Thursday, December 19, 2013

Euro Trip: Paris & Provins

Bismillah...

2013.. I definitely can't say this year as my 'Sorrowful Year'. Well, it might contain one of the biggest test of my entire life from losing Nuyui but 2013 is a year full of new experiences and great adventures as well. I did my first solo travel early this year. And our Eurotrip is a very memorable experience that we just can't wait to do another one! (^^) Fuh fuh fuh! Kumpol duit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here goes...

Well, RA and I departed first on the 29th May. We were seated separately. I happened to sit next to a nice Malay couple who seem to be well traveled, very warm and affable. I even did some medication counseling during flight (walaupon suda vow before flight "Aku x mau cakap pasal kerja langsung!")..

We arrived in Paris very early in the morning. Our first encounter of  super good looking human being was the extremely-charming-sparkling-smile-piercing-blue-eyes immigration officer. He pretended to be very serious at first because I didn't respond when he called me to the counter where RA already stood. He wanted to check both our passports since we came together. I was slightly nervous because his voice tone was as if I just did something against some French Law. Then when he said, "No worries ladies. Enjoy your stay." and smiled, I  spontaneously blurted "Kacak gileeeeeeee~" urgh caer~



We first head for our hostel in Republique. Well, there were two things that surprised me most when we left the airport that I didn't expect of Paris. Number one, is the number of graffiti. They were everywhere! On the walls, on the road divider, on the buses and trains.. EVERYWHERE!

Number two, is the number of people who greeted us with Salam.. The guy at the subway ticket counter asked us, 
"Are you Muslim?" 
"Yes, we are..."
"Asslamualaikum.."
"Walaikumussalam.."

RA and I looked at each other, impressed... "Ikhlas sungguh salam itu.. Kalau kat Malaysia.. Salu 'Assalamualaikum kak loooong~'"

The guy that was wiping the automated gate warned us of pick pockets. He had poor English that we misunderstood at first.

"I watch you sister pick pocket.. Assalamualaikum"

We think, what he was trying to say was actually "Watch out for pick pocket" 

And there was this guy that look somewhat like Dean Cain greeted as we exited the subway station

"Indonesian??"
"No, Malaysian..
"Assalamualaikum.."

The hostel was very hard to locate at first because there was a construction work that blocked the view of the hostel. We went around and around with our haversack for almost one hour. And actually the hostel was only 3 minutes walk from the station. One thing that we don't understand was there was always a huge crowd standing by the construction work every time we passed. The people just stood there, with some snacks and polystyrene cups, watching the workers do their work. "Ape yang dorang tengok ni sebenarnye..??"



Well, on the first day, we decided to go for Disneyland! \(^^)/ Okay~ Cliche ya.. But I was excited anyway. It's like impian riang ria Disney zaman 90an dulu... The roller coasters were super fun and my favourite would be that tower of terror thingy. It's an elevator that drops once it reaches the top floor.. Memang sangat fun lah.. It was rainy at first but was sunny in the evening so the parade was on!


Yeah! Simba!!! \(^^)/ We were not the only adults who were excited.. Most of the adults were more excited than the kids, actually. I guess because most of the Disney movies were released long time ago so I guess everybody just can't believe how all the characters came to live like that hahaha

MR arrived on the 31st and we head straight to Provins that morning. Provins is actually a small town that has gained the UNESCO World Heritage status.


Ahax! siapakah  mereka ini? Pacik tu siap senyum lagi pandang camera haha The pacik is the conductor and the rest are the macho macho police!! Well, we sat opposite to a sleeping woman who I presumed is a homeless. I think she was high that she didn't respond when one of the police nudge her to wake her up. Then came a huge police who then slapped her face hard! It was such a scene.

We felt awkward sitting there and one of the police even asked us if the woman was with us. But we just watch them interrogate the woman in French and they got her off the train after that because she didn't have a ticket. I think we stopped for about 20 minutes because of that woman haha but it was an experience to see how strict the police in a foreign country can be.. Tapi dorang serius kacak!


A small river runs through the small town.. such a peaceful place...



If you ever watch Disney Beauty and the Beast, I think this building looks a lot like the ones in that cartoon :p


KEDAI BURGER TERSEDAP DI DUNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Seriously burger dia sangat sedap~ sangat sangat sangat sangat sedap.. *Enough Haziah!*

O ya, we had a very funny experience at this restaurant. The owner didn't speak a word of English and hand signals was not enough to make him understand. Memang kami sampai melentok-lentok dan melenggok lenggok kan badan untuk buat dia faham apa yang kami mau. There was an old man who could speak both English and French who was having a meal on a table near the counter. He was laughing so hard watching us trying to communicate with the owner that he couldn't help us out.Naseb baek la burger kau sedap! 



One of the main attraction in Provins but it was already closed when we got there haha Looks very creepy from the outside with lots of crows gliding above the tower. 

And for the rest of the trip, of course, we went to all the attractions that everybody else went in Paris like...


The Lourve; I was really surprised to see how big the place is. Everybody always focus on that Pyramid in the middle of the plaza. But we were more attracted to the delicate sculpts and statues.. They were so detailed and each of them were different..

"Aish.. Orang dulu2 ni memang banyak  mase eyh nak wat sume nih..."


This place is incredibly huge I just can't imagine how many displays they have inside.. Definitely going there again to see the exhibitions.. InshaAllah



I was also surprised at how colossal the Notre Dame really is.. I have to really tilt my head up to get the best view of the top. Memang cantik!


I prefer the night  view of Eiffel. I think, it looks pretty plain during the day. And guess what, a teenage girl tried to pick pocket me in Eiffel! Ces! Mentang-mentangla aku kicik!
She was asking me to sign on some papers saying it was some kind of survey that she is doing. My friends who were walking behind me saw her dug her hand into my pockets.. POCKETSSSSS.. She did it very fast. MR said the girl dug into the pocket on my jacket and pants.

MR: Gg, budak tu selok poket Gg

Ton MR sangat relax sebab she knew there was nothing in those pockets. She asked "dalam poket gg ade ape?" when we arrived in Eiffel.. Well, I actually got 10 Euros inside my pants pocket but I'd pushed it really deep into the pocket. The girl failed to pull it out. Tapi suda di luar2 ah~ Adidih! And she actually smacked my back hard when she didn't  get anything...


Percubaan copet RA haha

Ok la.. sudah lah.. Paris ni macam semua orang pernah pergi jak~ 

Next! Chamonix.... To be continued~


Sedang curi dengar English cycling tour di belakang :p 
Tudung x beriron spanjang Eurotrip~

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dimulakan dengan Bismillah....

Bismillah...

Since June I've been pooling my blog with all the melancholy posts like never before.. I guess, Nurul's passing really had it's toll on me.. Truth be told, a part of me died the day she died in that crash. I always have a hard time coping with loss (even if my cat dies) and losing someone who is so close to my heart was like a massive blow to my self esteem.

To this day, I can never be left alone or tears will start to fall. It's very easy for my thoughts to be drifted to things about her. Sometimes her smiling face would just popped out or I can hear her voice calling "Kak Jiji". I guess, all of this occur because I honestly feared if one day I don't remember how she looks like anymore or how her voice sounds like.. Losing her made me vulnerable.. Extremely vulnerable, to be exact..

