Hiatus

Hellooooooooooo! It is good to be back. I am extremely sorry for the lack of entries in August. It was an impromptu hiatus from blogging. A holiday to clear my mind, relax my body (Well, hardly relaxing, more like exercising) and energize my soul.

I will update this blog with my travel related entries, just keep on scrolling down to read them.

I am now in Singapore, heading back home tomorrow. Unfortunately due to a lousy laundromat service at Marina Link, I have to extend my stay just to pick up the clothes we dropped off last Tuesday. Frustrating. Luckily, I am a good person, otherwise I’d ask them to pay for my flight ticket because of their mistake. The lady promised me everything will be ready yesterday evening.

You should see the look on my face when she told us our clothes are not at the shop and she cannot do anything about it as their factory is closed on Sunday. The very guts of her to tell us to pick it up on MONDAY when we are flying back home on SUNDAY. In my opinion, when I told her I am from Malaysia, she assumed that only Johor is Malaysia. As if I could easily drive or take a train to Singapore just to pick up my flipping laundry.

*&^%

She kept on saying sorry but I refused to look at her just in case I turn into a nasty Medusa and turn her into stone and smash her into a bazillion. Your sorry does not mean anything to me.

At this rate, the laundromat services in Kuching are way better than that particular shop. If my clothes come back in a lousy state, I WILL reveal your company name. Meh. Lesson learned: Never trust a foreign laundromat shop, no matter what.

What a way to to start blogging after several weeks of hiatus. Meh.

Anyway, cheers to September, may it bring joy to all of us! This bridezilla to be has a lot on her plate. Wish me luck!

Love,
E.

All the engaged ladies (Put your hand up!)

Apparently, Aslan planned the proposal for over a year. As I said in my earlier entry, he thought of proposing on a lovely cruise around the Mediterranean (Exactly like my I-am-just-joking definition of the perfect proposal).

Being more of a logical thinker than a dreamer, he proposed in Singapore instead as he didn’t want to get the wrong ring size.

Aslan almost propose with a packet of diamond but he thought that would be so unromantic. So tacky. So cheap.

I am 100% clueless of what are the specifications for the ring (Like carat size, diamond grade etc) but I must admit, it is the most beautiful object I have ever seen in my life! Wait, let me rephrase that. The engagement ring is the most beautiful object I have ever received in my life!

So, after proposing, the next day, he brought me to Lee Hwa Jewelry at Somerset 313 to get my ring finger measured.

Nerdy me after sorting out the ring measurement…

It was ready just one day before we were to fly off to Glasgow.

Still speechless everytime I see this ring around my finger. Ineffable.

He even suggested I should get an insurance for the ring. It scared when he said that. I hope he doesn’t spend ALL of his savings for this. I am absolutely fine with a simple ring… A ring is just a ring, can’t marry it. Hahaha.

“You can’t put a price tag when it comes to love…”

*Blushhhhhhh*

Will blog more soon,

Love,
E.

The Long Road to Athens

After a few short days in Manchester and Liverpool, it was time to say farewell to the United Kingdom and hello to Greece. I have been dreaming of visiting Athens for a very long time. Since a wee lass, the tales of Greek Gods and heroes never fail to fascinate me. From there, my longing to experience Greece came about.

Even with the unstable economy, Athens is worth the visit. The city is beautiful. The people are so wonderful. The food is lovely (And not as overpriced as Paris).

Manchester International Airport is boring but nothing beats KIA though…

I had high expectations for Air France, the airline we used to Athens from Manchester. Probably due to the small size of the aircraft, Business class on Air France on that particular route was rather disappointing.

Aslan looking very tired. 

Yours truly

The seat was slightly firm, the legroom was more or less like Economy on Air Asia.

It was quite an old aircraft. Nonetheless, the interior was clean but plain when it comes to decoration. Then again, who cares about flipping decoration.

Still, cabin crew was very friendly and didn’t mind when we spoke in broken French. I must praise their food quality though.

Light lunch but absolutely delicious!

Hello, France!

My first time at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris. I used the Eurostar train for my last trip to Paris. Unfortunately, it was a short transit at the airport. We were chasing after time, hence, no photos of the airport. I love the design of CDG, very chic and youthful although can be a little bit confusing, especially for flight transfers from one terminal to the other.

