Month: March 2012

27

Ignore the Caption, only the dialogue box please!

Of course, 27 is just a number. In fact, beyond school years, I am rarely able to tell you my age without calculating it in my head. My twenties become almost monotonous – age doesn’t make any difference at all.

And today, I, thankfully turn 27.

I told my colleagues – 27 and expecting a child sounds just nice. They agree. But those are too-typical life milestones – getting married, become parents, have a career.

Great people of the past, al Ghazali died at the age of 55 leaving a magnum opus that is read by millions, even after a thousand years. Other great Muslims scholars that I look up to left this world relatively young – Imam As-Shafei was barely 45, while Imam an-Nawawi was only in his fifties – but these two left a trasure proven useful for generations after.

And where does that leave me?

If 50 is the number of year God has given me to live in this Earth, after spending half of it, I am nowhere near to being an agent of change, nor fulfilling my tasks, or fully developing my potential to actually contribute to any good cause.

I might sound too bitter, I agree.

But a change is always necessary – birthdays are always overcelebrated while in reality, we put no effort to live until whatever age we are -it is beyond our control and why should we take credit on it?

It should have served as a reminder that we are getting nearer to the day we are to leave this world instead, and consequently of what action should be taken to make full use of remaining days.

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Review: Pangkor Island

The happy partner. Or so I thought.

The view

Nearing sunset at Pangkor

Hah! See the happy face of someone who hasn't been on a boatride for a long time?

Oh yes, it's Pangkor!

That's him again.

 

I knew  a vacation or even a getaway was not even in our list during that time, but there I was, tired and exhausted with work and overwhelmed with the first trimester symptoms of pregnancy that I asked my husband if we could take some time off and go somewhere nice.

He said yes, and I suggested Pangkor Island.

The truth is I knew Pangkor is not a place that will excite him – he has been there for three times at least and has done most of the activities you could think of doing over there. But me, being deprived of such opportunities – could not be happier.

It was on a Thursday that I asked, and on the Saturday, off we went – that’s how ad hoc this whole thing was!

Some notes on the trip:

Purpose: An ad hoc getaway – pleasure for both of us

Accommodation: Nipah Bay Villa – my Partner claimed that that’s the best we could get given that it was so last minute and now that I left everything to the money-savvy, frugal him – I should not expect anything fantastic.

Duration: 2D1N

  1. The only thing that could be off-putting is the fact that the journey from Kuala Lumpur to the nearest jetty i.e. Lumut took approximately 4 hours. Half of the route was off-highway so it could be a bit boring – and we somehow took the longer way, that’s why it’s 4 hours anyway.
  2. We could have rented a car to travel with on the island, but since we were only there for 24 hour only, and we did not have any plans to go beyond Nipah Bay so we managed without it.
  3. I puked before we got onto the ferry at Lumut, and got my partner worried if I will make a scene once we were on the ferry itself as a combined effect of morning and sea sickness, but thank God that did not happen. The ferry ride was a smooth one and we arrived safely at Pangkor Jetty on mid day.
  4. Nipah Bay Villa – the Partner booked a standard room because the chalets were fully booked except for the one right in front of (or to be precise, connected to) the restaurant. He made the right choice for not taking that one chalet for it will be noisy until midnight if so. In general I am pretty satisfied with the room, given the price – RM100/night and the hospitality was praiseworthy. Could not get the sea view though – it crossed my mind that the new apartments/accommodation next to ours could have been a better choice.
  5. Activity: After getting a short nap upon arriving, we went off to the beach which is a few steps away from the Villa itself. We were not planning for a boat ride or anything, but again, I was tempted with RM50 offer (it was not a discount anyway) to go on a two hour ride around Nipah Bay, stopping by at the small island just in front of the beach, and enjoy our quiet time there until the boatman come and pick us up again. And surely, it’s worth my money! The boatman also stopped by on an area where the fish could clearly be seen, gave us some slices of bread to feed them and there you go, you have a happy lady already.
  6. We asked the boatman to come and get us after half an hour, so that we could have ample time to enjoy the sunset on the small island. I could not remember feeling anything else at that time except that it was such a precious moment – me with the Partner, and a 7-week fetus in my womb.
  7. Dinner: Given that we were bound to eateries within walking distance – actually a nauseous woman’s walking distance – we were happy to resort for a dinner at the restaurant operated by the Villa itself. Seafood is its specialty, but unfortunately, it was the Partner who had to finish everything – thanks to my morning sickness. We had our breakfast the next morning at a nearby small restaurant, would not be a choice of ours if not because there was not any other place within our sight – it was a bit dirty to our liking.
  8. The next morning we went to the beach and the Partner went swimming. And me, though incapable of swimming, enjoy it as much. The waves were just wondrous – I would not deny one bit that I turned to be a playful 10-year-old kid!

