Petaling Jaya Catchup 2024

It’s been nearly half a year since I went up to Klang Valley.

Now that I’ve gotten a relatively new car, I drove up to PJ and stayed here for 4 days 3 nights to catch up with a bunch of people.

I’m pleased to choose Greystone Centrestage PJ Hotel as my stay this round. It’s quite convenient, situated just 5 minutes walk from Jaya 33.

And at a nightly rate of RM110-ish, the room quality is quite decent as can be seen in the photos! Usually, that kind of hotel rate lands one in a rinky-dink room like Sun Inns and OYO. When I come to PJ next time, I’ll most likely choose this hotel again.

I did most of my meetings at 1 Utama, that I last visited at the tail end of 2020 (if I’m not mistaken). Compared to the somber mood back then due to the fake pandemic lockdown, I’m happy to see the mall teeming with life once again – also in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year festive.

I thought of checking out the newly opened TRX Mall but I’ve been talked out of it – apparently, it’s difficult to find parking, the shops are “too high end” (not that I wanted to shop for anything) and expect it to be very packed over the weekend.

To round this trip, I took my Yemeni guest to a game of pew pew.

It was a fun and fulfilling weekend to kick start the year!

Latest Ride: Proton X70 Premium Spec

After 14 years of driving the old Toyota Vios and finally bid goodbye not long ago, today I just bought my mother her latest set of wheels: the 2020 Proton X70 premium spec!

This was also something my mother and I have been talking about for months, from the time I let go my other ride, the “Brown Cow” BMW F10 5 Series early this year.

Deciding on the X70 was a logical choice from the beginning. I had the benefit of test driving this car when I borrowed two of my friend’s car a couple years back. That was when I knew this will be the next car I’ll get. And here we are.

Never mind the Proton branding; this C-Segment SUV is a rebadge of the Geely Boyue from China. And even with the “China” label, this car proved to be able to deliver: packed with modern day car features, brown Nappa leather seats and relatively luxurious cabin, and a decent 1.8L turbocharged engine.

Good for daily driver. Good for going off roads if and when I need to. While mainly for my mother’s use, I will have my fair share behind the wheel every now and then. ­čÖé

And if I play my cards right, I can get my sister a new car next year too. Perodua Ativa, maybe?

For now, we both need to get used to driving this… beast around. This is my first time owning an SUV, and feature-wise, it’s got more packed in compared to my previous BMW. It will take a while to learn them and get used to.

Saying Goodbye To My Trusty Toyota Vios

My second car was a 2006 Toyota Vios 1.5G that I bought used in 2009. I was in my early 20s, paid it all off on my own, and good enough for the time. 6 years later, I passed it on to my mother and sister for their daily use.

The Vios may be a Yuppie’s car, but now that I think about it, this was probably the TRUE chick magnet; more girl sat in this passenger seat than in all my previous BMWs combined. LOL

It was also this car that shielded the explosive blast when I rescued a drunkard from a burning vehicle in 2013.

This was also the same car that got me stopped by the cops quite a few times (profiling much?) Heck, it happened as recent as a few nights ago! Thankfully, all without incident.

This morning, I drove this car to the dealer’s to trade in, pending PUSPAKOM inspection.

I’ll be “upgrading” the ride to a Proton X70, although it’s mainly for my mother’s daily drive as she’s just become a real estate agent.

I’ll still drive, though not as often as I work from home most of the time now and thankfully, I live in a rather convenient location where everything we need is 5 to 10 minutes away.

14 years later, and it’s end of the road for the silver dolphin.

Took one last picture, to compare to the first time I got it (2009 vs 2023)

Douyin Frog Mascot

Repeated exposure to Douyin froggo on TikTok has turned me into one!

I found this on Shopee by looking up “china frog mascot” and it was shipped from mainland China. Took about 2 weeks to arrive here in Johor.

Interesting back story on how this Douyin frog costume became viral:

A couple years back, toy sellers in China dressed up in these frog mascots to sell their inflatable frog toys. A lot of people find them amusing, and after it was listed as one of the top 10 ugliest products on Alibaba in 2022, that made it even more popular.

The exaggerated salute by the frog also has an origin: because these frog ‘mothers’ are selling away their ‘kids’ i.e. the inflatable toy frogs, passer-bys and Customers often salute them for their ‘hard work’.

Since then, the frog ‘seeds’ have spread to other countries including Vietnam, Thailand, and even Malaysia and Singapore.

Interestingly, I’m far from the first Malaysian to have this. There are already some people dressed as the Douyin Frog in KL, and at least a couple more here in JB. I think there will be more to come, and as a friend of the green, I am happy!