Wow, didn’t realise the last time I blogged here was more than a week ago.
Anywho, gonna catch up on my post instalments of my Trip to JB aka Suicide Mission to Find Berkats. Yesterday was my final (for now) trip to JB for my berkats, and Alhamdulillah we managed to lug 500 sets of fork and spoon wedding favours across the Causeway without a car on a Sunday. Hence, “Suicide Mission”.
Let’s pick up from Part 2. So we left Larkin and headed for the taxi stand to Angsana. There is a specific place where the taxis are berthed, and there is a booth to which my brother headed to, to get like a coupon/insurance slip thingy for the taxi ride. According to him it’s some form of an insurance in case the taxi drivers do not follow the meter. (Not exactly sure what we can do with the slip though haha).
It was about a 15-20 minutes ride from Larkin to Angsana, and when we got there, Angsana was pretty empty. I already knew about Impian, but couldn’t remember what level it was on, thinking it was Level 3 (it’s Level 4 guys), so we went on a bit of an adventure trying to find Impian. On the way to trying to find Impian, we found another shop, Jelita, located on Level 3. From the outside, we could see that Jelita is a much smaller place compared to Impian, so we decided to head for Impian first to check out the offerings, and finally we reached Impian.
Wasted no time in looking around, so we immediately asked for the price quotes of 500 fork & spoon sets. OK, in most of the shops we asked, they quoted TWO prices – one without the ribbon/decorative addition, and one with. I will do a price comparison after talking about Jelita. We were OK with the price quoted by Impian, but still wanted to check out Jelita first before we made a decision. However, we spent some time walking around Impian to check out the bunga pahar. SO MANY VARIETIES AND DESIGNS and so the rambang mata please nauzubillah. When we finally peeled ourselves out of the shop, we headed to Jelita.
At Jelita, same drill. Immediately searched for the items we wanted and asked for a quote for 500 sets. The aunty here quoted us the cheapest out of all the places we had been to.
So the price comparison as mentioned.
Thong Seng and Joo Bee (Larkin) : RM3 per set for 500 sets
Sri Andaman Zainah (Larkin) : RM3 per set for 500 sets with decorative ribbon
RM2.60 per set for 500 sets without decorative ribbon.
However, she needed us to put a deposit more than 6 months in advance and was not very convincing about getting our items on time.
Impian (Angsana) : RM 3 per set for 500 sets (with decorative ribbon)
RM2.80 per set for 500 sets without decorative ribbon
Jelita (Angsana) : RM 2.80 per set for 500 sets with decorative ribbon
RM2.50 per set for 500 sets without decorative ribbon
Of course, we headed back to Jelita at Angsana and this time, Mr. I joined our trip. We managed to wrangle for the same price they quoted us before. I wasn’t too fussy about all the boxes being of the same uniform colour (they had silver, gold and pale gold), and aunty was like “Nak ambik semua sekarang ke?” “Uh boleh lah aunty, ada ke cukup?” we answered unconvincingly.
Before the trip (which was just yesterday btw), I was quite set on just bringing back 50% of the quantity and putting a deposit instead of taking the whole set. So my brother brought along his mid-size luggage and I brought a foldable trolley thingy (the kinds you get at IT shows if you buy a big ass printer). If I knew we were just gonna take everything then and there, I would’ve brought my own big ass luggage.
But nasib I brought all the RM I had changed for my berkat. (Then I made an impromptu purchase which made me panic while I was paying for my berkats. Cos, masuk Malaysia macam orang kaya. Keluar Malaysia, jadi papa kedana.) Then I felt so inadequate cos I only had RM20 left HAHAHA and had to borrow my Abang’s SGD to change.
Hence, Suicide Mission, as Mr. I dubs it. This part kita tak think things through hahaha. A bit funny now but at that point in time, I was just in a daze and taking things when they come.
