Month: September 2017

Gurney Plaza parking management

It’s a rainy end-of-month Friday public holiday.

When it rains, everyone drive to the mall.

At the end of the month, that is, after payday, everyone drives to the mall.

On a public holiday, everyone drives to the mall.

So, on a rainy end-of-month Friday public holiday, there are a lot of cars parking at the mall.

The perfect time to block a car park exit and create unnecessary congestion. So that’s what they did this morning. Brilliant planning.

Northam Road drain and footpath work

They have been working on covering the open water drain along the eastern side of Northam Road aka Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. The plight of pedestrians is not considered, so one is forced to walk on the road among fast-moving vehicles for short distances.

They appear to be covering the open drain with concrete – and don’t know what the final plan is, but am hoping (probably very optimistically) that it could become a bicycle lane. Some photos over the last week or so:

growing some food and medicines at home in Penang

Being very near the sea, and growing plants mostly in pots it’s not so easy, but gradually we’ve been able to learn to grow food and some medicines at home.

There’s also aquaculture and vertical gardening to look into sometime, but the former costs more for the equipment, and both probably need more or less daily maintenance.

Here is what we’re growing at the moment:

tiny eggplants growing

tiny eggplants – great in curry – they taste a bit like bitter peas, but they are generally about 50% bigger

Pumpkin vine growing – no pumpkins yet this year,but we got quite a few previous years

crepe ginger sprouts growing

I collected a lot of sprouts this morning – good raw sprinkled on salads or curry

passion fruit on the vine – so far this season the squirrels haven’t attacked them, so I can let them ripen on the vine

a few ripe passion fruit

passion fruit growing

lime and neem



small limes

neem – to deter insects

pandan – use for wrapping food

a medium size lime

keffir lime – both the fruit and the leaves are useful. The leaves for mojitos and baths, the fruit for shower gels


roselle – jam etc.

lemon grass – tea, in baths etc.

basil – in pasta, stews

aloe vera – to drink and to put in home-made shower gel

rosemary – in stews, pasta etc.

more lemon grass

Free chocolate

Yes, at 68 Kelawei Road – the right side of the road – you’ll find a new chocolate outlet, selling Malaysian made chocolate.  Plenty of parking out front.  And when you enter they give you a sample size chocolate drink, plus at least 10 samples of the other chocolates they sell, as you move around the shop on your guided tour. They are Malaysian size samples – that is, very small.  But you can certainly taste them.

My favourites were white sesame chocolate, and dark durian chocolate.

You can buy in gift tins, packets, and in economy plastic packets – the latter being better if you’re just eating them yourself.

A few photos:

Harriston Chocolates


handmade chocolates

in the shop

in the shop

in the shop

economy packs

sample of curry chocolate

in the shop

CIMB Bank change of policy

I learnt yesterday that CIMB will not open new accounts for non-Malaysians unless their MM2H deposit is held by CIMB. Even if you have existing accounts with them.  You can continue to operate existing accounts, though.

As far cheaper peer to peer banking looks to replace the several hundred year old central banking model in a few years, making banking more difficult would seem to be the last thing a bank should do.