CDG Airport, Paris

By the time we reached the departure gate, it was already time to board the plane. I thought I could check out the Hermes store but nah, screw that. If it is meant to be, it will meant to be…

The connecting plane was almost as similar as the last one. Dinner was roasted chicken with seasonal vegetables which I truly enjoyed. Dinner also came with a generous serving of blue cheese which I enjoyed (I am surprised myself because not really a fan of the infamous blue cheese before this flight).

Blue cheese, France’s national pride.

French version of tiramisu for dessert

 

Lovely chocolates courtesy of Air France

It was already dark when we landed at Athens International Airport or Elefthérios Venizélos. Duh, 1030pm, of course it would be dark. Silly me.

Athens International Airport from the tarmac

I was slightly puzzled when I realized there was no need to go through immigration after we got our luggages. It turned out that, when we got into Paris, customs already checked and stamped our passports. EU zone, so Paris to Athens is considered domestic flight.

We had three transportations to bring us to our hotel from the airport. Specifically, two cabs and Jo’s friend’s car. Once out from the air-conditioned airport, heat came over to greet us. Such a shocker after a nice cool summer in the UK. Meh. It was not so bad in the evening lah.

The journey to the airport took about forty minutes. Our taxi driver is friendly and quite philosophical. Typical Greek, eh? He made us feel very welcomed. The view of the city from the hilly highway is breathtakingly beautiful (from what I can tell from Aslan’s expression). Pity I lost my glasses somewhere in Glasgow, so, all I saw was blurred city lights. Meh.

 

As usual, uncle handed me the task of looking for the right hotel. After hours of researching and comparing, I recommended AVA Hotel & Suites situated in Plaka. It was the best decision ever.

Yes, Plaka is touristy but it was such a convenient and safe area to stay in Athens. I must admit, food is obviously more expensive compare to other areas in Athens but if you count in transport costs, it does not make much difference. Besides, nightly rate for AVA Hotel & Suites is affordable and decently priced compared with crazy expensive Hilton which is quite far from central Athens.

Every room at AVA is a suite, so, it is a steal when luxury is affordable. Does that make sense?

My bedroom; the duvet is a bit thin but it was alright lah.

The tv just next to the bed

The dressing table

The wardrobe and next to it is the lounge sofa, directly opposite the tv

The kitchenette

The wee but good bathroom

The cute shower stall

Uncle and auntie got the nicer suite, the Executive with the view of the Acropolis from their balcony. Apart from that, the bedroom is separated from the living room and kitchenette.

Just a sneak preview of uncle and auntie executive suite

Once we were all settled down, it was almost 1230 in the morning! Tomorrow will be an exciting day, so, stay tune for the next entry!

Love,
E.

He Put A Ring On It!

Aslan finally proposed to me last night, just before midnight. He took me completely off guard. Well, I knew he would propose one day but never thought it would be so soon!

Before he proposed, he asked me, “In your point of view, what is your ideal wedding proposal?”

Pulling his leg, I answered, “On a cruise around an exotic location and the moment you proposed, Angels will sing, the sun shining forming a halo on us, unicorns with wings magically appear and Atlantic emerged from the deep sea, restored to its former glory.” Then I laughed hysterically. He looked quite annoyed at my playfulness.

“Just kidding, it does not matter how, where, when etc, so long as you mean what you ask, that is perfect enough for me.”

“It does not have to be too elaborate nor perfect, what matters most is us together, always in love…”

He then held me in his arms and looked deep into my eyes.

It was then I realized he was about to propose.

Suddenly, I felt like the whole world just stopped spinning. I thought I knew how it would feel but expectation cannot beat reality!

In nanoseconds, so many ifs came to mind. I began to wonder, am I really ready for this?

It was almost like I was on the edge of a cliff and I had two choices; retreat to my comfort zone or jump into this new but uncertain journey in life.

“Effadylia Affendi, will you marry me?”

With a blush and a big smile I said yes.

This is the real deal, not just a playful status change!

More Wants than Needs…

I am so occupied with family stuff these days, I barely have the time to blog. Before I go MIA yet again, I want to share my current WANTS. Haha. (In short, giving hints to all of you since my birthday is just around the corner, I wish…)

A compact camera.

