Great State, With Not So Great People In Common

A terrible sight of Gaya Street, Sunday Market, Kota Kinabalu
A terrible sight of Gaya Street, Sunday Market, Kota Kinabalu

Did not count how many times I have been to Kota Kinabalu and Sabah, however, none of the visit has been for personal, i.e. holiday 🙂

All, work trips, since 2007.

Let’s talk about going there for work, like 1-4 days, kind of experience, I know it is unfair to comment with such short stay, well, that is generally how long tourists would probably stay, perhaps, except the backpackers. 

Let’s about the easy stuff – the view.

It is fantastic.   The sky is clear, blue with fluffy clouds.  Amazingly great.  Although clear sky means hot and humid weather, but it is bearable.

The most recent trip, in fact yesterday to Kota Kinabalu with colleague of was not as great.

We visited Jia Siang Pork Noodle for brunch, and we were ‘verbally assaulted’ twice by claimed NGO personnel, when I refused to pass them any donation.

“Are you local?” A young Chinese lady spoke to us in English, seated next to me, without asking whether we mind.

“Why would you need to know?” I said.

“You look like from Japan or Korea, do you like Sabah?” the lady asked me while I was already looking impatient with her sudden rude act.

I did not response.  In incident like this, although I am still technically in my own country, I am pretty much a stranger in Sabah.

“Please continue to eat and do not let me interrupt your meals,” she said with fake care.

I began to feel uncomfortable and harassed, looked at the Jia Siang counter staff, owner, whoever, none of them care to assist.

“Mister, I am from a NGO registered in Sabah, we need your help, would you donate?” she started what she came here for.

“I told her, this is an act of harassment, and no, I am not going to donate any money, please leave the table and leave us alone,” I said politely with no smile on my face, yep, the pissed face.

I repeated twice, then only she left.

I continued the meal with my colleague, and less than 5mins, another elderly lady with a Michael Kors handbag came and sat next to me.

At this point of time, I begin to think about Dinesh Nair’s remark about me being, PSY ha ha.

“How long have you been here?  Are you Malaysian?  You do not look like Chinese, nor Malaysian, where are you from?  Korea?  Here for holiday?  Who brought you here?” the lady asked.

You must think I have lots of patient dealing with things like this, I do not want to be framed, neither want to be target of criminal syndicate in Kota Kinabalu (if any), as I could easily be the target, with my shape, hair colour and face hair too.

“Miss, please leave.” I said.   Looked at colleague, and signalled him that we may have to leave if this continues.

She stayed for a while and broken into Mandarin, Hakka, which I understood her saying, “You watch out”.

We finished the meal, headed into the car which we rented, drove off to the work place.

On Sunday, we visited the Gaya Street Sunday Market, which supposedly a famous flea market.

I bought some local food and instant coffee there, wanted to get some pearl, but concern over the authenticity of the items.

Walked about and noticed the place is filled with pets trading.  Yep, cats, dogs in particular.  They look so sad in the cage.

A view from Signal Hill Observation Tower in Kota Kinabalu.
A view from Signal Hill Observation Tower in Kota Kinabalu.

Not that I am against people selling animals for living, but there are times, we need to realise, they are living animals, just like us, we do not like to be caged, waited for someone to come and buy us, like a slave.

Finally went to Signal Hill Observation Tower to look at the scenic view of Kota Kinabalu facing the sea, kind of nice.  Relaxing.  You could have free WiFi here, BTW.

We finished our Kota Kinabalu with some coconut drink at Tanjung Aru, before heading to the airport.

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