Disneyland, Paris

We become happier, much happier, when we realize life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.

~Mary Augustine~


Disneyland was one of the three theme parks I vowed to go to, and this dream was made true when I went to Paris.

One of the worthy places to go while in Paris.

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Disneyland was a little different than what I imagined it to be. Unlike Universal Studio or Movie World, Disneyland offers more entertainment than rides. As someone who has extreme motion sickness, this theme park suits me the best.

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Disneyland entertains its guests with lots of performances, bringing out all popular characters. It is easy to connect yourself to each of the performance.

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You can also take a train ride that let you experience “real” explosion and flooding phenomena as seen in movies.

After tiring yourself out walking around and taking photos, there’s a restaurant inside the area where you can recharge yourself. I couldn’t remember the name but we had quite nice fish and chips there.

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The fee entrance is of course expensive, especially when you’re paying in Euro, however the experience you got was worth the money.

Night in Paris

Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott

When Paris was set as one of my destinations, the only thing that came to mind was Eiffel Tower at night.

The term “City of Love” has little meaning to me.

To fulfill my wish, my friend booked an accommodation which was within a walking distance to the Eiffel Tower.

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My journey to Paris wasn’t a smooth sailing. Since I was on a budget trip, I decided to travel by a night train hence cutting cost on the accommodation. Unfortunately, at that time, the whole France was on a strike, affecting the public transportation. The train didn’t arrive and I was stranded at the Central Milan Station (of all places!)

It was scary since that station wasn’t a safe place when night comes. I could see that people were being handcuffed here and there. Police officers were everywhere. The station was locked from within so there wouldn’t be any people coming in or going out.

My eyes were barely opened but sleeping wasn’t an option. Desperate to get out of there, I opted to take the earliest bus out of Central Milan Station to Malpensa Airport. I looked for the earliest flight out to Paris and found Easyjet airline which departed at 6 am.

The problem didn’t stop there. I brought three pieces of stuff with me – main luggage, backpack and camera bag. Easyjet only allowed for 1 carry-on. Other commercial airlines would allow me to bring both camera bag and backpack on board, but not Easyjet. Like it or not, I had to check-in my tiny backpack for another extra $$$ which wasn’t cheap.

Finally arrived in Paris, the city of love did not live to my expectation at all. There was no love in the city. People were quite selfish, unlike the people I met in the other European countries. I was pushed when hopping out of the train while dragging my heavy luggage but none of them bother to apologize.

Oh well, at least I managed to visit the Eiffel Tower at night and the view didn’t disappoint me. Absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same about the tower during the day 😀

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Thousands of tourists during the day and the beggars didn’t even give you the chance to take photos. They kept on pressing you on buying their keychains. They just wouldn’t leave you alone -sigh-

Will I go again to Paris? Hmm I might have to think twice ^-^

25th of April Bridge, Lisbon

Being content creates simplicity in life.

~John Heider~


Previously known as The Salazar Bridge, named after a Portuguese dictator.
When his regime fell on the 25th of April 1975, it was renamed to “25th of April” Bridge.

The 27th largest suspension bridge in the world, connecting the city of Lisbon to Almada.

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What really caught my attention was its design that is similar to The Golden Gate Bridge.
As a Charmed series’ fan, I was infatuated when I first saw it.

My cab driver was happily telling about the company that built the bridge, which he claimed to be the same as the one that built the Golden Gate Bridge.

But later I found out that the company actually built the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (not the Golden Gate).

To me, it didn’t really matter who built the bridge. Being able to see it myself, and actually crossing the bridge was enough.

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And to have dinner in a restaurant with the bridge as the background, while witnessing the day turned to night was an awesome experience.

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I’m truly grateful to my supervisor for giving me this opportunity, who fought for my right to get the fund from the university, and of course to the Computer Science department who paid half of the cost 😀

At the Top of the World

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

~John Lennon~


Okay. I was exaggerating a little bit.
It was just at the top of a hill.

Signal Hill.

Still, the view from the top, overlooking the Dunedin city was mesmerizing.
Especially when the sun was about to set.

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A perfect moment to freeze your memory in the form of a photograph.
An ideal place for moon sighting too, though I never took the chance to experience it.

Not just that, I missed the opportunity to trek up the hill.
Had a plan to do so with Maryam but somehow it remained a plan.

Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.
Maybe because I took things for granted too much, thinking that I would forever be in Dunedin.

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Now that I’m far away from the land of the long white cloud, I’m sort of regretting it.

Lesson learned.

Grab the opportunity while you have the chance and never assume that you know your future.

Because you don’t.

Kindness Knows No Boundary

You cannot dream yourself into a character;
you must hammer and forge yourself one.~Henry David Thoreau~

Don’t talk to strangers.
A reminder that was instilled in our mind since we were kid.
I do understand where this sentiment is coming from. Especially in this era, where trust has to be earned.

