Monday, January 2, 2017

Wonderful and Favourite 'Medals' of 2016

2016. What have I done? Was 2016 eventful, suspenseful, wonderful?
I don't like year end. It's a reminder. Masa yang dipinjamkan kepada kita, semakin singkat. Dengan masa yang semakin singkat, and with the coming year of 2017, will I spend it wisely? Can I complete anything, something, everything in time? know.. (*serious & thoughtful face).
Pffttt...same question every year..boring makcik.
Got so many 'medals'. Thankfully, those 'medals' do help me to look back and recall.
Dragon Back run medal, Rinjani Trek tag, Boh Eco Trail run medal, Crystal challenge run medal, SCKLM medal, Umrah tag
Dragon Back Run. Lousy run hahahah. Flag-off was really close to masuk waktu subuh. I did my subuh prayer first, in the canteen's prayer room (flag-off at SK Meru 2). And so, I was a lone runner in the dark, yang lain dah jauh ke depan (harapkan lampu henpon je). Sweeper cop followed me since I was the last runner. When you ran alone in the dark, it was quiet, kampung road some more, you entertained baaad thoughts. A lottt. I was suspicious of incoming cars, cyclists. I even had a crazy suspicion about the cop. Haru tak? Aisshhh..toksah buat dah. Tobat. But the medal..hahahha chantekkk. Paling artistic in my medal collections. So trauma terubat.
Rinjani..hah. Once upon a time, I told myself I could never climbed Mt Kinabalu (which I did climb). And yet, I managed to conquer Mt Rinjani. Bucket list item. Wrote so long about this one.
Boh Eco Trail run. Run kee? More like sight-seeing, ran a bit, walked a bit, stopped and took photos a lot. 2 bucket list items stricken off at the same time. Running in a tea plantation and won a photo contest. First time in a run in which organizer provided air kelapa muda. Terbaik!
Crystal challenge run. Errr...I could not recall much about the run. Frankly speaking, it was all about the crystal medal which was shown in the online registration page. Sejujur2nya, kalau tak kerana medal tu, tak register makcik. My one and only crystal medal. Quite heavy, you can turn it into a paper weight or toss it to somebody's head.
Standard Chartered KL Marathon. Why was it so special. Because it has been a while since me and hubby ran together, finished a race together. And also I improved my 10K timing compared to previous year's event.
Umrah and ziarah. Ohhh...umrah. Termenung seketika. Hati sedih tapi berbunga-bunga. Jiwa meronta-ronta mahu ke sana. Rindu pada ketenangan sudah melanda (sounds mengada-ngada pun ada). I want to do and will do this again, insya Allah.
So, that was my 2016 in a nutshell...which..actually was quite eventful, suspenseful and wonderful. Ran a lot, did a number of bucket list items, and yes, arrived at an important milestone in life as a muslim. TQ medals, for helping to remind me.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Kegemilangan Emas di Paralimpik Rio 2016 - First Day Cover

Something must have messed up my mind, I was so confident that the FDC will be released on the morrow. Until I saw the extra-ordinary and happening crowd in front of the Stamps and Philately section (Pejabat Pos Besar KL), as I was heading to my office building.
Starting to doubt myself then, 'Eh? hari ni ke, esok?'. Another event was also launched recently ie Stamp Fair and National Stamp Exhibition. Maybe that event kot? Soo..just to be sure, I went for a look-see-look-see. And I saw...

