Monday, June 20, 2005

50 cents

50 cents

Most of us would consider this little sum to be inconsequential since there is literally little we could do with just this stipend. Oh yes a few Hacks could be bought, a cheap pencil or even maybe to photocopy 10 sheets of paper. But even this small amount does add up if you factor a whole load of things.

Most people do not know that the cost of living in Kota Kinabalu is actually higher than in Kuala Lumpur itself, as a matter of fact there are still misconceptions that the people here still live on the trees, basic items such as Milo and Maggi Mee are precious (my mum actually packed a whole load of these for me when I got to know I was going to study at UMS 4 years ago) and even Sabah is not even part of Malaysia since its overseas (a grandmother of a friend actually told her of such a worry). Yes my monthly house rental for a non furnished terrace house is RM1,000, my water bill stretches to RM100 plus for a few months (people with cheap water in Penang would be gasping) and the Star costs RM1.80, things here are more expansive than most of their counterparts in Peninsular that I can assure you.

What does 50 cents have to do with anything you may ask? Well beginning this week the coffee shop owners association in Kingfisher Park (the place I’m currently residing) decided that with escalating fuel prices, dearer goods and a need to increase profits, henceforth prices for economy rice (chap fan) will be increased by that amount from it’s previous RM3 to RM3.50, Chinese teh peng (ice cold Chinese tea) will cost 20 cents from its previous free status and addition of rice would be charged 30 cents. So much for inflation.

Yes food prices are turning to be the number one drain on my pocket. There is no such things as cheap food here (discounting the RM2.80 chicken rice which to me are inedible), the most basic of these is already rising, and I’m sure the rest would soon follow sigh. I can actually feel sorry for those students that I know who once had to resort to eating days on end Maggi Mee with tau yu (black soy sauce) because their PTPTN money has not been banked in. Yet food is one thing I will not compromise, I’ll rather skimp on other things than being forced to eat unappetizing meals just to save. If the rice does not have a balance of serving of meat, vegetables and maybe taufu (bean curd) and lots of gravy than it’s not meal. Someone I knew used to live on RM1.50 a meal, how they did that I cannot fathom, but observations showed that they ordered a plate of half rice and a choice of vegetable (rice and vegetables being RM 0.50 each). That’s not food, even prisoners have better meals than that. Nothing can be done anyway so I guess I’m sticking to have to pay an extra 50 cents from now on.

11 comments:

Jeremy said...

Nothing to do with cartell price fixing, but I started a thread with some interesting links here.

Kervin said...

Yeah great pics, always wanted to take pics that good, but can't see a Leica in my future, if anything the cost will kill me. Wish there was a digital that allows for such quality pics, if there is wish the prices would be more affordable.

Adrian said...

And how do you compare a RM 3.50 "chap fan" with my RM 20 bento equivalent here? Still same amount of food, though the quality is so much better.

These days to me anything less than 1000yen (RM 36) is cheap! cheap! buy! and no need to think further. ARGH!!!

Adrian said...

Kerv: Wish for a digital, with its puny sensor size? Or a digital lens with that sort of optical quality? At YOUR affordable cost? Yeah, wish on... wish on... :p

Adrian said...

Kerv: or are you wishing that there will be one day a sensor with Velvia's extended dynamic range and saturation? wish on... wish on...

Jeremy said...

Here's a series I shot last week.

Jeremy said...

Here's a repost of the link above.

BawangMerah said...

50 cents is a lot when you consider how much it accumalates over the month. The bus fare went up by 70 cents here. :( Nasi ayam too in some shops by 50 cents. The funny thing is, I heard on the tv that the increase in diesel prices only contitute to 5-6 cents for an item, since most of it is bought in bulk. Where the rest, 45 cents came from I dunno.

Kervin said...

Adrian: No need to tell me about it, faced the same facts of life when I was studying in Singapoe when a normal plate of lunch costs the same amount in Sing dollars, a meal at McD there can kill a pocket in a jiffy.

Jeremy: Love the shots, haha what a nice event with people lugging a whole crate of beer up the hill and drinking merrily all the way, you won't see that happening here. I love the B/w photos, my camera can never get a sharp a contract and crisp an image as a manual camera with high quality film.

bawangmerah: It always happen doesn't it, whenever there is an increase in price the shops all decide that to maintain profits they would jack up the price, what is puzzling is that they often jack it up by a huge margin as compared to the price hike of fuel. Profiteering?

Adrian said...

Kerv, dont use the desaturate. Use the channel mixer. Adjust the levels for all channels individually to get good contrast for each channel, then only blend them together into B&W.

Jeremy said...

The film I used, Kodak Professional BW400CN, is phenomenal. Smooth like summer butter, grainless and with a tonality to kill for. I've not been able to simulate the look in photoshop. It's not just turning colour into B/W -- it's how tones are handled. Kodak has people who do nothing but spend the whole day getting the "look" just right. They've succeeded.

Here's Kodak B/W broschure.