Archive for the ‘passion’ Category

A picture paints a 1000 words

Posted: January 15, 2011 in mi vida loca, passion

Sitting here, with only the sounds from the TV in the background accompanying me, my thoughts and my heart seem to be working over-time, incessantly telling me to go back to blogging. This forgotten or maybe neglected hobby of mine was once my passion, a place to pour out my feelings, a diary or a journal of sorts.

Photography is another passion of mine, however I need to constantly remind myself the importance of being patient, for a good picture I believe, is captured, when one keeps a clear head amid all the chaos or disorganization etc. As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words”. The photo you capture is self-explanatory, it tells a story of who you are, of your emotion at that particular time. Just look at the photos taken at war-thorn countries. These photographers have managed to capture the emotions of the victims of war, the sadness, the rage, the torture, the face of losing their loved ones, their homes….themselves, or even their identity. Looking back in time, I find photographs as a significant source of history, be it family history or a reminder of how the world has evolved. Who ever would thought that such an iconic building (I’m talking about the WTC) would simply disappear off the face of the earth? How many of you still have photos of WTC in your albums? Any regrets on taking things for granted, in this case, taking such iconic feature of your city or country for granted? I have!

I’ve been up the WTC back in the Spring of 97 @ 98, can’t remember exactly the year. To tell you the truth, my heart wasn’t in it. As I recall, it was located at the Financial District, so as you see, me and business is like like oil and water, we just don’t mix! Thus, the lack of interest in the building’s function, background and architecture. Nor do I have photos taken of it, may it be the interior or a close up of the exterior! But I somehow do have a photo taken from the Empire State Building, you could see the 2 towers standing tall in the background. Well, that was then, for today a different structure takes its place!

People create History, but photos tell a Story. Without them, one may never be able to visualize the scene or to live in the moment. Ahh…the importance of photography and that little or over-sized device you carry along with you, digital or simply the old-fashioned kind….Let’s roll film!

p/s: Don’t forget to pack your camera on your next trip out of town!

Life in Moments

Back to Nature

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Globe Trekker, mi vida loca, passion, Snaps

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

Corals

*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

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?

Time flies … my adventure has ended. What’s left are memories of the very short trip to a foreign land, an escapade of sorts. One day, they may fade but hopefully the memory will etch in your heart forever.

Madrid was great, one of the cleanest places I’ve been to. The beautiful sculptures, monuments and buildings were simply captivating. They took my breath away as there were so much to see and so little time to savor them all! The must-see places include:

Puerta del Sol – shopping paradise, but beware of pickpockets. A guy from the same tour group lost 1000 Euros but nothing else was taken, not even his wallet. Other than that, you’ll enjoy yourself there if you ain’t claustrophobic! In fact, I did not even carry any purse just cash in a secret place ;-P

Royal Palace – be sure to be early as there’s a long queue to enter this huge palace. No photos are allowed to be taken. A few blocks away is the Royal Theatre, where such performance such as the opera is performed.

Madrid is a shopping haven, be sure to bring enough cash or plastic money as I can guarantee that you’ll go shopping crazy here. Items such as handbags, purses etc by Spanish designers for instance Tous can be bought at a cheaper price.

Madrid and Spain in general is a pretty safe place for tourists and travelers alike. I have no qualms of exploring the city on my own at night. In fact, I had no problem walking from my hotel “Hotel Atlanta ” to Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, which isn’t far at all – it may have been a 15 – 30 minute walk.

Madrid by Night

 

2 nights in Madrid may not be enough but we had to continue our journey to the city of Toledo, a World Heritage Site. It was foggy and we were unable to see the beautiful city of Toledo from the hill top. We were then taken to tour Toledo on foot. Pathways were covered with cobbled stones and the forts and buildings still stand strong. Church bells could be heard ringing in the middle of the windy day to signify the time for service. I observe the priest, vicars dressed in black robes enter the doors of the church while the rest of us the tourists and locals enjoy the view and fresh air. After the long walk and many stops it was time for lunch, so we found a great halal place to have a large platter of doner kebab. Umm the crispy & crunchy vegetable and juicy lamb meat sliced thinly in this fabulous flat bread. Every two bites is downed with a sip of Cola to quench our thirst.

Below are pictures of Toledo

Tagus River

Tagus River

An artisan hard at work

A different angle

The city of Toledo

Anybody home?

Take 5

What’s left of the fort

Once we’ve filled our stomach, we’re ready to proceed to Cordoba which is quite a distance away. The journey took us through hills and valleys covered with olive trees all along the highway. We had to make a few pit stops along the way for prayers as well as toilet stops.

