Saturday, November 29, 2008

Five Things I Can't Live Without on a Holiday

Since I'm a holiday, and since I've been talking non-stop about holiday-related stuff, why not make another post about holidays? Here are my top five things to bring on a holiday:

1. Books: This time my choice of book is Twilight. This is because I picked it up one day before going on this holiday and I haven't finished it yet then. Naturally, I wouldn't wanna part with it. Why books? When you're waiting 2 hours in the airport, when you're by the pool but not wanting to swim, at night after a big meal and you can't sleep straight away--you'll be glad that you have something to kill your time and enjoy doing it at the same time.

2. Cellphone: I can't live without my phone. Period. I know for a fact that so can't you.

3. Camera: I bought this savvy little camera a few weeks ago after reading many reviews and combing the camera websites for info. I love my Casio Exilim EX-Z1080. I bought it on ebay for RM550(currently it's around rm800 in stores). It's crazy value for money.

4. Sneakers: I brought two sneakers with me this time. Yet, it's not enough. I saw one time on discovery channel that showed people how to survive a plane crash and one of them is to wear suitable shoes to allow us to get away fast. Not wedges, or slippers or god forbid, heels.

5. Toiletries: I've got a little bag of toiletries which I bring with me everytime I go traveling. I bought little bottles my fave products and pack them in the little bag.

Obviously, there are other other things to take along on a holiday. For example, clothes; but like I said, it's just a list of five selected things. I think it's important to have a list of things to take along on a trip so that you won't overpack or underpack. You'll really appreciate your initial thoughtfulness on the holiday later. 


Side note: This is a temporary layout. I'll come out with a new one soon. I can't stand looking at the old layout anymore, that's why I'm switching to a temporary one. -Sorry menyakitkan mata dgn menukar-nukar layout-

Friday, November 28, 2008

Conquering Borneo: Brunei

You know, I've always wanted to do something like a travel blog. The only thing that's been pulling me back is the fact that I don't really travel much. So I'm using this trip as an experiment. Adventures by day, blogging by night. So far I've met with some difficulties including the obvious lack of internet connection on the road. But I've gotten by hotel's wireless internet so far.

So we went to Brunei by car yesterday. We drove by Tutong to Bandar Seri Begawan. Brunei is a peaceful little country. They call themselves melayu Brunei. They still maintain Jawi writing in all the shop signs. Eventhough your shop is called Swee Lan Sundry Shop, it will contain the Jawi spelling as well. If I had a good guess, the Chinese and Indian in Brunei knows how to write Jawi. This makes me kinda embarassed with our malay community in Malaysia. We call ourselves malay, we used to write Jawi, but some malays doesn't know how to read Jawi even. No offence, but Jawi is our tradition so better get to know it.

In Brunei, we stayed in a little place called LeGallery Suites Hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan. It's a good place if you're looking for a budget but comfortable accomodation while in Brunei. It's what I call a value for money. It costs $80 which is the equivalent of RM 180. Mind you, that's cheap compared to some other hotels in Bandar Seri Begawan.

We were supposed to go to Jerudong Park, but luck wasn't on our side last night as the rain poured till this morning.

Basically, we went to Brunei yesterday, stayed in LeGallery then played games in the arcade beside our hotel, circled the town and headed back to Miri today. What I liked about Brunei is the little population of 300,000 people, clear roads in the city and the polite people.

Now I'm back in ParkCity Everly, Miri where we were two days ago. Tomorrow we're flying back to KL at night. Before that, I'm going shopping for Sarawakian souvenirs. Their beads are exotic. Can't miss 'em. Chao.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gunung Mulu National Park

Today we're going on a cave expedition. The guy in the yellow shirt told us that the walk is about 10km for Clearwater Cave. I'm ready. My brother and mom said they will only go to two caves. Total is four. We're all carrying backpacks filled with bottled water, mosi-guard, sunscreen, torchlight and slippers.

A long canoe came and we got into it. It was a very slim boat, and very long. I was scared to lean on either sides in case the boat topples over and crocodiles eat us. Then I remembered to ask the guide about whether there were crocodiles or not, and he said he's never seen any crocodiles around that area before. I was satisfied enough.

The boat ride was as serene as it could possibly be. The locals by the river banks were happy enough to wave at us and shout hi! I guess they were used to visitors. It seems like it. Otherwise they wouldn't be buck naked jumping in the river or washing a bucketload of dirty clothes as we pass by the river.

