Went over to JB to shop² last sat and I had much fun : ) it's not really coz of the place, but I had great company, which is my Ah dear of course.. hee..
No photos coz I'm too lazy to upload them, and I didn't take much pics anyway.. I dun really wanna attract any pickpockets, better to be safe than sorry.
The causeway is really darn near my place, the bus ride there took less than 10 minutes.. and though the Singapore customs were crowded, we manage to get thru it in less than 10 minutes.. hopped onto the bus again for the ride over the causeway, traffic was relatively smooth so soon we got to the Malaysian customs..
Things were not too pleasant over there, coz there was a super huge crowd.. and no aircon!! I guess we're too pampered.. Actually there were air-conditioner units, but they don't really seem to be working. And the customs clearing area were pretty small, with automatic gantries for Malaysians, then about 4~6 counters for Singaporean passport holders. Due to the small area, i think, the queues were quite messed up, with people cutting queues here and there.. tempers were also flaring due to the heat and the long wait.. But I managed to keep my cool, since this was sorta what I had expected.
But there was some saving grace, there are customs officers moving around in the crowds and offering people with young children priority access. Spent a total of 45 minutes before we managed to clear the customs.
Then we walked over to Yong Ah Fook (?) to change money and it's off to the shopping complex nearby to shop.. The shopping centre that we were in reminded me of Junction 8 actually.. And the first place that we headed for was Coffee Beans.. for some cooling ice-blended.. weather was hot hot hot..
After that we went shopping for baby stuff :p for Vincent's son.. and some random shopping. I found my favourite shop, this brand called Radioactive!!! I just love Radioactive stuff. Their style is somewhat like those surfing brands and I just love their bags to death.. they're so so pretty!! hee.. I love the irony of their designs, flowers together with the radioactive sign.. hmm..
after almost 2 hours of shopping over at the mall (I dunno what's the name), we went over to Holiday Inn for erm.. err.. car decals and err.. err.. other stuff :p
It was a 10 minute cab ride away and I really feel kinda sua ku. Ah dear was asking the cabby how much would the ride cost and I was like huh? they dun have meter meh? later ah dear told me that's the way things work in the area.. ok, I learn something new again.
We stayed in Holiday Inn for about another 2 hours before we went to KFC to makan, yes, they serve with plates, not plastic or styrofoam wor.. actual plates.. Ah dear says the KFC there taste better than the ones in Singapore, I beg to differ, they all taste the same to me. And maybe it's the surroundings.. In Malaysia, people can smoke everywhere, including in aircon restaurants (they call KFC a restaurant).. yucks.. all the smoke.. and the worst thing, they just throw the butts on the floor.. duh, dun they know that one should not shit where they eat?! Stupid Samsengs!
But all in all, I had a great time, first time overseas with Ah Dear leh.. It was fun just having him around.. Then I got a gift for Vincent's kid, a baby bloster set for my mei (which I later kapo a bloster for myself..hee), a small Radioactive handbag for me, another one for Jason's mei, a pair of wedges, a hair clip, some car decals, and some err.. some stuff that everyone gets from JB.. hee.. oh yah, got some mooncake back also..
Somethings that I noticed on my trips.. The malaysian sales are damn aggressive, wellz, most of the time. There's a very stark contrast between the little shops and the big departmental stores. For the big departmental stores, I hardly saw any sales people around, even if I saw them, they were pretty much minding their own business, they would not come up and offer to help or anything. Which is a pretty good thing, I hate those sales who tags along behind me like I'm gonna steal their stuff. But it does feel kinda weird, like I'm invisible to them. Oh wellz..
For the small shops and the roadshow.. *scary* first of all we keep getting stopped by Digi (?) sales, their local mobile phone company, asking us to sign up for their pre-paid lines.. Erm.. don't I look Singaporean enough? why do I need a Malaysian phone line? I really didn't understand why they kept pushing us to sign up..
Then holiday inn is really.. hmmm.. I can only find the word sleezy, just like SLS in the old days (It's really much better now, brighter and not that sleezy). The first thing we walked in and we saw stores selling pirated dvd.. The in thing now is dvd, no one goes there to get vcds anymore :p and every 2 stores we passed by, there's a dvd shop.. And the most amazing thing, they actually have a "secret" compartment which they would welcome customers in.. secret video compartments.. haha.. so slapstick, but it actually exists :Þ
And to the sales, everyone is 老板, it's 老板 this, 老板 that.. so funny.. and they really push their sales very hard.. anyone that walks by will get their greetings and gets "pushed" into their secret compartments. I went there a few years back and competition was not so stiff, I could walk around without being harassed by all the sales, but now.. ..
Piracy is really everywhere in JB, they have all sorts of films, even the latest flims which just came out in the cinemas.. it's really amazing.. and they are pretty cheap, so it's no wonder so many people goes there to get it. But I must add in a disclaimer, I'm not promoting piracy oki, it's easy to go into JB to get the dvds, but it's getting through the Singapore customs that's the problem. Plus, it's illegal. It's against the law. I don't agree with the exorbitant prices that local retailers are charging for each dvd, but we always have a choice not to buy them and watch them.
To me Malaysia is amazing for one thing, it does not really change. Of course shops come and goes, but the overall feel and look of the place never really change. More than 10 years ago I went to JB and it's shophouses and nasty roads, 3 years ago I went to JB and it's shophouses and messy roads, last weekend I went to JB and it's still shophouses and terrible roads.. It does not change much over the years. To me, that's really amazing coz Singapore changes so much all the time, go to Suntec 5 years back and go to Suntec now, I can barely recognise the roads..
And thinking about it, when I was 5, I stayed at Genting Hotel and it looked like so.. last year I went to Genting and stayed at Genting Hotel again.. and it looks exactly the same. Of course Genting had changed alot, but the overall look and feel of the hotel is exactly the same. It's really really something.
I think I would go back again soon, but this time round I must remember to bring more money :p