Verdict:

I so love Pangkor Island and its blue clear water I would not refuse coming back again!  The fact that it’s not overcommercialised to become the likes of Langkawi Island – nothing overly-priced for local visitors with no advantage of higher currency values.

 

The Baby Scam?

I sometimes read Frugaldad.com, which I find quite beneficial, and now the author is producing attractive infographics.

A few weeks ago he came out with this one, and though some facts used are questionable and might not well fit the trend in Malaysia, some are true – and if you are an expecting parent like me, you might find it a useful reminder – that everyone seems to manipulate the maternal/paternal instinct of providing ‘the best’ to your children to make you spend money on something you don’t have to.

Babies Infographic

Source: frugaldad.com

 

I do not know if along the way of preparing for the arrival of my child, I have actually spent more than I need.

I was at loss of what to buy after listening to my friends on numerous brands that are good and long-lasting and high-quality. All I did was printing a baby item checklist I found on the internet, showed it to my sister (who has a 5-year-old son, so I assume she’d be a better reference than new moms who mostly operate by the principle ‘the more expensive, the higher quality it’d be’ and yet to arrive to the phase where they think ‘I wish I didn’t buy this’) and got her to cross unnecessary items. And that was actually quite a number.

All I worry now is if in 2.5 months time, God willing, I receive a baby in my hand and realise that I’m the furthest thing from being a mentally-prepared mother!

Word-less Wedensday : The Age Gap

Age Gap and Mortality

I am not so sure whether a study that suggests I’d die much earlier because I marry a younger guy made my day or not, but it sure has made me laugh.

Downside of Marriage for Women: The Greater a Wife’s Age Gap from Her Husband, the Lower Her Life Expectancy

Review: Trip to Desaru

The view from my 'workstation' in the hotel room

I think I should start writing some notes on places I’ve been to for short getaways, in case others might find it useful.  Let’s start with the one I’m currently in.

  1. Purpose: A business trip for the Partner, pleasure for me. He was to do some field works in a nearby yard, and Desaru is the nearest place with a decent accommodation.
  2. Accommodation: Pulai Desaru Beach Resort & Spa.
  3. Duration: 2 nights, extended to three unexpectedly, on weekdays.

Some points:

  1. Quiet. Like, really really quiet. Partly because it’s in the middle of the week, but as I was myself overwhelmed with work, I welcome very much some quiet space.  In the evening, if you are thinking of some night activities, you might feel a bit disappointed. The nearest town is Bandar Penawar, which I reckon lives because of the student community of INSTEDT college, is one without any special attraction at night. I’d say Desaru is really, really undercommercialised – maybe in a good way.
  2. Food: Unless you are fond of food served by the hotel itself, I’d say it is relatively difficult to find a place to eat in the nearby town, Bandar Penawar, which is a short distance away. It has a Marry Brown outlet, which somehow acts as savior for me today because I didn’t dare to touch hawkers’ or local restaurants’ food after an attack of diarrhoea the night before. It was not helpful that the menu for room service only consists of seven dishes, excluding beverages. We tried to find a decent place to have ikan bakar the night before and managed to find one in Medan Selera near Taman Tasik Penawar – but that caused me diarrhea, I think.
  3. Beach: Equally breathtaking with any of those you might have seen in Langkawi. It is not advisable to swim currently, due to possible strong undercurrents, yet I still see some attempts to wave-riding. The beach is indeed very clean, at least the one by which the hotel is situated, with plenty of chairs and hammocks for relaxation. Unfortunately it was so hot during the day when I was here, so I only managed less than one hour of reading by the beach on one of the days.
  4. Activities: The hotel listed a number of activities for guests which includes visits and sightseeing to nearby villages and fireflies-watching. I went to Tanjung Balauon my way back from Bandar Penawar today. It has a fisherman museum, and a beautiful public beach, with a food court, but it was a weekday afternoon – but I saw no visitors there except for several monkeys. I supposed there are other tourists attraction, but not in very close proximity.

    Tanjung Balau Beach

  5. The journey: Thanks to the Senai-Desaru Highway, it was a pleasant drive to get here, I think less than 45 minutes from Johor Bahru itself, which means approximately 5 hours from Kuala Lumpur.

My verdict: Do visit Desaru only if you require a very, very, very (notice that I repeat this three times) quiet time.

Would I come again? I guess no. Unless I had some annual leaves to spare and my husband is again on a paid trip!

Verdict on the accommodation: Had to pay separately for Wi-Fi connection, got some troubles with the bathroom and air-conditioning system – otherwise it’s a decent place to stay.

The little kitten at medan selera which chose to sleep on my skirt.