Tag Archives: Kota Kinabalu

A Hobby That Takes You Worldwide

Going through all my mails and reading all the letters and cards I received brought back loads of memories. Receiving a hand written letter or card from someone kinda makes you feel special and I love the surprise I got when I open my mailbox and there would be a letter waiting for me.

That is how Postcrossing is like. You send a postcard to a random person anywhere in the world and be surprised to receive a postcard from a random person from anywhere in the world.

At the time of writing, there are 464,575 registered users from 216 different countries. Since the Postcrossing project started there have been 21,678,492 postcards received. In Malaysia alone there are 3,292 members and 165,097 postcards sent.

I signed up for a Postcrossing account four months ago when I met a Postcrosser Gladys David on Twitter. A Postcrosser is someone who sends postcards to all over the world through Postcrossing. I saw her updates on Postcrossing and decided to check it out. After four months of having Postcrossing account, I only sent my first batch of postcards to Russia, Germany and China last week.

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Miss Gladys David.

While eagerly waiting for a postcard from a stranger from anywhere around the world  I decided to ask Gladys on her experience becoming a Postcrosser. Introduced to Postcrossing by her cousin, she started being an active Postcrosser since 2013, last year.

Why did you signed up for a Postcrossing account?
I love sending and receiving things through snail mail. Letters take too much time but postcards are simpler. 

So far, how many have you sent and how many have you received?
I’ve sent 70 postcards and received 73. I have a colleague who registered later than me but she has sent hundreds of postcards already.

Wow. Her postcards must’ve arrived their destination fast. That’s why she can send many.
[Laughs] I think I’m the one who’s lazy. If I’m busy, I put Postcrossing on hold and only start to send postcards when I have less workload.

For first time users, each user is allowed to send five postcards and when the recipient receives the postcard and enters the Postcard ID written, and then only a user sends another. The number of postcards allowed to travel at any single time goes up the more postcards a user sends.

How do you feel when you open your mailbox and there’s a postcard waiting for you?
Of course I feel excited.

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Usually how long will a postcard reaches its’ destination?
It depends on the destination. It doesn’t take too long if the destination is in the South East Asia like Thailand or the far east like Japan. Postcards to Russia will take some time though, according to my friend, @yAn123. [Laughs]

I see. Where have you received your postcards from?
Everywhere! But I haven’t received any postcards from the Middle East.

Gladys shares her statistics.

Did you become friends with the person you sent postcards to o the one you received postcards from, like adding each other on Facebook?
So far I haven’t add any Postcrossing friends on Facebook but there are some whom I became friends with for a regular swap. Basically regular swap is two friends sending postcards to each other without using the Postcard ID.

I see. The extent of your relationship with Postcrossers is sending each other postcards?
Yes. I haven’t had a Postcrosser friend whom I really became friends with.

Where do you get your postcards? Do you buy or your print them?
I bought my postcards most of the time. I print occasionally and I made a handmade postcard once.

Oh. I would like to go back to your previous answer, “I haven’t had a Postcrosser friend whom I really became friends with”. What are the points of the postcards if you haven’t made any friends?
I didn’t spend time nurturing my relationship with other users on Postcrossing. Maybe the point is to have a great personal statistics? [Giggles] You get to know some tidbits from the sender’s country or hometown and I like to see my postcard collection growing. That’s why I keep at it.

Some users have preferences on what type of postcards they like to receive and don’t like to receive. Do you send a postcard that meets the user’s preference or you just send any type of postcards?
[Laughs] I once send a user a postcard he dislikes. Usually, if I have a postcard that a user wants or if I can do something about it, I would meet the user’s preferences. I stick lots of stamps if a user stated that he/she likes stamps. For instance, normally I would use a RM 0.50 stamp, if he or she likes stamps if would use RM 0.10, RM 0.20, RM 0.30, RM 0.05 stamps that equals to RM 0.50. Different images on each stamp.

Postcrossing gave me a user’s address to send my postcard to and in her description box she stated that she is afraid of standard, touristic city views, monuments and art postcards, written in capital letters. Why would someone be afraid of a touristic city view postcard? I’m not sure why. 

What happened with the user whom you sent a postcard he doesn’t like?
Nothing happened. He didn’t say anything in the message box when he registered the postcard I sent.