I had a small misunderstanding with a good friend. And it upsets me most when this small argument had led to indifference and coldness by people who I think shouldn't be involved at all. I have kept it to myself because I thought it was solely between us and no one should take sides.. But when I was cast out, how can things be the same again. Trust is not built in a day... Both of us were in a vulnerable state; very much overwhelmed by our own problems.. But I have one thing to say, you got what you wanted and left me losing the people I'm close to and whom I cared... You just added my loss... I hope that makes you happy...

People say, keeping yourself busy will help you forget. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for me. As I mentioned in one of my post, I was given a huge responsibility a week after Nurul's passing which I'd thought of letting go but I have no choice but to accept it. It kept me occupied during the day and I even went back late in most days. But the bad side of it, I would be very tired at night and would spend most of my time on my bed, relaxing... And crying at the same time (^^") But I guess, this is how it should be.. This is the path that Allah wants me to walk.. I just have to keep on telling myself that.. Because no matter how hard it is, I'm learning a lot of things in daily basis..

And one person that I want to apologize to is.. He-who-doesn't know... He proved himself a good man.. But I have to learn to let go.. When there are sweet memories, things will be even painful for me.. Of all the burden I have at hand, I think he should be the easiest to let go.. I have no regrets as long as nothing is left unsaid.. But this won't be easy and it will take time... May he be at ease and be shaded by Allah's mercy and blessings... There must be hikmah from all this... InshaAllah... I'm very sorry if this is not the right time... Bukan merajuk tau... And when I say I'm tired, I'm not tired of you, I'm tired with my own feeling that I can't fathom....

Nurul was far from me when she left us.. That somehow have made me desperate wanting to see her again.. How can I not be, we still sleep side by side on the last night we spent together.. I constantly prayed to Allah to let me see her and touch her again even if it is only in my dreams. That wish was granted 3 times; but I was only looking at her from afar and she was doing something like reading a book or having a meal... But I was content... Nurul is the only person who don't want me to get married early.. Every time the topic was raised by my mom or Pijah, she would feigned a long face and said "No0o0o0o0!!".. I miss that too....

My desperation led me to searching ways to go to Mecca for umrah although I know my effort will be futile because this is not the first time I tried.. I went from one umrah advertisement to another, from one booth to another in matta fair to find an agency that could actually help me get a visa... But it was to no avail.. I can't get a visa unless Babah is going with me (which I think not soon because he already went.. twice if not thrice.) or I go with my hurm.. husband.. Which I find very sad.. Maybe it's just not time yet.... Although I feel this sadness is churning every bit of me from within, I just have to hold on.. Keep steadfast to my normal daily prayers and find solace.. Allah is close, no matter where I am...

I promised myself to start anew.. Maybe I can't stop crying just yet, but I will try to lessen it hehe I think, Nurul will be just as sad if she sees me looking miserable... I'm going to slowly put things back in place... And move on.. Hurm.. And hope I could eventually forget he-who-doesn't-know.. Eh he-who-knows dah kot hahaha Saye tak malu nak ngaku, I miss him too... K bai!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Healing...

Tonight is my last night in Tasmania... Literally surrounded by darkness because the rest have retired earlier because we have to catch an early flight tomorrow..

Since we returned from Europe in mid June, life have gotten more hectic than ever.. I was very much battered by the reality of losing Nuyui... Pressure in work place... Losing friends over the smallest matter... Coping with my stiff left knee which seem to recover very slowly.. Yes, I occupied my time with lots of activities to keep tears from falling but life has been very very very disorganized...

It's good that we have this trip planned earlier.. I really needed this getaway.. I really need to have this time where I could just be away from everything familiar and the routine... Away from whatsapp, even.. I dont only find the connection to Allah on the prayer mat, no.. I also feel very close to Him when I am outdoor, surrounded by nature.. Standing on top of a mointain, realizing His Greatness from looking all the small things that lie beneath me which are in His control.... Walking inside a cave realizing what treasures are kept hidden... MashaAllah...

We have 5 more days.. I hope everything will go well, as planned.. Ameen

This is how I start anew... From seeing the beauty His creations... Because this makes me realize, I am part of the universe who has a role to play.. Who is created to keep the world in balance so as other creatures... No matter how hard life gets, this is how it should be... Because at the end of it all, I wont be the same person anymore.. I will be the person I should be...

Be strong, Haziah... And I must always remember there are people with greater tests than me....

I'm not weak... I just need time to heal and be strong again.. Losing Nurul is too painful.... But I'm glad I'd learnt letting someone else go too.... :)

Semoga di penghujung cerita ini, kita semua akhirnya bahagia..InshaAllah..

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Travel mode switched on!

No matter how much I care for you.... One thing that I should care more of is my heart...

No matter how bad I want to be there for you... I won't, if you don't need me to...

They told me this is the right time... But I am not an opportunist...

My care for you and my care for that other person should no be mixed... If they are, aku takut ikhlas itu hilang...

I'll be leaving on a jet plane for a long time.. I hope this is the right time to move on even though the place I'm going will remind of you too...

I'm letting you go.... so, please don't come back~ I'm tired....

Bismillah.... pengembaraan bermula dalam tempoh 72 jam!!!!!!!!!!! (^^)/

Monday, November 4, 2013

..... NUMB .....

Sesungguhnya aku telah memalukan diri ku sendiri dengan membiarkan post jiwang itu bertahan di atas untuk sekian lama...

I'd started writing about my Eurotrip but I've been too busy with work to have time to finish any of them... And we are about to embark on another adventure in 5 days. This time back to the South.. I'm very excited but then something happened that I'm quite emotionally affected right now...

"If only I could tell you that it breaks my heart..."

This has nothing to do with 'cintaku yang bertepok sebelah tangan'.. I could always cope with that...

What breaks me is when I sensed something is not right.. Believed my instinct, tried to reach out and failed.. And it breaks me when what I feared turned into reality.. And even worse than what I'd imagined.. I know I tried.. But still it breaks me...

What breaks me is when I heard that croaked voice at the end of the line.. Saying "Aku tak ok.." and I can't do as much as I wanted to because I am nobody.. And now the voice echoes in my head along with the image of a cheerful familiar face.. They just don't match.. Thus it breaks me...

When you are nobody, there is nothing much you can do.. No matter how much you actually care.. You don't feel like you're in a position that could give daily phone calls because you know in the end you wouldn't know what to say because it breaks your heart to hear that solemn voice...

Thus.. I can only offer my sincere prayers for both of them... And help with what I could behind this desk.. Biarlah rahsia....


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Journey to the One...

Ini post jiwang.... Bismillah....

He-who-doesn't-know... Seated on the waiting bench; my half-opened eyes were fixed on the analog clock hanging on the wall. There were a few minutes left before I could leave and recoup my slumber. The tapping sound of my feet echoed in the empty hall and I hummed softly to keep myself awake that morning. That was when a man, a doctor, in his white coat and masked face walked from the corner of the corridor with papers in his hands. I could barely recognize his face under those surgical mask until our gaze met. It was him.. He-who-doesn't-know....

I swear my heart skipped a beat before it started to beat in an incredibly fast pace that I later found myself difficult to breath. He stopped in front of me;

"Ape kau buat kat sini?"
"O.. Kerja semalam.. Da nak balik da.. Babye.."
"Laaaa.. Ko ke yang keje semalam.."
"Hurm.. Aah.. Da nak balik da pon.. Hehe See you..."
"Okay.."

