As Promised…Girls Out & ABout: Japan March 2008

Travel is more fun when it’s with your good pals 🙂

My travel Buddies
Sakura - Cherry Blossom blooming at Ueno Park
UENO: I'm so in love with takoyaki
Metro Station in Tokyo
H A R A J U K U - Japanese boy in Traditional attire
Newly Weds
All dolled up!
Asakusa: great packaging
Kaminarimon, Sensōji, Asakusa
Asakusa: shrine
Tokyo tower
Close up but didn't climb up!
Shinkansen from Hakone to Tokyo

This post will be updated frequently, thanks to my gal pals….had kindly requested them to pen a few words about our trip to the Land of the Rising Sun….


Back to Nature

Living in a concrete jungle surrounded by “civilized” beings at times can be a torture. So, where do you escape from the dog eat dog world out there? Well, it’s back to nature in search for tranquility & fresh air. If you feel the need to do some soul searching, I’m sure you’d be surprised to find out there are actually a number of interesting @ unheard of places (for an ignorant local, like me) for you to do so.

If you love the waters and can’t stay away from the fishes, do visit Tioman Island. I find the water crystal clear and the view breathtaking. Go ahead & pack you scuba gear or snorkels and jump into the sea to capture beautiful photos of schools of fishes swimming about. Just beware of what you step on! I don’t recall seeing jellyfishes but there are some sea cucumbers.

Group Trip to Tioman Island back in 2000/01
Underwater view

*What’s left of my Tioman photos, will have to search from more, somewhere….*

For those of you who crave for some adventure, go mountain climbing @ hiking. My first experience was an excruciating one. Gosh, you couldn’t imagine the torture I went through climbing Mount Nuang! It was an all day affair. It took us 7 hrs going up & another 7hrs going down. We didn’t expect having to reach based that late, so some of us didn’t in fact bring our torch lights. One who did, lost it in the stream! So, we had to make do with our cellphones to guide us through! Thanks to the lads for having the patience with us gals!

At the start of an excruciating journey
It slowly start to be...a little....challenging
Watch out!
This is the way UP!
Short break....oh yeah
Break again
What a View!
Is this the way to the top?
We finally reached the Peak!

If that wasn’t enough, try going to Mount Datuk! It didn’t take us that long, but it’s no easy trip up either! This time we decided to build camp near the top of the mountain. That night it rained heavily, we just hope that our tents wouldn’t collapsed or sliding down the rocks in our sleep! So let’s see the journey of ours through the photos below:

A lil Background
Getting ready....
We can't help it....R&R
The joy of reaching there
Proud to be at the top
Look at that view
Some crazy dude
At dusk
Another CRAZY Dude, the next morn....
That's the way down, guys...enjoy the view

And, finally our trip to Bekelah Falls

The RED Team....Long Live LIVERPOOL..can't help it!
Group pix again
...and again...

You couldn’t imagine how many times we had to stop to rest due to lack of exercise, energy, low sugar lever & the extreme HEAT!

nearly there
this is one....
group photo once more...say cheese...
Another one for the camera
the beauty of nature 1
Beauty of Nature 2
our camp site among the rocks

All photos courtesy of Kojak. Author of Utara Selatan Timur dan Barat

New Week, New @ Fresh Start

It’s 7.34 in the morn and still eerily quiet except for the occasional sounds of colleagues coming in or going off to God knows where! In search for something to fill their empty tummy, perhaps?

Anyway, it’s nearing the end of the month of June. Oh how time flies, it’s already mid year! Argh….(imagines herself pulling her very short hair!!)…What have we achieved so far? Pray tell!!

I’ve got a few things which I’ve to settle by today (Reminder: Stop procrastinating!)…and am hoping that we’ll get to attend this so-called tea-party at one of the Teaching Centers, right here in city center…umm actually at the outskirts of the city center, to be exact! So, I brought my camera, just in case…to capture those important moments in our lives….(it’s for documentation, actually!)

So, I’m definitely looking forward to that to make it a good day!

World Cup Fever! NOT!!

Ah, we await no longer for it’s finally here. I should be jumping up and down, filled with joy watching fit men in colored jerseys running after a sole ball from one end to the other attempting to make their own HISTORY! However, I’ve lost the LUV for footie fever. It hasn’t been the same. In actuality, I don’t favor any team/nation. I actually am, let me humbly admit a LIVERPOOL FC fan, but I haven’t been a loyal one this past year. I haven’t been following their games or news as it frustrates me to see them struggle this season. I started to lose faith when LFC decided to let Xabi Alonso go. I believe he is an influential player. Look at him now, he is playing for the national team. His time at Liverpool & his natural skills has caught the eyes of the national coach etc. That was not the only reason for LFC’s downfall. P.O.L.I.T.I.C.S is the major culprit. It doesn’t help, when you over power others.

