Saturday, March 16, 2013

Summer Needs To Come Quick

So recently Moscow did this cruel thing where she gave us three days of spring and decides to take it back for at least another month. This time last week, it was all sunny and the streets were clear but if you were to look out my window right now, its like I've been warped back into Narnia. I try not to make a big deal out of it, it is after all... Russia. But its no surprise I guess, because in the previous year the last snowfall was somewhere in April so its not a shocker that its still snowing cats and dogs in March.

Anyway, if you have or are currently living in a four season country, you will probably understand my sentiments as of late. The sun and the sky in Italy and Turkey was a bitter tease of what was waiting for me after four months of enduring cold weather, fat herding, and general sloth-like tendencies. It kinda reminded me of the warm, happy days back in KL where everything just seems more... enjoyable. I guess its safe to say that my happiness generally leans on the weather and I know that I'm not the only one. Everyone just seems happier during summer.

It has occurred to me that people tend to put their lives on hold during winter. Pretty much stagnant until the sun comes out again when everything starts to really happen. The things you've put on hold, the things you've planned out for the warmer days, and even things you never thought could happen, usually will! Before you know it, you're all booked out for the entire two months (yes, med school only allows us two months boooo), cramming everything you've waited for, making up for lost time within the 60-80 days permitted.

I love when my days are planned out that way, busy and full of energy. Well, I'm pretty busy as it is with this crazy cycle and my additional commitments, but its different. It really is. Right now I feel so lethargic and unmotivated. I really need to dig DEEP to find some bit of strength to get me through the week.

I really need it to be summer already. I need it to be summer already so that my life can pick up its pace. I need it to be summer so that I can feel less like a zombie. I need it to be summer so that I can embark on my 2-week adventure through Russia, Mongolia, China and Japan. I need it to be summer so that I can be with my family, friends and Eddie. That, and nothing else :) 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Travel diaries: Interlaken

Hello! I've just recently completed my Infectious Diseases and Trauma/Ortho cycle. Got my credits on Monday and the very next day, started my Paediatrics cycle without even a breather in between. Only two days into this cycle and I'm already feeling exhausted. Two MCQ tests tomorrow and an ENT conference to attend after that. Pretty much explains why this is my least favourite fifth year cycle. Meh.  Anyway, my mom will probably start texting me pestering to continue these series of posts if I leave it for too long so I'd better get on with it. :)

The day after Titlis, we checked out and left the hostel for the train station. Yet again. But I really love the Swiss transport system. Not only is it effiicient, its also comfortable and it really makes the journey an experience by itself.

You see, there are several ways of getting to Interlaken from Lucerne. Prior to the trip we read that the Brunig Pass, connecting the two cities is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. So naturally we just HAD to take this route. And we HAD to opt for the panoramic train, right? Haha. Basically the panoramic train is just like an other train except with larger windows and a skylight. And we just HAD to scour forums just to find out if it would be better to sit on the right side or the left side, right?

Travel planning lvl: Asians.


But yeah, quick tip: Get seats on the right side of the train if you're traveling from Lucerne to Interlaken, otherwise you will have to make do with view of rocks and whatnot. The Brunig Pass is basically a railway built on a watershed between the upper reaches of two separate rivers, one which flows into Lake Brienz and Lake Thun and one into Lake Lucerne. We thought that the sights were less exciting in winter and boy were we wrong! After making our way through the mountains with small waterfalls and creeks running along the left side of the train, we finally emerged to the sight of  this:




It was as if Switzerland was saying: "Think you've seen the best of me? Wait till you see THIS!" Seriously, we were amazed at how every experience just kept getting better and better. Plus, we've been supremely blessed with AMAZING weather and all the days we've planned to sightsee and things. And if there's one thing that can render me silent, it has got to be the beauty of nature. Somehow, it took me a few seconds to realise that I was mulling over nothing. Soon after that, consciousness returned to me and only then was I able to comprehend everything that I was seeing. The mountains went on forever and the lakes seemed to mirror the blue sky. But really, the Brunig Pass is a MUST for those planning on making a trip to Switzerland. Nothing beats rail travel along the ridges of the Alps between waterfalls and rivers and I bet it will be twice as amazing in the warmer seasons.


