Wednesday, July 31, 2013

#1728 - KL Trip Days 2 til 7!

I realised I won't have enough time to describe everything of what I had done from my 2nd day trip til the end so I guess I'll just shortened everything. More importantly, I had it written in my notebook so at least I had left my memories in it.

Anyways, day 2! (Monday)

I went to Zoo Negara because this was something I had in mind. I guess I love animals so seeing them in real life makes it a good experience. I spent about half of my day there coz I waited til the seal performance at 3:30. Fast forward, I was in Pavillion again but this time, I watched my first movie in KL, which was 'White House Down'.

Day 3 (Tuesday)

I went to Genting Highlands. I think I spent the most of my $ here. Took the first bus to Genting which was 8am from Sentral and reached Genting 2 hours later, after bus transfer. Met up with Xiang Ling and she bought some cakes for me. We dined at Starbucks and I got to try the latest drink. She also gave me Starbucks souvenirs and a card. Then we went into First World and she gave me a quick tour before she headed off to work. There was street performances on stage and I tipped the Japanese performer the most that he was shocked. And I was glad I get to talk to him after the performances. Hopefully I'll get to watch his performances in Japan one day! Oh yeah, I bought myself an ESPRIT purse, finally something that is of my taste. It was on sale so I thought this was a good chance to buy something that I will use for a very long time.

Day 4 (Wednesday)

I went to Berjaya Times Square since it's nearby. I watched 'Badges of Fury' starring Jet Li as that's the movie that I had been eyeing for even before this trip. Glad to be able to watch the movie! Then I went to KLCC in the afternoon, 4:30pm. Saw Datuk Siti's concert poster and I felt regretful for not doing research earlier before the trip. I was at Kinokuniya for an hour, resting and bought myself 2 books as well.

Day 5 (Thursday)

Met up with Peter, a friend that I met when I was in Bandung. He showed me around Putrajaya and UPM campus. We stopped by Alamanda for dinner at Old Town. We had a great chat over Baskin Robbins ice cream too. Then, he showed me his laboratory stuffs. It felt slightly nostalgic for me to enter a lab after 5 or 6 years of not entering since I don't take Sciences anymore.

Day 6 (Friday)

The day I decided to watch Datuk Siti's concert. Had morning breakfast at a Chinese restaurant. Then I saw this stall selling all sorts of drink by a Chinese lady. She was shocked to know I traveled solo and advised me to be cautious. She had been selling drinks for 20 years at the same spot, at the end of Jalan Alor. Amazing! There's sugar cane, luo han guo, liang teh and some other drinks that are 'cooling' for the body. Hopefully the next time I go to KL, she'll still be around. I went to BB Plaza and bought a decent pair of shoes as my foot had developed blisters all over. Then walked back to hostel, brought clothes that are more suited for the concert and went to the bus station. There's this bus that operates for free to KLCC and I managed to hop on to the right one. Another kind lady on the bus told me to be careful as well. Watched Despicable Me 2 at the cinema while waiting to kill time for the concert. Initially I wanted to watch Lone Ranger but the timings isn't right.

I'll save another post for my experiences with Datuk Siti's concert.

Day 7 (Saturday)

I didn't have anything written this one in my notebook so I'll blog whatever I can remember.

Saturday was Bon Odori day. Bon Odori is a Japanese summer festival, mark the beginning of summer season. I was eyeing on this event too because since I love Japanese culture and it's the right timing as well. Or rather, I timed my trip so that it coincides with this event.

I left after lunch to the KTM, knowing it may take a long journey to Shah Alam (where the event was held). I actually waited at KTM Shah Alam for an hour or so since there will be free bus shuttle to the stadium. I saw a Japanese lady which I think I had seen her few days ago on the monorail. She does looked like her and when we arrived at the stadium, I approached her since she was on her own. I told her that I saw her few days ago and she was surprised. We introduced ourselves and my new Japanese friend's name is Yoko-chan.

So me and Yoko-chan spent the time together around the stadium, getting to know each other. She is a very friendly person and I never believe her when she said she's 32. I was like "Ehhh?? Uso deshou!" (you're lying!) all over. Coz she doesn't even look like 32! I was guessing her age to be mid-20s! But yeah, we had fun at the festival. Apparently, she's in Malaysia for 4 months to study English. The festival ended with fireworks and I love the fireworks so much, the best fireworks display in my entire life so far.

That's all for this post!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

#1727 - Happy birthday Tokugawa!


