Friday, October 09, 2015


It has been a very long time that I hadn't updated my blog due to many circumtances like for example engaging too much on the many media available. Most of the time checking my handphone wherever I maybe so the urges to write something was forgetten and I am sure most of the active bloggers are in the same situation as me.

A fortnight ago I visited my blog and read few of my posting and I was amazed of what I wrote because it seem that I was not the one who wrote it. Really some of what I shared was as if new to me and I have to think hard to remember it. Was it that age is catching up with me? I decided then that I will start to write something here and share with you of the things that I thought worth sharing.

I visited South Korea in Spring and I was sick for a week with bout of fever, coughing and gout due to too much seafood after coming back from the trip. It was due to the climate change because it was still cold in Korea with rain especially in Jeju Island. I should pick summer time when visiting countries with four seasons because it was the same case when visiting Europe during cold season. These few trips I had the opportunity to visit few places where I tried to visit places of interest locally where I heard it is a nice place but the only places that I didn't had the opportunity to visit during my working life as it does not cover the areas that we worked on.

I missed travelling domestically by road as when I was working, I used to travel all over Sabah for my work. I had been to all the major town and districts in the east coast and interior of Sabah for the duration of my working life.

I was arranging for a trip with a friend to Kundasang and Ranau after the earthquake but it was postponed twice due to unforseen circumtances. Past two weeks ago we did manage to go to those places and it was a one day travelling and we decided to used the Kota Kinabalu-Ranau-Tambunan- Kota Kinabalu road. We started our journey at 9.00 in the morning and reached home aroung 4.30 in the evening. It was a straight foward trip as we stopped only for lunch and a visit to the Desa Cattle farm at Kundasang and stopped at Tambunan to buy local appetizers and cultured honey.

Pekan Nabalu

I was driving up to Pekan Nabalu from Kota Kinabalu and it was a very smooth drive with not so many vehicles.

Me : We stopped for a while okay .. I need to go to the toilet.

Friend : Okay, I want to buy some Bananas too.

After easing myself we bought fruits at the stall at Pekan Nabalu. We had decided to visit the Desa cattle farm as I wasn’t able to visit it all this while and only saw the beautiful pictures I saw taken by some friends who visited the farm.

Me : Since we are going to Desa cattle farm it is better that you drive as you know the place.
Friend : No problem.

It was almost noon when we reached Kundasang and since we took some fruits on our way to Kundasang we decided to stopped at a hotel owned by a former federal minister to eat some noodles only. I was telling my friend that the chilli paste provided by the hotel restaurant was mixed with a herbal plant called ‘tuhau’ and I really like the taste and asked for the chilli paste for take away. The view from the hotel was spectacular as you can see almost the whole town of Kundasang. During a very clear sky I am sure mount Kinabalu could be seen magnificiently but alas the damage made by the earthquake were visible on few areas of the mountain face. It will take years for it to restore its previous glory and splendour.

 Desa Cattle Farm.

Me : Are you sure that it is the right road to Desa Cattle farm?

Friend : It was a long time ago that I made a trip to the farm.

Me : We are lost since you said the farm is not far from the road. Better ask the local people here.

We made a u-turn and asked the local people and we really missed the signboard to the farm. We missed it by a few Kilometers and what the heck as the view there was very nice and beautiful so it was alright. I usually teased my friend about his mistake but not this time.

Entrance fee of RM5.00 per person was paid at the main gate of the farm. There was no signboard to which building to go but since we saw cars parked we assume to be the place to visit. There was no visible signboard for the visitors to know what places of interest to visit when you are on the farm. The only place to go was the shop where you buy the drinks which I presume were some of the product produced by the farm.

If the farm is open to the public with entrance fee, at least there should be some sort of information centre for the visitors to asked about the farm, maybe asking for the time they perform the milking of the cattle up to the process of storing the processed milk. I was really very keen to visit the farm after seeing pictures of the farm posted by visitors on the media but disapointed that no audio and video briefing about the farm other than the beautiful scenery of the farm.

