Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stanley and Sam.. :)



Lately, I didn't have time to finish any fiction. But I've been reading these thin books; <300 pages. Lessons from Stanley the Cat and Letters to Sam.

I bought Lessons from Stanley the Cat first and finished it in mere minutes. It's very simple yet the messages are clear and concise. It tells you of what life lessons you can learn from a pet and I deemed all in it are undeniably correct but are the things that I've failed to notice all these years of having cats in my house.

The author have been observant alright. I love the way how she connects the behaviour of a cat to our daily living. Like this part that I love..

Pursue your goals like prey. Take time to make a good plan and have patience to follow through a number of times. Failure is simply another opportunity to create a different strategy. Do not take mistakes personally

And with these words there is an illustration of a cat in a pouncing position. This is very true, you see. My cats never give up when it comes to getting something that they want. Like if they're hungry, they'll be pestering you by rubbing their body against your feet endlessly. Or they'll just annoy you with their high pitch mewing or just bite your toe and that's when I finally give up and give them what they want.

Letters to Sam~ Hurm.. I've been flipping through the pages of this book in different bookstores for so many times already. Too expensive for its small number of pages. But I finally dicided to buy this book because I needed a book that contains a collection of short stories during my travel. So, this book suits my preference since the letters are divided into several parts.

Daniel Gottlieb, the author, is a Jewish psychologist who'd been a quadriplegic for so many years due to an accident. Sam is actually his grandson who is autistic so he wrote these letters to convey his message about love and life.

In this book, we can see the world from the eyes of the disabled; how he had to deal with sudden changes, heartbreaks, acceptance and finally starting anew. My favourite part in this book would be the part when his wheelchair tires got stuck in a gopher hole. No one was home to assist him so he got stuck there for hours and got frustrated. He yelled and yelled to his frustration. When he got tired, he stopped, and start to notice the singing birds and suddenly he found peace. The birds have been singing all along but he didn't notice it because he was too busy fighting to be 'released' from the gopher hole and was too frustrated when he failed.

The moral from that part of this book is that life can get hard sometimes and we'll cry and rage over it that we can be blinded of the things that give us peace although the things have always been there all along...

So that's it for Books~ Highly recommended for those seeking motivation and inspiration :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bajet Trip Bali~ Bajet Bule~

This is gonna be a long post because I'm just SUPER EXCITED!\(^^)/

Okay first of all, let me start on how this whole thing came about.. Initially, the trip in Singapore was suppose to be a reunion; a huge one. I messaged all singles left in our class in fb about the trip. Quite a number responded in excitement, giving me high hopes that it'll be a huge one. But then when the date finally arrived, only 4 of us could make it. Mida and I manage to get our leave but Shifaa & Ray's leave were not approved, so the two of them could only join us in Singapore..

So, Mida and I got stuck.. Dialog semase itu..

Mida: Ape kite nak wat wei lepas dari Singapore..??
Gg: Aku tengok kau.. Kau tengok aku..
Mida: Gi Korea jom!!!!!!!!!
Gg: Ko gile ke!!!???
Mida: Abis tu kite nak watpe??
Gg: Kalo la kat Malaysia ni ade tempat macam Bali...
Mida: Bali jom!!!!!!
Gg: Ko serius???
Mida: Aku okay je :)

In less than 30 minutes we purchased two-way tickets to Bali (^^)v




So this is Bali map. I took this from Yasa Bali Tour website. I was the one who did the studying and plotted the whole journey because Mida was busied with the accreditation thingy. It took me 3 weeks to plan the whole thing. I say, planning a trip is HARD and you'll have to expect the unexpected. I think I did my study rather meticulously for this trip, but still there were quite a lot of changes made. Many of my friends went there before so I got a lot of help and recommendations from them.

But the tragic part should be the earthquake that happened 11 days before our trip. It freaked the hell out of me!!! When I heard the news that Thursday afternoon, I was so disturbed that I can't proceed with my work hahaha Alhamdulillah, everything was fine after the 2nd earthquake and the trip need not be cancelled :)

The first route that I plotted was

Kuta-> Uluwatu-> Kintamani-> Amed->Lovina->Bedugul-> Tanah Lot->Ubud

For this route I'd considered the distance between places and the roads that connect them. I was hoping to cover most of Bali's major attractions. However, when we arrive in Bali, we were surprised to find that Bali is actually a very HUGE island and transport is quite costly; especially when there were only the two of us to split the cost. (-_-") One more thing, no driver wanted to take us to Amed because it is quite remote. So we'd changed our route to...