カズヤは私の大好きな人です! 笑



Happy birthday to my favourite character from the New Prince of Tennis, Tokugawa Kazuya! I love you because you were voiced by my favourite seiyuu, Ono Daisuke (Ono-D)! I mean, I could never get enough of your sexy voice xD

I guess my obsession towards him was so critical that I started building a shrine for him! Like, buying his items only from the series. I think I had spend more than $150 altogether.. OTL The most expensive one has GOT to be that blanket ($40) from CDJapan. But it's all worth it :D

A close up of the items I have so far:

And my shrine! Midorima has a share on it too. Poor guy. But yes, everytime I woke up, I'll go take a look at this shrine and smile :D

#1726 - Opinions and Issues

I believe there are many opinionated individuals out there, keeping things to themselves.

Freedom of speech here is low that I guess it's normal for people to not express it, fearing it will backfire ideas.

Somehow, I sometimes think that by engaging into sensitive issues in a more rationale manner, people will perhaps understood the perks of voicing out opinions. It'll make them feel more belonging to a community.

Well, maybe I'm just blabbering.

#1725 - The past few days

25th Thursday

I went up to uni for the club meeting for FW. Unfortunately, I was the only one representing the club coz well, I rather not list down reasons why. Jo could make it but late. By the time she arrived, the meeting adjourned. lol

Then, when I drove all the way back, something wasn't right. I know I was super tired and having PMS doesn't help so I went for a nap. Who knew after nap, I caught fever instead.

It sucks really. I wasn't feeling hungry and don't wanna eat. I loss my appetite I meant. I drank honey and had panadol before I went to bed at around 10-ish.

Woke up at around 1:45AM coz I happened to have diarrhea. Had panadol coz I still feel feverish. I shivered in bed somemore.

Then prolly around 11 or 12 I woke up, fever gone but diarrhoea is still in me. It's worst that I actually took in solid food.

Today, since I still experienced diarrhoea, I decided to not take any food but water and dates. It kinda worked from 10 til 6 today.

As of now, I no longer have cirit birit and I'm hoping it'll stay like that! Gonna drink lodsa water too!

I think it's a sign that I should eat more healthily, since I'm suffering from diarrhoea for the 3rd time this year! :( 

Monday, July 22, 2013

#1724 - One more week

It hit me that my 2 and a half month holiday will end by the end of the week. Well, not exactly 'end end' but because of the university stuffs that I have to deal with before the official date starts for me, I guess it kinda seemed fitting to say my holiday will end this week.

Next week, there's booth set-up, modules selection, accommodation setting and payment. It's no fun at all dealing with all these, really.

Speaking of modules, I think I may have to take 5 modules -again-. Well, I could take 4 but as I am typing this, I wondered if it is possible to graduate early...

omg.. 1 more week of freedom!

Monday, July 15, 2013

#1723 - Rant

Sometimes, people are not sincere with what they do. At first they said OK, then later on, they'll back out. Only those who truly supports you will try to make the effort and stick with you.

I find it rude if the person I'm expecting a reply does not give their feedback to me. Really, they don't consider my time and effort into it. It's give and take, y'know. I mean, sometimes, they just don't understand that their reply is seen as a form of literal support to me.

Otherwise, I'll ended up feeling like a "one man gang" when the work is supposedly done in a team. It sucks, really.

And sometimes you'll wonder if all those sayings of "people will need each other in their lives" or "we are not alone" are true. But I think they are only true at certain times. You will need your own space at some times of your lives.

But when it's supposedly team work and no one's replying, that's a different story.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow.

#1722 - In A World Like This by Backstreet Boys

This song is very meaningful, especially at some parts of the song.

I personally like the opening chorus: "In a world like this where some back down, I know we're gonna make it" and this: "In a world like this where nothing comes from the heart"

Raping the repeat button!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

#1721 - Solo KL Trip Day 1

I'm going to blog about my KL trip post by post. Perhaps this is a better way to motivate me to write more.

So, why go KL? I guess I just felt like it, plus it coincides with SALES and my friend's semester break. But, SALES wasn't the reason why I decided to go, it's more to visit my friend and some of the places.

This trip was somewhat 'unorganized', all the more going solo. Unorganized mean I didn't exactly plan where I wanna go from Day 1 to 2, etc. It's a bit more 'loose' so for some places I visited, they're impromptu decisions on the spot.

Going solo is just a challenge to myself. Yes, I am aware of the crimes happening in KL so going on my own is not a good idea. But if you ask me, there's no safe place anyways so you just have to be conscious of your surroundings and the items you bring where ever you go, be it solo or in a group with friends.