We took some pictures on the farm proceeded to Ranau town and since we were taking the longer road to Penampang, we didn’t stopped at Ranau town as it was aroung 2.00 pm in the afternoon.


The road from Ranau to Tambunan was good and there was not much vehicles and with good music we were playing, in no time we were in Tambunan. We didn’t stopped at Tambunan time as it’s about few Kilometers from the roundabout that will lead us back to Penampang. We stopped at the popular stall near the main road which is popular with traditional delicacies and kampung vegetables. There was not many pickled tuhau on sale except for some honey, fruits and vegetables.

Me : Inan, kenapa tidak banyak dijual sudah sini.

Inan : Susah sudah mau cari makan ... tiada urang mau beli ... tiada kereta ikut ini jalan sudah.

Eversince the Kimanis – Keningau road was open few years back the number of vehicles plying the road was reduced greatly and the business of the stall operators was effected.

We reached Penampang at around 4.30 pm and had decided that our next visit locally would be Lawas in Sarawak.

Friday, September 27, 2013


After travelling to a different countries and observing how tour guide works made me appreciate them of their professionalism in dealing with different type of tourists. I had the opportunity of being guided by four woman tourist guide and out of the four only one was of below the bar in my opinion. It doesn't count much because she was from China but doing tourist guide in Dubai but it was only for a day.

Recently I went to Manila for a pilgrimage and our tour guide was called Lily and coincidentally our guide in Shanghai had the same name. While the young and petite lady from Shanghai was very active and a all rounder, the Filipina tourist guide is a 'tomboy' dressed in men's clothing everyday and she smoke and mostly laugh when talking. She shared with us so many humorous jokes but since about half of the fifty passenger on the tour bus barely could speak English, only half would laugh with her. The rest talk among themselves especially those people at the back of the bus.

As our group was very big almost ninety people and two big tour bus with many different personality it was never on time according to what was prepared on the schedule. As an experience tour guide they must have encountered this problem so many times and they know how to eases and cool down other tourist who waited patiently for the other tourist to arrive.

Tour Guide   :   You know as we waited for the others it will test our endurance and patience. Let's say that our friends who are late must have reason why they are late. After eating all the local food yesterday and during dinner time they must have visited the toilet since last night. You must also be prepared as the saying says prevention is better than cure. Have you visited your Doctor and asked for medicines like diarrhea, flu, fever, stomach ache and your daily medicine for your hypertension, gout and etc for this trip?

The tour guide was so smart that she spoke about it in a humorous anecdotes which made us the tourist laugh but taught or remind others especially the first timer to be well prepared for their next trip. Since my previous job includes travelling for outstation work it was my habit to have a kit for medicines and toiletries wherever I am on tour.

There was a time that when our 'tomboy' tourist guide was telling us that the senior citizen in their country is given a 30% discount on everything. In the city of Makati the senior citizen is given the privilege of watching any film they like on their cinema until their eyes shut down or cannot watch any more in a day.

Tour guide   :   Do you know that most of the senior citizen in that city are almost blind?

Before we could answer her she laugh as she was just kidding and appreciated the local authority of that city to let all the senior citizens to watch the film free of charge.

Tour guide   :   I think those senior citizen just come to the theatre  just to sleep because of the air-condition and not to watch the film. ( *laughter)


In her parting words on our way to the airport, she reminded us not to say goodbye as it is likely that we are not going to meet again or as if we are going to the other world. Rather, it is appropriate just to say to take care or see you again next time.

All of us just greet her the best of luck and hopefully to see her again.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Butizaon   :   Anybody interested in my old sofa?

There was no positive reaction when I asked my Nephew except his wife where she would asked her school administrative officer if they want it as they don't have any.

My old sofa set ( 1, four-seater and 4 one-seater) which was made from rattan has a very sentimental value to me as I bought it when I just started working. It was my auntie who organised a monthly collection to buy the sofa and all the members took turn every month to get the sofa. It was a year before all of us to get our sofa. It was really cheap during that time as the price of the rattan sofa was only four hundred ringgits. I really took care of the sofa and during the time of using it, I repaint it with varnish few times after washing and cleaning it with sand paper. I never change the cushion as it is still very good and changed its covers numerous time. After cleaning and repainting it, it looked as new like I just bought it.

