Sunday, December 24, 2017

Acheh, The Land of Survival 2017

On 26th December 2004, the whole world was awaken by such devastating news that a huge earthquake shocked the land of Acheh. The 9.3 magnitude Indian Ocean earthquake later caused one of the biggest tsunami tragedy which is known as the 6th deadliest natural disasters in history.

The whole world's attention was focused on this heart-wrenching tragedy. News would cover this tragedy for weeks. An estimate of 280,000 humans lost their lives on that day. Thousands more were never found, believed to be lost forever.

I watched the news with a heavy heart and was broken-hearted everytime the newscaster reported that more dead bodies were found.

Ever since the tragedy, I've vowed to visit this resilient state one day. I vowed to visit their people and witness their strength in facing such a huge test from Allah s.w.t.

One of the reasons the Acheh tsunami impacted me so much was because in 2001 (3 years prior to the tsunami), our family lost all our material stuff in a fire that burned our whole house. We were left with nothing except with the clothes on our back. But Allah's mercy know no boundaries. In one of the hardest times of our lives, our family witnessed kindness from relatives, friends, neighbours and strangers. Allah gave us strength to re-built our lives. And because of that, I could resonate with the feelings of the Achenese people.

And true to my expectations, Acheh didn't disappoint me at all. Learning about Acheh and its' people amazes me. Their strength in accepting this huge tragedy as part of Allah's test in this world humbles me. Their dedication on re-building their lives, pushes me to do my best in life too and most of all is their faith to Allah. One would think that after such a devastating tragedy, some humans turn away their beliefs from their Creator but Subhanallah the Achenese never did. Instead they became more steadfast and religious in their faith to Allah.

To the Achenese people, you are an inspiration to other Muslims in this world! I will be back, Insha Allah.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Life Without Distractions

We spent way, way too much on our gadgets these days. We almost forgot how the world used to function without internet or smartphones.

Our lives are constantly distracted by notifications from Facebook, instagram, messenger and other social medias. Sometimes it feels weird not having any sounds coming to remind or notify us about a friend's comment or status updates, so hence we stay glued to our gadgets.

I have years ago learned to dis-attach myself from these distractions. Many friends were bewildered when I slowly stopped checking my Facebook every few minutes of the day or not in the know of other friends' status. I then also stopped updating my own FB status because I felt that was not the 'real' validation that I craved for.

I learned that by dis-attaching myself from the fake world of Facebook and other social medias, I valued myself more. I am more confident with myself and I had more time to do things that really mattered like offering my time for charity work and enjoying quality time with people that I truly care.

The habit became more apparent nowdays (actually since a year ago) because I am always far away from my smartphone when I'm in the office. I rarely check my whatsapp when I'm working (to the irks of others) but I realized it has become a norm that friends/family/colleagues have come to accept.

By being away from my smartphone, it gives me plenty of time to focus and concentrate on my work and tasks that needs my immediate attention. I will from time to time check out for any urgent messages, but if nothing is that urgent, I am more than happy to leave it lying somehere far from me.

So when my team mates and I went for our unit retreat recently, we were placed in a remote place with no internet lines or even phone reception.

I was happy to just be surrounded by lush greeneries, with fun colleagues, great food and a good book. We had plenty of great conversations, games, team-building exercises and exchanges of gifts and affirmations.

Had I not had the years of practice of being far away from my smartphone, I would have been edgy, restless and would not enjoy one second of the retreat because I will be too anxious of not getting notifications on FB or Instagram. I will become nervous if I didn't see a friend's insta story.

Those days are gone. I am perfectly whole and happy with a life without distraction 😊

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Books, Books, Books

I promised myself every month to stop buying any more books until I have finished every single one of my unread books and yet every month I failed.

I can never resist or stop myself from entering into a bookstore. And of course every time I enter I will almost always end up with at least a minimum of one.

Who can resist the temptation of those exciting titles or those intriguing synopsis. Of course you must buy them all. If only I could read them as fast as I purchase them.

My interest in reading was inculcated mainly by my late father. As an educator he believed that they way to broaden your mind was to do a lot of reading. Since I was a child, I have always been surrounded by books. Reading was more of a habit than a hobby in my early childhood years. And that was how I grew up.

Our family used to have our own mini library at our old house. The shelves of books lined up against the walls excites me and the only way to get to those books, stacked on the higher shelves, was to climb a ladder. My sisters would always put their more adult books on the higher shelves, so I was unable to reach them.

As a kid I couldn't wait to grow up just so I could finally read those adult books. Those adults books were Sweet Valley High, which was only allowed to me when I was, myself in high school.

However as I grew older, more like after graduating and focusing more on my work, my habit of reading slowly diminished. Not that it was totally gone as I still had plenty of reading through law journals, case precedents but the interest wasn't the same. The motivation in reading to expand my horizon was no longer present. Reading became a mundane task and a necessary routine for my work at that time.

Years passed by and as I become more unhappy and restless with my career, I began to pick my old habits again, reading.

I promised myself that I will be more diligent in reading and it truly made me happy. Reading became my solace in this chaotic world called life. It was my escapism when I could not travel. It brought me to places I could never experience if not via the stories that I read.