Cordoba, a beautiful city known for its architecture, heritage & history. Once a place ruled by the Muslim empire for hundreds of years and finally fallen to the Christian rulers, namely Ferdinand and Isabella. (Let’s hope I got my facts right!) Not much is left of the Islamic monument, nor are there plentiful of Muslim of Spanish origin. Most of them have either migrated or converted to Christians.

Below are a few pictures taken of the interior and exterior of the Mezquita.

The oranges are bitter so no one actually eats them.

No pillar is the same as they were taken from Roman temples and other Roman sites.

Within the Mezquita compound

Alleys and houses not far from the Mezquita

What’s left of the Universidad Islamica Internacional Averroes De Al-Andalus

Our journey across Spain took us to the next city, the city of Granada famous for its Moorish heritage and landmark, the Al Hambra. We arrived in Granada in the late afternoon, took a quick shower and explored the city. Well, actually went last minute shopping for gifts. We’re quite fortunate that there’s a mall close by, the El Corte Ingles.

That night, we had planned to watch a performance made famous by the gypsies living in the South of Spain, the flamenco. The drive to the Gypsy cave was not a long one but we (the vehicle we were in) had to squeeze through the amazingly narrow and steep streets. Thank God for the ever efficient driver, we arrived at our destination in one piece. 😉

The performance was held in a cave-like room, it is a family affair (I don’t know if it includes the grandmother!). I was captivated by their elegant moves and how their feet move following the beat of the music. I could never do that. I must be born with 2 left feet.

He is HOT!

The granny?

Another HOT dude?

Ole!

Muy Bonita

Typical Granada homes (casa)

View from the top

La Al Hambra by night – after the show

That’s enough for the night!

We visited the Al Hambra & Generalife the next morning.

Generalife, a summer palace and garden built during the reign of Muhammad III. It’s situated not far from the Al Hambra and part of the garden is maintained by gardeners. It is best visited during Spring and Summer when flowers bloom. However, tickets are limited as the Spanish government tries to control the influx of visitors into the area.

Our local guide

Generalife & Al Hambra

A view of Al Hambra

After the grand tour of this fabulous landmark, we returned to the city center for lunch.

&

We are about to leave Spain for Morocco but before doing so we had to spend a night in Torremolinos which is a city not far from Algeciras and Tarifa, where we were taking the ferry to Tangier.

It’s time to make a move. While on the road, you could see hundreds of wind turbines.

Port of Tarifa

Punta de Tarifa

Leaving Spain behind ;-(

Adios for now!

It has finally arrived — I’ll be boarding the plane to Madrid via Cairo in a few hours time. Another journey to the world of the unknown, excitement fills me – curiosity builds into a desire to know more. What, when where … all these questions came into mind. They are yet to be answered. For now. But by the end of this 2 week journey, all of the questions will be answered. Most importantly, the experience will hopefully turn me into a more worldly person,  more knowledgeable and appreciative of God’s creations around her.

So, I hope to be back in 13 or so days along with hundreds if not thousands of pictures, maybe a video or two.

The trip to Spain & Morocco will hopefully be fulfilled in early December this year. Down payment have been made today and the rest some time later. I’ve been itching to visit Al-Hambra for some time now. So, I hope nothing will come in my way.

Proposed Itinerary

  • Madrid – City tour of Madrid, Royal Palace & Military Museum.
  • Toledo – City tour of Toledo visits Santo Tome Church and Synagogua Transito.
  • Cordoba – Mezquita
  • Granada – City tour of Granada & Al-Hambra
  • Torremolinos @ Benalmedina
  • Algeciras
  • Tangiers
  • Fez
  • Marrakech
  • Casablanca

What makes it even sweeter is that we will be spending a night in Cairo. Yes, Cairo. I miss the desserts, this time I’ll make sure I’ll bring back boxes and boxes of halva.

Another thing which I had missed was visiting the American Univeristy in Cairo and the Egyptian Museum located at Tahrir Square

So, these two places will be in my list of MUST go places.

Eureka

Posted: January 21, 2007 in culture, islam, mi vida loca, Our World, passion

Ah a great design for us, women who can’t seem to keep away from the crystal clear waters to enjoy a swim or just to relax themselves under the glorious sun. Thank God for the Burqini, we muslim too can share the fun without feeling self-conscious of having to put on those body hugging swimwear @ bodysuits. The Burqini is not ugly (it does actually hide your spare tyres!) and I for one would not be caught wearing swimdress!

