~~ oMoiDe Wo ~~

la dolce vita
By: auntie elle

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Thursday, 8-Apr-2010 01:27 Email | Share | | Bookmark
brissy! arrived!

i know i know, this post is a bit long overdue. i was pretty occupied with settling down in a new place and adapting to my new role as a student, that i hardly had the time to update this fp. sorry....

i left KL for brisbane in the early morning of feb 19, 2010. boarded a MAS flite with a brief stopover at sydney. besides my family, my buddies - ban and odeng were also there to send me off. special thanks to kumachan who also came by. i really appreciate u guys!

- my family @ the airport -

- my nephew yg x mandi: iman -

- my getting-married-but-i'll-miss-their-weddings-best mates, odeng and ban -

- day 2: at my uni -

- day 2: the casino @brisbane CBD -

- brisbane's southbank -

so, starting my new life here. wish me luck!

Friday, 12-Feb-2010 15:48 Email | Share | | Bookmark
farewell parties.. for me. sob!

serabai giler.. 2nd last day in office before going to the party
having a gud time
View all 26 photos...
life has been a series of farewell parties for me. as much as i hate to say goodbye, alas, its time for me to move on and start life anew. thank you to these wonderful people who sportingly endured my farewell speeches, and most importantly, for organizing the venues for me to deliver them.

ibm team
the first one was held at the q-thai restaurant at streetmall, cyberjaya, on jan 14th, the day before i officially resigned from ibm. jackson, my team mate, was the head organizer. it was supposed to be a surprise party, but actually, i was with jackson right from the start; from the first email invitation he drafted. heh heh heh. many came, including my old team members who have left the company. to kamal, fazeli, jackson, lily, louis, teenee, brian, alex, odeng & sarip, i wish u all all the best. i'll miss working with all of u.

- my ibm colleagues @ q-thai restaurant cyberjaya -

karaoke gang
the next one, my gal frenz threw me a real surprise farewell party, on jan 23rd, at redbox @ sunway pyramid, organized by tirah and ban, doing our fave activity - karaoke yeay! hehehe. kandou giler okeh. we were singing our hearts out when suddenly the screen froze, and changed the display to a birthday song. and then a guy bearing a huge bouquet of flowers and a big tray of cupcakes lit with candles came into the room and the galz started singing me a birthday song (eventhough my birthday was 5 months away at that time!). i was utterly speechless. to tirah, ban, odeng, peroz n mazyah, i really love u all. u, who have been my pillar of strength through my ups and downs. i am very fortunate to have u all for a friend.

- my gal frenz @ redbox sunway pyramid -

- flowers and cuppies from my gal frenz -

japan alumni
and then the third one, organized by my fellow alumni sempais: anjang, zaki & zahari, at the pullman lakeside putrajaya, on feb 6th. joined by their lovely wives, kak fiza, kak yati & kak astrid. tirah was there too, fortunately, coz the rest of the team couldnt make it at the last minute. but nevertheless, we had a wonderful time stuffing our tummies with dinner buffet, and breakfast buffet the following day. giler byk makan!

- with the backbones of my alumni's strongmen @ pullman lakeside putrajaya -

from the bottom of my heart, i thank you for being a part of my life and making it as colorful as it is. i'm going to miss all of u. really.

Saturday, 23-Jan-2010 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
outing with iman

iman bercerita dgn atuk
iman suka, atuk suka
nenek iman dpn rumah
View all 10 photos...
iman came back to bangi from lumut. iman celebrated maksu's birthday (belatedly. her birthday was on jan 10th) with pizza @alamanda putrajaya on jan 23rd. it was atuk and auntie elle's turn to buy dinner.

- pakbo, ayah, auntie elle, iman -

Sunday, 20-Dec-2009 14:25 Email | Share | | Bookmark
kuching retreat 2009

aerial view of PICC putrajaya, i guess
i soo love to see those rivers & streams.. only in sarawak!!
View all 138 photos...
2009 is crawling towards the end. time to jalan2 again. and where did i go....?

