Short Note


Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle All The Way

This year's Christmas celebration was quite simple but yet, a memorable celebration of the year. I've been through a boring days for the past few weeks (life without internet)! However, on the night before Christmas.... something surprising happened... Not that the big red guy with white mustache jumped down from the chimney and appear in the furnace. Its.... the appearance of FOODS !!

 My junior housemates (my temporary housemates due to ROBOCON) surprise us with a feasting of some grilled chickens and self-made tom yum soup (they got it from some female 'chefs'). It was a simple gathering with only 5 people.

The next day, after having our lunch in a friend's open house (free meal, yeah!), we went to have a look at the scenery of Waterfront during Christmas. Actually, this is just a coincident. We are actually heading to the location of Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah which i had a post here. We need to use 'perahu tambang' (sampan) from the city area to go across the Sarawak River to get to Kampung Gersik where the cake factory is located. It is one of the cheapest route to go across the river with only RM0.50.

This is the Durian kek lapis from the Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah. Its only RM10. When we are at the factory, we tried various flavours from 'masam manis' (sour and sweet) and 'sisik ikan' (fish's scales) to cadbury (Cadbury chocolate). And yes...its free! For me, i think the 'sisik ikan' and cadbury flavour is the best but it is also costly at the price of rm25 each (2.5 times pricier than standard layer cake)

 Lets view some Christmas decorations in The Spring
 Eskimo castle

Two giant racquets/rackets which i found interesting when i was window shopping.
P.S. - I just realized that Kuching actually have 3 cinemas. Star Cineplex (owned by Hock Star Entertainment Industry Berhad), MBO cinema, and LFS Cinema (Lotus Five Star). LFS cinema is located at the top floor of Parkson Grand Kuching.


Taiping - Penang (PC Fair)

Location: Penang International Sports Arena (PISA)
Event: PIKOM PC Fair (4, 5, and 6 Dec 2009)

PIKOM PC Fair 2009 started on the 25 November 2009 at Dewan Merdeka, Seri Manjung, Perak and went all the way, until recently, to PISA. The schedule for the PIKOM PC Fair 2009 can be viewed here which scheduled to end on the 10 January 2010 at Stadium Indera Mulia, Ipoh, Perak.

The journey started in the morning by taking the TransMart bus from Kamunting, Taiping to Butterworth, Penang at the price of RM7 per ticket. Prior to the purchasing of the TransMart ticket, we realized that Konsortium Express Bus is more pricey which cost RM7.70 per ticket. Additionally, Konsortium busses gives most of us bad travelling experiences.

At Butterworth, we travelled by ferry to Penang at the cost of RM1.20 for adult. It is a one way payment. Which mean we do not need to pay again when we return later. Upon reaching Penang, we meet up with our friends. One of them is our food hunter tour guide in which, she happen to have a food blog here. We uses the "hope in for free ride" bus which routed around the Georgetown area.

This is Kek Seng's famous hand-made durian ice-kacang. At the price of RM3.50, one could savour the shaved ice covered with rose syrup with a lot of cream corn and red beans on top of it. Also comes with a multi-layered jelly and the well-known hand-made durian ice-cream. This shop is located along the old rows of shophouses in Penang road. They also offer Assam Laksa, Char Kueh Teow, mee rebus, popiah and chicken rice.
This is the Penang famous cendol covered with generous sum of red beans and coconut milk. This stall is located at one of the corner of the rows of shop houses nearby the Penang market. Just ask anyone nearby the area and they will point you to this place as this place is also famous for its Assam Laksa and this place is always swarming with people.
This is the main entrance of the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA) where the PC Fair is held. The journey from Penang to PISA took about 40 minutes by bus at the price of RM2. This place is crowded with people from all over the nation and there is only a small pathway to walk through it. On the journey to the center of this fair, you will be greeted by the promoters from P1 WiMax to Maxis and then to the yellow man (DiGi) and finally reaching the Celcom. The promoters there are an eye washer for men. ^^
I bought an earphone costing me RM15. This earphone comes with the casing as shown in the picture above.
This earphone is using the traditional ear plug as I do not like the suction type of ear plug which isolates the sound from outside.
Also bought my printer ink which cost me RM46. It comes with free HP glossy paper. However, after surveying around the fair, I found that there are cheaper price of the same product. The cheapest that I saw is only RM41. However, maybe it did not come with a free gift. Nevertheless, nothing could be done as I have already bought mine.