I bought my tickets from AirAsia website about 2 months before and cost me RM350 from Miri to KL. It's considerably cheaper than leaving from BSB to KL with AA and with other carriers. I would have bought my tickets from MAS but it's expensive =_= plus I heard from my friends that AA always have flight delays which I don't like personally.

Nevertheless, it's my first time using AA and my friends were right. They indeed delayed the flight from Miri to KL by 30 minutes. And by the time I arrived LCCT, it was slightly hazy. I could actually feel the smoke in the airplane. We walked all the way into the Arrival Hall to claim my luggage.

I know I need to go to this KL Sentral but I didn't know which public transport to go with because they're so many. I picked up KLIA Express since it will reach KL Sentral. When I reached LCCT, it was 12:30PM.

Onto the bus transfer and KLIA Express, I think by the time I reached KL Sentral, it was 2pm plus. I wanted to activate the xpax line I had but when I asked celcom, the guy said I had to go to Mid Valley and I was like "OK.. where is this MidValley?" I wanted a M'sian line myself so I bought a Hotlink line and top up RM60.

Once that was settled, I had a late lunch at Burger King. Only then I decided to go find 'Monorail' coz I needed to take the monorail to the place where I stay, Bukit Bintang (BB). Apparently, the monorail is outside of Sentral and not in like LRT, KTM are. Thankfully my luggage is only 11KG so it's somewhat light to bring around.

When I reached BB, I am literally lost. I don't have a map of the area and my instincts isn't telling me anything. By right, I should go left when I got off from the monorail but instead, I headed right, to the direction of Pavillion. Obviously when I saw Sephora, I knew I am headed to the wrong direction. So I turned back and hoping to catch a taxi because I seriously have no idea.

Even catching a cab wasn't easy coz there wasn't any proper taxi stand. I was lucky enough that a taxi had just dropped off passengers and I was hesitant whether I should hop in or not. Eventually I did and told the taxi driver my place. He knew the street but we had a hard time finding the place. After asking some other guesthouse, then I found the accommodation. I stayed at Serenity Hostels (SH). It wasn't easy to see the sign either.

It doesn't help that I have to walked up 3 floors with the heavy luggage. The manager, Anwar, gave me a tour around the hostels and going through the rules. Eventually, I settled down at my room. Unpacked few stuffs and off I go explore the area.

When I said unorganized earlier, I didn't have the time to Google up reviews of SH, mainly because this was last minute booking. Initially my plan is to stay at my friend's but I realised, it may not be a wise decision so I searched for cheap accommodation and found SH. As I walked around, SH is located at the street where drinking bars can be found. Like, the whole street is drinking alley. So at night, it's prolly the most happening places at BB. I kinda missed that.

Anyways, I just walked and passed by Jln Alor where the taxi driver told me it's food haven by night. And then walked past massage areas and back to the monorail. I wanted to explore Pavilion and Sephora for that day.

I squealed when I saw Sephora. It's like a dream came true when I entered the building. All these times, I read plenty of makeup/cosmetics/skincare reviews and some items can be bought from Sephora so it's kinda like a must-visit for me. I recognised almost all the brands sold in Sephora but in the end, I didn't buy anything. Why? It's bloody expensive! Maybe next time =_=

Pavilion is super huge. OK, all malls overseas are huge. I remembered my sister told me to do shopping only on the last few days but I did quite some shopping already. lol. My legs died from walking and luckily, I found some places to sit so I sat there while looking around. All branded items.

Up I go and I saw Tokyo Street on 6th floor. Browsed around and I bought 2 Calpis Water, RM8 each. Definitely not cheap but I like the drink. They didn't have Cider, too bad. Oh ya, I saw Ochado too and they were offering limited edition Doraemon member card for RM15 and you get a free regular sized drink. I signed up right away because it's Doraemon after all xD

Saw Times Bookstore and bought magazines. It was 7pm and I decided to have dinner at Tokyo Street. The restaurant's name is 'Cafe Taka'. I had chicken katsu curry rice with apple mojito. I craved for Japanese curry rice out of nowhere back then. It was my first time trying apple mojito and it's surprisingly good. I'm not a fan of mint flavour but when mint mixed with apple, it taste OK to me. But the curry rice I ordered was spicy! I mean, Japanese curry isn't supposed to be spicy but yeah.

I walked all the way back SH with my heavy items. I think it took me a good 30 - 40 minutes before I reached my room. And when I saw the street I'm staying was so lively, I wondered where do all these people come from. haha.

