Monday, August 31, 2009

. . . wasssaaaa-bi . . .


somethings i never get tired of... :P

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

. . . surviving ramdhan . . .

assalamualaikum

hmm... 5th day of ramadhan. another 25 more days to go. oh shut up, you're counting the days as well. let me guess, ur head hurts... feel dizzy.... stomach is growling non-stop... your breath stinks... etc.

well thats part of ramadhan. lucky enough for me, surviving ramadhan has always been my favorite. restraining myself from all the usual needs (and i do stress that i do refrain and restrain myself) is not that bad. trains me more on patience. i have so much, i'm starting to see a halo on top of my head as well as white fluffy wings behind me :P

i think we do have to agree that having early breakfast or sahur isn't normal for us. its so hard to kick up an appetite while your body is still in sleep mode. hence, some people would do it after the terawikh prayers. actually you could have 'extra points' on having your sahur after waking up but yeah, i don't blame others coz its not easy waking up early. then theres the part of cooking. i don't like doing that too early coz it does not only annoy the hell out of me, other people in my apartment i think won't appreciate the noises i make. hell, i try to fart under the sheets most of the time... (too much info?).

so after my first experience of ramadhan last year, i modified my habits for this month... i had to do serious calculations to since the fasting times are way off different from last year (next year would be worse...). last i checked the dawn prayer was at 0455hrs and the dusk prayer was at 2031hrs. so imagine the length of time and patience we endure here in Swiss.

hence my schedule is like this;

wake up around 3-3.30am, just brush my teeth and wash my face, drink plenty of water (coz thats what i usually crave during the day), have a meal thats just enough for my tummy to handle, have a couple of sweet stuff too like chocolate (i really need sugar most of the time, normally i would get a loaf of bread and some Nutella... just the thought of it now makes me drool. urgh)... then finally the dawn prayer. sometimes i could sleep a bit after that before going to work.

when the break comes at dusk, i try not to gobble everything down at a nanosecond. i tend to take my time. the most perfect step is to drink water and have some sweet stuff (maybe a few pieces of sweet crackers), do the dusk prayer, then have the full dinner. for me, food would always consist of a good ample portion of rice and one portion of a side dish whether it be meats or veges. for this month i would concentrate more on skimming the oils. which means more soups and veges for me. i know it sounds terrible but hey, like i said, restraining myself. nothing is easy... and nothing is impossible :) i would also leave some food for the sahur so that i won't have to cook again in the morning. i try to eat slowly and not exceeding my limits (the usual procedure would be eat till u cant breath or move... which is astoundingly stupendous).

so far so good. i have not terrorized my tummy after following such strict schedule. it works and i am happy. oh yeah, since there is a wide gap between asar and magrib prayers, i use most of it to nap and rest my body since during that time its the most critical where my systems begin to lockdown on food or water. even looking at a picture of an ice-cold lemon tea, sweating its coldness outside the sides of the bottle with the effect of icy water and ice splattered around it seems so inviting. yes, i do a heck of a detailed explanation when i am hungry. arent we all?

wassalam

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

. . . marhaban ya ramadhan . . .

assalamualaikum

the time has finally come where every muslims refrain from doing what they desire at most. eating and drinking... (the latter wont be mentioned).

yet another year i spend my time alone without loved ones. how i long for sitting down for sungkai with my two adorable and lovable parents. i miss the times when we fight over who gets food first. miss my mom screaming at the top of her voice calling me and dad to the kitchen. miss the silence as we indulge ourselves with the glorious food that the Al-Mighty has given us. i pretty much agree that i do feel lonely without them.

for now, i can only make them proud for living alone as well as cooking for myself. i have no doubt with my cooking skills which are averagely poor but yet i remain strong till this very moment.

to all muslims around the world, ramdhan al mubarak to you all. may Allah bless you always in your search for his forgiveness in this holy month. amen.

wassalam

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

. . . Happy Birthday Mama! . . .

assalamualaikum

although i am afar from the loving arms of my mum and dad, it has never faded my love for them and it never will for as long as i breathe.