Yikesss!!! I firstly saw Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli (shot put), him being the most sado. Then I registered the rest of the gold paralympic athletes: Abdul Latif Romly (long jump) and Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi (100m). Hahahaha! OMG!
I quickly bought the FDC, thankfully the line was non-existent. I guessed everybody was still hovering around the celebrities athletes. While sticking the stamp onto the FDC envelope, they started to walk out from the press conference area. At this point of time, I noticed KJ. I totally did not register him when I took the photo (slap forehead..). Tu laaa..lain kali, pakai tshirt Harimau Malaya.
After press conference group photo, the crowd went to the breakfast buffet area. And I decided to take the opportunity to get my FDC signed by all the athletes, even if I had to loiter around the area the whole morning. So I ran into my office building, dumped my laptop and bag, let my colleagues know where I'll be loitering. Then ran back to Pos Malaysia. Hohohohoh.
Nice eh? Isn't that cool!! (scream!!). Got four signatures, I wished I could get 5, including KJ hahahah, but he had to leave early. The left signature with the red block was the FDC designer himself En Shahrul Izhar (World Comm).
I pointedly asked the athletes to write down their names. While queuing, I saw they just signed the FDC. How to know which signature belongs to whom, right? Ridzuan was exceptional, since he has cerebral palsy and has difficulty signing. The person in charge told me just to have Ridzuan's signature. But when Ridzuan signed my FDC, he really put the effort and struggled to write his name. I guessed he heard my request while taking Latif's & Ziyad's signature. Sebak sat... 
You guys are exemplary..terbaek lah..really make my heart swells with pride, eyes watery some more. Everything is possible kan! Usaha dan kesungguhan je, insya Allah tercapai. Semoga hidup korang diberkati...aamin.
For details of the event :

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Umrah Awwal? Na'am...

'Umrah awwal?' Saudi immigration officer's question to me. Terkelu sekejap, nasib baik masih ada saki baki ingatan belajar bahasa arab (Umrah pertama?).
'Na'am (yes),' perghh gedik sekejap rasa, menjawab dalam bahasa arab walau seciput itu. Tekaaan sikit 'ain tu...hohoho. Dah lama berhajat nak buat Umrah. Dah lama brainwash husband. Our turn for Hajj is supposed to be in 2017, with registration done back in 2007. Wanted to do Umrah first for familiarity, so that we would not feel overwhelmed during Haji. Akhirnya sampai juga kami ke Tanah Suci for umrah, 14-23 Nov 2016 via Tabung Haji Travel.
Photos : Masjid Nabawi and its gorgeous umbrellas, Kaabah post tawaf, Sa'ei and Bukit Marwah

We brought my mom in law. Earlier we thought to bring the kids and bibik along. was a wise decision not to do so. Nak uruskan diri sendiri pun agak terkocoh2, nak kisah kan my MIL lagi. I knew MIL will slow us down, I kind of expected we will end up using wheel chair (which we did). With the kids in tow, it would be more challenging.
Umrah went well Alhamdulillah. Nak dijadikan cerita, my mom texted me while we were in Madinah- both of us received Haji 2017 offer letter. Syukur ya Allah.

Photos : Indicative distance walked (iPhone Health app) and Tawaf (Runkeeper app). Sempat lagi tuu merekod...ahahahah.

We stayed in Madinah until 17th, Hotel Anwar Al Madinah Movenpick which was close to Masjid Nabawi. In Mekkah, we stayed in Hotel AlShohada which was almost 1KM away to Masjidil Haram, hence the longer distance recorded from 18th onwards.
We opted for muassasah for our Hajj. Hotel would be even further away from Masjidil Haram. So have to be mentally and physically prepared from now on. 

Gunung Rinjani sudah ku daki, tapi tasik tak dituruni

This is a looooOOOoong overdue entry. Almost 6 months...gaaaaahhh!

Friday 8th April 2016
There were only 17 of us plus. Half of them, geng sama2 mendaki gunung Kinabalu in 2014. Half of them, kira kawan baru la gitu. First time jumpa, no problem though. Amazing huh, how common interest can make us bond faster. We started our hike after a 1 night stay (7th Apr) in a quaint village in Sembalun. Niceeee village..nyaman, surrounded by the mountains.
First stop, was registration at the Sembalun Rinjani Trek Center (RTC). We walked from the guesthouse to the RTC. Started to get nervous (betul ke aku ni... haa..gitu). I was ill in Dec/Jan, so I was a bit worried. Only 3 things gave me confidence : 1) I was lighter by about 9kilos and 2) no foot/ leg injury. Had a bad plantar fascia during Kinabalu. 3) Me and hubby persevered for 21 hrs ascending to Low's Peak and descending to Timpohon entrance. We have perseverance, loads of them.
We actually got a remark (twice T_T), 'Ooo..korang ler yg turun Kinabalu nak dekat pukul 12 malam ye?' We hiked Kinabalu and Rinjani with Danz Travel. So words got around within Danz Travel's circle. Macam legend lak. Legend haru biru...nasib baik CikDan tak pangkah kitaorg join Rinjani trip ni...huhuhu.