The two hour train ride sure didn't feel as long and soon enough, we reached Interlaken Ost. Then we had to change trains and take another train to Interlaken West where we were staying.


Spot me hauling my large 15kg backpack. Hardeeharrr. We didn't really have anything precisely planned for the day so we checked into our hostel and decided to walk around the city to get the feel of it.


Hullo! Hahahaha. Interlaken is the total opposite of Zurich and Interlaken. Definitely way less dense and it was pretty nice! No traffic, no congestion, heck, I don't even recall seeing a traffic light there. Hmmmm?


Interlaken is definitely the place for those who seek a more relaxing experience rather than the fast-paced nature of the larger cities. It was really nice to come to a place like this after long transfers and train travel. :) More on Interlaken in my next update! Till then, bye! :) 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Travel Diaries: Mt. Titlis

The next morning, we had a massive breakfast. By massive, I mean MASSIVE. 1kg of dry pasta divided between the four of us. :S Thats about 250g of spaghetti each. Don't know we downed all that but I was pretty sure half of that went into the trash anyway. 

So we left at about 7:15 am for the train station to catch our train to Engelberg. The journey took about an hour and a half, if I'm not mistaken. As with most of our Swiss rail travel, the view was simply stunning. Being asians, the entire journey was filled with us clamoring over one another trying to take pictures out the window. Hehehe. 


Evidently, the weather that morning was extremely clear and miles better than the day before. Well, that was before we reached the heart of the Swiss Alps, anyway. Heh. 



Slight overcast the moment we arrived in Engelberg. But the fact that we had the Swiss peaks in our view just eliminated all sorts of worry :) 


We went into the train station to purchase our tickets and as we already have our Swiss Passes, we were entitled to 50% off the tickets originally priced at 110francs (abt 80euros). The ticket includes ski passes, cable car tickets from Engelberg to Trubsee and Stand, Rotair tickets from Stand to Titlis, snow tubing and also the ice flyer. 

Granted, the journey up as slightly mehhh because the fog was so thick and the view was nothing spectacular because of the poor visibility. The journey to the peak took close to an hour and by the time we reached, the wind was going crazy and it was snowing cats and dogs. :( 

So we decided to head back in and took shelter in the restaurant which serves an odd mix of Indian(?) and Italian. Two pizzas and multiples toilet trips later, we looked out the window and we were stunned silent. 



If I were to imagine what Heaven is like, this would come pretty close. Despite the blistering cold and crazy wind, standing witness to His perfection temporarily made me forget about my freezing self. Heeeeeee :) 



On the 'ice flyer' which is basically a large chairlift.


On the highest suspension bridge in the world at 10,000 ft.

If I had to define one of the most exciting moments on my journey, Titlis had to be one of it :) Hope to be back again someday!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Travel diaries: Lucerne

My mom was about to burst into tears when I told her a few days back that I wasn't interested in writing anymore. Being the wonderful daughter that I am, here's one for you kay?

You see, initially the plan was to fly into Italy and only Italy and spend about two weeks there and that was about it. Being the cheapos we were, we searched for flights and we soon found out that the cheapest way to fly into Italy was via Venice and well, the itinerary wouldn't make sense because we wanted to visit Cinque Terre as well which was on the other end on Italy. So we continued searching and suddenly I stumbled upon cheap tickets, but to Zurich instead. And Zurich isn't too far away from Milan right? So why not right? Heh heh. What began as a short day trip soon evolved into a four day stop in Switzerland. And after googling and reading up blogs and such, it soon began to seem like we HAD to make a trip to Lucerne and Interlaken. And so we did!

