getting lost in phnom penh.

-Continuation from the Ho Chi Minh post

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As soon as the bus arrived at the Cambodia immigration border, I instantly felt the huge shift of vibes. Cambodia sort of gives me different feels than Vietnam. Well, both are completely different lands albeit the similarities in their people. You might want to check out the history of both countries because conflicts happened between them in the past. Moving on, tarred roads do exist in Cambodia, but most of them are filled with potholes here and there. The housing areas are pretty much scattered and disorganized. And I think it wasn’t a fair first impression of Cambodia since we were only at the countryside. The capital, Phnom Penh is 170 kilometres away from Bovet, the bordering city. I don’t want to expect anything, actually.

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the restaurant

After getting our passports stamped, our bus stopped by a restaurant for lunch. It’s a Vietnamese restaurant so as expected, we found them selling phos, banh mi and other Vietnamese dishes. My sister and I didn’t really know what to do because the bus was locked so we opted to take our seats on a bench inside the restaurant. Which means some time to observe the environment there.

The bus driver and his conductor didn’t spend much time munching on their lunch. We spent around 20 minutes at the stop and after everyone got on the bus, our journey to the capital continued. As usual, I slept. Hahaha. It was definitely a bumpy ride but along the journey, we captured a few sceneries of the locals. So yeah.

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our first tuk tuk ride. kind driver we got :”)

After 3 hours, finally we arrived! As we got nearer to our destination, the view got better and better. There are more tall buildings and streets filled with tuktuks, cars and motorbikes. We stayed at Onederz Hostel which is just in front of the Tonle Sap river and that was the best decision I’ve ever made, seriously. The staffs are veryyy welcoming and hands down, Asian hospitality is the best of all! I still remember their names – Sukkim and …… The hostel felt so much like home because everyone needs to take off their shoes before entering and the interior is neat and clean. We stayed at the womens’ dormitories and got ourselves the view of Tonle Sap river :DDD

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view from the inside of the hostel

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view from our room 😀

And that was how I met my Vietnamese friend, Xinh! More on her later.

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Basically, Cambodia’s currency is in US Dollars and also Riels which made us struggled on limiting our budgets there. Obviously, we couldn’t escape from converting USD to MYR everytime buying stuff here. Tips 1: Refrain from converting during  travel. Another tips would be Cambodians traditional souvenirs/bags/textiles are wayyyy more beautiful than Vietnam’s idk why…. So now you know where to splurge your money on the next trip to Vietnam/Cambodia. Their silks are soooo tempting to buy but me got no money so byebye silk :”””””(((

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chilling around the palace in the afternoon #hotlikehell

The main plan in Phnom Penh is just to chill around the city and not to go so far out of the city. Our budgets were limited and transportations are expensive. Tuktuks can cost around 5-10 USD if you don’t negotiate well and Grab isn’t available there. Sheesh. At times, we went jalan2 by tuktuks and at times, we walked on foot. Geez, walking on foot is healthy but once you got lost, it would be annoying. I remember there was a time where we wanted to have dinner at a halal restaurant which is 3 blocks south from our hostel. We standby some maps for directions but somehow we got lost for 40 minutes ahhahahahaahaa. In the end, it turns out that we were at the right street and after asking the locals around the street, we heard this,

“Halal restaurant? Close! Close!” he giggled while pointing at the next shop. But then I saw on the internet that the restaurant is open until 11:30 pm?? Haih, shouldn’t rely much on Google. No wonder the street was pretty dark at that time. After that, we walked on empty stomachs and headed to the halal restaurant behind our hostel. We’ve eaten there the day before so we thought of trying other halal restaurant. But then, program got cancelled so it was time to head 3 blocks north again :”””””))))

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At 10:30 pm, we finally had our dinner in MK Halal restaurant – see on the map how farrrr we walked! Thankfully, the meals were great 😉 And nearby the restaurant, there’s a night market where they sell clothes, accessories and food. We managed to get our tastebuds on the coconut ice-cream and ate it while enjoying the night breeze along the river. Sat on a bench and just enjoyed the last night in Phnom Penh :)) how laidback it was <<333

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where we lepak-ed at night

on the next day, we were supposed to board our flight home but……something occurred. Something common but also unexpectedly interesting.

 

tbc on next post!!

