Month: February 2013

d’Tandoor Restaurant, Precinct 10, late February, 2013

We received a flyer about set lunches at d’Tandoor Restaurant at Precinct 10 a couple of months ago. But the car park in Precinct 10 seems designed to ensure maximum heat retention in your car’s cabin, so we tend not to visit.

Precinct 10 car overheating centre

Precinct 10 car overheating centre

However, today was overcast and relatively cool, so we finally made it to the restaurant. It has been open already for six months, so we weren’t quick off the mark.



The car park was almost empty, so it was easy to park. But the restaurant was quite full when we arrived, for a late lunch. It is very modern in decor, and sparkling clean. Staff members, when they had a moment, would move around with a cloth and bottle of Windex cleaning the vacated tables.



The menu is quite simple, as you can see below. Service was quick and friendly.



We ordered, and soon the pappadams came.

papadams with mint yoghurt dip

papadams with mint yoghurt dip

and then the lassi



Mrs Tropical Expat ordered the vegetarian, but with an upgrade of the drink from cordial to mango lassi, and white rice to basmati rice.



I ordered the Gosht (mutton) set, and upgraded also to a mango lassi.

20130225 (11)s

I try to eat almost no carbohydrates, except those in vegetables, but I couldn’t resist the warm naan. It was delicious.  I also try to eat small meals so as to maintain weight control, so, avoiding the rice, the portions were just enough to assuage my hunger without making me full.  However, if I wanted to be full, then the portions were not quite big enough.

The neighbouring table had ordered the (chicken) Tandoori.  There appeared to be much more chicken than the portion of mutton I was served.

The bill seemed OK and had no surprises. You can pay by credit card, too.

20130225 (17)s

SERVICE: Friendly and fast
DECOR: Pleasant – clean and modern.
FOOD: Tasty, but too small a volume for me
PRICE: Reasonable
ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: Good. Proper crockery and cutlery.  Everything was very hygienic and clean.

d’Tandoor Restaurant, Penang

Location: 10-C-22 Precinct 10, Jalan Tanjong Tokong, Tanjong Tokong, 10470

Phone: 04 899 2525


Opening hours: 11.30AM to 15.00PM; 18.30 – 22.30

Wi-Fi: Yes, and signal seemed strong

Pulau Tikus Market parking


In a word – impossible.

2013-02-22 08.29.36s

Parking was always difficult, and the roads congested, but there was also a very badly potholed parking lot adjacent, so you could always park there, albeit at a higher price. But now that parking lot has become a construction site for presumably yet another condo. The Cantonment Road supermarket car park now has a queue to enter, so is no real solution.

If you go by car, all you can do is park further away, and walk.

Best podcasts I have heard recently – February 25th, 2013


Most weeks I listen to a lot of podcasts. While going out for a walk, in the gym, doing the gardening or housework I have time to listen to quite a few hours of podcasts.  These are the best I’ve heard recently.



Minute 50 of this podcast – 75-year-old farmer sued by Monsanto, because the farmer had sown seeds he’d bought as animal feed, and they grew and turned out to be GM.  After 20 years of GM crops in the U.S., they’ve found GM did not improve yields, are not more drought resistant,  are not more nutritious, but instead of farmers simply using seeds from their previous crops, they must buy very expensive seeds every year, and then they also need chemicals to grow them. This is not a model for feeding the world.

MP3 link:


Why is the pope really stepping down? The complicity of the Catholic church with the rise of usury.

MP3 link:


A subscriber site.

Dave Hodges Show: Facebook blocking content. The Rothschilds claim to be descended from Nimrod back in the Babylonian era.

MP3 link:


A review of the film, “Syriana”.

MP3 link:

Interview on Brazil’s economy, and relationships with Mercosur and China.

MP3 link:

The price of gold has been declining recently.  James discusses why.

MP3 link:


One Peoples Public Trust has used the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) law to foreclose on governments and corporations, eliminating their authority, debt, and setting us free. The implications are so huge it is hard to take in.

Or read this link for similar information:


Today’s show is about geoengineering – the effects of those chemical trails you see being sprayed in the skies. Doomsday soon, apparently.

MP3 link:

Gespräche mit J.C. auf Deutsch 10: 22. Februar

2012-12-31 14.52.51s

Jede Woche treffe ich mit meinem Freund JC, mit wem ich Deutsch lerne. Unser Zweck ist Deutsch zu üben und wir besprechen immer verschiedene Themen. Diese Blog handelt von unserer Gespräche. Bevor jedes Gespräch bereiten wir uns nicht vor, und wenn wir ein Wort nicht kennen, benutzen wir ein Wörterbuch.


Heute sprachen wir über Kaffee und Fitness Klub und Reise.

In Nottingham in England hat Costa (Kaffee) über 1.700 Bewerbungen für acht Stelle bekommen.