I do love Cammy but I find her bulkiness puts me off, especially when traveling. It weighs down my handbag. I don’t feel safe whenever I take it out in crowded areas. I am planning to splurge on a Leica compact camera (Not sure which model just yet). Suppose my budget does not allow, Canon’s brand new EOS-M will be just fine.

 

A Rolex watch.

I told myself I would never spend ridiculous amount of money on anything but luxury handbags. That was before I fell in love with Rolex. I absolutely love the Lady Date-just 31 model. Obviously, I can’t afford the ones with diamonds or gold, the basic model will do. The damage? Around SGD 7k+

 

Hermes Lindy.

Even if I have the money, it would still be almost impossible to buy a Hermes Birkin via walk-in. Unless my lucky star shines brightly, maybe it could be possible. However, the possibility of me getting a Birkin at the moment is 1%. I am a nobody. I have just enough to buy the bag, nothing extra (From my research, if you buy scarf, bracelet, perfume etc before asking for the Birkin, you might have a bigger chance of being offered the much sought after bag…) So, to nurse my aching Birkin-less soul, I already found an alternate bag. The Lindy. It is not as popular as the Birkin nor Kelly, but I found out it is more practical compared with the former two. Just a couple thousands more expensive than a Jumbo Chanel flapbag.

 

Photo credits: http://michaelsie.wordpress.com

 

Gold jewelry.

Oh dear lord. I think I have reached a new level with my newfound love for gold jewelry while window shopping at Habib at the Spring. It is true when Zarith said, you will start with bags and then, jewelry. I responded with an arrogant “Nah, me, jewelry? No way!”. Mulut lebih gilak. I aim to start my gold jewelry collection with a simple bracelet. Plus, investing in gold is always profitable. Oh my, I am turning into a Datin well before Aslan is a Datuk. Am I predicting the future? Hahaha. Just kidding.

 

Boy Chanel.

Suppose Hermes and I are not meant to be, Chanel is always have a place in my heart. I love the edginess of Boy Chanel.

 

I better stop here. My list is getting a bit unrealistic. AGH. Blog more soon!

Love,
E.

 

Kembara Media 1Malaysia Mukah Day One

My journey began with a flight to Sibu via Malaysia Airlines. It is now official, I have been to Sibu by all means of transport. The quick flight, about half an hour was like a dream. I was allocated seat 27C but since I always love sitting by the window, I moved to 27A. As I made my way to the seat, I met a very good friend of mine, Elaine! It was pure luck I got to meet her despite her hectic schedule as a stewardess. I wished we could have spent more time together, we haven’t seen each other for such a long time. Perhaps, that could be arranged someday.

Before any journey starts, here’s a compulsory jeans shot from me.

Goodbye KIA, see you again in a couple of days.

Kuching looked a bit hazy this morning…

My number 1 favorite airplane kacang.

Elaine at work

I waited for quite a while before I could steal Elaine away from her duties. Hehehe.

The moment the plane landed at the new Sibu airport, I had to rush to the baggage carousel and catch up with everybody else.

A friend of mine, Ms Azreen, was on the same flight! Lol. Funny how I only saw her in Sibu airport!

The new Sibu airport is not 100% ready but by the looks of it, sure is bigger and better compared with the old one.

We wasted no time in Sibu, after we retrieved our baggages, straight onto the chartered bus we went.

Our ride for the whole trip.

Sitting at the most front seat was a bad idea. The drivers here are ‘cowboys and daredevils’. Luckily the bus driver is very experienced.

First stop was lunch at the district office in Selangau. About an hour and twenty minutes drive from Sibu airport, Selangau is a very quiet town surrounded by lush greenery. We were greeted by the district officers and then was served really good lunch prepared by the local ladies.

It was from this lunch, everyone could guess I was on diet. I was probably known as the girl who ate little.

My lunch.

After lunch, we had a quick visit of the main area of Selangau. It is a very compact town, the general layout reminds me a lot of cowboy town.

Welcome to Selangau

The market area just by the river

The people of Selangau are very friendly, this cheerful mak cik sells a variety of local kuehs, among them penaram or the ufo kueh I call it, a favorite of mine.

Peaceful area to clear the mind before the journey continued…

A peaceful mind plus full tummy made the journey to Mukah a rather comfortable one. Mukah looks completely different from my memories. The first and last time I was in Mukah was in the mid 90′s.