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exploring ho chi minh

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Having a 2-week break, I wanted my break to be productive and well-planned. It’s a waste to just stay at home doing nothing and just see my holidays pass in a blink of eye. So, I thought, hmm let’s just go somewhere. I decided to travel to 2 countries at once considering that it’d be worth the money and I could try take on some cross-bordering experience. I planned roughly our itinerary and I got my sister, Aiza to be my travel partner for the first time ever. Heh, so it’s just the two of us carrying huge backpacks around the city.

 

Our flight to Ho Chi Minh was at 9 am and that was the perfect timing ever. After experiencing a 7-am flight in the past, it was a blessing to go for a 9-am flight (and also having a sister who works in the airport hehe). I’ve always hated red-eye flights because I would not be able to sleep the night before. There’s always these what if I woke up late and missed my flight and did I miss anything before zipping my bagpack thoughts before sleeping the night before. And I must say, the worry is usually completely gone after zipping the bag for the final time. No more putting things and searching for this and that; you just want to throw your bags into the car boot and just move to the airport ASAP. Hahaha lol.

 

And yeah, this was actually my first time flying abroad with Malaysia Airlines. I’ve flied twice with them but only to Langkawi. So far, it has been a nice experience since we were served the nasi lemak onboard yeay!! I was hungry at that time, so I don’t really expect it to be so good since airline food is always meh but I genuinely like it. We arrived earlier than we were scheduled to, but the queues at the immigration were damn long so it didn’t make any difference. I tell you, there were so many people lining up to get their passports stamped and surprisingly, there were no hijabis except us. After clearing immigration and taking our bags, we headed for the bus. Cheap and easy. I actually love taking bus during travelling and I just don’t know why. The experience is just better than taking trains or cars. Most probably because it’s the ideal way to get closer sight to the locals’ daily lives.

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post touchdown – enjoying Pepsi we bought from Burger King while waiting for the bus 109 to Ben Thanh

If anyone would ever asked me on how many days should one spent in Ho Chi Minh, I’d just answer it depends. Ho Chi Minh is kinda large city plus you have the historical spots which are quite far from the city. Example is the Cu Chi tunnels. If you truly want a free and easy trip, maybe you could allocate 6 days to entirely cover the city, historical places and the floating market in Mekong River. Or you could take any daytrips to several places like the famous sand dunes idk. Just, don’t rush when it comes to planning because trust me, it’d make things more tiring than ever. Take things one at a time and if it rains, then just chill and enjoy the awesome coffee there ;))) Remember, travelling is all about relaxing and enjoying, not rushing from one place to another.

 

On our way to the Airbnb, we got a bit lost. Vietnamese language may seem easy to be understood since it’s way different than Thai, but sometimes it can be confusing as hell. Asking locals for directions could be frustrating because some would reject you even before looking at the address. In the end, we bought a local SIM and found the direction to our homestay. And after arriving at our Airbnb, I was quite impressed with my surrounding. No luxurious hotels whatsoever. So ‘local’! It is located around the locals’ neighbourhood where there are plenty of restaurants nearby and small grocery shops. And it was a usual thing listening to neighbors downstairs having their karaoke sessions and hearing some prayers from the monks in front at night. What better surrounding can I get than this? #grateful

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Where we practically lived for 2 nights…interesting.

My sister and I also got on some thrilling crossing-the-road experience. Hahaha it was fun and risky! Besides adjusting to the different sides of driving here (theirs are like the Americans) so yeah we should look to the right first then left before crossing the road lol. Here’s what I learnt – just look forward and be confident when crossing. The road users are professional peeps, they will avoid you. It’s also an incredible sight to see everyone wearing helmets here, and do you know there are approximately 2 million motorcycles users in HCM? Traffic lights are pretty useless but I’m amazed that people can maneuver their vehicle brilliantly without getting hit here and there.

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busy road, all day, every day…

Of course, we visited the city attractions like the post office, cathedral, Ben Thanh market, the opera house and the famous walking street. We had fun as others tourists did and we walked like a lot. Online maps can be quite deceiving because the place we’re heading to seems near but damn, it’s not. Not to forget the rainy season, at one time we had to put on our ponchos looking all cool but deep inside, we were sweating like crazy! Uber and Grab are available everywhere but we opted to walk because of our tight budget. Hahaha what an experience though travelling during rainy season…

I’ll just include some photos of the city to end this post!

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Saigon Opera House in the afternoon. So beautiful!

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The same Saigon Opera House but at night! And at the right you can see the statue of Ho Chi Minh :’)

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mask checked. helmet checked. 