KUCHING!! yeayyy!!

i still had my unutilized hotel room entitlement which must be used by january next year. sarawak happened to be the furthest away destination for my domestic travel, plus air asia was giving away irresistible discounts for air fares, so i pinged tirah and ban since they already promised to follow me to wherever i want to go - as some sort of farewell trip (luv ya lots!) - and they agreed. plus i also happened to recently befriend a native sarawakian living and working there, so...... kuching it was!

the usually meticulous me decided to be not meticulous this time. much to my friends' surprise, this time around, i didnt plan our itineraries. instead, i let my kuchingite friend, haslan to do the thinking and take us around town. my only request to him was: exotic food & exotic places to see. *grin* i also didnt want to bother myself with picture taking, so most of the time, it was tirah who took the pics, and if there were the 3 of us, then haslan was the unofficial photographer. credits should go to them for the nice pics, and for the bad ones, blame them too!

wednesday, dec 16th:
our flite was delayed from 9am to 12pm. as the plane was descending towards the kuching international airport, i looked down from the window. lo and behold, the sight on the ground was amazing! the snaking rivers and streams cutting through the land of sarawak was very refreshing compared to the boring oil palm trees spread out like a machine-made carpet dominating the landscape of the peninsular. already, i was falling in love with sarawak. i had not yet touched the ground, and already, sarawak promised to be an exciting place to explore.

- x tipu.... cantekkkk kan..... -

by the time tirah and i (ban joined us a day later) arrived at our place to stay for the next 5 days and 4 nights, riverside majestic hotel, it was almost 3pm and we were famished. after checking in to our spacious room, we marched to the hotel concierge and asked the way to the nearest place to get to know the heart of sarawak: its food. we were surprised to discover that the hotel is actually adjoined to a shopping mall, and a food court is conveniently located at the back of the hotel. we ordered the first thing that we saw: sarawak laksa.

- yummmyy sarawak laksa. i like!! -

our hotel is also very close to the waterfront. after lunch, we took a stroll along the waterfront, enjoying the scenery as well as the soothing music played by a sape player sitting there. err.. okay i lied a bit. we didnt immediately go to the waterfront - not until after i unintentionally (=accidentally) bought myself a new pair of shoes at a hush puppies store in the mall, which happened while waiting for tirah to withdraw money from an atm machine nearby.

- kuching waterfront -

haslan met us at the hotel after work. we had supper at the waterfront but the food was kind of mediocre and a bit pricey to my liking. but since i was not paying, well, i shouldnt be complaining, rite? hehehe. he then drove us around for a brief city tour, pointing us the landmarks of kuching, and letting us getting orientated with the city.

thursday, dec 17th:
a late morning for me and tirah. ban only arrived after 10am and she went straight to our room. it was already too late for breakfast so we decided to go for lunch. we walked along the main bazaar searching for a place to satisfy our grumbling tummies, but nothing looked halal enough (hehe. as if there is a level for halal-ness) and enticing enough for tirah. she remembered a restaurant which haslan pointed the night before near the mosque (which also happened to be located at the other end of the city) and basically dragged us towards that direction (which i hoped was right, since i relied heavily on her sense of direction. mine is hopeless!). there were numerous historical buildings along the way so we stopped by to take pictures. i made the girls read the plaques too.

- the general post office: real quaint and interesting old building -

our (or rather tirah's) quest for mixed rice ala sarawak brought us walking across the historical padang merdeka. just when i thought my tummy couldnt grumble any louder, tirah stopped in front of a restaurant serving mixed rice not far from the balai polis sentral kuching building. yess.... finally breakfast + lunch in one go. a peek at the lauks served made us grabbed ourselves a seat fast. i sampled umai, a kind of spicy raw fish/jellyfish salad, and midin, a type of ferns only available in sarawak. both of them were delicious. must-try dish, i tell ya.

- the green thingy is midin; the jelly-like thingy (not the prawns) is umai -

- me and ban on padang merdeka, with the gigantic tree and singer camelia's dad's merdeka palace in the background -

while waiting for haslan to pick us up at the hotel that evening, we decided to check out one of the hair salons near the hotel, having discovered earlier how cheap it was compared to KL. for all three of us to cut + wash + get hair treatment, it cost us wayyyyy less than RM200 in total. no sane, self-respecting girl would want to miss that opportunity, trust me.