He left... And after a few second, as I was trying to inhale deeply to calm my heart beat, he came back...

"Eh... Ko kat mane skang? Da balik gi sini eh? Da tak dekat sana eh?"
"Hurm.. Dah balik sini.. Dekat hillside.. Kau di mana?"
"Kat Yellow.. Eh Green.. Eh Red!"

He was still as cute as I always remember though 8 months have passed since we last met.. A lot must have happened to him.. He might have forgotten me.. While I had to put some effort to forget him.. But I was the one who chose to keep the distance.. And when I heard a rumour that he is getting married, I was surprised at how sad I was with that fact.

******

After I wrote about him for the first time, we actually did keep in touch though he was posted in a different setting for more than half a year. Though not as frequent as everyday or every week but we did keep up with each other and did meet in public. But I've kept it secret from friends in KK and only shared my excitement with close friends elsewhere. I was, as usual, afraid of gossips especially of things that are untrue and uncertain.

We have never crossed the friend zone; we were being very casual in our conversations that were mainly about our hobbies, common interests and past experiences. Even so, I found my feelings for him grew as months passed. It gorged inside my heart that I can start to feel the pain. I confided to my friends that I don't understand this strong feeling that I have for him from our very brief friendship. My friends told me "Confess if you have to.." But how could I when I don't even understand of my own feeling.

Despite my vocal declaration about my devotion to singledom, I do aspire to have someone to love and care for me and have my own kids. Who doesn't? But then currently finding a life partner is not a priority. Though I am suffocated with 'questions' that I have to face over and over again, they never really affect me or drive me to buckle up and start the search. And that was why I was not keen of this confession idea. Rejection was not the only thing that I was worried about. Lets say, if he responds positively, what would happen next?

Series of courtship? The beginning of premarital love story? Matrimony?? Truth be told; I don't have the guts!!!!!!!!!!!!

******

Things have been hard at work for me. One of the boss got transferred back to his hometown while one went for maternity leave. It was arranged so that I could manage the department from my own setting. But I later found it was hard to do so since most of my decisions, for the first few days, were based on what was relayed to me by intermediaries rather than information that came directly to me. So I decided to move to my boss' office while she is away. Surprisingly, when I was deciding whether or not to move, I actually took the 'possibility of meeting he-who-doesn't-know' into consideration.

It is really mentally distressing when you have a strong feeling that you don't understand for someone and you cannot let it out because you are not sure yourself. It is even more agonizing when you heard that he is getting married soon. So meeting him is the last thing that I want to happen while I'm in my boss' office. At first I thought, he is avoidable.. He'll be in different zones in different days and his working hours are not the same as mine. But then, fate has it that I bumped into him almost everyday!

1. I was rushing to punch in for the morning shift on a Sunday morning. There were no patients at the waiting area and everything seems so calm. And then there he was, with his sleepy face and some blood samples in his hand. I greeted him "Morning!!!" with the perkiest voice that I could project, essentially covering my adrenaline rush. He smiled and replied "Selamat Pagi...". And I thought "Kalau suda suka, muka buruk begitu pun jadi comel.."

2. We exchanged a few messages that morning; I was telling him that I can't give him back his change because I've given all my money to a lady who is actually a con. He saw me with that lady when he was on his way to A&E and he'd thought I was talking to a friend. I was really sad being deceived like that because all I wanted to do was help. So I walked out of the office at 4 pm to go for my Asar prayer. I trudged with a long face. I purposely picked that time because I know his shift ended at 3 pm that day. But voila! there he was at the punch card area.

"Oit! Janganla sedey.. Xpe.. 200 je.."
"Xdela banyak macam tu.. Tapi sedeylaaa..."
"100 je..."
Malas  nak jawab.. Dalam hati "Tolong jangan senyum... Ujian tau..."

3. It was my best friend's reception that night. I know he was coming because he asked me that morning during another reception held at my best friend's house.

"Malam ni kau ade kan?"
"Mestila ade. Orang penting ok.. Eh?? Dia jemput kau malam ni!!??" I exclaimed; unable to control my shock because the dinner reception is meant for family and close friends only. I don't know they are close.
"Ye la.. Orang penting ok.."
(^^") dalam hati "Ujian betol la..."

I arrived later than scheduled and decided to head straight to the table instead of joining the rest at the newly-wed's suite. I was seated at table 25 and was chatting with friends in whatsapp when suddenly a phone call came in. It was D's number but at the end of the line was the frantic voice of the bridegroom.

"Haziah, sorry betol Haziah. You are actually at table 42..  Yang table ko sekarang reserve untuk kawan aku dari semenanjung... bla bla bla.."
"K.. Kalo ko tipu aku, aku akan bunuh kau, dan cincang cincang daging kau sampai hancur..."

I left my seat and went to search for table no. 42. I saw table no. 38 next to the door. So, I peeked outside and saw table no. 39.I went out to continue my search. At that time, I was actually fighting back tears because I thought K have really forgotten about me and placed me outside the hall. And then, I found out there were only 41 tables. Table no. 42 doesn't exist!

I was so mad at K and went back in only to find that my seat have been taken. I stood at one corner to search for a table with people I know and that was how I end up sitting next to he-who-doesn't know (although there is actually an empty seat between us but I later moved to that empty seat). And then at one time, the song 'Selalu Miliku' was played. I swear, I almost cried... (-_-") It felt like I was in some movie scene.. Me sitting next to that one and only person that I like so much after so many years, and he doesn't know.. And the lyrics just match! It was torturous...

******

I've hoped to forget him by creating the distance between us. I tried to avoid from meeting him for the past 8 months and yes I succeed. But what I failed to do is erase the feelings. It never went away, not even a day and now knowing that he is ultimately not going to be mine got me thinking of the beauty of Allah's plan....

I was sitting alone at one corner with an opened book on the table. But my eyes were fixed at a couple seated a few meters away from me. There were too carried away with each other that they didn't notice that I was actually staring. Their fingers interlocked, staring pensively at each other and perhaps whispering words of love to each other. I was not jealous nor I was judging them. My thoughts drifted as I watch these love birds.. I asked myself, "If I were to have a lover, will my love for Allah be strong enough to enable me to avoid all those things that He forbids?"

In all those months of silence, I tried to make my intention straight. When I chose to leave my previous relationship, I embarked on a journey of self discovery and have very much tried to strengthen my ties with the Creator. From submission to Him, I finally found peace and tranquility. It was not an easy journey especially to carry out 'Istaqamah' which means standing firm on the straight path. There were times when I drift away in negligence but Allah have blessed me with such a loving family and friends that keep on reminding me and maneuvered me back on track. Alhamdulillah...

I remember very well that very day when he first smiled at me. I could also clearly recall, almost like watching an image projected on a big screen, of his smile that evening at the surau. That was the day when I actually... hurm.. fell for him.. For me to fall for someone, is particularly a rare occasion. I rarely respond to messages from courting guys because to me it is such a waste of time and energy and you won't know whether he is saying the same lines to all women in the world. I was not playing hard to get but what I did was something I call self-regulation. I like him very much that I don't want us to go into delusive flirtations that will end into nothing. If you ask me again, am I still sad? Yes, slightly but getting better by now.. I don't know why Allah planted such fondness towards him in my heart but what I'm sure of is He wants me to learn something... Mungkin lelaki kuat makan itu bukan untuk aku.....

