Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thousands of apologies for the sudden hiatus from blogging. Had so little time to settle down after the exams which I failed miserably the one I took in June, and have repeated the same paper just recently in September, and failed again. I got 42 marks! Sigh. So depressed. And that was my 4th attempt FYI. Hmm. Was it that hard? Or was I not that prepared? Entahla. And I've been busy with my work too, as always. One event led to another and it all still feel a little unreal now that I find myself sitting in my room, typing this. Hehe.

Trust me, I have lots to tell, but several things have been hindering my productivity. My laziness is astonishing. After I've done and dusted with my annual peak period which has just ended in September, I snooze through quarter of the day and as a result, the body aches, the brain doesn’t function well and I just can’t be arsed to do anything at all. Yes anything, but sleep :)

So... where did I stop before? Click HERE.

We then back at the houseboat, the lights were already on, the mountains in front of our place faded away into a blanket of darkness and of course we had our Kashmiri tea again, to warm us up.

I then straight went to my room, slip under the duvet and curl up like a baby. Hehe. I was all alone at first but Nini soon joined me and believe it or not, that was the best thing ever to do during winter. BERKUNTUM! Haha.

Occasionally the housekeeper of the boat would drop in to ask us if we wanted more tea or what we would like for dinner, but for the rest of the time we were just together, resting under the duvet, stayed warm and watching TV.

That peaceful moment was however interrupted. There was a man rowed to our doorstep offering us Kashmiri souvenirs of which mostly pashmina shawl and some wooden fridge magnets and handicrafts. We could take a bit of Kashmir back with us home, he said.

So my friend Nini, bought the magnets and pashmina but I didn't buy any of those. Just because I thought I can find the magnets later somewhere else. However, truth to be told the fridge magnet was nowhere to be found haha. Lesson learned! Beli je lah kalau dah jumpa, just buy one at least. Hehe.

He was soon joined by another boat filled with handmade leather jackets and gloves. After so much consideration of the activities for tomorrow, I was thinking that I might need the gloves because I left mine at home. Sobs. So here you go, another unnecessary spending.

That night, all of my friends had the leftover lunch (Hyderabad biryani) for dinner and I was just eating nasi impit with sambal ikan bilis my mom packed for me. Hehe. Pure bliss.

When I got back to our room, I changed my clothes to legging and jumper, tried to sleep but couldn't. Sobs. Started thinking what if something happened to us and was this houseboat haunted or not. Tsk tsk. But anyhow, I managed to sleep and I can still remember I got up once that night to pee and had to kejut my friend to accompany me. Hehe.

I woke up the next day with a minor headache, probably because of the cold or maybe because of not getting enough sleep.

Our breakfast was just bread and omelette but I've had zero appetite and felt so dizzy this morning. So I've requested cereal and milk and a cup of Kashmiri tea for my breakfast. We then left for Sonamarg an hour later, located approximately 80km and about an hour and a half drive from Srinagar.

The route from Srinagar to Sonamarg is beautiful. But the weather and scenery changing all the time, especially during winter. And we were lucky enough to have bright sunshine and views like these. Can't stop myself from taking pictures with my phone. Then lepastu terus rasa nak muntah. Haha. Car-sickness! You know some people they can read or even playing with the phone in moving cars, but definitely not me. Hehe.

And the above is a very common sight of Kashmir. No photograph can actually bring out what it really feels like to see those mountains in the setting sun. So breathtaking. I was told by my friends that Sonamarg is also the place where the famous Hindi movie Bajrangi Bhaijan was shot. Haha. And at that point of time, I haven't watched this movie yet, so I was not that excited. Nyesal tak tengok awal-awal, Bajrangi Bhaijan is such a good Hindi movie. Hehe. And now I'm wondering if there is any part of Kashmir left untouched for Bollywood movies.

We then stopped for a while at the road side to take this picture. Those small houses and the mountains at the back, they are sooo gorgeous. We spent for almost 5 to 10 minutes just by looking at this beautiful scenery.

And suddenly a young Kashmiri boy rushed towards us, he didn't say anything but just look at us silently. And sometimes I think, immediate surrounding like this that drew our attention more. What do you want little boy? We then gave him some money before we left him to continue our journey. Sedekah :)

Our transportation for 4 days in Kashmir 

We were driving through the mountains in Srinagar-Sonamarg route, listening to local music and our driver Nadeem turns out to be soo cheesy. He said, he likes my eyes. Hahaha. Pengsan. He was asking if the colour of my eyes is real. Ahaks. Well of course not! Grrr. Haha. I 've been wearing pure hazel coloured contacts, FYI, trying to blend in with the locals. Hiks.

There came to a point which Nadeem informed us we couldn’t go any further by car. We either had to ride a horse or walk. There's one guy came along which Nadeem seemed to know him very well, I assumed. He offered us very large coats, almost two sizes large and boots, for rent. I was not really keen to rent the coat at first, entah siapa-siapa la yang pernah pakai sebelum ni haha but next thing I knew, eventually I still put the coat on.

Hehe. Our first time riding horse, so excited!