Kuta-> Uluwatu -> Kintamani -> Lovina-> Bedugul ->Tanah Lot-> Ubud

When deciding for this route, we have to choose between the corals and shipwrecks in Amed and the mountains in Kintamani.. As you can guess, the two of us can never ever ever resist mountains. Afterall, we can still snorkel in Lovina :)





KUTA

So our first destination was Kuta. We booked a hotel in central Kuta so it was very convenient to go to Legian. Actually Legian was only in walking distance from our hotel but we didn't know until our last day in Bali!!!!!!!!!




To me, there was nothing much in Kuta and Legian. Heavy traffic, too many tourists, humid and the beaches were typical.. But since Mida don't get to see beautiful beaches in Pahang as much as I do in Sabah, so kasi can la Mida excited sorang2 :p Even the outlets there are the ones that you can find in Malaysia.



ULUWATU

I've never seen anything like Uluwatu before; one of the most scenic place I've ever been to. Me standing on a cliff that rises from the ocean, watching the slow motion waves beneath me, the gentle breeze.. Pergh! Feel habes~


Actually, the main attraction in Uluwatu is Uluwatu temple which is one of the main temple in Bali. The pictures of Uluwatu that you see in my facebook are actually taken within the compound of the temple. According to the local's belief, Uluwatu temple is the home of the guardian of the south gate which evades any evil forces that tries to intrude from the South. There are nine key directional temples in Bali that protect Bali from every corner of the island.





I hate the monkeys, though. There were sooooooo many of them here and they like to grab things. We have to remove our sunglasses, leaving us no shades against the deadly Bali sun and we had to squint our eyes. I also have to hide the beads of my shawl while strolling there. I was so afraid of the monkeys that I said to Mida, "Mida, aku cakap awal2 ni. Kalo monyet tu kaco ko, aku takkan tolong ko.." hahaha




KINTAMANI

It was almost 4 to 5 hours drive from Uluwatu to Kintamani. Along the way you get to see other major attractions of Bali but we didn't stop since it was getting dark. We reached Kintamani at around 8pm and we haven't book any hotel yet there. The one where we stayed for the night was a 3 star hotel which cost us around RM220 per night but it was worth it since our room balcony is so strategic; alluring us to climb Mount Batur that is..




Climbing Mount Batur was not in our plan at all. At first we only wanted to enjoy the view. But since our room is overlooking the remarkable landscape of Mount Batur and the lake, we just can't resist the temptation. What more if our hotel offered affordable packages!!! Mida was scrutinizing the piece of paper where they printed the packages while I was at the counter settling some bills. We went off to our room with the paper in Mida's hand after that. About 30 minutes later Mida blurt out "Jom hiking esok.." and I said, "Oh, aku sbenarnye menunggu ko cakap macam ni.." hahaha




So the next morning, we woke up at 3 am, had our breakfast at the restaurant and head off to the starting point with a van. The route of Mt Batur is quite deceiving you know. Very flat ground in the beginning and slowly it becomes steeper and steeper with lots of loose rocks. The rocks here reminds me of Mt Merapi in Padang :)

Mida and I were gasping for air as we climb. After more than a year of no hiking, we've lost most of our stamina (we haven't lost it all, though :P) So when we reached the top after 3 hours of hiking, there was this very cozy hut (the one behind me in the pic) which is actually where you can have coffee and have some egg and cheese sandwich and also roasted banana. They also have this tiny room where you can warm yourself with fire. O ya, we were the only Asian tourist up there heeee




I think I've climbed around 10 mountains in my 25 years of life and I say Mt Batur has the most beautiful scenery of all!!!! Firstly, when the sun rises everything just shine like gold. I've never seen anything like that. Mida manage to capture a picture of that. Then when the clouds cleared off, the scenery was just so amazing. The lake was shimmering in its full glory. Mount Abang and and Mount Agung stood in front of us in conspicuous majesty. And as you walk around you'll see different sceneries..