Allah knows what's best for His servants.. No matter how challenging 2013 is, I have to keep on moving forward... I know, by the end of all this turmoil, I'll be a better person, InshaAllah.... Perhaps, Allah wants me to be patient and have another year filled with thrilling adventures...

Monday, September 2, 2013

1st Syawal without Nurul Maizura Maidan Dali...

Asslamualaikum.. :)

It's been two months since she left us and I still feel like writing about her... I know in years to come, I'll read this again..

I purposely wrote her full name in the title with the intention to make this post to appear first in the search engine when I type her name; to override the news captioned '3 pelajar IPTA maut dalam kemalangan' that usually appeared. How I wish this blog is famous enough to make such impact. But that is another wishful thinking of mine. I usually freak out if anybody tells  me that he or she read my blog because this blog can be at times, very personal.

I gathered the strength to read the news; the version in which the incident was given in chronological details. I even watched the video that showed her lifeless body lying on the asphalt.. Her hands clasped on her navel, her face was covered by her red scarf and some of her hair was exposed.... To my surprise, I didn't cry when I saw that.. I scrolled down to see the comments too and indeed some of the comments broke my heart..


I can sense the sarcasm and cynical in their platitudes. It hurt to see these people, these strangers throwing judgement to the innocent kids who have passed from just reading an article of few paragraphs. I was angry for a moment. I was thinking,

"Why are you guys so mean?"

"How would you feel if you are in my shoes, a loved one looking at this bunch of crap and baseless apprehensions?"

"Aren't we suppose to think of how we would die from seeing the accident rather than poking our nose on a business that we have no knowledge of, trying to figure out what happened before the accident?"

I was immersed in a myriad of hateful thoughts for a moment. I felt like yelling at those insensitive people. I refrained myself from adding any comment on the web and took a deep breath to calm down. I tried to shoo away the whispers of syaitan that might have been laughing at me at that time who flushed in anger..
"Forgive these people, Haziah.... They are ordinary human being just like you. Who make mistakes and sometimes utter hurtful words... They don't know who Nurul is and how she was when she was alive...."


السلام عليكم يا اهل الديار من الموءمنين و المسلمين و إن 

إنشا الله تعالى بكم لا حقون نسأل الله لنا ولكم العافية

"Peace be upon you all, O inhabitants of the dwellings, amongst the believers and the Muslims. Indeed we are, Allah willing, soon to follow, we ask Allah for well being for us and for you"

I was revising the doa with dear mommy when I suddenly recalled the conversation that Nurul and I had during the 5th day of Eidul Fitr last year. We'd spent the 1st Eid in KK and was only back in Labuan on the evening of the fourth. We went to visit the grave on the morning of the 5th. We were the only family around and we spent quite some time there clearing dried leaves and the bottles that people had left behind. 

"Nurul tau ka sebenarnya maksud salam tu yang kita ni akan menyusul dorang ni... Sebab tu main reason kita lawat bukan mengingat dorang yang suda pergi.. Tapi mengingatkan diri kita yang masih hidup..."

I remember she responded in silence; perhaps she drifted away in her own thoughts for it was a very still morning at the grave....

Well, I understood the doa with this very little Arabic knowledge of mine but I never really felt it in my heart until I walked into the graveyard 1st Syawal this year.. I stepped into the graveyard looking at that new grave that loomed in front of me as I moved forward.. The only new grave in our family's compound.. The soil is still red and fresh, the grave was not yet cemented and it was marked by a temporary tombstone made of wood wrapped in white clothe. We were not the first to come.. There were already flower petals on the soil..



I froze for a moment as I looked at Nurul's grave for the first time. Her death never seem so real until that day. She was not with us and I was staring at her new abode.. And less than 365 days ago I'd reminded her that one day we will be 'among them'...

I could not hold back my tears and cried in silence. Then I realized that only the kids were not crying and they have not recited Al Fatihah. Nurul and I usually recite Al Fatihah aloud so the kids could follow.. So with a trembling voice I started to recite Al Fatihah followed by the soft voices of the little ones...

We recited Yassin in charity to the family members that have passed away. Mommy was slower than the rest of us that she was still in the middle of the surah when the rest of us have finished. I sat beside her, listened to her stuttering recitation and corrected some of the minor mistakes that I managed to detect. It reminded me that Nurul have played her role in teaching my mom in reading the Quran too. She was a more persistent teacher than I was.. A soft but stern teacher; that's how mommy always describe her..

A friend of Nurul was with us on the first day of raya. I saw tears keep falling down her cheeks. So I asked Aunty how was the friendship of the two.. I was surprised to know that, Nurul, during her life have helped this girl a lot since she was from a family of 11 siblings, raised by a single mother. Nurul sometimes invited her to join us whenever we went for visit at the hostel. Nurul even shared her books with this girl. MashaAllah...

That afternoon, I browsed through the old albums and looked at the pictures of when we were little. She was either sitting on my lap or carried in my hands... We were always so close... Until the last day we hugged each other and did our signature handshake... We were always so close....



She is still the first person that crossed my mind when I opened my eyes in the morning "Alhamdulillah... Here I am still alive and she is no longer with us" tears would pool in my eyes.

At first I thought how fragile I am to have not stop crying until today. The frequency reduced, tough, but I still cry when I see something that remind me of her and this is very hard because these things revolve around me in daily basis. There are clothes and scarves of mine that she used to wear and that we bought together. There are parts of the fence at her house that she had painted a week before she left for UPM and even the design of their house's new gate was picked by her.. My mom still choked in the mention of Nurul's name then her voice would turn hoarse before tears fall... We have accepted her passing but it is the longing.. Our longing to see her again, to hold her in our arms and hear her voice and hearty laughter... That is the hardest part...

Her last message


But day by day, we start to learn the beauty of Allah's plan.. How the loss have drawn us nearer to Him more than before. It strengthen our bond as a family. Well, we are always close with the frequent meals and activities together but this new bond is somewhat more meaningful because we are there for each other to keep all of us strong..

I, for a change, become a less fierce aunt. I'm actually the strictest in the family and who usually won't back off when a decision is made. Nurul was the softer and the more tolerant. Nurul used to be the savior of the kids from my wrath and rage. Now that she is no longer around, I think I should loosen up a little bit and use a different approach to handle their monkey business.

Mom and I spent more time in my uncle's house when I'm back for the weekend. When Nurul was around, we used to spend at least one night there. Nothing special, just a simple dinner together or watch a movie together or Nurul and I would be inside the room chatting. But now a new thing is added to the normal routine; congregational prayer. And after that we now have this short session where we would discuss the translation of a surah, how and why it was revealed and Ucu would share some new tajwid knowledge that he learnt from his weekend tajwid classes. I find it soothing to be around them, draped in our silky prayer clothes and sharing knowledge. I feel really close to the Divine with the love of my family around me. Sometimes I feel like Nurul is there with us; watching, smiling, happy that her passing have led to something so fruitful.

The calls I made on the day I left for Europe.. 


