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Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.

NEWSLETTER

23/07/2009

Bella Luna Spa: First Experience @ Berjaya Times Square

















Today I went for my first visit to Bella Luna. Bella Luna was formerly known as Rustic Nirvana.

WHO, or WHAT IS BELLA LUNA?
The company relaunched with the new brand in early April 2009. The salon caters to mostly female customers, with a focus more on ante-natal, and post-natal mothers, as well as for normal customers who go in for the massages, and facials. Males can only go in for facial therapies.

Their newly launched website "Bella Luna- Perfecting Beauty With Wellness" is more viewer friendly. Their previous website "Rustic Nirvana- Best of the East in One Touch" is more information packed, but is completely search-distressing to the viewer.

A search through their website shows that they provide only 4 types of body therapies being,
1) Botanical Fusion Massage Therapy
2) Black Crystal Sand Therapy
3) Revitalizing Rolling Therapy
4) Power Slim Detox Therapy

OUR MASSAGE APPOINTMENT
Prior to this, I had signed up for their trial services when they showcased their services at a local mall home expo. So I decided to head over to Berjaya Times Square with my mother who had tagged along for an afternoon appointment. As we were early by almost 45 mins, the thought of window shopping did cross my mind, but my mother insisted on just entering the salon. 

On entry, we were asked to fill in a "Profile Form". It was a non-peak time when both of us went into the outlet, so the outlet was quiet and not buzzing with activity.

MASSAGE
Before the start of the massage, I was given a plastic shower cap & disposable panties to change into, as well as a "wireless call button" remote. My treatment started with a massage using Jamu Oil. The therapist did asked me for some feedback by enquiring whether it was too painful, or hard.

WRAP & STEAM
It was then followed by a Wrap & Steam.

My therapist, M, slathered some concoction of herbs (Spices Detox Mask) on me, and then I was "glad-wrapped". She heated up a rice-cooker which was boiling with a herbal concoction (which was apparently created by the founder of the company in Singapore) and then removed the rice-cooker lid.

M then proceeded to put this "tent" over me, so in essence the hot steam from the rice-cooker heated up the whole tent, causing the steam to condense on the ceiling of the tent and drip back. I laid there for about 20mins or so, and in the process, even fell asleep.

When the 20 mins were up, M then removed the dripping tent. Then she cut off the glad wrap with a pair of scissors, and then asked me to shower in the shower cubicle which was stationed on the side of the room. No, I didn't have to leave the room once throughout my first visit here.




















WORTH IT?
After taking my shower, and drying myself up, I went to the hall, and was served ginger tea. We were then asked to fill up "Feedback" forms on how our therapists fared.

For me, as I had a really bad back, I preferred a massage with more strength, which had resulted from working the long hours during the weekend. So I wrote "would need a harder massage".

Later, I found out from my mother that apparently her therapist, C, had given her a sort of "guasa" therapy, where a search through their current website shows that perhaps my mother had the "Revitalizing Rolling Therapy" which uses quartz crystal & healing stone. Which would have explained that my mother had a "stronger strength" massage compared to mine, and hence, was to her a better experience, being she had no back pain at this time.

SATISFACTION RATE:
It would have been a better experience for me if my therapist had given me a "Revitalizing Rolling Therapy" as well, since I had a bad back. In future, please inform the therapist/SA what you need, and the SA should have not just assumed that every new customer should do the "Botanical Fusion Massage Therapy".

A longer "massage time" would have fared better for me. Apart from that, the service was okay.

PACKAGE PRICES
Walk-in first trial promos start at RM98 for a body therapy, or facial therapy.

Related Links: Amy W.- Rustic Nirvana
Momo Goes Bananas - Post Natal Treatment.
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16/07/2009

Buys: My "Green" Bag: The Face Shop Bag.

TSF bag

Just to let my readers know, I DO have a Green Bag. It is my The Face Shop bag. As you can see, it is the size of my palms.

