Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Malaysia, Truly Asia...

A lot of people find it amazing and at the same time amusing that in his close to 30 years of existence, that Mr. Robotic has NEVER EVER step into Malaysia till just recently. To set things straight, Mr. Robotic did venture out to other places like Hong Kong and Bangkok but rather the opportunity to travel to Malaysia did not present itself to Mr. Robotic.

How is that possible, you ask? Well, Mr. Worry Too Much holds this perception that the whole family should not be travelling together, in fact, even individual family members should not be travelling if possible, cause the world beyond Singapore is a scary place with all the politics, riots etc. Hence, if you ever find that Mr. Robotic is pessimistic, he must have inherited it from Mr. Worry Too Much.

That aside, how did Mr. Robotic find his "virgin" trip (as his friends would like to tease him) to Johor Bahru (just across the Causeway from Singapore) with Ms. Hysterical and Mr. Trust Me?

Misfit trying to fit in:
"Thanks" to his seasoned traveller "friends" who keep warning him to dress as un-glamorous as possible so that Mr. Robotic does not come across as a viable target for robbers and thieves in the foreign country, Mr. Robotic turned up for the trip in an over sized T-shirt, seasoned bermudas, a pair of flip flops and a backpack. Ms. Hysterical was of course (you guessed it right) hysterical about Mr. Robotic's whole outfit and break into laughter every now and then when reminded about the outfit. To make things worse, the locals are not shabbily dressed at all in the malls. In fact, their dress sense is what is typical of youngsters would wear in Orchard Road and Mr. Robotic felt like an eyesore to the locals.

So is this pair of slippers amusing to you?

3 and a half meals in half a day?

Food prices in Johor Bahru is seemingly cheap compared to those in Singapore. Well, Mr. Robotic and gang had all their meals at City Square so maybe it could even be cheaper?

For instance, a lunch meal at Kenny Rogers costs about S$11 in Malaysia which one would not be able to find in the Kenny Rogers in Singapore even for set lunch specials. To compensate though, the portions served in Malaysia are smaller but Mr. Robotic thinks that the portions are just right. There is even a choice between chocolate and vanilla muffins. Sweet!

Tea break comes in the form of Mary Browns. For the clueless, Mary Browns serves deep fried chicken, except (at least to Mr. Robotic and Mr. Trust Me) the fried chicken skin taste far superior to the other more available fried chicken fast food joints (the nuggets are so so though) as it does not use excessive flour. The downside is, the chicken is dripping with oil. Sinful!

The decoration of Mary Browns is also very interesting with ceiling swings replacing some of the the conventional seats. Rock it out!

Japanese food! Mr. Robotic was delighted that Mr. Trust Me choice for dinner was the Sushi King located at the basement of City Square mall. It serves almost authentic Japanese Food and boy was Mr. Robotic famished from the long day of walking (read further to understand why). Mr. Robotic ordered a bento set which includes chawamushi, salmon slices, fried tempura, a yakult drink, miso soup and white rice. And the best part... the bento set cost less than S$10! Paradise!

To top things off, Mr. Robotic and Mr. Trust Me bought ice cream from a shop located at level 1 (don't recall the name of the shop). Mr. Robotic chose something that is called Royal Chocolate Mousse something. The chocolate is deliciously rich. Yummy!

Opps... it was such an enjoyable eating experience that Mr. Robotic had forgotten to take photos of the food.

Walking the road less travelled:

As Mr. Trust Me has been to Johor Bahru several times, he tempted Mr. Robotic and Ms. Hysterical to explore beyond the City Square Mall and constantly re-assured the two that he knows his way around. So, Mr. Robotic and Ms. Hysterical eventually placed their faith in Mr. Trust Me and ventured out of the comforts of the mall. The group got on a bus towards Danga Bay where Mr. Trust Me then communicated his main objective of the Johor trip, that was to eat seafood (this is even though Mr. Trust Me is allergic to prawns and shell related seafood items)!

The group dropped off at the wrong stop (a place that was even out of the Johor Bahru's tourist map) and had to walk back 1km to Danga Bay. Mr. Robotic cannot believe that was the nth time he misplaced his faith in Mr. Trust me. The group wandered across muddy tracks and construction areas. Somehow Mr. Trust Me has the most far-out way of humor and got his kicks from seeing Mr. Robotic spent his first trip in the un-touristy part of Malaysia.

To add salt to the wound, a rubbish collection truck past by the trio with the overpowering "aroma" expected no less from a rubbish collection truck. Mr. Trust Me could not contained it anymore and burst into giggles and laughter imagining the turn off expression that Mr. Robotic was making and how Mr. Robotic would be rolling his eyes... This was when Mr. Robotic's back was facing him and before Mr. Robotic uttered any complains. Somehow, Mr. Robotic also found his plight somewhat funny. Ms. Hysterical was clueless with what's going on.
There was nothing much to do at Danga Bay. There may be efforts to develop the place and it could be fantastic when completed. Hence, at the point of visit, the place was rather quiet for a Saturday afternoon.

The street malls at Danga Bay that sells handicrafts and stuff.

A Malay wedding by Danga Bay. Mr. Trust Me even wanted to gatecrash for free food.

Without much to do at Danga Bay, the trio decided to return back to City Square. As there were no traffic lights to cross over to the other side of the road to take the bus, the trio decided to push forward till they see some safe way to cross. That again was a bad decision as there were no traffic lights or sorts in sight. And there were no proper pavement, the trio had to walk on the side of the road, facing in coming traffic. To make things worst, dust were flying around due to the construction for new roads. The trio walked a good 3km before succumbing to taking a cab back.


Shopping-wise, Mr. Robotic liked the shop Padini & SEED which was recommended by Mr. Congeniality. Quite a nice selection of t-shirts which costs about $10 each but it was a pity that the ones that caught Mr. Robotic's eye only had the XL sizes left. Oh well... till next time!

If you know Mr. Robotic well enough, you know he has a weakness for jackets! So Mr. Robotic could not resist this white jacket from SEED.

A new pair of slippers to "erase" the joke on Mr. Robotic's causal flip flops. Mr. Robotic got them from Men's (no kidding, that's the title of the shop). Good selection of slippers for decent prices.

The verdict:

Mr. Robotic likes how accessible and spontaneous it is to go to a different country just using an ez-link card and without much prior planning. Even with the walking, it was a pretty fun trip. Look forward to another trip to Malaysia in the latter part of the year. And Mr. Robotic hoped Mr. Trust Me enjoyed his birthday trip!

1 comment:

  1. correction! there's a choice of chocolate, vanilla AND BANANA flavoured muffins at kenny rogers. and there's no ms hysterical! it's ahem* ms poise!