When I sit alone, memories of my last moments with her would rush in. I realize there were times that I sensed that there was something not quite right about her. I remember how she frequently emphasized to me that she don't know why she had chosen UPM despite hoping to go to UIA or study abroad. She said, it felt right but at the same time it scares her.. "Takut sangat kak jiji.." She said it during dinner.. She said it while we were packing her stuffs.. She said it before we go to sleep.. She said in my car while we were on our way to the airport.. She said it again while we were waiting for her family.. And before she entered the departure hall she said she hoped I could make it for her registration...

I remember when she said "Sara.. Kalau kakak tiada nanti Sara tak bole nakal macam ni tau.." when sara was jumping on the table. Fazed, I stared at them in bewilderment to what I've just heard. But then I went back to what I was doing and waived all the bad thoughts away.

And that last picture we took together.. She was embracing me so tight that I actually jumped and looked at her hand pressing on my waist. Hold it for a moment before I made that peace sign (^^)v And to this day, the image of her hand on my waist is actually among the most vivid memory in my mind....

I have felt it.. I knew something bad was going to happen.. I carried a very heavy load in my heart for weeks and I was sad whenever I think of Nurul. I even cried when I was browsing through her pictures in Instagram before I went to sleep in Brussels. Despite all the signs and all the weird feelings, I didn't figured it out.. Because the day we return to Allah will always be His secret, only known to Him :)

I miss her very much and this is a fact that I won't deny.. I don't want to live in pretense that I'm all strong and sturdy.. That her absence didn't stir me.. I'm going to cry for as long as I want and as much as I want because these tears are not tears of weakness but these are the tears of longing. In my longing I find strength.. Every time I'm hurt, I'm just grateful to be alive.. When I'm pushed away, I feel Allah is near and and He will let the right people to come nearer too. When I'm tired from relentless work, I see the image of a petite girl cycling to work under the scorching sun.. And the best thing about this longing.. I could send her a simple gift of a short prayer when she crosses my mind...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Austria: Salzburg (Part 2)

Assalamualaikum :)

I'm actually on a night shift right now and lucky me, the mild storm that passed this evening seem to have caused lesser patients coming for treatment at this hour... I was doing some research for our coming trip when I suddenly feel like writing the sequel of my own solo adventure..


So.. There I was.. Basked in fleeting luxury in a 4 star hotel in Old Town Salzburg. It was the most comfortable night  throughout my 1 week stay in Central Europe. I woke up early for breakfast; in fact I was the first guest to appear in the breakfast hall. How I wish I could get my hands on those tasty looking meat. I made myself some toast with butter and even packed some croissant for lunch. I checked out early, left my backpack at the counter and paced towards fortress to catch the first funicular. It was a cold winter morning but the air was still so it was still bearable.


I was surprised to see the temperature was as low as 2 C that morning. And I was not the only one who came 10 minutes before the station was opened. There were groups of Asians; Koreans and Indians already forming a line in front of the automated gate. O ya, I forgot to mention that I purchased a Salzburg card at the tourist info centre at the train station. You can either buy a card that's valid 24, 48 or 72 hours and it includes free public transportation, free admissions and price reductions at selected outlets and activities. The card also includes the funicular ride to the fortress :)


The funicular ride was a short one; I say less than 10 minutes, perhaps. So, what does the fortress has to offer?



It has several lookouts where you can see panoramic view of Salzburg. The above is my favourite owing to its position as being the highest among all the lookouts. The wall is set at a convenient height for safe picture taking.


Breathtaking.. Luckily it was not windy that morning so I could enjoy the bird's eye view of the city for as long as I like.. (^^)


The interior of the fortress were divided into many sections. There are museums; I went into one that tells the long history of the fortress and the puppet museum. The history is like extremely long; dated back from somewhere in the 11th century.. So I don't remember most of it. Heee



A porcelain model of the fortress


The Puppet Museum

Old Town Salzburg


I went to eat at the Indian Restaurant again before leaving the Old Town. I ordered Chicken Briyani and the friendly waiter approached me again as I wait for my order..

"Why are you alone? Where are your parents, darling?"
"My parents?" *Puzzled*
"Yes.. Your Parents.."
"I'm traveling alone. My parents are back home in Malaysia" I chortled

I find this funny because he must have thought "What is this little being doing wandering about alone far away from her homeland"
I immediately resolved to change my winter coat to a more mature colour in my next trip! And I did!! 



I decided to go to the station by foot so that I could see how the modern side of Salzburg look like.. 


Although it was winter and nothing much too see in any gardens, I still feel the urge to have a look at the Mirabel gardens.  



The best part of my visit to Austria is actually the journey back to Czech Republic. The sun was setting and I was captivated by the landscape that spread before me when I saw a moving brown object among the bronze colour of dried grass. I thought I saw a deer or maybe it was just my imagination . And then not long after that I saw a herd of deer grazing and  rabbits scampering to safety frightened by the sound of the train.. And think I saw them for like 5 times along the journey. Tapi tula.. Bila sorang2 terpaksa contain excitement heeee :p


Midway, there was an announcement made through the train speaker which was in Czech. Then, a conductor entered the cabin and spoke to the girls seated in front of me.  "These girl will help you" said the conductor and he left. I was puzzled. 

GG: Excuse me. What did he say?? What happen??
Girls: There is some accident and we have to stop at another station and take a bus from there to another station to change train. 
GG: Oo I see. Oh my, how lucky I am to have you girls who speak English with me

Then come another girl through the door

"Hi.. hello.. Does any of you speak English"
"Yes"
"O my gosh!!! I'm like so lucky. The conductor was like saying something to me and I was like what??? and nobody in my coach speaks English..."

Dan bermula lah perkenalan kami... 2 Czech-an sisters, 1 Malaysian and 1 American.. They were surprised to know that I was more than 5 years older than they are. Paling nda bole blah respon dorang bila tau career aku... (^^")

Czech-an girls

"So, you still studying?"
"Nope. I'm working"
"So what do you do..?"
"I'm a Pharmacist"
"You must have done a lot of  schooling, didn't you?"
"Eheh.. Yeah.. I used to.."

American girl

"So what did you study in University"
"I studied Pharmacy"
"O my gosh!!! That must be hard.. You must have spent lotsa time studyin'"

Statement dorang wat aku rasa nerd sangat~ Padahal.. I'm an ordinary girl who plays volleyball and futsal and rock climb~ 

Sayang nya xda gambar bersama..

Babye Salzburg (^^)/


And don't be confused~ 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Austria: Salzburg

Assalamualaikum..

How am I doing..?? Hurm.. Today is exactly 40 days since Nuyui passed away.. I miss her so bad.. Even the songs that we used to talk about can still bring me to tears, like Imagine Dragons' 'Radioacitve'.. But I'm doing fine.. Moving on like I'm supposed to.. 'Life must go on' we say... So I decided to continue sharing my solo travel experience.. Because I'm actually also excited to share about my Eurotrip so I guess I better finish  writing about this trip quickly.. So here goes~


Well.. as I said in my Kutna Hora post, I was LITERALLY dragging my left foot as I walk to the hostel. I could feel the friction in my joint and there was a clicking sound every time my leg bent. At the hostel, I couldn't even afford to walk to the washroom. The pain was debilitating; for a moment I thought my vacation is going to be ruined.... I took two Paracetamol that night; the only pain killer that I got. Bijak Pharmacist satu nih! (^^")

I spent the whole night, immobilized, on my bed with my left foot straightened. I have no plans for the next day and I was not even sure whether I can go for more sightseeing with the stiffened left foot of mine.Then I recalled my conversation with Z when she said that I could go to Austria from Czech by train. So.. Voila!!!! Googled the train details and schedule; 6 hours journey. I thought, "Ahax! Just enough time for you to recover, kaki!" So it was decided that I shall go to Austria!!!!!!!! With my limited amount of Euros,to be precise~ Heeeee...




