Month: June 2013

G Hotel Penang – Sesame and Soy restaurant – mid-2013

The business lunch in Sesame and Soy is a nice meal. My only criticism is that the food is very sweet.  But a nice surprise when paying is that we got a discount by simply using a certain bank’s credit card.

Sesame and Soy on the G Hotel

Sesame and Soy on the G Hotel

Entrance

Entrance

Entrance

Entrance

decor

decor

menu

menu

menu

menu

setting

setting

soup

soup

main courses

main courses

dessert

dessert

the receipt - with discount

the receipt – with discount

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Gespräche mit J.C. auf Deutsch 22: 28. Juni

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 jetzt ein bisschen.  Wir gebrauchen ein Buch, dass kategorisiert Worten nach Thema, aber wenn wir ein Wort nicht kennen, benutzen wir auch ein Wörterbuch.

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Heute haben wir weiter über Gefühle zu besprochen.

Aber zuerst sprachen wir über Vorsilben. Z.B.  es gibt: andenken, ausdenken, bedenken, nachdenken, umdenken, verdenken – und seine andere Bedeutungen. Zuerst dachten wir über Vorsilben an. Nächste bedachten wir, bis wir dachten Sätze mit diesem Wörter aus. Dann dachten wir  mehr Beispiele nach, und dachten wir unsere Sätze um. Aber verdenken Sie uns nicht, wenn die nicht so gut sind.

Allmählich werden wir lernen, hoffe ich. Unser Wortschatz wird verbessern.

Heutzutage gibt es viel Dunst in Malaysia, sondern in Penang ist es nicht solche grosse Sorge. Letzes Jahr machte ich ein Foto an der Tagundnachtgleiche und auch dieses Jahr, und wenn man diese Fotos vergleicht, kann man sehen, dass dieses Jahr nicht so ernst ist.

Vermutlich wenn es regnet, verschwindet der Dunst. Aber unser Dach leckt. Unser Haus ist sehr angenehm, und wir sind sehr zufrieden, dort zu wohnen. Jedoch wir wurden sehr enttäuscht, dass unser Dach leckt zu entdecken. Vier von unserem Nachbaren haben kürzlich ihrer Dächer verändert. Alle Häuser haben vor 50 oder 60 Jahre gebaut, und daher brauchen neue Dächer.

Manchmal bringen die Vögel Samen, und die am Dach verlassen, und mit der Feuchtigkeit, Regnen und Sonnenschein wachsen sie. Endlich schaden sie die Dachziegel. Für das Wohl des Hauses mussten wir das Dach verändern.

Wir haben gewartet, bis es nicht mehr regnet, und dann haben wir ein neues Dach bestellt. Wir wünschten für das Glück. Das Dach ist hoch, und dann brauchen wir täglich einen Kran mieten, der sehr teuer ist. Aber wir haben Pech. Von dem Zeitpunkt an, als die Arbeit angefangen hat, regnet es plötzlich ab und zu.  Wie schade! Natürlich ist es dann gefährlich zu arbeiten am Dach, und die Arbeiter und der Kran können nichts tun. Und wir verschwenden viel Geld. Jedoch, wir können zu niemand klagen. Die Arbeiter machen ein Teil des Dachs, und danach regnet es, und wir sorgen, dass das Dach leckt schlechtich.

Ich fühle mich traurig und unglücklich, und habe Sorgen über das Dach, und klage zu meiner Frau, aber ich weine keine Tränen, und bedauere nicht die Arbeit. Wenn es fertig ist, bin ich sehr fröhlich und zufrieden.

Endlich hatten wir ein kurzes Gespräch über dem Prozess der Herrstellung der Sojaprodukte.

