Thursday, September 25, 2014

quick notes on the Malaysia trip: Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Penang-Langkawi-Singapore in 6 days

So M&D were here for a visit and we finally made that trip to Malaysia, alhamdulillah. I never thought I'd get the chance to vacation with them again post-wedding but so happy we were able to. And while I was really stressed about the whole trip, it turned out pretty decently. I mean I was afraid that in all the bookings I'd made I'd screw up or pull a Zari, but two train bookings, four flight bookings and three hotel bookings later, I did pretty well. Of course I kinda did badly selecting the Chulia Heritage Hotel in Georgetown. It had 'shared bathrooms' which means bathrooms were outside the room! Ugh. Bad decision but because the hotel was pretty clean, I think it was okay.

So quickly... some highlights

1. The confusion at Woodlands. Oh yeah, major confusion at this point. We pass immigration and everything and then realize instead of reaching the train platform, we're at the coach platform! Alhamdulillah for some smooth action by the officials. Next time must keep my eyes peeled for the signs. All the drama just because of one wrong turn.
2. In the train Sarah has a lot of fun playing with an older boy, perhaps 6 years old. They giggled, she couldn't talk to him much but kept making noises and shared her crayons and colouring book. When the family left, the boy's mother put 15 SGD in Sarah's hand!
3. We reach KL late in the night. I really could have done a better job selecting hotels for the whole trip. But everything was so last minute, now I know you really have to comb through reviews on TripAdvisor, especially the room tips. And never, ever go by the hearts on So we get off the train, and reach Little India (or one of the three Little Indias in KL) and search for 'My Hotel'. While we're searching, a helpful young man tells us, there are three My Hotels in this area, so why don't you go to the nearest one over there and find out which you're booked at. Didn't need that confusion after the drama at Woodlands. 
4. We go on a KL tour with some highly reviewed private tour at TripAdvisor. Pretty decent. Loved KL. Had expected it to look like SGP but wasn't. Much more beautiful.
5. Catch a train to Penang. Parents are like hyperparanoid at this point. Everything goes okay, we reach Butterworth early in the morning, and catch a ferry to the island. Beautiful ride with the sky still dark. Reach the hotel, no checkin until 2. Get down at a mosque and realize Sarah's stroller's still in the cab that just left. Baba and I track down the stroller. Whew. Get to check in early thanks to some nice staff member. Sleep. Wake up and go to Penang Hill via the funicular train. Just amazing! A straight steep climb by train! Come back, walk a bit around Georgetown and have dinner at Danish. Amazing again.
6. Next day we take the Penang Round Island tour with Tour Incentive. Great value for money. Beautiful trip and learn a lot about Malaysia. Many thanks to Mr. Chua. Eat at Danish again, had 3 meals there in total. Also had Nasi Kandar.
7. Catch the flight to Langkawi. Husband arrives. Reach Bayview. Major shock there as husband tells me of some $250 charge on his card that was with me. (Now we know it was only an earlier transaction and the message was late). We go to Pantai Cenang beach after a visit to Geopark (awesome and awesome!). Husband urges me to parasail. I want to but am chickening out. Tell Baba to do it and he agrees. I go next. Ah, just unforgettable. Felt like a bird, buffeted by the wind over a beautiful blue-green sea. Sigh. It was so beautiful. Dinner at the nearby Thai restaurant. Great food.
8. Langkawi cable car. Huge lines that make everyone extremely pissed off. If you plan to go, DO NOT go late in the day, go early and get in the line asap. We wasted some time having Sarah feed rabbits. The ride was amazing though. We went up really, really high and it was actually scary to look down. Just like the funicular train, the pressure at that altitude made our ears pop? click? Whatever, too sleepy to think right now. Came back and husband left for airport. After some chai, we went to another beach finally with a driver who could speak English. Dinner again at the Thai restaurant -- amazing food!
9. Flight back to Singapore.

