May 10, 2018

a new dawn for Malaysia


9th May - the day the people of Malaysia (and the world lol) have been anxiously waiting for.

we did our part! did you?

the people have cast their vote. Malaysia has chosen. the results were overwhelming.
to have him as Prime Minister for a second time, is truly an honor.
at his age, it did not deter him for accomplishing what seemed like the impossible.
we love you Tun!

7th Prime Minister of Malaysia

and here's to our first Female Deputy Prime Minister =) the Wonder Woman, the Iron Lady.

#girlpower =)

for a new Malaysia and a better future, insyallah.
#ge14 #malaysiamemilih #pru14

May 9, 2018

the younger two's birthday celebration

we held a birthday celebration for the younger kids after the elections. it was just a small birthday celebration; we figured that since it was a public holiday whoever that was voting around the area would be able to join the party. it was also kind of a last minute decision because we just planned to have a small family eat out and cake, but mil messages me and says lets do something for the kids so i'm like okay. and you know how i feel about holding birthday parties, you work your butt off but in the end nobody bothers to come at the last minute *sweat*

my kids will never say no to McDonald's.

where the party at

i was already anxious because it was well past 4.30pm and not a human in sight. is history repeating itself? i wondered in my head. i'm not kidding. i've developed a bit of a phobia ever since, it's not even funny. because it is very heartbreaking when your child comes up to you and asks why are her friends not even here yet. um ok but that's a different story. let's move on...

turns out, the people arrived, Melayu style. alhamdulillah.

me wants those cheeseburgers
family photo

this photo doesn't have a photo of Emma innit because she's terrified of the mascot. in fact, the person in charge told me she's never seen so many kids crying because of the mascot before. hahahhahaha.
tis ok, when i was young i never liked that A&W bear mascot, either =P~

family photo without Emma. she no likey that bird

a big thanks to my mil for making it happen for the kids. i know the kids really enjoyed themselves, despite being scared of that big bird mascot, despite the limited space (but who cares?? it's McDonald's yo!). thank you for all the presents the kids recieved. thank you to all the second cousins and friends who could make it that day! i cannot tell you how grateful i am to everyone for making this day happen for my kids.

and i apologize for any shortcomings!

the ones that made it happen
my '13 and '15 babies
happy birthday!

after the cake cutting, they even held some games for the kids. i never liked joining these kind of games back when i was a kid, i always lost baahahhahah. glad these kids have the spirit to participate and understand that it's not about whether you win or lose, it's about how you play the game and about having fun in the process =P

musical chairs
build-a-tower? Aunty yg baju biru tu semangat
so many kiddos in one place

i was running around much so i didn't have time to take a lot of photos, so these are photos sent to me by guests of the party. do you know that both of my cousins below have four boys? as opposed to my four girls. what is their secret please, haha.

my cousin Hazirah
my cousin Nedd

and Aja, who misread the invitation and turned up just as the party was ending. hahahahhahaha.

my #IAmOilCrazy peep

a group photo with my high school friends who always seem busy in the whatsapp chat group but will always spare time for you when you demand it. hee~. since 1995 yo, lama tu. and it's 2018 now?

my Northern Lights!

so tonight we berkampung in front of the tv and wait for the ballots to be tallied... good luck Malaysia!

April 20, 2018

Nanjing, ni hau

Nanjing, China.

China mainland bucket list: checked!

who can honestly raise their hand and say that they've heard of this place before?
(unless, of course, you're an avid historian and have heard of the famous Nanjing Massacre before).

would you ever consider this as a place to visit in your bucket list? usually when you mention China, Beijing or Shanghai comes to mind. but Nanjing? no way. what can you find here anyway?

this month i got the opportunity to visit Nanjing, because for the first time the husband was rostered a 2-day trip to Nanjing (he usually gets Xiamen or Canton if you talk about China). dapat pergi sekali untuk merasa pun da cukup, alhamdulillah.

this month dia memang murah rezeki; he's got day offs in Jakarta, Nanjing, and even Taipei for this month's roster. if i had all the free time in the world, i'd follow for each and every one of his trips, unfortunately that's not the case =(.

but the thing with China is, you need a visa to enter the country; only Hong Kong and Macau are excluded. so i was lucky there was this blogger who just recently wrote about what you need to do to apply for a Chinese visa; his blog helped me tremendously, thank you so much!