Back then, Mukah was just about to wake up to development. Now, there is the iconic Menara Pehin Setia Raja in the center of the new Mukah town and all sorts of industry around it. Mukah is no longer a sleepy town. To be honest, I am quite impressed by the rapid development brought on by our government, specifically under SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy).

Undeniably, it seemed obvious that Mukah, on whole, is still lacking in terms of man power, especially skilled workers. To resolve this, the state government has a few plans of developing the minds of the local by building more schools in the area and soon, HR Training centre, UiTM campus as well as UNIMAS R&D Centre. (I will discuss this matter in the next entry, stay tune). Hence, Mukah aims to be Sarawak’s Smart City by 2030.

Mukah is a division rich with cultural background. Despite all the hoo-has with the rapid growth of industrial sectors such as SCORE, Tanjung Manis Halal Hub, Press Metal just to name a few, the more traditional industries from tourism (Pesta Kaul, homestay etc) to manufacturing local goodies like kuih sepit, sago and tebaloi still going on strong.

Mukah’s tallest building… For now lah…

During the media briefing by the representatives from Mukah Resident Office.

Mukah as seen from the highest floor of Menara Pehin Seta Raja

Hilda with Aliey

With Hilda of the Jelly Beans Collector, photo credits: Aliey Eyezie

Our ride, Lanang Bus.

After such a long journey, I was very pleased to find out where our home would be for the next few days… Kingwood Hotel Mukah! It is the best hotel in Mukah and the location is very strategic, right in the middle of town!

My roommate for this trip is Aliey of NTGravityZone.

Candid of yours truly waiting to be checked in taken cheekily by Aliey, an expert in taking candid. (You will find out why soon…)

Again, another one. I look posh, Angelina Jolie-ish. (Perasan much)

Our room was located on the second floor and oh, it may not be as luxurious as the room I stayed in Marina Bays Sands Singapore but it attended to all my basic needs AND, the A/C is top-notch. Artic condition in less than five minutes, my kind of A/C.

My side of the room. Lol, hope I didn’t snore… Sorry Aliey if I did. Hehehe.

The bathroom, I absolutely love the hot shower. AWESOME POWER SHOWER, y’all!

While Aliey decided to shower power, I had a power nap. Oh God, the bed, perfect. Thank you Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia Sarawak for placing us at such nice hotel. I feel so pampered and loved. Hehehe. Thank you Sarawak Bloggers for choosing me! Thank you Kingwood Hotel Mukah for the lovely hospitality. Definitely will try the resort the next time I am in Mukah.

Dinner was interesting. We were brought to Selera Hujung Kampung at Kampung Kuala Hilir Oya, about half an hour drive from Mukah where we had a welcome dinner with the 1Malaysia Komuniti Kuala Oya and Pekan Dalat. Also present was  YB. Dato’ Seri Muhammad Leo Toyad, MP of Mukah P. 213.

Dato’ Muhammad Leo Toyad is a very friendly MP. Humble and knows Mukah like the back of his hand. His best advice: Try the super fresh seafood. Thank you, Dato’!

Another candid taken by Aliey

Table buddies: Farhana from Utusan Malaysia, Caroline from Bernama and Hilda.

Yu Ji from the Star and Max from New Sarawak Tribune (Also a friend from my uni days at Unimas)

The food served at Selera Hujung Kampong is amazingly delicious. I enjoyed the midin belacan most, so freaking good.

Fresh umai! Even if I am partially Melanau, I don’t eat umai. *Gasp* I know, embarassing.

Ikan Asam Pedas: I am hopeless if you were to ask me to name the fish. It was fresh and good fish. End of story. Hehehe. Sorry y’all.

Chicken satay

Fried crabs

Grilled fish, smoky but juicy.

Midin Belacan!

There was also karaoke sessions (Thank goodness they didn’t ask Sarawak Bloggers to send a representative, phew, if I were to sing, a storm would be nearby) and lucky draws! Thank you Rozalinda of RTM Sarawak for being the karaoke savior for the media delegates. Lol.

Her performance was entertaining and divalicious. (Photo credits: Aliey)

Unfortunately, my name was not lucky enough, so I didn’t win anything but…

They presented us with a souvenir bag filled with the local traditional kuehs! Oh, love, love, love!

