Tuesday, April 23, 2019


I had a document to be sent to Singapore. There is a Poslaju counter at Tesco in Ara Damansara, which is just across Saujana Resort where my apartment is. I thought it is very convenient for me to use the service.

How much would it cost me?

After putting the envelope on the weighing machine, the man at the counter advised that it would cost me sixty plus ringgit. I can’t remember the exact figure. My immediate reaction to him was: “Gila!-kah?” (Is this madness?). Realizing that he was just doing his job, I felt a little bad with this outburst of mine. Fortunately, it was more of an exclamation than a rebuke.

The half-A4 envelope contained only three sheets of paper. Before the privatization madness, it would probably cost me less than a ringgit to have it posted to Singapore. I was happy to pay some premium for the “laju” (fast) service. But sixty-plus ringgit? Where is the sense of proportions? A rip-off business mentality indeed!

To rub salt into the wound, Poslaju gave me another bout of fits when I reached home.

On my gate, there was a notice from Poslaju advising me to collect a parcel from their head office in Shah Alam, since there was no one at home to receive it. They didn’t even bother to check if there was anyone at home! It is simply common sense for anyone to do it if they want to be in logistics business. Poslaju must be thinking they are different!

Would I use Poslaju if I have alternatives?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Story of Yanxi Palace

I don’t usually watch dramas; there are simply too many episodes in every one of them. I do join my wife in watching the Korean varieties from time to time. South Korea’s drama industry is now a phenomenon. Millions are glued to TV and smartphones day in and day out because of it. Its formula is quite different from the others.

Bollywood’s appeal does not quite go beyond people of South Asian origin or descent. There is plenty of “lovers chasing each other from tree to tree” or “head and body twist-dancing” scenes from start to finish. The Chinese varieties tend to recast historical episodes. You know the story’s outcome, but you watch it to curse the villains who are usually being portrayed to be more evil than the truth. Intrigues that are scripted are often quite shallow or even childish. And the acting, especially on the part of the actresses, is often pretentiously irritating. I always believe what we see shapes the way we behave. And you can see such portrayed behaviours cascading down to Indian and Chinese societies.

There is also much behavioural silliness in Korean dramas. But their story lines are quite gripping. You don’t quite know what will come up next. But the quality of acting, especially by the lead actors or actresses, is certainly higher than that you find in Chinese movies and dramas.

It appears that Chinese movie and drama makers have taken note and are now trying to emulate the Korean. The Story of the Yanxi Palace is a case in point.

But only to a certain point.

Created by Yu Zheng, Story of Yanxi Palace (延禧攻略) apparently has been streamed billions of times by worldwide audiences. No doubt the cast is huge and their costumes stunning, I am the producers still have some way to go before they can be seen to be at par with the Koreans. The scenes are pretty linear, and the intrigues challenge one’s intellectuality. The acting of the female cast is, for want of a better description, still very Chinese actress-like.

I couldn’t go beyond the 7th episode.

I have always been branded a China- and Chinese-basher. But my mission is to help improve Chinese-ness, albeit in a small way.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Customers Can Wait

We decided to change some of our curtains in our apartment.

I googled for information.

From its website, Baagus Curtains look impressive. I called and a lady said I had to visit the showroom at One City at USJ.

One City is a huge complex. But somehow it looks very disorderly. The signage at the entrance was already damaged; yet no one saw fit to have it repaired.

Baagus occupies a number of shop lots. But wait a minute; it was totally unmanned when we arrived at 11:30 this morning. A note was pinned on the door; I telephone one of the numbers stated.

Sorry, we are having a meeting at our head office. I will only be in the showroom at 2pm.

What? A one-lady show?

Maybe its business motto is: Customers can wait!

How Dumb Some of Sales People Can Be

My wife had been using the iPad I bought for her. I had programmed it under my App Store/iCloud account. She thought it was a nuisance to see all the photos that were meant for me appearing in her Photos app. I decided to reset the iPad to only run on her own account. I thought I could use iTunes to transfer the photos that she wanted to keep back to her iPad after the reset. But I just couldn’t find a way through iTunes. I decided to download all the photos that she wanted into a thumb drive and wait to find a way to reload them to her iPad.

I googled but none of the suggestions appeared workable. However, I did learn that a device called i-usb-storer could do the job.

I visited a couple of shops that sold computer stuff; none had heard of it. I thought the shops at Digital Mall at Petaling Jaya’s Section 14 might be able to help. Again, few knew what I was talking but one was kind enough to refer me to All IT Hypermarket on the third floor. None of the salesmen could help. But I actually saw one there, but the salesman insisted it was not meant for the purpose I had in mind. Yes, it could download photos from iPad/iPhone and upload them to my PC, but not the other way around, he insisted. Nonetheless, he was at least kind enough to tell me there was an Apple store on the ground floor; it might carry what I wanted.

The Apple store was helpful enough to tell me that there were in fact a few devices in the market that could perform the task and one of them was the SanDisk IXpand drive. Unfortunately, they did not carry any stock. I suppose I could pick up in Singapore then.

At the Jaya Shopping Centre where I had parked my car, I saw a temporary mart offering all sorts of IT stuff. I asked one of the sales persons there.

No problem; use this.

He showed me a SanDisk IXpand.

It was exactly the same one I saw at All IT Hypermarket!

How dumb some of sales people can be!