But before that, we I need a toilet break! Haha. That structure in red is the public restroom, they said. It was in a semi-acceptable state but I need to go regardless. Sobs.

The sky suddenly looks all dramatic. At every turn , the river gave us company but the background kept changing. Sometimes it was the snow-covered mountain as a background and at other times, it filled with pine trees.

Hehe. To be honest we were all first timers, and we never ridden a horse before. But horse riding is fun, no matter what the climate is. So don't worry so much, just try and have fun.

In a region where everything has been associated by every actor known to Bollywood, it came as no surprise to me that the horses would also take the names of Raja and Rani. Hahaha. They seemed to fall in love and it was quite difficult to handle them. Asyik melekat sajork dua ekor. Tskk. Kuda pun ada pasangan, kauuuuu? Sedih.

We were told that the horses will take us someplace where there’s a river which they called Point B. And we stopped there for a while and took some pictures. It was cold seriously. Sejuksssss sangat, our noses turned red, our toes were freezing and our faces looked pale! Masa ni semua orang rasa macam weng and we quickly decided to go back. Still need to ride a horse for about 30 minutes, though. haha. Rasain.

 There's always a place for chai and small conversation in every part of Kashmir

One of the resorts along the way up 

And these are some pictures taken whilst riding a horse.

To be continued.

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2:45 AM | 1 comments
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Okay, so I really, really, really, haven't written in awhile. Was completely and utterly consumed with work. And now that I am officially on study leave, life seems better. Hehe. Still have to study though, but at least no work related matter at this point of time until 6 June 2016. My last final ACCA paper and seriously my undergrad exams were nothing compared to this. Sobs. I'll be taking P7 (audit paper), and this will be my 3rd freaking attempt! Haha. An exam I desperately wanted to pass. Please please please.

Anyhoo, just really glad to write again after I have been on hiatus for quite some time. And there's one crazy wish list I've always been thinking since last year. HIKING MOUNT KINABALU! Haha. That's quite an overstatement , I know. Me being myself, I am not an outdoor person. Would rather sleeping or watching movies than you know.. walking in the park under the hot burning sun. Haha.

Tehtap, acah-acah pose. Hiks

So I was quite surprised that hiking Mount Kinabalu has been something I've been wanting to cross off my bucket list. It is indeed a very high mountain and for me who never climb any hill before apart from Broga Hill which I recently just hiked, I can only think that this woman is having a midlife crisis, perhaps. Haha.

I've been reading this one blog, KAK KIAH SUKA TRAVEL and her experience on climbing Mount Kinabalu is sooooo funny haha. Well, Kak Kiah boleh, hopefully I can, too. Sobs.

We plan to go somewhere in March next year and preparation stage has begun. I climbed Broga Hill, once, few months back. Hehe.  More like crawling actually, mintak nyawa sangat. And my face once became a permanent feature in the gym, well that was few years ago, I don't think I will subscribe any gym membership just for the sake of training. From what I've read, you only have to exercise, panjat tangga ke apa, and stay fit. Hehe.

May Allah ease everything, my exam and this crazy plan.


8:47 AM | 2 comments
Sunday, May 8, 2016

Apa kabar hari ini?
Lihat tanda tanya itu,
jurang antara kebodohan,
dan keinginanku memilikimu sekali lagi.

I personally love this movie so much, I have seen it twice. And probably I could watch this movie again, any time. The chemistry of Nicholas Saputra and Dian Sastrowardoyo were so off-the-charts.

And I was really glad that the second part delivered as I'd hope. 14 years of  waiting after "Ada Apa Dengan Cinta" was first released in 2002. I was at that time, 16 years of age, definitely worth the wait. 

The execution of the movie pushed all the right buttons for me. The cinematography was great, every scene is shot with purpose. And Indonesia in particular Jogjakarta, where the movie was mainly filmed, is so beautiful. Full of vibrant colours and Jogja really has an awesome view of nature, at its best. 

Apart from the fact that AADC2 is totally nostalgic and it brings everyone back in time, what I like the most about this new sequel is the acknowledgement that time has passed. Everyone is looking at a different perspective now because time really flies and it simply means growth; a little bit older, a little more wiser. 

And what gets to me most, Rangga back then was already intense with his so deep looking eyes and those pair of eyes are still... the same. Sigh. Ganteng bangat. He looks like one lonely soul searching for something and trying to go back to one place he always wanted; home. It is the place where the heart is, where his Cinta is.

The characters came to life through the story, the way they acted, made decisions, loved, lost and lived, they seem all so real. And I really love the friendship between Cinta and her friends, so sooo genuine and loyal. 

True enough, somehow I think art imitates life, how all of us in one way or another feel that we can never move on from that one person from our past, the one who is now a stranger to us. Very, very relatable. 
Kadang-kadang, kau fikir mudah mencintai semua orang daripada melupakan satu orang.Jika ada orang telanjur menyentuh inti jantungmu mereka yang datang kemudian hanya menyentuh kemungkinan.
AADC2 is primarily a love story and on that premise, it definitely delivered. Highly recommended!

Well, when it's meant to be, it's meant to be.
Back then, and now.