Done …

Posted: December 26, 2006 in mi vida loca, passion

and I have the time to myself to ponder about my life & catch up with some readings I have neglected for the past two months. However, I have to do some spring cleaning, in preparation for the Eid Al Adha celebration which is just around the corner, a day before the New Year.

Currently I am engrossed in Pamuk’s beautiful literary works. He has captured the beauty of Istanbul & has really captivated me eventhough I’ve only read a few chapters.

Below are a few excerpts from his memoir entitled : Istanbul: Memories of a City

From Chapter 1 – Another Orhan

Conrad, Nobokov, Naipaul – these are writers known for having managed to migrate between languages, cultures, countries, continents, even civilisations. Their imaginations were fed by exile, a nourishment drawn not through roots but through rootlessness; mine however, requires that I stay in the same city, on the same street, in the same house, gazing at the same view. Istanbul’s fate is my fate: I am attached to the city because it has made me who I am.

Flaubert, who visited Istanbul a hundred and two years before my birth was struck by the variety of life in its teeming streets; in one of his letters he predicted that in a century’s time it would be the capital of the world. The reverse came true: after the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the world almost forgot that Istanbul existed. The city into which I was born was poorer, shabbier, and more isolated than it had ever been its two-thousand-year history. For me it has always been a city of ruins and of end-of-empire melancholy. I’ve spent my life either battling with this melancholy, or (like all Istanbullus) making it my own.

Another interesting excerpt from his novel actually have helped me understand the life, culture & tradition of the Turks. Were they influenced by the west or vice versa …

… there was not a single surface on my grandmother’s sitting room that wasn’t covered with frames of all sizes. The most imposing were two enormous portraits that hung over the never-used fireplace: one was a retouched photograph of my grandmother, the other my grandfather, who died in 1934. From the way the pictures were positioned on the wall and the way my grandparents had been posed (turned to slightly towards each other in the manner still favoured by European kings and queens on stamps) anyone walking into this museum room to meet their haughty gaze would know at once that the story began with them.

… Leaving the library to return to the main room of the museum, stopping briefly by the crystal lamps that only add to the gloom, we find a crowd of untouched black-and-white photographs that tell us life is gaining momentum. Here we see all the children posing at their betrothals, their weddings, and the other great moments of their lives. Next to the first colour photographs that my uncle sent from America are snapshots of the extended family enjoying holiday meals in various city parks, in Taksim Square, and on the shores of the Bosphorous; next to the picture of me and my brother with our parents at a wedding is one of my grandfather posing with his new car in the garden of the old house, and another of my uncle posing with his new car outside the entrance of Pamuk Apartments.

I find there are some similarities between the Turks and the Arabs and I guess one must have influenced the other but am not sure which one. Both seem to have very close ties between their families. Extended families live in the same building, each branch have their own floor or unit.

Highlander, maybe you could help me here!

Ottoman Empire, 1299–1683 – Wiki

What a Girl Wants

Posted: November 18, 2006 in in style, mi vida loca, passion, shoe addict

“What a girl wants
What a girl needs
Whatever makes me happy sets you free”

crooned Xtina @ Cristina Aguilerra

 

What I want and what I need are new pair of shoes and I didn’t expect to buy two of them! 🙂

 

So, I got myself two pairs of stilettos. I don’t go for any other type of shoes as I physically do not have the height. So, flats are a No No as I would feel like a dwarf amongst giants.

 

Not all will feel comfortable in them, the feeling of instability will arise for those who are in uncharted waters. Surprisingly it is, (comfy that is) plus it’s elegent & sexy and looks good on you if you dream of long & sexy legs!

 

Stiletto uno

Stiletto uno II

Stiletto dos

Stiletto dos II

Have you got a sweet tooth? I have. I’m addicted to these yummy, creamy, substance no matter the shape or form. Yup, I can even have it for breakfast. Yikes, that reminds me, I need to step on the weighing machine (that’s what most women do, weigh themselves & see if they’ve actually gained a kilo or lose more kilos!)

Lately,I had an uncontrollable desire to savor the bitter sweet taste of dark chocolate. Must be all the reading I’d been doing. I’m not saying I haven’t been doing any reading before, more of light reading then! Since exams is just around the corner & papers to be returned, I’ve been using more of my cognitive skills than before! So the past few days I have been eating a bite or two (3 bites of my kek batik) daily as I believe chocolate empowers brain power. It’s funny while enjoying & lusting for more chocolate, my brain keeps telling me to stop, enough sugar already! Would you want to die of diabetes? That’s unfair, can’t I enjoy the moment peacefully.