Friday, June 22, 2012

Nigella Ali and The Muses

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Among those close to me, I am synonym with my camera. During the vacation in Pangkor Island, Di, Lina, Tiqa, and Yani even called me Nigella. Not because I was like the beautiful chef, Nigella Lawson. The nickname was inspired by the fashion photographer, Nigel Barker. 

The supermodels shot by Nigella Ali? Her muses, of course. Di Klum, Lina Lima, Tiqa Banks, and Yani Vodianova. 

Ultimately, we simply craved for more fun in the sun. So, we went loco under our alter egos' personas. And, it was funtabulous!


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21 Again, and Again

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The Pangkor Island travelogue continues. The first part here. The second part here.

After breakfast, Di, Lina, Tiqa, Yani, and I planned to register for island excursion, organised by Pangkor Island Beach Resort. We looked forward to one agenda during the three-hour trip: snorkeling. Unfortunately, the earlier rain affected the sea condition, thus a change of plan. 

We opted to venture out of Teluk Belanga instead. The first destination was Teluk Nipah, where our sense of adventure was challenged. Heh.

The story:
Among the long stretch of chalets, shops, and restaurants was a little eatery which served seemingly delicious calamari curry. The eatery was fully occupied, but, the owner assured that another place next door allowed us to enjoy lunch at the vacant table as long as we ordered beverages there. It only sold beverages anyway. To our dismay, the owner of the other place did not allow food in the premise. No wonder it was empty. Plates full of rice and calamari curry in hands, we walked back to the eatery. It was still fully occupied. The owner sympathised with our sad story, and immediately ushered us to the back of the eatery. That second, we glanced at each other, with similar thought, 'at the back of an eatery, where customers were usually unwelcome'. A number of steep steps later, we were seated at a poor, worn table. Why oh why did we stay, you asked? There, in front of us, lay a small bay, shaded by exotic trees, and traced by exquisite sea. Never mind the earlier incident. Such scenery was worth it. After all, the calamari curry was delish.

A stroll along Teluk Nipah afterward. The sun scorched. The breeze kept us cool nevertheless. 

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For a brief tour around the island, we rented the same van that brought us to Teluk Nipah. The next destination was Teluk Gedung, where the Dutch Fort remained. More revelations of history at Pangkor Gallery. The five of us, inspired by the new knowledge, created our own treaty, Perjanjian Pangkor II. It mainly revolved around Instagram.

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On the way to the following destination, we saw a lot of villages. The buildings were not only small, they were also close to one another. Therefore, we were amazed with the dramatic scale of Fu Lin Kong Temple, Sungai Pinang Besar. Beautiful. The only scene that marred the raw beauty of the island was a hill of waste, visible from a main road. Its bad odour, spread kilometers away, worsened the problem. Relevant authorities, please manage the waste properly.

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An odour that we did not mind though was the one of processed seafood. Some bought kilograms of chips, while some bought packets of snacks. Our mutual favourite was a dried sweet and spicy squid. Addictive, enough said.

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The island tour was brief, but great. Back at Pangkor Island Beach Resort, we continued to enjoy the dried sweet and spicy squid amidst our endless conversation. A siesta followed. 

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Early dinner on the last evening at Pangkor Island enabled us to appreciate the buffet. Better still, we secured a table in the open, with unobstructed view of the beach. As usual, conversation flowed until Di stopped to point at the break of dusk. The start seemed to be full of dreams.

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In the end, the dreams came alive. Contrast increased, colours brightened. A ray of light seeped into the sky one last moment as the darkness cast its shadow on the hill, across the sea. A spectacular farewell for the evening.

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Dinner over, Di, Tiqa, and I walked to Puteri Dewi Spa to indulge in its treatments. How my body, mind, and soul thanked the masseur's skills. The five of us concluded that spa is a priority for our 2013 vacation. Indeed, we talked the night away with more dreams, more memories, more of our stories.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Teluk Belanga at Dawn

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I will be eternally in love with dawn for its power to awaken every sense within me. In Pangkor Island, despite a late sleep time, I was already on my way to the beach at 6:30 a.m. There was a hype of activities in the resort, but, it was quiet at the beach. Apart from me, there was only a couple whose feet touched the last rolls of waves on the shore. 