- the one-happy-cat-family statues: one of kuching's famous landmarks -

in the evening, our host brought us to the spring, an upscale shopping mall which ambience was not much different than klang's jusco bukit tinggi, for dinner (i had mee sapi. slurpppp!!) and window shopping. we didnt shop though, haslan did. then we had our first taste at sarawak's glamorous (for lack of a better adjective) drink: teh c peng - a special iced milk tea with a kind of dark syrup (gula kabung?) in 3 distinct layers. it was not too sweet so i guess its quite safe to indulge in - another must try!

- the special teh c peng -

friday, dec 18th:
since it was a public holiday (maal hijrah), we had the whole day with haslan. after a hearty breakfast (at least ban and tirah had; somehow my throat was unable to gobble down anything that morning) of kolok mee & mee jawa satay, we were supposed to check out the cat museum. unfortunately, much to our disappointment, the museum was closed. we were then taken to the state library, which, unfortunately too, was closed. the state library, the pustaka, boasts quite a scenic lake as part of its lanscape, so under the hot, extraordinarily scorching sun, we took some pics.

- at the pustaka negeri, with the lake at the back -

haslan then brought us to the other side of the sarawak river, to see another one of kuching's landmark: the new state legislative assembly building. we also took the penambang boat for a mini river cruise upstream which took 30 minutes and RM13 for the four of us to occupy the whole boat.

- ban enjoying the breathtaking view and the cooling breeze on the penambang boat -

- merenung masa depan......kah? after the boat ride-

- climbing up the stairs of the lookout tower @ the waterfront -

while waiting for our friend to perform his friday prayers, we chilled out somewhere (again, i forgot to take note of the name of the place) and had a refreshingly delicious drink (or is it considered as a dessert?) called the white lady - a mixture of milk & fruit syrup blended with ice, with assorted fruit cuts like peach, honeydew and longan thrown in. u can opt for an ice cream topping if u like. sooo sedap. ban even ordered a second helping!

- the white lady, suitable for fair ladies, like us! hihihiihihi -

we then headed towards the sarawak cultural village in santubong for a peek at the culture of the sarawak people. a bit touristy, but well, not that we had any other choice given the short duration of our stay there. so if u are hard pressed for time, then the SCV is a good place to experience the traditional sarawakian way of life. there were the traditional houses (long, high, doorless.. many kinds), the traditional songs (check out the singing makcik at the malay house: she sang a japanese song! uiyooo..), the traditional kueh-making and kain-weaving, and the traditional dances. my personal fave: men in traditional loincloth!

- us and the melanau house -

- climbing the steep wooden log stairs of the orang ulu (ker orang iban eh?) house -

after the cultural village, haslan insisted that we see the sun set at damai beach. the beach is really at the foot of mt santubong. as we waited for the for dusk to fall, i marveled at the vertically-challenging, 90-degree mountain, and expressed my respect and admiration for tirah, who had climbed and conquered the top some years back (when she was waaayyy much younger. ihik). seriously, even if there was anyone fool enough to pay me thousands of ringgits just to get to the top of the gunung, i still wouldnt attempt to make an ascent.

- at damai beach. gunung santubong kat blakang -

for dinner, we were brought to a nearby kampung (again, i forgot what the name of the place was) for a seafood treat. we tried ambal, another local dish, which was actually bamboo clams, mini sized. we also tried umai - raw fish version. its zesty and fiery, well u really have to try it yourself. seriously, never leave sarawak before u try umai. maji umai!

- umai yg うま~い!! -

saturday, dec 19th:
we made an early start to serikin, a small town bordering kalimantan about an hour's drive from kuching, which bustled with traders and visitors during the weekend. u wont believe the queueing cars going to the serikin market - massive traffic jam! people go there for the many cheap things that can be found there. indonesian goods at bargain price. tirah and ban - both frequent visitors to bandung - said that the goods and the price were as cheap as in bandung. but when i said, "then better come here than go to bandung......", tirah frowned scarily at me. huhuhhuhu.. takuuuut u......

- merah, because thats ban's fave color -

after serikin, we went to semenggoh wildlife center to see orang utan in the wild. the feeding time was supposed to be at 3pm, but when we arrived there well before 3, the guide told us that due to the rainy season and the bountiful fruits in the forest, the orang utans hadnt made an appearance for days in a row. the rangers were now in the jungle searching for them.

