Sunday, August 02, 2009

Kota KInabalu is Evil to Tourists Part 2

I was overwhelmed by the obnoxiousness in me that I have to postpone this venom spewing to a second part:

3. Souvenirs from Sabah? Read my post on the local Filipino market. Sorry for not linking because blogger makes a big fuss about internal linking. When I was in Pasay, I wanted to buy everything. When I was in Amsterdam, I wanted to buy everything. When I am back in KK, I want to buy something for my friends but I hate everything until I lost desire to buy anything. Sometimes, I see some novel things for sale in Gaya street. Other than that, all the stalls look more or less the same: you copy me, I copy you. The hottest merchandise in town? - all the evil cheapo made in China stuffs.

4. Eateries display certain consistent traits. Most Malay and Indian food are served cold. Yes, cold even if it is a dish of coconut milk and ghee. The same Malay eatery can serve good food at one time and turn entirely awful the next time you return. Chinese food are served hot drenched in starch. They coat the veges with starch, they coat the gravy with starch, they thicken the soap into jelly with starch. Once when my family ordered a RM200 lobster, they starched it from top to bottom. Oh, they all share a universal trait: oily, oily, oily. I found out to my horror from the taste of my honourable father, KK folks absolutely love oily food. As to eateries catering for "authentic" ethnic dishes, ha! So far the more authentic one is a filipino shop in Api-api center. It's not that they didn't try, but the suakus here absolutely cannot accept authentic dishes. Once upon a time, someone was brave enough to open sell turkish food...It's safer to eat at McDonalds ( lackluster because McDonalds is not allowed to showcase its gorgeous bacon. ) or fast-food chains. Of course, there are some decent cooks around. For instance, that famous "Chu-Chap" noodles in Tanjung Aru very, very long queues. Ang's hotel dishes are better than average - enough to let the boss to tell his customers what to buy. They sell one rice + dishes in a set. If you don't want rice, they won't want your business. Customers have to beg like beggars for nice food.

5. No interest in creativity. Of course we should exclude chic outlets, they must be beautiful to attract rich customers. Other than that, most buildings exist as concrete blocks for human activities. Nothing much cultural. I wonder why. Our 'cultural' things are not necessarily expensive. Nobody bother to decorate their shops/office/stalls with sompoton, local drums, blowpipes, local straw hats or traditional toys. The Borough Market in London, the hawkers use chalks and blackboard to make the most creative wordings of signboards I have ever seen. Poor Filipino people here improvise on growing different humble plants using only empty rusty cans to brighten up their shacks. Everything's mass-production second rated plastic chairs, plates, chop sticks, posters, calendars, clocks and the most detested on my list - stiff plastic flowers. The aversion for beautiful life in the KK community is leading my beloved hometown to the destiny of Pampanga, a province in the Philipines stripped till it is barren.

After venting my spite for the ugliness of this city. I do appreciate the fact the main dangerous creatures we have to guard against while walking at night is rottweilers unleashed to roam around, and not muggers/perverts. KK is safer than Johannesburg. I do appreciate at least I can pay to poo, otherwise I have to watch out for human dungs for every step I take. In KK they spit for the sake of spitting, so I step on the slimiest phlegm ...well, it's still better than muck. KK is better than India. The bus service sucks. In Samoa, passengers usually crammed into already jammed buses and sit on the laps of other passengers. Phew, at least my lap is safe here.

Still, I am embarrassed by the ugliness of KK to recommend it to visitors.

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