China visa

for a quick recap, you'll need:
- your flight ticket
- 2 passport photos
- your passport, still valid for at least 6 months (the usual requirement)
- a photocopy of the passport’s info page

the visa processing centre is located at Hampshire Place, situated smack in the middle of KL T_____T.

application submission is open from 9-3pm weekdays; i headed there at around 1pm-ish after purchasing my flight ticket, last-minute style. (to go? no go? should i? hee~ going would mean me applying 3 days off from work :\) the Grab driver was a very chatty young fellow, who didn't mind do most of the talking while i listened throughout the trip.

once at the building, you go to level 5 for visa applications, or you go to level 6 for pickups. that day as i stepped onto level 5, there was barely even a queue, means i didn't have to wait long for my turn, yasssssssssssssssss. you could even take your photo here, penat je i drop by dekat midvalley tadi just to take my photo; the visa requires your photo to have a white background. my photo turned out ugly, btw. i only realized that i'm slowly going bald bahahahhahahaha. i seriously need to change my current hair parting to mask it.

the normal duration for your visa to be processed is 4 working days. any earlier than that and you'd have to pay a little (no, ALOT) extra for your visa. i already filled up my visa application form online and had it printed out so i just needed to submit everything and come back after four days.

oh, there are also a few types of visa to choose from, the price will differ depending on what type of visa you choose and how soon you need it. i chose the single entry visa, because i wasn't sure if the husband would get another China day off within the next three months. (update: May roster is out and no China for him, Mumbai ade la. haha).

you only make payment when you come to collect your passport. collections are from 9-4pm weekdays. this time i drove because when i asked the guard downstairs, he said basement parking was available payable by the hour; which was much cheaper than having to pay Grab to get you there to and fro. when i arrived there in the morning, collecting my passport was also a quick process because there weren't that many people either, must be my lucky day perhaps? or perhaps it's low season to visit China at the moment. hee~

so yes, i collected my passport on the day of my flight, which was taking off the same day at 5.05pm. i also went to exchange RMB currency after i collected my passport, talk about everything last minute. i hadn't even finished packing for myself; i seriously didn't know what to bring to China =D~

so. another milestone checked: visiting mainland China!

excited =P
bye Malaysia!

well anyway, i made the flight, watched 27 Dresses (for a light laugh) and He's Just Not That Into You (just because i wanted to layan Alex and Gigi, hahahah). the duration of the flight was an average of 5 hours 30 minutes. Nanjing shared the same timezone as Malaysia, so i didn't have to worry about synchronizing any clocks for the trip.

business class menu

even though i was the first one off the plane (for attempting to skip the long immigration queue and also because i wanted to go to toilet), i still ended up being one of the slowest to clear immigration anyway; China immigration opened only ONE lane for foreigners, as opposed to the locals who had about 4-5 lanes to choose from, tak aci sungguh.

Nanjing Lukou International Airport
customs. y. u. so. slow.
the locals queue

fortunately for me i was lucky that one of the crew members was waiting for her check-in bag to emerge from cargo (like i mentioned before, since my bag went in last, it was one of the first to come out wahahahahaah) so i didn't feel so guilty for making the crew wait for me and my bag. untong kan jadi crew? they have their own customs clearance lane, they can saunter into the airport at the last minute and they get to travel like a bawse. sighs.

with the crew. ifs tunggu bag x kluar2 lg

anyway, once outside, the night air was cool! best gila! and whoops i only checked Nanjing temperature during the day and totally forgot to check for the temperature at night, which was a whopping belas belas degrees celcius, ahahahhahahah shit. and i didn't even pack any sweaters, confident je weather panas macam Malaysia, kah kah.

the hotel the crew was staying at took almost 50 minutes to get there by shuttle (similar distance from the airport to their hotel in Taipei); i was glad the Captain was nice, he reminded me alot of Arif, only in tall size. hahahahahahah.

the hotel room was so cantik btw; for only one-person to occupy, it was huge! it even had a sort of walk-in closet hidden in the back. our room did not have a balcony, since the view from our room was some sort of abandoned-looking water park, but we did have a bathtub (which i did not utilize during this trip, phooey). rooms facing the riverside had balconies, but didn't have bathtubs. the hotel came with an indoor swimming pool and a gym. aaaaand the only tv channels that were in English were BBC and HBO =P.

the spacious room
the bathroom sink
the bathtub, toilet and shower compartments
walk-in closet haha

the only downside to Nanjing is that practically everyone do not speak England, so you will have a problem if you want to ask them even a simple inquiry T___T. makes you wish you had spent all your available time learning Mandarin, eh?

oh well til the next morning, people!