Outwardly, Czech doesn't look that affluent to me but I really think they are an efficient country as compared to 3 other Europe countries that shall not be named here that I went to recently. The train was punctual, and I need  not be confused by the system or anything because everything was also available in English at the station. So there I was, the limp traveler heading for Austria....



Czech Republic's train

I know very little of Austria. It wasn't even in the list of Europe countries that I want to visit so my knowledge about the country is almost near zero.. As the train move south, the scenery from the city turns into small towns and then remote villages in hilly areas. The houses were smaller in the remote area and there were lesser snow too. Then suddenly we arrived in an area where the design of the houses were obviously different from the ones in Czech. The houses were huge, some were made of varnished wood, some were almost entirely glass and the car parked on the pavement were luxurious cars. Bingung sekejap.. "Astaga! Sangat kaya ka pula Austria ni??" (^^")

Austria's train


I had to change train in Linz. The transit time was short, only for 8 minutes. Dan mau bilang betapa punctualnya la kereta api dorang, aku bole terkepit di pintu dengan super dahsyatnya. There were still a number of people queuing behind me as I stepped into the train when suddenly the train door snapped shut. I was stuck!!!! I can't neither go into the train nor get off the train. But I think the funny thing was I didn't even panic and I didn't even cry for help hahaha Actually that is quite normal to those who know me well. I am well known for not having any sense of emergency. Then... I was rescued by two charming men!!!!!!! Hehehe I guess that's the best part of this incident. I blushed, thanked them and rushed to find an empty seat.

I went straight to the loo when I arrived in Salzburg. To my surprise, it cost me 50 Euro cent! (-_-") Mahal betul untuk tandas yang kecil itu! Then I went to the Tourist Info centre which is conveniently located near the entrance that you won't miss it. I was quite disappointed to find that the hostel that I booked online was located  far from the old town area. So I, again, instinctively decided that it's better to stay in a hotel in the old town area itself since I'll be leaving at 12 pm the next day.


Actually the old town is just a walking distance from the station but you can also take a bus especially if you're limp like me! So my first mission was TO FIND A BUDGET HOTEL IN OLD TOWN SALZBURG!!! And this proved to be IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! It was a weekend so all middle price accommodations were full and the (not so)cheap rooms in most of the hotels were also full.. Ada ni satu..

"The only room that is available now is a suite. It is 205 Euros per night"
GG: O my God! That is too expensive for me
"But I can assure you that it is worth it. It's very big and you'll be satisfied with our service"
GG: Okay.. let me try my luck at the other hotels first. If I can't get a room to spend a night, I'll be back for the suite.. Heeeee

And lucky me!!! I manage to find a room that cost me lesser than that; 105 Euros per night and voilla!! Bermewah2 aku!!


To be honest, the room was bigger than the room that the 5 of us shared in Ilchulbong!!! There are some other parts of the room that are not shown here. On top is just the shower. There is a toilet just next to the front door.


Katil pon besar.. Wi Fi pon laju gila.. Sempat lagi beguling guling atas sofa so that it is not wasted since I'll be spending the night on the bed not the sofa


Naaaa.. You see that wide opened white door.. That will lead you to another room where there is a toilet and a closet to hang your coat and also the front door... Hehe mewaaah! I didn't think much about the price.. I was a bit worried, though. But I was saying to myself.. "Nda apa la... 3 malam suda d 23 beds dorm.." statement sedapkan hati...

That evening I just walked around the old town area and had dinner in a Halal Indian restaurant which is about 1-2 minutes walk from my hotel..


The waiter approached me..

Waiter: Where are you from dear??
GG: I'm from Malaysia.
Waiter: I see you love Briyani very much. You have lots of Indian Restaurant in Malaysia??
GG: Yes, we do and I always order Briyani.. But yours is excellent!

Kenapa pacik ni bole cakap begini..?? Mestila nasi briyani yang banyak tu licin!! Hahaha 8 jam okay x makan!!!!


Elefant Hotel.. Sebab tu la kali bilik dia besar.. Elefant.. Pacik receptionist punya accent sebijik Arnie!


That fortress that allured me to Salzburg~




Salzburg kampong Mozart ye tuan puan~





Motivasi bagi orang muda yang buncit~ 6 pax bha c pacik!

To be continued... 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kisah seorang kakak...

Bismillah...

My last post was 3 weeks ago. I was away for my Eurotrip after that; the longest and greatest trip so far. We managed to cover 5 countries. But I'm not going to write about the trip yet. Nor continue my post on Prague.. I need to get things out of my chest now...

Life got more challenging since the beginning of the year. The pressure from work got more intense to an extend I seriously thought of quitting.. There are some other areas in life that were not too smooth too but then the real test was yet to come. The real test occurred on my last day in Europe.. when I found out our beloved Nuyui had left us.. Forever...



In Europe...

I'm pretty sure there was not a day without the mention of her name throughout the trip. She was almost always on my mind. And I even said to SJ,

"Aku tak tau la kenapa aku sedih sangat weyh Nurul dah gi blaja kat UPM.. Cam poyo ade gak.. Bukan die gi oversea pon.. Aku pon penah gak blaja kat snanjung 6 tahun.."


And minutes before I was told about her passing... I was preparing for breakfast in our dormitory when HH messaged me "Kazen ko Maizura Maidan kan? Die katne skang? Kat Shah Alam ke?" I was surprised when she asked but I didn't suspect of anything bad.. I dug into my haversack to get some more stuffs and that was when I said to RA

"Aku tak tau la.. Kalo ingat sal Nurul aku asek rase nak nangis je sbenanye.. Cam skang ni.. Tengah tahan air mate kt tekak ni ha.."

Last Ramadhan :)


Twisted the knob to open the door.. Walked towards the lobby and that was when I noticed the LED on my phoned blinked the green light which indicates a facebook message had just came in.. and that was when another cousin informed me that Nurul died in an accident in Shah Alam

The waves of emotions that rushed in in that instant was indescribable.. I froze.. Tears ran down my cheeks "Astaghfirullah Al-Azim.. Astaghfirullah Al-Azim.. Astaghfirullah Al-Azim.." was all that came out of me. I felt like everything around me was falling apart.. My whole body trembled.. I turned around and saw RA and her expression clearly showed she was surprised of my sudden distraught..

"Ya Allah.. RA.. Cousin aku.. Nurul.. Meninggal dalam accident.."

We sat at the closest round table.. I wept and wept and wept.. Ocasionally looking at my phone to see whether there's more info sent by HH and my cousin.. HH sent me a screen shot of an online news paper about the news.. And I read it slowly and cried again when I saw her full name written there as one of the deceased.. "Astaghfirullah.. RA.. Aku tekejut sangat weyh.. Astaghfirullah.. Die accident dengan kawan2... Astaghfirullah.."