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hiiiiii theree lolol

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me and my sister, Aiza enjoying our sundae cones after a long day

 

Saving Cambodia for the next post!! tbc.

 

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back then in 2011. Font size are better though..

If anyone would ask me on which social media would I prefer, I’d definitely answer Twitter. Twitter then only Youtube. Period. Most of my online hours are spent there and my account practically is now almost 7 years old. I think I had a really happy time on Twitter, no dramas whatsoever – got replies from Tosh Zhang, Liah Yoo, my Indonesian Twitter crush and many more. I don’t really mind about the number of followers as long as they genuinely follow me for who I am (ceh). True though, let’s not aim for online fame (I realized that I’m not fated for fame  it’s true). My tweets are over 10k (idk wth I wrote all these years) and I have to admit that many things have changed on Twitter, both apps and the users too. I miss how the timeline seemed to be couple of years back and Malaysian users in 2011-2013 were way different compared to now. Nowadays, there are so many irrelevant opinions and people can be so silly to fight over whose opinions are better. Lol guys, chill.

my first tweet lolol

 

There are so so many tweets nowadays that always got me shaking my head. It’s so easy to be hating that person through his/her tweets although he or she lives in the other part of the world. Worse, when his/her opinions contradict ours. I always caught myself judging people so many times from my small screen like “he has no right to say anything over matter A” or “she talks like she knows everything.” SORRY KIDDO.

These kinds of thoughts are very unhealthy, toxic and discouraging. From these small thoughts in our minds, it could go down to our fingertips. We then would be typing unconstructive comments or in simpler words, bashing to express our dissatisfaction. What happened to being empathic? Trust me, putting yourselves in others’ shoes doesn’t make you lose a shit. In fact, it would make you hundred times more grateful of your life. Why miss out on being supportive or kind towards each other? Do we really need to be negative all the time? And yeah, if we have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. The world needs more love from all of us, not anger.

p/s: my exams will start next week, would appreciate your prayers for me and my coursemates tq so much!! ❤

p/s/s: just in case, my twithandle is @nrsafiani (kbye haha)

 

raya 2k17

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I know I’m pretty late since it’s almost the third week of Syawal but hey, just want to wish everyone a very SELAMAT HARI RAYA!!!! MAAF ZAHIR DAN BATIN!! #typicalwish #iknow

So, how did your first few days of Raya went? Mine went pretty well alhamdulillah and I enjoyed every bits of it. As usual, my family went back to Johol the day before Raya itself with all the groceries that my mom was assigned to buy. We arrived at kampung around noon, and yeah I dozed off after arriving until around 4pm haha. Then helped a bit to prepare the dishes for berbuka and boom, it’s already Maghrib! Ramadhan’s finally over (idk whether to be sad or not) and Syawal is now here :0 Time sure flies so damn fast! And I must say, this year’s Raya was quite laidback and everything felt sufficient – the food, the drink, etc. Nothing weird happened, hmmm. Wait there was one but it’s a secret (my family would know thiss).

Since yours truly couldn’t perform the Raya prayers, so she stayed at home, chilling. And yes, did you know we brought Cincan too balik kampung? Surprisingly, my cousins also brought their cats and what a moment to  be remembered. One of it is Juju and the other is a small kitten my cousin found. Sadly, the kitten died on the 2nd day of Raya 😥 Cincan was a lil difficult to adapt into the new environment, since he had to live in a small bedroom throughout his stay in kampung. Of course I wanted to let him out, but then what if he goes missing? And there are several cats around my grandma’s and they are pretty ganas too ok (kucing kampung kot) so it’s safe to avoid them. So my family decided to just let him roam around the room, and occasionally bring him out to be shown to other relatives. He’s not really friendly with strangers, especially with kids whom I observe to be a bit rough handling cats. WHO’S WITH ME??