March 20, 2018

beard brothers bbq

Lina told me about this place before, it didn't really register into my brain until recently when we were looking for a place to bring Dad for dinner before he goes back to the UK. we'd usually go to Menate, but this time thought we'd try something new. Dad was all in for it, can't say no to meat, especially when you don't get much choice in the UK (according to him, takde geng makan kat sana lol).

i rememebered i had wanted to go to Beard Brothers BBQ before, but they were closed that day, so we ended up going somewhere else =(. this time, they were open! although we did arrive abit late. Lina did say to go early before everything sells out. see below.

opening hours

notice in their Opening Hours they mention they will open until they 'sell out'. i suggest that you go early if you intend to eat here, because when i arrived about 8.30ish, some stuff in the big platter menu were already sold out (though i forgot what). we ordered two platters to share between us because everyone was starving.

the menu

they have huge smokers at the back of their store (complete with piles of wood), where they barbeque all the meat. apparently they prepare their meat for more than 13+hours in order to get the meat to be tender and juicy, hence once they're sold out, you're gonna have to come back the next day for more. only the beef ribs is sold by weight, they'll let you choose which part you want before they weigh it and charge you accordingly.

they serve bottomless drinks if you order one of their platters, and they provide you with wooden utensils, all self service. the meat is so tender that you won't need to worry about your wooden utensils breaking hahahahhaha.

sedap you. you really should give it a try. i would say once you've taken a taste, you'll be happy for at least a month. haha. even Dad says enjoyed it very much. he also thought about all the calories and cholesterol he's gained ever since he arrived in KL, haha.

we ordered one of the big platters
makan-makan w the fam bam
balik UK nnt Dad will diet, he says

we had arrived 'late' that by the time we finished with our meal, the store was already on the verge of closing and they were just waiting for us to leave. hahahah. whoops sorry =P~.

kedai nak tutup already

March 17, 2018

Perth Day 2

second day:

supposedly the plan was to wake up really early and head to Kings Park & Botanical Gardens, because Danial says the best time to view Perth CBD ideally would be before 10am. but biasalah, hotel beds and the covers are always very inviting that it's impossible to get out of bed that early, even though sunrise is about 6.15am haha.

darn those blackout curtains.

anyway, after i managed to drag the husband out of bed, we headed to Watertown Brand Outlet first, since it was walking distance from the hotel, barely a kilometer away.

Watertown Brand Outlet

i didn't do much shopping here, mostly available were Australian brands that i wasn't familiar with. oh, they had Smiggle here, for the Smiggle-lovers. i wouldn't say that the prices were dirt cheap here, but they were still slightly cheaper than prices in Malaysia (later when i got back to KL i compared the price of the bag that we purchased for the kids, it was indeed cheaper by 20-30 ringgit).

at Adidas waiting for the husband

we came across a luggage store that sold Samsonite laptop bags at reasonable prices, so the husband bought each of us one, since i'm in dire need of a laptop bag (the buckles of the previous bag that i had kept breaking, even after i had them replaced), and the husband's current laptop bag had been with us for so long, i've even sent the bag to have its straps repaired a couple of times before. the new bag that he got for himself had an extra zippered compartment where you could stash an extra set of clothing just in case you end up stranded on an island or get stuck in some similar situation (hence, his bag was much more expensive than mine =P).

