Friday, November 1, 2013

My Graduation Day

Last Tuesday was my convocation day. Finally. Fuh! Held in University Kebangsaan Malaysia, it was the 41st Convocation ceremony for UKM. I was scheduled in morning session of the last day. Since it was on a week day, only my parent could attend. It was raining that morning and we have to park our car quite far from the hall. The only bitter moment on that day was when I need to cross the field in my graduation robe. I ruined my shoes!! 

I didn't attend the rehearsal, so I was quite lost of what to do when I reached the assembly place. But the staffs there were very helpful so I managed to not freaking out. I was given a smart card when I went to collect graduation robe earlier. It contains my information that would be displayed on the big screen when I walked on the stage to get my scroll - which I gave to the announcer just before I went up on stage. Pretty systematic huh? I wonder if other local university have implement such system.

Anyway, graduating alone was a little awkward. I mean, during degree we all graduating together with friends from the same batch. But with master, it was a bit unlucky that me and my friends didn't get to graduate together. But it wasn't so bad. Because everyone was happy and happiness spread like a disease, you know? Hehe. So yeah, it was bearable. I shouldn't be nervous about it since it was my second time but I was! Especially when we were queuing up right beside the stage, I couldn't stop thinking of all the embarrassing incident that could happen. But it went just fine, phew! It was over before I knew it.

With my beloved mum <3

With my beloved dad <3

With my friend zurazura! Thanks for coming darling!

Finally, after four years, I managed to obtain Master in Science certificate. My journey have it’s up and down. I met quite number of excellent people, learning a whole lot of new things. I’m grateful to those people who have helped me throughout this journey. It was a great experience for me. Thank you and may Allah bless you.

p/s: FYI, I ruined not one, but two pairs of shoes. Urghhh~

Monday, September 16, 2013

To The Land Before Time: Legoland 2013

I remember my mum bought us a basic Lego set when we’re young. And we build our dream kingdom with those tiny little pieces. No instruction needed, just follow my imagination. I remember feeling jealous with my neighbor because he had pirates and spaceship set, which of course, way cooler than mine. But he was so nice, letting me borrow his space man mini figures, which according to my memory, had the coolest outfit of all. We did a play, completed with good and bad characters and the story plot is always so… okay unrealistic, but I always make sure that it has a happy ending. And I remember wishing that I can live in those kingdoms that I built.

Well, dream comes true! Err, sort of. 

Twenty years later, a Legoland was built in our own country, Malaysia! It was opened for public in September 2012 but me and my family just got a chance to visit Legoland first weekend of September! Legoland Malaysia is the sixth Legoland built in the world and the first one in Asia. Like any other theme park, Legoland has a lot of attractions for the whole family to enjoy. For a day, I can literally live up my dream to be in the kingdom of those colorful bricks.

At the entrance.

Getting there was a long story – with the unfamiliar road of Johor and my GPS signal going on and off.  I would say, there was not enough sign board along the road to lead to Legoland . But we managed to arrive at the entrance around 9 am. It was raining lightly on the way but lucky for us, the rain stopped just when we reach the first park. The weather was a little breezy, just perfect for us to walk around.

The Legoland consist of seven different themed areas: The Beginning, LEGO Technic, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination, LEGO City, Land of Adventure and Miniland. There will be a new park call LEGO Water Park opening very soon. My favorite would be the LEGO Kingdom because I love castle and fairy tales! But Miniland just amazes me! It was just startling how they could build those famous Asian landmarks with exceptional details! Okay, picture time!

The castle in Lego Kingdom

Meet Olie, the green dragon! He was so obedient to his master!

We caught the thief trying to escape the castle!

At Land of Adventure: The Lost Kingdom

Hey, me wearing matching outfit with the camel!

Remember how I couldn't try the rides when I was in Universal Studio Singapore because of the flu? So I was pretty excited to try the rides here, although they were not as scary as those in USS. The first one that I tried was the Project X roller-coaster. According to the staff there, this is the most extreme ride. Which for me (as I am not the extreme ride lover) was bearable but would I like to get on one again? No thanks!  Too fast and it slides down from a super steep height! We also tried two rides in LEGO Kingdom: Dragon Apprentice and The Dragon. The first one is smaller and less scary, so I ride it with my mum. She gave up on The Dragon, which is of course much bigger and higher. The slides are not too steep this time but it did make turns at 45 degree with a few headchopper. Enough to give me the thrill that I need. There was another ride in Aqua Zone but we thought it’s not worth to get wet, so we let it passed.

Project X Roller coaster! My dad did get a shot of us riding this but
you would barely recognize me :DDD
Shooting while riding and trying to get the best score. Pretty fun!

Get ready to get wet!

Oh boy, let me just share with you more pictures of the Lego built because they are just so awesome!