Our local guide herded us onto the back of FWD truck and took us for a jaunty ride to the Pintu Sembalun. Sakit la jugak tongkeng duduk kat belakang tu, melambung2 ;D
We walked first through undulating green fields, saujana mata memandang. Baru lepas monsoon, so the field was abundantly green. Had to watch our steps. Cow droppings was also abundant hahaha...jerangkap samar. Looks like Bukit Broga (minus the poop..). Rinjani savannah is much grander of course.
Mid morning and it got hotter on the savannah. We made a long brunch stop at one of the posts...tak hengat..Pos 2? Pos 3? It was really a long stop, 1030-2pm kott. Sempat tido, solat jemaah bagai.
Oh ye...oleh kerana kami couple slow, a specific porter/guide (mas Wan) was assigned to us. He carried our knapsack (satu je, tapi besar hohoho) and he was also the sweeper. Ye..yer..kami belakang sekali..Orang lain dah berdesup. Takpe, yang penting, slowly but surely.
Next phase of the hike, I braced myself for it. Bukit Penyesalan which many bloggers cursed. Bukit Penyesalan really looks like iklan Salem High Country (otai-otai je tahu iklan ni...). Cantikk.
It rained though in Bukit Penyesalan. Disposable raincoat did not help. Rainwater slithered down the legs. Wet shoes, wet socks, wet pants. My hands were cold and pruny. My toes cramped so many times I lost count. But somehow I was glad. Hahahaha. Not so menyesal? I think, the cold rain helped to lessen the hardship. Imagine if it were sunny and hot..confirm menyesal. Bloggers said 7 peaks, but porter said 5 peaks. I was too tired to count the number of peaks. I just asked 'Ada berapa puncak lagi, mas?' and dragged my feet in the squishy shoes.
Almost 6pm it stopped raining and we finally arrived in Plawangan Sembalun. Tents were already lining the path which leads to Rinjani's peak. You know lah what happened when you stop moving. Body cools down. Our porters were late, so no tents for us yet. We were cold, wet AND miserable! Freaking cold!! Cold wind, nightfall and temperature was dropping. Damp shirts, wet pants and shoes...gaaahh!
Luckily, Wan and our knapsack was with us ..that means we can dig up for dry clothing straight away. I put on a dry fleece jacket on top of my damp shirt. Ya Allah best nya...The others, had to wait for the porters to arrive and deliver their knapsacks.
Once the tents were pitched and assigned, we just stayed in the tents due to cold wind and light drizzling. We were the only khemah kelamin, dubbed as khemah Happy Ending. Tah apa-apa laa depa ni.
The tents were so closely pitched, we could eavesdrop hahahaa. We simply raised our voice to talk to the neighbouring tents. Even had dinner in the tents. After time..zzzZZZ. I thought I would be having trouble sleeping in a cramped tent, with thin mattress and sleeping bag. Pffftt..fengsan jugak...

Saturday 9th Apr
The Day. The morning itself. Cold and foggy morning. Most of the journey to the peak was manageable. The hard part was the last leg, about 1KM or so to the peak. We had to trudge the loose, fine volcanic sand. Again, I braced myself for the infamous '2 steps forward, 1 step sliding backward' moment. However, no back-sliding woooHOooo! The fine sand was damp and somewhat compacted, I think because of the rain yesterday. Even our guide was glad. I was mightily glad.

