Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Here is a series of sun rise pic i took in Penang early in the morning. This is taken in Tg Tokong.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oriental delight

At first, i was not that keen of participating in my family's trip to Hong Kong and Shenzen. I was on protest at first for my parent's refusal of letting me go for a humanitarian trip to Vietnam. they came up with excuses which i see as unrelevant at all; malaria threat, instability, etc.. etc.. So, not wanting to be a child who bite the hands which feed me, i complied and decided on joining them on the trip. At frst, i thought that this holiday will never come close to the excitement of my homestay trip in Nagoya and Tokyo.But as i stepped on Hong Kong's soil, with the mild winter weather bearing great resemblence with the temperature of Cameron highlands in the night, i must say that i took back my words.

From what i see, HK is like the Asia's version of the big apple; the infamous traffic jams, sky scrappers, and a stream of people rushing from one place to another. Frankly speaking, Hong kong people are not that very friendly and your simple 'hello' to them ussually are not replied. Similar with Japan, they speak very little English, and if they do, they have those tones and ascent like those of Russel Peters contoversial racist jokes. (Super damn funny!) And the standard of living there is quite high. lets say for ur simple 'ma sya' or green tea, it will cost u around HK$ 12.00 (equivallent to 6rm).

In travel, i am not those stereotypical type of person who heads off to theme parks or so called 'famous tourist sights' in a group. I prefer travelling alone, making friends with the natives, learning and trying out new cultures. Rather travelling in groups, i rather have a map or a gprs in my hand, get to know a few natives, and follow where my legs and instincts lead me. For me, this is the true backpacking cum travelling cum learning experience. A day after arriving in Hong Kong, after a tour trip, i brought along my pouch with camera, a map, and a bottle of mineral water, and just wonder off nowhere. I came across a lot of 'interesting' places where u can find in Malaysia; table-dancing with topless girls club, mamak stall in HK, I-Phone for 600rm, a newly wedded couple, in their wedding attire, taking pictures in the middle of the busy roads of HK, and a group of Muslims, going to the mosque for prayers.

Then, on our third day, we shoot of to Shen Zen by train. I had this utterly strange feelinh when we reached there; it is hard to believe that China is still in the communist block considering there are a lot of non-chinese influences that could be seen all over Shen Zen. It was hard to unnotice the gigantic factories and indusries which could be found there. No wonder that China has turned out to be the next economic super power surpassing Uncle Sam, with a GDP of a staggering 11%. i was told that Shen Zen is is also known as the 'Tounge of Immigrants' as 95% of the population there are people from outside Shen Zen. With it labour intensiive industries, a large portion of the inhibitants are working in factories. And it is also mind blowing to know that 20 years ago, this huge city , with its numerous skycrappers(as huge as New York or Chicago, seriusly!) was once just a small agriculture village.

Tourists who come here have only one thing in mind when they come to Shen Zen; shopping. When i say shopping, people literally 'shop till they drop!'. Its true. There is this one place called Dongmen market which has been the Mecca for people who are on the hunt for 'Prada' handbags, 'Gucci' shoes, 'Burbery' tranch coat, and you can get them as low as 40 HK$(20rm), given that you know how to bargain. I bought my Adidas skate gear and shoes for just 50HK$ (25rm). Cool aite? I talked with one of the promoters there and they told me that most of the goods sold there are made by workers working at the factories where they will bring home the leftover materials and make their own fashion line in their homes.

Even the original goods there are cheap. I bought the original Giardano casual long sleeve shirts, Bossini's sweat shirt and sweater, and Espirit's shirts with a total expenditure of just 400 HK$ (200rm). Man, this is the only time when i really enjoy shopping.