Thank you, Aliey, for this photo!

Group photo taken by Wee Hui Zheng

The night could have gone longer if it was not for our tight schedule tomorrow. We left for Mukah around 1030pm and oh my, it was such a good feeling when my body felt the bed. Stay tune for the next entry, it will surely blow your mind!

Love,
E.

Program Kembara Media 1Malaysia 2012 Mukah: Balik Kampung!

I will be representing Sarawak Bloggers alongside three other bloggers, for the ‘Program Kembara Media 1Malaysia 2012 ke Bahagian Mukah’ organized by Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia Sarawak.  Joined by other members of the media in Sarawak, the four day program, which begins tomorrow, highlights the development in Mukah division.

Personally, this trip means a lot to me. Apart from having the opportunity to enjoy and experience the many wonders of my own homeland (The last time I was in Mukah was in the mid 90′s and that was just for a rest stop!), I will also have the chance to retrace my Melanau root in Mukah. I am not just a Sarawakian Malay, in fact, so rojaked (mixed), I don’t know where to begin. Why, I even have Chinese ancestry. So, the Borneo Girl is Sarawak’s very own BEST example of a 1Malaysia citizen. Hahaha. If you are interested to hire me as a 1Malaysia ambassador, feel free to contact me. (Just kidding!)

I am confident I will learn a lot of valuable things from this trip. I will feed my brain with knowledge on SCORE projects in Sarawak. I will have the chance exchange stories with the local leaders of the area. I get to observe how these journalists do their job and learn the trick of the trades. I am excited, I am killing so many birds with a single stone! Woohoo!

I will be free to discover Mukah on July 12, especially in the afternoon. If you are from Mukah and willing to show me around the place, do let me know!

Adventure awaits me tomorrow. Thank you Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia Sarawak and Sarawak Bloggers!

Love,
E.

The New Convert

image

Finally got a new phone to replace the iPhone 4. Samsung S3.

Still not used with it but slight getting the hang of it.

Sorry for the lousy photo. A bit tired to blog properly. In the midst of recovering from a fever.

Blog more about it soon!

Love,
E.

Looking forward to July

I can’t deny I was a bit surprised when I realized next week we will meet July! Time passes ever so quickly these days, life feels like a dream.

Anyhow, like the tittle suggests, I have many plans happening next month. Among them would be my blog’s second anniversary. I plan to do a simple giveaway. I am inspired by Oprah’s favorite things giveaway.

Obviously, my giveaway won’t be as grand as Oprah’s but still, you will stand a chance to win some of my favorite things. I don’t plan to do any competitions, all you need to do is answer some simple survey questions! Woohoo.

Apart from that, I also anticipate the arrival of the holy month of Ramadhan. It is such a beautiful month. It would be wonderful if everyone acts like it is Ramadhan everyday. No potty mouth, backstabbers, liars, haters, etc in this world if that was the case. Oh well, as long as we don’t end up like that, we’re fine.

July will also be the month of my homecoming. I will tell you more about it when the day comes, it is a surprise. But the clue is this: Going back to my roots. Hehehe.

I have a lot of past entries to type, so be patient with me. I have set up a Recently Updated sticky post to keep you informed of the progress.

Blog more soon!

Love,
E.

 

Home

I feel extremely bad for neglecting this blog. First of all, I am alive and doing very well. Just a tad jet lagged at the moment.

Last week I was in New Zealand. I experienced so many firsts in that lovely country. The most epic so far would be going to Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball!

Me with the 12k+ crowd whom attended the first night of Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball at Vector Arena, Auckland!

It was totally a last minute decision although months back I almost buy the cancelled show in Jakarta. It just proved that Gaga and I are meant to be! Hahaha. I will blog about this soon. Just a sneak peek, y’all!

I also tried skiing for the first time on the same trip. It was harder than roller blading. Probably one of the most challenging sports I have ever tried. Still, it was such a wonderful experience. I fell so many times, at the end of the day I got so many souvenir bruises all over me. Haha.

Yours truly skiing down a small slope before falling down. Epic fail.

I promise I will update this blog soon, right now I am trying my best to settle down after all that traveling. SO many things yet to do.

Anyway, now your favorite girl is home, stay tune for exciting giveaways soon!

Love,
E.