I hate that I'm not writing about Sarah. It's so much fun to be around her , most of the time. Some of the English words she's picked up since joining playschool on August 1st: no moar!, gothere, Lookathis, Whatisthisth, justaminit. All her classmates and teachers call her Serah, you know like the Christian pronunciation. Not bothered though, they're both the same person, just  different pronunciation. She loves going to school alhamdulillah and her enthusiasm is really appreciated by the teachers, alhamdulillah again. She's obsessed with rhymes so it's no wonder she enjoys going to school. Okay, I have a test tomorrow and I can't write anymore.


Friday, July 18, 2014

updates from July 2014

Tired. Drained. Sleepy. Had a spot of work last night. Work as in work work not what I do or don't do :| all the time. I don't have the time to elaborate but if I could, this is what I would write about:

- Zafar mama, then Nanima. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun.
- Mariyakishadi
- Daura e quran and what a blessing the Quran is. Sabr and shukr
- Sarah turning two. 
- Laptop trips to Harbourfront and time at Vivocity and Bugis
- Horror at Gaza and rapes in India
- Wanting to be better, hoping for better times in sha Allah

Also, school hunting begins. Yayy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Alhamdulillah 3laa kulli haal

What I was cribbing about has now turned itself into a blessing. Or so I hope. In that respect, the blessings have been pouring on me since yesterday. But two days ago, we lost z mama. I don't want to continue in that vein because then I will stop working. This is my first experience with grief and I pray my last one, and it is odd how it comes in waves. You're fine and your brain is busy warding off any thoughts that want to 'disturb' its peace. And then when you're alone, it HITS. Ya Allah, pour sabr on us.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


This shouldn't be a pich-pich post, but I feel very pich-pichy. If you don't know what pich-pich is, well I'm too pichy to tell you, sorry :P

I'm lost basically. Yeah, great English! Sigh. I know what my problem is: I want instant gratification without any introspection or hard work. I'm avoiding the tasks that will make me introspect. And I'm feeling high or low depending on what the day brings. This should not be happening! It's funny what's bringing this on. So first there was happiness/satisfaction, then this became some form of unrest, and then action, and more unrest. Aarr! I'm also feeling very half-baked. And the solution or at least the path to a solution is right here apparently. Just within a few clicks and some hours of silence which I don't know I'll get and when I'll get them.

There are great things I can do altruistically but no, I want to do stupid things and be paid for them. Or be smart enough to do something great, but that's where all the half-baked doubts start coming in. Also, most importantly, I need to sleep better. Maybe I should just chuck all of this. It's becoming an addiction. YES! That's what it is. An addiction.That should explain the volatility. 

Sigh. I need some time off but I'm sure when I get it, I'll probably indulge in more instant gratification. 

Such as this post. When there is SO much to write about Sarah. Like her saying thank you on my behalf, or frowning at me to say sorry, or all the words she mispronounces (gop (godh), gavash (giraffe), katora (kotala), fondan (sabun). havash (high five), meemee/dishonaur (dinosaur)), libyayi), the cute things she says: "this is mumma chappal", no no, "don't do that", "Daddy I llav you", "husha beebee make a shond" (hush little baby, don't make a sound (current book and song obsession)), all the actions of the 'Wheels on the bus' song, bishbilla ameen (bismillah, ameen), her praying in front of me on the prayer mat, hugging my legs when I'm in the kitchen, extra laad with the daddy, her imitation of Ammaarah didi's videos, "nunu sogi, nanu sogi, Sarah sogi", playing with the Malay aunty next door and the things that irritate me: throwing her shoes away while we're out, randomly dropping anything that's in her hands, pulling my hair .. actually there's very little apart from these things that she does that *really* irritates me. Oh yeah, she makes calls with my phone. I'm trying to put a stop to that.

Okay, feeling less pichier. Time to wake up the baybee. Alhamdulillah for baby.