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Thursday, 25 May 2017

3 Major Milestones in My Life

Since I was young, I led a sheltered and comfortable life thanks to my loving parents. It was not until I graduated from high school that I finally get a first taste of hardship. The major milestones of my life did not happened until I graduated from high school. To me, milestones are events that will affect our perspective or bring about serious and lasting changes in our lives. Although most people think that twenty-two years is not that long for someone to have lived, three major milestones had occurred in my life that helped to create the person I am today.
I was 17 when I received a letter informing me to go for the National Service training programme once I finished my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations. Having led a sheltered life, I had not camped or lived outside of home before so naturally I was scared and nervous upon receiving the news.  I was to serve for 3 months at Kem Lagenda Seri Negeri, Langkawi Island. For as long as I could remember, school has always been a huge part of my life. I had the same routine for 10 years, going to school five days a week, then off for two days, and going back to school on Monday. Now for three months, I will have to get use to a new routine far away from home sweet home.
Living for three months in a rural camp with fellow trainees from different ethnic groups had taught me many things that otherwise I would not know if I had chosen not to go. I learnt how to be more tolerating and open minded. This happened when wake up calls at 6am not meant for you woke you up instead. Besides that, I also learnt how to be independent. In the camp, I had to wake myself up every morning instead of relying on my mother. I also had to do my own chores, such as wash my own clothes, tidy my own bed and dormitory. I could still remember we would sometimes come back from training to some beds completely upturned with bedsheets, pillow and everything on the bed thrown on the floor because the bed was not tidy enough to pass inspection.  
But most importantly, I made a lot of friends there. Friends from different races and background, friends who I would not make if I were to stay in my comfort zone, friends who taught me a lot about life and reality, friends who were openly honest to me. I was blessed to have met them in my life.
The next major milestone in my life was leaving home to study Diploma in English at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI). I was studying form 6 in my previous high school after National Service when I was offered a place to study in UPSI. With exposure to ethic differences and experiences I had during the National Service training, it was easy to adapt myself to my diploma life. I was grateful to have the chance to study in UPSI and stay outside of home for a period of 3 years. I did not choose to go to Form 6 as they recently changed the Form 6 syllabus and I was afraid I could not catch up.
Nevertheless, every path has its puddles. The hardest part of choosing this path is that many people questioned my decision as they have not heard of anyone taking diploma before in UPSI and they think that I am wasting time as diploma takes 3 years when Form 6 takes 1.5 years; there were some who thought I was taking a teaching diploma, too. Most of the problems I faced were people judging and giving me alternatives instead of encouraging me to continue my chosen path. So, there were times when I was influenced by them and questioned my decision. Did I chose the correct path? Am I wasting my time? It got even worse when the batch of students who came in a year later than me will graduate along with me as the years of studying has been shorten to 2 years. Luckily, I had a group of friends I met when I was studying my diploma who supported and helped me. Now, we are continuing our studies at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) together although we are in different courses.
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The last milestone that I had experienced was after my diploma and before I entered USM. I went on a trip with another 2 friends to Krabi, Thailand. It was my first overseas trip with friends and without my family. I was in charge of planning the trip because I had experience travelling to Thailand. Before going on the trip, I had to research carefully on the weather, transportation, accommodation and necessities to bring to Thailand. Because we were students and travelling on a budget, we need to find affordable plane tickets and accommodation. That was a challenge for me as well as I learnt how to research for information, eliminate the unsuitable choices and making the right choices suitable for me and my friends. On the trip itself, we encountered many problems. The flight to Krabi was delayed, so when we reached there it was already night. Then, the hotel we stayed in had a blackout. It was so hot we had to come out from our room to cool down at the porch in front of the hotel. There were other travelers there too, so we get to chat with them and listen to their adventures and stories. Even with the blackout it was a wonderful night. Meanwhile in the streets of Krabi, we got conned by tuk-tuk drivers charging exorbitant prices, learnt how to haggle prices with the locals, enjoyed the spicy and sour local delicacies, went island hopping and snorkeling. That was an experience in a lifetime that I would not forget.

Thus the 3 milestones in my life and more to come.

Till then xx

Friday, 5 May 2017

Girls of 939495: KL (Part 2)

It's time for part 2 of our #939495 trip! If you haven't, here's part 1.

After Melaka, we drove to KL. It's obviously not my first time in KL, but it's the first time here with my girls! So I went ahead and booked this awesome room from AirBnb which has an amazing infinity pool that overlooks the KL scene.

First thing we did after checking in was to check out the view of the pool! Isn't it amazing??

We decided to swim next morning because the sun was too hot that afternoon. And the pool was crazy crowded. But we came back at night and captured the night view too hehe.

KL Tower was blinking colorful lights! We stayed a long time enjoying the view till the pool closed down at 10 p.m.

Next morning, we woke up early and planned to catch the sunrise. And we did!

The view from our room! And luck was with us because we managed to capture this beautiful picture of the sun in between the twin towers!

Another one of the rising sun. I'm so in love!
I have always love the city scene, the sterile tall skyscrapers spearing from the ground, the endless sound of car honks, the steady stream of people. But this is totally the first time I stayed at a place where I can overlook the city in awe. And see this city wake up and begin its day. It was breathtaking. No words could possibly describe how I feel when the sun came up in between the twin towers which took us by surprise! I'm definitely going to go back for another stay.

And then we changed into our swimsuits and off we went to the pool!

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Me and the breathtaking view. Grand, isn't it?

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A pic of the fake tattoos we applied on last night. Linked!

We left as the crowd came in and went for breakfast.

Sarah looking mischievous haha! 
Breakfast was at Tous Les Jours but I just read news that it closed down?! So lucky we visited it before it closed down lol.

The rest of our schedule was shop, shop and shop. Yeah, I think we went to several malls in the Bukit Bintang area before dinner lol. Girls being girls!

Dinner was at this place called Omaya located at Solaris Mont Kiara. The day we went was actually their first day of operation so the workers were especially attentive.

Shimson Stew, RM84.
Korean army stew in the center, cheese fondue and Chuncheon style stir fried chicken at the side.

Ready for eating! 
To be honest, it was a bit disappointing. I had high hopes because of all the hype on Facebook but then, the taste was just mediocre. 

The stew taste like chicken stock water. We couldn't stand the taste and added kimchi by ourselves and let it boil down to kimchi based chicken stock lol. 
The stir fry chicken was average as well. Not the Chuncheon style we normally have at Korean restaurants, its less spicy and catered to the Malaysian taste buds. To me its like having Malaysian style stir fry chicken. Maybe because this is a fusion restaurant instead of an authentic Korean restaurant?
The only saving grace is the cheese. Dip it in the cheese and you will be in heaven lol. 

After you finish the stew they will fry rice together with seaweed, cheese and hot sauce. Nothing can go wrong with cheese!

Next day we took a plane back to Penang. While Sarah returned to work. 
Twas an fruitful trip filled with fond memories! Hope there's more to come in the future.
#939495 rocks!

Till then xx