We reached Angsana at about 11am, thinking like wah we are so early la gitu. We were done by 11.30am and I said I wanted to check out Jakel. But before that, my SIL wanted to fulfil her deep fried squid craving, so we headed to the basement, Otak-Otak JB, to get our fix. RM12 for that Uyii type of deep fried squid. Sedap gilerrrs. The batter was sooo crunchy and tasty omg. Mr. I and I also got some otak-otak which was so delicious and pedas and freshly grilled yums.
After our snack, we headed to Jakel to check if they have telekung/sejadah/kurta/jubah thingies. They do, but nothing that caught our eye. I didn’t like the telekung they have; a bit strange that they are THE place for kain, but the telekung designs are so hampeh. Mr. I also didn’t quite like the jubbah/kurta designs they had. Instead, we got distracted and browsed the Hari Raya collections. Well, mostly me and my SIL. My bro and Mr. I were tailing us, especially through the EXCLUSIVE LACE SECTION HOMAIGOD HYPERVENTILIATE. And the samping collection are all sooo nice and cheap seriously. RM100 for the nicer ones, and RM25 for the normal ones. MANA NAK DAPAT YOU TELL ME.
(In Malaysia la then hahaha).
Anyway, after we decided Jakel didn’t have anything that we wanted, we took the lift down to get out. The lift in the building dah lah kecik molek. It can only fit like 5 people comfortably; 6 if people are quite slim. But this makcik, tak sabar, she just squeezed herself into the lift with her daughter, then just sandar on Mr. I. I was watching the scene unfold like some slow-mo movie. Mr. I already got into the lift, and was in the midst of taking out his backpack to make way for Fat Makcik, but Fat Makcik just pushed him in such that his face got squashed against the wall of the lift and he was stuck in that position. Fat Makcik then said “Dua, dua!” to my brother. Takde “Tingkat Dua eh, terima kasih.” or “Tingkat Dua ye bang.”
Nope. “Dua, dua!”
Di manakah kesantunan mu wahai rakyat Malaysia.
When we took the lift the first time, this abangla followed us from god knows where and main selit into the lift right next to Mr. I and covered the lift buttons. So instead of actually pressing the close button, he just stood there, standing opposite me and staring at me. I was figuring out how I am supposed to press the button without touching him, and everyone was just staring at him to close the door. Then my bro or Mr. I reached out to close the door. Then when we reached the level we wanted to get off at, he did the same thing. Just stare out and at us. NAK KELUAR TU KELUAR JE LAH. Shady much.
When we got back to Angsana, we started wondering again how the heck we were supposed to make the trip back to Causeway. The car boot cannot fit our items for us to take 1 taxi back together. So we had to split up. I was nervous about this because Mr. I and I have never ventured out of the shopping malls when we go to JB, what more taking a cab. But apparently he was also in a daze feeling like as if he wasn’t in a foreign land and I actually fell asleep for a short while.
We got to Komtar and saw my bro and SIL already waiting for us. So, we headed for Tony Roma’s. At this point in time, I haven’t mentioned just HOW MUCH things we have. We have FOUR tote bags of berkats + bunga pahar, TWO 1-metre long boxes and ONE luggage bag. I dunno why for some reason my bro and SIL kept wanting to take the escalators haha Mr. I and I were like PLEASE DON’T. Then we found out Tony Roma’s didn’t have practically 3/4 of the menu. But cos only my SIL had a craving for food, we decided to go for her choice, and her next choice was Nando’s back at City Square ha ha ha ha.
So finally we got down for a meal at about 2.30pm, still OK right? We should’ve aimed to leave the place by 3.30pm or 4pm though, cos when we left at 4.30pm, we were stuck in THE WORST human traffic jam I had ever seen. The queue for the bus went all the way up the stairs to where you would exit the customs. With heavy boxes, bags and a luggage (plus our own backpacks), we initially wanted to take the CW buses across the Causeway but that line, nauzubillah.
