Thursday, May 28, 2020

Review of Kedai Kaki Lelong second hand store at Section 19 PJ

I strongly believe in the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle and in the UK, I loved going to the car boot sales and all the charity shops in our locality in Coventry. There were lot of great deals on books and other stuff. 

I am currently working on a DIY project and need some speakers and decided to go to the Kedai Kaki Lelong second-hand store at Section 19 PJ. It is easy to miss as it doesn't even have a signboard. It is opposite the BHP station and near the Caltex. The address is:

4, Jalan 19/1b
Seksyen 19
46300 Petaling Jaya

I have been here a couple of times and have bought a few things. When I went there yesterday, there were not that many customers, probably because of the MCO and I thought I might get some good deals. I thought wrong.

Most of the stuff here is quite overpriced - for used items. There was some nice furniture but I was thinking that you can add a couple of hundred dollars and could get brand new ones. 

Anyway, I couldn't find a pair of good speakers I was looking for. There was a nice Panasonic mini HiFi system but I was only looking for speakers and the price of RM250 was too high for an old set. In the end, I decided to go for two computer speakers which were from different sets. I was about to pay and I think the lady there was unsure of the price and called somebody - probably the Boss. I was shocked when she told me that the price was RM100 for the pair of speakers - the old, small, dirty computer speakers. I offered to pay RM50 but she told me that the last price was RM80. With that price, I can get a brand new pair of computer speakers on Shopee or Lazada. 

In the end, I came back without buying anything. I don't think I will be going back again. If you are looking for used stuff and don't want to waste your time, I suggest that you look at Lot more variety and numerous great deals. 

Can you recommend a good second hand store in Malaysia?

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Why do people buy expensive watches?

This is an updated version to an answer I wrote on Quora some year back.

Some asked why people buy overpriced watches and what's wrong with a simple Casio? Here is my answer:

There is nothing wrong with a simple Casio and in fact, the popularity of the simple Casio F-91W is an indication that many people still use the watch for utilitarian purposes - to tell time.

However, for many people a watch is more than just a tool for telling time, it is something that represents their personality. For them, it is a fashion accessory. They wear a watch as a fashion accessory. Something that goes with their outfit, something that enhances their overall look. They often have watches in different colours and materials to match the OTDs.Many have multiple watches - some which they wear to work, others for more formal occasions, others for sports and so on.

I know of people who save up and spend thousands of dollars on a watch which is several times their monthly salary. It may be a reward to themselves for something they accomplished - to remember an important occasion. For example, I bought myself an expensive watch when I got promoted.

Others use the watch as a status symbol, to show off: “Look at me! I am wearing a really expensive watch!" The thought that you have something that not everybody has, is quite appealing to a number of people. It can be a signal of who you are and what you have achieved in life.

On the other hand, I know several people - the so-called "watch nerds", who choose certain brands, which are quite expensive, because of the quality that goes into the making of the watch. This includes the materials used, the complications. They love the engineering and art that goes into the wristwatches, the overall quality - not just the movements but the polishing, the decorations on the movements which others can't see and even the straps. They also celebrate the heritage of the brands as well - waiting and searching for that rare grail watch, for which they are willing to spend thousands of dollars

In conclusion, there are numerous reasons why many people buy expensive watches.

Why did you buy your expensive watch?

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Review of the new Doughnut Macaroon bag

This is my first post for 2020 and one in a long time. I have decided to go back to something I have always loved - blogging.

Anyway, I bought this Doughnut Macaroon bag for my daughter. If you have never heard of this bag brand before, I don't blame you as I had never heard of the brand as well. However, this Korean brand is all the rage now apparently and it was my daughter who told me about the bag.

The bag cost me MYR347.77 on their Malaysian website, including MYR30.77 shipping - definitely not cheap. I had actually bought another one before from the Lazada site but my daughter was convinced that it was fake. I am still not sure and maybe I will do a review of that bag later.

The quality of the material is definitely good. One of the things I look for in a bag are the zippers and the zip on this bag does feel solid. It was available in a number of colours but my daughter liked this one called Wine (bo-he), which is a shade of dark red.