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Neue Wörter für mich:
andenken = to start to think about something
ausdenken = to think up something
bedenken = to consider
nachdenken = to think about
umdenken = to rethink
verdenken = to blame
der Dunst = haze
die Tagundnachtgleiche = equinox
das Dach = roof
die Dächer = rooves
der Wortschatz = vocabulary
das Vokabular = vocabulary
der Samen (-) = seed
die Feuchtigkeit = humidity
der Dachziegel (-) = roof tile
der Kran = crane
ab und zu = now and then
die Sorge = worry
sorgen = to worry
verschwenden = to waste
traurig = sad
unglücklich = unhappy
weinen = to cry
die Träne (n) = tear
bedauern = to regret
fröhlich = cheerful
zufrieden = content, satisfied
Wie schade! = What a pity

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http://german.typeit.org/ ist nützlich.
http://www.stars21.com/spelling/german_spell_checker.html ist auch nützlich.

3 days in Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City – 2013; Day 2 – Cuchi Tunnels

Our first day in Saigon was looking around the city,  ensuring we had a French meal, and organising the following three days.  We took the lazy way, and booked the tours for the second and third days, and the bus tickets to Phnom Phenh for the following day.

The second day we had booked a tour to the Cuchi Tunnels – it cost VND 470,000 for two for a half day, with  no lunch.  They picked us up from the hotel on time, the guide was fun and entertaining, the driver seemed to be good, and everything was well organised.  This was a good tour.

police "at work"

police “at work”

driving out of Saigon

driving out of Saigon

our guide

our guide

price of petrol

price of petrol

our mini bus

our mini bus

approaching the tunnel area

approaching the tunnel area

map

map

example of trap

example of trap

trap - ouch!

trap – ouch!

tunnel entrance

tunnel entrance

tunnel entrance

tunnel entrance

tunnel entrance

tunnel entrance

ventilation

ventilation

captured tank

captured tank

jungle

jungle

20130326 (82)s

ammo

ammo

ammo

ammo

shooting range

shooting range

shooting range

shooting range

shooting

shooting

old tyre

old tyre

old tyre recycled

old tyre recycled

in the tunnel

in the tunnel

in the tunnel

in the tunnel

jungle

jungle

Penang Hill Funicular Railway – good news for us foreign residents – mid-2013

I have only ever caught the railway up and back once, due to the fare being too high for non-Malaysians.

Well, I have just noticed this has changed.  You can look at the fare table online: http://www.penanghill.gov.my/index.php/2013-03-27-09-47-27/ticket-fares and you won’t really get the full story.
But today I took a photo of the fare table when I had climbed to the top.

fare table displayed at the top station

fare table displayed at the top station

What you will notice is that the fare for adult  MM2H holders is now RM8, and for seniors (over 55) RM4. Not RM30 any more!! This is great news!

Feedback to MPPP – Penang Island Municipal Council – on their budget

I found the following information in the Buletin Mutiara:

Until the 10th July you can give feedback to MPPP on how they will spend their budget. You can do this online, by finding the page here: http://www.mppp.gov.my/en/home or directly to the survey here.

Alternatively you can email suhaida@mppp.gov.my or call 04-2592120.

They say all input will be private and confidential.

This is the first time I recall any government actually asking me how they should spend my money. I am impressed.

They are asking with regards to these topics:

  • Municipal Council of Penang Island Project
  • Parking Facilities
  • Public Facilities
  • Persons with Disabilities Facilities
  • Public Facilities By Gender
  • Other Areas (other than above)

I wrote the following:

  • -Bicycle paths separated from motorised traffic
  • -Footpaths in good repair – especially along Northam Road to the E & O
  • -Pedestrian crossing markings on roads – and proper education so drivers understand they should stop for pedestrians.
  • -Make it possible to swim in the sea again – reduce pollution and introduce turtles to eat jellyfish
  • -Proper road and lane markings / Green Lane is international standard, Northam Road is good. Jalan Tanjong Bungah is a disgrace.
  • -Advance notice on roads with road works so drivers can take alternative routes rather than be stuck in jams.

I will probably think of more later.

