Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A Reflection

Some people go through life in an auto-pilot mode. Go to college, get a decent piece of certificate, get a job, get married, have kids, grow old. Some people feel blessed to have this kind of life.

But not everybodygets to live this life. I'm one of these people. And though some might give me that look of pity, I think I'm living my life to the fullest and I'm contented.

I survived the ordeal of 5 years to get my Masters degree, and on top of that I've seen Stonehenge, saw Paris from the 1st floor of Eiffel Tower, saw Mona Lisa from up close at the Louvre, prayed on carpet grass in Victoria en route to Phillip Island, walked on the lake banks of Lucerne, tasted Blackforest Cake at The Black Forest in Germany, been in Marie Antoinette's bedchamber in Chateau de Versailles, taking postcard picture at one of The Lord of the Ring's location in NZ, enjoyed piping hot hotteok in Namdaemun, picked mandarins in Jeju, had the most delicious food in Bangkok, ate nutella crepe and drank the most refreshing orange juice at Camden Market, and talked to a nice old man who sold me 2 Carnivale masks in Venice. Not to forget the gondola ride and the most epic hot air balloon ride in Pamukkale (sadly not in Cappadoccia, but hey, it's a free ride). Sipping Turkish coffee and eating lokum outside the grounds of Haga Sofia, taking a cable car ride up Mt Titlis and hearing the kettlebells of the Swiss cows and eating pasta in Firenze, gelato in all Italian cities I had stopped at and canoli in Rome. 

And though I'm plagued with anxiety disorder, I realised that good friends are the ones that I should keep. Spending time with them make healing easier, as with walks in Melawati where I can see the hills and enjoy the fresh air. 

Only now I know the meaning of good friends. The honest-to-goodness kind, not the fake ones. 

Am not saying I'm perfect and without any flaws; I just realised many things about life. Taking life not only with a grain of salt; but also smelling the roses. 

C'est la vie et carpe diem!

Friday, January 24, 2020

The Healing Trip

I am now back in my home state, just for the CNY holidays. At the moment I'm at Kg Penarik, Setiu. It's where my father was from.

As a child, I would come here with my parents to visit the relatives. I remember boat trips along the river, and picnics at the beach. 

Ah, the beach. I like to spend time alone here, deep in thought, and have the spread in front of me console and reassure me that everything will be alright. 

And that is exactly what I'm doing. Living in the city is exciting, but you meet too many selfish people and you get hurt by those people. Coming back here is like a retreat for my soul. I'm pleasantly surprised to find that chivalry isn't dead here. In KL a man will not hesitate to exit through a door first without looking at a woman behind him but here, some men held the door for me. Well,what do you know, chivalry is alive and kickin'. 

Good food, good vibes. Hope that I'll be re-energised! 

Monday, January 20, 2020

The Cutest Medal

This, my friend, is the reason why I decided to spend a night at a hotel in Putrajaya. The length a not-so-serious runner like me will go to get this. 

I'm still err, chubby and not svelte as I thought I would be. But joining runs is a way for me to achieve something - the cute medals, for one; and also a way for me to stay fit and active.

If I didn't have an aim or objective to power walk or brisk walk (I found out that jogging is tiring and I can only run for 1 minute or 2 in a 5km run), I wouldn't be so motivated to exercise. Knowing that the cute medals will be mine changes the game. Whatever it is, I get the rewards - to stay healthy (in sya Allah) and to win the medal. 

And life is hard enough, i prefer a fun run which is,obviously, fun! 

Hope that you've an activity that keeps you going on and happy!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Life Must Go On

I'm at a place where I used to love coming to - a book shop. Perusing the latest books, the intellectual side of me wants to devour all them all. 

As a girl growing up alone at home, I once dug up a crate full of Enid Blyton books, possessions of my siblings who were then either working or in a flying school. Books were my constant companions; and that was how my love for reading began. I was fascinated on how mere words on papers could transport one to another land, or affect one's emotions (like what Rohinton Mistry's book A Fine Balance did to me). And I wanted to affect other people's emotions too, so that was how I started to write. 