thank you Dear, love you to the moon and never come back =*

we headed back to the hotel to stash our purchases and proceeded to the bus station to for our next destination: to find lunch at Charcoal Chicken - Dianella Plaza. don't be an idiot like me and mistake it as 'DAN-ee-yella'. it's actually 'DAYA-nella'. hahah. i only realized my mistake when i went to ask for directions at the hotel reception. the easiest way is to ask for directions from Googlemaps, i'm not kidding. trust Googlemaps! since i wasn't sure which bus to take and from which bus stop, we headed to the bus station itself to get a ride from there.

from Perth Busport, you have a few choices of buses that you can take to get there: Bus #360, 361, #362 and #960 since all buses will pass by the same stop that you're going to: Alexander Dr After Grand Prom (Stop #12800). we hopped on the first bus that arrived, Bus #360. a bus ticket costs $3.10 for Standard 1 Zone, also valid for 2 hours.

taking the bus like the locals

now, when i asked around  about what was there to do/eat in Perth, practically everyone told me that I had to try Charcoal Chicken. as soon as we got down at the bus stop and arrived in front of the restaurant, the husband was like, errr did we get the right place? rupa macam tak nak niaga je. on the outside the place looked partially abandoned, with the sign 'Charcoal Chicken Express' erected on its front.

Charcoal Chicken
Alexander Dr & Grand Promenade, Dianella WA 6059, Australia
opens daily 10.30am-9pm, closes on Sunday

abandoned-looking, seriously

but amaigad, do not dilly dally and ask so many questions, just go inside and order. LAMB RIBS DIA IS DA BOMB i tell you. unless you tamak and don't want to share, i recommend that you share a set between the two of you because the portion served is big, which costs $17.90 *tutup mata at exchange rate lagi*. it comes with a generous helping of salad, and they have alot of salads to choose from.

so that's why they call it 'express' i guess
lamb ribs set. yummeh!

there were a bunch of other Malays customers there (or Indonesians? i dunno but i could understand what they were saying hahahahah) who ordered and shared between them because the portion was quite big. my friend says boleh makan ni hari2. sorang lagi kawan mintak tolong bungkus bawak balik. hahahahhaha. can we open an outlet here in Malaysia? =D.

selepas kekenyangan macam ular sawa, we took the bus back to town using the same bus ticket we purchased since it was still valid *kedekut gila hahahahah*.

we did a bit of random wandering in the city before the husband had to go back to the hotel to sleep. he was going to operate that night and needed at least 6 hours of sleep to function properly (so he says lah, lol).

jalan-jalan in the streets of Perth
the alleyway of Harry Potter, or what looks like it
this BB-8 is seriously cute, can be controlled from your phone
who wants an iphoneX?
the leftovers of Autumn in Perth

but before heading back to the hotel, we went to buy that famous Corica apple strudel pastry to bring home. the previous day, just before Arif went back to the hotel he showed us one store in town that sold a mean apple strudel, but i forgot where the store was *sweat*. Corica Pastries was situated not too far from the hotel, so exercise it is.

Corica Pastries
106 Aberdeen St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia
opens daily 8am-5.30pm, Saturday 8am-12.30pm, closes on Sunday

i'm a fan of walking (the husband is more into jogging as a form of exercise) so i had to drag him all the way to the store for one last kopek adventure, which also looked half-abandoned on the inside (you know, like how sometimes you see bakery stores in KL half empty sbb stock roti tak masuk lagi). i half expected her to say they were sold out when i asked the lady at the counter if they still had any apple strudels left. luckily they did, kept in the chiller behind her, phew. one box costs you $24.

so. after sending the husband back to the hotel for his beauty sleep, i headed out on my own to continue exploring Perth, because the day was still young and i wasn't even sure when would be the next time i'd get to go back to this place again.

the last place i intended to visit what with the limited time i had here (orang lain pergi 5-7 hari, i pergi 2 hari je gila express nak explore semua huh) was the Blue Boathouse. you know, that sebijik boathouse blue in color that noone can tell you why it's there but people go visit it anyway to take photographs of it just because everyone's doing it? (i think there is a history behind the boathouse but you go Google about it yourself lah).

at this time i'm relying solely on offline Googlemaps to get around; only the husband has internet, and he's in the room snoring.