i dedicate this post to my wonderful and beautiful mother, Husnah Bte Hj Damit who has always been the push that makes me move! she has been patient with me for all the time that i know and she has indirectly given me numerous supports that i know that no amount of money or items or other things can repay for the ups and downs she has endured just to see me where i am right now. and for the record, i am happy that i am in debt with my mother because i will never cease to love her so much... and so much more, forever and infinitely. I LOVE YOU MAMA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA! Mudah-mudahan umur panjang badan sihat, rezeki luas dan diselamatkan Allah sentiasa. Iboy sayang Mama! (^^,)

wassalam

Monday, August 10, 2009

. . . carouge tourney . . .

assalamualaikum


for the second time around i participated in the 6th Asian 8-Ball Tournament at Centre Carougeois de Billiard and to no surprise i made it to the second round (i was skipped on the first round coz there was no player against me... and i came a bit late) and did not win at all. i managed to win at least one out of 7 rounds playing against James and lost 5-nil to Yoshi. yes, i need to sharpen my skills up more... Jerry and my guru, Joseph were kind enough to let me in on some training whilst waiting for the champion.

top from right, Ken and his brother Nukul
seated, Jerry and the Saint

wassalam

. . . fete de geneve . . .

assalamualaikum

didnt stay for long. fireworks only start around 1030pm. besides i can see it from my apartment window. well its not comfy or clear enough for enjoyment but then again it works for me. i cant stand the infinite crowds walking by and i aint wasting hours looking up till my neck cracks. its beautiful though. u can hear everyone saying 'ooohhhh ahhh' over and over again. the very interesting part is the delicacies that await along the lake. you would have a number of choices which may cause your cholesterol or blood pressure rise to kingdom come. but its all great. for muslims, as always, your best bet is the kebabs or you can spot a lot of vegetarian food as well. oh and do go for the candy :) try the churros!




i hate clowns... they scare me :(


as young as i may be, i think i've done a fair share of going up on rides or roller-coasters. i just dont have too much space in my excitement department :P and i persist to remain sane as well as TO BE ALIVE for quite a while. but i do miss being that young and naive. u just wanna try everything. if it doesnt kill you, you'd find other ways of suicide... eh? or was it, it makes you stronger? eff it.

wassalam

Thursday, August 6, 2009

. . . amsterdam 01-03 aug part 2 . . .

i have no doubt that the people in Amsterdam never sleeps. the only time i realise everything was quiet was when i woke up for dawn prayers, say around 4 or 5 in the morning. but a few minutes after that, came the bustling noises of motorbikes and honking cars. had to wake up early for prayers and also beating everybody to the shower/toilet. a good exercise in the morning :P i was kinda hoping that since we went out early we could be the first in line for the museums but i realised most of em open by 10 or 11am. then again the tikets were too expensive for me at that point of time and i didnt really wanna waste my time going thru all the exhibitions. i wanted to walk around and sightsee the city... as well as eat a lot :D

the dungeon... was too afraid to go in :P

statue of Anne Frank

i'd suggest buying some groceries from the stores and bring it back to the hotel for breakfast and late night snacks. i myself eat once a day and alhamdulillah i manage to cut down the expenses from buying too much food or souvenirs. i'd say i could finish all of Amsterdam within a day, just simple sightseeing, eating and walking around as well as getting some souvenirs. actually 3 days is more than enough from any holiday you take. for me, its all good.



the Palace...

i do suggest of placing your bags at the station since its very safe and guarded by security. u could hire a box for like 4 or 5 euros (but you can only use maestros or cards, no cash since its machine operated). our hotel's checkout time was 11am and our flight was at 8pm. so we had loads of time but we had to bring out our luggage. hence we used the boxes. not bad. for 24hrs it costs 4-5 euros... more hours, more charges. i think it goes up to a maximum of 72 hours.

its will also be great to come during the summer since everyones out and about. but its just the crowd that i dont like. alleys are small and millions of people are trying to cross it. i had to physically shoved myself in an alley just to try and get a souvenir...

so Amsterdam is crossed out in my list. next could be Budapest or Athens... any places that would pop in my mind (and not forgetting on how much there is left in my wallet)

wassalam

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

. . . amsterdam 01-03 aug . . .

assalamualaikum

a 3 day holiday was what i really needed after all this time. finally got a chance to travel european countries for the 3rd time and alhamdulillah it looks fine from my point of view. theres stil a lot of places to go however with the money i'm earning, i gotta spend wisely and slowly. but insyallah i intend to cover all the places in the future ahead.