Those hazy, hazy, hazy days of summer in Penang – 2013 update – Hazy days are here again

2013 update

morning of June 28th, 2013

morning of June 28th, 2013

haze from Penang Hill 8.30AM 24 June

haze from Penang Hill 8.30AM 24 June

It’s getting better.

morning of 23 June

morning of 23 June

I first notice the haze on the 18th – it had finally stopped raining heavily every day. The 21st was not as bad as last year. And today, the 22nd, I climbed Penang Hill. Here is the morning view…

haze from Penang Hill

haze from Penang Hill morning of 22 June

Descending from the summit I met a resident of Johore, and he told me that trying to breathe there was like breathing sand. He came here for the weekend to escape the air. I guess it’s not as bad here.

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I was up early to watch dawn on the summer solstice. Fat chance.  There was an impenetrable haze.

looking towards Gurney drive, Tanjung Tokong and Straits Quays

The rainy season seemed to end on Saturday June 9th, and then Sunday 10th was a beautiful, clear, sunny day.  From Monday the haze appeared, and it has been hazy ever since. It feels like the haze began earlier this year than in previous years, and seems also to be more persistent, and worse.

Government readings  show the Air Pollution Index has hit unhealthy levels in some areas. In previous years I never noticed it affecting my health, but for the past few days I have been coughing, and worse.

“Haze caused by forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia blanketed parts of Malaysia including the capital Saturday, causing air pollution to hit unhealthy levels.

Haze is an annual problem during the monsoon season from May to September as winds blow the fumes from Sumatra across the Malacca Strait to Malaysia.” Source, Inquirer News

This is what we have been told, generally – it’s Indonesian farmers causing the problem, year after year.

“Indonesia’s government has outlawed land-clearing by fire but weak law enforcement means the ban is largely ignored.” ibid.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department attributes blame for haze in general to many factors, such as the weather conditions during these months, but does say, “Firstly, we should refrain from open burning of waste. Most incidences of local haze can be traced to this activity.” MOSTI  So, this department is more circumspect. Is it really largely the fault of Indonesian farmers?

Today’s print edition of the Sun (the online version does not correlate closely with print edition) says that 150,000 masks have been distributed to schools, and that the state of Penang was moving its outdoor activities indoors for this week.  Band-Aids, not a solution.

As this happens year after year, one would think the causes would be well-known, and action would have been taken by now to solve the problem.  But the state officials are merely urging the Federal government to find a solution.

I would have thought that civil legal action could be taken by the Federal and State governments of Malaysia in Indonesia, or some other venue, against the individuals who are causing the problem, obviously choosing one or more large landowners to start with.  I suppose Indonesia does not have the common law, which would be straightforward, but still, harming people’s health must be unlawful. Should the case be won, other large-scale landowners would have to desist. If indeed it is the Indonesian farmers’ fault.  There seems little point targetting governments or corporations as they have unlimited funds to fight; and anyway, it is always individuals that make decisions within those institutions, so individuals should bear the responsibility. I am not happy that individuals somewhere are deliberately making me sick.

This season is the best of the year for tropical fruit – durian, mangosteen, rambutans, dragon fruit etc. so it would be a  pity, not to mention inconvenient to leave the country for these months.

Eventually the sun was strong enough to appear through the haze this morning.

summer solstice – not quite dawn, but at least the sun appeared

Later:

The morning was very windy, and some of the haze was blown away, so around lunch it was quite a bit clearer. But not really clear.

Again looking towards Straits Quays, after lunch

Finally, sunset on the summer solstice.

summer solstice sunset

Cupping

An ancient Chinese detox method.

20130607 (1)sLooks painful, but mostly isn’t unless you pump too hard.

20130607 (3)s

The plastic cup is put on your skin, then a pump is attached to the valve on top, and in two or three pumps a vaccuum is produced inside.  This only takes a moment per cup.  Once they are all on you keep them on only three minutes or so. Sometimes the marks immediately disappear, and sometimes they linger for days.