Today, I was on my way to work today, and for some reason, I had put the The Face Shop bag I have into my bag. It was fortunate that I did, as my dad asked me to take the bus, and asked me to run some errands for him. Without this bag, which I would not have been able to carry the stash he asked me to!

Now, you're probably wondering where I got this lovely small TFS bag, which is the size of my palms?

When I was in Korea early this year, I had gone shopping to The Face Shop, and bought about 70,000 won. The lady in the shop was as pleased as a pie..., and turns out, it was part of an on-going promotion.

Anyways, to you FaceShop fans out there, just to let you know that you won't be able to find this bag anywhere in Malaysia, yet!

TFS bag opened
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My Green Bag: The Face Shop Bag.

TSF bag

I was on my way to work today, and for some reason, I just had put the The Face Shop bag I have into my bag.
It was fortunate that I did, as my dad then asked me to take the bus, and asked me to run some errands for him. Without this bag, which I would not have been able to carry the stash he asked me to!

Now, you're probably wondering where I got this lovely small TFS bag, which is the size of my palms?

When I was in Korea early this year, I had gone shopping to The Face Shop, and bought about 70,000 won. The lady in the shop was most definitely, pleased as a pie..., and it turns out, was given part of an on-going promotion then.

Anyways, to you FaceShop fans out there, just to let you know that you won't be able to find this bag anywhere in Malaysia, yet!

TFS bag opened
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Penang: Plastic Manufacturers critisizes "No Plastic Bag Day"

15/07/2009

Penang: Plastic Manufacturers critisizes "No Plastic Bag Day"

As said here before, when the state of Penang decided to implement the "No Plastic Bag Day", it would not be an event that will come to pass smoothly.

BERNAMA reports that "The Penang government has been critisized by the MPMA for their endeavours for making every Monday a "No Plastic Bag" day."

Who's the MPMA, you ask? Otherwise known as the Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association, they are the parties creating all the trouble for the state of Penang.

The MPMA were trying to disassuade the Penang government from promoting the "No Plastic Bag" Day, and instead implement some 3R programme on Reducing, Reusing and Recycling Plastic Bags.

Do you think that works in Malaysia? I DON'T THINK so. Not unless it affects anyone's purse, will the people bother to make any changes. I am sure that is the same for many countries all over the world.

It has been anticipated that the MPMA will be the one making all the noise, and critisizing the government for all their efforts as this would affect their "rice bowl". The Penang state needs to remain strong, and encourage the people to play their part in protecting the environment. Then only would this practice be able to spread to the rest of the nation of Malaysia to be successful.

Less retailers use plastic bag = less retailers buy plastic bag = less money for the MPMA members.

Not satisfied with just having plastic for the use of normal plastic bag, the MPMA is not willing to relent for the environment.. We're going to watch a nice drama for the next couple of months to come.

Related Links:
A Penangite's Response: It can be done!
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For the Purpose of Technorati.

12/07/2009

For the Purpose of Technorati.

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11/07/2009

Malaysian Retailers Not "Green" At All.

1st July has been deemed the "No Plastic Bag Day" in the state of Penang, Malaysia.

Penang Declares Mondays "No Plastic Day"

PENANG, June 5 (Bernama) -- The Penang government has declared every Monday as a "No Plastic Day" for the state beginning July 1.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today the ban by the state government on using plastic bags marked its serious commitment to achieving its goal of becoming a green state.

"Following consultation and dialogues with hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini markets, plastic manufacturer and NGOs, the ban on using plastic bags marks the serious commitment towards reducing the use of plastic bags," he told a news conference here.

He said that to encourage consumers to bring their own bags and reduce their dependency on the plastic bags, consumers would be charged 20 cents per bag on the "No Plastic Bag Day".

The proceeds would be donated for the state Hardcore Poverty Programme.

Lim said a survey conducted by the state government on six major groups of supermarkets and hypermarkets showed that as much as 25.2 million plastic bags were distributed in 2008.

