Sunday, November 13, 2005

Honda Civic RX

My future ride Posted by Picasa

Well, I've been contemplating on buying a car ever since Wan Yee decided to get his car. He eventually settled in supporting our local car industry and went back to buying a Proton. This will be his third, and it will be the third different range in the Wira family. First the sedan, then the two door hatch and now his third Proton will be the Aeroback, the 4 door hatchback.

As for me, I know I mentioned in my blog that I would be getting a turbo car if I ever do change. I was looking at the Evo range, but they are a little steep in pricing. Same goes for the Subarus, the WRXs are also quite pricey. So I thought about settling for a Honda Civic.

I picked up a copy of the latest Motor Trader, and saw the above picture of the Honda Civic RX. This is a limited edition that was released by Honda Malaysia in 2003 and I was quite interested in it when it was launched. Unfortunately, in 2003 I was in Australia and this model was not available there. Anyway, I flipped through Motor Trader and found this car laying in the stock yard. Went there with my documents today to inquire about the price and loan.

I took it out for a test drive. The car was parked behind two other cars. There was a C180 and a Proton Wira in front of it. The guy started all the cars and I asked whether he started the Civic. To my surprise, it was already started and I could not hear the engine on idle. Talk about not being used to a quite car. Well, took it out for a spin, the engine's nothing to shout about. Quite alright, but most important of all is the comfort that this car provides.

Somehow, I hardly see the RX models on KL roads. Honda produced like a few thousand of them, but I've only seen this car once or twice in KL. They are pretty rare. Looks like this will be my ride once the loan is approved. Can't complain much, as it is very comfortable.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Day 3.. the final day in Singapore

Well, firstly this sure took me a long time to write. Considering this is already my third day back from Singapore. I had one hell of a day yesterday. My inbox was flooded and bombarded with so much mail it took me half the day to sort it out. In fact, I still haven't looked at most of the mails that came into my personal inbox. Call it silent protest. I need a laptop!

Now, the third day was the worst day of all the days in Singapore. We woke up at 4.45am. The breakfast arrived in the room at 5.10am. Managed to get ready and packed our bags before 6am. We had to check out of the hotel as we were going to be at the airport cargo area for the whole day. Call it crazy! I really dreaded this day, it was already on my mind before the trip. So, we checked out of the hotel, put our bags there and headed out to take a cab. We needed to get there before 6.30am. The early cab seems to be the best, we got a Mercedes CDI 220, the W211 model. Sweet! It looked like a Merc from the exterior, and the interior felt like a Merc... but when the cab started moving it definitely didn't feel like a Merc! Now, this was the most noisiest Merc that I've ever been in. It was not comfortable with all the wind noise travelling in the highway. It's really wierd, everything looks like a classy car, but when the car started moving, the standard dropped like a rock!

Enough of that, we got to the FTZ (Free Trade Zone) area and registered ourselves with the Customs officer. We surrendered our passports and took the passes, got back into the cab and headed straight into the FedEx Cargo area. It was the last one at the end, kinda reminds me of KLIA's FedEx complex. It was also at the end, why must it always be at the end???

We got there, met up with Mr. Suhaimi who guided us through the whole sorting process. We got to see the packages arriving from the Subic Bay flight in the morning and the packages all arrived into the sorting belts, being moved to their various stations. It was early, my eyes were barely opened and my mind was barely functioning. All I did was just take as much notes as possible. After that, we met up with Mr. Sathar from the clearance area and he showed us the Cage area, where packages that needs to be inspected go to store. Seems to me that the cage area for Singapore is a lot smaller than KLIA. Then again, there was no need for formal declaration three months ago. Guess they'll be expanding this area soon.

After that, we went upstairs to meet up with Yvonne and her team. Now, this was the first time I'm meeting the clearance team and the people whom I dreaded calling all the time. It seems like they are so busy that no one can get hold of them. Luckily now things are getting better with Jo being a focal person. But unfortunately we didn't get to meet him. We got to meet a few of the clearance people and it was great being able to put a face to the name now. After that, we headed out with Wanan to the Customs checkpoint. This is my favourite part...

Now, Wanan had a package that had already passed Customs. Somehow, the Customs officer wanted to inspect that package as it was declared "Practical Joke Item" in the description. The Customs wanted to know what sort of practical joke item it was. We drove to the checkpoint and went to see the officer. He asked the box to be opened, and there it was, a toy called "Fleshlight". I was wondering what it was, there was a plastic part which looked like a flashlight. Then there was this silicon/rubber piece, which was wobbling when you held it to your hand. The officer asked what this was and Wanan proceeded to answer, "Ini untuk bikin magic punya," which literally translate to, "This is for making magic". I swear, this was the funniest incident in the whole trip!

Yea, some wonderful magic this sex toy was going to produce. The officer was too busy looking at the catalogue for the description and he totally missed the huge word, "Sex Toy: Fleshlight", at the top of the catalogue. Interesting...

Anyway the owner of the package must've been one lucky guy. Normally these sex toys would be compounded and then sent to the police station. The owner of the package would normally need to get a court order in order to collect the package from the police station. Most Singaporeans would normally just forget the package rather than go through all the hassle of the red tape to get that package back.

After that it was off to lunch there. Not much interesting food, but at least the place had air-conditioning. I nearly fell asleep there and it was difficult to keep my eyes opened. We went back to the FedEx clearance area and managed to meet up with head of security himself, Mr. Alvan Ng. Nice guy, and very straight as well. He spoke his mind and was not shy about it. That should be normal considering he was an ex-police officer.

After that, it was a quick session with the afternoon sort. These packages were headed for the US bound flight, the FX18. Worst part, the manager was not around as he was on MC, the other manager had left for a meeting and we had no one to guide us through the sort process. Just stood around asking questions here and there. Can't say that we didn't take any initiative now.

We waited for Wanan to finish his shift and we hitched a ride with him to the checkpoint where we got back our passports. Then he dropped us at Changi Village and we took a cab back to the hotel. Had a cup of coffee at Starbucks before we headed back to the hotel to collect our bags. We decided not to take the 11pm flight, but to try our luck for an ealier flight. It was really tiring as we have been awake since 4.45am. It was already 6pm and we just took a cab to the airport. It was good to feel like going home. We managed to get seats for that earlier flight and it felt really good!

Tried to sleep on the flight but it was just too quick, 40 minutes. Made a quick pitstop at the duty free shop and bought some chocolates for the office. Was going to buy some liquor but after that recent break-in two weeks ago, I was sure as hell not going to buy anymore liquor for them thieves to steal!

Now, the trip to Singapore was not too bad considering that they put us up in a nice hotel and all. Would I go back again? Yes, not for business...

To end things, Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya!