Tuesday, August 31, 2010

tentang Merdeka Day

a real quick shout out..

Happy Merdeka Day to Malaysia
and all Malaysian!

i love blogwalking today. most malaysian blogs will celebrate the day and appreciate it and write stuff about it. it makes me, thousands of kilometres away from home, feel the celebration and feel proud being a malaysian. to all that made a post and wished a happy merdeka day to everyone else, you should be proud of yourself. it puts a smile on my face :)

its funny how living so far away teaches me how cool, and equipped, and practical malaysia is. sure there are imperfections, and bureaucracy that we all have to deal with.. but who in this world doesn't have to? believe me though.. our country is not as backwards as we think we are.

what i want to say is, happy merdeka day everyone. :D

oh.. of all the posts i read today, i love this the most. a bunch of old pics of our country at Haus of Kaka (via innit)

Europe Trip 2010 Part 3 - Newcastle

my brother have been living in Newcastle since (around) 2000.. and i have never visited him even once. so now that i have finally arrived at Newcastle Airport, though exhausted, i really couldn't believe i'm there.

my wife and i took the cab to my brother's house which isn't too far from the airport. the long journey from Adelaide to Newcastle had made me very slow, and caused a little communication issues. the cabbie had an accent, i thought it was a very thick scottish accent, but i just found out people there actually have a different accent called Geordie accent. i don't know what the differences are but i know this.. both accents are not at all like aussie accent that i'm so used to now.

the first thing i noticed about the road in Newcastle, there are a lot of roundabouts. in that 20 mins ride to my brother's, i think there were 15 roundabouts (i lost count after the 5th). the road is narrow, and people drive skilfully fast that it scares us a little bit. and astonishingly.. we never heard anyone use their horn even once.

so we arrived at the house at around 2pm. we didn't do anything else but stay home and catch-up with our sister-in-law and her kids. the last time we saw them was 3 years ago. later that day my brother came home from work and had some afternoon tea. for dinner we had some kebab delivered to the house.. how convenient is that! i couldn't imagine how cool that would be if we can have any halal fast food delivered to our home back in Gawler.

the kebab was different too. well, different from what we have in Australia anyway (which is different from the ones in Malaysia). the meat is a lot thicker and so is the bread. the kebab has a lot of meat on it and a lot less vege, while the kebab here in Adelaide has the same amount of meat and vege, on a thin bread; and in Adelaide, kebabs are called 'yiros'. maybe it is a different thing.. i don't really see the difference. but anyway i kinda fell in love with the UK's kebabs :P

on the third day in Newcastle, we went to a car boot sale. 'malaysian student's favourite pastime' someone told me. i always thought car boot sales are the same everywhere. there are not many car boot sale where we live, just garage sales scattered everywhere every now and then. but the car boot sale here in Newcastle (and the UK i assume) is a lot different somehow. we found almost everything there, literally, and way beyond cheap. i find most the things there are not unwanted things people might call trash, they are in really good condition. we ended up buying 12 books (paperback novels) and the whole lot was £4!

our excitement have caused us to forget, those books do weigh a lot

during our stay in Newcastle, we went to this factory outlet shopping mall called the Royal Quay and had a look around and did some shopping. the things are cheap and even cheaper when we were there because they were having some summertime sale going on. we went to Whitley Bay, a beach, for a short walk and had ice cream. it was after all summer (and not the kind of summer we have in South Australia). on the last day in Newcastle we went for a drive around town and a short stop at the Quayside. a lovely view of the River Tyne and all the six bridges, and The Sage Gateshead (a massive building shaped, to me, like a massive futuristic glass cocoon) across the river.

Newcastle was fun. love the city, not too busy, but big enough a city.

we left Newcastle Upon Tyne on the 4th day of our trip. took a train from Newcastle Central Station to Edinburgh Waverley Station, Edinburgh, Scotland!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Europe Trip 2010 Part 2 - Departure

South Australiawe were to fly on MAS from adelaide to heathrow, with a 2 hour transit at KLIA. we deliberately chose to fly MAS so that we can have that short stop.. maybe have some KFC while waiting. but 2 hours was not a lot of time, so we were a little worried that we won't have time for that KFC. i know KFC isn't something special, but to us, living where their KFC isn't halal, and to watch their commercial every day, we kinda miss all those unhealthy fast food.

so our very long journey began early in the morning. planned to hop on the train from Gawler to Elizabeth, then get on the bus to the airport, but there were some things to take care of and we were running a little late. so we asked a friend to drive us to Elizabeth. the good thing about it was that the drive only took 20 minutes but if we took the train it probably will take 45 minutes.

anyway, off we went, with one big bag and one carry-on bag each. the big luggages are both half full at this point. this was one mistake (not too big a mistake tho) for us travelling to Paris and London.. big bags will slow you down and a real hassle if you plan to hop on the their train. so next time we'll go there (hopefully) i'll try to pack even less things

our flight from Adelaide airport was on time. checked in at the kiosk to skip the long queue, and only had to stand in a short 'Bag Drop' line. quick and easy and there was no problem at all. :D

the 3.00pm flight to KL took around 7hours. that is a long time to sit in a plane.. but MAS planes have those in-flight entertainment thing, i think they call it 'Select'.

the 'Select' in-flight entertainment has movies, tv shows, music and games on it. it has a 6.5inch screen that is not too clear but works all right. some of the movies had subtitles rendered into the video with a raw a little too big fonts that sometimes are a little annoying (considering the small screen).. but it isn't too bad.one of the movies i saw was Slumdog Millionaire. it already had subtitles of their own so it does look better, however, those subtitles are probably meant for at least a TV display. so at some parts, the subs were so small that i have no idea what they were saying.

the food was actually pretty good. i had lamb korma with basmati rice which was a great because it's something malaysian. it comes with a dinner roll, salad, crackers and cheese, and a tiny drinking water. at least the main dish is still something malaysian :D

Kuala Lumpur International Airport
we arrived at KLIA on time, at the main building. we quickly made our way to the 'Arrivals' to meet friends waiting there and have our KFC. this was a transit stop, so we did not have to wait for our bags nor check-in again. so we chatted, laughed, and about 30 minutes before our 11.40pm flight to London Heathrow, we realized that our flight got delayed to depart at 1.10am. if we'd checked earlier, we could've taken our time.

in the end, we finally took off at 1.35am, we finally flew out to London. this time it is a much longer flight, a 12 hour (ish) flight. they served dinner (or was it supper.. maybe a very early, heavy, lunch @_@) and i had beef lasagna which was not too bad but i was kinda still not hungry but i forced myself to eat anyway.. it was probably around 3am in KL i think. i noticed the food was packed differently from the ones we got during all our flights to and from Australia. different caterers i guess.. and i think the food in Australia bound MAS flights are a lot better.

after that meal i was so stuffed that i couldn't sleep. and when i decided to watch a movie, there was this problem with the in-flight entertainment system of the plane that they had to shut it down for 30 mins. i tried to sleep anyway but even after the Select rebooted i was still wide awake, but extremely fatigued. it was dreadful. so i randomly selected a movie that i have already seen, and probably 15mins in, i was already asleep. when i woke up, washed up a bit and started watching movies again. so the grand total of movies i saw in both flights was 9 movies.. all of them i have never seen before!

London Heathrow
we arrived at Heathrow Terminal 4 at around 6.30am. the terminal looked rather shabby i think.. and gloomy. maybe it was the early morning. we had to wait for a bit until we got our luggages and then had to stand in a very long line at the customs and immigrations. that was not fun, waiting in line after travelling for over 20 hours (including transit and all the bus ride from home).

thankfully everything was smooth there and the next thing we had to do was find our way to Terminal 5. it was not too hard, just that for someone arriving there for the first time, we did were a little confused at first. all we had to do was get on this inter-terminal train (which i think is free) to Heathrow Central Railway Station (which is for terminals 1,2&3). then wait on the same platform for the train to Terminal 5.

we got to Terminal 5 rather early, checked in for our 11.50am flight to Newcastle. T5 is not a big enough airport for the amount of travellers there. and to check-in, we must use the 'check-in kiosk' and then head to the many bag drop counter. anyhow, waiting for our flight, we ate some sausage buns we brought from KL, then we realized there was no rubbish bins to throw the wrappers away. i find that interesting. we walked around the terminal to have a look at the shops. we did not buy anything.