Do you have any preference on what type of postcards you would like to receive?
My only preference is, the cards must be 4 inches x 6 inches in size so that the postcard can fit in my folder. [Laughs]

[Laughs] No wonder when I look at all your postcards, they’e about the same size. What do you usually write on your postcards before you send them?
Sometimes I write about the weather or any events that’s currently happening. Sometimes I write random stuff pretty much like tweeting.

Gladys’ postcard collection.

Speaking of stamps, how much do you usually spend on stamps for a postcard?
RM 0.50. Maybe more if he/she likes stamps but not more than a Ringgit. So far, I haven’t had any postcard that doesn’t reach its’ destination due to insufficient stamps.

RM 0.50 is quite cheap for a postcard travelling anywhere around the world. Adding that to the price of a postcard, the cost of sending a postcard all around the world is only RM 1.50. That’s what I had in mind when I was at the post office. I was surprised when I was charged RM 2 for a postcard travelling to Russia but I didn’t bother to ask why. While sitting at the corner sticking stamps on my postcards I heard a couple who ask the officer in regards of the price of sending a postcard.

“Why does it cost so much to send a postcard to Singapore?”

It turned out that any postcards that are 15 cm x 10 cm in size or smaller, stamp price will be RM 0.50 to all destinations. Any postcards larger than the size mentioned, the price of stamps will depend on the destination.

Top Left: Mt. Kinabalu postcard; 15 cm x 10 cm in size. RM 1 from Borneo Books, Wisma Merdeka.
Top Right: Random photo postcard bought at the post office for RM 1.
Bottom: KLCC postcard. Much larger than the previous two which stamps cost will depend on the destination.

Do you know any KK Postcrossers? Have you sent any postcards to someone in KK or anywhere in Sabah?
I’ve exchanged postcards with @rungitom who is also a Postcrosser but not through Postcrossing. Some of the Postcrossers I know are @glaydavid, @y4n123, and @sorbesque. Mariah Doksil is also a Postcrosser too.

After having that conversation with her I can’t wait to see the reaction of the user who’s afraid of certain postcards because I sent her a quite an artsy postcard I bought in KL. I would like to receive a postcard from the Pitcairn Islands. But unfortunately, with only population of 46 people (at the time of writing), there are no Postcrossing users from the island yet.

Want to start sending postcards? You can get your postcards from most bookstores at RM 1 each. There are stores you can get six postcards for RM 5 like Just For You in Wisma Merdeka. Most of the postcards being sold in KK are the typical touristic, scenic and cultural if not, orang utan postcards. There are various animal postcards in Times and Tai Yang Bookstore but they cost a lot. As for the artsy fartsy ones, so far I haven’t found any of them in KK.

Or you can always print a postcard by yourself or develop a picture you took and use it as a postcard. Opt for a more environmental friendly approach by reusing old boxes or envelopes and turn them into postcards. There are some concerns as well on Postcrossing leaving an ecological footprint. However, there’s a list of making Postcrossing a greener hobby on the website. Phew!

Fancy a postcard from me? Well give me your address then!

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Garage Sale: Bargain Party

Spend your weekend at the Garage Sale: Bargain Party event which will happen on the 28th and 29th of September 2013  from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. 

Expect to see loads of vendors selling new and second hand items like, clothes, books and many more. You might just find something you like at a bargain price. It will be held at the Damai Multi Purpose Hall which is at the opposite of the New SMC, Damai.

Want to set up a booth? Unfortunately, all booths are fully booked for the 28th and 29th of September.

However, on the 5th – 6th and 26th – 27th of October, the same garage sale will be held on those dates and booths are available for booking! 

Got some stuff you don’t wanna keep? Call the number on the poster or you can contact the organiser Pic Perfect via Facebook and sumbit the following details:

Name:
E-Mail Address:
Contact Number:
Total Number of Booths:
Products:

Booth size is 8′ x 8′ with a rental fee of RM 35 perday. Tables and chairs however, are not included.

“Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

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BURGERBAR.co – Lastest Burger Joint In Town.

“We are gourmet burger lovers ourselves, so we know exactly what our patrons are asking for – our
classic and wackiest are “engineered” right here in our kitchen to make the best gourmet burgers in town,” said
Arthur Lee, co-director of BURGERBAR.co during the grand opening.

Arthur Lee (co-director), Patrick Moon (co-director) and Dominic Chung (co-director and head chef) of BURGERBAR.co officiating the grand opening.

