Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tioman Getaway

Time flies when you're having fun. There's no denying to that! It was a great 3D2N well spent trip.. as usual.. here are the highlights

1. Dolphin sightings
We were on our way to Tiger Reef when the dolphins were sighted. Everyone then got excited.. hahaha.. thank goodness Razis advised Marwick to turn on to video mode.. so here goes - http://www.facebook.com/video/?of=677232003#/video/video.php?v=42239562003&subj=677232003
p.s. Sorry guys, think you have to login to FB to watch the video.. it was hosted on youtube.com before this, but no longer there :o(

2. Night Dive
If it had rained, I would've aborted the dive. What's meant to be.. is meant to be. It didn't rain and I enjoyed the dive. It was awesome.. so awesome that.. I can only describe it as awesome. I'm planning to specialise in night dives from now onwards.. hahaha

p.s. only my 2nd night dive.

3. Excellent Company
My roomies - Shana & Azlin and neighbours - Azrul and Marwick. We got along well enough and understood each other. At times we would go on our separate ways or break into mini groups, and will re-group again during makan time or some other time. It was all cool.

4. Facebook
Met new people and new friends. Facebook ended up being my "calling card". Hahaha.. how convenient!

5. Theme Song
Mario Winans Featuring Enya & P. Diddy - I Don't Wanna Know

Monday, October 13, 2008

1 Mountain, 9 Friends and Loads of Strawberries

A leisure trip that took place over the weekend.. In spite of my "kejap ok-kejap tak ok" state of health, it was a trip that I enjoyed. The pace of the trip was a slow one.. which was good when I was in the "kejap tak ok" mode.

The weather was cold, and there were moments I felt as if I wasn't prepared despite my layers of clothing.. The strawberry jams and scones were yummy.. and so were the fresh strawberries.. and not to mention the chocolate coated strawberries.

Played Taboo which was great fun (although to an observer, he would think we were playing Charades).

The hotel personnel were accommodating with my prayer room request -- they actually converted a normal hotel room into a prayer area.. and due to a power failure in the 1st prepared room, the housekeeping personnel went the extra mile and prepared a 2nd hotel room just for me! I was touched and impressed with the level of service provided.. which reminds me, I better drop a note to the manager.

The trip back was an out of an ordinary one for me.. Due to an unexpected pot hole, we ended up with 2 punctures and had to detour to get that sorted out. Our trip back was "delayed" by an hour or so.. but glad it all ended well. At least I know who to call should I end up with a flat.. hehehe.. but then again, I hope to not have to experience a flat.. so touch wood!

Thanks guys for putting up with me during the weekend. It was a great one.. 

Theme Song - Shontelle's T-Shirt

Friday, June 6, 2008

Out Of Africa

A total of 9 nights were spent on South African soil. Instead of boring you guys with the detailed itinerary, I thought I'd just summarise the whole thing here with the highlights of the trip!

The Journey - Flight, Bus
The journey began with a 10 hour flight to Johannesburg, 1 hour transit and then another 2 hours to Cape Town. A long long flight but I got to sleep most of the time. Other times were spent playing video games and watching the comedies. So it was quite pleasant.

The journey back to KL was another story altogether. I spent the 9 waking hours playing video games (thank goodness for that!). Didn't sleep at all, not even a wink!

In between the beginning and the end, we travelled a lot by bus. The bus drivers we had were friendly and helpful - Mahir and Gert.

Weather - cold.. and wet!

As it was winter, the cold weather was expected. The rain however was totally unexpected! (this what happens when you travel without doing research). We were not drenched (the closest we got to was during our run up to Cape Point!). But since I wasn't prepared to get wet, it added more to the cold.

Decided to invest in a set of thermals (since the ones I had were nicely laying at home).

Table Mountain - so near yet so far, remained elusively out of reach

No thanks to the weather, we did not get to the top of Table Mountain. The cable car service was closed for the 3 days we were there. It was open for operations on the 4th day but since our flight to Joburg was at 10:40am, our tour guide Benjamin decided not to risk it.

We did however console ourselves by going to the bottom cable station of Table Mountain where we posed for pictures (whenever the clouds cleared out).

p.s. pic is not at the lower cable station of Table Mountain.

Safari - Lion-less & Leopard-less too
The stay at Entabeni was best gile. To get a better idea on what I mean, go to http://www.safarinow.com/go/lakesidelodge/ (not the best of the sites, but this is what I got in the few minutes I allocated for search.. haha).

But anyways, back to the safari. Due to time constraints, we didn't get to visit the lions in the lower plains. And they were not adventurous enough to venture into the upper plains to allow us to get a glimpse of them.

The leopard.. well, what can I say, apparently it's not easy to spot them either. They like to hide in trees where they feel safe. Along the game drive, I didn't see that many trees that were strong enough to house a leopard.. so my guess is they have changed their hiding spot!