I continue to cry.. "Haziah.. Calm down.. Think.. think.." I said to myself... I took a deep breath.. Stood and walked to the dorm to take my laptop and my other phone that was set for roaming.. And as I walk towards the table again I realized that I haven't recited Al fatihah.. "Bismillahirrahmannirrahim..."



I tried to call my family but no one answered. Sent them a short text message to inform that I already knew about what happened to Nurul.. Switched on my laptop and bought a ticket for the earliest flight from KL to Labuan.

"RA.. The next 16 hours will be the most dreadful journey of my entire life.. haha.." Ironically crying and smiling at thee same time..

 Along the way, I was still crying but I was talking to RA in my normal tone.. Recollecting some happy memories with Nurul... "RA.. Aku okay tau.. I just can't stop crying.."

During the flight, we sat separately.. I recited Surah Yasin  (What a beautiful coincidence, I just downloaded the Al-Quran app on my last day in Iceland), cried almost continuously throughout the flight.. Continuously prayed to Allah to give our family the strength to face this...

I'm going to be honest about how I felt.. At first it was mere shock. Like my heart stopped beating for a moment and my surrounding felt like it was spinning.. Then came the sadness.. A very very very deep sadness knowing that she won't be with us anymore. But in this deep sadness, there was this serene.. It was like this natural feeling that it was time to let her go.. I was also relieved that I finally know what's the meaning of the load that I carried in my heart for the past few weeks.. The hardest part is now.. Every nook and cranny of this small island carry the memories of us as a complete family~

Last Syawal


 1995-2013...

I always wanted a sister.. I told my parents I want a sister with fair skin and long hair so I can play with her hair and she can play with mine.. On the 24th February 1995, my dream came true though this sister of mine didn't come from the same womb. Her birth was an easy one.. It took less than an hour after my aunt was taken to the labour room. I remember the hospital as an old one, with weathered painting and creaking wooden door. My uncle, my mom and me walked into a huge room with beds. I don't quite remember whether it was full or not. But I do remember that little adorable baby wrapped in a white towel inside the baby  cot.

"Mami.. Kenapa rupa dia macam monyet????"

And then my uncle took her in his hand, stood at one corner and start to adzan..

Since her birth, she was my joy and pride.. I learnt how to bath her, how to change diapers, how to feed her and burp her.. My uncle and aunt trusted me to babysit her in some days during school holidays since she was 3 months old.. Then they moved to another house in my school ground because my uncle was a teacher there.. They had a babysitter that stayed with them. I came almost everyday during recess with my friends to play with her.. And when she started to walk, I brought her to school on Saturdays after my co-curricular activities and let her run as much as she please..

I still remember this one particular Saturday afternoon when only just the two of us was at home. I was pretty sure I've latched the door. I went to the kitchen to get something and in mere minutes after that, I can't find her anywhere in the house. I panicked and looked outside; there she was standing at the brim of a big hole which was some kind of pipe installation. Nobody was working that day because it was Saturday. I was terrified and ran to get her. I held her tightly in my arms. She would've fallen into that deep hole if she'd walked further. I carried her back into the house.. Though I was extremely scared, I said to her "Eeeee.. Budak bijak ni.." :)

And there was this Sunday morning that I remembered very well... I was playing with a cat and I'd let the cat bit my hand playfully. Nurul was just a toddler, whose gait was unsteady and undecipherable words were spilling out of her mouth like water.She saw the cat biting me with its front limb grabbing my wrist while its hind limb kicking hard on my arm. Nurul screamed in anger, ran towards me, grabbed the cat by its tail and tossed it away. I was so surprised to see her reaction.. I hugged her tight and deep in my heart I was so happy. I thought, "She must've loved me so much to be that protective.."

Nurul always slept next to me whenever I spend a night at her house and we even bath together. Sometimes I woke up at night just to adjust her position because sometimes her leg would end up on my chest. And I remember how she used to cry when we look at our reflections in the mirror and I said, "Muka kita nda sama.."

Then came those years when I was 'locked up' in boarding school.. She sometimes come to school to visit. As much as I'm proud of her, I know she was proud of me too hehe She said "Nanti Nurul pon mau sekolah SMSL!" when she was only 9.. And she did after scoring 5 A's in UPSR. It was difficult for her to get along at first. She frequently asked if she she could change school but we told her to be patient, continuously supported her and finally she came to love the school as much as I did. She scored her PMR with flying colours and I wrote a post about that. And to my surprise, when I was browsing through her blog for the first time months after that, I saw a post . She actually copied my post and put it on her blog and in that post she wrote..

"Thank you Kaka Gg... Sebab Kaka Gg pandai la Nuyui pon mau jadi pandai juga :3"

And that's how I know that she sometimes pay a visit to this blog.

We were almost always separated by distance.. She was in boarding school and I studied in West Malaysia.. But we were always in contact. I usually talk to her whenever my mom join my uncle's family to visit Nurul and Izan. And if the semester break and school holiday fell at the same time, it was either she slept over at our house or us at hers. We tried lots of new recipes together. She was the more passionate and more experimental while I usually stick to the recipe and just adjust the taste accordingly. She usually fail her first attempt but she'll do it over and over again until she become better than the one who taught her, me...

After SPM, she worked at this small grocery store; around 500 m distance from her house. She refused to be sent by car to work and chose to cycle instead. I watched her prepare herself to work one time when I was in Labuan for a weekend. I laughed at her old school rucksack; the plastic type that uses nylon rope as the strap. "OMGeee!!!!!! Nurul!! lama nya kaka nda nampak beg ni!!!!" and she did some cute poses before she left... I went to the grocery store once to watch how she work.. I took Sara with me so that it won't be obvious that I was only there to observe; kononnya Sara yang mau aiskrim... I was amazed by her dedication and how organize she manage the shop and all the accounting... A smart girl she was..


Our last moments together...

It was one hectic Wednesday evening for me and I came back late from work. I was actually too exhausted to go anywhere but I could sense that Nurul really want me to send her to the airport. In our last conversation through the phone that evening, she was still pleading for me to follow them to KL and be there during her registration. I said to her that I have to save money for my Eurotrip and I already have a return ticket to Kuching for the rock climbing event.. "Kaka janji.. Masa Nurul grad, kaka mesti pegi.." That evening we met at Jati Tom Yam for dinner..

We talked a lot at dinner. She said she still hope to study abroad though she already decided to accept the UPM offer. "Nurul suda bayangkan ni Nurul masuk TV buat salam perantau.." and we laughed.. She told me about the offers that her friends got and about the course that was offered to her because I was not familiar with it . I told her the exciting stuffs about matriculation, explained to her about subject credit hours and even taught her how to calculate pointer. We didn't stop talking at all.

At their house in Melinsung, I watched her packed her stuffs. "Kak Gg.. Tudung ni matching nda dengan baju ni..?" she asked. "Kak GG.. Cuba kaka tengok offer letter ni Nurul print.. Cuba tengook ada ka yang Nurul tetinggal.." So I read through the sections that I deemed important when I was in UIA. I read aloud the required documents while she check the items in her file... I was again impressed by the neat arrangement of everything.