I did notice the short shores around the island as my chums and I were driven from Pangkor Jetty to Pangkor Island Beach Resort the previous day. Yet, the one at Teluk Belanga, where the resort was, stretched a long way from the grass strip opposite the pool to the sea, as seen at dusk. During high tide that dawn, the sea was actually shored by the grass strip. The view mesmerised me.

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I have witnessed one of the most beautiful dawns in my life. This, was beauty in its all simplicity. Instead of a burst of vibrant colours, the dawn at the bay blended purple and blue against the sky, as reflected by the sea. No sun either. Just its light, lent to the moon, which brightened along with the day. Phenomenal. 

In the end, it drizzled. I returned to the room, camera full of photos of the dawn at Teluk Belanga. Truthfully though, even sans the photos, with God's will, I will always remember each single detail. 

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21 Again

June has been a month of escapades for yours truly. On the first week, a circle of chums and I found ourselves being 21 again on an island. On the second week, Kamal and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary at an ideal place.

Time to document them here. To begin with, here are photos and a mini travelogue of the first day of the first escapade. The day five ladies turned 21 again.

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The escapade began early 2012 with text messages between the aforementioned circle of chums. Not all of us could be a part of the vacation due to other commitments. Those who typed "yes" found ourselves in a state of disbelief, followed by a sense of delight, when we eventually reached Pangkor Island Beach Resort. 

As Di, Lina, Tiqa, Yani, and I refreshed ourselves with lunch at one of the restaurants within the resort, Pacific Terrace, we reminisced the chronology of the escapade. From the first text messages, to the countdown, to the moments Di and Lina gathered at my place a night before the journey, to the road trip that traversed Bandar Baru Bangi - Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport - Sungai Buloh R&R - North-South Expressway towards Bidor - Lumut - Pangkor Island itself. 

I did mention we became 21 again, didn't I? No husband, no children. Oh, we surely missed our loved ones, but, we also treasured the personal time with each other. Even the way we divided ourselves for the two rooms brought us back to those days as young, absurd, undergraduates. "Lat tali lat tali tam plom!" 

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A note on our reservation. We initially decided to book two rooms at the garden wing, each with two single beds. One additional single bed for one of the rooms. The package included buffet breakfast and buffet dinner at the resort's Hornbill Restaurant. 

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To our surprise, our rooms were upgraded to ones with two double beds each. A good excuse for one of the rooms to be the place where we talked the night away, eh. That happened, yes.

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Back to our first day at the resort. Bags unpacked, we made our way to Puteri Dewi Spa. How we enjoyed the walk from one end of the resort to another. Being tucked away at a secluded bay, the resort was surrounded by luscious greenery and exotic beach, all unspoiled. Complementing the landscape was the spa, a fusion of traditional features throughout Malay Archipelago. Two of us chose to experience the spa after dinner, while the rest opted for a different session the next day.

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Afterward, we further explored the resort. Places perfect for photography were marked. Activities provided by the resort were noted. Top on our 'to go to' list then was, definitely, the pool. Out of the two pools, we plunged into the one that was smaller, with less people.

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What we did in the pool for two hours: swam, talked, posed. Thereupon, we made a pact to have such a holiday annually. A holiday during which we simply relaxed and connected with each other. Hopefully, more chums will be with us next time. 

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The five of us mastered the art of leisure that very evening. We were conscious of each breath, each laughter, each conversation. We appreciated each detail of the nature. We lived for each moment indeed.

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Most of all, we were just being ourselves. Just being each other's chums. Just being in the now. 

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Post dinner, while Lina and Yani were being pampered at the spa, Di, Tiqa, and I lounged about at the beach. I posted a photo on Instagram, and the caption read "gaze at the stars, listen to the waves." We truly loved the serenity.

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Di bade "sweet dreams" earlier than Tiqa and I as she would love to be awake as early as 5:00 a.m. The two of us also found ourselves on our respective beds, only to sleep two and a half hours later. We talked and talked, and laughed at memories. When Lina and Yani joined us at midnight, more memories were spilled. Great ones that made us who we are today. 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Seven

7th Anniversary

Seven years of love, Alhamdulillah.