 

BURGERBAR.co opned it’s doors to gourmet burger lovers on the 24th of June and it is dedicated to serving gourmet burgers in bold flavor combinations made with high quality ingredients.

 

It’s a full house at BURGERBAR.co grand opening!

 

Housing a 60-seats dining area and a one of a kind graffiti-comic themed ambiance, the walls of BURGERBAR.co are adorned with original graffiti and paintings signed by the grand master of street art in Sabah, Harold Eswar, setting BURGERBAR.co as the latest hip hangout joint in town.

Invited guests and walk in patrons were served with BURGERBAR.co’s ‘must try’ items which include Tori Katsu, The Farmhouse, Swish Mushroom among others during the opening night. BURGERBAR.co also has its’ own “Great Value” menu whereby with any burger orders, customersa can add RM 7 to a serving of fries and bottomless soft drink.

There’s also a treat for vegetarians out there as BURGERBAR.co also features Green Tea burger buns and vegetarian items with the likes of Truffle Mushroom and Tomatomato Burger.

Guests enjoying a variety of mini burgers served by BURGERBAR.co during the grand opening.

 

“Come to BURGERBAR.co and choose your favourites from the menu, let us do the rest. Satisfaction is guaranteed here!” Dominic said at the end of the event.

BURGERBAR.co is non-halal and is open daily from 10.00 am to 11.00 pm on weekdays, 10.00 am to 12.00 midnight on weekends at Lintas.

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Sabah Food Industry Expo 2013 (#SFIE)

In conjunction with the Kota Kinabalu Food Fest, Discover Kota Kinabalu (previously known as Delicious Sabah) held the first Sabah Food Industry Expo at The Main Atrium, Suria Sabah on the 20th – 21st of April 2013.
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The expo encouraged manufacturers, suppliers, local food producers and brands to commercialized their brand. It was also served as a platform for small and medium scale food producers and business to showcase and sell their products to the public and commercial operators.

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Majulah Koko Tawau Sdn. Bhd., Kopi Ping Cafe and Pink Roses Cakes are among the exhibitors during the two day event. There were also many exciting activities that visitors participated just like Kopi Ping Cafe photo contest which an old uncle (and others) won an RM 20 voucher. Visit Kopi Ping’s Facebook page to check out the excitement on the uncle’s face.

Commercialized lihing by Lihing Nilyn.

Commercialized traditional rice wine by Lihing Nilyn.

The enthusiastic Kopi Ping Cafe's crew promoting the brand.

The enthusiastic Kopi Ping Cafe’s crew promoting the brand.

It was an eye opening and educational experience for me as I got to know that the food manufacturing industry in Sabah is indeed a blooming industry. These local brands/products should be commercialized as they have the potential to go far in exporting their brands/products to a whole new level. These entrepreneurs deserve our support as well, and buying their products, like how I spend on these products below, is one way to show your support.  :p

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1, 2 and 6: Various juices from Nutrifres. RM 10 for 3.

3 and 4: Hoko Chocolate Spread and Mulberry Jam from Majulah Koko Tawau Sdn. Bhd. RM 6 each.

5: Bottled kopi ping by Kopi Ping Cafe for RM 2.50/per bottled. Perfect  balance between the coffee and milk.

Sabah Food Industry Expo or SFIE for short will be held annually and becoming the catalyst for Sabah’s food industry to produce quality products as well as becoming the main platform for Sabah food entrepreneurs their products at commercial level. Hopefully next year, more local food entrepreneurs will participate this event and gain more positive feedback/participation from visitors.

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You So Funny!

Who’s up for a laugh this weekend, cause You So Funny is back in conjunction with April Comedy Bonanza and its bringing you more laughter than ever!

Organized by Bandwidth Magazine, it’ll be held at The Retro Club, KK Times Square on the 27th Arpil 2013 (this coming Saturday!)

Hosted by Kavin Jay, You So Funny will also feature the biggest Malaysian stand up comedian (literally), Papi Zak, who’s unafraid to tackle issues of race, sex, and Malaysian family values, his stories boil down to the most familiar, relatable experiences he’s had.

Not only that RM 300 is also at stake for you aspiring stand up comedians out there. If you have the talent and want to get noticed, this is your chance. You might even score some future gigs to.

You So Funny!