Buck naked kids about to jump into the river.

Handicrafts by Penan people where we had a short stop
before continuing on to the caves.

The first cave was called the Wind Cave. There were some weird wonderful formations. I mean, it's a cave right? What else is to be expected. There wasn't any bats though. The length of the cave surprised me. It was really long, and as I finished the first cave walking, my clothes were already wet from sweating. Ehem. So was everyone else's. And I spotted a couple who were dressed like Indiana Jones and his wife(if he ever had one).

I just climbed 200 steps damn it. How the hell did my brother did it? How did the Indiana Joneses did it?? We were sweating like crazy and my muscles were cramping(almost). But I quickly recovered and enjoyed the second cave named Clearwater cave. There were a bunch of hot guys geering up for adventure caving. *snap* *snap*

Bloody hungry but somehow our tour guide will only give our food when we return to Royal Mulu where we're staying.

My tennis shoes are ruined after walking through 2 caves.

All geared up for second round of cave-walking. Next destination: Lang & Deer Cave. This time, we traveled by tuk-tuk to the Mulu National Park.

Ready for second round of cave walking but have NO idea what's up ahead.

Longest walk ever. Our tour guide wasn't kidding when he said walking to the cave will take 1 hour. I was contemplating all kinds of wild animals living in this jungle throughout the walk. He said leopards live in these jungles. Cool. As long as they don't consider us dinner. We arrived at Lang Cave. There were some pretty weird formations, which are different than the first two caves.


I have to say, Deer Cave is my favorite cave. Not only is it the largest cave passage in the world, it even has bats! Most of the time, it felt like walking on a big asteroid ala Armageddon. If you've watched the movie, you'll know what I mean. By this time, all the pain in my leg is just a dull cramp which is easily ignored.

On the set of armageddon.
The Cave was REALLY dark.
Well, well, it has started raining and the walk out of the park takes one hour. If Abah hadn't told us to remove some raincoats, we would've had enough for everyone. My brother was pretty cranky about having to share the raincoats. It started pouring heavily. We took shelter at the big hut nearby the cave. Note that I'm using the word nearby very loosely. It's about 400m away.

Besides us, there were those Romanian couple, the UK girl, the UK guy with his indian wife, the American guy and the Australian girl. As you can see, there aren't many Malaysians at all. In fact, all of them were foreigners/travelers.

The guy who's selling food told me that maggi costs rm5. I'm not stingy. Believe me, eventhough many of my posts suggest otherwise since I complain about prices alot. When that guy said rm5, I told my mom that we should just forget about it and just buy snacks. I grabbed Twisties and was about to pay when I saw the price was rm6.50. This is bollocks. But I was extremely parched and hungry, so I bought the maggi.

We decided to continue on our walk back to the entrance because it will be dark soon. Since there were other people with us, we didn't really think about anything.

Sharing raincoats slowed us down. Other people were making a dash for it eventhough they didn't have any raincoats. When the head of the family said slow down, we slowed down. The sky was getting dark. It was darker than usual because of the pouring rain.

5.30pm:I feared we weren't going to make it before nightfall. The sky is really dark right now. I managed a peak behind and saw my 'rents, and youngest brother way behind us that I could only see the light from their torchlights. Up ahead we couldn't see anyone. I started imagining things appearing in front of us. We were in thick lush jungle man. My brother expressed his concern about how a leopard could suddenly jump out in front of us. Certainly didn't help.

5.45pm:Head of family caught up with us and told us to stick together and walk in a group. So we did. Suddenly I saw a firefly. Then there was another. And another. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by fireflies. I've never seen this much fireflies. It was almost as if a fairy was going to pop out anytime. I managed a sideway peak into the dark jungle(albeit cautiously and quickly) and saw clusters of fireflies lighting up in the dark. It was so beautiful and such a pity that I couldn't snap a picture of them. My camera was tucked in snugly with plastic in my backpack. No way I was going to stop.

We passed by the Britons. Seems like one of their friends tripped and hurt her ankle or something. They let us pass first. We continued on. I was just glad that there were still human beings in the reserve.