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My family’s theme this year was green (apple kind of green I think? Idk). Months before Ramadhan, we bought the kain songket and sent it to the tailor. We don’t really prefer buying the RTW baju kurung so we always go to our tailor to be made according to our measurements. It turns out really nice and I kinda like the colour combination this year which is green with grey. I wore satin scarf and sigh, wearing a satin was a mess especially on a hectic Raya morning. And lol, we took some time for photoshoots since my sister has a 7+ so why not??? Trust me, if you’re a camera freak and doesn’t like holding heavy DSLRs, 7+ is for you. Amazing quality 😮 #shooketh

Speaking of duit raya, this year’s kutipan was INCREDIBLE!! Hahaha I guess many of my cousins started working already so that’s why students like me are getting extra duit raya. After so long, I’m getting 50++ alhamdulillah 🙂 Can’t wait for my twin sisters to start work next year because that’d mean more $$$ for me for the next Raya 😉

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Enough blabbering, I’d like to again wish all of you a Selamat Hari Raya and I apologize for any mistakes I’ve done to you, deliberately or indeliberately. Raya season is one of the seasons that I really anticipate because it’s mainly about connecting our loved ones. You’ll get to visit your relatives, update on each other’s life, eat kuih raya, listen to lagu raya, eat rendang & lemang, see those big fireworks, receive (or give) duit raya, wear new beautiful clothes, happily post your ootds online and not worrying about those judgementals peeps (simply because it’s Hari Raya), going for the Raya prayers and so many other things. So guys, be sure to enjoy your Syawal because Syawal only comes once a year!

Brb, eating my tart nenas ;D

#skincaretalk: Simple Kind To Skin Toner

As everyone knows, toner is the vital second step in the skincare routine. It’s simply because after we wash our face, our face pH tends to get off balance so toner’s job is to rebalance back the pH to its rightful number. This Simple toner is my second toner actually and the first ever toner that I tried was Nature Republic’s Aloe Vera Toner. My experience was horrible. It contains alcohol which doesn’t seem to go well with my skin. Breakouts happened and I stopped using it ever since. It sucks but as many say, you have to go wrong first then you’ll get the right answer.

Obviously, being a student, I would want to minimise my budget on skincare products but at the same time I’m looking for an effective product. You know, of course there are lots and lots of amazing toners out there but after looking at their price tags, I’d say kbye, I’m broke. It’s quite hard actually to find a decent toner that does its job and at the same time fulfils your budget needs.

And thank god I found this toner!!

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To begin with, this toner is a part of the Kind To The Skin line from Simple. If I would describe it in 3 words, it’d be worth your money. Come on, it’s only priced at RM17 so it’s pretty cheap for a UK brand! I’m quite satisfied with it plus it’s pretty affordable too. I feel like it’ll be my go-to toner besides my wishlist toner (savings still in progress hehe). You can easily get it from most drugstores in Malaysia but I heard it’s a bestseller from the brand, so you might want to snatch it fast from the shelf 😉

BRAND IN BRIEF

Simple is a British brand that has been in the cosmetics arena for decades. I love how their company’s philosophy emphasizes on being kind to our skin that is actually sensitive. And what I really admire the brand is that you won’t find any artificial perfume/colour and animal-derived ingredients in any of their products.

MAIN ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

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You know, reviewing a product isn’t just as simple as saying OMG YOU HAVE TO BUY THIS!! IT’S SO SO SO GOOD!!!! I feel that everyone needs to be aware of the ingredients inside every product so that you would know what you’re putting on your face. Plus, everyone would be able to learn which ingredients suit our skin type and it’ll be easier to select products based on our skin concern via the ingredients.

So, this toner mainly contains:

  • Niacinamide, a derivative of Vitamin B3 targeting blemishes
  • Pro vitamin B5 which helps moisturizing your skin and also has anti-inflammatory property
  • Allantoin that helps to promote healthy skin by stimulating skin regeneration
  • Chamomila Recutita Extract mainly for soothing purpose
  • Hamemialis Virginia Water which is a derivative of the famous witch hazel

APPLICATION

Pour a bit on your palm of hands and gently pat, pat and pat on your face. Remember, pat, not spread! I’ve seen the differences between patting and spreading your toner and most beauty Youtubers also recommend patting 🙂 And btw, have any of you heard of the 7-skin layer methods introduced by the Koreans? It’s basically putting 7 layers of toner (only a small amount each layer) on your skin after cleansing. Sounds crazy huh? The reason for this is mainly for intense hydration and to make your skin plumpier. I’ve tried this before and the effects are surreal. My skin felt really moist and hydrated but nowadays, I reduce the layers to 4 instead since I don’t want my toner to finish up quickly. And yeah, I do this layering thingy only few times a week at night.

And once the toner has absorbed into your skin, proceed with serum/essence/oils.

FINAL VERDICT

Pros: Great value. No alcohol. No scent whatsoever. No animal derivatives. Contains niacinamide which is great for acne-prone skin type. No breakouts (for me). Affordable. Suitable for those wanting to try on drugstore toners.