So fast forward two weeks later, we got flew into Zurich via Riga and the moment we arrived we did the thing most tourists would do: search for an information counter! We did a little bit of reading beforehand and we concluded that getting the Swiss Pass was the most cost-efficient way of getting around Switzerland. Basically it covers most inter-city rail tickets, local public transport and also boat passes in Zurich and Interlaken. It also entitles you to 50% off mountain trains, cable cars and ski passes I believe. A 4-day pass costed us 240 francs a pop which roughly is about 170 euros per pass. 

After about 2 hours in the train station figuring out our options and planning out our routes to Interlaken and Milan we took the next available train to Lucerne. You see, the best thing about the Swiss Pass is you don't have to worry about which train you can or can't take because they do have several types of trains. Just simply hop on any train available and as long as you have your pass with you, you're good to go! 

So the journey to Lucerne took about 90 minutes and it was already dark by the time we left Zurich so there was no much to see out the train :/ Lucern itself isn't really a big city but the pace was quick as compared to Interlaken. There wasn't much to see in the city itself but it provided as a good base for day trips to the Swiss peaks i.e Mt. Rigi, Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Titlis which was what we did the next day. Anyhow, we reached Lucerne in the evening and checked in to the hostel which coincidentally happened to be a Korean hostel. Loved the Asian feel to it and we even had to remove our shoes at the entrance. Besides the usually dry pasta and sauces the kitchen was well stocked with Asian condiments i.e soy sauce and even Shin Ramen! Ahhhhh now I wish I had the sense to take photos of the places we stayed in. Ah wells... We bunked with a pair of korean teachers who were super cute for their age and one of the girls saw my phone wallpaper and exclaimed 'JUNG YONG HWA? YOU KNOW?' (to my dear mother: YongHwa is my kpop celebrity crush forever and ever) and with the most serious and believably face I cooly replied, 'Yes, my husband.' And we all started laughing till it became awkward again, as most asian tourists are. Hmmmm. 

Anyway, so after dinner we went to bed in prep for our Titlis adventure the next day :) 
Nah, a few pics of me in case you miss me Mom. <3




1Malaysia hurhurhur


Avid Instagrammer

Ok till tomorrow I hope! Need to revise HIV and Malaria for my Infectious credit test tomorrow. Bye!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Top 5 Most Pretentious Food We Simply MUST Eat.


Well hello everyone! I'm back, after a year-long hiatus. Hurhurhur I'm happy to see a slight trickle of traffic during the past year despite the massive inactivity of this little space although I am 90% sure that its just my mom exercising her daily stalking habits, its ok I still love you for it <3. Anyway, I have PLENTY to update you about but today I'm just going to babble on about a few things I have going on in my head right now. First up:

TOP 5 MOST PRETENTIOUS FOOD WE SIMPLY MUST EAT.

Because yes, having a daily diet consisting of overpriced and cleverly marketed superfood is perfect for reassuring oneself that you are better than everyone else.

1. Greek yoghurt
The regular Danone crap just wont cut it. It simply wont! I'd rather have my yoghurt with 5% less fat and 6% less sugar. Plus I'm pretty sure that this yoghurt I'm buying isn't really 100% greek, but laden with thickening agents, sugar substitute and additional flavoring. But who cares right? As long as its GREEK, I'm pretty sure its healthy.

2. Chia Seeds
Well, 2013 is definitely the year of chia seeds! Before this it was the flax seed craze. Because my morning oats has to better than yours, duhhhh. *sprinkles chia seeds.

3. Kombucha tea
Green tea, you're so two thousand and eight. C'mon move on aside and make way for kombucha! To me, it just looks like an excuse to consume sugar and alcohol without seeming so -.-

4. Egg Whites
With eggs being my number one utmost favouritestestest food on the planet ever, this is SIN! Half of the party is in the yolk ya'll. Without 'em, its comparable to eating cupcake without its frosting! Yes, yes reduce cholesterol wtv but it doesn't mean AVOID them at all costs! C'mon don't be hatin on my egg yolks. >(

5. Organic everything
Might as well continue living your bell jar ey. Paying twice the amount of money for a little less pesticide residue is ridic. Not like you aren't exposed in other ways anyway ey? But wtheck, eveything sounds better ORGANIC yeah?