It was after few days that my nephew's wife called me that they want the sofa and arrange a date and time to pick it. It was the time that I went for a window shopping as there are two furniture shop nearby my house and one at the Megalong shopping complex. In the two furniture shop that I went I couldn't find a suitable sofa as all the sofa available there could occupy a very big space. There were the sofa sets which I though was good for European market as its leaning back was too long for us Asian. If you have a long legs then it would be no problem as you can sit back and relax. It is good for sleeping though as its sitting space is as big as single bed.

I took my time to look for a sofa set as I still had the four-seated rattan as they would come for the next trip to pick it up. I would not buy until all the old sofa has been taken as it will jammed up all the space of the guest room. The problem with window shopping was that you tend to look at other things too and that was what happened to me.

Butizaon   :   Is that a flat TV screen cabinet?

 Salesman   :   Yes, we have two types.

Butizaon   : I am interested in this one. How much is the price?

Salesman   :  The price is RM388.00.

Butizaon   :   Any discount for this?

Salesman   :   RM350.00, it is the last price offer.

Butizaon   :   How much if I pick it up myself, no need for you to send.

Salesman  :   RM330.00.

Butizaon   :   Okay get me a new one.

It was my niece who brought me to Megalong for a stroll and she reminded me of the furniture shop at 1st floor of the building. There were a number of good sofas that interest me but it wasn't cheap as a couch of sofa which could be converted as a bed also almost priced at RM900.00. I was complicating of buying 1 three-seater and 1 two-seater but it almost costs RM1500.00. I discarded my interest of buying it and my niece just frown of my indecisive decision. I told her that it was expensive and I would be happy to select a very simple but elegant sofa and cheap which does not crammed my space.

I am really selective in buying a sofa as I made a mistake of buying a set of sofa made from PVC material and had chosen a light colored. It wasn't easy to removed ball pen ink as although it could not be erased entirely and it will stick to your skin if the weather is hot and you sweat a bit. What I did was to cover the seat with cloths. I gave the sofa set to a good friend.

Two days ago I went to a pet shop in Putatan to look for a cage to prepare for my cat to deliver as I suspected her pregnancy. I asked a veterinarian doctor and told me that a cat can deliver after a short two months pregnancy. My cat 'Monalisa' must be separated with the two male cats as not to distract her and to avoid the kitten to be killed by the other cats as what happen to my sister cat before.

After buying the cage and few other items, I stopped by the furniture shop (Matahari furniture shop) in Putatan also. The furniture shop was there a very long time and it was small made of wood but now it is elegant, big with beautiful furniture's and the building made of concrete.

Butizaon   :   Do you have a set of simple but elegant wood sofa which could have less space to occupy?

Saleman   :   We do have few types. Please follow me outside.

Butizaon   :   I really like this one, I think it doesn't occupy much space. How much is this?

Saleman   :   The price is RM1299.00.

Butizaon   :   How much after discount?

Salesman   :   It is our special offer and the price is the lowest. It goes with the cushion and cover.

I bought my sofa as it will not crammed my small space and I got a good package as other furniture shop sell their sofa of the same type differently with the cushion and covers. It was indeed a good experienced for me in hunting a simple sofa and if given a task will surely do it again, no problem.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Driving a tour bus isn't exactly a luxurious job but it's very appealing to some - especially as a seasonal job that pays reasonably well, offers the opportunity to travel, and to meet people.

As a tour bus driver you will be on the road constantly, so you will have to be comfortable with not being in one place for long, and not being in an office environment. The bus will be your office, which is why you will also be required to look after the inside of the bus as you drive. You will need to make sure that the bus is clean for your passengers. These can be emotionally draining for you, as the tour bus driver too, as you will need to be on constant alert, not only watching the road, but on what is happening around you inside as well. It is said that a bus driver needs to be able to hear a faint whisper as he or she drives, and that takes concentration.