Both of us (couple kura2) reached the peak just before 10am. Last one to arrive of course hahaha..but not so bad, just about 15-20 mins later than the rest of the team. Frankly, Kinabalu hike was tougher to me. I think, for Rinjani trip, I was fitter (plus the damp sand helped a lot!).
I considered the easy path to the peak is like a rezeki. Once at the peak, takde rezeki pulak - tak nampak Danau Segara Anak because of the thick clouds. *Sigh* You get some, you don't get some. C'est la vie, bak kata sorang hiker. We did not stay long at the peak. After taking the group photo, we made our move back to plawangan. It lightly rained and this time the path was really slippery. Berapa kali tah jatuh terduduk...huhuhu...gelak je laa masa jatuh tu.
We reached plawangan around 1-2 pm. The original plan was for us to break camp after lunch and make our way to Danau Segara Anak. However, due to rain, slippery path and everybody was miserable with cold and damp clothing (again), it was unanimous - no Danau Segara Anak trip and to break camp tomorrow morning, going back to Sembalun village.
No hotspring, no waterfall trip, no Senaru village. Hubby was mightily happy, he was still jet-lagged (flew back just for Rinjani, all the way from his overseas assignment). I also did not mind, I've achieved my main aim of reaching Rinjani's peak. After having lunch in the tent (again), sambung tidorrrr.. I really enjoyed sleeping in the tent that evening. It was cool, sound of raindrops hitting the tent like music, kenyang..heaven.
Husband dah fengsan
In the evening, it stopped raining.The guys went to a nearby piped water source for a bath...errr.. about 20-30mins jugak ke water source tu. Ladies stayed behind, hurhurhur. That was the only time we stayed out of the tents and bersembang2 di luar khemah kakakaka! Nightfall came and we got into the tents back, had dinner in the tent. was windy that night. Soo windy, I thought some of the tents might flew off!
Around 2am, somebody called out - stars in the sky. Ngantuk2 tu, I looked up from the tent's entrance...oooo..cantiknya (the night before was cloudy, saw no stars at all). Kamera henpon je..I could not capture the enchanting views. The strong wind must have blown away all the clouds. Cold wind, could not tahan. I slipped back into the sleeping bag and stuck out my head. I laid on my back to look up at the stars. My head on the outside of the tent, my body in the tent. Heaven. After 15 mins or so, got back into the tent. Sambung tidorrrr.

Sunday 10th Apr
Truly a SUNday. Best nya Ya Allah. Hahaha! Not seeing the Danau Segara Anak and crater lake for the past 2 days and finally seeing it before we break the camp, I felt truly blessed. It was a photography session for most of us, finally. Everybody was whipping out the cameras and handphones, posing and all.

Lion King pose
It was a beautiful day. Everybody was in a good mood to head back to Sembalun village, even with such a major change in the itinerary ie no Danau Segara Anak, hotspring, Senaru village and waterfall visit. Sporting lah korang2 ni.
Although we've ascended the Bukit Penyesalan and the savannah, we truly enjoyed the second passing. The sunny day exposed us to its utmost beauty, which was denied to us on our hike up. We reached Pintu Sembalun, managed not to finish last...hahaha! What an achievement XD
We stayed one night in Senggigi. Tak hengat dah apa nama resort tu..

Monday 11th Apr
The rest of the group continued the trip to one of the Pulau Gili. Which Gili pun tak hengat. We have planned earlier not to join the trip to the island. We had to fly back to KLIA in the noon, since hubby is catching evening's flight back to his oversea's assignment.
However, sempat jugak laa we rent a bike and rode the whole stretch of Senggigi. And found this one cute Pura Batu Bolong. Small attraction - has a beach, has a small Pura, has a short passage/cave and has a geological formation (volcanic rock).
Rinjani trip was a beautiful experience.  For me, Rinjani offers more scenery than Kinabalu. One Rinjani trip is enough though, a bucket list stricken off. Kinabalu on the other hand, I do  feel the urge to re-visit. Of course lah I feel Kinabalu is more special being a Malaysian. Biased heheheh.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lunch at Sangeetha @Lebuh Ampang

For weeks, we were dreaming of having lunch at Sangeetha. Finally..
Had ourselves a Chennai thali, mushroom manchuria. And I had the heavenly badham kheer.