Of coursse, the grand finale would be Hong Kong's Disneyland. Though it is not as huge as Tokyo's, but it was ok.. i guess. But, as i said before in my previous blog, the magic is still the same. All those Disney magics come to life; a place where you can do anything and you could forget all your worries. The 'Let it Snow' parade was a blast, and i had a fantastic time dancing with the other tourist during the parade. I just forget the things around me, find someone to dance wth, and shake that booty. The 'Circle of Life' was also superb, relieving the time when i grow up with the Lion King, and of course, the fireworks which i didn't have the chance to see when i was in tokyo. Simply in words, it is just beautiful and tears-shedding.

But one thing that could not go unnotice is the friendship which blossomed between the people in our group. My dearest little sister and brother, Alysia and Adam (hopefully we could meet again 'sumwhere far' =)), uncle Azly, Intan and Fafa, Shahmi and Tina and the other wonderful people; these are the people who have been my best friends and family during the 7 day trip. And of course, Look and Samantha from St Andrews IB school who have been a great travelling buddy.

Overall, it was those moments which are worthy to be labelled 'the best times of my life' and i hope that i could visit this lovely place again. Next stop; Beijing? Paris? Egypt?.. Inshallah.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

'So close yet so far'

Sitting outside under the heavens with my laptop as my trusty companion, I took awhile to listen to Jon McLaughlin's 'So Close' which was, to me, a completely lovely and beautiful soundtrack of Disney's Enchanted. It might be that i'm Patrick Demsey's 'Dr McDreamy' fan, or it might be the feeling that you have after watching Disney's motion picture, but i for one, must say, that it is the message of the movie itself that brings out the magic there is in every living soul; happy ending does exist and miracles do happen. (To anyone who haven't watch this movie, ull be happy to know that it is worth my 2-thumbs up...make it 3). Frankly speaking, since March this year, i've been experiencing so many things, and i end up pisting myself at the whole world. It came to a point that i've almost become a heartless person who don't give a fuck about people and the world. I cracked, i became selfish, i put the blame on myself till an extent that i feel much more lower than crap. It felt that the whole world was against me and i was all alone. It felt that you don't have tanywhere to go. But as i started doing my IB, getting through the most emotional ramadhan i had in my life, meeting people at every walks of life, and of course being back together with the person i care and love the most, it opened my eyes and made me realize that there might be hope for a 'happy ending' at all. Witnessing real life 'Lion King's Festival of Life' and the trip to Hong Kong's Disneyland, and watching Disney's 'Enchanted', it just made me realize that miracles, true love and happy endings are not just mere fantasies in fairy tales, but they all do exist; an it exist in us. What left to do is just one thing, and that is believing. As we are progressively living in a world where stress is a common sight and suffering has become a norm of life, we tend to forget the very little things in life that mean the most to us, we forget that true love triumph despite any species of odds, we forget all those fairy tales we grow up with which tells us that there will always be a happy ending in everything. Sometimes i wonder, why do parents costantly pushing their children to grow up so soon while there is a fantasy cultivated in them which if abide by it, we could make the world a better place?
I grow up with so many Disney movies; ranging from Lion King, Toy Story, Little Mermaid, Hercules, and so many more, and must i say, it permanently carved in me all the values which mould me into who i am today. The soundtracks is as monumetal as the movie itself, superbly orchestrated which could sip into your deepest and coldest corner of your heart and soften it up like winter in December. I have been to 2 Disneylands; Hong Kong and Tokyo, and to be frank with you, when u stepped into these magical places, it felt as if you are in a whole new world, a world without bloodshed and suffering, a world where fantasy and reality come together. And there will be times in there where you would lose your breathe and the last thing you kow, you'll be crying tears of joy. And once you see all those fireworks dancing among the stars above the magic castle, you'll just know that magic does exist, dreams come true, and there is a happy ending in everything. Take it from me, i fell, i stood up, and i believe in my happy ending. I might not be there yet, but at least in every step i take, ill always know that i have someone who will always be there for me, and there will always be that very magic which accompanies me in my journey. Miracles does happen and i believe!

To my dearest... So far yet so close..655