Like this black soil wasteland which is actually an aftermath of an eruption. According to our guide, Mt Batur is one of the most active volcano in Indonesia. Usually a volcano stays dormant for decades or maybe even centuries. But Mt. Batur erupted for a few times in the last century and the last one dated in the 1990's. To be honest, I wasn't listening that much when he told us about the mountain. Hehe too busy with my camera :P




So this is the picture of us sliding down the volcano. I've never experience anything like this in other mountains before. It was volcanic sands all around and you just slide down as you descend. This goes for a few hundred meters. Don't forget to bring your sunglasses to protect your eyes. I didn't bring mind so I'd to cover my face with my shawl all the way down. Ahax! saye rase gambar ini sangat co0l sbenarnye hehe




LOVINA

After the mountain, we head for the beach in Lovina. We departed at 1pm fom Kintamani and reached Lovina at around 4.30pm. Lovina is not as congested as the beaches in the south. You can just peacefully stroll around the shops and enjoy your drinks at any cafe by the beach. Most of the restaurants here have live band at night so you can enjoy the music as you pass by.

It was quite hard to find halal food in this area though. It seems like almost all of the restaurants have Babi Guling in their menu. We manage to find one seafood restaurant that doesnt serve that.




Lovina is famous for its Dolphins so that was actually what I was aiming to see here. I actually thought the dolphin-watching spot is near to shore but actually it was waaaaaaay in the middle of the sea. The boat we were in was very small and no life-jacket was provided. Luckily the weather was good that day so the boat ride was not bumpy or else I would be thrown off the boat :P

We did see their fins as they swim on the water surface but only from afar. We should've waited for them to jump but the Americans who were on our boat just can't wait to snorkel. And then came the funny moment where Mida had seasickness while snorkeling!!!!!!! hahaha ok jahat :P




Git Git Waterfall

So after Lovina, we spent a night in Ubud and on the way there we manage to stop at some tourist spots too like this very tall waterfall. Well, don't trust the travel guide that much because from what I read, this waterfall should be far and hard to reach. I told Mida about it but then when we negotiated with the car rental owner, he just agree to take us there and later we found out that this waterfall is very near to the road. There was a very convenient parking space nearby and it was less than 15 minutes walk to the waterfall





Since it is very tall and with boulders below it, this waterfall give out a very immense cloud of mist. As you can see in this pic, I'm all wet! I was actually standing around 10-15m from the waterfall. I also had to constantly wipe the lens of my camera to take pictures.





Bedugul

Then we stopped at Bedugul and visited Ulun Danu temple which is set at the lakeside of Lake Beratan; another main temple in Bali. This temple is the one printed on one of the Indonesian note. The compound is so well taken care of and the climate here is quite cold.





When we were there, there was this ceremony known as Ngaben. This is actually a ceremony for the dead whereby the family members of the dead will pay respects in all main temples in Bali before the creamation of the corpse. It's very unique. All of the Hindus were wearing white and they release ducks into the the lake at the end of the ceremony. We were lucky to have the chance to witness the ritual :)




Tanah Lot

And our last stop before spending the night in Ubud was Tanah Lot. I say, this should be the must-go tourism spot of Bali. If you google about Bali, the image of Tanah Lot should be among the first to appear on your screen. We reach here just before sunset. It was the low tide that time so we could walk towards this unique temple set on a rock. It wont be accessible during the high tide. We didn't dare to enter the temple because the monks seem to be giving blessings to those who enter.

And we were also rushing to catch the Kecak Dance which was held at the other end of Tanah Lot. We went there running you see because it was soooo far from the temple. Kecak Dance is a trance-like dance where the music was from the humming voices of men that form a circle and the dancers or should I say the actors performed their acts inside the circle. The dance tells the story of Ramayana and Sitadewi and Laksamana. Very interesting indeed especially the harmony they produce from the humming.