Through all my vacation and my experienced observing the tour bus drivers, they are the forgotten people as all our attention would be focused to to tour guide only. We are all constantly listening to the tour guide only but the most important person that is the driver is not acknowledge of his role. Nobody would remind us that our safety are on the driver's driving and skills to maneuver any obstacles along the road as we travels.

It was my trip to Israel (Jerusalem) that I met a very good Palestinian tour bus driver. I never seen him looking tired after a long distant place we visited and he was on his chatty mode after that. He was a very professional on his job with tuck in long sleeve white shirt with necktie and clean shaven face. He took his meal in the same restaurant with us but on a different table with the guide. We enjoyed his company and he tried to do a little bit of business with our groups and as he is a Muslim we bought some Tasbih with him for our Muslim relatives.

Apart from the pictures of him, I remember him with his strong smelled perfume which is very popular around those places. I bought that kind of perfume in Dubai on our way to Jordan and I tell you I like it but spray it on the minimum.

All other tour driver I had encountered were either muted or just shake or bow their head when spoken to. I will greet them good morning and asking them if they had their meal.

It would be nice if at the end of the vacation we give the driver a pat on the back and thanking him for the excellent driving job he had done. It would be great also that we give them some tip 'Ang Pau' although it was his job.

It was only that time that you will see him look at you and smile and bow his head vigorously as his job was really appreciated.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I was one of the ninety pilgrimage from different part of Sabah and Brunei who went to Manila a few days ago. It was also my first with this group arranged by my nephew through pilgrimage agent in Penampang. It was a few short hours of shopping and we were brought to the 168 shopping Mall, Manila. My previous tours was organised by a reliable, dependable and well organised agency and it did surpass my rating with the just concluded trip. Anyhow it was just my opinion and there was no complaint and I did enjoy the trip with different sets of people with very much different behavior.


Tour Agent   :   Please remember that you are given until 5.00 pm and make sure to be on the bus which is parked here. Am I clear?

Pilgrimage   :   Yes Boss.

Tour Agent   :   You see the building signboard there, it is straight from the 168 Mall  and the parking space here. Okay, Please follow me.

We followed the tour agent and looked for a landmark myself that will be my focal point to go back to the bus. I don't trust my memory anymore as driving to another district in Sabah previously was hard for me but since there were many of us it eased my fear of getting lost.

It was just the same feeling and atmosphere when we entered in any shopping mall and it goes the same as the 168 shopping Mall of Manila. The sound of different music, the voices of people and the different smell of cooked food from the food court made you want to take it all. As experience taught me to be prudent in my spending as of my previous vacation, I disciplined myself of buying just a souvenirs for my nephews and one or two shirt and trouser for myself. Thankfully I didn't spent much away from the budget that I did reserved for the trip.

The massive 168 shopping Mall contains so many stores that you may get lost eventually as if you're not careful to remember the route you had taken. The items sold could be bargain to your lowest price to show your skilled of bargaining it. You must remember that the sale person are not the amateur individual but the master of their trade so make your stand of the price you want . If they don't agree with your price, they will make a counter offer and if you think it is still high you could always walk away as there are so many stalls selling the same items. Once you had your price bargained and the stall owner stuck to their price then you could buy it happily.

The first thing we did when entering the mall was to find the food court as we were on our own to look for our food. Trying out the local food was out of the question for me as it will incurred extra costs if it does not suit with my taste. I selected food that was familiar and healthy especially fish and vegetables. The food that was catered for us in the hotel was either oily, meaty and vegetable was almost non-existence.

After our lunch we moved to the clothing section and my mind was remembering the message my nephew told me when he sent me to the airport asking me to buy him jeans.


Nephew   :   My friends told me that branded Jeans are sold cheaply in Philippine as compared here. Buy me one as a souvenir okay.

Butizaon   :   See first lah if got time.

Nephew   :   Waist size is 33 Levi's brand .... okay?

Butizaon   :   Yalah.


I did my skill to bargain the jeans that I bought for my nephew and eventually bought two instead of three. I had selected 3 jeans but mostly the style was the slim fit. You know where the material stick to your leg as most teenager's style (fashion) nowadays. I didn't looked for the straight cut which is suitable for me due to the limited time and we still have time for another shopping spree.

