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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Giant Weird Sculptures At Malaysian Roundabouts

The other day on the way to Cherating, we were at Malaysia’s one and only “Persimpangan Bunga Cengkih”. Yes, you read that right, there IS such a thing. How did I know? There were signs in all directions telling us about it. And sign from 5km away preparing us for this ‘special’ landmark, as if it’s the world’s biggest durian.

For those of you wondering, “Persimpangan Bunga Cengkih” is a direct translation of a ‘cloverleaf junction’. It’s an American traffic engineering term (I learnt this is college). Malaysia boleh, man. Why stop there? Why not have signs for every “Persimpangan Batu Intan” (diamond interchange) or Persimpangan Separa Terompet at Permukaan Datar (at-grade partial trumpet interchange)?

Which makes me wonder, why do Malaysians put weird, weird things at road junctions and roundabouts? Giant durians, giant mangosteens, giant groundnuts, giant congkak-boards, flowerpots big enough to bathe a cow, giant flowers with accompanying giant insects and giant butterflies (but no giant bird droppings), strange ‘artistic’ carvings that look like crap when its faded and rusted, etc…

I hear somewhere in East Malaysia there’s a giant white cat. But that’s acceptable, since it really blends with the name of the city. (On a side note, the council staff must spend a lot of time every morning clearing the area for giant buried cat droppings. And giant fish bones littered all over.)

But it isn’t all bad. Sometimes these ‘landmarks’ serve a good purpose – as a ‘landmark’! “Yeah, OK, you go straight, aa? Until you see the giant Siti Nurhaliza billboard, aa? Then you turn left, you know, until the roundabout with the giant orang-utan, aa? Then go 3 o’clock…”

But one word of caution. Make sure all these works of art are adequate protected by railings and kerbs. Over the years I’ve seen dozens of ‘mat racers’ smash into the center of the roundabouts or junction islands during their midnight drag races.

We wouldn’t want the beautiful giant durian wantonly damaged, do we? How will we ever find our way without them?



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6 Comments:

  • am going to cherating this June, let me have a look to this PBC, but I guess only bird eye view can see the pattern right?

    By Blogger Twinsmom, at 4/19/2005 03:14:00 pm  

  • Lemme see...I have seen giant turtle, keris, durian in East Coast (even have a photo taken there, chewah, bergaya betul), giant everything except giant kote. LOL! But yeah, Kuching got lots of cats statues, not only one but many.

    By Blogger 5xmom ~chanlilian.net~, at 4/19/2005 04:34:00 pm  

  • twinsmom - actually i dun think its a real PBC, just a tourism gimmick... but maybe you can see, you take a picture, ok...?

    5xmom - penang also got one good one... at gurney drive/sunrise got one IJM logo...siao...

    By Blogger Simon, at 4/19/2005 05:54:00 pm  

  • australia has some as well... along the way from Sydney to Brisbane, i came across a giant Prawn (a grocery cum restaurant), Banana (a banana product outlet) and what's funnier, they simply name it Big Prawn & Big Banana!

    even for those in msia, i think it's great as a landmark to let tourist/people show where they have been to.

    By Blogger keng 坑, at 4/19/2005 09:18:00 pm  

  • There are three prominent cat statues in Kuching (contrary to the popular belief that there are thousands).

    1. http://www4.big.or.jp/~naomy/asia/mla2/indexCatKuchingBandaraya.html

    2. Cat statue on the boundary of Kuching City South and Kuching City North

    3. Cat statue at the entrance of Chinatown/Jalan Padungan. http://www.sixthseal.com/000845.html

    By Blogger NSDS3HvLDjJd, at 4/20/2005 11:49:00 pm  

  • nsds3 - wow, do you go to kuching often?

    By Blogger Simon, at 4/21/2005 11:14:00 am  

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