A pregnant colleague, was still hungry. Mushroom manchuria was aplenty. So we ordered a paper tosai.
Hungry and preggy colleague, so happy when the tosai arrived
Nampak je besar. It's thin and crispy...nyam nyam
I was so sad when the badham kheer glass was empty. Could not order another glass, done that before and I was so bloated and gassy afterward. I am getting intolerant to lactose lately..dah tua. Plus the beans/ legumes/ spices from the dish...lethal combo. So, had to tahan from ordering another badham kheer.
Until next visit yaa..

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tazkirah Zuhur di bulan Ramadhan

Nah, this is not a blog to share what tazkirah Zuhur I've gotten during the holy month of Ramdhan. This is about the ambience and experience of attending tazkirah recently in my workplace. Hohoho..
The surau committee in my workplace is very diligent in planning tazkirah. Tazkirah will be about 1 hour during lunch time. The committee will post a 1-month schedule on the bulletin board and they do this every month. Kudos to them. Terima kasih banyak-banyak. Moga diberkati..amiiin.
Once you attend these tazkirah frequently, you would develop a certain knowledge of the ustaz-ustaz typical tazkirah content and their style of delivering them. Naturally, the well-attended tazkirah would be those delivered  by the famous, well-known and entertaining ustaz.
I rarely attend the whole full session and rarely I pay attention to the tazkirah schedule. Ikut nasiblah, ustaz mana, dengar je lah. I usually turn up midway of the tazkirah. Even then, you can immediately judge the tazkirah's level of interest by the numbers of people in the surau and how many of them flock to the front of the surau. Large number of people, means well-known and favourite ustaz. Significant flocking to the front of surau, means celebrity and famous ustaz, heheheh.
Last Monday, we had one celebrity ustaz. Ustaz Azmil Mustapha. Pergh...Tipah tak tipu. Otai2 je kenal dia ni. He was really famous when I was in primary school. Made reallly famous by movie Ali Setan. For the first time ever, I decided to attend a tazkirah from start (Ya Allah, harap2 tak kurus pahala hadir majlis tazkirah ni..).
I had one expectation. I expected to hear how he made the turnaround. From a famous actor to an ustaz. 5 minutes into the tazkirah, my expectation went out of the window. I had no idea what's Azmil Mustapha like, as an ustaz. So his style? Keras and kasar, my opinion. Raised voice, arms flailing, looking straight into people's eyes...*peluh* I felt like we were being scolded...hahaha. He talked about how Islam in Malaysia is in sad and dire condition and you can really feel his sadness and frustration. The next day? We had another tazkirah. All smiles and laughter bacause the ustaz was very funny and full of humor. I felt cleansed and soothed afterward. Totally different from Ust Azmil's session.
The thing is..I totally do not like Ust Azmil's style and I love attending lighthearted and funny tazkirah. But honestly, most of the time I will have a difficult time recalling the gist of lighthearted funny tazkirah. Yes, there were messages delivered during that funny tazkirah, but apparently the messages did not hit hard enough. Not enough staying power, not sustainable. Whereas, I was really affected by what Ust Azmil said, terngiang2 suara dia citing the ayat-ayat Quran yang menusuk qalbu tu. Sentappp...takuttt..depressed..
Will I go to his tazkirah again? Hahahaha...sentap tak habis lagi ni. Maybe, once the sentap has somewhat being managed and addressed. Not ready for another sentap.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dream came true, twice! Boh Eco Trail Run 2016

I have dreamt of running in a tea plantation. No more dreaming, coz dream came true when I ran in Boh plantation in Bukit Cheeding, Banting. I did not run much though. More like sight-seeing with lots of selfies and photography.
I have also dreamt to win any photo contest. No more dreaming also, I was one of the lucky winner for the run photo contest.

Makcik happy..2 kali.
Ramadhan Kareem and keep yourself hydrated.