JC ist Mitglied eines Klubs, und nach seiner Übung mag er beim Schwimmbad erspannen. Jedoch bei seinem Klub ist die Umgebung in die Nahe des Schwimmbads nicht angenehm, weil es sehr geräuschvoll ist. Vor vier Jahres war er Mitglied anderes Klubs, und vielleicht wird er ihn wieder benutzen. Der Preis im Klub zu betreten ist derselbe als seiner gegenwärtige Klub. Und hier wird der Lärm in öffentliche Orte nicht reguliert.

JC hat mir gesagt, dass Coffee Bean ein gutes Frühstück serviert. Der beste Service ist bei Coffee Bean in Straits Quays, weil vielleicht es sehr neu ist. Sie sind sehr tüchtig. Man findet es links des Eingangs Straits Quays. Und der Kaffee ist frei, und schmeckt gut.

In der Zeitschrift der MGS von Dezember war ein Gutschien für Berlin Bierhaus bei Straits Quays, und ich habe dreimal dort Bier getrunken und Würste gegessen. Leider seit Dezember gibt es keinen Gutschein. Auch in Straits Quays ist das italienisches Restaurant gut, hat JC gesagt. Ich habe gehört, dass das fish & chips Restaurant ist auch gut.

Ich muss die Forschung für eine Reise nach Vietnam machen. JC denkt, dass Wikitravel ist günstig.

In der Zukunft will ich den Zug zwischen Europa und Asia nehmen. Aber welche Richtung ist besser? Vielleicht von Europa nach Asia ist besser, weil eine Flucht zurück zu nehmen, eine Ernüchterung sein wurde. Wir beide ziehen lieber unsere Reise vor, und nicht ein Reisebüro zu benutzen. Für diese Reise braucht man einen guten Plan, und einen Fahrplan für den Zug, um die Verbindungen zu verstehen.


Neue Wörter für mich:

die Umgebung = environment
die Umwelt = environment
die Bewerbung = application
geräuschvoll = noisy
betreten + Dative = become a member
regulieren = to regulate
öffentliche = public
tüchtig = efficient
gegenwärtig = present, current
der Gutschein = voucher
servieren = to serve food
der Klub = club
vorziehen = to plan
die Forschung = research
der Fahrplan = timetable
die Verbindung = connection
die Ernüchterung = anti-climax

——————- ist nützlich. ist auch nützlich.

Penang parking

The aim of this blog is to give the general idea about parking a car in Penang – it is not a definitive guide to all prices and all locations.

Gurney Plaza parking

Gurney Plaza parking

In Penang your choice of parking is as you would expect.

On the road

  • either free
  • or at parking meters – you’ll need coins, and the price varies, but is perhaps 1 sen per minute.  Quite often the meter will be broken – I carry a sign to put on my dashboard to cover such a possibility.  You can park there, and if an attendant happens to come around, your sign saying “broken meter” should save any problems.  Attendants do occasionally come and check meters, so it is better to pay, and be back before the meter expires.
  • but a third possibility is that you will be charged by the half hour by someone who hangs around the area, probably on a motorbike, but sometimes on foot.  There will be a sign that tells you, but in Bahasa probably.  Either the parking attendant will come and you tell him how long you want to pay for, or you will find a docket under your windscreen wiper.  Depending on the area it is usually 30 or 40 sen per half hour (half hour being the basic unit of time for them). It is best to hunt down the attendant and pay before you go. Otherwise, sooner or later you will get a hugely inflated bill in the post from the council. of course, if you park in such a place and you have no docket under your wiper when you return, then you haven’t been noticed, and you have just parked free.
  • another possibility is that your bank will have a few dedicated spaces for customers, and you can park free there for a certain amount of time. Examples are HSBC across the road from Queensbay Mall, or CIMB in Northam Road area.
  • and finally, around Megamall in Butterworth, and in some places in other parts of Malaysia, they have a coupon system, where you need to go to a shop and buy a book of coupons for parking. You then mark the starting time of your parking, and put it on your dashboard. In Megamall last time I was there it was about 20 sen half hour. And which shop can you buy the coupons from?  You’ll have to ask someone nearby, or in a shop. Again, there will be a sign in Bahasa telling you this is the system.  Look at other people’s dashboards to work it out.

Parking Areas

Shopping malls, hotels, open parking lots. Sometimes it is free, sometimes there is a flat charge for parking, and sometimes it is time based. A few examples.

  • Tesco and Giant supermarkets – free
  • Botanical Gardens – free
  • Many businesses have parking within their premises, and it is free
  • Cold Storage in Island Plaza – RM1 per hour from memory
  • E&O Hotel RM6 flat rate until 10pm, RM10 after 10pm, but RM 1 higher the day before holidays and weekends, and on holidays and weekends.
  • Gurney Plaza – RM1 for three hours on weekdays, then RM1 per hour. Weekends and holidays – RM3 for three hours and then RM1 per hour. You can also pay with your Touch ‘n Go card, but pay an extra 10%
  • Queensbay Mall – from memory the same as Gurney Plaza
  • Hotels in Batu Ferringhi – usually free

Bear in mind that Malaysians hate to walk, so if you are prepared to park a little further away and walk, you may be able to park free. And if you are attending a festival, it makes a lot of sense to park a little further away, and avoid monumental traffic jams when you leave.