finally we arrived in Newcastle at around 1.15pm. we were exhausted, rather hungry but too tired to feel hunger. we took the cab from the airport to my brother's house not too far away. the cab driver asked 'where to' so i said the address. then he said something more than 4 words long.. and i couldn't understand a word he said. maybe i was too tired.. or maybe he had an accent i have never heard before. maybe it was both

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Europe Trip 2010 Part 1 - The Preparation

ok before i start, apologies for the late post. i kinda promised this last week but did not manage to make it. gomen~

oh how good it is to be back and to have broadband again~!

the beginning
the whole trip was planned because of a conference in Edinburgh. so because neither of us have ever been to europe before, and all the friends and families living there, we decided to spend a few weeks in the UK and France.

the plan
we wanted to go to a lot of places, but the reality is, we can't really afford it. and not enough time anyway. the initial plan was to have this reunion with wife's closest friends, now living in Netherlands and Germany, in Paris but unfortunately in the end everyone couldn't make it and so we planned to go visit their cities, but even that was tricky.

so in the end we did not visit Amsterdam, Rome, and this town in Germany that i could not remember the name. maybe next time, if we ever have the opportunity to go over to that side of the world again.

to prepare for all the places we were going to, we bought some books, these Lonely Planet's guidebooks to Edinburgh (Lonely Planet Edinburgh Encounter Travel Guide), London (Lonely Planet London Encounter Travel Guide) and Paris (Lonely Planet Paris Encounter Travel Guide). initially i didn't think we really need them (i guess that's just me being a guy) but it is not too expensive anyway (and my wife thinks those books could come in handy) so we bought them. turned out to be a good call because it helped a lot in our trip.. especially the Paris and French Fast Talk. small light books, makes you look like the tourist you are, but they help you out a lot especially when you have no idea where to start and in some cases, how to communicate. i don't mind looking like a tourist.

the trip
we went to Newcastle first, then headed north to Edinburgh for the conference and stayed a couple of days more for sightseeing. After that we went to Glasgow for a few days and flew to Paris. After a few days in Paris we went to Disneyland Paris and spent 2 days there. Took an early morning flight to London where we stayed for a few days before going back to Adelaide.

i enjoyed the trip so much that i wished we had more time to spend there. and that we did not come down with a flu during the trip and that we did not have bought so many books so early into the trip.

the thanks
i have to say, there are some blogs that my wife and i referred to when we were planning this trip. and to them i would like to express my gratitude and thanks. please visit their blogs for me :D. the blogs are the very famous redmummy.com whose very detailed travel report provided heaps of insights, kenwooi.com whose trip to UK was rather inspiring to me, my wife's friend sagittariuswifey.blogspot.com whose husband takes lovely pics, as well as to shilashower.blogspot.com and ladyverde.blogspot.com for posts about their trip to europe as well.

i'll do a more detailed post later about each place that we went to. this is sort of like the intro to everything. so if you're interested in reading about it, just drop by this blog again later in the week. or comment and ask me to stop slacking off and post the next part already. ^_^

in the mean time, here's some of the pics that i took during the trip.

my pics are a little gloomy aren't they?


Friday, August 13, 2010

tentang Jet Lagged

Jet lag, medically referred to as "desynchronosis," is a physiological condition which is a consequence of alterations to circadian rhythms; it is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Jet lag results from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east-west or west-east) travel, as on a jet plane.
- wikipedia

i am back from our europe trip!! extremely excited and oh how i wished the trip did not end so soon. the summer weather over there is so nice~

anyhow, i am suffering from jet lag still, so i am having the hardest time finding the words to type the travel report for anyone (which i hope do exist) to read. maybe someone will find it informative enough and might help them plan their future trip. who knows :D

anyway, don't think it will write itself.. and i don't think i'll start posting about it tomorrow. but i'll do my best to start posting within the week.

now i gotta finalize those panorama shots and select which pics i wanna upload to the blog.

oh just so you know.. my wife and i went and stayed in Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paris and London. the whole trip lasted roughly 20 days. i'll have to check the total.. i lost count
Demoreel - May 2011