As I was bargaining for the jeans, I found out that the stall owner was a very experienced individual where it would not be an easy task manipulate them about the price. They know when to stop customers to lower the price further and yet they still manage to benefit within their price range.

We had one hour left when we decided to look for the exit to where our buses was parked but every time we exited we ended at the other side of the building. The massive 168 shopping mall was a combination of few buildings which was joined together and for foreigners and first timer which has a memory problem will most probably get lost.

We saw few ladies sitting outside the mall and told us that they were lost also and gave up looking for the exit.

Ladies   :   Kami sudah sesat ini tak larat mau cari pinta keluar.

Butizaon   :  Kami pun sasat ini, nanti kami cuba cari dulu mana pintu keluar yang betul.

Ladies   :   Bila kamu jumpa nanti kamu panggil kami. Kami tunggu disini saja.

I was happy to see a group from Brunei was also looking for the correct exit. We decided to stick together maybe about twenty of us. I realised later that one couple get away from the group and find the correct exit but didn't come back to get us. If I was the organiser of the trip I will banned them for any other trip in future.

It was the same exit that we get through but that time our tour agent was there and thought that we were safe already but alas he was lost also as he is a Sabahan. He asked us to stay put together and the bus will come to the street where we were. It was already late for an hour when a good Samaritan lead us to the other side of the building which was just a straight walk through the shopping mall about a minute walk.

We were given a rousing welcome by our fellow friends when we got in the bus and it was a relief that a good Samaritan still existed amongst us. Thank you Pinoy.

Sunday, September 08, 2013


This will be my last posting before I go for another vacation next week and I will try to share with you my vacation after I failed to update my previous vacation after the Vietnam trip.

My last posting was about my lunch appointment with my friends and at that posting I did mentioned 3 stories at once. I wrote about my meeting with different friends at the same time as not to bored my readers of the posting although mostly I wrote in dialogues as to make it more interesting and I did also change the real names of my friends and hopefully they are aware that I was writing about them.

This posting was written after I saw a picture posted on facebook and it reminds me of it when I was growing up in a paddy farming family.

When I was growing up as to all the village children, we were required to help our parents to all the chores as we don't help our parents there would be no food on the table. It was all hard work but it help us to nurtured and prepared us for our future. It was not a bed of roses as we progressed in life but we managed and not to starve. It was very fortunate for us to experienced those hard life which made me a  better person. I would always tell my friends that I am both analog and digital person as I've experienced both era.

In the picture was an upgraded step to filled up the hole with paddy grains with a half cut plastic bottle.

Before paddy is planted on the rice field a nursery is prepared to plant the seed and there we were helping the elders to clean the selected nursery by removing the grass and later prepare for planting the seeds. The elders were tasked to make the holes with a sharpen round pole. The children as we were at the time were tasked to fill up the hole with the paddy grain until all the holes were filled up. Imagine doing it the whole day with the hot sun on your head.

We were given any types of container to put in the paddy grain and the unfilled holes must not be stepped on until it were filled up with the grains. We would be shouted if we wandered on the unfilled holes by the elders.  If we had known of using the half cut plastic bottle during our time, surely we should had it filled faster.

When all the holes were filled up, again we were asked to help covered the holes with the ashes of the grass that was dried, burn and mixed with the soil. It serve as a fertilizer for the paddy seeds as well as to hide it from the Sparrow bird which comes in hundreds.

Sometimes we would be on the nursery for look out of the sparrow and brought with us a bag full of 'clay bullet' which we made our self to hit the sparrow with catapult. We made our 'clay bullet' a day earlier by using clay which was available at the bank of a stream and made a ball out of it by rolling it on our palm.

There was a two ways to dry the balls either by drying it the whole day if we have time or by using instant method by baking it. To bake it we made a fire and put all the 'clay bullets' on a metal sheet and put it on the fire. In less than fifteen minutes the bullets is ready for action.

