing new. It’s a 5-year-old technology that never really took off because the video and call signal on previous generations of phone is so bad.

But FaceTime on the iPhone 4 is smooth and clear it’s almost like talking on Skype. The difference is that I don’t have to lug around my laptop while doing so.

And I’m loving it. I toyed with the idea of going for an Android phone.

Although web-browsing and GPS is a lot faster, it just isn’t user-friendly enough to make me wanna buy it.

Sure, it is cheap.  But buying an Android for a phone is like buying a Linux for a PC. It can do a lot of stuff but the steep learning curve just isn’t worth it.

Compared to the Android, the iPhone 4 is just heaps easier to use.

I’m not say that it’s the be all end all.

The Apple iPhone 4 may not be the perfect phone out there, but no one can deny that it’s damn well near the top.

Steve Jobs didn’t just go about making a phone. It’s the experience altogether.

For someone like me who use my phone not just for calling, but for e-mailing, web-browsing on 3G, reading, travelling, gaming, running, taking photos, watching videos, listening to music and heaps of other stuff – it’s just a brilliant device.

I actually missed doing those stuff when I switched over to Blackberry, and now I’m discovering the joy all over again

The Apple iPhone 4 16GB costs RM1,690 on a 12-month contract with Maxis.

I say it’s worth getting it. The antenna issue is overrated. I have used the iPhone 4 for 2 weeks now and never have I experienced dropped calls just because of the way I hold it.

Maybe I have super hands those Americans don’t have.

But if you are still super worried, you can always hold your iPhone 4 this way.




Confirm won’t get signal drop.

ADV: Apple iPhone 4, Now In Malaysia

Earlier this year in June, Apple released the much hyped and talked-about iPhone 4.

And just like Apple’s previous iPhone launches, it caused an absolute worldwide frenzy.

Thousands and thousands of Apple fanatics queued up early outside Apple stores, just to be among the firsts to own the latest incarnation of Steve Jobs’ creation.

From London to New York.

Shanghai to Tokyo.

Sydney to Singapore.

The hype of the iPhone 4 still lives!

The saddest thing is – those of us living in Malaysia had to wait in agony while the rest of the world gets to savour the delicious offering from Apple.

It brought back painful memories of 2007 when the original iPhone was launched, yet none of the telcos in Malaysia managed to bring it over.

It reminded us of a one-sided love affair. We love Apple but Apple don’t love us back.

Those among us who couldn’t wait had already purchased parallel imports.

Many business-savvy gray-market phone shops are more than happy to sell you their iPhone 4s if you’re willing to shell out to RM3,000 for something that has no warranty.

I’m not gonna lie. I tried getting mine from official stores in Hong Kong and Singapore. And I tell you what it is like.

It was like trying to get a meeting with President Obama – virtually impossible.

All their iPhone 4 are sold out. Heck, even the locals who pre-ordered online did not manage to get them.

I was almost losing all hope, resigning to my fate that it is probably better to get one of those iPhone 4 copycats.

That is, until I received this official invitation from Maxis on THE LAUNCH OF iPHONE 4!

At the stroke of midnight on the 24 September, Maxis once again became the FIRST telco to bring the new Apple iPhone 4 into Malaysia.

So what do I do? I booked the first flight out from Kuching to KL.

The scene at The Gardens Midvalley reminded me of the photos I saw from iPhone 4 launches around the world.

Hundreds and hundreds of people queuing up right outside the entrance into the ballroom. Some came as early as 7pm to book their spots. I could not even see the end of it because more and more people just added up from behind.

It was just as chaotic inside the Grand Ballroom as it was outside. There was a buzz of activity as Maxis staff manning over SIXTY registration desks were on standby to distribute the iPhone 4s and swipe your credit cards.

Even then, my sources tell me that people are still getting their iPhones as late as 6am!

The first Maxis iPhone 4 customer was this girl called Nina. She had the honour of receiving the gadget directly from the CEO of Maxis.

She also became the poster girl for Maxis after being photographed by over 280 media in attendance covering this event.

At the jam-packed press conference after the launch, the CEO of Maxis announced how they are once again the first to launch the microSIM, as well as the first to launch the iPhone in Malaysia.

While he acknowledged there was another telco also launching the phone, the CEO didn’t think it really matters. Compared to his competitor, Maxis not only has more flexible contract plans, they have a much faster and wider 3G coverage as well.

Best of all, the iPhone 4 by Maxis is cheaper than iPhone 3GS by almost RM300!

Meanwhile, I discovered the green-coloured background lights outside the building made me look like The Incredible Hulk.

And this is The Incredible Aud.

Audrey, who has been using a China knock-off iPhone 3 is finally upgrading to
a genuine Apple iPhone 4!

I was lucky I did not have to queue up with the rest of the crowd till 6am.

Maxis arranged a VIP Party at G-six nightclub, and there’s a separate registration desk just for the VIPs, complete with free flow and a violinist in a sexy white gown playing on the bartop.

With my credit card in one hand, my application form in the other, and my disappointment at not being able to get the iPhone 4 overseas all behind me now, I finally managed to get my hands on the brand new Apple iPhone 4!

How was it?

After using the phone for almost a week, I’m proud to say that it is the best full-featured smart phone ever. Even better than the Blackberry Torch, even better than HTC Android phones. A full review will be coming up.

Thank goodness Maxis brought the iPhone 4 to Malaysia. If it didn’t, I would have bought a similar model I saw at Low Yat Plaza.

The Air Phone No.4!