A bad day to be in KL

Hours of downpour translated into traffic snarl.

Fortunately for me, my workplace for today close to home. So, I only had to suffer a short time trapped in massive traffic congestion. I escaped Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman by using the road passing by Sultan Sulaiman Club.

My joy was short lived when I discovered that Jalan Raja Muda was simply impossible. It went on as far as the eyes could see. Scouring around, I finally decided to try Kampung Baru and boy, I enjoyed the cool wind.

I thought I outsmarted the traffic by cutting through Kampung Baru but I later found out that Jalan Tun Razak was not moving at all. The cause of all traffic was Jalan Tun Razak!

And the reason for the situation in Jalan Tun Razak was flash flood. Reading from the news, Batu River was overflowing. That was a good 5 km away but here, at the juncture of Semarak, Raja Muda and Tun Razak, a stand still. A couple of ambulances got stuck in the traffic. Somehow, I thought, the drivers were giving up.

The trains were not in operation either. At the time of press, I am still unsure if the trains are in operation. There was a disruption of electricity during the heavy rain. Having been through a time when train service was disrupted during rush hour, I understand how sucked it would have been to be a train commuter for day.

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Bird poo!

That little open parking space at Central Market has to be the worst place to leave your car behind for hours.

The radioactivity of biological refuse is affecting my olfactory.

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It was 4AM and there was a deep noise lasting minutes.

Disturbed, I woke up and checked the windows and saw nothing.

Was it a dream?

No, I did wake up and I saw nothing.

The noise.

I think I’m afraid of sleeping alone now.

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Ah, crap. Where did all of the vehicle come from?

The road was empty last week.

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It was hazy in the morning today.

My cat farted.

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A day of cheap flags

Today is the Federal Territory Day. Really, given the sad status of Putrajaya and Labuan, it’s KL Day in its practical sense. Call me arrogant but hey, when you live in KL, it’s hard to think highly of the other two brothers. Despite that, KL suffers the same fate befalling them.

Ever since the new Federal Territory flag has been introduced to represent the all 3 territories collectively, February 1 has been decorated with cheap flags. Just drive down the major avenues of KL like Jalan Tun Razak or Jalan Mahameru. Hung at the streetlights lined up in rows along the divider and the sides are tri-color flags with a sheet of cheap plastic printed on it the Coat of Arms of Malaysia pasted in the middle.

Yeah, it is that cheap. It is such a dishonor for KL to have those low quality flags to be associated with KL. Officially, that is.

My message is, do it properly or don’t do it at all. Burn those flags please. They are fugly.

A photo would show how horribly worthless those flags are but I figured, taking a shot of the flags would be a waste of memory in my precious DSLR.

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Sultan Ismail and Bukit Bintang

High traffic.

Order in chaos.

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What happened in KL in 2008?

Nothing really except that the year is coming to an end.

Anything memorable happened in the city through the year?

I didn’t quite keep a tally but I do remember so. Haphazardly, in no particular order, they were:

1. The General Election. Wow wee. That was fun!
2. The Olympic Torch Relay. FREEDOM! LOL!
3. Err…
4. Oh, that damn unbelievable long lines at the gas stations which caused frantic traffic congestion when the retail price of fuel went up.
5. Pussy Cat Dolls? Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ooooooooooowwwwwwwww!
6. Is it me or do I live in a boring city?
7. Oh, protest in front of the lions’ den at Bukit Aman!
8. *sound of crickets*
9. Landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa? Wait, that’s in Ampang. Hell, it’s close to KL anyway. So, in it goes.
10. Also the landslide in Damansara!
11. Oh, the announcement for city-wide wifi. Or was it wimax?
12. I don’t want to crack head of this. I think 11 is enough.
13. Okay, legitly, I have only 8 lines. So, sue me.
14. Please don’t sue me.
15. Okay, Mamma Mia in KL. That’s 9!
16. They freaking changed Jalan Alor to some lame street name! Down with DBKL’s heads!
17. The Draft KL City Plan.