This year I made a pact to read at least a book a month. Although I am behind by 2 books (only read 9 books so far despite already being in November), I vow I will finish 12 books this year.

Hopefully I can double this number next year as I have approximately 40 books (actually maybe more) yet to read. *cry*

To more reading!

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Am I Ready To Travel Alone?

It's been awhile since I last wrote in this blog. I admit work has taken most of my time lately. Returning to full time job has its perks and disadvantages. A more stable income but less time. I am however grateful for everything that has happened this last 7 months.

During this last 7 months, I have done quite a bit of traveling. Mostly local places like Ipoh, Terengganu, Alor Setar and Melaka. I have also visited my friend in Palembang last April/ May. Will write a separate entry on that. Due to the nature of my work, more like my contract, I have been unable to take longer leaves and I had to cancel my Spain trip this coming June. Hopefully, Insha Allah I will be able to make it next year.

I have always all the time travel with someone, either with a group of friends/colleague or my sister, and I have always been surrounded with people in my trip. To be honest, those trips were great and memorable partly because those people were in it, but lately I have been yearning to travel alone.

I have been reading on so many female solo travelers and deep down I want to experience solo traveling too. I have traveled solo to Melbourne in 2015 but was then joined by my friends there, so it wasn't exactly solo traveling.

This time I feel like I want to do it all alone, more like I NEED to do it alone. I miss my alone time. I used to work independently and was most of the time working alone, but since working in an office atmosphere with others, I realized I rarely get an alone time for me, just me. I share a house with friends which makes alone time less likely.

It does feel good to go somewhere, where only I can determine where I want to visit, what I want to do and how many hours I get to spend in a place. I long to visit a museum for hours without having to rush reading any parts of history, sit on a beach just by myself and reading a storybook, catch a sunset and thinking of my future without any distractions and many more things.

And so when AirAsia had another round of promotions (they have every month though), I decided to diligently find a ticket. I was edgy that I had no concrete plans of where to visit for the second part of 2017. I initially wanted to follow a friend to Melbourne, more like Tasmania but since the tickets were rather expensive, I began to search through every destination that AirAsia flies to. Yes that was how diligent I was. 

I knew what dates I wanted to go and was going through all the places that I wanted to go (my bucket list) and finally stumbled on a very cheap air ticket to Acheh.

I did ask some of my friends on whether they wanted to join me for this trip. Some did not respond and none could make it. I, on the other hand was determined to make this trip no matter what. And as fate has it, I will be going ALONE!!

I am super excited. I was a little nervous but after some research on the culture, places to visit and being introduced to a tour guide, I really think I am going to be fine. I know for a fact that this country/place is Insha Allah pretty safe. I know the language and this is the country that I have visited the most in my entire life, besides Malaysia. This will be the 9th time so it does make sense to start here for my first solo traveling. I also cannot wait to learn about their Tsunami history and just embrace traveling alone.

So here is to solo traveling people!! 5 more months to go!
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Monday, January 23, 2017

The Handbag Story

Almost all woman I know loves handbags. From expensive ones to non expensive ones. I love them too. They are a part of my daily life, and it carries my essentials all in one go. I carry them and bring them everywhere. Sometimes I wear them like a pair of shoe, so worn out but yet unable to go anywhere without them.

I cannot remember the last time I bought an expensive handbag, which cost me more than RM350. It was probably in 2012, a Braun Buffel pink bag which I craved for months.

Recently a friend criticized me right before I started my current job on how I have lacked style and elegance lately. In other words, I was messy. It wasn't the words that hurt me the most. It was the lack of understanding of who I was and how my handbag represented me.

This friend criticized me of being a mess just because I was carrying a worn out 5AUD tote bag whose picture of Flinder Street Station on the bag was peeling off. Despite the paint fading off, I truly loved that bag.

So you see I hardly wear branded bags anymore not only because one I cannot afford it and second if I could afford it, it just does not represent who I am at that moment. Those worn out tote bags tell people of places I have been and visited, things I have seen, places where I do my social work (including dusty and non-hygienic areas), people I have met and who I am in a deeper level.

I don't need a Gucci or Prada bag to tell people that I excel at my work or that I have seen some of the nicest places on earth. Handbag doesn't portray my level of faith to God nor does it justify who I am as a human being or a person.

So let's stop judging people based on appearance and let's learn to understand the beauty of someone's heart and soul as beauty will eventually fade with time.

* Please note that I am currently wearing a refugee handmade bag which cost RM60. Despite it's cheap price I am proud that by purchasing this bag I am helping to make a difference in someone's life. If you want to support them, kindly check out their FB page : Mangtha

Please also take note that my opinion of using cheaper bags is a personal opinion. It is not meant to criticize the choices of other women, so please don't take offence by my entry.
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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Malacca, Malaysia

Malacca is one of my most favourite place in Malaysia, besides Langkawi and Johor Bharu.

My vivid memory of Malacca must be the one where my late sister brought my family for a short vacation in 2007, a year before she passed away. It was our last trip with her.