Parking Fines.

You may received a parking fine if you are caught illegally parking.  This would be either from the council, or the police. Many people ignore the council fines for years, but if you don’t pay the police ones you can’t renew your local driving licence or car registration, so you’ll need to pay at that time, if not sooner – or such is conventional wisdom.  A police fine is probably RM30.  If you want to contest it, they are not very friendly, and letters you receive will be in Malay, and will ignore any questions you’ve asked that they don’t want to answer.

Retirement – could I afford not to?

Living and working in London:

40% marginal income tax – perhaps comes to 25% of income; 20% VAT; council tax, petrol tax, energy taxes, water costing £70 per month, the cost of getting to and from work, cost of dressing for work, mortgage and interest… So the government takes most of the money, and then the banks and privatised money-gouging utilities get most of the rest…

…leaving just enough to live and have a holiday in the sun every year.

The only “saving” possible was paying the mortgage, but much of that was syphoned off by the bank as interest.

The cost of working was so high that it didn’t seem worth it. Basically I was working to survive in order to work. OK, I did enjoy my work, until near the end, but that is not the point.

Just the annual council tax alone in London can be the equivalent of three months living cost in Malaysia.

It’s almost as if it’s cheaper to retire abroad than to work and live in London. If you have equity in your property and you sell it, you can buy a nicer property abroad more cheaply, and then live on the difference for many years.

Gespräche mit J.C. auf Deutsch 9: 15. Februar

2012-12-31 14.52.51s

Jede Woche treffe ich mit meinem Freund JC, mit wem ich Deutsch lerne. Unser Zweck ist Deutsch zu üben und wir besprechen immer verschiedene Themen. Diese Blog handelt von unserer Gespräche. Bevor jedes Gespräch bereiten wir uns nicht vor, und wenn wir ein Wort nicht kennen, benutzen wir ein Wörterbuch.


JC hat mir gesagt, daß das Restaurant von nebenan hat diesen Morgen vieles Geräusch gemacht. Warum, er hat nicht gewusst. Hier in Malaysia werden sich die Leute nicht vom Lärm geärgert. Seit wenn sie Babys sind, gibt es immer überall Krach. Sie sind gewöhnt an den Krach. Er hat gebeten, das Musik zu ausschalten.

Dann diskutieren wir den Gedanke von einem Haus in Europa zu kaufen. In England sind “Council Steuer” teuer, und obwohl Häuser im Norden des Englands nicht so teuer sind, Häuser im Süden des Englands sind teurer. Wenn ich in England wohnte, wohnte ich in Cornwall, obwohl jetzt es nicht billig ist. Cornwall ist wärmer und geheimnisvoller als andere Teile von England. Allerdings sind Häuser in der Mitte Frankreich viel billiger. Für etwa Euro 30,000 ein Haus gekauft werden können. Ich bin nicht sicher über der Steuer von M. Hollande. Man könnte sechs Monate in Europa und sechs Monate in Malaysia wohnen, aber man gebraucht wenigstens zwei Auto. Und wenn man Weg vom einem Auto wohnt, muss jemand es warten.

Stattdessen kann man einen Camper kaufen, aber wegen er teuer ist, konnte er Räuber erregen. Besser ist ein kleinen Lieferwagen, in dem man schlafen kann, und in dem man eine tragbare Dusche und tragbaren Herd tragt. Aber kann man ohne eine Geschirrspülmaschine wohnen? Im deutschen Autobahnparkplatz   kann man legal übernachten, und auch am französischen Strände. Jedoch, gibt es eine Beschränkung von einer oder zwei Nächte. Wenn man wohnt in Frankreich ist es leichter zu reisen als in England, wegen des Lenkrads des Autos, und des Preises der Zugkarten sind billiger.


Neue Wörter für mich:

einschalten = turn on
ausschalten = turn off
gewöhnt = used to
die Steuer = tax
besteuern = to tax
die Hypothek = mortgage
hypothekarisch belasten = to mortgage
vergrössen = to increase
die Rate = rate
Profit = profit
der Gewinn = profit
Wenn ich in England wohnte, wohnte ich in Cornwall.
das Geheim = mystery
mysterios = mysterious, puzzling
geheimnisvoll = mysterious
das Lenkrad = steering wheel
tragbar = portable
erregen = to attract
die Grenze = limit
die Einschränkung = limit
die Geschirrspülmaschine = dishwasher
34 Quadratmeter = 34 square meters

——————- ist nützlich. ist auch nützlich.