I've realized that there's only ONE day left for the year 2009. I can't possibly leave the year without noting the key events that happened. So, i decided that this whole year was about fulfilling one of the goals I stated in january 2009; to travel as much as I can. To actually turn the words into reality,I got a job and save up money. This trip was the highlight of my year(to be perfectly honest,a milestone in all my 22 years of living). Ever since I was 13(when I started learning French as a foreign language subject in secondary school),I have always imagined seeing Paris. On 17th December 2009,I departed for London from Bahrain. On 18th december,5.30am,I left for Paris via Eurostar form London St Pancras station. Anyway,here's a little summary of the recent trip.
17th December 2009:
Got on the plane to London,around 10.30am Bahrain time. They said it's gonna take us 6 hours 50 minutes to reach there.Watched a movie 'PostGrad',was light hearted n entertaining,it's about life after uni. Reached London Heathrow terminal 4. Saw snow falling just outside my window in the plane,it was amazing yet so peaceful.
Waited for Aida and her sister,they were in another flight form Kuala Lumpur. Ate a sandwich but can't seem to find a rubbish bin anywhere(to be explained after this).
Finally met up with Aida and her sister. Challenge: pushing and carrying 3 small luggage and 2 big ones to Strawberry Hill. Getting there required 3 tube changes and 1 national rail change. No freaking escalators nor lifts at the stations,had to carry all that trunk through flight of stairs.HELL!
Arrived at Strawberry hill,snow covered walkway i.e very slippery. Took a short nap until 10.30pm,woke up to get ready. Have to leave for Richmond from Strawberry Hill to catch a train at St Pancras Station.
18th December 2009:
Took a train form Richmond and arrived at Clapham junction,scheduled to take a train to King's Cross/St Pancras after that. Waited for the train,suddenly heard an announcement that no trains will be going towards that direction,have to take the bus instead( Thank god we're only carrying one hand luggage each!). Raced to the bus stop,made it just in time to catch the last bus to King's Cross Stn.
Quite a long journey from there,the bus was en route to King's Cross via central London. Snow fell heavily,later heard from the news that it was actually a blizzard!
It was super cold.Rushed inside St Pancras n met up with Nizam(our voluntary tour guide in Paris,hehe and got my assam milk tea,thanx a lot nizam!). Sat down for a caffeine fix there,can still felt the cold wind from there.
4.45 am.rushed to Eurostar Ticket office(didnt realized we were down to the wire,check in closed at 4.55).We made it 2 minutes before the train departed.*big sigh*
8.45 am. Paris!I was in Paris!the train stopped at Gare du Nord. Bought 3 day pass for easy access to METRO,RER and bus(cost = 20 euros). Actual ticket was soo tiny,not clumsy people-friendly
18th december 2009(evening):
Familiarize ourselves with METRO,made a stop at Notre Dame Cathedral,Champs-Elysees,Arc de Triomphe,the Louvre(didnt go inside the museum today), walk around in Paris despite the heavy snow. We were determined!
5 pm,reached the Eiffel Tower(we've bought the tix in advance).Huge disappointment,it was closed due to the bad weather. Stomach growling,both feet numb.Got an Eifel tower background pic nevertheless.
HUNGRY!!solution: Halal KFC near the Famous Moulin Rouge!
I was kinda curious on what was going on inside Moulin Rouge(the evening shows were super expensive like around 100euros per person,so i have to scratch that idea off). Finally sat down and enjoy our meal. The sleepiness kicked in automatically after.
We went back to the hotel,get ready for bed and agreed to meet up at 8am at Gare du nord to go to Disneyland Paris
19th december 2009:
Woke up at 8am!rushing to get ready.Aida got a text from nizam, Eurostar has suspended all their service for the day(he was scheduled to leave that very evening to London). Made our way to Gare du Nord,looked at the clock,it was 10am!.Our watches were still on London time,hahaha.
Nizam had to change his train ticket,to either the next day or the day after that,even with that there was no guarantee that the English Channel tunnel will be open and eurostar services will b up n running.He had to find a hotel to stay another night,found one near Gare du Nord.
Things cant any worse from there rite?wrong!the lift to go to his room was broken and the door wont open. The housekeeping lady was NOT helpful especially when he asked her a favour in English. Thank God my french was adequate enough to communicate with the very grumpy(menopaus-ing possibly) lady.
3pm,took RER to Disneyland Paris,arrived around 3.45pm..found out about a strike from the ticket person so we had to be on the train before 8pm. Shorter time to be spent in Disneyland.
I love Disneyland,i have to go bck!
7.30pm,reached central paris..ate dinner.
9pm,got ready for bed..praying and hoping that the weather wasnt harsh.The thought of snow wasnt at all pleasant at that time.
20th december 2009:
4.40am,received a text from my dad saying that all Eurostar services is suspended until Monday.
9.30am,met up with nizam,had to go to an expensive internet service to check the status of our flight,as of that moment,everything was still good
1.30 pm,bid to goodbye to nizam and made our way to Musee de Louvre..the view from the inside was as astonishing as the view outside. I didnt know anything about paintings and their values. Seeing the paintings on display there made me understand why people go through great length to acquire these pictures,they're soo detailed and articulate.
3pm,saw the famous 'Monalisa',visitors can't get close to the painting though..people were crowding the area..i bet Leonardo Da Vinci couldn't even anticipate the commotion the public would have over his painting
3.30pm,made our way to Galleries Lafayette(Paris's version of Harrods),the christmas decoration set up was beautiful..we were taking pics in the concourse area and out of nowhere,a Chinese lady approached us asking for a favor. She wanted to buy more stuff at Louis Vuitton but she cant as they put a restriction on the number of purchase on Chinese passport holders.
There were A LOT of people inside the boutique,I thought to myself,"Man,there are a lot of rich people in this world". We bought the stuff for her.
8pm,arrived at CDG,checked in for our 9.55pm flight bounded for London Luton.
9.15pm,plane arrived..people lining up to get into the it as the stewardess made the announcement
10pm,starting to lose our patience,still waiting to get inside the plane..exhaustion began to kicked in
10.15pm,boarding began finally!me n aida were worried. Missing the last train from Richmond to Strawberry is a high possibility.
10.45pm(London time) arrived in London Luton,went to the bus counter straight,it was fully booked 11.30pm,had to take the later one instead,12am..At this rate,we were probably gonna reach Victoria Station at 1.15am or so..there will be no train running by that time. Got hold of the internet and wrote down an alternative route,an 11 minute walk from Twickenham bus stop to the house in Strawberry Hill was included
21st december 2009:
1.30am,took the 1st bus according to the journey planner. got down to catch the 2nd bus but missed it(stupid journey planner forgot to state that we had to walk to another bus stop located on the other side of the road).had to wait for another bus 20 minutes.
2.45am,arrived at Twickenham bus stop..tried calling a taxi using a number we got off the internet..The operator told us that their cabs didnt operate in that area, he was gonna give us another number..*connection lost*insufficient credit,darn roaming charges..we were stucked
3.00am,saw a phone booth not far from the stop,tried calling the cab company again but alhamdullilah,this time around we got the other number and 10 mins after that,a car came and picked us up.
3.15am,finally got inside the house..get ready for bed. We only had 2 hours max to sleep,Bath,Stonehenge and Salisbury tour lined up at 9am
I'm gonna continue the summary in my next post tomorrow
I realized that the last time i wrote a post for my blog was ages ago, I blame my procrastinating nature and constantly thinking whether or not I can finally finish a post(since I usually take AWHILE to finish my post,don't ask me why but I'm just weird in that sense). Anyway,I finally shook some sense into myself and decided: I have to write a new post tonight!..This rather impulsive decision came to me during the last few minutes of watching (500) days of summer..The movie was brilliant,bittersweet and surprisingly, revealing reality rather than idealistic notions. I'm usually a sucker for happy endings (I recalled bitching about some movie to my friends just cos my favorite characters in that particular movie didn't end up with each other..yup,I can be THAT unreasonable..hehehe). Anyway, the main objective of this post is to share a few anecdotes from (500) days of summer:
(1) "Life is full of coincidences"...this is something I see everyday, it was purely coincidental that I found out from Haziq,who happened to have dinner at Erwan's the night before, that Erwan thought our compsci225 assignment was due Thursday instead of Tuesday..Thank God we managed to inform him otherwise
(2)"If something's meant to be,it's not gonna be complicated"...I've heard stories and watched how some people worked and fought so hard to keep their loved ones(i.e keep the relationship going)..and I'm constantly wondering whether it was all worth it..watching the movie,I came to this pessimistic conclusion: if something is too hard to endure, then it's not for you.Simple as that
(3)"What you observed in front of you is what your mind wants you to see"...damn I sound like one of those weird tarot card readers/fortune tellers in carnivals and what not..but the statement is indeed a fact..In the movie,Tom(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) went to his favourite spot almost everyday..a girl said to him:"You looked familiar,have I seen you around somewhere?"
Tom: "Nope,don't think so"
Girl: "I think I saw you at______(Tom's favourite spot)"
Tom: "Yup, that's like my favorite spot in the city. I haven't you around though"
Girl:"Maybe you weren't looking"
Watching the scene played out,I suddenly realized that it's one of those casualties that people tend to do subconsciously..I should open my mind to other views and perspective.
(4)"Never settle for something that's just 'okay'" ...they are very few people in this world that has the privilege of doing what they really want. All through my 22 years of living, I've found that I chose the easy way out most of the time..in other words,I settled..There are some regrets and some what ifs..who knows what would've happened if i were to do things differently?..I've decided to hold on tighter to my dreams from now on,no regrets +no more what ifs
(5)"The ending might not be the ending you want but it's certainly the ending you need to see"
I want a lot of things in life but the chances of me actually getting every single one is almost zero.zip.nada but I have keep reminding myself that Allah SWT knows best and that sometimes what I want might be bad for me ergo, I've been put out of misery by God.I should be more optimistic.
6:53 PM | | 3 Comments
This might come off a bit cocky but I think I,Syakirah Ahmad Mahir,have found the essentials of an A-W-E-S-O-M-E holiday. I think this year's winter break is one of the best trips I've had in all 22 years of my life(yes Erwan,we're DAT old*grr*). It has funny, sad, dramatic, romantic, nail-biting and exceptional moments.
1. Watch a mind-blowing movie in IMAX(with loads of action and ass-kicking in my case,Transformers 2: Revenge of The Fallen)..with THX surround sound..I've finally undastood why guys dig Huge Screen TV and Home Theatre System..BIGGER is definitely BETTER..hehehehe
2. Hang out with your visiting friend..communicating via the internet is nothing like seeing and talking to dat person face to face. You cant quite capture the expressions with words or emoticons,but you can really see it when he/she is right in front of you..I had a lovely time dat day
3. Arrive late for my flight..now,this was not my fault or Ismas's..it's the Makcik shuttle 's..we came down and got on the shuttle to the airport on time but she went around God knows where to pick up people eventhough it was out of the way,we had until 4.30pm to do a bag drop before boarding the plane. We arrived at 4.40pm,I freaked out and dramatically asked Ismas to jot down the shuttle helpline,at that moment of insanity I was really thinking of suing that shuttle company(yes yes I noe I went abit psycho)..lucky for us,the flight to Christchurch dat evening was delayed and we were able to checked our bags in and board the plane.
4. Have a guy sing for you..I'm going out on a limb here to admit this but honestly,it's every girl dream come true when you have a guy(with a lovely voice,i might add) belt out songs while ure sitting on the gondola curl up with a warm blanket..we went punting on the avon in Christchurch and my heart melted when da punting guy pull off Pavarotti..it was one hell of a jaw dropping moment for me!
5. Cosy accommodation..it's definitely one important aspect when ure on holiday cause it can either make or break the whole vacation..our accommodation in Christchurch was comfortable and nice..but we got into a less than pleasant situation regarding the accommodation 3 of us had to stay in another place,thank God there was this one place that was available..the room dat we got was surprisingly pretty and comfy..
6.Go to Queenstown..I've never thought that I'd be so lucky dat i'll get the opportunity to witness the lush snow covered peaks,clear blue water and little snowflakes falling on my palms..breathtaking Queenstown,I really fell in love with this place..Honestly before this,whenever I go on trips..I looked at da scenery,da surrounding sight nd say to myself "WHOA..this is pretty"..take a couple of pics and then said to myself,"Now what?""Where's the shopping mall?"..I have to admit i can be shallow at times...Queenstown is the kind of place that u only see on paintings and postcards,not to mentioned in movies as well..think 'Dumb and Dumber'...Aspen,Colorado rite waga buddy?hehehehe
7.Try something exhilarating..a year ago,i remembered i told myself.."I dont think i'll ever get enough nerve to do bungy jumping" when i saw a group of people carrying AJ Hackett bungy pack..fast forward to 7th July 2009,approximately 10.30sumthing am,I DID IT!I jumped 43m from the Kawarau Bridge,icy cold weather..I felt like supergirl for 10 seconds
8.Dolphins+Seals+Waterfalls in one day...We went on a 2 hr cruise at Milford Sound..but the journey there...OMG,it took us 6 hrs from Queenstown..nevatheless i gt ova tiring journey the minute i saw a dolphin swimming behind the boat,all the worry n stress faded.a beauty in simplicity.
9.Learn something new..Ive been working for almost 3 months now but I've neva gotten an 'ice cream' shift..An ice cream shift requires the staff to roll ice cream n make it into a choctop..2 scoops of vanilla ice cream,dipped into melted chocolate..my 1st batch of ice cream was downright hideous but i gt the hang of it halfway thru my 5.5 hr shift..I got 71 choctops from 45L vanilla ice cream
10.Embrace ur inner evil..hahaha..no voodoo or black magic involved,just play "Mafia"..a person who can lie and manipulate other ppl is a sure winner in this game..it's highly addictive,played this game till 4am in the morning,played it again last nite afta we went for karaoke..
I noe da title of this post is kinda lame but wut da heck it's my post,so I can do anything I like*tongue wags*God,I haven't written a post in almost 2 months..and the main reason behind that is my life's been kinda crazy,tests,back to back assignments,the cold and freezing weather,work etc..so,what's been happening in my life for the past 2 months?here goes..
1. I had a blast in Aussie..it's definitely a country dat offers different things for different people...I went to Melbourne,Adelaide and Sydney..My fav is Melbourne(although my financial standing in Melbourne may be a contributing factor)..Melbourne is not as bz or dense as Sydney,but at da same time, it's not as slow as Adelaide..(think goldilocks n 3 bears,she chose da little bear's bed cs it's neither too hard nor too soft,it was just right)
2. I got my pre-order Twilight 2-disc special edition dvd(phew,dat's a mouthful!)..which can only mean Edward Cullen ALL da time..hehehe..he's like the dreamiest vampire ever..evry girl shud hav their own Edward in real life,a hot,caring,sweet guy who's loyal and luvs u very much..but then again,not every girl is as good-looking as Bella Swan*back to reality*
3. Ive watched 3 movies for free this month,"Wolverine: X-men origins","Angels and Demons" and "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past"..all thanx to my staff comps..perks of working,cant wait for Transformers 2 to come out
4. Ive bought a new black bubble jacket..n no,im not promoting my purchase but i am telling u ppl dis..going to a place that snows definitely needs A LOT of preparation..my frens bought sleeping bags(which im soo lazy to buy),thermals,long johns,thick socks etc..3 words: money,money,money!
5. My finals r almost here..n I'm scared..it's my 1st time taking a stage 3 paper n I really have to ace it(it'll be considered for my hons)..I'm also doing 2 logic papers(i find it hard)..but nevatheless,ive gotta work my ass off for them,I have to...Ya Allah,plizz let me do my best
6. I'm soo bored with the food here..it's either pie,fries or Maggie 4 lunch..jst thinking bout it*uwek*but what to do..living in a foreign country makes u appreciate home soo much more
7. I havent finish reading the books I borrowed from the library..this is a VERY rare occurence 4 me,juggling everything on my plate rite nw makes me choose sleep ova read(I used to sleep only afta i finished my book)
8. I stopped watching American Idol..the week Anoop desai got voted off was da last time I saw it..sum ppl might say,u still got Adam Lamberg and the other guys(Kris Allen was d other guy in da finale n he beat Adam,yaaay!)..but Anoop represented ur average guy with talent,n dat makes him special..u make me melt Anoop..(do check out his performance in the finals with Jason Mraz,i luv it)
9. I miss my family,not everyday but it's the little things that reminds me of them..like today,i passed by a chinese restaurant that served dumplings n wantan..back in the day,my parents used to bring our whole family for dimsum on Sundays..i miss dat
10. My friends keeps me sane..im very grateful for having them around,I can tell them almost anything(even if it's lame n irrelevant)..thanx guys
Dat's about it, I think,it's freezing cold now n nature's basically shouting,not calling.gtg
11:56 PM | | 1 Comments
Life really does sneak up on you when you least expect it..it's like when you dig up your pockets before doing your laundry and suddenly*bell chimes* you found the 5 dollar bill you forgot you had..you cant help but do a mini victory dance there and then..it's the best feeling..So many things have happened since my last post,I said to myself:"I really should write these things down,it'll be a really good story to tell someday when i'm old and wrinkled"(hope that's gonna b very far in the future though..haha)..anyway,here's the list:
1. Set up the wireless modem myself..a certain friend of mine even said I was crediting myself for something so easy(waaagaa u)but i did feel a bit proud for it..cause i suck at DYIs,seeing the internet icon turning blue is definitely worth the 3 hours i spent
2. Cook fishball soup in a heater.. the saying "desperate times call for desperate measures" is sooo true..when the kitchen stove was out,I had to get creative(or izit innovative?)..the soup turned out pretty gud that I can safely recommend this method to anyone,hot yummy soup in matter of minutes,try it..hehehe
3. Jog daily...I loathe jogging/running cross country or any otha name people might call this activity,I used to find means and ways to get out of doing it during my school and college days..let's just say im kinda unlucky in the stamina department...but since stamina is part of my 2009 resolution,i decided to give it a go..ill update u guys on my development whenever i can
4. Find almost all the 90's teen movies on youtube and watching them...Those movies were 10 years old,watching them somehow took me back into the exact feeling and scenario when I first saw them,I felt I was young again(not that I'm old now tho)..90's is a wonderful era=no ridiculous hairstyle(eg the mullet) and songs that you can sing along to
5. C0me home from Dress Smart empty handed..for those of who wondering what the heck is a 'dress smart',it's a factory outlet for the supposedly branded goods in NZ(u can get Roxy and Quiksilver merchandise for as low as 10bucks,usually they're retailed at 4o bucks onwards)..Ive managed to control my shopping urges and for that,I think I deserve a pat on the back
6. Spend $17 on a shampoo..dat's almost rm34..I consider myself to be a realistic economist(some of my friends even described me as thrifty..which is sumwhat true at times)but this time curiosity got the best of me..bought the shampoo,my hair's never been better and i havent looked back since(until now dat is)
7. Open a joint account for the sole pupose of managing my house's finances..having a joint account at the age of 22 when you're unmarried may seem odd to some people..to tell you the truth,i was quite excited by the notion..It also made me feel abit OLD..and being old meant geting serious..argh,i hate that
8. Be in five different countries within the period of 4 months..I went to Dubai in january,then back to Bahrain in February,collect my food and hang out with my friends in Malaysia,that was in Feb as well...March marked the beginning of a new semester so I landed in Auckland just in time and today,6th April 2009..Im embarking on an 11 day trip around Australia..I love the feeling when you look out the window of the plane and see the sights of the city ure gonna land on..
9. Get free movie tix every week..getting a post at Skycity cinemas definitely have its perks
10:41 PM | | 1 Comments
1. Get better grades for my maths papers
2. Take up french again
3. Get a job,save more money
4. Do more travelling
5. Learn new stuff
6. Build up my stamina
7. Makes new friends
8. Manage my finances wisely
9. Join the uni debate thing
10. Write posts more frequent
11. Move on, stop torturing myself with empty delusions
11:20 AM | | 3 Comments