UBUD

It was already dark when we reach Ubud so we only had little time to spend here since we have to catch our flight. The airport is about 1 1/2 hour drive from Ubud so we have to leave early. O we were also running out of cash when we were in Ubud. Super broke man! Sampai kena hire Ojek instead of a taxi hahaha




Ubud is another peaceful place which is rich with culture. This is where the cultural centre is located and according to a friend we could actually watch many types of dance here. Mida and I were too busy searching for a spa so we didn't get to enjoy the culture that much huhu. With our scarce cash, we shopped for souvenirs at the market.

Ubud is definitely a place I want to visit again because I think I missed to many exciting things here.





And finally this is our picture in Kuta in front of the Hard Rock Cafe. See the guitar at the back.

We did another crazy thing before leaving. We stopped by at one of Bali's famous spa and treat ourselves with a 1.5 hours massage. The massage started at 6.30pm and our flight was 9.20pm. Do your own math. Kira berapa jak masa kami ada untuk rush pi airport hahaha GILA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And the queue for check in was damn long. I thought we were going to miss our flight. Luckily we didn't!!!

I would love to go to Bali again. It's a beautiful island with a lot of beautiful things to see and enjoyable activities to do.

O another thing that I would like to mention here is I'm so impressed by the Hindus' devotion towards their religion. They sure spend a lot of time and a lot of money on their rituals and ceremonies. They perform prayers for almost every single object in their life. And they truly believe in life after death that they are so afraid to do bad things because they believe when they are reincarnated later, they'll be punished for all their wrong-doings.

In Ubud, I dropped a 100 000Rp note and only realize it after a few minutes that the note is no longer in my grip. I later found the note at a nearby street that I just passed. There were quite a number of people passing by there but none of them took the note!!!

Okay that's all about my Bali trip. Currently I'm planning for our next next trip hehe get what I mean? :P

O ya.. Kenapa bajet bule..?? Bule is Mat salleh.. Kami bajet bule sebab every single place and every single activity pon kami jak asian and the rest are bule haha except for in Tanah Lot and Uluwatu la :P

Friday, November 11, 2011

1.11.08-11.11.11~ An honest memoir of a broken heart

1.11.08-11.11.11.. Approximately 1106 days..

11.11.11.. That's the date that I intended to get married yearssssss ago and now that it's finally here so I guess I want to write something rather personal; not too revealing though. Just some insights of what I've been through..

The link there will bring you back to the writing of a heart broken 22 year old. Quite honest. I can feel my cheek blush just now when I read it again.. Embarassed, yes.. But I've no intention to delete that post because sometimes I do look back on older post just to see how I've grown over time..


I remember clearly how hard it was to accept the truth, to try to remain calm, to try to get hold of myself from doing something stupid and what I failed to do was of course holding back my tears. I didn't cry buckets of tears, no.. I cried lakes, rivers or even an ocean of tears. I always have problems with my lacrimal gland, so when I start crying I just couldn't stop...


Accepting the truth was hard but I think dealing with his absence was much harder. No more text messages in the morning, no more phone calls at night, no more birthday wishes, no more ears to listen to my rambles, no more someone to tease and to be teased by.. I remember trying hard not to think that he's happy with someone else. For many weeks after the break up, his name was always in my prayers like it always had for three years before that.

For many months I suffered from depression. I would wake up in the middle of the night and cried; sometimes feeling dejected. How could I not be in that state; I was being lied to for so long. One day, I confided to a bestfriend about my problem. Cross-legged on her bed, cupped my face in my hands and cried.. I confided to her about the sleepless nights, about not being able to forget him despite having all the fun in my single life.. Then she said...

"Don't you think you wake up at those hours for a reason.."

Then we start to chat rather seriously about the things that bothered me. We talked about justifying the reasons why I'd chosen to leave instead of making him choose. We talked about what have been affected since the break up. We talked about what good things that came my way after the break up.. At the end of the conversation she said..

"When it comes to this, seek for His help,G.. Pray.. Pray a lot.. Ask Allah to make you forget him if you have to.."

The hardest part should be maintaining good ties with his family.. Many of my friends are against this idea. They said it's as if I'm still waiting and hoping to get back with him. But I took my mom's advice into account for this part. Initially, I'd intended to maintain the relationship with his family because I thought I was in debt. But then my mom corrected my perspective..

"We maintain good ties with people in our life because they are part of our life.. Like how you accept family and your friends... You are sincere to these people because they are part of your life.. So why should his family be any different? They are already part of your life, right?"