anyway, the trip to Amsterdam was great. although i spent most of the time breaking my legs n back walking around town, it was a well taken opportunity. for what i can remember in one day we walked for about 10 hours or so. it was one hell of a workout. at one point i couldnt feel my legs or feet or anything under the belly button... ;P


Fatih Camil mosque

after an hour or so flight from Geneva, we arrived at Schipol Airport around 8. to those who dont intend to shop till u drop, i do suggest to bring a duffle bag or a backpack. its lighter and easy to carry around rather than use one of those bulky bags or the ones with rollers. plus u wont have to kill anyone who can trip over it whilst u go walking around. hahahaha... quickest way to town was of course with the train which will cost u like 3.80 euros, one way and takes about a mere 5 mins (provided the train doesnt stop, which is only like 15-20 mins trip. easy-simple). we kinda effed up our bearings when we arrived at the amsterdam centrum (city centre?) but u could prevent that by previewing the maps from the internet before you arrive or simply go to a mag store and get a small fold map. amsterdam is quite small but can be very tricky with all its winding alleys. but give it a few hours, you'll get the hang of it pretty quick. i had many debates on my colleague on finding the roads and our hotel (urgh).

the Quentin Arrive Hotel (no, it doesnt have any affiliation with quentin tarantino) was about 5 mins walk from the station, Harlemmerstraat street if i'm not mistaken. i don't really care of what the street is called coz one, i cant pronounce dutch that perfectly and two, i wanted to lie on bed everytime i first check into a hotel. not a bad place. i read several reviews saying that the hotel sucked big time but hey, what do you expect from a budget hotel?


the Dam Square is filthy in the morning...

a bit about the hotel. situation is just ok. 3 mins tops and you'll enter the real centre where the shops are. you'll find some cafes, bars, restaurants as well as a grocery store nearby. doesnt have bed and breakfast but you could order some coffee and crackers from the front desk. hotel staff are really minimal (i saw there were only 3, one at the reception, another vacuuming and the other cleaning up toilets) and their attitudes were very... ok. the toilets and showers are shared on each floor, so you have to fight for it if there is a need to poop or pee... and shower. rooms are small an cramped. dont expect any cable tv or any special treatments. no lifts, small and steep stairs. not really sound proof. towels are provided (if lucky) that should give you a bit of a view on how the hotel is... to me, its good enough if you are a cheapskate like me :)

cramped space...

Amsterdam is not that different from Paris. drivers are not as crazy though. streets are filled with the smell of urine and marijuana, which is legal of course. and no, i didnt take any coz i prefer to remain clean and sane :) not very hard to find halal restaurants. frankly i see that they have lots compared to Geneva. most of them are Turks and Indians. i wouldnt recommend the chinese-indonesian since they also serve pork. souvenir shops are easy to find. a few steps and theres another one and another one and so on... if you plan to buy some, scout every souvenir shop you can find and compare the prices. i didnt do that so i ended up buying two pairs of shirts which cost me like 25 euros whereby you can find similar t-shirts for only 5 euros a piece. but hey, i'm still happy with it :) food is way more expensive than Geneva and Paris but they come in very big quantities. for those who are weak on walking, you can always rent a bike for a day or so. didnt check on the fare but expect it to be way averagely bearable. you can cover most of the places within a day. i recommend the musuems, the Dam Square, Chinatown, the area in front of the train station, flower gardens.

one thing i found out from my observations throughout my holiday in Amsterdam. all of them are there for 4 things. Tolerance, Marijuana, Red Light District and live-your-life-to-the-fullest-when-you-are-young mindset. the first 3 being the most popular. also another that i might point out, the places that you really want to avoid... you can't avoid them. you will one way or another end up being there. which is the Red Light District. i wont touch too much on that subject.

frankly i didnt visit many of the destinations and skipped a lot of them coz either they were too expensive to pay for or just plain far away. i really wanted to go to Madam Tussauds (21 euros per head) as well as the parks. but no worries. its nearby so i can travel anytime i want provided i have sufficient amounts :) language is not a problem at all. go to anywhere you want, english is widely spoken.

to be continued...