Sultan Abdul Samad Building


Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The Great Wall of China

Souvenir is so expensive here, I couldn't afford to buy many of them. So in the end, I bought myself mini-figure keychain for RM19.90. Oh boy, there were a whole lot of characters; it’s really hard to decide on just one. I was spending too much time to choose between Batman (which is classic and famous) or Stormtrooper (who is mysterious and err, not even main character, haha). I took sometimes to check the Lego sets – oh my, it was so expensive back then, even more expensive now – and just realize how much I've been missing. Back in the day, the mini-figures were all round and yellow and with smiling faces, now they come with face-paint and attitudes!

It is obvious that Legoland was meant for kids. All the attractions and facilities were baby-friendly. It's really the best place for family with kids age 4-12. So was it good for me? Well, I'm a kid myself (at heart la) so of course, I enjoy my visit here.Those little details of the Lego built that I can find throughout the park really keeps me entertained. Definitely worth a visit. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Road Trip 2013: Penang-Taiping

This is kind of late update, yeah. On the second week of raya, me and my family went to Penang for my cousin’s wedding. So it was like a package - raya, wedding and vacation! This was my second time being in Penang. The last time I went there was 15 years ago! Can you imagine just how excited I was?

The Penang Bridge.

We stayed at USM Guest House, located within the University Campus because the wedding reception was held there at Dewan Anjung Seri. Well, not bad at all! It was really comfortable. The one that we got (which was deluxe room) is fully furnished with air-conditioner, water heater, television with ASTRO and refrigerator. My uncle got the Family Executive Suite which can accommodate up to six people. It was super huge!

Transform into a complete nerd :P

"Dia lah yang nak kahwin tu!"

Once unpacking, we went out straight to visit Rumah Kelahiran P. Ramlee (P. Ramlee’s birth house). It was divided into two sections: The House and The Gallery. The house is a traditional Malay house with elevated building. It was really small; consist of porch, living room, access to the kitchen, one bedroom and a kitchen. The indoor section display highlights various aspects of P. Ramlee's life – from his childhood life up to the time he left for Singapore. While the gallery displays memorabilia of all kinds – old photographs, posters of his movies, his favorite instrument and clothes. Cameras are not allowed inside the house and the gallery but you can go here if you wish to see the indoor display of the house. I'm too chicken to break the rules, hehe.

At the verandah of P. Ramlee's house.

I finally got a chance to visit Bukit Bendera (Penang Hill) on the last day of the trip. It was the first colonial hill station developed in Peninsular Malaysia. We can either take a cable car or hiking up to the top of the hill. The cable car railway was first built in 1923 and have gone through several upgrading phase. The one that functioning now does not require passengers to change trains halfway up, unlike the railway before 2010. Cable car fees was $8 per person (warga emas got discount maa.....). Don't forget to bring your identification card! I forgot to bring mine (left it in my dinner clutch) but lucky me, they let me in, heh. The ride up takes less than 15 minutes. Here's the tip - try to get on the last coach if you're on your way up and the first coach when you're going down so you can get the best view. So what is up there? Despite the amazing view of entire Penang, there were some temples to visit, the carnivorous plant - Monkey Cup - garden and an Owl Museum. I almost thought that we can see the real owl but lucky I asked the girl at the front door and she explained that it was just a collection of owl-theme art and craft. Safe 10 bucks there, hooray!

The current railway track.

Breathtaking view of Penang on top of Penang Hills.

We were joined by another four cars to convoy back to Kuala Lumpur. We decided to go back to the mainland via ferry because almost half of us have never experience been on Penang ferry. No fare is charged for the return trip from the island. There was a long queue up to get our car onto the ferry but there was a ferry every 10 to 15 minutes so the wait is bearable.  The journey took about 20 minutes. Once the car engine were turn off, we walk around on the ferry to enjoy the winds and the view. Pretty awesome!

They name the ferries after the island in Malaysia. Ours was Pulau Rawa.

Faisal - the cutest lad on ferry.

On the way back to Kuala Lumpur, we drop by Taiping. And of course, a visit to Taiping is never complete without a taste of the Ansari Famous Cendol at Jalan Barack. I saw the mamak got the biggest grin when he saw us marching towards his shoplot, haha. There were at least three cars stopped by and they were pretty frustrated to see the shop was full. Is the cendol so good? Well, what can I say? It was the best one I ever taste so far. It was really delicious, not too sweet and the texture is very nice! Then we went to take group photo at the lake garden before saying goodbye to everyone. 

Group picture!

Had so much fun with this trip. And a whole lot of activities! From akad nikah to sight-seeing, from makan durian at Balik Pulau to birthday celebration at Padang Kota. And the best part is, this trip was joined by relatives from both of my dad and my mum's side. I feel blessed!

And it was also the week that I was most active on Instagram!

And I guess that's all I have to share with you guys. Till the next update, be kind!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Eid ul-Fitr 2013!