And you know what, your funny bones need some tickling. So grab your tickets (early birds RM 30/door: RM 40) cause seats are limited  and see you on Saturday!

More info visit You So Funny event page on Facebook or Bandwidth’s Facebook page

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A Preservation: Historical Structures

Just recently, after the Art For Grabs event at Central Market, my friends and I took a walk from there to the Merdeka Square. Since we are near the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, I said, why not we make a visit. So we did.

Source: KL City Gallery Website

The gallery is a resourceful place for Kuala Lumpur’s historical structures portrayed in a creative way that awes visitors. With 3D models of historical structures made from wood veneer and precise and concise information, you just feel amazed and a sense of appreciation for architectural heritage is developed. You’ll start with learning about the history, then you know, how important it is to protect and preserve these treasures.

Jamek Mosque

Indeed it is an interesting place to learn about Kuala Lumpur’s history.

And then I thought, what if KK has something like this? A gallery dedicated to historical architecture/structure, the development of North Borneo.

Sadly, many of Sabah’s historical sites have been destroy and there are only a few left that are still visible. A clear example, the Atkinson Clock Tower.

Having a gallery like this would educate the citizens about the history and development what was once North Borneo. Aside from that it would raise a sense of appreciation among them, thus, having the awareness to protect and preserve these historical sites. It would make them understand and see the beauty of these historical architectures. Visual presentation always works!

Plus, it would be a good tourist attraction.

Here are some of the historical sites/architecture that I think should be included in the gallery.

1) Atkinson Clock Tower

 After surviving the second world for, this clock tower stands for 109 years. Built in 1903 in the memory of Francis George Atkinson, the first District Officer of Jesselton who dies from tropical disease.

2] Sabah Tourism Board

Did you know that this was once a post office?

3) St. Michael’s Church, Penampang.

[Source]

[Source]

St. Michael’s Church in Penampang was initiated by Fr. August Wachter. The Foundation stone was laid on 29th September 1936; nonetheless, the construction was postponed during the Second World War only to resume in 1947 – Sabah Tourism Board.

And I’m sure there’s more.

Since the restoration of some historical sites are impossible, they can still ‘live’ and be appreciated by the citizens if an effort like KL City Gallery is executed. Architectural historical remains can be ‘revived’ not in concrete, but in 3D wood veneer structure.

Now wouldn’t it be interesting if we can see see all the structures that once stood tall in North Borneo like,

1) Old Welfare Building.

Of course you have seen the ruins in front of Suria Sabah. With graffiti art, it’s not hard to notice. Before it became ruins, look at the picture above. That’s how it looks like. Click here for more info on the Old Welfare Building.

3) Kinarut Mansion

It’s in ruins and not many know about it. This mansion with a Greco-Roman architecture, built between 1910 and 1914, belonged to W.F.C. Asimont, the then Kinarut Plantation Manager. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we can see how this mansion looks like?

3) Sacred Heart Cathedral

What? How did this cathedral made it in my list? Okay, before the current Sacred Heart building you see today, Sacred Heart looks different. Describing buildings is not my forte but, I would say it looks very English. I tried to search for a picture of the then Sacred Heart building on the net but couldn’t find any. So, if anyone of you who are reading this and happen to have a picture of the then Sacred Heart building, do share at the comment section below.

And I’m sure there a many other building structures out there that are destroyed/demolished that deserve to have this kind of treatment. Recognition and appreciation.

When the British came back in the days, of course, every aspect of Sabah is influenced. Be it administration to lifestyle, architecture is in the list as well. But many of those historical architectures are either destroyed by the war, demolished or replaced by more ‘current’ structure for the sake of development.

All these historical structures have  aesthetic values. Each of them has a story. It could be either from those who build them or from those who made memories with it. Carefully designed, where function meets beauty, these structures, as I have said, deserve the recognition and appreciation that they deserve.

Will a gallery like KL City in KK come true? With citizens who are having concerns about this matter, who know it will.

Any KK based site that’s dedicated to architectural heritage? Sure. Just visit Heritage Sabah. It is an NGO that’s dedicated to the architectural and cultural heritage conservation in Sabah Borneo, Malaysian

Or you can visit North Borneo Historical Society on Facebook, where efforts in archiving history of North Borneo are made via social networking and digital media.

Well that’s about it. I hope you readers gain some input from this article. Thanks for reading and, if you do have pictures or, structures that you think should be in the lists above, just leave your suggestions at the comment section.

