Memories Of My Early Days In KL

 have already published my previous post to Blog4FT and now drafting another blog while waiting for the rain to subside. I am not sure whether I can finish and publish this blog before my laptop battery runs out.
Pertama Complex is one of the earlier shopping complex in Kuala Lumpur. When I was not yet a KLite this Pertama Complex is a must visit whenever I come to Kuala Lumpur. Another shopping complex is the Campbell  Complex not far away from Pertama.
I am now sitting facing the Bangunan MARA and some new development is going on. The signage says its another projecr by MARA and the contractor is Pembinaan Jaya Zira Sdn. Bhd. It is the Kompleks Perdagangan Persada Putra (MARA). MARA has been so synonym to Malay and Bumiputra businessmen in helping them to face tough competitions from other established enterpreneurs. This Bangunan MARA is a symbol of Malay enterprise in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
At the site of this construction was the point where Mara Express buses from other parts of peninsular Malaysia made their stops. In 1973, when I was called for an interview to enter teacher training college at Kota Kinabalu, this is where I disembark and greeted by my cousin who stays in Petaling Jaya. He was an undergraduate at University Malaya then. I can still visualise clearly the day that is considered as my first time I step foot on Kuala Lumpur soil.
Then the next day we walk along Jalan Ampang right up to the Rubber Research Institute building where the Sabah Liason Office was for the interview. We had to walk all the way because my cousin too, do not know where the RRI is and we did a countdown of the address.
The second time I came to Kuala Lumpur was a few years after that and stayed a budget hotel and I can still remember the name “Beautiful Hotel” along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, somewhere near Chow Kit. Being so ignorant, I did not know the hotel house prostitutes too. I came to know only when night  fall and hear footsteps outside. Then only I could see Chinese women, sitting on stools outside the rooms and a few men walking around. Hahaha….If its today, they might think that I am a gay prostitute plying my trade at cheap hotels to make end meets. Those were the days.
Between 1976 and 1980, I became quite familiar with the Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz area and I will stay at Merdeka Hotel, Lorong Hj Hussien 2 on transit while travelling to and from Kota Kinabalu. The rate was RM10.00 per night.

In 1992, I was undergoing specialist teacher training at Institut Perguruan Darul Aman in Jitra, Kedah and during that same year, I took a Diploma in Fitness and classes were held at Malaysian Olympic Council on Jalan Hang Jebat. Since I was on a tight budget, I turn out to be like a vagrant in Kuala Lumpur. I have to come to Kuala Lumpur for three times during the school holidays to attend class. On my first visit, I stayed at a backpackers hostel at Jalan Pudu Lama for three nights sharing rooms with foreign backpackers. It was a bed and breakfast hostel.

However during my second visit, I did not stay at the bed and breakfast anymore. I leave my luggage at the left luggage service in Puduraya for RM 1.50 per day. I only carry one piece of clothes that I am going to wear for the day. I attend class from morning to evening and at night I sleep at an enclave next to the escalator   to Maybank Tower. Woke up before the Suboh prayer and walk to Mesjid Negara to bathe and pray before attend class at MOM. Thats my routine for the whole duration.

Another memory was that the Hari Raya Aidil Adha falls between class and I couldn’t go back to Alor Setar because it was a one day holiday. So I spent my Hari Raya Aidil Adha at Puduraya not feeling any Aidil Adha excitement at all.

I became a KLite on 1st April 1995 when I report for duty at my present organisation. My home was at a rented house cum hostel at AU3 Keramat. My room was shared with three other room mates. Now when I go back to AUe Keramat, most things have changed. The area has been developing.

