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of the super random update..

aha..don’t be fooled..it’s not gonna be something like “thank god it’s friday!” or “weekend is here!”..naa~ nope, no oh oh..it’s been a while since i started to have classes on saturdays and therefore, my weekends start only when it’s really on the weekend..

it’s funny how i now have to crack my head for things i never imagine i would be doing..like suddenly i have to analyse the issues that klia2 is now experiencing..well of course, it’s a matter of asking the right person for the right information, and some ‘religious readings’ on some weird, foreign journals over that matter..as long as there are statistics, some sound logical and practical suggestions, i’ll be getting close to being accepted..and with some specific idea in trying to critically address the issue, bingo! i’m getting even closer to it..

however, here’s the thing..there’ll be no one at least within the vicinity of the lecture hall who is credible enough to at least say that “hey mate, that’s not really how airport works” or “yea~ but that’s not really true”..well may be a couple of them could..but that’s not the point..the point is, tomorrow, or many more days before and after this, all of us will be discussing matters that suddenly we’re an expert of..clarifications are mostly based on our logic, knowledge are discussed on the surface level with general statements and comprehensions are mostly based on personal ideas..learning is NOT anything near optimum..

the education process is there, but it is NOT entirely educating..

and because of that, people get their hands on their phones and tablets..and the rest are stories of everyone..

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of our indirectness..

let’s put this blog’s idleness aside and get straight to the point..

i’m currently working on my research and since my brain is actively processing the technicalities of our language, i get extra sensitive toward the meaning and connotation that are associated with our sayings..

for example, we would say “orang berbudi kita berbahasa, orang memberi kita merasa” to imply that there needs to be some sort of appreciations when something is being given to us..like thanking them or be humbled with what has been given..some people would also define this saying as returning back the deeds but to me, the latter definition is not as favourable as the former..

this gets me into thinking..if this saying intends to highlight “repaying” as in membalas budi, why did the saying stop at ‘kita merasa’..?

i know one of the features of peribahasa includes being indirect but how indirect is ‘orang memberi kita merasa’..to me it’s plain literal – it simply means ‘we get to taste what is being given to us’..no implication of having the responsibility to repay the kindness in whichever forms possible..

you see, it’s in the genetic of our culture..receiving without wanting to contribute back..how frustrating..mana adabnya..?

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of that service charge..

i went out with jack earlier to kill some time and to watch a movie..if i can correctly recall, that was our first cinema date together after getting married last december..it felt as if we were still courting when i entered the cinema just now 😛

anyway, that was not the central limelight that i wanted to share actually..

we went to one of the local cafes in the mall to have our lunch after the movie and upon finishing our lunch, we received a bill that stated some amount of money must be paid for 1) government tax and 2) service charge..government’s tax aside (as a longer argument could be made out of it which i’m too tired to discuss here) let’s talk about the service charge..

from my calculation, the service charge imposed by this cafe did not follow any specific percentage and my best guess was that it’s a flat rate applicable on all purchases..however small the purchase was, the cafe would still be profitable from that item PLUS the service charge..how selfish and manipulative that is..

you see, i used to go to cafes where the food was exceptional and the service was incomparable..my dining experience was not tarnished even by a slight bit..and most importantly, they never cheat on their customers..you’d only need to pay for service charges if you choose to dine in and they mentioned it explicitly on their menu board/book..

if i was a customer who wanted to buy food for takeaway from the cafe that i just visited earlier, i would still be paying for the service charge that i did not use..the only service i used from them is to get the food consumable which to my understanding, did not count as servicing the customer..so they had the need for customer, i had the need for what they’re selling, i gave them money for what i wanted, and they charged me for things that i didn’t use nor need..?

well, whatever..

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of the road trip..

i’ve just got home from a two-week road trip around europe covering germany, czech, austria, switzerland, france and the netherlands..it gets very tiring moving from one country to another but the time are very well spent..i wouldn’t be sharing much of my travel experiences but i’m gonna share some useful lessons i learn from this super amazing trip..

1) having a clean, nice and comfortable hotel room really helps your mind and body to rest after a long journey..cleanliness helps you to stay healthy (other than food) throughout the journey and trust me this is very crucial in a much anticipated trip as you don’t want to ruin the trip by catching up with cold or getting sick from the bed bugs..secondly, a well ventilated room helps you with the laundry..you don’t want to be carrying too many clothes that will either add up your luggages or needing you to bring along huge luggage that will slow down your mobility..hence, a nice hotel room with a private bathroom and well ventilated room allows you to do some washings of your socks, underwears, light t-shirts, shawls etc and therefore, allows you to re-use the clothes..thus, extra luggages are needless..travel light is also highly possible..