But what I experienced in Fayyoum, Egypt showed that not everybody shares the same sentiment. There are people who demonstrated an absolute trust towards complete strangers without a drop of hesitation.

We were on the way to Qasr Qarun (will talk about this in another post) when our guide, Thaaqib, stopped at a village that we passed by to find a loo. He simply knocked the door of a random house but was greeted by a friendly family.

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Witnessing the nice hospitality, we decided to ask for a permission to use the loo as well. What awaited us after that was a nice, warm cup of tea.

The kindness didn’t stop there. The family insisted us to have lunch at their house!

We refused the offer at first, but they kept on insisting, and their sincerity made us give in to it. Accepting it turned out to be a blast. We were served with what I could describe as the most delicious homemade Egyptian dishes I ever tasted throughout my stay in Egypt.

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I wasn’t exaggerating when I said the dishes were super yummy!

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The home of the kind family.

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In the end, we could not visit the oasis in Fayyoum as scheduled, but what we gained instead was such a valuable experience.

This whole experience made me wonder – how could someone be so trusting?

I remembered clearly, a long time ago – an old woman carried a basket of snacks, going from one house to another trying to sell them to earn some money. There were times when she would ask for a glass of water. Given her age, it would make sense that she was exhausted from the long walk under the hot sun. Of course I would give her the drink. Even so, there would always be a speck of doubt within my heart.

What if, that was just an act?
What if…
What if…

The high crime rates in Malaysia simply prevents most of us from developing this good quality. Creative con artists are blooming rapidly, causing us to be on high alert most of the times.

Who could blame us for having such a thought?
Still, it would be great if we were able to live in such environment, peaceful and harmonious, with nothing to fear.

One could only dream.

Air New Zealand – One of the World’s Best Flights

To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.

~Franklin Roosevelt~


Just bought my flight ticket to Jakarta this afternoon.
It reminded me of the joy of flying.
Of how much I love flying and traveling to different countries and experiencing a new adventure in a foreign land.

Before this, I frequently traveled to different continents. But since coming back to Malaysia, my savings don’t allow me the pleasure anymore, though my passion never subsides. Hence for two years in a row, my destination would just be the neighboring country.

When looking for a flight ticket, one would normally look for a cheap price.
Me? Not really.

The previous me, I loved flying on different flights.

I flew with Brunei Airlines, Egypt Air, Air Berlin, Easy Jet, Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Jet Star, Qantas, Lufthansa, TAP Portugal, Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific.

With the recent air tragedies, I completely stopped that habit and chose only the best flights. I don’t mind paying a little extra for a comfort travel and a safer journey.

And one of the best flights to me is definitely Air New Zealand (my top 3 are Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific & Singapore Airlines).

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They provide a very good service (and delicious lollies in every flight!).
They always produce a creative in-flight safety video (always in Top 10) – of course the videos are seasonal and you would never get bored with the same video played over and over again.

Most of the airports have super awesome scenery. Take Dunedin Airport for example – an airport in the middle of farms. You can see thousands of sheep upon landing.
The staff – from the check-in counter to the immigration to the boarding gate – are all nice and friendly and helpful. They are rich with smiles.

And I always feel comfortable whenever I flew with Air New Zealand carrier.

Though I’m no longer in New Zealand, I still have the GrabASeat notification sent to my email every day. Talking about being in denial 😛

One day – God willing – am gonna go back to New Zealand and relive all the great moments I have with the airlines ^-^

Women’s Best Friend…

Being content creates simplicity in life.

~John Heider~


Ask me the question and I’ll say it’s chocolate!
Well, at least, it is true for me.

And speaking of chocolate, one of my favorites would be Cadbury, of course, the other would be Whittakers. There is no way for you to live in New Zealand for years and not loving Whittakers!

As a Cadbury lover, if you are in Dunedin, Cadbury Factory is a must-visit place. Not only you will learn how the chocolate is made, but you will also get free samples which are super delicious.

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Cadbury in New Zealand uses butter (unlike palm oil in Malaysia) and that results in the difference in its texture and taste – I guess. If you bring the chocolate back to Malaysia, it will melt in no time 😛

The inside of the factory is designed beautifully. After the tour, you are free to wander around, taking heaps of photos with different backgrounds and buy varieties of chocolates!

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For Muslims, they don’t have to worry much about the gelatine used as the ingredients since they use Halal gelatine. Marshmallow lovers could also purchase the Cadbury-produced product without a doubt.

Even if chocolate isn’t your best friend, this factory is worth the visit!

Will You Jump?

The rose is fairest when ‘t is budding new,
and hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.

~Walter Scott~


One of the scariest things to do, but I did it anyway (though it was ages ago ^-^)
I mean, I was already at the World’s first commercially operated Bungy Jumping Site, the Kawarau Bungy, so why would I miss the chance?

