Meeting up with an old Friend

While we're still in Mid-Valley, I saw the Toshiba booth set up by my ex-company. Of all the staff manning the booth, 99% were new faces except for ol' Kirby who just came back from leave and was shanghaied with booth duty. After some talk, I decided to walk about the booth a bit. Halfway reprogramming the PABX system (since no one was attending that segment) and I was about to re-initialise it, I heard a familiar voice calling out my name. Damn! Caught red-handed.

Anyway, it was my old friend, Jeff and his family, who were also walking about Mid-Valley. After my resignation, it was hard to get in touch with him. We would occasionally text each other, or just E-Mail, with the once in a blue moon phone call. It is weird because back in the old office days, I would just pick up the phone and intercom him.

Anyway, he looks a bit haggard and very much older but I guess this must be the cost of working in that company. Not that its torture but we're used to stress, I guess, and maybe, even liked it. It was fun meeting him face to face now because chance of this happening is quite rare. In fact, I can say, its an annual occurence. His (almost) two year old boy is quite cute too and his wife is a beautiful as always. Because both our wives were "busy" we had to cram years of absence to within a few minutes which is quite precious to us.

The news from the company was both delighting and some were dissapointing. For example, one of my ex-colleague was demoted back to a normal Sales Exec while a familiar ex-ex who went back is facing problems too, which I suspect was due to non-performance. I also got to play with the Toshiba e910 PDA phone and so one but thats about it. Still, its a great opportunity to see him.

And right after that, I got an SMS from Roy too, who was having dinner with Paul and mentioned that my name cropped up several times. Talk about a night of coincidences. Or maybe Fate has something in store for me in the near future?

The faces have been ironed out to protect the guilty

C-Jade, what?

There was this restaurant in Mid-Valley which we're longing to go since it opened years ago, but never had the chance. Except tonight because Wife wanted something different instead of the usual MacDonalds, Pizza Hut or the Food Court on the third floor. So, I quickly suggested the place.

There were a lot of people in there and the queue was quite reasonable. After 10 minutes, we got a place. I can say that the service here is quite fast. In fact, lightning fast. While waiting in the queue, we were handed out the menus ala Kim Gary which we were required to tick the dishes of our choice. I know its difficult to do since we were standing and with the two, beautiful kids of ours running about. But once we settled down and got our orders from the polite waiter, the first meal came within minutes. With so many waiters running about and each and everyone of them alert, it was really a nice surprise. For example, when I was about to pay for the bill, everyone sort of instinctively knows about it, even when I was hiding the bill (heh).

Then, everything went downhill. Really. First, the air-con was quite cold and so, you need to devour the food as soon as it arrived or else you'd be eating something that was brought out of the fridge and left at room temperature hours ago. Which is a bit feat because we had to make sure Kristine and Kaelynn got the food into their mouths and nowhere else. Maybe we had high expectations of the place of maybe its the still undigested glutinous rice I had for lunch but the food served there did not agree with me. For one, the baked rice I ordered was technically it, but I was expected something like those from Kim Gary's. And there is the problem with the set meals which was plastered on the flat screen TVs and somewhat difficult to locate on the menu which really made us just want to order anything that resembled food, swallow it and try to get out of that place as fast as possible.

The only saving grace was the "sauce" section where I guess, everyone helped themselves to it. You have the normal ketchup, chilli sauces. And then, there were the four extra sauces which I liked: chopped chili and (garlic?) in say sauce, the sweet (plum?) sauce, the green ginger/spring onions sauce and the wickedly red hot chili/sambal/oil sauce. The last two sauces were great and if I were to go back again, I would sneak in some fries to go with them.

But the big question is, would I go back there again? I don't think so. Maybe next year.

Kristine and her noodles. Trust me, the meat or whatever
it was that resembled meat (mutton?) tasted like nothing
on this Earth. Even Kristine does not want it.

The Malaysian Toll System

We're paying a lot for Tolls, aren't we? And who are the actual "beneficiaries"? I am not sure but I have a cynical view on this. What I am surprised is to why the Government needs to pay "compensation" to these Highway Concessionaires. Anyway, how it actually goes, I am not sure but this is my theory:

Crony wants some money and so, saw potential from
a piece of empty land. So, crony buys the land and
gets the Government to help

So, the Government "approves" of the Toll. And creates
a Company to do it. The Company then starts to charge
for the toll. The consumer has no choice but to pay.

And the Company then compensates the crony for the
use of the land while
the consumer looks on helplessly.

And if possible, the crony also wants to take everything
But the consumer also has other ideas

The consumer knows it can fight the crony and if
possible, expose them for what they are, by using
the Law.

And can even send them packing. The Government will
try to help but ti will be too late.

True or not, I am not sure (since these are the only photos that can go along with the story. Ha ha ha ha!)

Gettingback our Baby

OK, after a week we got back our car and our fourth Sis-in-Law got her Vios back. Damn, I am going to miss the excellent sound system, the braking and also, the acceleration. Although I have driven it for two days, I immediately understand why Vios is such a nice car, compared to a Honda City. No frills, just the business of getting you from A to B but with a bit of naughtiness thrown in.

But how the heck can 500KM do this? Were they running
a Rally to up North? Sheesh. Wife was very very silent.