I hope it’s not too late to wish you all Selamat Hari Raya! Maaf zahir & batin! Are you still in the mood of Raya? Yes? No? Anyway, I’m sure your weekends were already full with open houses invitations!

The most important event during first day of raya for me was the Salam Raya, where we would shake hands with every members of the family and asked them for forgiveness. We never fail to do this every year and we've been practicing it ever since I was little. It was such an emotional time and it never fails to make me cry (and ruined my make up too, hehe).

With Bommie. This was her first Raya!
(Pardon her unhappy face, she really hates it when I get cuddly with her :)

Well, like every other year, we spend the first day of raya in Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur before heading back to Kuala Kangsar in the evening. It was funny how there were more people to give duit raya than people to receive it! Can you imagine how rich they were at the end of the day? Lucky cousins! I am secretly jealous when I caught my younger sister counting her duit raya, haha. 

And this would be the first time I'm revealing my braces. Been wearing it for a month now but my smile still look awkward, heh. Lucky me, I have passed the painful stage now, eating wasn't really a problem anymore. I’m indulging myself with delicious traditional food like lemang and rendang like there’s no tomorrow!

Team Braces vs. No Braces :D

Second day of raya at Kuala Kangsar.

Alhamdulillah, I had a tremendous time this year around despite missing a few of my cousins. I hope they have a great Raya celebration in Australia! And I really do hope that everyone will embrace the spirit of festive season together, no matter what race or religion. Till the next update, enjoy the rest of your raya celebration! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Soak Up In The Sun: Tioman Island 2013

Sunburn from Perhentian trip is not fully recovered, yet I was spending last two week on another beach trip. This time it was Tioman Island! The trip was organized by one of the staff where I’m working and it was more like a family trip. So the feeling was of course, different from the previous Perhentian trip. I gotta be honest; I dislike this trip as much as I love it.

When I first reach the island, the sea water doesn't impress me - it’s clear but not crystal clear. The place where we stay reminds me of Pangkor Island - too develop. Still no phone coverage here. The chalet is called Island Reef Resort. It was an okay accommodation overall, but there were mountain stairs I need to climb before I reach my room. The stairs is no joke, seriously. I would prefer to stay at somewhere closer to the beach.

Beautiful scenery.

The waves effect. The waves here was kinda wild.

We only had one snorkeling session at two points. I was surprised that we went to the coral reef area by fisherman boat! Maybe because there were too many of us but the boat moves so slow, it takes forever to reach the place. The first point is Tioman Marine Park. I think this area was meant for first timer where they can get used to the snorkeling equipment, though it was still deep, my friend really freak out. Plus, the fishes are friendly - I slapped some because they tried to bite my fingers, haha. But there were no corals there and the fishes were more or less the same, so it was a little boring for me, heh. Oh, and my snorkeling gear is broken; there was a leak in the snorkel. I was so upset because we don’t have time to do the test on the equipment since we only got a hold to these equipment an hour before snorkeling session. Lucky for me, one of my colleague decided that she can’t risk her life for fish-watching and offer me her snorkel. So I was a happy snorkeler once again : DDD

Cruising on fisherman boat. 

Tioman Marine Park.

The second point was at Renggis Island. The first time I see what was underneath, I was really amazed. It was like big wide bushes full with Staghorn coral down there! I thought this is it! This will be my favorite spot to explore. As soon as I look around the second time, I saw something long gliding through an open space about thirty feet from where I was. I thought it was an eel but as I get a good look at it, I realized that it was a sea snake! I swear to God, it was stripy of black and white. I was too bewildered to panic; I just watched it glided away from where my group was and disappeared behind the corals. And that was it. Then I continue to explore the reef as if nothing happens (only to get really traumatized about how dangerous it could be during the dinner!) But really, the area is great for snorkeling. There were a lot of colorful fish – rabbit fish, butterfly fish, parrot fish, ect. I wished that there were enough snorkeling guard to help some of the first timer.

Small island near Renggis Island.

Snorkeling at Renggis Island.

And lastly, we were told to wait for the ferry at 11.30 am but we only managed to get on board at 1.30 pm. It was like whose-lucky-he’ll-get-on-board-first kind of system. I wished there will change the system because waiting for ferry on a small jetty crowded with people while the sun is straight up on your head is almost as scared as nightmare.

Despite all that, I still enjoy this trip. There were sukaneka and karaoke session where we need work in group. It felt like I was in a motivation camp, but in positive way :P And people in this group were all fun and sporting, they were so easy to get along with. It was more relaxing as we get more free time and I spent most time just walk around the village and sitting by the beach at night and counting the stars…….

I know there’s a lot more on the island that I need to see and explore. So it is not fair for me to make a conclusion that Tioman is not as great as Perhentian or Redang, not until I experience the best this island can offer me.  So if I get the chance, I will definitely come back to Tioman. Insya-Allah!

Till the next post, be good people!

p/s: Still suffering a major sunburn!