Cons: It doesn’t give me the ‘wow’ effects such as brightening/lifting. I think it’s more to maintaining but I’m fine with it.

Hope this review helps you! 🙂

gone but never forgotten

Yesterday was the first day of Ramadhan 1438 Hijra, and also the day I finally decided to get my hands on a book.

It is “Yasmin Ahmad How You Know?”, written by her sister.

This book is not mine in the first place, it was my sister who bought it. The story of how the book ended up in her hands was quite funny though. She never intended to buy Yasmin Ahmad’s book in the first place, and somehow she got the author names mixed up haha. Instead of buying Yasmin Mogahed’s Reclaim Your Heart, she took this one home. (No worries, she already got herself the right book, problem’s solved)

And I must say, this book is refreshing in a way that tells you “eh, she’s very different from what I thought!”

Well, truthfully, Yasmin Ahmad never had an official biography book written about her, like the normal biography book you usually see in bookstores. Her death was 8 years ago and it was a truly big loss to Malaysians. Everyone during that time knew her as one of the most versatile directors in Malaysia and her TV commercials hit homerun every festival season. Very creatively made and very heartwarming.

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It mainly tells about Yasmin Ahmad from the 3rd point of view – her colleagues, friends, etc. So, you’ll see no lengthy paragraphs in it which made the reading quicker but it made me pause my reading after each story. I don’t know why but she kinda gives me the spiritual-carefree-down-to-earth-happy vibes that not every artists have.

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Simple advice from the best film director in Malaysia.

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love this poem so much.

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Her faith just amazes me.

 

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She inspires me to be more connected with God and to always pray and pray to Him 🙂

And since it’s Ramadhan now, I believe that it’s the time of the year where we should reflect back on our intentions and to rejuvenate our faith. Ramadhan isn’t just about fasting. No, it means more than that. It’ll be a huge loss to not do zikr, to not attend tarawih, to not do sadaqah and other good deeds. Make use of the opportunities and may this year’s Ramadhan bring out the best in all of us ❤

 

 

#skincaretalk: Simple Clear Skin Oil Balancing Moisturizer

 

 

Choosing the right moisturizer has been quite a struggle for me in Malaysia. I always get disappointed seeing cream-based moisturizers conquering most shelves in every drugstore I’ve been to. Cream-based moisturizers are definitely no-no  since it would make my skin shiny as hell if I use it! So, the only option when it comes to picking moisturizers is the gel type or water-based moisturizer. My bare face is already oily during the day, so I really need something to balance out the sebum output.

[You can check out my latest post on The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc PCA 1%]

I’ve read few reviews about this product and tbh, I’m such a picky consumer when it comes to the brand. Oily skin is quite a mess – acnes could easily appear out of nowhere and you’d need to have blotting papers with you most of the time when you’re out. So, I don’t really want to wrong-pick my skincare products and finally, I decided to give this brand a try.

BRAND IN BRIEF

Simple is a British brand that has been in the cosmetics arena for decades. I love how their company’s philosophy emphasizes on being kind to our skin that is actually sensitive. And what I really admire the brand is that you won’t find any artificial perfume/colour and animal-derived ingredients in any of their products. I’m not a fan of heavily scented products so yeay!! Plus I’m currently using their toner and I super duper love it (another review coming up).

[Here’s the review on Simple Kind To Skin Toner]

BASICALLY WHAT ARE THE MAIN ACTIVE INGREDIENTS?

Since it caters the oily skin type, the active ingredients include:

Zinc PCA which has anti-aging benefits for skin, can reduce oiliness of the skin and reduce redness of acnes.

Pro-Vitamin B5/panthenol which will be converted to vitamin B5 when it is in contact with skin. It works mainly for regenerative, healing, moisturizing and protecting the skin.

Glycerin/glycerol which helps to attract moisture from air and help retain the moisture in your skin.

Tapioca starch to mattify the skin.

Vitamin E as antioxidants.

Phytosphingosine for reducing blemishes and anti-acne properties.

Anthemis nobilis flower oil that soothe the skin.

HOW IT LOOKS UPON APPLICATION?

 

 

Not sticky and not occlusive at all so maybe it’s not really suitable for the dry-skin type. Also, even in air-conditioned room or when I’m outside, no sort of severe oiliness experienced.

