Monday 12 January 2009

Khota Bharu. New laptop. Bombs on the border.

This is Mike, the bloke who runs the guest house I've been staying in for the last 10 nights.

This is his business empire, the Bunga Raya GH, snugly located between Dr Choong's dental practice and Kian Pharmacy on Jalan Padang Garong, central Kota Bharu. As I said before there are millions of Pharmacies here.

Likewise, there are millions of Photo shops too. This is the one where I spent hours scanning and signing contract documents.

Since I have a new camera I've been taking shots of random things. Like this one Kota Bharu bus station.

Also this one of the Toon poster in the Indian curry house. Shearer, Beardlsey, Ginola and Ferdinand? No wonder we were kicking arse back then.

It's funny to see this in a cafe full of Indian blokes supporting Man U, Chelsea and Liverpool - f*cking glory hunters.


I've blown my monthly budget on a new mobile phone and laptop! I'm using it now to write this blog. It cost 1400RM/5.35 = £260. I've programmed the keyboard to use English (UK) so I can finally use the £ symbol - woohoo. Since I charmed the pants off the salesgirl she threw in a free keyboard protector, mouse, headset + mic and a lock worth 50RM/£10.

For some reason only ethnic Chinese seem to sell electronic stuff here in Malaysia? They also have a monolpoly on gold shops too.

Mike encouraged me to buy this ASUS eeePC 904 laptop. It seems a pretty good deal. It has: Intel 1.6GHz, WinXP, 160GBHDD, 1GB RAM, 9" display, weight 1.3kg, WIFI, webcam, 3 USB ports.

However, because of this I only have about 500RM/£100 to last me until Feb (19days)!

Governments want us to be good little consumers and spend our way out of economic doom. This is my small contribution to the sagging economy.

Macau Flight

I'm still in Kota Bharu. I seem to have been sucked in. I might go to KL to get a tourist visa for China. This is incase the work visa doesn't come through in time. I've booked a flight from KL to Macau on the 27th Feb so I can be in Guangzhou for 1st March to start working (I hate that word). This flight was a cheap special at only £30.

I'm thinking of getting a new passport while I'm in KL but at £144 a pop I might wait until next month after already blowing this month's budget on mobiles and laptops.


Since I've been applying for jobs recently, my head is overflowing with useless buzzwords. Consequently, standby for some ludicrous job hunting jargon in the next paragraph.

Latterly, I observed my passport replete with stamps and visas. This renders it unusable. Recognising the problem I endeavoured to find a solution quickly - before encroaching on any deadlines. Always being one to appreciate the value of teamwork, I decided a team effort would be an agreeable approach to this particular issue. Accordingly, I touched-base with my colleagues. We would innovativly remove (illegally) one of the used visas thus freeing up a page for future use. Showing cunning and initiative I steamed a used visa from it's home. The result is a delay in the outlay of £144. I believe this operation has highlighted many qualities synonymous with the modern workplace. Clearly evident were my motivational abilities and professionalism.

Believe it or not modern day Brits have to come out with this kind of shit to secure a job answering phones.  

Nasi lemak - small dried fish with rice for breakfast.


This is an extract from the Malay newspaper:

Two bombs exploded at the Malaysia-Thailand checkpoint yesterday (Wednesday) morning. The first bomb went off at 7.30am, destroying three immigration posts. Fifteen minutes later another bomb exploded nearby, forcing the closure of the busy bridge which connects Kolok in Thailand to Rantau Panjang in Kelantan, Malaysia.

Thai deputy consul-general in Malaysia, Niran Boonjit, siad no one was injured in the incident. A Thai police spokesman in Bangkok said  that both bombs, weighing 1kg and 2kg, were triggered using digital watches.

The bridge, which is open daily from 6am to 10pm, had been reopened and the situation returned to normal by Wednesday afternoon. Tour guide Shaari Jusoh said the explosions could be heard in Rantau Panjang some 300m away.

More than 3,500 people have died since suspected separatists resumed their armed campaign to seek independence for the Muslim-majority Thai provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.

My thoughts:

This checkpoint is 30km from Kota Bharu where I am now. I've spent eight days in Kolok in Thailand and crossed this bridge twice recently! When I was first in Kolok (Sept '08) a woman told me how the town's Police station had been bombed on 21st Aug 2008. Two dead and over 30 wounded!

A little too close for comfort?

What the hell am I doing hanging around here?

Takut - Scary!

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