So dear fellow pretentious foodies, who are most likely to Instagram every, single, thing they eat: Happy eating!

Disclaimer: Just my two cents. Written without any particular person/persons in mind kay? :) 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012





GUESS WHOS MAKING A COMEBACK?! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bump In The Road

Hello,

So as promised, today I'm finally telling you what really went down in Barcelona. I'm not going to talk about the city itself but really more about the 'thing' that happened(Mom, I suggest you sit down for this). Well, so as planned we picked up our car from the train station and we decided to skip the GPS to save 80euros... Big mistake. Navigating with the map is simple if you're traveling from city to city but navigating in the city itself is a major headache. Please do NOT even attempt this. So we went around the city blablabla from attraction to attraction and then we decided to head back to the hostel to rest/have lunch.

LMK was driving and we were hopelessly lost for a bit. After about 10 minutes trying to find our way back to the hostel, we finally got back on track and were only a turn away from the building. We stopped at the traffic light and about 100 meters after that, we were supposed to turn left. So we were on the middle lane and LMK signaled left from the traffic light itself and due to the heavy traffic, he could only cut in pretty close to the junction itself. We were about to turn in when I looked over my shoulder to the left, felt a hard hit and all I saw was a man flying past our car onto the road.

We were all pretty stunned for a second, not knowing what to do. Turned on the hazard lights. Turned off the radio and the boys got down to assess the situation. The man was splayed out on the ground, as was his motorcycle not too far away. I was trying very hard not to let the shock overwhelm me. My body started to shake as I watched passersby coming over to offer assistance. An older man took out his cellphone and immediately alerted the authorities. The man wasn't moving. Not a flicker. Chest movements and pulse were present which provided some sort of relief.

Five minutes later the police arrived. Started to question passersby about what they saw and they weren't helpful saying that we were in the wrong. Things didn't look sunny at this point. The ambulance arrived not too long after. They pushed the car back because the man was partially under the front of our car and checked his vitals. Everything seemed fine, and yet he remained unconscious. The strapped him up and took him into the ambulance to provide further medical assistance.

Bla bla bla to make things short, not too long after that, the paramedics came back and assured us that the man was just concussed and will be able to go home soon :') Since the man was alright after all, the police agreed that it was not our fault, really. So the boys settled the reports, and we were free to go. So we parked the car, and walked back to our room to pray and gather our composure as 'some' people (read:LMK) well, me included also lah were still in shock.

Spanish police - pretty macho I must say.

It is a wonder that we had to be tested and tried this way because other people drive and Barcelona and most made it through without all this shiznit. Gahhhhh, there was probably a lesson in there somewhere  to remind us again why we came on the journey in the first place. We definitely practiced caution for the rest of the journey and thank GOD we made through the next 2000 km safely :)

ARGH, writing that actually made me palpitate. I might not have conveyed the story right but it was just one of those 'you had to be there' kind of moments, yknow?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 1: MOW-BCN

Dear Reader,

So from now onwards you should be able to expect a vomit of posts from my recent travels. You shall just have to bear with me because if I don't it'll soon become stale and I will never hear the end of it from mommy dearest. So the journey started on the 19th of February, just two days after our last paper. Kak Azmin came over the night before to help me prepare for my journey and it just made me realise how unprepared I was! I initially planned it to be a 'wing-it' or 'whatever goes' kind of trip and that usually works out okay most of the time. To make things worse, I haven't even began packing and that got me all jittery thinking about the trip.

Anyway, she helped me draft out the outline of the trip and we pre-booked all the tickets needed and we were all set! The next day, I loaded up my backpack (read: HUGE 60 litres backpack which is probably half my height) and set out for LMK's place for thats where we will be taking the cab to the airport from. Had lunch, an hour later we were at the airport. F&N were scheduled on a different flight to Barcelona via Prague while LMK and I were to go via Amsterdam.