After applying my serum, I usually put a pea size of the moisturizer and massage it gently onto my skin and neck. Some tips here – make sure you apply your moisturizer evenly and make sure to massage it on your face to so that it’ll penetrate your skin better.

FINAL VERDICT?

PROS: It does a pretty decent job for my oily skin! Definitely better than my previous moisturizer and my skin doesn’t breakout with this moisturizer. For RM18.90, it is a very good moisturizer and also affordable for those on small steps towards better skincare routines 🙂

CONS: No SPF and it contains methylparaben but I don’t really mind because the concentration is quite low. And it doesn’t break me out so I’m fine with it.

are we inspiring enough?

picture from Pinterest

Let’s say in future when I have kids, I’d take them to some public areas where middle-class peeps (mostly) always go like the train stations and pasar malam. And then, I’d buy them some coffees, titbits and let them witness how the real daily world functions.

In more common words, people-watching. (Lol, not those pervert-ish looks you give to strangers but rather to observe people around)

People-watching is a nice thing to do actually because it challenges your brain to make some analyzing thinking work and most importantly, you’d end up being so so grateful of your life. You see, privilege is another factor too but I’m not going to touch on the subject now. Moving on, you’d somehow develop a skill (idk bout others, but I did) in which you’d find it easy to read people. Like in the morning, you can interpret someone’s mood based on how they walk, talk and even from the colour of their attires. You could even identify different fashion trends too hahaha – Anello backpacks nowadays, different shawl/scarves styles, latest gadgets, etc. And I recently noticed that observant people usually are those well-opinionated. You can always talk to them about anything and the conversation would be really fun with them. On the other hand, crowded places which include the bus stations do look messed up and uncomfortable to most of us, but trust me those places are the most realistic ones if you want to find some inspirations on the reality of this world. Life is cruel, sadly.

Well, maybe going to these places isn’t as cool as going to the malls. Seriously, I think malls are so overrated and nowadays, developers are building lots and lots of malls in KL. I won’t be surprised to see next generations to be addicted to malls. But, for my children? Hell no. I definitely would not want my children to always spend their weekends in malls because it’d need lots of money and the happiness you get from going to malls is only short-lived. Sad truth.

However, in this post, I’d like to express one of my thoughts that has been lingering around and perhaps it’s better to write it up here.

Have you ever realized that there is this perception about inspirations that we all are exposed to – luxurious handbags, big houses, lots of luxurious cars, etc? As amazing as it sounds, it is too perfect, don’t you think so readers? It’s like nowadays, the only way to be inspiring is to be ultimately famous, to be on every magazines’ covers, to have at least 1000 followers on Instagram and to own 20 houses by the age of 30. Then what?

Money is something but not everything.

I’m not denying anybody’s success here (credits to them for the achievement) but nobody is the same. It’s a pretty good idea actually to share whatever you’ve gained from your success but let’s not influence people too much that they eventually forget their whys in life. These kind of ‘overwhelmingly inspiring stories’ maybe would benefit some, but later we all would be comparing each other’s lives. Like she’s so successful in her business and here am I still on this 9-5 job and then we would be sitting in the corner self-pitying ourselves. Just because a friend of ours become a millionaire by doing only business that we could never think of, that doesn’t mean we are obligated to do so. Unless if you have the passion, then go for it. But if you’re just chasing those money, then I’d advise you to rethink. If everyone in the world want to be CEOs, then who would be the cashier at the counter?

I’ve met several amazing people who does many amazing things and they are very lowkey humble. I really respect them because they don’t do things just for the sake of getting society applauses. They just do it in the name of humanity. So, my point is don’t just look upwards to get some motivations, but look around us. What I mean is look at the people surrounding you right now, not those people that show up in “Explore” on your Instagram. And we often forget that the closest persons that we tend to underestimate are our parents. Our mummy and daddy have a LOT to share with us, but we just need to do the asking part. That’s all.

That’s why I really encourage everyone (including myself) to pay more attention to our daily surroundings like those cleaner ladies, cashier at the supermarket, receptionist, policemen, those makciks selling keropok lekor at the roadside, taxi drivers and even the person sitting across you in the train. Trust me, there’s so much of their stories that  you can dig in if you approach them (in a friendly manner, of course). And you might be surprised that their wisdoms are far greater than yours.

The unsung heroes, they said.