After spending the whole day at the fair, my friends bought four 500GB 2.5-inch Seagate portable hard disk at the price of RM288 per item, a Kingston 8GB pendrive at the price of RM53 and an external notebook fan for only RM5. It also comes with a free card reader per item. Then, we went back to Komtar (Prangin Mall) for some shopping spree.


我是香蕉人 (Wo Shi Xiang Jiau Ren)

We are......or Banana man. 
We are not ABC (American-Born-Chinese).

What is 香蕉人 (Xiang Jiao Ren) ?

香蕉人 direct translation to English is "fragrant banana people" or "banana man". But, the true meaning behind 香蕉人 is that it is a term made for category of people who are born chinese but do not know chinese. It could be half 香蕉人 or full 香蕉人 where half is that person do know how to speak in chinese, verbally, but do not know how to read and write in chinese. 

Why name 香蕉人 (Xiang Jiao Ren or banana man) ?

What I understood from all the information that I have gathered, it was named after the banana colour. Most 香蕉人 are from English educated Chinese. Caucasian man who is white in color (as opposed to the Asian "yellow man" or the African "black man").

As we can see in a banana, the outer layer of the banana skin is yellow in colour when ripe while the inner part of the fruit is not white in colour (partially yellow, mostly whitish in colour). It resembles the meaning of 香蕉人 in a way where the appearance of a Chinese guy symbolized by the yellow colour on the skin of a banana but has an English educated background symbolized by the white colour in the fleshy part of the fruit.

I'm in the category of half banana man or 一半香蕉人 (Yi Ban Xiang Jiao Ren).

1. Being 一半香蕉人 has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages are:
  • making a conversation more interesting
  • imposing an indirect training on the body language
  • can act dumb sometimes (especially towards conversation that you did not wan to proceed further)
  • eavesdropping other people's conversation (very useful in identifying potential gossips about you)
  • surprising yet disappointing people that have the conception that Chinese people must know Chinese language
The disadvantages are:
  • possibility of making the conversation more difficult - unable to understand what others meant
  • could not perform some jobs that require the usage of Chinese language
  • difficulty in reading directions when travelling to countries that fully utilizes Chinese words (such as China and Hong Kong)
  • often caused misunderstanding when using the Chinese language which are inappropriate in the spoken context due to lack of Chinese language understanding
  • unable to sing Chinese songs when joining friends in karaoke session
2. Three golden words when you are unable to understand what another person is saying but you still want to continue the conversation and you did not want to exposed that you are 香蕉人 are:
  • "yuen lai..." (signifies that you understood what he/she is saying)
  • "shi meh?" (really?)
  • "ohhh...." (also signifies that you understood)
3. Sometimes there is a need to add some catalyst to make the person believe that you understood what he/she is saying and at the same time making him to speak in a simpler Chinese words:
  • "shen mo?" (what? or pardon me?) 
Then the other person will repeat what he/she is saying in a clearer manner and then it could help you to understand more of what he is trying to tell you. If you still having a big question mark in your mind, do not bother what he/she is trying to say. Just reply:
  • "ohh..." (i see)
 4. When you really do not understand what he/she is trying to tell you but you feel that its a very important message that could affect life and death of a person or could lead to the catastrophic phenomenon , then its time to exposed what you truely are by saying the magic word:
  • 我是香蕉人 (wo shi xiang jiao ren - I am a banana man)
5. Sometimes its hard being a 香蕉人 and sometimes its fun being a 香蕉人. But, acceptance of being who we are is the utmost important.

6. Do not feel upset or lacking in confident especially when communicating with others if you are a 香蕉人!! Because you are not the only one! Look at the bright side. Being a 香蕉人, helps you to understand that in communication, whatever language you are using is not really important. What is important is that the message that are being conveyed are successfully passed on to another being. At the same time, creating a world that has no language barriers.

7. Some will say that mastering a language helps to achieve a better communication. But, what do you think of a salesman that is very good in his Chinese language mastery but could not convince his customers to buy his product due to the message did not passed on successfully? It is said that 60%-70% of communication lies on the body language or non-verbal language. If a 香蕉人 is able to make the conversation more interesting in his own way, it will certainly attract the attention his customer and eventually influenced him/her to buy his product.

8. By the way, just for some information on the usefulness of banana fruits, it saves lives. When someone is attacked by asthma, and there are no medicine available nearby at that critical moment, use banana! This is because banana is rich in potassium which helps in
body functions such as regulation of blood pressure and of water content in cells, transmission of nerve impulses, digestion, muscle contraction, and heartbeat.