Could you think of anything else?

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Colorful boxes

This is the atrium of Suria KLCC.

More than 12 hours of rain

With Eid falling on Monday, I took the luxury of sleeping late on Monday morning. I planned to write for my column at The Malaysian Insider but temptation of procrastination proved too much for me to bear. By 3 A.M. however, I couldn’t stay awake anymore and finally gave up my pretension of working on the article I needed to come out with and went to bed instead. Despite heavy eyes, I had trouble sleeping. Rather than pretending to work on the article, I found myself pretending to be sleeping. It was then when the rain fell.

With the window opened, the cool air gracefully came in to phase out the stuff air that filled my room. Books were everywhere on the floor. Some of them, embarrassingly, were still on the floor, unmoved almost 3 years after I returned to Malaysia from the United States. I now am betting that the same books would stay on the floor by the time I return to Malaysia from Australia 2 or 3 years in the future.

The rain wasn’t heavy and the noise that it made wasn’t harsh. The constant sound of water from the sky hitting the earth was soothing enough to lull me to slumber.

It was a satisfying sleep; I dreamed that I was sleeping beside an angel. She was so beautiful and serene. I ended up admiring her while holding her hand as she slept and breathe softly.

I really hated it when I had to wake up. As I opened my eyes to stare at the same pile of books, the same constant noise of the light rain was still there. It did not relent.

In contrast, the rain last week was like storm. When it poured, it was like a tropical hell.

Tropical hell. That’s probably what the victims of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide felt.

With a downpour like what KL and its surroundings experienced last week, it is hard to imagine how the rain did not contribute to the tragic landslide. The mainstream media are quick to point out that this is not the first time it happened. The same site witnessed the collapse of the Highland Towers in the 1990s. Between then and now, there were a couple of other incidents. Some deadly white others left ignored.

The authorities are banning development on slope. Yet, we’ve heard of this before. So, I’m unsure if I should put any weight to their words.

But, how is the tragedy in Bukit Antarabangsa any worse to the annual flooding in the East Coast? Does the tragedy at the edge of KL equal the suffering of those in the east of the Peninsula? Why do the media focus on Highland Towers but give less prominence for the flood victims?

It is a tragedy yes, but I’d just wish that the mainstream media would just stop milking the story.

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Metblogs Mumbai on high alert

They are covering the chaos there.

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Why do they close Jalan Maarof

The police usually closes Jalan Maarof every morning during the weekday. Why? Traffic?

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9th European Union Film Festival

The GSC will be screening a lot of movies from the EU beginning this Thursday, in conjunction of the 9th European Union Film Festival.

Anybody wanna come with me and watch it in MidValley?

I thought it might be a good idea to watch one of those movies. Check ’em out.

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Conversation of a sucker

It was close to 1AM on a Sunday just outside Hotel Istana in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s business district.

Cab driver: How much do you want to pay?

Sucker: 20? I mean, 15. 15?

Cab driver: How about 20?

Sucker: 15?

Cab driver: it’s past midnight.

Sucker: Okay.

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Book launch on Halloween

There was book launch close to home yesterday and I figured out, since it was Friday night and Halloween no less, I should crash it. Well, actually, I RSVP it but hey, whatever.

Three books:

There were readings. Here are Ezra with Amir Muhammad in the background.

Yeah. Amir scared the shit out of me that I couldn’t keep a steady hand for the shot.

Yup. Halloween. As you can see, Elizabeth Wong dressed as herself. Woooo. The scariest custom ever!

Most intriguingly, the place was called Rahsia, which means secret in Malay. When I first got the invitation, I was kinda annoyed since it said the venue rahsia. I mean, what kind of invitation that says the venue is secret? It was only later did I realize that Rahsia is the name of the place.

Ezra retold the story there in a more livid manner, having gone through the same episode.

In any case, quite cozy the place. And quite close to home too.

I didn’t know there is an restaurant with great atmosphere walkable from home! This is especially a plus point since traffic is crazy.

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