What's with the rock-hard limes? Do Malaysians prefer limes that feel like squash balls before the sport went soft-ball, and that give up about 2 drops of juice when they're squeezed? Doesn't anyone else here make Thai food - which often calls for a lot of lime juice - or drink gin and tonics (lemon is a no substitute for lime)? Squeezing Malaysian limes gives me carpal tunnel syndrome. Where can I find soft, juicy limes in Kuala Lumpur?
What's up with Streamyx? Why does it suck so much? Why, when I'm required to pay a monthly fee for my DSL, am I working on a land for the fourth day in a week? Why do I have to forget about posting today because loading 19 photos on my 32,000-bps connection is gonna require a little more time than I have to spare? Why, when I call TM Net for technical support, do they always tell me that nothing is wrong with the service and it must be my computer, when I know it's not because Dave's computer - much newer and nicer than mine - can't connect on our home line either? Why, for criminy's sake, is internet service more reliable in Saigon than it is in Kuala Lumpur? More importantly - is there an alternative to Streamyx, and is it any better?
Where can I find a good tomato? I'm dying for some gazpacho, and the tomatoes in the market are useless. I'm looking for tomatoes with real flavor and plenty of juice. An American-style beefeater would be too much to hope for, I guess, but there's gotta be something out there with more zing than the mealy blobs I all too often encounter. I want a big tomato that tastes as good as those small 'fruit' tomatoes from the Genting Highlands that Village Grocer sells for a larcenous 5-something ringit a pack. I'd need about twenty of those packs to make a batch of gazpacho there's no cold soup in the world that's worth 30 US dollars a batch.
Why doesn't someone import avocadoes from Sumatra? Just across the Straits - what, a 3-hour ferry ride from Penang? - they're growing avocadoes that are as buttery and rich-tasting as anything you'll find in California. Tons and tons of them. They're huge, and they're so cheap! Meanwhile, here in Kuala Lumpur, if I want to whip up a heap of guacamole I'm forced to pay 3 ringit or more for one measly Australian or New Zealand specimen. It'd probably be cheaper to fly to Medan on air Asia and bring home a suitcase full.
Why is fruit so expensive? Thailand to the north, Indonesia to the west and south. Malaysia is almost surrounded by fruit-producing countries. So why do I feel like I'm being ripped off everytime I buy fruit? (Granted, we probably consume more fruit than the average couple.) Is there a Malaysian fruit-import monopoly that I don't know about, driving up prices? Or is it that local fruit production has been completely obliterated by palm oil plantations? Am I just not shopping at the right places? If you'd like to recommend a reliable, fair-priced fruit shop please comment here or email me.