Friday, June 10, 2011

Nasi Lemak at Medan Selera 223 (among other things)

Domestication, albeit reluctantly, has reminded me of how expensive groceries are these days. Every cent counts, really. But I'm determined to only lose old habits, not interests, with my now frugal financial management system - something that I'd learnt from some multinational corporations. It's doomed to fail but I guess it'll be a good learning curve.

Frugality has led me to shop at discounted gift certificate or coupon websites. Most, if not all, of the products and services offered are of a leisurely nature than necessity. And I’ve been a stalker cum customer for a month now. Hear me being foolishly paradoxical here.

One of the coupons that I'd redeemed was for a few hair treatment sessions. My friends and relatives can attest to my evident hair loss problem and I must say, are more concerned than myself. With a significant, shocking discount, I thought it’s worth a try. Miraculous treatment or not, at the very least, I'll be able to get a diagnosis from the package, I thought.

Session 1 was a psychological war field in the consultation room. I understood the severity of my receding hairline from the scans and their explanation but to inject every consolation and solution with a special, promising treatment and its obvious advantages was too much to bear. These customized treatments are not cheap. I bargained hard, just to know their cheapest offer. Throughout the process, I've been approached by two very persistent consultants. Their marketing skills were good, no doubt. One empathetic-looking consultant said it's a pity if I continue to neglect my oily scalp and start balding at such (flipped and studied my customer profile) a young age. I must admit that I was slightly, just slightly sold at that point. Regained sensibility, I reminded myself that I came to redeem my coupon, got a diagnosis and understood my situation, unconvinced of the procedures and therefore, unwilling to pay the exorbitant amount. That's that. They'd done their best and I tried to be understanding. For courtesy sake, I'd informed them that I can't make a decision at that point as I won't be available for treatment due to my tight travelling schedule. And that I'll return when I can afford the time. They restrategized. Apparently, I can even be treated abroad as well - by purchasing their DIY treatment kits. There were many, many points worth debating there including the effectiveness of DIY kits versus in-house treatments and the content of the kit. But they are running a business and it's only right for them to sell. Unfortunately for them, I wasn’t convinced.

In the 1.5 hours of Session 1, I wondered if appearance should hold such importance in one's life. And if it's worth the cost. I'd only say yes if it's related to one's profession or that it affects one's health condition. Why bother when my family, good friends and (ex) girlfriends have been accepting of my different shapes, sizes and looks throughout the years? No one seems to think less of famous figures like Bruce Willis, Prince William and Vladimir Putin just because they are balding, right? With my head wrapped under the steamer, I felt ashamed. But at least I now know that my scalp's ridiculously oily. So, I should perhaps wash my hair 21 times a week to unclog and prevent more blockages.

Speaking of good friends (I've digressed too far and wide in this post, haven’t I?), we were at Medan Selera 223, another uncharted territory for me, much like the hair treatment center. At night, it’s a busy and crowded al fresco foodcourt that tests one’s vigilance in securing a seat. Reward comes in small packs of nasi lemak with savoury, mildly spicy sambal that’s best smoothened and flavoured with a couple of soft-boiled eggs. And there’s the list of usual beverages like teh tarik and Horlicks to keep the conversations going. Here, affordability means that it’s able to attract people from all walks of life. Regardless of the buckets of dripping sweat (it’s quite hot and humid here), worn out clothes AND receding hairline, everyone’s having a good time. And that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

Medan Selera 223
Jalan 223,
Petaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia


Pureglutton said...

I admire your focus and willpower in resisting all those marketing ploys, hehe! Who says bald guys aint sexy?! Just be yourself - we love you for who you are, not how you look :)
Ohhh... i do miss those lil packets of yummy cholesterol-laden nasi lemak in Jln 223 - hv not been back there since my office relocated 4 yrs ago!

J said...

Nothing wrong with bald(-ing) men - Can be quite nice actually :)

... as long as u don't grow the remaining sides long and comb it over. lol.

Xiu Long Bao said...

shave it bald, dun hav to wash 21 X a week, but must put coconut oil to make it look shiny.

choi yen said...

Agreed with XLB, just shave it!!! Very "yeng" 1 :)

I tried once the 223 nasi lemak, I like it ~

A humble Taiping kaki said...