Right... But to this day, facing his family is still the hardest thing for me. There are always holding-back-tears-moment during our meeting. Like sometimes his dad would say "Haziah dah macam anak kami sendiri," and that's when I'll grab the drink served and would quickly gulp it down my throat to fight back tears. During my most recent visit his mom said, "Patutla asyik teringat Haziah je due tige minggu ni, rupenye nak datang," and yes I gulped my drink at that very moment too.


I've made a lot of self-discovery in my journey to 11.11.11. There was a time when I really need someone to replace him because all I felt was emptiness. I had a stupid rebound but I manage to step back before it went any further. I'm pretty sure someone was hurt; but if it was meant to be it should've work out. I really have no intention to play with anybody's heart at that time.

The rebound made me realize that I shouldn't be having any relationship unless I'm ready to accept someone for who he really is; that is not to make comparison with 'him'. During the rebound I was constantly comparing!

Then there was a time when I met someone that I didn't make such comparison. I was very fond of this guy. He was always there to have a chat with, we had the same interest and finally I thought I should confess about my feelings towards him. I can be very ego and cold-hearted when it comes to liking a guy, you see. To gain the courage to pour my feelings was hard. I did istikharah to decide whether or not to confess. Well, I was compelled to do the istikharah because I'm very cautious about my pride as a girl, you know. The answer that I got was positive; Haziah, confess!!!!!!!! And I did!!!!!!!


Then comes a part that I couldn't understand at that time. I confessed, but the answer I got was negative. I found that he already has someone else. I was of course saddened by this. Most probably because it's been quite long since I got feelings for someone. But then, the sadness was temporary. This made me think, maybe there was something hidden behind the answer that I got from my istikharah. The answer made me confess, alright; but not so that I got the guy that I was fond of but to discover more about myself.


Heartbreak is painful; if you've never been through it, you won't know. But to think about it, no matter how nerve-wrecking a heartbreak can be, this is just a very small test if compared to what others are going through; endless opression and porverty, loss of immediate family, compromised rights and dignity and whatnot.

I've changed a lot since 1.11.08. Losing him had given me more time to learn about life and living. Losing him made me realize the things that really matter and the things that genuinely induce happiness to my soul. And most of all, I learn to whom I should impart my altruistic love to.

When it comes to marriage which is regarded as half of our deen; I just don't want to haste. As far as I can see, considering my current state and being, I need to improve a lot (seriously A LOT) on 'the other half' of our deen.. Who wouldn't want a perfect love story.. But I've decided some time ago no more flirting, just grow, wait and see what love story has Allah written for me.

And another thing that I want to highlight is, no matter how hurtful a heartbreak can be, don't be blinded by the pain that you fail to cherish the moment you are in. Seek happiness in everything around you. Don't let one person define who you are and ruin the rest of your life when he's no longer there. And... you are still beautiful even if you don't have a boyfriend~ hahaha


So it has been 1106 days.. And finally the day that I'm 'supposed to get married' has arrived. I used to dread the date for not having anyone by my side yet. But now, I'm all okay. I'm welcoming 11.11.11 with my arms wide open. Afterall, it falls on Friday. My all-time favourite day...

P.S. I'm very lucky to have supportive family and friends. Without them it will take me longer to stand again.. And have faith in what's waiting for you in the future because Allah always gives us back what he'd taken, may it be in the same form or another, and may it be here or in the Hereafter :)


Bile saye tulis dengan panjang dan tak letak gambar di dalamnye.. itulah post yang saye harap orang x mau bace :p tahniah kerane membace sampai habis

Monday, November 7, 2011

Singapore Trip!

I haven't been writing any real post for the past few weeks.. That happens when I'm all stressed out; MENTAL BLOCK. My room was a mess, I can't concentrate on my reading, my muscles were stiff. A clear sign that I needed a break. So, before the vacation I decided not to climb just to relax my muscles. But the waiting made me suffer. I was counting days!!!!!!!! So when the day arrived, I was all ecstatic!!!