It was practically nighttime by now. The jungle animals have long started their howls and shouts. The crickets had begun to make their noise a while ago. We saw light up ahead and eventhough I was tempted to shout out, I was still very cautious so I kept quiet until we absolutely sure that we're nearing the entrance. Then my dad let out a victory whoop, followed by us. We made it alive!!

Finished 20 km walk through 4 caves and a national reserve.
Side note: I was supposed to post this 2 days ago, but getting an internet connection is kinda hard when you're traveling every few days to a new state. I've got a newfound respect for travelers. We met some on our trip and they were really cool.

Note on 23/6/2012: Gunung Mulu National Park is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Site. There are only three in Malaysia: Gunung Kinabalu, Melaka & Penang colonial cities, and Gunung Mulu National Park. Check it out here

Monday, November 24, 2008

Miri to Mulu

Today we’re traveling most of the time. There wasn’t any direct flight to Mulu from Semenanjung. That’s why we stopped in Miri and continued our journey today. We arrived in Mulu at 5.oo pm.

I can see that there aren’t many locals here. I guess if they wanted to be friends with nature, they can just open the back door. Or go back kampung. Or go to UTP. (Can’t help it. I had to say it.)

Places to note: Mega Hotel, Miri, Mulu, Marudi, Royal Mulu Resort.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Miri, Sarawak

8.30am:I wake up and wonder if my boyfriend would ever be like Edward Cullen in Twilight. Not the immortal, drinking blood part, but the attentive, adorably protective, and patient part. Then I remember I was going to Miri and haven’t finished packing.

9.00am:I can’t bear leaving the hamsters alone at home but I can’t take them along. It would cost rm500 or something and mom would think that’s bonkers. Auntie on the other hand is terrified of my hamsters; so that’s out of the question. I left them with two bottles of water just in case. I’ll come back for you darlings!

10.30am:OK. Packing is a pain in my backside.

I can’t breathe. All five of us were squished in the little cab. Luckily was distracted by mom’s GPS system. So darn accurate. I was concentrating on the GPS until we arrived in LCCT.

1.oopm:That guy just spilled his milo after running to get that empty table. Poor guy. The milo wasn’t cheap summore. Waiting to board the plane is a pain in my backside. Owh, what the heck. Let’s fill the memory card with picturessss.

3.00pm:We understand that it’s a free seating policy for Air Asia. So Run!! RUN!!!!! We soo must get the best spot in the plane. Near to the emergencies: Door & Toilets. Haha suckers.

4.30pm:My younger brother said, “Hey... it isn’t cold here.”
Hated to break it to him, but we’re still in Malaysia Truly Hot & Humid. We’re in Miri!

Waited for our luggage. That’s my bag, the fairest and awesomest bag of all.

5.00pm:This uncle cabbie had a really cute accent. I didn’t understand what he’s saying most of the time, but still. Cute.

We were having dinner outside. I was so frazzled by the journey that I asked for Mihun Goreng Basah. Which is a contradictory name, and everyone including the waitress laughed at me. Oh HA ha, so I’m the funnyman now? Then dad told us the origins of sup tulang and I lost my appetite.

12.40am:I was just thinking, turning into a vampire to be with Edward Cullen is worth it, even if it means living an immortal life. You’re so hot. So lovely. So beautiful. So dangerous. So strong. Sighs…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Tomorrow we’re flying to Mulu. Must have some shut eye. Good night. Edward Cullen…ZZZzzzZZzzz

He Dazzles me in Twilight

By he, I meant Edward Cullen in Twilight.

Sometime during my numerous visits to Kinokuniya, I must've stumbled upon this book. There's no other way to explain how familiar I am with the author's name, Stephanie Meyer. The funny thing is, I cast aside Twilight because of some preconceived notions about vampire books and how I wasn't in the mood to read one.

Now I kinda regret not giving that book a second chance back then because now I'm part of the throngs of fans crazy about this romantic/dramatic story. And Edward Cullen.

I slept at 4 am because I couldn't put the book down. The movie is now out in the US, and I'd very much like to finish the book before watching it on the screen. Though I dunno when Twilight is coming out here. Worse comes to worse, I'll just buy a dvd.

News on twilight movie. Sorry couldn't explain more, cab's waiting to go to airport.

Side note: Going to Sarawak for one week. Might write about Miri, Mulu and Bandar Seri Begawan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Guessing Game

Hey. I was about to charge my handphone, when I look down and discovered this:

Can you guess who did it? Hint: Not supernatural forces nor human.