Yep, that's all for Day 1. Hoping to update Day 2 tonight or tomorrow. Some pictures in random order from Day 1:

Interior of Cafe Taka

KL Sentral

My receipt from LCCT to KL Sentral

Doraemon Ochado member card!


It's not easy to spot SH!

I wanna visit this street again!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

#1720 - Blogging = Diary

The thing about online blogging is that it can be treated like a diary, except that this diary is widely viewed by many, strangers and friends alike.

Well, I know I need to blog for the sake of my future self but sometimes I couldn't be bothered.

I just posted a long post of my first trip to Indonesia. That's something for me to read again, perhaps the next few years.

And, I came back from my one weeks' trip from KL and that means, another long (overdue) post will be coming soon and something to remember, although this time, I actually wrote down what I did throughout the week.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

#1719 - Bandung! (Long post)

My first trip to Indonesia is 'business' like as I represented my uni for a speech contest. To be honest, I wasn't prepared to enter the final as they only select 6 out of 20 participants. I was all the more worry after I saw the scoring criteria and decided to just wing it.

The programme officially started on Monday but advised us to arrive the day before. But due to the awesome work ethics and management, we flew on Monday, had a 12 hour transit in Singapore before heading to Bandung. And the day I arrived Bandung is the day I will be giving my speech. Last one to present somemore.

So, after arriving at Singapore, it took us (me, Khairul and Sir Faisal) about 2 hours to settle on accommodation. Initially we wanted to settle at Crowne Royal but it was $300+ for a night and not worth it. And we later realised that we can stay at the Ambassador Transit Hotel or Lounge, granted that we have our boarding ticket.

We checked in our luggage at 10-ish when our flight was 8:30AM the next day. Even the lady at the immigration check-in counter was like "once you enter you cannot leave" but yeah, stuck at airport and didn't get to go to the city. I settled for the Ambassador Transit Lounge at Terminal 2. Total price was $76 for 6 hours. For some reasons, I checked in too early and only fully utilise the place for about 3 hours.

After check in, go all the way to Terminal 3 for Burger King. Yeah, a late night supper before I head back to the room to have some shut eye. I knew I wanted to sleep at 12 and wake up at 4 but I managed to sleep only after 1. I guess I was worried for my speech. So I checked out 4:15 (extra hour is $16!) and just roam around the airport. Some shops were closed and some were 24 hours.

Boarded the plane at 8:30 and arrived at the Hussein Sastranegara International Airport, Bandung 2 hours later. There were a lot of tourists arrival too. Before our flight, a Malaysian airplane landed and after ours' from Singapore, another plane from China arrived. I was sleepy on the flight and Khairul told me that the plane circled around Bandung for 10 minutes due to the lack of space for airplane to land at the airport. The airport is small as there is only 3 check in counters for international arrival. And everything has to be done manually, from tourists get on or off the plane (you walk) to luggage claim (there were people pulling the bags out from the conveyor).

The first shock I had when I arrive was the traffic. I swear, Miri's traffic is better than Bandung's! It's like, everyone treat the road as theirs' so they are more likely not to give way to others. We had the car from the embassy's and went to the accommodation. I think it took us about 1 hour since it is heavy traffic (and it's like that all the time!).

After settling the accommodation, we met with our Liaison Officer (LO) Jamika. She followed us to ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung) campus with the embassy's car. Then I was brought to a room with some of the speech contest delegates. I know I talked with the Japanese, Maki-chan and Sakura-chan and was introduced to Peter, the Malaysian student from UPM. I also talked with Arif, the Indonesian student from ITB himself (and a debater xD) so we had a lot of common things to talk about.

My turn was the last one as I arrived the latest so yes, it was nerve wrecking. But since it's only a speech, I just did my best and like how I normally would do, somewhat already have in mind that I won't advance to the next round.

After the speech is over, I felt relieved. Then there was tea time before we head back to the accommodation. Walking in Bandung isn't a problem due to cold weather, something I missed dearly as I typed.

The night was dinner at a restaurant uphill in Dago. It was even colder uphill! The result for the speech contest was also announced during dinner. When the announcer said he will announce it according to surnames, I knew mine will be the earliest should I get into the finals.

And yes, I got into the Finals as my name was 1st to be announced. Not only I arrived the same day of my speech, I got to know that I am a Finalist. That feeling was very 'different'.

[Before this, the post was typed on 23rd June. Today is 10th July as I'm typing the ones below. There will be inaccuracy but I'm just typing whatever I remembered.]