If there was a competition for between my friends and me for the number of sparrows get hit it would be in favor of my friends as a bagful of bullet I have, not even one got hit. They were a very smart sparrow  as they smartly avoided that bullet as we hit them while flying and made a very good escape. Sometimes I made a fluke hit and it was really nice to hit one and we barbecued it. It was a very enjoyable and hard work when I was growing up but it does prepared me to face the reality of life and compare it of what the children of the present times misses.

Monday, September 02, 2013


There was a time when you remember a very enjoyable time with some friends during outing previously and thought of doing it again with them. Since retiring, scheduling my time is not much of a problem as I could arrange it on the spot. I called a friend who I had not met about two years ago whether he has the the time to a meeting like before.

Butizaon   :   Hello, how are you?

Ned   :   I am fine thank you. How are you?

Butizaon   :  I am also fine. Are you free? Care to join me for a drink, it's on me.

Ned   :   It would be nice but I am not in Kota Kinabalu right now. I am in Keningau visiting my grandmother.

Butizaon   :   Oh ... I see. Give me a call when you are in Kota Kinabalu. See you then, bye.

Ned   :   Sure will call you but maybe after Hari raya as there would be many open house invitation. Bye.


As I was writing this posting a call came from Doremon asking about the lunch appointment which was postponed last week to today. I deliberately didn't call them and let them decide what time and when they are free.

Doremon   :   Hello, so our lunch appointment is on today?

Butizaon   :   You people make the call as to suit your time. I follow of what you decided cos I am free all the time. I thought you are on leave today that is why I didn't call.

Doremon   :   How to go on leave if somebody is treating us lunch today. There should be four us coming for the lunch but Mdm Tini not feeling well so only three of us are coming. We will be waiting for you at the guard house at 12.00 pm as we are going with you.

Butizaon   :  Okay.


Incoming SMS message :

Long   :   Are you in KK?

Butizaon   :   Still in KK ... got appointment.

Long   :   Got time for lunch?

Butizaon   :   Intended to call you to join us but we are having non-halal food for lunch. Sorry, tomorrow okay?

Long   :  Okay.


After fetching them we went to the Chub's Grill @Karamunsing Capital which is strictly non-halal that was why I didn't invite my Muslim friend for the lunch. I and a friend asked for the BBQ pork rib and another the BBQ chicken thigh. The pork meat was really tender and juicy but mine was very late to be served as there was communication breakdown between the staff of the restaurant. They had finished eating their food when mine came. If it was not our noisy discussion and entertaining antic of my friends which made my waiting time for my food not felt too bad. I just made a sarcastic remark of cancelling the food within 5 minutes if it was not served.

It was my enjoyable time with my friends and although I am not working with them anymore but the antic me and Doremon gang up together was still there to get our friends amused and on the receiving end most of the time. Doremon had suggested for a get together like going for a Karaoke and I supported him and just message me if they gonna arrange one.

Looking forward for the lunch tomorrow with Along.


It was after hari raya that my friend Ned called me back. I thought that after the one month of hari raya only then I'd be expecting his call but he did call earlier than expected. We would be having Japanese cuisines that he misses so much. We went to City Mall where there are two Japanese restaurant called Sushi King on the first floor and Hana Japanese restaurant at the ground floor. The favorite place that I usually go was the Hana restaurant.

I would ordered the main course first and while waiting for the food, we had already eaten 6 to 7 plates that was circling on the conveyor. The prices per plates ranging from 5-8 ringgit but mostly we selected the most expensive as it it was also the tastiest like the Octopus, jelly fish, salmon and clamps. It would come up to minimum RM100 for two person. Japanese food are expensive although we could get most of the seafood here but I think they import all their seafood from Japan. Once in a while it's affordable especially when the government decided to give us the government bonus.

After lunch we went to complex Karamunsing as my friend wanted to change his power saver which was faulty and luckily it was on warranty so he was getting a new one for replacement.

We decided for a karaoke at the KK Box and after not visiting that place for so long I found the sound system was really bad especially the bass as though the room was going to collapse. The song selection was still the same without additional new songs. We finished our karaoke session at 6.00 pm and we did quite well singing mostly oldies and local songs.

Reached home at half past 7.00 pm due to the traffic jam.