Walking Walking Kuala Lumpur – Central Market

I want to continue my Walking Walking Kuala Lumpur series. If you have been following As I Travel.…… you might have read about my posting on Dataran Merdeka and its heritage buildings.
I end my last posting in this series at the bridge across the Sungai Klang.
In this posting I will write about my stop at Central Market.
The first thing that I can see before reaching the Central Market is this most important river confluence that gives birth to Kuala Lumpur. The muddy river confluence is literally translated as Kuala berLumpur.  On this confluence now stand the Mesjid Jamek of Kuala Lumpur, a symbol of Islamic development from the early days of this metropilitan city now. It is one of the oldest mosque in Kuala Lumpur and was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback. This mosque was officially opened in 1909 by the Sultan of Selangor.
Around this river confluence the communities of Kuala Lumpur rose and if we look into the distribution there is the Indian community at the Mesjid India area and the Chinese community synonym to Petaling Street and named China Town. Since the Mesjid Jamek was built on a burial ground, there must be the Malay Community too somewhere around the area. However the nearest Malay community in the city today is concentrated at Kampung Baru and is the oldest Malay community enclave within the city centre.


Central Market located at Jalan Hang Kasturi (Rodger Street) was built in 1888 is a new market to replace  the old market built by YapAh Loy, the first Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur. The name retain after being converted into an arts and handicraft centre. The Malaysian Heritage Soceity classify it as a Heritage site.  

Above: A postcard picture of Central Market taken from HERE.
Today visitors and KLites come to this place to seek for souvenirs of local handicraft. It is also a place where local artists paint their wares live. One can stop and ask them to sketch and paint their own portrait. One of the artist that I happen to see during my walk about is Abdul Ghani Ahmad who paint at his shop at the Central Market Annexe. He is a water colour artist.
Picture below is the Central Market Annexe, an arts centre
Below: Whats inside the Central Market on the ground floor
At the Ampitheatre outside to the building there are performances from time to time.
Below is part of Jalan Hang Kasturi that has been closed down and turn into pedestrian mall. You can laze around under this shady areas and if luck ison your side can get to be entertained by street musicians or buskers.
This row of shophouse at Medan Pasar. Medan Pasar is quite significant to the birth of Kuala Lumpur. Before  I proceed, I would like to ask, “Where is Kuala Lumpur?” I am sure most people will not know where is Kuala Lumpur. When I first migrated to the city, my only means of transportation was the pink ‘notorious’ (so they nickmaned it) Mini Buses. I could still remember when the Mini Bus reached Medan Pasar, the conductor will shout, “Kuala Lumpur! Kuala Lumpur! Kuala Lumpur turun sini.” That was the station for mini buses besides the Bangkok Bank that can be considered as one of the main stops.
So Medan Pasar is the actual spot for Kuala Lumpur? I do not have any argument about it. There is a clock tower at Medan Pasar. Usually when clock towers are constructed, there must be some significant to it. The site of the clock tower (marked X on the route map above) is just less than 50 metres from the river banks of Sungai Gombak and the confluence where it joins Sungai Klang. There is no signboard whatsoever to give information or details of the clock tower. Maybe the Kuala Lumpur City Hall can trace and mark the history of this clock tower. Scroll down to see the picture of the mentioned structure.
The picture below is of Medan Pasar and compare it with the screen capture I took from the Central Market website. The buildings still exists. Now this Medan Pasar is one of the bus stops within Kuala Lumpur city.
Below: A screen capture of Medan Pasar taken from Central Market website
Not far from Medan Pasar is a lane named after the first Kapitan China of Kuala Lumpur, Yap Ah Loy.
This segment of Walking Walking Kuala Lumpur ends here. My next segment will be Petaling Street or popularly called China Town.