The next day was fun day where in the morning we visited Saung Anklung Udjo (SAU). SAU is definitely a tourist attraction. There were traditional dances and playing the 'anklung' together. Our visit that day was accompanied by 2 school visits so the performance place is packed with visitors. I would love to visit SAU again because it promotes the Indonesian culture.

Then in the afternoon, it is free day. And we went to 3 shopping places: Pasar Baru, Rumah Mode (Mo-de) and Paris van Java (PVJ). I called these the low end, middle end and high end places of shopping respectively.

Pasar Baru is the cheapest place to shop if you are not particular of brands. There are a variety of things to buy and you can even bargain for a lower price. I know I got 5 T-shirts for 100,000 Rupiah so each shirt is 20,000 ($3 or less!). That has got to be the cheapest T-shirt I ever bought. I know I didn't want to bargain because to me, it's already cheap enough to purchase so why ask for less? I may sound like I'm bloody rich at that place but when I see people trying to make end-needs on the street, it kinda open my eyes to how fortunate I am compared to them. So naturally, I won't ask for a lower price unless they offer.

Anyways, next destination was Rumah Mode. A lot of tourist came to this place too, although I think there's not much to see, except for beautiful design and statues. They have branded clothings like Uniqlo, F21, etc. But I kinda think it's a rip-off place coz my LO, Jamika, told me that the scarf (she showed me) here sells for 50,000 but from Pasar Baru, it's 10,000 and they're the same material. Basically, some items can be bought at Pasar Baru for a much cheaper price. Oh yea, Pasar Baru isn't some place where tourist would go because the whole building isn't like a modernised mall.

Speaking of modernised mall, PVJ is really, a super mall and that's the place where EVERYONE would go. It's the biggest mall in Bandung so no doubt, it is high end shopping place. We were only there for 2 hours because it was already 8 pm when we arrived. All those international franchise and brands are here: Starbucks, Auntie Anne's, KFC, McD, etc. You name it. From what I heard, this mall has a zoo and ice skating ring as well.

It was the only free day in Bandung so I did some shopping on that day. And I actually forgotten that the next day was the Speech contest. After the speech contest was the educational forum where each delegate present their cases. This is mostly presentation. Everyone's presentation is almost similar except for Hamz from UPM. He talked about 'mind reconstructing' and how it should be carried for better ideas, etc. I don't remember the exact details but I do know it's definitely the most odd ones out of all others. And the thing with odd ones is that one tends to remember it more than others.

Then later on, we were tasked to come up with some recommendation (I don't remember what) for joint statement. Given only 2 hours, I realised that working in a group does give more impact than working solo.

Drafting a joint statement takes a long time, from perfecting English grammar to the semantics of sentences. I done this before but I didn't contribute much. The whole process took us 4 hours before everyone finally agrees.

I remembered the farewell party. They announced the winners of the speech contest in which I didn't win but it's OK, a good experience. Taking a lot of pictures, receiving souvenirs and simply enjoying the last night in Bandung moments. I know I felt sad leaving that place coz I only get acquainted with some people and made new friends, plus I wanna stay there for an extra day! haha. I felt very welcomed at Bandung.

I know I miss the late night talks with Sakura-chan when Intan and Yuri slept early. I miss the cool weather in Bandung. I missed speaking in Bahasa Indonesia to Indonesian (although some Indonesian shopkeepers know I am not an Indonesian, imitation failed xD). I missed some of the friends I get to know at Bandung from different countries. I kinda missed speaking 4 languages interchangeably, (English, Indonesian, Japanese, Bahasa Brunei, although I think I mixed up all 4 of them xD). I missed my LO, Jamika who is very humble. I missed going to Circle K, the 24 hour convenience store located 15 minutes on foot to buy stuffs.

The whole trip to Bandung is a good experience. It made me realised how complicated my life is, materialistically, compared to the many Indonesians who live a simple life as they are finding difficulties to live day by day. I also realised that I like to know more about the daily lives of the locals, something I get first hand and without the need of the media. I know I wanna visit Bandung again one day :D

Ending this super long overdue post with some pictures:

Go to Bandung with 15KG. I know I overpacked stuffs.

Bandung's airport

1st meal in Bandung. '4 sihat 5 sempurna' is the saying of the Indonesians for a balanced diet.

Me and our LO, Jamika :)

1st Haagen Dazs in PVJ. Belgian Chocolate.

With Sakura-chan!

Flooding in ITB. Heavy downpour.
The guy with the different approach in presentation, Hamz.
I think after his presentation everyone started calling him 'Professor' and 'Scientist'.
ASEAN+3 nation flags, plus ASEAN flag