So back to WC’10, it’s been a lackluster event so far. (Maybe it’s just me, as you age beautifully you start to lose the interest in some things like FOOTBALL!) I don’t know how the others see it. Tell me! But it’s no secret that I’m rooting for Spain, the reasons being I LOVE Spain because of its vibrant culture & beautiful people. Yes NOTHING to do with football. Although I used to follow Real Madrid, until I lost interest once again. I want Spain to win, Torres, being a LFC player, to win and Fabregas to win just because he is HOT (that’s just a dumb reason, but who cares. You’d have to admit that he is one gorgeous dude!). I may root for Spain, but I doubt that they’ll reach the final. I guess it’s going to be an ALL South American FINALE. Do I need to mention the teams? I think not!

As you can see, or guess by now that I’m not much of a footie @ world cup fan. I guess I’ve been more of an F1 fan these days, McLaren to be exact. McLaren all the way, no matter the driver racing the fabulous race cars! I’m praying that this year will be the year for McLaren although they’ve got a tough fight in their hands in the form of the Red Bull team. RB has been totally transformed, all of a sudden they’ve been performing real well, grabbing the pole day in and day out. Must be the water they’re drinking (pun intended)! Hopefully, McLaren will have some surprises in the bag! I do hope to catch the 2nd street race of the season, tonight @ Valencia, Spain. Ahh, Spain again…& not because of Alonoso, Fernando Alonso…shish!

Spain…once more…..sigh! What’s with me & Spanish men? I don’t have an answer to that! =)

Talking about Spanish men, there’s one in action in the land of the Queens. Yes, it’s Rafael Nadal, reigning Roland Garros Champ (his 5th title) & former Wimbledon Champ (’08). He’ll be fighting / raging like a bull to win this years grass court title. It’s not impossible for a Spaniard to that at the least favorite court. But Nadal has proven it wrong. He has done it & will aim to win many more grass court events! Vamos Nadal!

So with so much sporting events in the calendar, should I be blamed for my lack of interest in the World Cup?

What’s Going On?

Yes, I know I’m guilty for neglecting my digital abode. So, what’s the cause @ who’s to blame?

Darn, this isn’t going to be easy. How long has it been since I last jot anything down, in this humble blog of mine? Has it been a year? How time flies!? So much has happened in the last 12 months or more. I’ve left my teaching post for a DESK job and has been left thinking whether it was/had been a good move. Obviously, there are the UPs & DOWNs of making such a life turning decision! Should I weigh the GOOD & the NOT so GOOD, should I share it with you here? Maybe NOT, each and everyone of us will have to make our own decision, what ever it is we will have to make the best of it…it’s a learning curve! The decision was mine, thanks to the little nudges from Mom & Dad =)

So enuf pondering of what had been @ should have been!

Life as it is at this far away place is kind of how would you say….similar to F1 season! Do you get what I mean? We have this in and off season, at times you’re BUSY like HELL, you’d be sitting there praying to god that he’ll give you extra hours to KILL! Loads of work but so DAMN little time to accomplish ALL. When that happens, I lose my appetite, what more SLEEP! You’ll know when I’m feeling DOWN, forget make-up…that would be the last thing on my MIND! But I GUESS, every job is like that. Nothing comes in a silver platter…I know that how it has been for me, I’ve never had it easy. Although, some may find it had to believe! I worked my heart out, poured it all out to reach here. I went through all the blood and sweat and at times tears, to be where I am today. I know my ranting may cause some uneasiness to some of you out there (at work). But, it’s just me! I’m sensitive & emotional…sometimes I do spit out something without thinking, and regrets it a second later….that’s how fast my tongue & my brain works! So, do forgive me for such a self-centred act!

Yes, my life can be a BITCH, but I have to admit it does bring some joy…especially when you’re given an opportunity to develop yourself…I for one have to admit that there’s so much to learn, in fact education is a lifelong process. Learning does not stop once you’ve received your scroll, it goes on and on till every breath has been squeezed out of your soul! It comes in various forms, hands-on, trial & error etc. I think I’ve gone through all.

Anyway, I should thank God for the beautiful gift he had presented to me, my 2nd trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. I was fortunate enough to be selected to attend a 10 day course organized by MEXT. It was an unforgettable experience, as this was a first for me, to attend a course abroad with colleagues/fellow programme officers from Asia.

That’s where I met these beautiful people:

Our 1st Lunch Date =)

Visit to ACCU, Tokyo

Welcoming Reception
Nara School Kids
United Nations University (UNU), Yokohama
With Prof Kato


I should thank the Japanese Govt for sponsoring us and for being such a great host. We’ll definitely make use of what we had learnt through out our stay there.

For the past year and a half, so much had happened…friends come and go, but I do cherish those friendship I’ve made along the way. I thank you all for the guidance and your patience =)

P/S Humm…sorry for not keeping my promise, I may have shared my UPs &’s unintentional, REALLY!