That morning, everybody woke up before 5 am. I sat on the sofa and watched the rest hustlle with last minute packing. They were talking about going to Low Yat to get a new laptop for Nurul and get a webcam so that they can do video chat. And Nurul and I went to the airport first for check in and we chat and chat and chat continuously until we reach the airport.

After check-in was done, we sat on the bench while waiting for the rest to arrive

GG: So.. Excited!!??
Nurul: Ntahla.. Nurul.. Hurm.. Takut...
GG: Nervous?? Biasalah tu.. Mo pi tempat baru kan.. Jumpa kawan baru.. Lagipon Nurul sorang jak kan dapat sana..
Nurul: Nurul rasa Nurul nada masalah la kalau yang tu.. Just Nurul takut.. Ntah.. Rasa laen.. Takut sangat...
GG: Ok bha tu

And I embraced her in my arms...

Before she went into the departure hall I told her,

"Nurul, sampai sana.. Keluar jak takwim, first thing Nurul tengok mesti puasa dangan cuti raya ok!??"
"Ok!! Wajib!!!"
"Ingat Kaka Gg cakap.. Apa-apa Nurul buat, Nurul kena fikir parents Nurul, ok??"
"OK!! Nurul Ingat!!"
"Aaargh!!! Rindu kaka dengan Nurul nanti!!"
"Tu la.. Rindunya..."

And then we did our signature handshake "Kau baik! Kau baik! Aku lagi baik!" We've been doing it since forever that I can't remember when it started... That's the special thing about our sisterhood, we continue to the things we do no matter how old we get. I stood there watching her putting her bags into the scanner, she waved her hands and then was no longer in sight. As I walk towards my car, I was fighting back tears. I was puzzled myself; as to why it felt like it was the last time that I ever saw her... Well, later I found out, it actually was...

After her passing....

To late, her passing is the biggest test in my entire life... It was a tragedy...It shocked me to my very core. It's been 19 days since she'd left us and I still can't stop crying especially when I'm alone. It feels really different when someone who is really really close to your heart is taken from you.. It's more than just reciting 'Inalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun'.. It's more than realizing that our time will come.. I don't know if it's just me but I thought about a lot of things like...

Was she in pain when her life was taken??
How did she do when the 'questions' were asked to her??
Was she alone? Was she afraid?
And then I thought about the popular hadith that says
 "When a human being dies,all of his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a knowledge (of Islam) from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes du'a for him"

"Ya Allah, she is too young..  I don't even know if she has any of the three.." I thought..

During my sleepless nights on the first few days after her passing, I actually spent my time reading articles about death and about charitable deeds on behalf of a deceased person.. To be honest, I have scarce knowledge on that...

To my relief....

"As for those who believe and do right actions- We impose on no self any more than it can bear- they are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timeless, forever." (Surah Al A'raf : 42)

This ayah is very true.. I can see the acceptance in her parents eyes.. They still can smile to those who came to visit and offered condolences.. They curved a smile when recollecting the memories with Nurul while I will usually burst to tears. When all the guests left, they stayed strong.. Embracing Izan and Sara in their arms.. As if trying to gain more strength from their children...

But.. Nurul is such a lucky girl... The entourage that escorted her to the grave was massive, according to my brother. The night when her remains arrived, a full bus of friends came and recited Surah Yassin for her. And during the day of burial, a full bus of juniors came from SMSL to recite Yassin for her. And I found out, that a school even recited Al-fatihah for her during Monday assembly. And people keep on coming and keep on giving sadaqah; may it be in terms of funds or Quranic recital. MashaAllah...

Some said, "Biasala.. Pakcik mu kan cikgu.. Lagipon kan masuk berita.." Yes.. That could be the reason.. But to think of it, this doesn't happen to everybody who died.. It only happen to special, selected ones.. If I die, it won't necessarily be like that, isn't it?? And seeing this, I'm very relieved.. very very very much relieved..

Me....

Now that she's gone, many things won't be the same anymore.. I'll be cooking alone.. No more "Kau baik! Kau baik! Aku lagi baik!".. And one thing I don't know how to face is walking into the grave yard, saying "Assalamualaikum ya Ahli Kubur" without her but to her... It's been something that we've been doing together since she was 5, I guess.. I taught her the salam and we always say it aloud together until last Syawal...

Losing her is life changing in many ways I can't describe.. As days passed, I gradually find the things that she actually taught me.. I found out that a few weeks before she left for UPM, she told our family to practice reciting Yassin and Al Mulk before going to bed. I was taken aback to this discovery because I was the first to know about the benefits of that but I never care to share about it all these years..

Thinking of how she'd died so young made me thought of my purpose for staying longer here on earth. I had my own near death experience but I was given another chance to fulfill my duties as a daughter, as a sister and most of all as a khalifah.. I was given the chance to reach my dreams; to serve in healthcare and to see the world..

This test is so great that everything else seem so small... I went to work a week after her passing... I was about to tell my boss that I'm not ready to take up the new post that she'd given me. But on that same evening before I get the chance to talk to her, I was handed another responsibility that I didn't expect at all. To me amanah is such a huge thing.. Remember what our Prophet saw during Israk Mikraj of a man who can't carry out his amanah.?. I'm so afraid I can't especially when my emotion is so very much unstable.

But to think of it, the amanah came to me.. I didn't ask for it at all... Then again I reminded myself  of the same ayat that came to me when I saw the strength in Ucu and Aunty..I guess, I can actually do this.. I have the capacity but I haven't realize it yet. and this evening, as I lay on my  bed, I thought "Ya allah.. Mencabar nya 2013.." I've been complaining of a lot of stuffs since the beginning the year, especially career-wise. I thought I've been pushed to the limit but I guess my limit is actually more than I think...

This reminded of the 'Year of sorrow' of the Prophet.. The year when Abu Talib and Siti Khadijah died... It was the same year that the Prophet faced intense defiance of the Quraisy.. I felt ashamed.. Because what I'm going through is less than 0.001% than what he'd been through.. I should stay strong and go on.. Though Nurul is gone, I still want to be a good example to her..... And to the other little ones...

Sara... They said Sara don't seem to understand that her sister is goone.. But I think she does understand but she just don't respond to it like adults do.. When I was washing dishes after the kenduri,  she just stood there beside me, staring at me.. As if she was afraid I'll leave her too... Now I'm her only sister...

There are hikmah in everything.. Me not able to go to KL for her registration.. Her not picking up her phone when I tried to call before I left for Europe... My phone unable to do roaming before the incident.. All I did was press like on her insta photos so that she knows that I'm keeping up with her.. (^^) There are hikmahs though I still can't tell for now...

Our last picture together.. We sang The Higglytown Heroes song that morning because
that was the picture printed on her t-shirt :)


"Aunty GG.. Kenapa Aunty GG panggil aunty Nurul Nuyui???"
"Sebab... Kami... BESTFRIEND!!!!!!!!!!" *hugging Nurul*

Nurul... I know you know.. that I love you very much....

*Life itself is a test.. I hope I'll stay strong.. O Allah.. Please give me strength to face the tests... Inalillahi wa inailaihi rajiun...*


I think it's a blessing that this occurred in Syaaban.. may our Iman be strengthened and may the coming Ramadhan be better than the previous one.. Ahlan wa sahlan ya Ramadhan...