Nasi Lemak looks original. Yummy. More pedas, more yummilicious.

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

Let's start with the second part of your post and say I'm drooling over that simple pic of the half-boiled eggs (or do I mean the pic of the simple half-boiled eggs?) - yumminess.

As for the first portion, hmm. Devil's been concerned about his M-shaped forehead line too, and my forefathers all went bald, so I guess there's no escaping it.

However, I will venture some men look good bald (Prof. X, Bald Eagle, Billy Corgan) and others (myself, having tried shaving my head during my adolescent years) don't.

You, my friend, I believe have the right shape for it, if you choose to go bald. Would certainly save money on hair treatments. And the ladies (see above comments) seem to think Bald is Sexy, what.

Oh, and I so gotta get you to be my frugality buddy - I need to cut some major expenses in my life too! :P

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

P.S. *loves XLB's coconut oil = shiny advice*

So cute lah. :)

gfad said...

Nothing wrong with balding, esp when one accepts and embraces it (see Bruce Willis and Andre Agassi). It's the comb-overs that's the butt of so many jokes!!

That's a lovely, lovely photo of NL. My favouritest kind - the small banana leaf wrapped kind. Almost burst into tears with longing looking at that shot..

HairyBerry said...

purelglutton, wow, thanks so much for the encouragement! :) talking about nasi lemak, i remember the very delicious sambal you made for us last time. and must have been like...2 years ago? time flies!

j, omg, you have just reminded me of the comb-overs! i dont comb but do 'pull' over once in a while too! hahaha. ok la, not that serious yet but i'm definitely heading (or balding) there. gotta invest in some good shavers already. hehehe.

xlb, i think i'm now doing a 48X a week. 2x2 a day. i wonder if that will cause more to fall. o_O i never knew about coconut oil. it might be a bad idea cos i'll be hungry smelling the aroma...hehehe.

choi yen, yeah, i must start reading magazines to get the most "yeng" yet simple to manage look. hehehe. the nasi lemak at 223 is quite good, right? i like the atmosphere there also, although it's crowded.

a humble taiping kaki, i agree! i prefer the savoury sambal. even better if they infuse with a bit of tamarind juice. *salivates*

kenny, glad you liked the telur pic! :) isn't it the simplest yet most versatile side dish ever? :) so, both you and the devil have balding issue too? we so have to start a support group...the agenda, of course, will be on...FOOD! hahaha. Like you, I've shaved my head too (forcefully though) and i think i'm cool with that. talking about cool, it provides extra cooling effect to the head as well, hor? :) homecooking is one of the best ways to be frugal, my frugality buddy. here, my target is S$10 per meal for 2. :) oh, and billy corgan!!! if I can write songs as good as him, i deserve to bald. :)

p/s: on coconut oil -> and delicious too! haha.

gfad, long time no see/hear! ah, i forgot to mention andre agassi in my post. both he and willis have babelicious (ex) wives too - demi moore and brooke shields. *inspired* and glad you liked the NL picture. they actually offer otak2 also but we were not that hungry that night. you coming back soon, right?? we go NL trail lah. :)

UnkaLeong said...

Male Pattern Baldness, the bane of every young(ahem),virile(woots) man's existence. There's nothing wrong with bald men bro.

I for one and suffering from a sudden spurt of white hair sprouting up all over the place. Except for the nether regions, they have been spotted everywhere!

But it is truelar, I wash my hair twice daily to get rid of the excess sebum from my scalp.

Oh! Also, rotate your hair shampoo yar. The scalp gets used to it after one or two bottles of the same product ;)

HairyBerry said...

Unkaleong, thanks so much for the sound advice! :) i heard from the elders that there's a chinese herb that is used to reduce white hair. but i can't remember the name now. if you are interested, lemme know la. i think you can get it in some more popular tcm shops. i didn't know that rotating shampoo helps. make sense lah! i'll take note of that! thanks again! :)

Julian Si said...

Hey from Abu Dhabi ..

Forgive me for licking the screen, I WANT NASI LEMAK!!!!

Yummmm ....

ps - J and balding men!!? Really!?

HairyBerry said...

Hi Julian! No worries on the wet monitor..haha. hopefully, you'll be able to get some soon! :)

ps: i believe j! :) now, i must start to check out good shavers already. haha.