We must learn to forgive and forget because that's what we should do when we love someone/something. Even when someone/something did something that pisses us off a lot.

*Breathe in* *Breathe out*

Remember, forgive and forget. And borrow roommate's charger for a few days.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Like to Move it Move it

After finishing one exam paper last 2 days, I was looking forward to have my well-deserved nap and to watch Ugly Betty. As I was ready to hit the bed, suddenly came a knock on the door. I opened it to find my friend standing there, looking very eager and not a hint of fatigue showing on her face; unlike beat-up me.

"Let's go to Ipoh."
"Really? Aren't you guys tired?"

Long story short, we end up in Ipoh, lining up to buy tickets to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. I loved the first movie, but I had no idea the second one was 3 times more hilarious that I almost had a heart attack. In fact, the cinema was bombarded with laughter every few minutes. Anyways, if you wanna see a cool review of Madagascar, you can check >>this<< out.

We had dinner, then played 2 rounds of bowling which is pretty much the highlight of the day. I think my fingers were dislocated in the end.

Then we went to Tesco(yea we did) to pack up those exam week supplies(biskut marie, tuna mayonnaise). Our last stop was McDonald's because it was the only 24/7 hangout with air conditioner, mamak doesn't count.

I ordered hot milo because they didn't have hot chocolate. (I thought all American franchises are supposed to have hot chocolate???) And for that, I dub McDonald's lame in my dictionary. We had a good time despite buying overpriced fast food.(Hot milo for Rm 3.50 people? Really?)

We reached UTP at almost 1am, satisfied and full. The guards didn't try to ruin our fun by demanding that I stop the car to write the registration number for not having the latest college pass. Thank god.

It was a nice break from the otherwise monotonous week. Now back to real life. One more paper to go and I'll be free as a bird in the wild.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Exam starts tomorrow.
I probably won't update for a few days.
Short Hiatus.
Good Luck Mates.
Also good luck to those who are having their finals!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Little Darlings

From top: Si Putih, Scabbers, Si Putih again, Maxie, Lucky, and assorted baby hamsters.

Five generations of hamsters in one year.

Friday, November 7, 2008 the art of doing that well with one dollar

I'm taking a break from studying. (100th time)

How's everyone by the way?

I felt refreshed after getting off the phone with my mom. She told me to stay strong. I dunno about staying strong, but I'm definitely hanging in there.

Obama said yesterday in his victory speech, "Yes, we can!" I was really psyched about it. I was dreaming of going through hundreds of pages of process plant design. (I only got to about 20, or maybe it was 10?) But it's fine. As long as we get something from studying. Rite? Rite?

By the way, I found these quotes online about engineering. Thought I'd share =)

An engineer is someone who is good with figures, but doesn't have the personality of an accountant.- An Arts graduate's view of engineers


An engineer is someone who washes his hands before going to the toilet.- Anon


A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible- Freeman Dyson


Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyse so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.
- Dr AR Dykes
British Institution of Structural Engineers, 1976.


Engineering problems are under-defined, there are many solutions, good, bad and indifferent. The art is to arrive at a good solution. This is a creative activity, involving imagination, intuition and deliberate choice.
- Ove Arup


Engineering ... to define rudely but not inaptly, is the art of doing that well with one dollar, which any bungler can do with two after a fashion.
- Arthur Mellen Wellington
The Economic Theory of Railway Location (1911)


Engineers ... are not mere technicians and should not approve or lend their name to any project that does not promise to be beneficent to man and the advancement of civilization
- John Fowler

Thanks Bristol University!

Mind and Soul Ran Over By a Truck

I don't really have anything specific to say.

So many things are on my mind these days. Something stupid and trivial like, what am I gonna eat for lunch today?

Or where are our family going for holiday this time? Why are the guards in my college so spiteful? And why does my problems seem to multiply by 10 when I'm stressed?

I'll be going for internship in December. I don't think I'll miss college. Yea sure, I'll miss my friends, but we can meet up anytime. How exactly am I supposed to feel about this. I think I know what I wanna do in life. And it isn't engineering. Too clumsy for engineering.

Why don't I like engineering/petronas/utp?

I'll be hard-pressed to answer this whenever someone asks. Sometimes, I just shrugged. And then, people will say, I'm ungrateful. Because many others can only dream of having my place, with rm500 scholarship per month, fees fully paid. They don't know the consequences of accepting this scholarship.