The card was created by yours truly, inspired by the stated sources:
Glitter textures by Julee San at deviantART
Jewel accents by Katrina Tan at Pugly Pixel
Chandelier by Jean-Marc Fray at Jean-Marc Fray

Always

Happy Daddy's Day!

Happy Daddy's Day!

A day late for a wish here, but, isn't every day a daddy's day?

Love, Khalish.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sleep Tango

Sleep Tango 1.
Sleep tango in Rembau.

My heart and soul say "write, write, write." The reality is, I can't now. There are things to pack for my little family's impromptu mini escapade. Meanwhile, here are photos of Kamal and Khalish's sleep tango, which never failed to make me smile. Have a feel-good Friday, phenomenal people.

Sleep Tango 2.
Sleep tango in Bangi, and Khalish smiled during the performance.
Photos: My Instagram

The Dearly Missed

Khalish and Uqaiel.
Uqaiel and Khalish.

Apart from Kamal and both sets of parents, I rarely telephoned other people. Neither did I send text messages. A thing I wish to change. Therefore, I started with a person whom I dearly miss, whom I regard as my sister. Oh, she happened to think of me, too. At least, we communicated telepathically, eh. I hope to meet you and your family soon, Liz. Not to forget, the Herbalife family. 

Khalish at Kelana Mahkota.
Khalish, being pampered by Uqaiel's papa.
 

Congratulations to another dearly missed friend, Fadzil, for being a President's Team Member. Oh, the excitement. Happy birthday, too.

Fadzil and His Mother.
Fadzil and his inspiration behind the success in Herbalife business, his mother. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You and I: Reflection

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Alhamdulillah, I am blessed with great friendship. 

Those friends are from various circles. Nevertheless, their differences, intertwined, define my universe. Every day, the moment I greet them, I see myself.

The more I know them, the more I know myself. 


Friday, June 08, 2012

A Day Before

A Surprise by Daddy.

A day before Khalish spent a part of the school holidays with the maternal grandparents, Kamal constructed letters, machines, and figures from Lego. All for the boy's Art Shack. The man did so while the boy was asleep. Imagine the boy's surprised look the next day. He loved every single creation, of course.

A Date with Kamal.

A day before I went to Pangkor Island with my close chums, Kamal postponed a work commitment just to have a date with me. Like Khalish, I was surprised. We chose to walk at Central Market. A brief walk it was, yet, we knew that such moment would always be meaningful, regardless of time.

Mine, His, Ours

His Favourite.

Khalish and I had a mother-and-son day last week. It has been ages since we last did so together. Just the two of us.

Initially, it was meant to be a hunt for items I needed. Khalish had a different idea though. He simply wished to be out and about with me. Eventually, the boy's wish was granted. We walked and dined, and walked and dined. 

Shared.

Remember that I was supposed to shop for myself? Of course, I did not manage to, no matter how hard I tried to squeeze a space for my needs. Came tea time, he was the one who ended up with a paper bag. 

Lego Here, Lego There, Lego Everywhere!

In the paper bag was a new set of Lego. Oh, how he begged me to find a place where those blocks could be enjoyed. We came up with one design after another, for two hours. The only time he was able to sit still. Yes, he has been mischievous throughout the day. There were innumerable things to try, thus a higher level of excitement. Hence the mischiefs.

Kharchie.

I did share with Kamal that Khalish was a handful outside. He was calmest at home. Kamal then asked, "do you want to be out only with him again?"which I surprisingly answered with a "yes" because I loved to discover more about my son. That day, I discovered that he liked Archie. 

Daddy, where are you?

He also showed me another side of him. The patient alter ego. He braved the crowd in the commuter on the way to the mall. He did not mind the long wait for daddy late in the evening. A total contrast to the rest of the day. I was thankful to experience both sides of him. He was simply thankful to be with me.

The hunt for items I needed actually succeeded. I realised, above all, it was him that I needed, and I had fulfilled his need for my company. Vice versa. What was mine was his. His, mine. 

Kin Kin.

On a similar note, the next day, I discovered that, apart from an interactive Tintin application on iPad, Khalish loved the book as well. 

Photos: My Instagram