Was just testing our my new Sigma 10-20 which I purchased just the day before :)
After about 6 hours of air travel, we reached El Prat airport taking our time because it was well.. about 11pm and we were in no hurry to the hostel anyway. Managed to get a few minutes of shut-eye while waiting for F&N, who were arriving about an hour later. Zzz...

When there's nothing else to do

You make silly faces and hope you look cute anyway. Fail. Evidently. 

Two hours later, they arrived and we took the aerobus to Plaza Catalunya, i.e the very centre of Barcelona which clearly didn't look it at the time considering it was close to two in the morning. Instead, it was deserted/creepy but thank God for 24 hr tourist information counters! The lady advised us to take the cab to our hostel because it was quite a distance to cover on foot. Fyi, buses operate round the clock here in Barcelona! After abt 10 minutes, we reached the hostel and checked in. We stayed at UrbanyHostel Barcelona. Very professional place with reasonable rates: 11 euros per night, breakfast/wifi/linen/towels included. Clean with en suite bathroom which is always a plus! Just didn't quite fancy the 'lights out after 11pm' thing. Mind you we arrived at two in the morning, and unpacking/showering combined with lethargy was clearly a challenge without lights. -.-

So after the usuals (facebook status/tweet/path/foursquare/instagram updates), we went to bed excited for the day to come! Little did we know that we were about to get leeeeetle bit more adventure than we'd initially hoped for :S Stay tuned for that!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mumbles

Its already the month of February and I haven't even thought about doing a 2011 recap. Gah. Where did all my time go?? I've promised mom to blog a pic a day because she's been wanting to see photos from my recent trip but I've still got to go through the thousand odd pics and post process them. I've been making it a point to do at least 5 a day but that is proving to be impossibru! Anyway, here are some photos from my phone which I suppose should do for the time being hehehe.
Plaza De Toros, Valencia

Post-Spain sushi binge!

Flying High

Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciences



Paella in Barcelona:not such a good idea. Not the best we had. 

Mercado Central

Hans Christian Andersen lovin, Malaga

Sun, sand, sea. Malaga


Pasteis de Belem, home of THE egg tarts.



Plaza Espanya, Madrid

Port Vell, Barcelona

Cruising




Medina Azahara, Granada






Holiday pastime. #addiction. not quite. 


New glasses I HAD to get coz I lost mine somewhere in between Seville and Cordoba.  Didn't really have a choice, this was the only choice the optician had in my power. 

I have sooooo much to say but so lazehhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

BACK

Hello, 

To say its been a long time would be an understatement considering my last post wasn't even in the year 2012. The past two months have been pretty crazy, zooming by quickly and it seems to me that the year ahead is going to proceed in a fairly similar manner. Which I am fine with, because that way I feel as if my time has been well spent. 

For updates, December was fully consumed by topographic anatomy, neuro and ophthal. Barely scathed by if you ask me. Living day to day from topic to topic, ruminating, catching up and the days fleeted by till suddenly it was D-day. Towards the end of the cycle I felt too tired and came so close to the point of breaking. If it weren't for constant reminders from friends who again, led me to believe that this is what I am meant to do, I would probably have thrown in the towel days before the exam day itself. *but then knowing me, kiasu-ness would probably have pushed me a little bit more* Anyway,  neuro was aiiiiiiight.  So pissed I decided to skip ALS the night before thinking that I won't ever get that question. Lucky I just HAD to get it the next day. hahahha. Got lucky for ophthal, and was pretty prepared for topo anatomy so that went well, Alhamdulillah!
 
After all those late nights, and digesting bad coffee *priorities shifted.no time to buy/make proper coffee* a celebration was definitely due! Confirmed last minute arrangements, and soon it was time to pack up for our annual winter getaway, which I promise to write about in the near future. Currently I have the whole house to myself since the roomies are all living it up in Malaysia. :( No company for at least another day since one of them is due to arrive some time tomorrow, I think. 

