Monthly Archives: February 2012

Postal Delivery Needs Much Improvement

Sadly, for the second time, a parcel mailed to me that didn’t fit in the mail box was just not delivered. They just leave a note instead saying you should pick up the parcel at some far away post office (not even using the post office that is close for some unknown reason – my guess is it is easier for the post office so who cares about the customers). One of the benefits of being in a apartment, normally, is that parcels can just be delivered to the office and tenants don’t have to waste time on pointless trips to pick up mail that didn’t fit in their mail box.

For some reason the Malaysian post office doesn’t take this step to make it easier for customers. I am not sure if the building office would object to helping out their tenants. I doubt it, but it is possible that the building just refused to help.

This also means if I were a business that was mailing packages to my customers in Malaysia I would make sure that I considered the poor mail delivery practices. Foisting on your customers the burden of going to a far away post office to pick up something you mailed is potentially going to annoy them (especially things they didn’t order – which I haven’t done so…).

To deal with this systemic weakness, you have to be pro-active and waste resources to notice if you are mailing to places that are likely to have this problem. Then proactively contact those customers and explain the problem with mail delivery and work out a solution (before you mail something – obviously this is a big hassle but it is a necessary one given the constraints of the system if you care about your customers). Sending the material to their condo office or something.

I am not sure if the private delivery companies are more customer focused. If so, that would be another option – just use a company that will not result in you annoying customers instead of helping them. Poor package delivery practices are quite common worldwide. That doesn’t mean customers should accept such bad practices when they encounter them. The web has provided quite an outlet for bad delivery practices from companies like UPS and Federal Express.

Given the problems caused (all I get is notices that something, that I have no idea about, has to be picked up at some far away location) I would not suggest using your address for any mail you don’t think will fit in your box. Talk to the office of the condo and make sure they will let you just have it sent to them and then you pick it up from the office. The post office will just make it very difficult if you are not available the time they choose to deliver it. Both times I called to have it delivered at a time that would work, or to the office and both times they said they wouldn’t try to deliver it a second time. So they expect you to go way out of your way to pick up some unknown package. How silly.

Related: Great and Cheap Cell Phone PlanTaxis in Johor BahruPaying Bills Electronically in Malaysia

Manhattan Fish Market at KSL Mall

Update, 2013 – I have been back several times and the service has declined consistently. Last time the food took at least 20 minutes to show up and wasn’t cooked 0 parts of it were still cold [that doesn’t mean not hot, but actually cold – likely it had been frozen and not even cooked enough to get to warm]. Given all the good options in JB, I would not recommend eating here.

I shied away from the Manhattan Fish Market due to the name (it just seems like at least I should try Asian food). Not that there is really any reason for that, but I do feel a bit silly when I am eating western food here. As a traveler I would eat local cuisine, but as an expat I do find I enjoy to eat good western food, which thankfully I have found in several places in JB. I have eaten at the Manhattan Fish Market several times now and I really like their baked fish. They are excellent.

The market is located on the second floor of KSL Mall, in the Johor Bahru CBD. The service isn’t the greatest and the atmosphere is typical mall: not much to like. But the food is great and the price is reasonable (about RM 25-40 for a meal).

Manhattan Fish Market is certainly not a place I would try to visit as a tourist. But for those living in Singapore and Johor Bahru it is an excellent option. From what I have eaten it has been more of a Asian fusion type of food, but some of the other choices are a bit more typically western (fish and chips, for example). So expats or locals can choose what style they prefer.

Related: JB Station Kopitiam at Danga City MallChez Papa French BistroVillage Briyani Cafe

I thought I had photos from one of my visits, but I can’t find any. I’ll add some when I get a chance.

Basketball Courts In Johor Bahru CBD

It has taken me a while to get around to figuring out the basketball court situation here. There are neighborhood associations that have what amount to neighborhood parks. Some of these have basketball courts with roofing. I imagine the courts are used for other events and the roofing really helps given how much rain there is (it also keeps you in the shade).

I wasn’t really sure if these were closed parks, or what. But the best I can tell they are basically open to the public. That is what people seem to tell me. One of the things I have noticed, after a bit of time here, is the English pronunciation is much better than English comprehension. The lack of comprehension is exacerbated by people being polite and smiling and indicating they understand when I now see they may not. So that is why even after several people saying the parks are open I am not 100% sure. Several of the parks are complete surrounded by fences (which adds to the air that they are not public).

Anyway I am glad to have been able to get some exercise myself, just shooting around. I also have once played some pickup games. I’ll try to get in a few more pick-up games.

View JB CBD basketball courts in a larger map

Dewan Serbaguna Dato HJ Mohamed Khaled Nordin is what the sign in Taman Century says at the covered court right next to KSL Mall. The other one only a couple blocks from the other side of the mall is a bit smaller but also covered.

In Permas Jaya there is a recreation association court (this place even has a pool). I tried to find out if I had to pay. The board seemed to say you did, but their was also information on annual passes. After quite a bit of time I still couldn’t figure out what pay was required for. I am not sure if it was required just to reserve the court for private play, or what. If I remember right it was something like RM 4 – 8 an hour? The court is not covered. It is a maybe 2 or 3 km from Straits View Condo, Jusco Mall is on the way between the condo and the court.

Related: Swimming is Good ExerciseBig Lizards in Johor Bahru CBDJohor Bahru Zoo