We have to wait and see if it lasts as well as some other famous brands such as Jansport. It is water-resistant as well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tok Tan's Clan family day at Sarang by the Brook

Last weekend, joined the rest of my wife's extended family (Tok Tan's clan) - all 40 of us, for a get-together at Sarang by the Brook at Kuala Kubu Bahru. It is about and hours drive from our house in PJ.

This is a unique hotel made of used containers in the edge of the jungle with a nice pool in the middle of the compound. As they say, it is not really the venue but the people you are with which matters. We had a great time.

Also learnt a lot of new things about my wife's family background, especially about her grandfather who was once a jailer in Changi prison in Singapore under the British and later under the newly formed country of Singapore. However, he decided to come back to Malaysia and as a result was not able to get his pension from the Singapore Government. 

Apparently he was really strong and a master in silat (the martial arts which originates from the Malay peninsula), Jujitsu and Akido - the later two which he learnt from the Japanese during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. 

It is a nice concept but it could do with a bit of maintenance in the rooms and around the place. Things are starting to look a bit dated and beginning to fall apart. Was a bit worried that it would be a bit hot inside the rooms, even with the air conditioning as there was no insulation but fortunately it rained in the evenings and it was actually cold. 

Most of the cooking was done on Thermomix. An amazing hi-tech cooking tool - will write a review about it later.

What is the origin of the name of Batu Ferringhi in Penang

How Malaysian are you #3?

When I first visited Penang, I stayed at one of the hotels on Batu Ferringhi and was quite curious as to how the place got the name.

Apparently, Ferringhi was originally a Malay term for the Portuguese people but was later used to refer to all Westerners. Batu refers to rock and according to what I read, it was probably the place where Westerners first landed and settled on Penang Island.

However, I have to mention that this is just one hypothesis and not confirmed.

What is the origin of the name 'Bukit Nanas'?

How Malaysian are you #4?

Most commentators on my FB page guessed correctly, Bukit Nanas is so named because it once had a lot of pineapples covering it.

It was once named as Bukit Gombak and historians think that it is one of the oldest settlements in Kuala Lumpur. There was once a fort on top of the hill and pineapples were planted to serve as natural defenses and the place came to be known as Bukit Nanas.

In 1872, during the Klang War or Selangor Civil War, the fort at Bukit Nanas was held by Tengku Kudin's forces including 500 soldiers, various mercenaries including Europeans and Chinese including the famous Kapitan Cina Yap Ah Loy. The pineapples did not help and after a seige by Raja Mahadi and his Mandailing forces, the Bukit was captured. Yap Ah Loy managed to escape to Klang.
This war was quite significant in Malaysian history because, it lead to direct British involvement in the affairs of the Malay states.

Convent Bukit Nanas established in 1899 and it's brother institution,St John's Institution, established in 1904, are among the oldest schools in Malaysia.

The Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1906, but its size has shrunk from 17.5ha to 9.3ha.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Post GST and the Business Crooks

After the new Malaysian Government announced the removal of GST, a lot of people were happy, hoping that prices would go down and people would have more money to spend overall. However, I was aware that there are certain business people, the crooks, who would use this opportunity to milk their customers like they did when GST was put into place previously, overnight prices went up and some restaurants still retained their service charges (as high as 10%). This has also happened in the past when fuel prices increase and the price of good would increase overnight, many times not proportional to the price rise. However, the worst part was that when the fuel prices went down, the price of goods and services did not go down.

Now consumers are more aware and social media was flooded with companies, mostly restaurants, which increased their prices when GST was removed - with people sharing images of receipts before and after showing no difference in prices. One famous example was that of a restaurant in Bangsar and the owner blamed it on a IT glitch. The authorities were also quick to investigate. However, in terms of prosecution, we have not really seen any of these  cheats being punished. Now they seem to be getting more blatant. Another restaurant in Bangsar have maintained the prices on their menu. On being confronted, the restaurant simply said that they had increased the prices by 6% (the same amount as the GST which was removed).

Let us act against these vultures and I sincerely hope that the authorities take stern action - not just fining them but closing these outlets.


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