In Sekolah Seri Puteri, we were encouraged to read, and hours spent in the school library and the English library helped to mould the reader-cum-writer in me. I was chosen to work in the school's English bulletin called Grapevine, and soon i started writing short stories. It was a fun time for me to explore my talent. Oh, to to hear someone tell me they enjoy reading my story was the greatest compliment.

My years while studying TESL and  English Literature further enhanced my reading and writing, especially when I was doing my postgrad studies, as I learned to become a critical reader and writer - I had to write papers on analysing writers' works. Just before I graduated from UKM, I received an offer to become a journalist, but because of the then circumstance I was in, I had to reject the offer. With such remorse, i should add. But life goes on. I went on to better myself as a reader, and enrolled in an MA programme in UM. Though daunting at first, the course helped me to come out of my shell and argue in class. It helped me to think and become a critical reader. However, just as the course helped me to become a better Literature scholar and writer, I was also aware of my ignorance and self-criticism. Which is not good, actually.

Fast forward to my life in the city, I discovered, much to my dismal; that I could not read a book anymore. Not if it's for pleasure. As I was preparing to do my PhD (which never materialised, because of this important issue), I realised that I could not finish reading a Booker prize winning fiction. I really don't know why. May be my love for reading just fizzled out? 

And whilst I was undergoing this phase, I was into baking. At the time, my mother would find me in the kitchen with all the utensils and ingredients and asked me what I was baking on that day. Once, she got so tired of eating my oh-so-filling bread that she jokingly took a few RMs from her purse and told me to buy her a Gardenia (okay, my bread was good, it's just that it's soo filling).15 years later, I have so many cake and bread pans in my cabinet, but not the passion for baking. It comes once in a while.

My next endeavour would see me dive into the world of gardening - roses, to be exact. I was a mad rosarian who would buy Austin and Tantau roses as well as collecting Old Garden Roses. All these babies of mine had taggings on them - their names, and my badge of pride. Unfortunately though, the microclimate at my house wasn't helping, as roses cannot thrive in shady areas. Despite my optimism in buying and caring for the plants, I had to end my hobby.

Recently, I was appointed as the Director of the school magazine, a post that I took seriously. I love working with kids in producing the magazine, because it reminds me of the Grapevine days when I was in SSP. Nothing beats the satisfaction I get when I see the students become better writers or photographers or graphic designers, because I know these skills will help them in their future. Until recently though. As much as I wish to stay on as the director, the ultimate decision was not in my hands. And just like the rest of my passions, I have to let this go. 

And now, I'm sitting on the steps in Kinokuniya, surrounded by thousands of books, thinking that every episode in our life is transient. We're changing; or change is forced upon us. But whatever it is, we have to accept the changes, and go through the process of self-transformation ourselves. Because the wheel of life must go on.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Panggilan Pulau

Any P Ramlee movie fan will tell you about this film. But I'm not going to talk about the film today. 

I made a trip to Jeju-do on the 28th November till 2nd December 2019. I was thrilled as I love anything Korean (well, not literally all) and knowing that Koreans love going to Jeju for a vacay excite me more.

Salina and I joined a group tour and thought this was going to be that kind of "sit-back-and-relax" kind of vacay. Boy, was I wrong. 

We reached the island in the afternoon, and after checking in, we went to Woljeongri coast. By the time we reached the place it was dusk. The wind was fierce and cold. 
  As we were walking, clutching our coats tightly, Salina mentioned a woman performing on the street. The woman was young, and we started chatting with her. She's a Russian psychologist who now travels around Korea, and earning some money by dancing using some pyro techniques. Must be nice to be able to just quit your job and follow your heart's desires. I envy her. 

All throughout my stay, I sampled Korean s traditional 한식, and because of halal concern, we had a lot of seafood. Alas, I'm allergic to them. So, I did not really enjoy the food except for the halal dakgalbi at Cheonhaechon shabu shabu restaurant in Jeju City. I did try the braised saury and mackerel, dried haddock soup and the acorn jelly, as I often see the Koreans eat them on TV. 