Anyway, I'm back and blogging! *hopefully can keep this up* 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fulfillment

It is a pity to see that all of yesterday's snow has melted completely. Global warming seems determined to deny them Russians a white christmas this year. Oh well, besides the first day of snowfall, its a messy experience that I'm quite glad I'm not getting many of, this year. (Hopefully I didn't speak too soon)

It is 5 in the morning and I'm up alone with my books and distracting thoughts of chijimi and kimchi. It has been a stressful week and surely felt like it has been going on forever. I think its simply the HOURS we have in this cycle. Gah. Out before sunrise and back after sunset. Sure takes the life out of me. In a way, I don't mind it -the fact that time seems to pass by realllly slowly. Simply stretches out the mere 4 weeks I have till finals. I've also adopted a new pattern of sleep. Sleep right after I come home, i.e after maghrib and then wake up somewhat after midnight. Healthy? I don't know. Hehe

Inter-personal matters have been strangely awkward these past few days and I have hopelessly reaching out to old friends in hope of enlightenment. Wasn't quite sure what I was looking for. I was under the perception that it was simply the company I needed. Mainly to distract me from myself. Being alone all the time makes me think. A lot. Intense introspection makes me ashamed of who I am at times.

I keep complaining, blaming the people/situation for the things that happen. About things that make me cry. About things that make me angry. About things that make me go crazy. The problem lies in: me. I only have myself to account for all those emotions. I am always under the impression that everyone is out to judge and criticise me. When the truth is, I myself am the harshest critic. I fear the feeling of not being loved when in fact it is me who doesn't give myself much love in the first place. I get irritated when people do not treat or talk to me with mutual respect when the reality is that I don't respect my own being. When one doesn't have much love for themselves, or to put it in another way, feel like they aren't worth loving, these thoughts put up a wall between you and others. I guess that's why I've been feeling extremely lonely and just... distant.

I can't bear the weight of my own expectations. No one can. Who am I going to prove all this to? All  the affirmation I need is the one from Him. And what have I done to fulfill that?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Update

I've abandoned this blog for far too long. Seems to me like inspiration strikes only when I'm at my lowest.  Which is GOOD in a way I suppose! Just goes to show that I've been considerably happy? Just received our Dermatology credit today, byebye pustules, plaques and nodules. I'm quite ashamed to say that I haven't learnt much from this cycle. Never had interest in derma and probably never will develop any sort of love for it.

On the other hand, Surgery had been a blast. Despite having a tyrant as our lecturer who insisted on handling his class like the military #truestory, it still is a very interesting subject. I might complain at times especially the nights before surgery class about having to study and memorise procedures, but heck that's what med school is about anyway. :)


Monday, October 3, 2011

I have this burning desire to escape reality.


But I don't quite know how. 

Whisked

I don't quite know where to begin. More often than not, I find myself between a rock and a hard place. I spend every waking moment beating my brains out, figuring out how to cut myself loose from this vicious cycle. I feel like I've tried every single approach only to find myself back to where I started, if not worse.

What is it?

What is this thing that's putting a squeeze on everything I do?

It exasperates me to think that with every try, the distance between me and this very thing I'm trying to achieve is becoming wider until eventually it consigns itself to oblivion. I'm not talking about medicine our anything in relation to it, don't worry. I know what I aspire to be. Its just the personage behind that very aspiration is the one I'm struggling to connect with.

I have little friends. I used to complain about it. And people denied it. I think I would know more about it than you would. I associate myself with people who really care about me - the kind who will cry for me, the kind who will laugh with me, the kind who will do the 'pontianak dance' with me, the kind whom I know will love me no matter what. Its hard to find that, it really is. And I thank my lucky stars I've found them. Blame circumstances for not letting us be together for more and a few days a year. Pity.