2) oh i’m not done with the importance of having a proper accommodations for your trip..some budget accommodations are cheap for a reason..that you will have to pay extra for the linens, towels, toiletries etc..and therefore there’s a need for you to use some space in your luggage for such necessities..i think you’ll get much peace of mind if you don’t have to worry about bringing your own towels, blanket etc and keep them smelly throughout the journey because you can rarely dry them before packing them again..if you leave it to the hotel room, they change the towels and linens every day and again, more space in your luggage!

3) some sense of responsibility and courtesy are highly needed..when you’re the one not driving and you’re as physically able as your driving friend, it’s good and helpful if you can keep awake throughout the journey and create conversations to keep the driver awake and sane..sometimes GPS drives you lost and therefore, leaving it all up to the driver wouldn’t be helpful or beneficial to anyone of you as it will involve more cost for fuel and it will consume a lot of emotional tensions..

4) communicate the goals and intentions of the trip..therefore none of your wants will be disappointed..it’s important too that you do not create a rigid rule such that everyone must go to the same place at the same time within the same time allocation..come on, everyone has different needs and being too rigid with movements will only burn the excitement of group traveling..

5) understand your partner and control your material wants..you see some of us travel because we have the chance to and not necessarily fully capable in terms of financial allocations..things offered in some places might look flashy and shiny and highly tempting..if you keep desiring to getting more when you know you cannot afford spending your money on such things, you’ll only keep disappointing yourself..the purpose of traveling is to see beyond what shops have to offer and thus, enjoy the places, enjoy the food, enjoy the company, and enjoy the experience itself better..

and because i’ve just had a road trip with some excellent companies, excellent accommodations, good foods, and less on unnecessary spendings, i wake up this morning feeling disoriented, losing the sense of time as my head is still on the road, looking forward to the next destinations and experience..

alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah..Godwillingly, He’ll allow me to travel His world again..ameen..i’ll write more on tips on public transportations in europe soon..i’ Allah..

walking around the city of Berlin..
walking around the city of Berlin..
photo 3
prague by night time..this was taken from charles’ bridge..
photo 4
schonbrunn..the park is so huge, and it was so hot that we almost gave up looking for this side of the park..
photo 5
this was taken when we took a cable car ride to start hiking the alps..what lofer has to offer is really underrated..lofer is such a gem..
photo 6
this is a cave..a deep and cold cave with a natural waterfall..and this too, is in lofer, austria..
photo 7
a quick drop by in Zurich just to see its lake..it’s a full moon, and unfortunately our camera couldn’t do justice to its beauty..
photo 8
the city of salzburg..as for this one, it’s really overrated..
photo 9
luzern..it was just a fortress with a minaret and we couldn’t have guessed that it would be magical if we climb..and this is the surprise we’ve got..the surprise could not get any better..we love simply love this..
photo 10
my husband really loves this place..i’m glad i could be around to places he loves 🙂
photo 11
volendam..a little north from the city center and this comes as a surprise for us too..the setting of this small fishing village is extraordinary..the houses look like as if they’re in a filming studio..and the plus point being, everyone speaks english..anddd, the fish and chips are the best i’ve had so far..fresh from the fishermen!
photo 12
the weather was not permitting when we were in amsterdam but the weed industry really surprises us..we saw a man carrying two marijuana trees in his bike..a couple smoking weed just outside their balcony sharing the smell with us, and a boat planting several trees on top of the boat..such a unique town..
photo 13
madurodam – you see, it’s important to let the kids understand how things work and the purpose of each creations..here they get to learn first hand how things work and what they can do as a part of a bigger system..adults are allowed to learn too..of course..
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this is our view from the balcony of our Austrian hotel..the sun set..

 

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of that calm day..

have you ever woken up to your favourite feeling about one of your favourite days..?well, you might not get what i mean but here’s how i feel..

i woke up today to some chilly wind, breezy weather, and some sunshine that didn’t burn your eyes or skin..it reminded me to the exact feeling of waking up from my mother’s room, in one of the days of ramadan, overlooking through the window there, seeing the pokok durian, a cleaned road as my mom would have cleaned the road after subuh prayer..i liked how the day started..such a calm day..

also, one of the days in wellington..when the day was not too cold or too hot, that i woke up early and i had no class to attend to..the smell of a specific perfume, the walk i took outside of my house on my way to the town to get my favourite hummingbird hot chocolate..and to be greeted “morning sunshine” from the coffee stall owner..again, such a calm day..

i woke up to the same feeling this morning..it’s a calm ramadan..just like home..alhamdulillah..

the view from shufaiha's window in her room..the view from my window is my neighbour's window :( such a peaceful view aye..?
the view from shufaiha’s window in her room..the view from my window is my neighbour’s window 😦 such a peaceful view aye..? i’m pretty sure shufaiha captured this..kak long, kita cilok gambar kak long amek..gee~ aileviu kak long..thank you~ 😛
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yes i’ve an essay to write..

hence having the luxury of having so much time to waste 😦

it’s been ages since i last wrote and no, i don’t think i can keep up with writing travel-related posts..somehow it gives me much of a writer’s blog than knowing i can freely write almost anything that i want..so yea, why should i restrict myself to writing travel posts only when i don’t really have to, right..?hahah..oh God..i wonder where my self discipline has gone to..

