Tuesday, October 18

Invigilating PMR @ SMK Kapit

For the past 2 weeks I was at SMK Kapit invigilating the PMR.
I worked with a really great team & an awesome Head Invigilator who took good care of all of us.
I made 2 good friends from SMK Song & took pictures with them.

I recently discovered an imitation of this picture made by a few F3 students from the said school.
They made a joke out of us & called us the 3 idiots but why did they go ahead & reproduce the same shot with similar effects? What does that make them?
A wise man once said imitation is the purest form of flattery. I have to agree. It's very adorable of them. =)

I stayed in Ark Hill Inn in a single room on the first night for RM45/night. Then, I moved into a 3 person room (1 Queen & 1 Single bed) with my 2 friends from SMK Song for RM75/night.
You must be wondering so I'll be direct. Okay, I slept with a married man. But that's it. No hanky panky involved.
The inn was clean, safe & the staff were friendly. However, an annoying stench of cigarette smoke would manage to sneak its way under our wet-toweled door & suffocate us every hour or so. This happened both when I was staying at the top level (single room) & the reception level (3 person room). This did not happen at a friends room in the middle level (double room).
We discovered that it was the staff smoking indoors (in their quarters at the top level & at the reception). This is totally unacceptable. I am not going back to that inn again.

We moved about in vans. You hop on & off it like you would a bus.
Most of the vans in Kapit are unmarked so it's hard to tell whether a van is personal or public transport. However, it never hurts to ask.
Just hail one as you would hail a taxi & it will usually stop if it is available.
The fare for a journey around town is RM1 as was the case for us moving from our lodging to the school. The further you go, the higher the fare but the fare rarely exceeds RM2.

The school was really hospitable.
Mr Kuek, the PK1, met us on our site visit & made us feel comfortable.
The SUP for PMR, Mr Wong, was exceptionally helpful as well. Everything was organised & ready for our arrival. They were also very willing to accommodate our needs & requests.
We were given breakfast & lunch every day. We were also allowed to freely use the school's photocopying & printing facilities. Very generous indeed!

During my visit to schools, I will always try to arrange an informal chat with the best students in the school. I met with the #1 & #2 students (both trial 8As) & discovered that good family background, peer support, personal discipline & ambition is inherent of a student who is excellent academically.
I esp wanted to chat with the best Iban students in the school (both trial 4As). However, they left me hanging & did not honour the meeting. Too bad. I really wanted to learn what it's like for them to come to school & how they managed to succeed in their own way.

I find listening to students very refreshing. They have a way of seeing things that I have forgotten in my pursuit of my personal goals.
What I've learned speaking to students over the years has helped me understand what is necessary for them to succeed academically & what motivates them.
I'm trying to incorporate this knowledge into my activities with my students & will continuously innovate. You'll be the first to read about my activities on my blog. =)

Food In Kapit
Over the 2 weeks, I've had the opportunity to dine at many establishments in Kapit.Here's my opinion of the food in town!

BAD: Chinese Dinner @ Ah Kau Restaurant
It was the worst & most expensive dinner we had in Kapit. The person taking our order was not hospitable at all. He was grunting & acting impatient while taking our order so the 5 of us only ordered 3 dishes (1 Chicken, 1 Pork & 1 Vege).
All the dishes had one flavour: excessively salty! The meal was so salty & Ajinomoto ridden, I was thirsty for the rest of the night & really uncomfortable.
The portions were large but so was the price tag. The meal with drinks cost us RM75!

BAD: Chicken Rice @ Soon Kit Cafe
I had a craving for good Chicken Rice so I scouted around a bit before stopping by Soon Kit Cafe.
Once I saw the person preparing the dish, I had a feeling it was going to be bad. I was right.
The chicken was dry & tasteless. Totally overcooked.
The rice was too wet. Either that or the rice was of poor quality.
The chilli complementing the chicken was also bland. Not spicy at all. It did not enhance the flavours.

I suspect that this is a case of business owner being successful & then getting lazy/greedy. They decide to leave the stall to an employee who follows instructions but does not care. Thus, the dish ends up bland & unpalatable.

The meal did not cost much though. I cant remember the exact price but I remember that it was around RM5 (drink inc.).