5:28 PM | 2 comments
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Am back!

Just arrived home last night from super last minute trip to Myanmar. Inle Lake in summer is a glorious treat. It was good 20 degrees. The colors are warm, the sun is splendour and the flowers abloom. It gets pretty cold in the morning and boy, I underestimated the weather! Was shivering like crazy.

And Yangon.. personally, it wasn't the most pleasant trip I've taken. Been there, done that. I've seen what I want to see, at least. And don't get me wrong, I super love Inle Lake but I didn't enjoy Yangon as much just because the weather was too HOT. It can reach up 40 degrees, day time. I can't even stay outside for more than an hour. Haha. Panas ngat ngat, tak tahan.

And I just realised upon looking our photos, that we looked tanned! Hiks. Mungkin kena tempek bedak tanaka sat lagi, I really think we're a bit sunburnt.

My first impression of Myanmar, it's like going back to the 80s. These folks live a simple and modest life. Well, their life may be small, incredibly simple as compared to our ideas of materialistic comfort but yet I've seen a tranquillity and happiness, they seem content with their life.

And for all the difficulties and unpredictability of life, some things remain so humble. Like the sunrise above. We deliberately woke up at 5.00 am to catch this view. Having missed the sunset on our first evening because it was raining so badly.

More on this later, which is entah bila. Haha.


3:49 PM | 4 comments
Sunday, April 17, 2016

Watching the sun go down behind the distant mountain, I just lost in my own thoughts. Hmm, definitely a sucker for those amazing colors and I could watch this scene over, and over again. 

 Cont'd from HERE

After a quick freshen-up and solat, we have been served an incredible Hyderabad Biryani for lunch. Well I'm not really a big fan of biryani but I was pleasantly surprised. Cannot comment much on whether it was a "real" Hyderabad, cause I ain't never had one before, mate! And was that a coleslaw? Never tried that one too!

To be honest, my stomach can't really tolerate with this kind of food, dia macam tak boleh telan, kenot go orang cakap. Being a mek, my comfort food would always be sayur air, sup, tom yam, budu! Ahaha #matilahnak.

But my friends said that was the best Biryani they've ever tasted! So, I think mama (we called Uncle Nabi's wife mama okay, haha, there's a story behind it, more on that later) really made with love using the best quality Basmathi rice, well-marinated chicken and the best saffron in town. Seriously I can't recall the taste of that Biryani because I've eaten something else; nasi impit and sambal ikan bilis my mom packed for me. Hehe. And they happily had my portion. Dasar kelaparan semua orang masa ni.

Hiks. Kena bebel walau di mana jua anda berada. Haha. Mom definitely knows best kan? She packed for me 30 small packets of nasi impit but I left 15 at home. Told her, that's too much. Hahaha. Rasain loh. Kalau orang tua cakap tu, tolong dengar dan ikut! Hehe.

On top of Houseboat Lily of Nageen

And while we waited for our shikara ride in the evening, we were sitting on the wooden floor on top of the houseboat. A great view of other houseboats lined up along the lake and we can clearly see shikaras in vibrant hues. Mostly in red and yellow, and they were so bright in colors, so vivid and beautiful.

Our boatman

When the boatman came, we then boarded a shikara together with Uncle Nabi. They took us to a non-tourist zone and we can feel the silence in a hidden corners of Nageen lake, floating literally on the surface of the waters. So calm and peaceful.

Pardon my acah-acah pose. Pretending to dip my hand in the water of Srinagar, checked!


It was cold that time. So cold to be honest, I shiver a bit. But seeing the reflections of the houseboats on the water, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. Such a beauty.

Lily pond

Well, the boatman didn't speak much, perhaps because of language barrier. But we did chat with Uncle Nabi a bit. He told us that lotus season had not started, yet. The lake will only be surrounded with water lily and lotus somewhere in April. And from my observation, almost every house or houseboat in Srinagar had a little garden in their backyards. It is one of their sources of income, they might be selling bouquet of flowers or even the flower seeds to tourists.

We then floated in silence, embracing the moment. It was so amazing to sit in the slow moving shikara, watching the mountains around and you just see a life beyond what you've usually seen. 

I felt calm. You see something so different. Almost every family here needed a shikara, their only modes of transportation to move around.  And I don't know why, but when I see the ladies rowed their boat, just two of them, probably a mom and a daughter, that scene was a bit heart warming.

The famous Hazratbal Shrine

The sun almost going down into the lake, and the dark was slowly cloaking the sky. We literally had the sunset all to ourselves. And when we were approaching the famous Hazratbal Shrine (mosque) situated on the left bank of Dal lake, we were told that a single hair of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is preserved here. Maybe it was just a myth, I don't know. And we heard clearly they were reciting quran. Mungkin jugak sebab dah nak azan masa tu. Haha.

Hazratbal Shrine is visible from most parts of the Dal Lake

It's just beautiful 

Nageen Lake, you've been dazzling but for now, au revoir!

To be continued,..

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1:26 AM | 3 comments

Noor Rafidah Jacob
Fida Jacob
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Kaplan Financial UK
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