now, please listen to me when i say you should board Bus #950 to get to the Blue Boathouse, no matter how you think it looks near when you examine Googlemaps, because it will take you a FREAKING 1 hour 30 minutes by foot to get there. tak tipu. i missed exploring the Botanical gardens because by the time i arrived at the boathouse, dusk was setting in. the only consolation i got despite arriving at the spot at almost sundown was that the weather was seriously gorgeous, and you got a spectacular view of Perth CBD as you walk by the riverside. the birds in Perth were very colorful too, not those boring black and brown ones you'd usually see. i would've posted a video of them birds in my ig, only that the app keeps hanging when i try to do so, grrrr.

breathtaking view

i passed by the Eliza Sculpture on the way to the boathouse. I didn't know the significance of the statue at the time; the sculpture is 2.2m high and it depicts a woman about to dive off a wooden platform. it commemorates the old Crawley Baths which were a prominent Perth landmark during the early to mid 20th century.

Eliza Sculpture in the Swan River

Blue Boathouse is also known as Crawley Edge Boatshed, which is situated at the other end of the riverside T____T. when i arrived huffing and puffing at the boathouse, there were two people taking photographs of the boatshed, with tripods and everything. so i got the guy to take a photo of me and the boathouse as proof that I made it to the freaking boathouse haha. i asked him if he knew how the boathouse ended up here; he didnt know either. he told me that some rich guy had so much money that he decided to build that little boathouse. ehh betul ke hahahahha.

the Blue Boathouse
Crawley Edge Boatshed

milestone checked! - take photo with blue boathouse hahahahah

a selfie with the boathouse, hee~

although, i would like to come here again with someone else. tak best pergi and selfie sorang2 with the boathouse =(.

i say take the freaking bus because the bus stop is directly beside the boathouse, so tak payah sesat2 cari the landmark after you get off the bus, janji you get off the correct stop lah. you save alot of time and energy ok. hahahhahahahhaha.

bus routes and where they stop

since i still had time to explore beside the sun already setting, i decided to make a pitstop and hop off the bus at Elizabeth Quay station. the Captain's wife said that the place was relatively new, officated in 2016. the Bell Tower was also located here, so i wanted to go and see for the sake of seeing it.

by this time, the Bell Tower was already closed, obviously. and this is the time where all Ostolians gather at pubs to have a drink after work, their form of lepak and unwinding i guess you could say. what else can they do, most of the stores here closes at 5.30pm. bosan betul ok =P. probably after hours the local here continue shopping online, hahahahhaha.

the Bell Tower

after taking random photos and selfie failures because there just wasn't enough lighting, i made my way back to the hotel.

there were two more things i did before going back to the hotel though: (i) i had to try Ispa Kebab because my friend said the chicken kebab was nice, the portion was big enough to share; and (ii) they told me i had to try the iced coffee from Double Dare and Barista Bros. i wasn't a fan of coffee, so i went to Woolworths and purchased Double Dare's Mocha. Arif had already purchased Barista Bro's Iced Chocolate yesterday, tu pun sedap jugak.

Ispa Kebab
chicken & egg kebab
Barista Bros
Double Dare

hani told me to try Devondale Milkshake. ok putting that into future bucket list.

only then did i head back home, because i had to figure out how to sumbat TEN boxes into THREE bags. oh, did i mention the weather at night was glorious? =D. made the walk back twice the enjoyment, you didn't even feel that you were tired (kalau dekat Malaysia dah start menyumpah2 dah with regards to the hot and humid weather hahahahahah).

Perth weather. sapa tak suka??
all prepared to go home =(
Perth airport

and as usual, the flight back home was delayed. i'm used to all this delay already, haha.

flight delayed

i almost forgot that when i was passing through international departures, one of the guards managed to strike a conversation with me about the strudel i was lugging along with me onflight. haha. even he says the strudel is nice, lol.

i'm going to list here places that i want to visit next time in Perth if i ever get the chance:
- Rotness Island
- Penguin Island! becuase you don't find em in Malaysia hahahahhaha
- Cottesloe Beach
- Pinnacles Desert - sandboarding. you game?
- caversham wildlife park
- westfield carousel - shopping of course. cuci mata pun jadilah. oh someone mentioned there's a Kikki K store here =D
- another shot at Kings Park & Botanical gardens of course =P

now... maybe next time we bring a kid or two so that we can go to the zoo? =P