So lets start with the people involved in this blissful Singapore vacation. Yup! 4 beautiful ladies; Haziah Salleh, Shifaa Jamal, Hamida Hamid & Raihanah Ahmad!!!!!!!! \(^^)/ How I wish there were more of us because this was planned months ago. But, yeah, priorities changed as we grow~


So.. we to0k a bus from Larkin.. Alighted in MRT Kranji. We have problem finding our hotel.. So that's why Mida is busy studying the map here.. Which was to no avail... heeee




So that night, we met Syahmi and he took us to this place where we ate this Sup Tulang that was red in colour!!! It freaked me out at first but it was delicious!!!!!!!!!!




Yup! These are the fo0o0o0o0d~ The mee mamak was nice, the fried rice was delicious to0!




Syahmi left early because he had other plans. Then we walked to another mamak restaurant, ZamZam to eat this famous Murtabak!!! I was full actually but this mouthwatering Murtabak is just irresistable!! This is a serving for two person. Huge enough for the four of us though :)




The main event is of course HAVIN' FUN IN USS!!!!! \(^^)/
Well, we are crazy about thrill rides.; we used to chase every single fun fair in Kuantan

So this is the pic at the entrance. I thought we were running late but luckily we arrived exactly at 9.30am!! When it comes to havin' fun we can be super duper punctual.



There are different parts in USS; New York, Hollywood, Sci-Fi city, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far far Away and Madagascar. We start off with New York. So as you can see in this pic, we're sitting on a bench and with those doors, steps and signage as our backdrop. Kinda like the ones you can see in 'How I met your Mother'.



Then we went to Sci Fi City and put our whole day in USS at risk by riding the most terrifying ride in USS first. It's a suspended coaster; where your feet is left dangling from the seats. It went up, around and upside down!!! I was afraid at first. It's been a year since I rode something like this. But then when it starts.. WEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! Got my hands in the air and I was screaming on top of my lungs!!!! Well, I've very little fear on rides so I was really enjoying it. But I was a little bit dizzy when we were done. I can't walk straight; everything was still spinning and had to hold on the banister as I walk towards the exit.





Next was The Lost World. Nothing much here because most of the rides are meant for children. We rode the Canopy Flyer. It didn't look scary at all when you look at it from the ground. But then it was surprisingly fast!!




I guess, Far Far Away should be everybody's favourite. This is where we're supposed to meet our true love, right??? Hehe

So what's so special about Far far away?? EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!! We went into the 4D show first and wow I was impressed. I've never been into any 4D before so I really enjoyed it. When Fiona sneezed, water were sprayed on our face. And then there was this part where you can feel as if there were spiders crawling on your feet.

We also went to watch Donkey's show. I thought it was rather boring at first because there was just this screen where Donkey's image was projected on it. But then when the singing part was over, Donkey began to interact with the crowd and that sort of surprised me hehe Donkey was very funny and we were laughing and laughing till the end!






O yeah, we did meet with the current ruler of Far far away. Yes we did!





This is The Water World show; where everybody gets wet!! I also love this very much. One thing for sure is because the stuntmen were super hot :P and the other thing is because this show is so0o0o0 co0l. Before it starts, the stuntmen went around the stadium splashing water and shooting audience with water guns. And I think my jaw was opened throughout the show because I found the stunts were amazing! Like they can jump off into the water from the tower that I think should be around 15m high. No safety at all!



Nothing much in Madagascar. Met King Julien, Alex, Gloria and the Penguins. King Julien is so0o0o0o0o0 cute okay. He's the one who'll figure out poses for the pics. (^^)



This is a picture taken in Ancient Egypt. Oo0o0 I feel guilty about this. We missed the most exciting ride!!!!!!! Well, we were afraid that it would rain in the evening so we decided to go for the outdoor first and save the indoor if it rains. But then at about 5 something, I saw the Enchanted Ride in Far far away were closed. And the SciFi Roller coaster was no longer operating. So I'd assumed that the Egypt ride was closed too. huhu I wanna go again and try the ride!




After USS, we went to meet Syahmi again. It was me who wanted to see Esplanade, Marina bay and the famous Merlion. Kesian the girls kena berjalan jauh..

All and all I really love the trip. I wanna go to Singapore again!!! Next time I'm definitely going to the zo0!!!! And another trip to Sentosa is a must!!!!!!! \(^^)/