Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Why pen down?

Last June, just a few days before Ramadan arrives, I took a flight back to KL, alone.
It was work-related so 'A' was left behind for a while. Hehe.. 
So far, I've been taking only either MAS or AirAsia for traveling back to KL. I'd rather take the earliest shinkansen than taking the flight from nearby airport but have change 2-3 flights to reach KL. 

Anyway, every time I need to fly alone, I'd always choose MAS. It's good also as I'll be so lonely, boring and everything else given that I can't doze off easily during the day. Sigh..So, I am the person on the plane who will keep looking at her watch and wonder has the time stopped? I can't imagine flying for hours alone. OMG. So, in conclusion, I hate flying.

Anyway, fortunately though MAS has entertainment pack. I was praying that the movies would be new or something I never seen. Thank god they have many. sigh...I even watched the Italian movie, ok. That's how bored I was. The Italian movie was very funny I was laughing hysterically like a mad woman while everybody was busy sleeping or trying to sleep. I didn't do that cause I know it won't work.

After had too much laugh from the movie and dramas (I watched Modern Family and the Big Bang theory), I was attracted to 'Still Alice'. Earlier this year Julian Moore won an oscar for her portrayal of Alice. Hmm..I have always so lazy to watch movies that are shortlisted in the oscar. I mean, not in the plane where I need to kill my boredom. I need something that's entertaining. But I went ahead with it anyway. 

And I tell you, this movie has made me cry like another crazy woman. Sigh..
The saddest part of the movie is during her speech at the Alzheimer's convention. It was so heartbreaking especially when my imagination went wild imagining I was sitting at her place. We basically have the same career. As an educator. I can't imagine suffering something like that.

The movie is about Alice, a professor who suffers an early onset of Alzheimers. It is hereditary, and it is even more heartbreaking for Alice to discover that her children will be affected as well. I imagined that I as the sufferer could not understand the suffer of people around me who have to deal with my condition especially our loving husband. I just can't. At one point when Alice wanted to take her like, I was secretly rooting that she succeeded. But she was too forgetful to do that T__T many things that would make your tears bag ripped.

Before, I would just go.."oh, her/his grandma has Alzheimer..." That's all, disregarding that it is a disease and the sufferer does not have the chance to fight it, as they can't even remember a thing, how do you want to fight it without any intentions to? They can't grief, they can't fight, they basically lost their whole life. 

Watching this movie made me realize, the most precious thing in our life is..the memories we have created. So guys, don't we ever waste it. Think again, all we have left is our memories. Create any good ones whenever we are at it. And try to pen it down as much as we can.

Here's the speech in 'Still Alice' that has given me a wake up call (I typed the text manually while listening to it. So, apologize if I got any words wrong):

"good morning
its an honor to be here
The poet Elizabeth Bishop once wrote the art of losing isn’t hard to master.
so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their lost is no disaster.
I am not a poet.
I am a person living with early onset Alzheimers and as that person I find myself learning the art of losing everyday.
Losing my bearings, losing objects, losing sleeps but mostly losing memories.
All my life, I’ve accumulated memories.
They’ve become in a way my precious possessions.
The night I met my husband, 
the first time I held my text book in my hands,
having children, making friends, traveling the world.
Everything I accumulated in life, everything I work so hard for, now all that is being ripped away.
As you can imagine, or as you know, this is hell.
But it gets worse.
Who can take us seriously when we were so far than we once were?
Our strange behavior and fumbled sentences change others perception of us and our perception of ourselves.
We become ridiculous, incapable, comic, but this is not who we are. This is our disease and like any disease, it has a cause, it has a progression and it could have a cure.
My greatest wish is that my children, our children, the next generation do not have to face what I am facing.
But for the time being, I’m still alive. I know I’m alive.
I have people I love dearly. I have things I wanna do with my life.
I reel against myself for not being able to remember things
But I still have moments in a day of pure happiness and joy.
And please do not think that I am suffering. 
I am not suffering. I am struggling.
Struggling to be apart of things, to stay connected to who I once was.
So, live in a moment I tell myself. It’s all I can do; live in a moment and not beat myself up too much for mastering the art of losing.
One thing I’d try to hold on to though is the memory of speaking here today.
It’d go, I know it will. It maybe gone by tomorrow. But it means so much to be talking here today, like my old ambitious self who was so fascinated by communication.
Thank you for this opportunity, it means the world to me.
Thank you."