 

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Buses in Sabah.

I got my driving license three years ago but since I got it, I’ve been discourage of driving sometimes for the most peculiar reasons. I do drive occasionally but only for short distance trips and I put aside the thought of driving and chose public transportation instead.

What I like about public transportation is I can get a close up of the real life of people, how they live and you sort of know their stories. Aside from that, it is a form of car pooling that can lessen the impact of green house emissions to the environment.

But unfortunately, in KK, the public transportation, the buses especially (what else do we have aside from taxis?) doesn’t cater the needs of the citizens thoroughly.

I saw on Twitter that some KK citizens wish that there would be an LRT or MRT service and such. While it’s not wrong to wish something better for your city, we all do know that an LRT service in KK is far cry, if you know what I mean.

So what we all can now hope for is, especially those who frequently travel via public transportation, that to have at least a better, systematic and professional bus service. My view on the current bus service is that it has many flaws.

I remembered a long time ago while I was riding a bus home to Putatan, this student wanted to drop down at Maktab Perguruan Gaya. When she asked the driver, the driver said yes, he’ll take her there. But the driver misunderstood her and dropped her down at the bus stop in front of the Federal House assuming that she wanted to go to Maktab Sabah and scolded the student as well. Just imagine how far she had to walk.

Situation number two. I was on the way to Tuaran from KK. The road was jammed due to the recent Tour of Borneo. At the left side of the road, there’s a family of four with many things to carry. The mother was carrying a new born baby. They were waiting for the bus, until one came. But to their dismay, the bus was full and there aren’t any other busses available. Standing under the hot sun (because there were no bus stops) just imagine how hot it is. Luckily a good citizen came down from the bus to make space for the family.

The buses that are available now are ‘old’ and need to be changed. I think it’s time to ditch those ‘mini buses’ and have bigger buses, bigger that the one’s that goes to Donggongon, like those Rapid buses in KL.

Why? Well, a bigger bus will cater more passengers, which give comfort to them as well. The passengers don’t have to wait for another bus when the current bus is full. Plus, bigger bus, more passengers, more income.

The bus operators should add new routes as well. The bus operators now only go through ‘commercial routes’. Buses don’t travel through the Penampang bypass road. The buses to Beverly Hills only stop at Beverly Hills. What about the rest of Jalan Budusan towards Donggongon? And countless other routes as well. By extending their (bus operators) routes, they can reach more passengers and would be such a convenience to them, passengers doesn’t have to walk many miles just to ride a bus. Having these new routes also allows certain places to be recognized and provide traffic to that place and thus, businesses can expand.

Operation hours should also be extended. The other day, my friend and I were spending our last day in KK before going back to KL the next day, we wanted to take the bus home but when we reached the bus terminal around 9.00 pm, all the buses we gone! There were no buses left. We took the taxi which cost RM25 for a trip to Putatan which should only cost RM 4 for the both of us if we managed to take the bus. I suggest that last bus should be at 12.00 am. Business can operate long hours and those who are going home late still can catch the bus home.

Information! Bus operators should have information for the passengers like, where a certain bus travels, operation hours and bus fares. General information like these could build trust to more citizens to use the bus. And bus operators should take the advantage of using the internet. Website is a must while reaching the people through social networking like Twitter is perhaps an effective way because information spread like diseases on Twitter.

And the bus terminal! Should I even touch on that? We all do know that it needs to be repaired/renovated. And I suggest as well for there would be a proper bus terminal that travels long distance to the east cost for instance.

It is clear that the revamp of the buses which are the commonest mode of public transportation in Sabah would prove to be beneficial not only to the bus operators but also to the people who can’t afford to get a car or even a motorcycle.

Car loans are approved every month and that means, there will be more cars on the road. Are the roads in KK alone enough to occupy all these cars? No. Massive traffic jam would occur especially during rush hours and wouldn’t please those KK people who aren’t used to heavy traffic jams (believe me, there are these kind of people. Just look at those tweets). If the factors discussed are to be realized then, more people would chose to ride a bus. I know I would.

On March 19th this year, Free Malaysia Today reported that federal government has been urged to subsidise public transportation in Sabah or face the reality of several stage bus companies winding up in the very near future. Read the rest of the article here.

Will the hopes of a better public transportation come true? Let’s just keep our fingers crossed.

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