Food, Miri, Shopping

Ta Kiong, Chicago 7 & Hummer

October 23, 2010
The white Hummer

Today marks the opening of Ta Kiong Supermarket at Merdeka Mall in Miri. With a retail floor area of 17,000 square feet, Ta Kiong offers a wide selection of local and imported goods. I particularly like the good choice of imported food items that the supermarket carries.

Big crowds at Ta Kiong on its opening today

In connection with the opening, the supermarket is holding a special two-day opening sale starting today. And customers can apply for the Ta Kiong RM10 annual membership card which will entitle them to certain privileges, such as getting one reward point for every RM1 spent and special discounts on Members’ Day. After comparing the member prices for some items to the non-member prices, I must say that the membership is a worthwhile deal.

While browsing around in the fruits section, I was attracted by the Kiwi fruits offer and bought a pack of the fruits to try out.

Kiwi fruits offer

Being a chocolate aficionado, I can’t help myself from being drawn to the chocolate section where there is a wide range of imported chocolates. The prices are a bit steep when compared to prices in neighbouring Brunei.

Ta Kiong - Chocolate section

Though I am not into wine, I still love to browse in the wine section. I am a bit allergic to liquor and my whole body would turn a bit reddish whenever I imbibe some wine. Call it a curse or blessing, depending on which side you are judging from.

Ta Kiong - Wine section

More wine

The coffee products also tempt me as I love coffee. Despite advice from a doctor to limit my coffee intake to not more than 2 cups a day (preferably 1), I often end up drinking 4-5 cups daily. So my dear liver, accept my apology for putting too much work on you.

Ta Kiong Imported Canned Coffee

I have heard that the food at the Chicago 7 outlet in  Merdeka Mall is not bad so I decided to give it a try. Chicago 7  is a local franchise and only the “broasters”are franchised from the U.S.  If you expect to see restaurant decorated with photos of The Chicago Seven, then you are in for a disappointment. The Chicago Seven were seven defendants—Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner—charged with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other charges related to protests that took place in Chicago, Illinois on the occasion of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

I ordered a beef burger and a hot dog plus a cold green tea with honey while my wife opted for two pieces of their broasted chicken set and a hot Ceylon tea.  I must say that their food is not bad, better than quite a lot of the fastfood outlets in town. The beefburger is tastier than McDonald’s but I think the jumbo beefburger sold by the burger stall near the Curtin Village in Senadin tastes better.

There is a Hummer road show at Merdeka mall that seems to attract a lot of curiousity. On display are 3 units of Hummer trucks of different colours – one black, one silver and one white.

The black Hummer

Mr Silver Hummer

The white Hummer

The Hummers are left-hand drives

I wonder whether the Hummer trucks can be considered an obsolete product since production of the Hummer vehicles has ceased in the US. I read online that the long strange trip that has been the Hummer brand is just about over for General Motors. The final ever production H3 rolled out of GM’s Shreveport, Louisiana factory on May 24, 2010 on its way to an Avis rental car outlet. GM had actually stopped assembling H3s in mid-2009 as it went through bankruptcy, but it resumed production recently in order to fill an 849 unit special order.

GM tried to sell the Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co., Ltd but the deal ultimately fell apart last February. A subsequent offer from Raser Technologies also went nowhere. Production has ceased.

Safety and ecological perceptions from other road users has attracted a lot of criticism for the Hummers. They are significantly bigger than other SUVs; this can cause problems parking, driving and fitting in a garage. Their large size also potentially poses a serious threat to smaller vehicles. The Hummer has been singled out and attacked as a symbol of ecological irresponsibility. Even compared to other heavy passenger vehicles, Hummers generally have very poor fuel economy. Because of its weight, it takes longer and further to stop in emergency braking situations. Large blind spots make parking difficult and possibly dangerous.

Ignoring the criticisms above, the Hummer trucks actually look very imposing. I have seen a few units on Miri roads and have been awed by their rugged sophistication. One of the Hummers that I have seen on Miri roads reminds me of an armour car.

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