We kept trying to run for the seeekret bus but it was honest to God like a scene from a zombie apocalypse. And, have I mentioned THE HEAT. I was DYING. All my hijabi sisters who are puteri lilins, you know what I mean. Mr. I sempat crack a joke; we looked like we are in a scene from Titanic, trying to leave the sinking boat with our meagre belongings hahaha.
We were looking around frantically for a bus we can get on, and my SIL actually made a run for a bus she saw but my bro called her back in time. You know why?
Because Allah swt sent these two girls to our rescue.
I felt a tap on my left shoulder as I was staring at my SIL running for the bus in desperation, thinking about how I was gonna make the dash carrying one of the two 1-metre long boxes. (Let’s face it, I was probably not gonna make it.) I turned around and saw this one Malaysian girl ask where I was going and if I wanted to tumpang their bus. So I made the split second decision to trust this random stranger and said yes please.
So she told us to wait with them, and asked if we are not in a rush. I engaged in conversation with them for a bit and they asked me about what we were doing in JB. Found out they were factory workers in Ang Mo Kio and they were reporting to work in a few hours’ time.
OK so the secret bus I had been talking about is bus kilang. Sometimes the bus drivers will let the public commuters get on (I’m told, most times they won’t). In the event that they do, they will first ensure ALL their factory workers get on the bus first before allowing anyone else on board. So if we go by this system, we would probably NEVER get on the bus. And we would probably still be stuck in Causeway now (ok I’m exaggerating). But these two God-sent ladies, they managed to speak to their driver to let us get on the bus the same time as they did. The driver was really kind too and told us to just sit at the very back. Which we did. It took us a while to have the bus leave the Malaysian customs but, you know what, it didn’t matter. And I’m forever grateful to those two Malaysian girls. I didn’t get their names, I didn’t get to say my final thank you, but dearies, may Allah swt forever bless you and keep you in his Grace. Thank you for extending your kind help in my time of need.
When we reached Singapore customs pulak, our awesome police force helped us create a pathway in the sea of
monsters zombies humans towards the only 4 lanes where we can bring our loot across the customs without having to dismantle everything again. I was so worried about having to pay tax for the berkats, or what if they confiscate my items T.T but we got through without much problems. Although, when we went through the metal detector thingy, the officer asked what we have inside (Wedding Door Gifts), and if the fork and spoon were metal or plastic.
Metal or plastic? Really. Why would I want to buy plastic fork and spoons from across the Causeway? Why.
The lift down from the customs was quite annoying too. People just went into the lift and pushed Mr. I away since he was moving slowly with the boxes. I was already inside and he was supposed to go in right after me but when I turned around I saw people literally pushing him out of the way. So I was like EXCUSE ME EXCUSE ME, TSK, EXCUSE ME, STOP PUSHING, EXCUSE ME. And I got outside and waited for the next lift with Mr. I.
Situations like this really tests us humans. Either you get absolute angels like those Malaysian girls, or you get absolute Setan with these people who just literally push people just so they can get what they want.
Will I ever do this again? NO. Not without someone who is kind enough to drive us around. But yes, having a car is definitely a good thing to travel around JB especially if you’re buying as much as me. But hey, if you have a car and offer to help but have a tonne of excuses about not being able to run errands, then like, tak ada kereta pun tak apa aku tak heran. Yes, badan all sakit but not having a car is not a be all and end all.
Anyways, not having a car made me realise. JB isn’t very accessible or elderly/disabled friendly, and not accessible for people who just do not have the monetary means. There are no clean and clear foot paths. No clear directions.
Also, I never realised just how many Malaysians work in Singapore, especially in our factories. I’m really heartened that Malay Malaysian girls and guys are increasingly working in Singapore; hopefully insya Allah they will be able to provide for their families better, especially in their current economic climate. I mean, the low currency is of course awesome for us, but not for their own citizens. You know, things like your economy and lifting your nation out of poverty is more important than who made fun of your (tbh) very made-fun-able PM, and just jumping on bandwagons when you can’t even understand basic English. Sigh. Priorities.
May Allah swt protect us all.