We're bounded by a contract, people. It's like marrying a rich, balding old guy just for his money. And I don't even love the balding old guy.

We're pushed to excel, score highest gpa, cgpa; or the scholarship will be taken away. And we have a 10-year working period with Petronas. If we breach the contract to join, say, Shell, we'll have to repay the funding that Petronas gave us during our studies.

And guys, Petronas doesn't pay as much as Shell or Exxon Mobile. That's the truth.

Mr Thorpe said, "You gotta understand, Petronas is a government company. It serves the government, the country. For the benefit of the country, if it means that you get less pay, so be it."

My dad is in Petronas. He travels so much that I hardly see him. Our holidays are always carefully planned, only to be canceled at the last minute. There's a problem with the drilling, it seems. Emergency meeting, fly back to Pakistan.

In September, his office was blown off by a nearby bomb.

He enjoys his work, but in my opinion, he should be paid more. I mean, compared to the pay you get for the same work in Shell etc.

That's part of why I don't wanna be in Petronas. That's the emotional part of it.

There's always a strong underlying reason why I don't want engineering as my profession. Why I don't wanna work with Petronas. Why I don't like UTP. It's much more than a childish whim.

I just wish people won't give me funny looks when I tell them that I don't wanna be here.
I don't hate UTP because it's hard. It's hard because I don't like UTP in the first place.

As to why I'm still in UTP, that's a different story.

Side note: Visit Kenny Sia whenever you're stressed and in need of a laugh. He's popular for a reason.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Things I'm grateful For

She influenced me to do this list.
I'm just ganna do 10, and it's not in order or importance.

  1. That I'm healthy and whole.

  2. Having a Family

  3. Having a home to go back to at the end of the day

  4. Having FRiends to laugh & cry with

  5. Slim Genes from mom's side

  6. My Cetaphil facial cleanser

  7. The hamsters I got left: Milo & Sinichi

  8. Coming to UTP, forcing me to GROW UP

  9. High stamina for shopping

  10. My religion

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pizza Hut Batu Gajah

This will be a short post, I hope.

I went to Pizza Hut yesterday with my roomie, just to celebrate the first day of study week. I thought it would be a pleasant eating experience, but guess what happened.

We ordered this:
  1. 1 mushroom soup
  2. 2 breadstix (because garlic bread was out of stock)
  3. 2 meatball carbonara
  4. 1 salad bowl
  5. 1 set something pockets
Immediately after our order, they gave us the receipt and I noticed there was only one meatball carbonara. I called this waitress chick over and corrected her. This was basically how it went:
"Miss, can you add another meatball carbonara to the order?"
"Ok, add another carbonara. So that means 2 carbonaras right?"
"Yup, thanks."

A new receipt came, showing another carbonara on the bottom of the list. We went on eating salad while gossiping. 10 minutes later, that waitress came over with an order we didn't make.

"You ordered spaghetti carbonara," she said while putting the thing on the table. Me and roomie looked at each other.
"No, we didn't. We ordered 2 meatball carbonara."
"No, you ordered spaghetti carbonara."
She said that with a punch-worthy face. I looked at my roomie and she backed me up saying, "She said meatball carbonara."
"No, it was meatball carbonara."

Then I told her to leave the damn spaghetti there. And she didn't even apologize. That *****.
It didn't stop there. Shortly afterwards, when we decided to forget that rude *****, we called another waitress to order a regular pizza for take-away. She allegedly made a note on that, and we continued eating.

After finishing everything, leaving scraps that we brought back with us, we went to the counter to pay. Then I told another waitress that we ordered pizza for take-away. She checked the register and guess what? There wasn't an order for pizza from our table.

What the hell is wrong with these people? They were completely rude, NEVER apologize, CARELESS, and worst of all, we PAID for their damn service. It's on the damn bill. RM 4.25.

I AM NEVER GOING BACK TO PIZZA HUT BATU GAJAH EVER AGAIN. And this is a lesson for all. I hope you guys won't go there. Turns out it's not only me, but a bunch of other people who went through the same thing. At the same place. Unless, you wanna experience the same thing for whatever reason that baffles me.

Remember, the name is PIZZA HUT BATU GAJAH. BOdoh.
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