No, I am not talking about the shock most of us experience when we look at the mirror in the morning. The ugly Malaysians here are those inconsiderate few who make life miserable for many disabled people. Their acts have caused a great deal of inconvenience to us, directly and indirectly.
Accessible parking at Lot 10 blocked by a sign.
They park indiscriminately in bays allocated to disabled people, blatantly ignoring the clamp and fine warnings because most times, this ruling is not enforced. To stop such abuse, car park managers barricade these bays with parking cones or chain them up. However, this does not solve the problem at all as the barricades also prevent disabled people from parking in the bays.
Security personnel unlocking chained up accessible parking at Jusco Kinta City Ipoh.
Some car park managers leave a phone number to be called for assistance. Others have security personnels nearby that can be summoned by a honk. The real problems are in car parks that are barely manned, and especially when the disabled driver is unaccompanied. This restricts disabled people driving solo to only a handful of places.
Accessible parking bays at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur blocked by traffic cones.
The act of having to put up warning signs and barricades at accessible parking bays clearly shows the mentality of some drivers. These inconsiderate people would park in one, without a second thought, if they could get away with it, and most of the time they do. This perpetuates the abuse as offenders are emboldened by the lack of enforcement.
Signboard at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur warning against abusing accessible parking.
As I see it, putting up barricades is not a solution to stem this abuse. Car park managers, including local authorities, must strictly enforce the clamp and fine rule, or tow away offending vehicles. It is only through severe punitive measures that these people will be forced obey the rules and hopefully learn to be more considerate.
Reallybites was in Kuala Lumpur for her convocation last week. She asked where I would take her for dinner. Since she was staying at the Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa, Wuan and I decided to take her to Pavilion because it was the second nearest shopping complex from the hotel and there were a lot of food and beverage outlets there that we have not tried out yet. We have also not been to Pavilion for a while now because the parking rates are expensive bordering on ridiculous.
We wandered around the shopping complex looking for a restaurant offering food that could tantalize our tastebuds and finally settled on Kampachi. The last time Wuan and I were at Pavilion the restaurant was still not opened for business yet. I needed to traverse one step up when getting into the restaurant and then one step down before arriving at our table. Kampachi at Pavilion fails miserably when it comes to accessibility for patrons using wheelchairs. They should learn from their compatriots in Tokyo in making the restaurant accessible.
Kampachi Tendon Set with udon.
Having settled in at our table, we browsed through the menu. It was literally Greek, in this case Japanese, to me. I very seldom eat Japanese food save sushi from Jusco, the occasional chicken teppanyaki at Teppanyaki Mid Valley Megamall and the bentos that I had for lunch and dinner everyday when I was in Japan. My other brush with Japanese food was the shabu shabu and sukiyaki dinner hosted by my very good friends from the Human Care Association in Tokyo when I was there undergoing training on Independent Living. Other than that, I have very little inkling of what Japanese cuisine is all about.
To play safe, I ordered the Tendon Set (RM38.00) which came with grilled salmon, rice, prawn and vegetable tempuras, pickles and fruits. I am a rice person and one can never go wrong with a rice set. Wuan and Reallybites both ordered the Salmon Teriyaki Set (RM36.00 each) which included salmon in teriyaki sauce, rice, chawan mushi, miso soup, pickles and fruits. We all ordered green tea (RM2.00 each) for drinks.
Kampachi Salmon Teriyaki Set.
I started off with the udon served in soup. It was smooth and well complimented by the mildly-flavoured soup. The rice came with two prawn tempuras and two pieces of vegetable tempuras. I cannot recall what the vegetable tempuras were though. I passed one prawn tempura to Reallybites as I have cut down eating prawns to a minimum. I like how the deep-fried aroma hit my olfactory senses. Prawn fritters have been one of my all-time favourite and this tempura just took the cake. The salmon was flaky though. I only ate half a portion due to my dietary requirements. Given a choice, I would prefer to have them smoked or eaten raw. It was a hearty meal for me nonetheless.
The ambience was what one would expect from an establishment like this – classy but tasteful. The restaurant was busy as we were there smack right on dinner time. The service staff were polite, attentive and greeted patrons in Japanese. Being the signature Japanese restaurant of the Hotel Equatorial group, one would expect a certain level of quality in their food and service and I am happy to say that they did not disappoint in both aspects. Quality comes at a price too. The bill for the three of us amounted to RM133.40 including tax. This is not a place that I would eat out often. It is to be reserved for those special occasions when a celebration with a touch of class and difference is needed. Reallybites’ graduation was one such event. Congratulations young woman! May you have a bright career ahead.