23 May 2010

Loooong wait at Yin Fai Kee

In our quest for the KL-equivalent Hokkien Mee (black fat fried noodles) in Ipoh, my family and I went to Yin Fai Kee on Jalan Leong Sin Nam on the recommendation of an uncle. The shop is diagonally opposite the paeditrician Dr. Tang.

The shop has a big banner advertising its famous lard-fried Hokkien Mee. With anticipation, we arrived at the shop around 7.20pm. The elderly waiter told us we could sit on the ground floor section or upstairs. It didn't look too packed downstairs, so we went in and found ourselves a table. We ordered the Hokkien Mee, braised yee mee, fried la-la (mussels) and a green vege. We were given the number 8 - and we sat back to wait.

And wait, and wait, and wait ...... table no. 5 was a big family who ordered multiple dishes. By 8pm (more than half an hour after we arrived) the restaurant had just finished serving them. I noticed that they kept sending dishes up via the dumb-waiter. At about 8.10 pm, they served table no. 6, and continued sending dishes upstairs.

I went to talk to the waiter and assistant to the cook, asking why they were not cooking dishes for the customers downstairs. They said they were following the queue numbers - I said all the numbers downstairs were from 5 to 10. They must be jumping queue for the people upstairs! Just then, table no. 10 got up and left without waiting any longer for their food.

Our kids were starting to whine and complain. Finally, at 8.25 pm, one hour after we arrived, we too got up and left. On our way out, we told the waiter that they somehow screwed up the wait system tonight. Well, it was only our first time there and sadly, it was not a pleasant experience.

The place seems quite well patronised, so if you would like to try it out, I suggest you get there way before 7pm.

21 May 2010

Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh

Of all the "new" things we would have to adjust to in Ipoh, one of the unexpected ones is the rubbish disposal and collection by the Ipoh Municipal Council (Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh; DBI).

The way our house is located, DBI will not come to our gate to collect the house refuse. Instead, we have to walk out to the main road and place our bags of garbage on the road shoulder.

I notice that a DBI worker would pull a large trolley - it looks more like a black, round tub on wheels - along the roads and put all the bags of garbage into his trolley. Then he would deposit everything into piles at designated spots along his route. The DBI garbage truck would then come round to pick them up.

It seems like double work to me. Back in PJ, MBPJ's truck would just move around slowly and the team of MBPJ workers would walk ahead of the truck, pick up the bags of garbage and throw them into the back of the truck. Here in Ipoh, the poor guy has to place the bags into his trolley and then unload them onto the ground, after which the truck would pick them up. That's 3 steps compared to just 1 practised in PJ. (creating more employment?)

But that's not the problem I have. My problem is with one particular DBI worker whose job, it appears, is to ride around on his motorcycle in my area and pick up random rubbish strewn on the road or the side of it with a long pincher. He doesn't have anything to do with the residential garbage bags.

But somehow, he has taken a keen interest in our garbage bags. We use various types of plastic bags - the big black ones and the ones I recycle from the supermarkets. More of the supermarket bags because we don't generate enough waste to warrant using the big black plastic bags. But the DBI guy insists that we must use the big black bags and has waited for my maid several times in the morning, to admonish her for not using the black bags.

Admonishment bordering on harassment. He even says things like "tauke awak tak ada wang nak beli bag hitam, ah?" (your employer can't afford to buy the black plastic bags?) My maid became increasingly irritated with him and they exchanged words more than once.

So I called DBI and asked if Ipoh specifically insists on black plastic bags. The DBI refuse department officer said it was not necessary, as long as the bags were neatly tied. So, there.

Have you been harassed by your friendly neighbourhood DBI worker?