Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Working & Driving in KL

After months of contemplating about going back to the working world, I finally found a job which matched my skills and experience. The whole interview process took almost 2 or 3 weeks. After all things were settled and they want to "seal the deal", I bravely drove for the 1st time to KLCC. I still remember that early April when I took all my courage to drive... and that time, I was barely 3 months driving in Malaysia.

Despite signing last April (1st week), I only started working this week. Why you ask? Let's just say it's the process here in Malaysia -- it took almost 2 months to secure a work permit for me.

I have been staying in Malaysia with a dependent pass (based on husband's employment pass). Now that I am working, they had to cancel my current dependent pass, issue a single entry visa with the stamp journey performed, and lastly a page where they issued my working permit. All those stamp and permits totally finished my passport pages. Just great... time to go visit the embassy and get myself a new passport.

My trip to the Embassy of China was a pleasant one. The staff were helpful and nice. The only downside: it takes 3 weeks to process a new passport because they will have to send the old one (and other documents) to Hong Kong for processing.

On another note, just to share with you the horrendous parking fees I have paid the past days. I parked inside Suria KLCC.

1st day: I arrived really too early for work (around 8am) and had dinner in KLCC (left 9pm). My parking fee total was RM29.00 !!!

2nd day: I arrived a little before 8:30am and left around 6:40pm. My parking fee was RM22.

Plus on day 2, I learned a lesson: always keep small notes (like RM1's and RM10's) as this will be handy when you pay at the parking machine. They did not accept my RM50- bill. I learned the hard way -- and had to take a trip to Cold Storage and buy bread, just to break down my large RM50 bill.

Today, my 3rd day, I learned I can park at the KLCC convention center at a cheaper rate. It will be a longer walk, but imagine saving at least half of what I have paid! Well, will surely try to figure out my way there... and will use all that "parking fee savings" to just buy a pair of comfy shoes to walk to the parking!

Security is pretty tight inside Tower 1 and 2 of KLCC. One cannot wear shorts or slippers, else the guards won't let you go up the office (even on weekends).

The bright side is because you are inside a huge shopping mall, you have lots of choices for lunch. Food is relatively cheap ... I spend at least RM10 for lunch (if you eat at the food court of Suria KLCC). My lunch is even cheaper than my parking fee!

Well, having such a prestigious address for work has its up's and down's. One thing for sure, whether this turns out to be a short or long stint, having had the experience to work inside the iconic Petronas Twin Towers is definitely a thing to remember.


Driving to KLCC didn't seem as bad (as people have warned me). I was pleasantly surprised that the traffic is not as bad as in Manila. Though we will need to wait and see, because apparently the reason for enjoying such a "good traffic situation" is due to the school holidays in Malaysia. Many parents took the time off to spend it with their kids, which means less cars on the road heading to KL.

I honestly think that the traffic situation will not be worse than Manila traffic. Don't even get me started on Manila driving ... sigh, it is a gloomy scenario. That is why they say Filipinos are one of the best drivers in the world... while driving, we need to watch out for potholes, for the jeepneys & buses stopping anywhere, for the other aggressive drivers who never even took driving lessons; need to watch out for motorbikes and swerving cars; many pedestrians walking around the road which is meant for cars... All that, plus people love to text (SMS) while driving!


After 4-5 months of driving in Malaysia, I am quite comfortable already with some areas, as well as driving on the "wrong" side of the road. France and Philippines have the driver side on the left. Malaysia driver side is on the right. Funny, I still make a mistake sometimes and end up going to the passenger seat, thinking that is the driver side. Old habits are hard to break.

One pleasant thing though is there is less "honking" around. Because of the bad traffic situation in Manila, I used my "horns" to "beep beep" all the time. Yes, I mean all the time. It is hard to imagine a full day of driving without honking at someone. But in KL, well, with the wider roads (and no dark tint), you tend to not honk at all. That's a good new habit!


  1. Dear Anabelle,

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  2. congratulations on your new job Anabelle!

  3. Thanks for checking out my latest update (which was long overdue). And yes, it's nice to be back in the working world... but somehow .. I miss my unemployed life! It was so much fun .. being out there with the rest of the world (not locked up inside the building).

    Oh well.. stay tuned from more stories...


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