BAD: Orchid Steamed Buns @ Chop Chuong Hin Cafe
I love Chinese steamed buns & one morning I decided to find some in Kapit. I stepped into Chop Chuong Hin directly opposite the wharf.
The atmosphere of the shop was something to take in. It's like stepping into another era. I loved the experience.
There were Chinese cakes available but I did not sample those.

I ordered 2 Orchid Char Siew buns & coffee. Loved the coffee but hated the buns. The dough was good but the filling was disgusting. It was a reddish paste with very little meat & some jellyish thing inside. Next time, I'll go with traditional buttered toast.
Cant remember the cost but it was around RM5 (drink inc).

Orchid buns were once of exceptional quality. They were pricey but you were guaranteed satisfaction. Nowadays, it is still pricey but its ability to satisfy is questionable.
The cafe should switch to locally made buns which may be tastier & cheaper.

AVG: Kampua Noodles @ King Hung Cafe
Every morning we either had buns or kampua.
This was the place we had kampua. The kampua was pretty decent. Nothing to shout about but definitely good enough to merit coming back for several mornings in a week.
Cant remember cost. Around RM5 (drink inc.).

AVG: Baked Buns @ Ung Tong Bakery
This was the place we went to for buns in the morning. They had all sorts of buns; from Mexican buns to Garlic buns; most of them mildly sweet.
I don't like sweet stuff for breakfast so I went for the Garlic Bun & Mexican Bun.
The Garlic Buns were very savoury & had a generous spread of garlic on it. However, the buns did seem overcooked. It was somewhat tough but perhaps this is because it was made to be filling unlike the fluffy carbs common in many modern bakeries.
Cant remember cost. Around RM5 (drink inc.).

AVG: Curry Rice @ Far End Stall @ Open-Air Night Eatery
The Curry Rice from this stall came heavily recommended. Plenty of people have told me about this dish & every time I came around, it was out of stock. However, I managed to catch it one night.
It was a pleasant dish but I've had many curries in my life. I cant help but think that this is (in the words of a curry connoisseur I knew) a very Chinese curry. It's sweet, saucy & mildly spicy.
If you dont have curry very often or if you cant take spicy, you'll love it. If you like Indian curry, you'll hate it. I happen to love Indian curry. So, it's an average curry to me.
Cant remember cost. Around RM8 (drink inc.).

GOOD: Chinese Dinner @ Uncle Cinen Cafe
I'm a very picky eater so when I say this place is good. IT IS GOOOOOOOD!!
This place looks pretty common but the 4 dishes (2 Pork & 2 Vege) we ordered were excellent. Every one of the 5 of us were singing praises as we stuffed our faces.
The service was excellent as well. The owner even came down to chat with us & talk about her town.

The cost? RM50 (drinks inc). CHEAP!!!
Will definitely be coming back for more & recommending it to everyone!

GOOD: Street Burger @ Front Stall @ Open-Air Night Eatery
I am a big fan of the average Malaysian Street Burger.
It's like finding the perfect chick. There are so many types & shapes out there. One has to patiently search & make mistakes before discovering the perfect one.
I had the Beef Egg Cheese. They did not overdo the butter & the sauces were done just right to give the burger enough flavour & moisture to go down in a pleasureful gulp.
Forgot the price but I think it was RM5+ each. When you're there, check out the different selections & their prices on the menu.

I enjoyed my working visit to Kapit & am looking forward to returning again next month for the SPM invigilation at probably the same school (unconfirmed)!
Will take more pictures & scout for more good food while I'm there for a month! =)

5 comments:

  1. Didn't tell me you were going. I could have tagged along and squatted in your hotel room for free for one week...and followed you makan, also free. Hehehehehehe!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I dont mind as long as YOU PAY!!
    For a rich retiree, you sure are one penny-pinching scrooge!

    Anyway, I'll be going again next month. Want to crash?

    ReplyDelete
  3. how students long to be heard and listened to. You are doing a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Me? Rich? @.@!!! LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Felicia: I love listening to them talk about their hard decisions & struggles.
    It feels good to be able to reassure them & guide them.
    =)

    Arthur: =D

    ReplyDelete

After you've read this, what do you think?
I might have missed something & your experience is exactly what is needed to give other readers another perspective on things. Do share!
Also, anonymous comments are allowed for you to either correct me or question me.