Nevertheless, during the 1st night drive.. I managed to see the following at close range -- giraffes, buffaloes (or was it 1 buffalo), rhinos, elephants, impalas (abundant), kudus and I did see 1 zebra during the drive into the resort.

The next morning, we spotted the following -- impalas, kudus, warthogs aka babi hutan, ostriches, baby elephant footprints, zebra footprints, rhinos at close range (this was the highlight of the day, yay!)

p.s. Next time, I'm aiming to spot the lions & leopards.

The company
The whole group consisted mainly of my mother's friends. I was the youngest (if you don't count our tour guide Clive. If you counted him in, then he'll be the youngest). Everyone was jovial and friendly and we had good laughs throughout the entire trip. Most of the jokes were "you had to be there for it to be funny" jokes, so I won't even attempt to type it out.

I just love the chocolates there.. it tastes so different from the chocolates you get in Malaysia (although it's of the same variety). I somehow suspect this has something to do with the cow's milk used to produce these chocs. The milk there just tastes much better I suppose.

Clean, clean and very clean. Makes me not hesitate to make a pit-stop whenever required!
Note: Malaysian toilets have a long long way to go!

The whole South Africa experience - from a tourist perspective
I liked what I saw and experienced. Definitely wouldn't mind going back there again.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Our memories will live

My first thought of him was "wow! does he have a good grip" -- turns out he was a climber. We first met in 2000, I was a student and he an IT engineer.

2 weeks later, Hanis invites me to join them for lunch. We jumped into his car as he was the designated driver for the day. He called me the "green girl" -- referring to the bright green baju kurung I was wearing that day.

He treated me to my birthday at Chilli's Bangsar. I ordered some weird dish that came with rice. We had a great time making fun of it.

He introduced me to the world of climbing. When I was based in Menara Maxis, we used to go climbing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We'll leave KLCC at 6pm and go talk about everything under the sun during our drive out of KLCC to Sg Besi to Kesas and Summit. We'll arrive at about 7:30pm and we'll climb until the place closes for the night.

He got married. I was one of the 200 guests invited. I was honored to have made the list.

Things changed after that. I climbed less and indulged more with my other activities. Nevertheless we do keep in touch as best as we could -- the occasional lunches in KLCC, phone calls, emails etc. I would call him up when I wanted to b!tch about my problems, my life etc.

He called 2 weeks ago and suggested we meet up again, as it has been a long time since we last met. Last week, we were lunching in Chilli's KLCC. It was as if time did not move. We spoke about everything -- his family, his work, my social life, my work, his holiday etc. He returned my "figure of 8" which he borrowed a couple of years ago (I even forgot it was with him).

Last night when I received the SMS, I was in disbelief. I will miss him.

Dropped by his parents' home tonight.. the eulogy given by his friends and family jogged my memory some.

I remember his silly jokes (he was doing it even during lunch), how he would change the lyrics to songs (You're so vain to You're so gay). I remember his funny usage of Malay words (e.g my parents cannot tidur nyanyuk unless all their kids are home -- he meant nyenyak).

I remember lamenting to him that I'm not ready to get married because I haven't done everything I wanted to do yet. He responded with when he got married to Kar Lai, he had done 75% of the things, and he knows he can do the 25% with her. I made a mental note that is something I should remember when it is my time to get married.

I remember his advise, that if you're going to move to another company, always ask for more as you are worth it!

I forgot he was a tae-kwan-do black belt holder. I forgot his love for drawings and animations. I forgot that his motto was "the best is yet to be" and he would sign that off with a fuzzy.

I forgot that once we (Liong, Andrew, Felicia and myself) drove all the way to Seremban to eat the cendol that I claimed was sedap.. only to reach there and find that it had moved to a location that I didn't know.. hahaha. we ended up eating in a food court instead.

I'm sure there are more things that I remember and I have forgotten. When the time is right for me to remember, there will be a smile on my face knowing that he will always be in my mind and heart.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Sipadan Get-A-Way

The road to Sipadan was a long one - from financial constraints to leave constraints to crisis mode.. I eventually made it to Sipadan.

I LOVE every moment of it! Even if it meant I had to get up at 3am to catch the 4:30am bus to LCCT.

Aside my initial reservations on the toilet facilities (it wasn't so bad after all), I'm glad that I'm one of those who can adjust pretty well to my surroundings.. once I got my groove, I was a pretty happy person.

Diving was fantastic, I didn't have my normal fears before my dives. I'm pleased. I hope this feeling will stay. Expected to see some big animals, but takde.. but it was alright, the small ones totally made up for it (didn't feel like that in the island, but when I was recounting what I saw.. banyak jugak!)

Although I have announced my retirement from diving (no one is taking me seriously on this), I'm already planning my next visit to Sipadan.

Sipadan Kapalai Resort...Here I Come!