As I had mentioned in my previous post, I just got back from a course. The course was held in Ipoh Perak from the 16th of July to the 19 of July. I attended a movie making course using Microsoft's Movie Maker No we didn't learn how to make movies but rather how to come up with a more sophisticated presentation and may be intergrate this presentation in classroom teaching. I dare say that the course was very interesting accept that too much was cramped into too short a time thus giving old-timers like me a difficult time catching up, otherwise, the course part of the trip was excellent. I would like to thank the PPD Pulau for giving me this opportunity.
I may write about the actual course content in another post but what I want to highlight in this post is the trip and Visit Malaysia Year. Yes 2007 is Visit Malaysia Year and I am sure Perak is playing her role in attracting tourists, local or foreign. I can see how tourism could help in the country's economy. Malaysia could gain a lot through well orchestrated campaigns to encourage people to visit this country.
If you had read carefully, I did say well-orchestrated campaigns. Of course a well orchestrated campaign involves many elements and all these elements combined must add up to value for money. One aspect of value for money is of course courtesy and comfort.
Now I don't know how much the organisers had to pay per head per day though from previous experience I think its in the region of RM140 to RM150 per head per day. As in many other courses that I had attended participants are always housed 2 to a room, unless the course is for Pengetuas where they are given a room each. I have no complaint about that coz it fits their status as heads of departments.
We were taken to Heritage Hotel Ipoh by 3 very comfortable coaches, Kudos to the organisers. There was a slight hitch though, the bus I was in, which hit the road only a week earlier encountered air-cond problems and also the door refused to close.
At the hotel, I was told it was a Perak State Government hotel, we were attended to swiftly and got into our rooms in near-record time. That was the end of the smooth sailing that was accorded us. The room was, what should I say, roomy, quite spacious. After about an hour, we had to make our first call for assistance. My room mate called for the ironing set and was told that he could have it only for 15 minutes. Well, fair enough. The set came and the board was all wired up at the feet with very rough wires. The joints at the feet of the board kept coming out and the board nearly collapse a few times. Ironing was like a juggling act. You had to ensure that the iron was on the board and the board remained stable.
Then the next call. We called for bolsters to which we were told that they DO NOT HAVE ANY. We asked for extra pillows instead. We were given only two, one each. The answer was, I am sorry sir, we have full occupancy and so there is no more left. What a lousy liar. I could see that there were many empty rooms. Then the next call, the air-conditioning was not good. We had a maintainance personnel in our room in double quick time. He opened the sagging ceiling and after doing whatever he did which took about a minute, he said that the aircond is a single blower type and so that was the best we could get. He asked if we wanted to change rooms. Change room? Full occupancy? Hey they don't add up. We said yes, and in half an hour we were given cards to our new room. Horror of horrors, 1 double bed. We asked if we could get 2 single beds coz both of us were not too receptive to the idea of sleeping with someone of the same sex. You know what I mean. Hey we are straight. Somehow I got the feeling that they are going to say they are out of 2 single bed rooms and I got the grand prize for my guess. The prize was sleeping with another gentleman on a double bed in a hotel.
You must wonder what is the picture of a mosquito breeding project site doing in this post. Well this project-site is actually the balcony of our room. Please take a while to marvel at such a heavenly sight. The slime, so tastefully put there to add character to the balcony. Hey this is the Heritage Hotel right, so they must have something historical, perhaps from the Birch era, to decorate their rooms and what better way then to decorate your balconies with slime probably bearing imprints of Maharaja Lela as he embarked on that fatefull day (day or night?) to give the Mat Salleh a dressing down.
No, I don't want to create a commotion coz that would trouble the organisers who had done a good job. It was not their fault that the people at Heritage wanted to try a revolutionary drug for Dengue. While admiring tis piece of history, I saw something else that arrested my attention.
The second picture is that of a horse stable. Notice how each cubicle has an aircond unit attached Wow, the life of a race horse sure is good but I wouldn't want to be one anyway. Hey if you are human, break a leg and they put POP. Try breaking a leg if you are a horse and you end up as dog food. What has the picture of a stable got to do with my story? Beats me, I don't know, its just that I got this picture and I thought it would be nice to put it here.
Anyway back to the room. No Birch didn't visit me that night coz I think even he was disgusted with what he saw.
There are many other minor complaints but those kind of complaints are normal and can be found in any hotels. What I would like to highlight here is that be serious if you are embarking on a campaign. That pool that I highlighted shouldn't have happened and shouldn't be taken lightly. It is damn downright embarrassing. This hotel is not a cheap whore infested hotel where lust is the pull so no one gives a damn as to how it is presented. If it is true that this Hotel belongs to the state government then something needs to be done. The exco in charge should be sent on a trip to Papua New Guinea on a NURI.
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