Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kiasu Backfire

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. After waiting for 2 years, this book was the Book Highlight of my year.

When an ex-colleague asked if we were interested to pre-order the book from Kinokuniya, we jumped at the offer. Our kiasu instincts went into overdrive. 30% off, RM30 savings! Someone to pick up the book for us! No need to jostle with screaming, crazed 12-year olds!

And then it was the eve of the book release.

I opened the newspaper and saw hypermarkets advertising the book at RM69.90. That was a whole RM7 less than what we were going to have to pay, even with our nifty 30% pre-order discount. RM7!

This was against every kiasu rule we knew (not that we know much). Same product, lower price. There was only one thing to do: we cancelled our pre-order. And rubbed our hands and wallets with glee.

And then it was the day of the book release.

Newspapers reported about major bookshop chains pulling the books off their shelves in protest to the "deeply discounted prices" the hypermarkets were offering. Meanwhile, the hypermarkets sold out all their books by 11am that day.

So where does that leave us? No discount. No Harry Potter Book 7. No place to buy the book from.

Don't say it. Just don't.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hotel Freebies

Whenever I go on holiday and it's time to check out, I help myself to the complimentary soaps, shampoos, shower gels, shower caps, cotton buds, disposable toothbrushes and their VERY useful mini sewing kits.

The mini toiletries come in handy when you want to shower at the gym. But most hotels give run of the mill toiletries that are repackaged into their own self-branded tubes. However, Shangri-La (Rasa Ria, KK) gives nice lavender scented ones. And the green tube you see up there is part of the eSCENTial range from Sofitel HCM, Vietnam (company trip 2005). It smells really good. Only the conditioner's left cos the shower gel and shampoo are used up by now.

I remember showering at a friend's place some time ago and there were Ken's Apothecary products, complimentary toiletries taken from Westin Hotel in Singapore. Or was it L'Occitane? I can't remember now. All yummy smelling stuff from good old mother nature. Wahhh. I guess I never stayed at a hotel so fancy that they dish out even fancier FREE stuff.

Next, the boring things, like FREE pencils and pens, note pads, post cards and stationery. I pack them in. Never know when they'll come in handy on the way home. Heh.

Finally, the edible stuff. The fruits from the fruit basket would usually be gone by check out time. If they've not been eaten, I take them with me too. Hey, an apple's a nice snack on the journey home what! I also grab the FREE tea bags, 3-in-1 coffee sachets (awful shit, but it's FREE). They're in a plastic container in my office, in case I ever need them. Never mind that there are FREE teabags and FREE instant coffee in the pantry already.

Too bad they charge for the bathrobes. I especially love those terry cloth ones. Sigh.

And no, I'm not one of those clothes hanger thieves.
I may be kiasu, but I'm not inconsiderate. The next room guest may need them you know. Though there were those nice, dark wooden ones at Andaman Langkawi that I was really tempted to take. But nah... (I ran out of room in my backpack).

Hee hee.

Friday, May 25, 2007

FREE! McDonald's Sausage McMuffin

No joke! It's really true! But you need a coupon to redeem your FREE! burger.

Luckily, I had one handy.

Still, my breakfast of choice and champions is cereal. Sultana Bran, to be precise. And "Sausage" in the McDonald Dictionary would mean a mixture of chicken parts and cow innards.

It took me awhile for my better kiasu half to take over. 5 minutes, to be exact. Because hey, it's FREE! so it'll taste good anyway.

This morning at 8.15am, I went to the SS2 McDonald's for my FREE! breakfast. Only one counter was open. And in front of the counter was a long line of aunties. I kid you not. Aunties whom, on any other given day would rather endure Good Charlotte bursting their eardrums than eat fast food, were all in their taichi garb and lining up for a FREE! Sausage McMuffin. And yes, they all had coupons.

I took my place behind them. And soon enough, reached the counter.


"One Sausage McMuffin. Here's my coupon."


"No. Just the McMuffin, thanks."

My FREE! burger. Sorry for the blur pictures, my hand was shaking from the
anticipation of sinking my teeth into FREE! food.

I even scored a FREE! packet of Tomato Ketchup with the free burger. How's that for a double kiasu whammy?

Promo Period:
  • Between 7.45am - 8.45am, only on 23 - 25 May and 28 - 30 May 2007

The Good:
  • FREE! Sausage McMuffin. Enough said.
The Bad:
  • The McMuffin was quite dry and tasteless. Luckily, I had the FREE! Tomato Ketchup to add some flavour.
  • There is no mention that you need to bring a coupon to redeem your FREE! McMuffin. So be warned - BRING A COUPON! (Coupons are available from the Pyjama Troopers - they are reported to be lurking at the entrance of most McDonald restaurants.)
Kiasu Rating:
  • 8/10