Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kudos TBS!

    This southern lass shall no longer complain the next time she has to take the bus back to Johor. I never thought the day would come, but it has! Thanks to the new Terminal Bersepadu Selatan-Bandar Tasik Selatan (TBS-BTS).

    As far back as I can remember, Malaysian bus stations are smog choked rodent infested buildings with lots of seedy characters hanging around. As such the opening of TBS-BTS early this year, heralds a new era in the country's express bus transportation industry.

    In fact this RM570 million state-of-the-art complex is one of the best things to happen in this country, post-Mahathir era. Barring of course Islam Hadhari and that highly Utopian concept -1Malaysia.  

    For someone who has griped a fair bit about the state of public transportation in Malaysia, I have nothing but praise for the terminal operator - Maju TMAS (Terminal Management and Services).

    What's great about this new terminal:

    It operates like an airport

    There is a centralised ticketing system in place. Passengers get to pick the bus company, departure time and seats of their choice just by the touch of a screen.

     Tickets can be purchased at the ticketing counters manned by TBS staff or at the self-service kiosk found at the concourse level. 

     There are huge screens throughout the complex displaying information on bus arrivals, departures and gate numbers.

     Passengers must proceed to the departure lounge 30 minutes before their bus is due to arrive. Only those with tickets will be allowed downstairs.

     Once downstairs passengers are required to proceed to their respective departure gates and hand their tickets to the personnel on duty to be recorded into the system. In all there are 21 departure gates. Ample seating is provided at each gate.

     An announcement will be made just before the bus arrives at the gate. Information about the bus will also be displayed on the screen above the gate.

    Easily accessible

     TBS is well connected to the Ampang Line LRT, the KTM Komuter service and the KLIA Transit system via a pedestrian bridge.

     Has direct access to the BESRAYA (Sungai Besi Expressway) and the MRR2 (Middle Ring Road 2).

     Taxi and shuttle bus bays are available on the ground floor. Long distance taxi service is available at level 4 of the complex.

    Cool restaurants and retail outlets

    Starbucks Coffee, Kenny Rogers, KFC and Wendy's are slated to open at TBS. As for the retail outlets there will be 7-Eleven, Be Pharmacy and Blue Dot Communication among others.

    Other services 

    TBS is WiFi enabled. It will also house a POS Malaysia Bhd branch, clinics, a luggage center and lockers for the further convenience of passengers.

    It's hard to get lost

     There are plenty of information panels throughout the building to guide passengers. If you're still lost, just look around you, the management has ensured that there are personnel strategically located at different areas of the terminal to offer assistance.

    Happy travelling folks!

      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      Oscar Style

      Judging by all the best and worst dressed lists compiled after the recent Academy Awards, fashion it seems has never been more subjective. What some stylists and fashion editors raved over, others hated. As a result, many celebrated fashionistas' fell off their pedestals and many newcomers got the thumbs up for making what was deemed savvy style choices.

      Here's my pick on what rocked and what didn't at the Oscars.

      Best Dressed!!

      Has Helen Mirren ever made a fashion miss-step? I doubt it. She gave younger starlets a run for their money in this elegant creation by Vivienne Westwood. I love the puff sleeves and gathered bodice - this is what a red carpet gown should look like! all those actresses who constantly make fashion flubs, please go consult with Ms Mirren, I'm sure she would be happy to help.

      Seeing Hailee Steinfeld in this frock reminds me of a young Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. In an industry where many of her seniors are relying on the talents of fashion stylists to look good, young Hailee actually helped Marchesa design this lovely tea length dress, that's impressive.

      Mila Kunis aced her first Oscar appearance in this ethereal silk chiffon and lace ensemble from Eli Saab. The tiered lace detail and grosgrain ribbon belt makes this one of the most feminine gowns to grace the red carpet at this year's Academy Awards. Mila's trademark smoky eyes and side swept  bangs complements her look to a T.

       Plum was the colour of the night when Black Swan beauty Natalie Portman sashayed down the red carpet in this lovely silk chiffon draped gown by Rodarte. While I was not entirely enamoured by what she wore at the Golden Globes, Natalie certainly redeemed herself on Oscar night. Her outfit complemented her baby bump, while the beaded tassel Tiffany earrings and swept-to-the-side tresses rounded off her look perfectly.

      While some stars opted for old word elegance, Gwyneth Paltrow looked to the future in this shimmery liquid metal of a dress from Calvin Klein - the maestro of simplicity himself. She accessorised with matching jewelry from Louis Vuitton. Tres chic not?

      The fashion critics proclaimed her outfit too tame for one so celebrated for her kookiness, but Helena Bonham Carter rocked nevertheless. The anti-fashion actress who never steers far from the gothic look, told Ryan Seacrest that her black corseted frock was designed by "Alice in Wonderland" costume designer Colleen Atwood cos she wanted to celebrate film instead of fashion. She accessorised with a fan shaped clutch, surprisingly matching shoes and a Union Jack garter!

      Not Quite....

      I like the midnight blue colour of this L' Wren Scott creation on Amy Adams, but I think it would have looked better as a short cocktail dress - about knee length. Considering the gown was already so sparkly, she should have done away with the bling. And the Veronica Lake like soft waves did not gel well with her outfit. She should have opted for a sleeker do instead.

      Many style commentators raved about Jennifer Lawrence's Calvin Klein dress. I don't share their enthusiasm. This outfit reminds me of the swimsuits worn by Pamela Anderson and gang on Baywatch. It's sexy yes, but way too boring for the Oscars.

      For one who has always been the darling of the fashion pack, Nicole Kidman drew a lot of flak for donning this Asian inspired Christian Dior couture gown. Some called it a napkin, while Joan Rivers went full throttle and said: "what's with the Kabuki?" My opinion differs - I think the dress is a sartorial wonder. However I'm not too crazy over the playful ponytail and red shoes (silver would have been better).

      Going all bronze and copper is not always a good idea, and that's exactly what Aishwarya Rai did for her walk down the red carpet. Her Armani Prive gown, make-up and hair were of the same shade - the effect was dull and washed out. For one who is called the most beautiful woman in the world, she did not look it.

      Worst Dressed!!

      Is that a dragon snaking down Penelope Cruz's L'Wren Scott dress? it's garish and loud, not Oscar material. And for someone who just gave birth, that's not the kind of silhouette she should have chosen, it was unflattering to say the least.

      Fashion forward or fashion victim? I think it's the latter. For someone who always gets it right, Cate Blanchett went way off the mark this time. The bodice of her Givenchy Couture gown looked like a Victorian photo frame and the lavender and yellow beading looked like bacteria. But I'm sure the avant-garde crowd must have raved over this one.

      I'm guessing that Florence Welch was aiming for girly and feminine when she opted to wear this Valentino Couture maxi dress. The overall effect however was frumpy.

      Marisa Tomei could have done better, she usually does. This vintage Charles James Couture dress did nothing to flatter her dark good looks. The asymmetrical tulle concoction at the bottom looked simply ghastly. Better luck next time Marisa.

      Melissa Leo scored for her acting prowess and nothing else at the Oscars. Her Marc Bouwer dress was one of the first outfits to make it on many worst dressed lists. Some said it looked like a giant doily, need I say more?