anyway, ramadan is here again and praises to the almighty God, He wills me to observe this holy month once again and even better, God gives me a man i could call the husband, who in return, willingly spends his time and presence with me to go through the routines in ramadan together..it’s such a wonderful feeling altogether that now my taraweeh is led by my husband and that feeling when i get to say ameen to his every prayer for US, is just completely beyond overwhelming..

we’re still very new in this but Godwillingly, we’ll seek for His guidance in keeping us together in harmony and melody 🙂

anyway, a friend’s facebook status actually gives me a serious nudge so i can reflect on my practices as a muslim..i mean, so all these while when we overspent, or overate, or being too happy with our lives and forgetting that the happiness is from him, we could put all the blame on the devils..but now that they are tied in hell, who should we blame when we overspend our money, waste our PRECIOUS time, delaying our prayers or spend our time in cafes or restaurants while everyone else is performing taraweh in a mosque just a stone throw away from us..you see, the devils don’t even have to try to seduce us..we’ve fallen deep into their trap that they don’t have to worry about not doing their duty during ramadan..it’s just so sad knowing that we are their proof of success – that their hard works are very well paid off..

forgive us, the Almighty..let’s use this ramadan to mend and fix our screwed selves..Godwillingly..

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venice – tips and travel advice..

it rained this morning and it was chilly..but now the sun is here, bringing warmth to the day..alhamdulillah, rain or shine, there’s oxygen for us to breathe in..aside from the annoying noise coming from the construction site just in front of my flat, everything else is doing fine, i’Allah..boyfriend is down with a little fever but i get him under control..i’ve just fed him with some warm chicken porridge and hopefully he’ll get enough vitamin C from the fresh mangoes we bought yesterday..

let’s continue with my journal from the previous trip i had..well, we had..jack and i i mean 🙂 the first destination was venice..

if we managed to get into the first flight, we would have arrived in venice earlier that day..but unfortunately, we had to take the longer road..hence we arrived around 7 that evening..instead of arriving at the much cheaper airport (treviso) we arived at marco polo airport..

from marco polo airport we took water taxi to get to san marco – the heart of venice..the ticket was EUR15 per person one way but it’s advisable that you take the return ticket which will cost you EUR28..i did not take that ticket because i did not use the same airport to fly back home..it was a long 2-hour journey and the water taxi stopped at several stops..here’s another thing..water travel is expensive as the fare is EUR18 per person per day so if you plan for a longer stay in venice, do stay nearby san marco as you will be able to find bridges to cross and avoid using vaporetto..so the only vaporetto ticket you’d need after that is vaporetto line #2 as it will take you either to the car park, train station or the bus station..

here’s more on the guides to use vaporetto that’s very useful for pre-departure preparation http://www.smithsonianmag.com/specialsections/ricksteves/Getting-Around-Venice-by-Vaporetto.html

**the article is a bit out dated but it pretty much describes the vaporetto service perfectly well**

there are several halal kebab shops in venice but you have to explore a little to find them because most of them are not rightfully situated in san marco..we found one in san polo and we met a few fellow malaysians there 🙂

what else about venice..?oh, do check for the weather before going so you could bring appropriate clothes and enjoy that place despite the weather..

it was raining, and this was a photo when we were in the boat, overlooking the island as we were approaching it..the boat had to make ways to the passing speed boats and that made the journey much slower, other than having to stop at several stops before reaching the main stop..which happened to be the last stop (san marco)..
it was raining, and this was a photo when we were in the boat, overlooking the island as we were approaching it..the boat had to make ways to the passing speed boats and that made the journey much slower, other than having to stop at several stops before reaching the main stop..which happened to be the last stop (san marco)..
the canal as seen from one of the bridges..this is the bridge in front of the train station..and it's sunny!
the canal as seen from one of the bridges..this is the bridge in front of the train station..and it’s sunny!
the gondola ride is EUR80 per ride and that's the cheapest it can go..pair up with fellow travelers so you can split the cost..and that's also the way to talk about the trip and exchange some very useful information!
the gondola ride is EUR80 per ride and that’s the cheapest it can go..pair up with fellow travelers so you can split the cost..and that’s also the time to talk about the trip and exchange some very useful travel information!
it got a bit warm especially if you come from the cold UK and europe's temperature was such a blessing for you..if it gets windy, settle for cupped ice cream and not conned ice-cream..you don't want the wind to melt your ice cream and fly on some stranger's clothes..no, not during your short and highly anticipated holidays..
it got a bit warm especially if you come from the cold UK and europe’s temperature was such a blessing for you..if it gets windy, settle for cupped ice cream and not conned ice-cream..you don’t want the wind to melt your ice cream and fly on some stranger’s clothes..no, not during your short and highly anticipated holidays..