So people, I recommend you cherish your memory by probably start a blog. hehe...or download evernote :D

Till then, toodles!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

HongKong: Scouting for a stay

HK: Stay

I should warn you, the potential HK travellers out there, who aren't adventurous enough to stay in a very dodgy building with cell-sized rooms and just..creepy; 

'Do not attempt to book a full-paid room located in Chungkin Mansion.'

 We did just that, because of all the good reviews despite of the stated that this guest house is a one star accommodation. 'A' was just in awe with all the testimonials written there, so he gave it a go, made a full payment for 5 nights. But, if you are okay to stay anywhere because you just adventurous that way, please just book it by all means :)

Me, as usual was against it because of my skepticism towards un-branded or anything less than 3 stars. I learnt it by hard, it's not because I was so high maintenance. It's just not worth your money and time. But, I agreed anyway because there was not much time and hotels left and also the review. I thought, oh, maybe this time we hit the jackpot. Sigh..

We arrived at the building named Chungking Mansion at around 1pm. This building is located at the heart of Nathan road and looks seriously like unfinished construction project. Despite of that, this building was packed with colorful foreigners, named it arabs, asians, caucasians, etc. Most of the first arrival like us will have the reaction like us. Clueless and very worried written so clearly on their faces. Inside this building got a lot of halal stalls, shops which very much looked like those in Kota Raya, money changers and guest houses. We feel like all the guest houses advertised in the all must be located here. 

I wasn't sure how my face was the whole journey up to the guest house, but 'A' quickly understood. But I said "maybe only the lobby looks like that. Maybe the room is okay". I could not be the one who ruined our hard-earned vacation by being so 'mengada' >,<

We took the elevator up, and during this time we learnt that, not all elevators goes to all floor. Different elevator goes up to different floors. We must check before we enter. It applies to most elevators I rode in HK. After waiting and long queue with other tourist with lots of baggage, we managed to enter the very small and smelly elevator. The person who rode with us usually were looking very...suspicious T_T Maybe they are not bad people, it's just how they look. Maybe the pressure I was having that time painted it the negative way =_=" 'A' who usually had so many things in mind will block me with all his might whenever we were inside the elevator. 

We finally arrived at our guest house and it did not get much better. It looks like an abandoned place which they tried so hard to make up so it is livable. Again I told 'A' maybe the room is okay'. We checked-in and led to our room. And guess what? it was worse. I never imagined such a place existed T_T It was so bad that I almost cried. Because I just can't.. Don't get me wrong, I am not a rich person and never was. But this? It wasn't that cheap also :( There was not even enough space for our luggage! It's like when you open the door, it was straight away the bed. That was my first time I brought the travel cooker, planning to cook simple things for the first time during vacation. But, sigh..there's not even a space for me to do that. Don't let me start with the toilet. And..I don't know where should we pray. Maybe on the bed. While we were discussing in the 'room' we could hear the neighbors. I heard kids and their parents and I wonder how do they live in that 'room'?

After 'A' calmed me down, we decided to scout for a new place to stay. It was 5 nights. Not a short time, and we could not imagine living there for a minute more. So, we walked around the area and enter as many hotels that we are familiar with the reputation and asked for a room. We targeted the Holiday Inn, but there was no room, then we tried Sheraton, etc., all but to no avail. Then, we stumbled upon The Best Western at the end of the Jordan Road. Quite secluded and yet located at a busy road. We went straight to the front table and asked for a vacant room. Luckily for us, they have one last room. I felt so relieved. But 'A' wasn't quickly fell for it. He asked the staff to show him the available rooms and after interrogations and site visits, he agreed to book that room (like we have any options :p). Alhamdulillah...

First day, in front of the Best Western Grand Hotel with such a relieved face. Alhamdulillah..

Roads in HK. This is the common view while walking around. 

Checking in into The Best Western. I don't usually take pictures of check in. But this is a must because it was such an achievement :') 

While scouting for hotel, this is the view of Hong Kong. This is Nathan road. 

The room. It has all the basic facility of 4 stars hotel such as TV, kettle, room service, bottomless water bottle, etc. Because this is Hong Kong, do not expect the room to be as spacious as Europe's. I think Japan's have more space than them. Visit to HK has changed my perception towards Japan's accommodation. hehe.. But, I am all grateful as we could sleep very soundly that night, watch TV and make plans for the next day. the bed especially was very good!

The space where I do my cooking. So far, I only managed to masak nasi je with the travel cooker >,<  Because we were so busy stuffed ourselves with varieties of dumplings and whatnot.