 

 

 

 

dealing with sh*ts

I couldn’t exactly remember on what day this thing happened, but certainly it was the unluckiest day (so far) in my 2017. The experience was similar to when I did sand boarding in Egypt – amazingly smooth at first but in the end, I went rolling down the hill.

So, here’s how the story goes.

On that day, I woke up early, bathed, pray Fajr, put on my attires for the day and spent some time in front of the mirror. Obviously, a girl needs to do what a girl needs to do so yeah I did my normal skincare routine and applied lipstick. The road to becoming feminine, lol. You know when a woman puts her efforts into dressing up well, it signifies that she’s got the confidence to rock the day. But hey, it’s true we women take so much time to get ready, so yeah, sorry we couldn’t do anything about it.

So advice number one: when everything seems so smooth and perfect, it isn’t. Something will definitely go wrong.

Later, I took my breakfast downstairs and while scrolling Twitter, I virtually imagined my day. I always do this thing every morning because it feels amazing to plan your day beforehand plus it makes everyday tasks easier to deal with. Until one moment when I realized that my father was still sleeping soundly on his bed. Shoot. I was supposed to catch a 6:30 am train since my class started at 8 so there was 20 minutes left to go. And the journey from my house to the train station is around 8-10 minutes. From far, i could sense the waves approaching.

Well, I could have just take the 6:45 am train but then it would mean being late to class. At that moment, I was anxious because it has been my aspirations to freaking come early to class. In simpler words, I’m sick of being late every time. To those who still don’t know me yet (haha), I have always had bad records of 1) being late to class 2) being late and decided to skip the class. So in this glorious year of 2017, I want to be someone early and secure those front row seats!! Lol not the first row lah!

And of course, when things are fated to happen, it will happen no matter how hard we tried. Long story cut short, I missed the train by only 1.5 seconds after speeding like an athlete on the platform. I became tired, frustrated and my day didn’t even end nicely as well. HAHAHA. I also missed the LRT on my way back home and my journey got delayed for almost an hour. Definitely not my day indeed.

My situation as stated above is so not complicated (lol I know I exaggerated a bit) but imagine from a small problem, it could affect our emotions strongly and poof, emotional shut down happens.

We do have a choice on how to deal with daily problems, be it the simplest ones or the complicated ones. Same goes to my situation above. I can come up with a thousand excuses on why it happened to me but what benefits do I really get from complaining?

That’s right, none.

And the choice could be either:

option 1: keep on worrying, whining and drowning my emotions in the seas of regrets and disappointments.

option 2: calm down and assure ourselves that sokay though sh*tty things do happen so next time lets not make it happen again. 

So, this is advice number two: freaking. move. on.

And exactly, why are we mourning so much over one mishap? Well, that doesn’t give us the authority to keep on repeating those mistakes but come on people, we’ve got 364 days left to live on! I myself had similar thoughts when mishaps occur to me like missing the train, not getting any seats in the train, buying the wrong ticket, seeing my parents picking me up late and blablablabla. Complaining is so unhealthy and we are only feeding our egos with negativity. You see, complaining is pretty toxic and without us realizing, it already sucked out our energy. And that’s why we often feel tired after getting stressed about something.

It is a well-known fact too that our emotions are easily triggered by the smallest thing ever. Like how easy it is to be angry when someone silently cut our queue or when someone took our seat in the cinema. But, we can’t avoid neither delete them completely from our mind. Like in the Disney film Inside Out where we tend to misjudge Sadness when in the end, she is the one who is able to tied up the knots for Andy and her family. Sadness deserves a space inside our brain. It’d come anytime when triggered so we have to carefully deal with it. How to deal? Embrace it. Let those tears flow. Let those anger out. Go play those computer games or perhaps if you have a punching bag, go punch as hard as you can. Do what you feel suits you. Ditch the books for a while and go stalk people on Instagram. My favourite way would be taking a nap. Nap is my ultimate savior because it’s soo easy and requires zero vigorous physical movements! Haha. However, don’t let these feelings linger around way too long. Give them kisses & hugs and quickly say our goodbyes. They’d come again but when they do, you would already know how to send them away quickly in the smartest way ever.

Sincerely,

Someone who’s still struggling to be on time for 8 am class.

 

 

 

 

 

20 hours in Istanbul

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Istanbul is the furthest country I’ve been to and also my first European country. Seriously, 20 hours in Istanbul is not enough! Istanbul is beyond amazing and it never fails to mesmerize me, well try asking those who have been there – pretty sure you’ll get good reviews about the city! I feel like coming again and again.