- killing time by looking at orang utan photos -

so wait we did. as it happened, luck was indeed on our side. we werent made to wait for too long when one of the guides announced that they spotted orang utans near the staff quarters. everyone rushed to the site.

the sight that greeted us was amazing. at first, we spotted one big orang utan hanging from the rambutan tree branches, happily munching on the rambutans. then we saw another one, and much to our delight, it was a mommy orang utan, with the cutest baby orang utan i'd ever seen clinging to her side.

- mommy i love u -

not long after, it began to drizzle. much to my amazement, i saw the mommy started plucking the rambutan leaves and made a mini hat for her baby! subhanallah. it was really an unforgettable experience. it was a pity we couldnt capture the scene in my camera or else i could share it with u all here.

after that, we headed back to kuching. after a brief rest at our room, our host took us to the main bazaar to hunt for souvenirs (tirah beli gambir wehh!!). and then we went to the satok market to get the famous terubuk salted fish (mahal rupanya ikan nih). there were 2 variations: the local ones and the imported ones. since i was specifically instructed by my mom to get the more expensive one (the cheaper one can be itchy when eaten, or so my mom said), i announced to the fishmonger (undoubtedly much to the man's pleasure): "bagi saya yg paling mahal sekali!". it turned out the local ones were the more expensive. (hmm.. well, come to think of it, mesti pekedai2 suka kat i kan..)

- ikan terubuk masin yg mahal -

as we scuttled through the endless rows of stalls, haslan pointed to us the many kinds of fruits not easily found in the peninsular. among them was buah dabai. as with many other forest fruits, the look of it was not really appealing but according to the uncle selling the fruit, the seasonal buah dabai is very much sought after by the peninsular people for its beauty benefits. how much this is true i couldnt be certain because in the end, i only tasted one buah dabai. since to eat these fruits requires some work (must soak in warm water first then rinse and sprinkle with salt) which i wasnt really keen to do, our kind host did it for us. the flesh of buah dabai tasted kind of like avocado. nuff said.

- buah dabai yg rasa mcm avocado; bit smaller than dates -

after satok market, we then went to kek lapis dayang salhah cake house at the other side of the river for a layer-cake shopping. my oh my. before this, i never thought sarawak's layer cake could be that yummy. i never liked kek lapis sarawak. the cakes that i tasted before coming to kuching were all very dry and bland, albeit colorful - they were given as gifts. now i know why they didnt taste nice... heheheeh.. they were the cheap ones! at dayang salhah, we had a jolly good time tasting all those expensive ones and my, werent they finger licking good! of course lah, biler dah rasa, kena lah beli.. highly recommended flavors: cadbury, india & hati pari.

- kek lapis yg murah sket. colorful but not so big on the taste. hehe. -

dinner was a steamboat fare at.. err i forgot the name of the place. everyone busied themselves with eating, so hardly any pics taken here.

sunday, dec 20th:
final day in kuching. as some sort of bonus (kanaa....?) for us, haslan gave us a tour of unimas where he works. quite a big campus for us, who were only used to small-sized campuses in japan. ban said the atmosphere was very similar to her school, the tokyo denki university, which kind of brought back many kinds of memories to her, especially the ones she particularly didnt like. ciann ban.. anyway, its been a while since i was last at school, so visiting there sort of reminded me of where i'll be in 2 months time, insya allah. ドキドキしちゃうわ。

- at the gate of universiti malaysia sarawak -

and then its time to bid the city & our host adieu. thank u haslan, for making this journey truly wonderful and unforgettable for us. to my travelling mates, tirah & ban, muchas gracias!

Sunday, 13-Dec-2009 04:16 Email | Share | | Bookmark
qurban '09

the cow to be sacrificed
trying to hide behind the tree?
"dont come near me!"
View all 44 photos...

- the list -

alhamdulillah, during last eid al-adha, on the 3rd day, our family held qurban & aqiqah at kampung, among our families and relatives, and kampung neighbors. included as well a small feast for part of the sacrificed meat. the aqiqah was for my newborn nephew, iman.

small but intimate affair, if i can sum it up that way.

disclaimer: there are not few gory pics here. plz view at ur own discretion. any insult perceived by any party is totally unintentional.

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