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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ah Beng Go Play Play 11th Mile

Kuching had a railroad once. It ran for a stretch of about 10 miles & after that for some reason or another, it was dismantled, & Kuching never had another one again. Today, the only train that Kuching kids would ever see is the one in the Harry Potter movies.

In place of the railroad are the major trunk roads which stretches from Jalan Ong Kee Hui, through Jalan Keretapi, the 3rd Mile, 4th Mile, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th & the 11th mile, which forms part of the Pan Borneo Highway.

The 11th mile is not somewhere that you'd go everyday, except when you really need to. Well, on Wednesday I had to. My wife double parked the car somewhere at 2.5 Mile, & she received this love letter from JPJ.

The problem was that JPJ was located in never never land.

And so I took a casual & scenic drive up & thought that it would be an excellent opportunity to show you guys around Kuching. This is the Airport Road which obviously leads to... the airport...

which hit the 6th mile junction, which used to be the 6th Mile Roundabout.

This is also the designated are for the future mega station for express buses...

...which links through the small town of Kota Sentosa, or previously known as 7th Mile. This was also home to the Hospital Bahagia (Happy Hospital), which was an asylum similar to Tanjung Rambutan. This asylum has been so synonymously linked to 7th Mile that it has always been referred to by the location name. So one would say, Crazy ah you! Escape from 7th Mile izit?!

The 7th Mile is also the location of the original Teh-C-Peng Special, a 3-layered palm sugar-milk-tea drink.

7th Mile was also home to the now defunct Horse Racing Tracks. You could still see the stables, now empty. If you ask around, you'd find that all the aunties in Kuching have at one time or another, worked in the ticketing counter, & they'd still be able to tell you which horse was the fastest seller at that time, today.

The 9th Mile is where the Army Camp is. This is where most of the BN votes come from. This is also where the largest community of West Malaysians are staying.

If you're looking for authentic Nasi Kerabu or Nasi Dagang, this is the place to go to. The roundabout is now being converted into a traffic light junction. When you drive past here at night, it's basically at your own risk cos safety signs & lighting are minimal & almost non-existent.

This is the new Open University Malaysia Branch Campus. On the weekends, this place is packed with cars everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE.

Zooming past all that, you'll come to Kota Padawan, or also known as the 10th Mile market, where you'll find the oiliest, lard-est, mee kolok that you'll ever taste. One bowl of that & it will send you to the toilet immediately.

This is also the exit point to a lot of other interesting touristy places which I've never been before.

I know, it's pathetic. I should make the effort to explore the backside, I mean the backyard, of Sarawak one of these days.

Oh, I almost forgot, as far as the JPJ trip was concerned, I found the place at 11th Mile, went in, paid RM80. A guy before me was asked whether he was Iban. He said yes, & was asked to pay RM60. I was stunned for a while there & really contemplated on becoming an Iban.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hanging Out at Kenyalang Park: Part 3

The Chinese are known to be very practical people. If some firstborn grandson draws, dances, sings or plays the piano for grandpa, then the old folks would be really worried. Like that can make money meh? You'd better stop it & go read some books.

Practicality runs through the blood of every Chinese. To save time, which converts into money earned, they talk fast, think fast & work fast. There's no dilly dally-ing, hanky panky-ing, merry-go-round-ing, nor beating around the bush-ing. It's just a straight line that gets you directly from point A to point B.
One example of that would be how they name their businesses.

Ah Ho is the owner & the cook. What does he sell? Kueh Chap. Therefore, Ah Ho Kueh Chap.

What does Khiang Khiang sell? Laksa. Therefore, Khiang Khiang Laksa.

Owner's name + Product = new sign board.

Then there are the other more imaginative ones which squeezes out words that have got nothing with what they're selling.

It doesn't matter what they're selling, with a name like that, the wind & the water will flow in eternal balance, & money will come.