Ok, see you in the next post :)

Thank you for reading

*read how do we get to HK here*

Monday, September 28, 2015

Peaching to HK- A major throwback

It's been a long time since I last write.

Anyway, I opened my blog and realized that I have lost so many memories. What have I done from February until now? I think I have been everywhere and did so many things. But, I just can't recall. Oh, what a waste.

So, now I'd like to start with one of the highlight of the year 2015 that I had. 
It was our golden week trip to..Hong Kong!

Like the other vacations, we never have discussed about this whatsoever. 'A' decided on it, like 2 nights before. That explained why he was late to bed. He was researching. 
Anyway, the next morning, he called me from work and nagged me to buy tickets and book hotels from the page he already bookmarked. I was so tired thinking about all the last minute packs I need to do, nonetheless was very happy as he finally had some time off from work.

It was golden week. Japan named it so because it was only once a year they have a long holiday like this, hence the 'golden' (perhaps :p). But, the company my husband is working now, does not always follow this calendar. But this time, fortunately, they did. But they were told about it on the last minute. 

Flight to HK

As we will fly from Japan, it is only logic to check out Peach Aviation first. Peach is like Air Asia in Malaysia, but Peach is still at its infancy so it flies to a very limited numbers of international destinations still. One of it is Hong Kong. After a few surveys (done by me, so expect it to be very brief), Peach had the best offer, so we bought our tickets like a day before! And of course because all of these last minute preparations I think no one knows that we are in HK. hehe.

The flight was at 10am and we left Hiroshima at 4am after fajr prayer. We drove all the way to Kansai Airport as Peach fly internationally from Kansai and other major airports. Unfortunately for us, Hiroshima airport is not one of their major airport. That's too bad despite of how popular Hiroshima is as tourist attraction. sigh.. anyway, I love it though, the road trip. It was fun and not that tiring although it took us roughly more than 3 hours to reach Kansai. The morning view, nice cup of cheap coffees and the ridiculously nice RnR area made it all worth it. We reached Kansai airport terminal 1 at 7 am. We figured, wow, we have extra 1 hour to walk leisurely and explore the airport and you know..spend longer time in the toilet for ritual morning calls. But then as I stepped outside the toilet, I see my husband kind of turning blue saying to me, "uh-oh, we are at the wrong terminal"

OMG. I can't believe that was happening to us and since when Kansai got two terminals -_-"
Anyway, we sprinted to the car after asking for confirmation for the fact that Kansai got two terminals from the information counter (which only open at 7.30am). We had a hard time looking for ways to Terminal 2. The direction was either confusing or, we were just too nervous to understand it. lol xp. But, we finally made it, 2 hours before boarding time. Alhamdulillah..

It was our first time in Terminal 2 of Kansai Airport. It looks like a smaller version of LCCT. It was very small, it maybe has only 3-4 cafes inside. The check-in counter looks more like a bus counter with bag scanners at the front. We tried to self-check-in at the kiosk but failed. The thing is, most passengers failed to check-in from the kiosk and I suspect it was because of our names. Malaysian name, I don't need to mention how complicated our names are. Also, the other passengers were mainly Chinese which names usually consist of three names. I think the kiosk only successful at reading Japanese names. So, we had to queue a very long queue. But, all was good. We checked in and had breakfast at one of their cafes. 'A' had nasi lemak that I packed for him. He always wants bentou, so I always need to pack something for him. He just doesn't like to eat out. Unlike him, I love to try new things although most of the time I regret it and 'A' had to finish it and at the end I ate the nasi lemak. Lol xp.

I didn't take pictures of the boarding gate. Trust me, LCCT looking much more 'mulia'. But, I am very convinced that they will upgrade everything soon. Oh, despite of that, we didn't have to walk miles to get to the boarding gate from the immigration. hehe. You, KLIA2 frequents would know what I mean :p

Like our previous LCCT, we had to walk to the plane. Why Peach when there are so many fruits you can choose from (if you insist you want fruit as a name)? I have no idea.
 The journey took about 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was so short that a pack of Daiso's ika-pea (squid-flavored peanuts) was enough to survive the flight. 

As soon as we landed..and I was already very worried when I discovered that..they don't have bidet T___T OMG...

*sneak peek for next the next post*
Photo showing the clever side of us. Book hotel room only when arrived at the lobby computer of the hotel. Talking about risk-taker -_-"


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