Social situations unnerve me. I hardly let anyone in. I've experienced hurt too much, walls go up in reflex to interaction with people I'm not accustomed to. My eyes grow heavy, your voice crackles in my ear, and I exercise my brain in effort to string together words to come up with a barely coherent reply. I hardly think its nonchalance, but its definitely not the nerves. Often, I jump ahead far... Maybe a bit too far. I sum you up, who you are, what you want and ultimately what you think of me. If the equation adds up to 'he/she isn't the real deal' I'll try my best to appear engaged when all I want to do is look stoic and disappear. I do this quite a lot. More than you think. I want to feel sorry, honest to God I do. But I just don't. What I've learned after being thrown into the real world is that I shouldn't give even as much as thought to people who do not matter.  Time to take off the rose-coloured glasses and see things as they are and treat them as they are.

Someone once told me that she didn't quite know what the secret to success is but she knew for a fact that the secret to failure is trying to please everyone. You'll never make it across the meadow without trampling over a few daisies. True. Spread yourself thin and you'll only end up lost.

Sounds just about right doesn't it?

Then why do I find myself still in between two worlds? One foot in each. Neither wanting to be there.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Absence



28/09 - 01/10
I'll be welcoming October on a sleeper train. :) Don't miss me while I'm gone.

Impulsive has never been an attribute of mine. I'd much rather make calculated moves rather than just 'winging it'. 


Well, this is me 'winging it'. I feel like I owe it to my youth. 


I owe it to You.

This post is probably weeks overdue and from what you might have gathered, I haven't been SUPER busy or swamped recently. Procrastination has become second nature to me and right now I have no reasonable excuses at hand to justify my laziness. So with sincere apologies:


This time around, celebrating Aidilfitri meant a great deal more to me considering the last time I had spent it at home with my family was probably about three years ago. For the past three years, the morning of raya meant having cereal with cold milk and probably squeezing in an episode of How I Met Your Mother or two before heading out the door to class. Lucky if it fell on a weekend because that just means that we get to go to the Malaysian Embassy for some raya noms and photo-taking for keepsakes.

This year however, God gave me the chance to revisit childhood memories. Memories which I was sure was fading quickly into nullity. Albeit we didn't prep for raya like how we normally would (baju raya, kasut raya etc), I think that it's more fitting this way since that isn't what raya is about anyway.

Anyhow, we had the chance to head back to Taiping. My kampung for as long as I can remember. I still vaguely recall running around shoeless playing masak-masak with my cousins and also stealing rides on my late atok's ancient ginormous bicycle. Simply being there was enough to jog my memory. To relive it again, would be too much to ask. In hindsight, I did plenty of things as a child I would later in the future FORBID my kids to do. Made me realise that losing ones child-like innocence could potentially be the biggest thing one can ever lose. I'd do anything for the opportunity to be able to look at things unbiasedly and unreservedly the way I used to. Of course, I'd like that to only remain an option. The world as we know it today has no empathy for altruism and magnanimity. Pity.

I took on a different role this time. I was no longer the sweaty, greasy kid who played with dirt, climbed fences and ran through bushes. That has left us a long time ago. Instead, I was up to my ears with ketupat, rendang and babies. Babies? Yeah there has been a great influx of toddlers and babies in this household. Which is great because who can deny a pair of goggly eyes! Also, seeing my opah hustling and speeding away getting the house ready for raya was a pleasant sight. Didn't seem like age was catching up with her at all. Was glad to be able to lend a pair of hands in prep work. After 2 days with her, I might actually have a career in professional ketupat weaving! The experience further cemented the fact that I cannot simply opt to quit being a grown up.

Family. I can go on and on when it comes to talking about family. But I am eternally blessed and forever grateful for the family I have. Blood is always thicker than water and with all the hits and misses I've had when it comes to friendships, it amazes me how family will ALWAYS be there for you regardless.

Right, I should probably pretty up this post with a few pictures before I reduce you to a snooze :)

Wan Cho's mee kari!




Psycho.

Mommy and Daddy :)



Opah!
That pretty much sums it up briefly :) I thank God everyday for all the blessings He has given me and I fear that it will never ever come close to enough. Loads more to tell and loads more to share.

Let's hope I can get some sleep before our adventure tomorrow!