-- BERNAMA

On a serious note, it is encouraging to see that the state of Penang is starting out on this most "courageous" task of being the guinea-pig to initiate this habit in the country of Malaysia. It has already been a practice in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea to use green bags, that are available cheaply and affordably.

During my visit to Japan early this year, I was surprised to see that Japan, an advanced country, has yet to practise it widely or as well as their up-coming but equally catching up in technological advancement, South Korea.

My observation has led me to see that as a nation, South Korea has successfully implemented the practice of recycling and reduction of the use of plastic bag effeciently on a nation-state level, and I was thoroughly impressed on how all merchants to retailers to fastfood restaurants and homes as well as consumers have it down to a fine art.

Rubbish Bin@ Seoul, South Korea
Rubbish divided into compartments for glass, paper cups, organic (liquid waste, & food waste), paper products, & plastic.


LOSERS WHO? PLASTIC BAG MANUFACTURERS or CONSUMERS?

The only parties that stand to lose in this game of promoting the use of "plastic bag" and persuading the public to change to use of paper bags, and recyclable "green bags" are the Plastic Bag Manufacturers. They are the ones who will continue to try to push the retailers to use plastic bags, or maybe charge a lower price for plastic bags as to not lose their source of revenue, but times change, man. Times change.


MALAYSIAN RETAILERS OVERCHARGING FOR 'GREEN BAGS'

My observation has led me to notice that many retailers are jumping on the bandwagon, not so much because that they really want to "save the environment", but as an opportunity to make money and \over-charging consumers as high as RM5 for a "green bag".

When I was in Australia, supermarkets like Coles, & Woolworths were only selling their "green bags" for as low as 99AUD, which after conversion, is about RM2.50. These bags are made & imported from China. Malaysian retailers too like Jaya Jusco, Carrefour Giant, have similar "green bags" available at their stores, which are also made & imported from China.

But how much do these so-called "green bags" cost? A walk around the stores, you will find that they cost at least minimum RM5 for one.

Let me ask you, who in their right mind among the public has the financial meanst to be able to afford RM5.00+ for a 'green bag', which one could easily get for as low as RM2.50 in Australia, and both are imported from China??

How do these retailers JUSTIFY their reason for selling the "green bags" at an inflated price?


MALAYSIAN RETAILERS NOT COST EFFICIENT, BAD MANAGEMENT or JUST PLAIN STUPID?


Let me describe to you an experience of mine when I was in hypermarket Carrefour Mid Valley Kuala Lumpur recently. My mother and I were there to make some purchases at the hypermarket, and she had to get a number of reams of A4 photocopy paper for work purposes. When we went to the check-out counter to pay for our merchandise, the personnel manning the terminal stated that she "HAD TO' put plastic bag for the purchases.

Here are two things that I could observe from the situation. As a security measure, either Carrefour is not a very smart retailer (meaning that Carrefour's Management's Committee is not cost effective & very STUPID), because they are wasting money to purchase plastic bags to insist customers MUST use it.


MEANS OF AN ALTERNATIVE

As what I have observed JUSCO's check-out staff done in the past, they just stick a green tape with the word "JUSCO" or something similar printed on it, to inform the security personnel that the payment has been made for the merchandise.


TO DO A TEST NEXT

The very next time I go to Carrefour, I will do a test. I'm going to take along my own 'green bag' which is a TFS bag that was given to me free when I was in South Korea. Then I will see what the staff & security's response to it. Wait for the news.


IN SUMMARY,


1. Malaysian retailers MUST lower the price of their "green bags" to encourage customers to buy them. Retailers should think long term, where it is a means for them to lower their cost of having to purchase plastic bags, and use "shopping bags" as a form of advertisement, as is done in countries like Australia & New Zealand.

2. Using "sticky-tape" like what JUSCO in Malaysia has done is cost effective than wrapping purchases in plastic bags. It is NOT COST-EFFECTIVE.

Related Links:
Bernama; State News- Penang- No Plastic Bag Day

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