Koreans love to hike. You can say that it's their national favourite pastime, like playing badminton or soccer is for us. As I went to Jeju, I forgot about this, and suddenly I found myself hiking like a Korean (I normally avoid hiking like the plague, and this, my running groupmates know very well) going 산에 타요. It was actually very interesting, really, if only I had prepared myself for it. We went exploring the Manjanggul Lava Cave, and I had a hard time to walk as the ground was uneven because of the hardened lava. It was dark, as well, as conservationists do not want further corrosion or ecological damage to occur due to lighting. 
 We went to Seopjikoji as well, hoping to see haenyo 해녀 performing a dance and then dive into the sea, but the waves were high, and so we had to settle for the sight of them selling their catch.
 Next, we went to a folk cultural village called Seongup Folk Village, and despite not being in the itinerary, I persuaded the tour guide to talk to a hanbok rental tauke, and voila'
I think the highlight of my tour is this, I've been to Korea 3 times, and this was my first time trying out a hanbok. So exciting!

We also walked into a cedar forest, and this was what i envisioned my Jeju tour to be. 

We even went tangerine picking (which was in season) afterwards. Such joy! 

We went to 2 other places - a waterfall and a clif which reminded me of Game of Thrones - all in the rain!

And we went to the teddy bear museum, and as I just finished watching 궁 drama, I was ecstatic to see the teddy bears in their likeness

Jeju-do is a nice place for a visit especially if you are a nature lover and love hiking. It is a beautiful island, with beautiful people who are thrilled when they hear you speak their language albeit a handful phrases. 

Saturday, November 09, 2019

My "me" time

Usually, I'll reward myself by going somewhere. Come to think of it, it doesn't have to be "a reward" hahaha.. it's more of how I feel at the moment. So, today, I thought I should pay my favourite mall a visit and walk. Actually i needed the walk because I'm using an app to count calories 🙄 (yes, again, because I can't lose weight without tracking what I eat) and I need to hit at least 7k steps. Of course, when you walk in a mall you're bound to buy something, right?

In the spirit of autumn, and for the upcoming trip, I bought 2 jumpers and 2 thermals. It's not going to be overly cold there, read in Accuweather it's probably going to be 15°C day time. Hope I can get some nice pictures over there!
And... this isn't an impulsive, spur-of-the-moment purchase. My old cast iron-enamel skillet has a chip on it's surface and I'm fond of it. Cast iron cookware is expensive,but it can last for decades if it's well-maintained. So, I found a Lodge skillet in Ace Hardware and now as part of proper maintenance, i've to season it with oil and bake it in the oven. 

So that's my story for today. 안녕!

I'm back!

Phew! It's been a long time since I blogged in here. I must've admit, the lure of facebook and Instagram practically killed my passion for writing, especially the latter, because it's good for pictures and not for long texts.

Just a few hours ago, I actually missed the feeling of writing and sharing about myself. More importantly, writing. Before this I thought it's cool to be someone who knows how to minimise and economise the use of words. 

I guess that's not me.

So, welcome back to myself! And I hope to make this blog a more happening place than my Instagram *LOL*

Friday, September 14, 2012

Will & Kate in Malaysia!

yes, many Malaysians are excited that the world's most beloved royal couple are in Malaysia. I, for one, am one of those, but I wasn't at KLCC nor was I invited to the tea party *sigh*. So I settled for just some photos that I saw on Yahoo news. 

Some might be perplexed as to why such a fascination over these royals. Last year, a teacher was amused to see that I went through a lot of hassle to watch the royal wedding live on the net. I told her, "you haven't met my sister who can name all the royals be it Malay or British".

So why such a fascination? may be it's because they are the closest we have to fairy tale figures. and let's face it, we need that dose of fairy tales once in awhile. and when one talks about Prince William, one will surely mention his most glamorous mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. I watched her wedding to Prince Charles way back in 1981 and I thought that fairy tales do come true. I was 8 then.

31 years later, i m still a hopeless romantic who believes in fairy tales, because Kate Middleton found her Prince Charming, and her Prince Charming put that famous sapphire engagement ring onto her finger...

okay so where's my Prince Charming?