Malacca is a very historical place in Malaysia. It is considered as the most historical state in Malaysia. It is significant as a trading port in the early days of 'Tanah Melayu' or Malay Land. Malacca was also awarded as one of Unesco's World Heritage Site in 2008.

More of Malacca's history can be read here.

Below are the things that you may do in Malacca:

1.Visit all the historical places in Malacca, if not all at least some of it. Of course, one cannot finish visiting all the historical places in one go as there any many interesting historical places to visit in Malacca. Depending on the numbers of days you are staying, you can choose and decide which historical places that you do want to visit.

Here are my recommendations and reasons :


Image result for a famosa fort
 Credit : Google

This historical fort was built by the Portugese named Afonso de Albuquerque who came to Malacca from Portugal in 1511 with his fleet of army who then attacked and defeated the Malacca Sultanate's armies. He built this fort near a natural hill, as a place of protection and hiding. It is the only Portugese fort that still exist in Malacca till this day.


Image result for stadthuys
Credit : Google

Now who wouldn't want to visit these beautiful bright red buildings in Malacca. Not only, it would make a nice background for your pictures due to it's vibrant colours, but these buildings were are part of the heritage left by the Dutch in Malacca when they defeated the Portugese over Malacca. These building have now been converted to a museum and was formerly used as an administrative building.


Image result for Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum
Credit : Google

This museum is actually really not the real palace of the Sultanate of Malacca but is a replica of what it looks like. Inside the museum, replica's of how the important leaders of the Sultanate are seated in a royal seating before the Sultan of Malacca/King of Malacca are placed. It in this manner, is how they discussed the affairs of the state.

The Sultan of Malacca had numerous trusted leaders. These leaders will take instructions for the ruling Sultan unconditionally. Among the most trusted and famous leaders of the Sultanate are known as Hang Tuah, Hang Lekir, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekiu and Hang Kasturi. They were known as the famous 5 Malacca warriors for their unconditional dedication and absolute faith to the Sultan's orders and safety.

There are other historical places that you can visit, depending on your time, but the above are the most recommended ones.

2. Stroll along and shop at Jonker Walk

Image result for jonker street
Credit : Google

Jonker Walk is one of the famous scenes in Malacca. One simply cannot miss going to Jonker Walk if you are visiting Malacca. The whole street is filled with food hawkers, to vendors selling toys, jewellery, paintings, t-shirts, and many other stuffs. The vendors operate only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7pm to 12pm on Fridays, and from 7pm-2.a.m on weekends.

Souvenirs and cheap items can be bought here. If you have nothing to buy, just embrace the lively and colourful atmosphere. Just be cautious of the crowd.

3. Take the Malacca Cruise 

Image result for malacca cruise

Water transportation used to be such an important part of Malacca's history as an international business and trading port. Businessman and traders from China and India would travel to Malacca and sell or exchange their goods using the Malacca straits.

The cruise will pass along the Malacca river and as you pass along the river, you can see beautiful art work on the walls of the shops facing the river. If you are taking the cruise at night, the whole boat will be glittered with shiny and bright lights, creating a calming and romantic atmosphere.

Street art in Malacca/ Melaka
Credit :


Because Malacca is situated along the Straits of Malacca, you may find that it is also famous for serving some of the most fresh seafood. Umbai is one of the known places in Malacca for it's fresh seafood. There are a few shops to choose from. The seafood are fresh and it is best enjoyed at night, with the cool breezing air from the beach.

Image result for fresh seafood display
Credit : Google

You may choose the seafood that you will like to enjoy and the price will depend on the size and weight of the seafood. You may also choose a variety of different styles of cooking for the seafood.


Image result for taming sari tower
Credit : Google

If you are interested to view the whole of Malacca town, riding this tower would be the best way to do that. The tower is a gyro tower, the only one in Malaysia. The observation deck will revolve 360 degrees to allow you to see the town of Malacca and beyond in 7 minutes.

This tower is open during the day and at night and the entry tickets are quite reasonable.

Image result for taming sari tower
Credit : Google


One of the best heritage in Malacca is the Peranakan or Baba Nyonya heritage. Their food is exceptionally unique as it is a mixture of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cuisine. From their 'asam pedas' to their unique flavoured 'laksa', anyone who visits Malacca must try some of these cuisines. 


I totally lurvee the Klebang coconut shake, though sadly I only got to taste it once. But it was enough to last me a memory of a lifetime. If you are visiting Malacca for the first time, I highly recommend that you try this marvelous coconut shake. It is a combination of coconut juice with ice, ice-cream and milk. And although you may find there is a long queue for you to buy this coconut shake, then you may want to have it at their food stall. It will take less time as the long lines are usually for take-away. And you may want to just kick back and enjoy this drink for a moment longer.

Image result for klebang coconut milkshake melaka
Credit : Google


This is the latest attraction in Malacca. This 42 storrey building is not for the faint hearted or for acrophobics, because the viewing deck is made of glass and can be a little eerie due to the heights. However, the view of Malacca city when viewed from above is priceless.

Image result for melaka sky tower
Credit : Google

Do share if you have any nice experience of visiting Malacca at the comment section below.
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