It was a very rewarding experience actually to visit Istanbul during winter. I was expecting the city to be snowing when I arrived, but sadly it didn’t. And exactly a week after I left the city, Istanbul had a massive snowfall. So unfair. Apart from the freezing weather plus the wind (basically everyone hates the wind) coming from the sea, Istanbul is truly beautiful. Every angle of the city is Instagram-worthy (lol), and the best thing about Turkey is it’s a Muslim country! Life abroad definitely feels ten times easier when you travel to Muslim countries – halal food everywhere, toilet with water (haha) and being able to pray in a proper place.

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Since my family and I flew to Egypt with Turkish Airlines, so we had the awesome privileges being one of the many transit passengers on Turkish Airlines. Since our layover was beyond 12 hours, therefore we could choose to either spend our layover at a hotel nearby or join a tour group to visit Istanbul. Obviously, we chose the latter considering that it was my first time in Istanbul so why not grab the chance? What’s more awesome is that everything’s FOC!! You name it – from transportation to and fro the airport, breakfast & lunch, entrance tickets and hotel rooms. You only need to bring some Lira cash and voila, you’re set to go!

And when they really mean free breakfast & lunch, they do mean it and you’ll be served some great local cuisine. Fyi, we had our breakfasts inside a restaurant facing the Bosphorus Sea (omg omg omg) and holy cow, the view of the sea in the morning is shit amazing! It was like a dream to be there, enjoying the sunny rays amidst of the cold weather.

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For the Istanbul city tour, you can always choose your preferred type of tours depending on your layover period and also your stamina, too haha. And please, if you’re bringing along your parents, please never ever take the walking tour. My parents and I took the effing walking tour and the walk was beyond our expectations. No joke, man, no joke, because streets in Istanbul are quite hilly so it was quite a pain. I think we walked around 10 kilometres and I myself ran out of breath, what more my parents.

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some streets we were passing by on our way to the Blue Mosque

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Plus, it was winter so weather’s very dry and sweating never helped to warm up our body. Our other group members walked so fast ahead of us but good thing we didn’t get lost in the city! However, as tiring as it seemed to be, I loved the tour. They brought us to few streets where not many tourists go to. So, it was a nice opportunity to have the local scenes to our own. For example, I remember seeing a lamp shop which is designed so beautifully but at the same time reflects the Turkish style. And there are some restaurants with vibrant colours wall paint and also walking past Turkish tea shops where locals would sit outside and enjoy the tea in the cold winter. Everything felt surreal 🙂

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the lamp shop that I was talking about

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Malaysia needs this kind of building more!

Since it was a half-day tour, we pretty much went to common tourist spots near Sultan Ahmet area. One of the places is the trademark of Istanbul, the Blue Mosque. The moment I saw the Blue Mosque, I couldn’t stop looking at it. Jaw-dropping. The typical me would quickly take lots of pictures but at that time, I decided to put my phone aside and just feast my eyes with this majestic view. Who cares about the pictures plus you can always Google it? Sometimes we really need to just put down those tech/gadget stuffs and enjoy the moment. Our eyes and mind deserve to view those beautiful things ‘live’ too. Let those moments be exclusively ours.

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inside Blue Mosque: the significant red carpet and the chandeliers

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Hagia Sophia is also an amazing piece of art. I mean, it has witnessed the city growing since it was called Constantinople to Antalya and now, Istanbul. And do expect some queues before entering the area because that place never gets empty!  And that pretty much proves that Turkey is a country where tourists flock to regardless of the season. Especially Istanbul which is a melting pot of history, cultures and cuisines. Speaking of local cuisines, we had our lunch at a famous meatball restaurant near Hagia Sophia.

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From left: Turkish yogurt called Ayran, lamb meatball (idk why meatball when it isn’t even round shape lol), bits of salads

The lunch was nice but it could have been better if they put more herbs and spices. After the lunch, we walked out of the restaurant feeling so full and continued our walk to the Grand Bazaar. It is a huge area and they sell so many things from food to clothing.

the entrance to Grand Bazaar and also the prayer area inside a mosque near Grand Bazaar

After buying some souvenirs and Turkish candies, we headed to the airport and everyone passed out in the bus. HAHAHA. Definitely one of the best day in my 2016.

Here’s the link if you want to find out more about those free tours provided by Turkish Airlines for its transit passengers 🙂

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See you again, Turkey 😉