TGIF Experience @ Pavillion, KL

Today I went out to The Pavillion to ‘claim’ my winning voucher at TGIF. I won the voucher as one item in the First Prize for week five of Nuffnang Project Alpha blog writing contest. The RM100 voucher at TGIF expires on 16th November and I have only today or Sunday only to go to the city. The weather was not very sunny and signs of raining shows when we are at Lot 10. I always make a point to go to KL city centre on public transport which is more economical compared to driving my car. I saved time and money and the stress of being behind the wheel can be avoided. After all my destination is not far from the nearest Monorail station.
The Pavillion is already in the Christmas mood. The entrance is lined with giant Christmas trees behind Santa Claus’s sledge. However I can’t see Santa on it. When my son asked where is Santa, I told him that Santa is inside the Pavillion shopping for present to be distributed on Christmas night. The Centre Court too where most of the public activities were also decorated. Their theme for this year’s celebration I think is Royale Christmas@Pavillion.
Upon entering the main entrance there is also another Santa Claus’s sledge parked but Santa is nowhere to be seen. Just his golden sledge and the deer left.
Dining at International Cuisine Restaurant is a once in a blue moon experience for me not because of  unfamiliar to foreign taste but budget wise. I consider dining in such places are lifestyle of the affordables (not lifetyle of the rich and famous) and I do not fall into that category. Well, I came out with that tag after hanging around at level three- the Al Fresco Dining level.
TGIF @ Pavillion is located on level 6 where there are International Cuisine Restaurants. As we are being seated by the hostess and shown the menu, I reconfirm my new found connotation Lifestyle of the Affordables. The price on the menu just does not fit my pocket and budget. However since I am holding a RM100 dining voucher, I was calculating on what to order that will suit the value of the voucher. Since I do not have the experience of dining at such restaurants, We took some time to make up our mind of what to eat. While choosing the menu, my eyes were looking at the price of each item. Of course, if I were to spend my own money, I don’t think I will be willing to patronise that kind of restaurants. I can’t afford such price tag. After much consideration, at last I made my choice and called the waiter.
These are what we ordered
1 Grill Salmon    RM35.90
1 Grill Lamb       RM 28.90
1 Kid Burger Steak RM 11.00

1 Large Mango Juice RM 7.90
1 Large Pineapple Juice RM 7.90
1 Kid Vanilla Milk Shake RM 7.90
3 mini Mocha Latte Dessert @ 9.90 (usual RM 3.90 per unit)
Subtotal 109.40
10% Service Charge RM 10.95
5% Govt Tax RM 5.47
Rounding Adjustment RM 0.02 –
Total 125.80
Minus the RM 100 voucher and I paid RM25.80 only. I got back a RM 25.00 change from my RM 50.00 bill and,  Waaa… discount 80 cents sumore…….

So you see the amount I spent for just one meal for three? Thats why I say its the lifestyle of the affordables.
That was one experience of dining at classy restaurants. Now my next experience will be another high tea experience at Sunway Hotel in Subang. I am still holding the High Tea Voucher with a RM300 value. Thats blogging money

Blogging Into The Limelight

Bloggers, the future is bright for you. When you jumped onto the blogging bandwagon, you had made the right choice in choosing your interest. Bloggers and blogging is emerging in the limelight lately. Even though it is not officiated, bloggers are becoming important and necessary to accomodate the development of the new media and changing lifestyles. More and more people are patronising the cyberspace 24 /7 and in today’s availability of mobile gadgets, makes dissemination of information through the internet a necessity. Thats the reason bloggers are becoming more important especially in marketing of products. One of the reason is that, its economical and marketing is borderless as compared to traditional marketing strategies.
In September 2009, an internet advertising company, Nuffnang, launched the first online TV shows about bloggers with seven top Malaysian bloggers for the first season, called Project Alpha. In collaboration with the show, Nuffnang also organise blog writing contest, open to bloggers to post entries about the respective bloggers weekly. Indirectly entries do help not only to promote the selected bloggers but also helps market Nuffnang and the sponsors product and minimum costing.
On 6th of October Ministry of Federal Territories launched the Blog4FT blogging contest as an effort to promote the three Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan. This contest too not only helps to “sell” Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan to the world but indirectly increase the blogging population and motivate more people to blog and paralell to that, improving  writing skills and their internet savvy.
Today when I visited The Pavillion, I came to know of another event for bloggers, the Live Mannequin Blogathon held at Tang’s.
The four bloggers ‘thrashing’ against one another behind the glass for 24 hours are Cheeserland, Huai Bin, KY  Speaks and Wernshen.  More details HERE. Photo below I grab from sixthseal show the bloggers involved.

So bloggers, you are going  to be future ambassadors in cyberspace……..keep writing. atok vlog

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