I won’t lie. I was super scared. Will alone wasn’t enough to make me jump from the top of the bridge. The video below was a solid proof of how scared I was.

But I pushed myself to overcome that fear, and I succeeded. Looking back, I was really proud of myself.

Will I bungy jump again?
Hell, yeah! 😀

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This was definitely one of the best moments in my life!

Bye Bye Expedia! You Will Not Be Missed!

You may hate me but it ain’t no lie,
Baby Bye, bye, bye…

~N’Sync~


It took only one bad service to ruin one reputation. That’s exactly my experience with Expedia. Though it wasn’t recently – talking about 4 months ago -, still, it is worth sharing the unfortunate experience.

I used their service a lot while in New Zealand. Never once I had an issue, though I read lots of comments regarding the agent online.

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Last Christmas, I made a last minute plan with my cousin and her daughter to travel to Krabi, Thailand. As usual, I logged on to Expedia website to look for the best deal. Considering myself lucky, we locked on the deal – travelling to Krabi via Phuket. All was sorted, we got our booking confirmation.

On the travelling day itself, we decided to stay overnight at KLIA since our flight was scheduled at 4.45 am. We departed from home early, around 3pm, went to KL Sentral to take KLIA Express to the airport.

Upon check-in, the lady at the counter told us that there were problems with my cousin’s and her daughter’s names. For some reason, Expedia wrote their name wrongly in the system. We checked out the online confirmation, all names were correctly written. I didn’t know how did Expedia screw up, but they did it big time.

Unlike my cousin, whose name was missing one character, her daughter’s name was completely shortened to 4 characters only (out of 3 word-name). She called Expedia to sort out this problem, the agent said he could not do anything so she demanded to talk to the manager.

After a few moments of debating, — he even blamed us for not telling us earlier. Duh! Are you retarded? The problem occured upon check-in, how could we tell you sooner??? — the manager said he would need two hours to fix the issues (like seriously?). So we headed to KLIA, hoping that the matter would be resolved once we’ve arrived at the airport.

Not even half an hour after we boarded the train, the manager called, saying that he could not do it within 24 hours. There were procedures they have to follow yada yada. Again, seriously? You screwed up and you could not even fix it.

The solution he gave? We had to purchase new tickets and guaranteed for a refund.

As a travel agent, he should know better that that was Christmas time, definitely the plane to Phuket (everybody loves to go to Phuket!) was fully booked. At least, what he could do was to explain the situation to MAS, purchased the tickets on behalf of us and not leave us handling the problem ourselves with 1001 uncertainties.

Fortunately, the MAS agents were really helpful, assisting us to solve this problem. It wasn’t smooth, they had to make a lot of calls in between, but they did their best to help.

Expedia? Didn’t even try to assist.

According to the MAS agent, our case wasn’t the first. There were a lot of other angry customers having issues with Expedia.

After experiencing their bad service first hand, that would be the last time used them as an online agent. Not gonna give them a second chance. Nada. Ziltch.

And I’m not gonna put out a nice word about them either. Full stop.

When Obsession Gets the Better of Me

Being content creates simplicity in life.

~John Heider~


I guess by now it’s no longer a secret that I’m an anime/manga freak. Sometimes I immersed myself in the otaku world too much.

One Piece has always been my favorite. Oda-sensei is known to use real characters and places as the basis of his drawings. So when I got the chance to go to Spain in June 2014, I had decided to visit the world that was used as the setup for the current arc in One Piece, Dressrosa.

For those who haven’t known, Dressrosa was based on Park Güell in Barcelona. It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. So as a big fan, I was really eager to go to the park.

But the problem was, I had only 2 and half days to spend in Spain (yeah, it was a very very short vacation). A must visit place for me was the Mezquita in Cordoba. And also I wanted to go to the Alhambra Palace. It would be a waste if I didn’t go there.

After balancing the pros and cons, I decided to go to Granada instead. If I wanna brag to someone, Alhambra would be more convincing than Park Güell, aye? 😛

So I took a bus from Cordoba to Granada. The journey wasn’t really nice because the guy next to me was asleep the whole time. Sleeping was not a problem but occupying my small space and falling to my side each time the bus drove through a corner was not acceptable at all. Could you imagine that I have to push him all the time for 2 and half hours?!! I felt like the most happiest person when we reached Granada bus station, as if I had successfully gone through a terrible ordeal.

On the way to the city, my eyes caught something very interesting – the Bull Ring! I knew straight away what it represented in the One Piece world – Corrida Colosseum. I wish I could stop but I had to follow my schedule.

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I kept on thinking about the ring. Well, if there is a will, there is a way. I really wanted to see the ring up close. Luck was on my side. I finished the Alhambra tour at 4.30pm. My train would be at 6.00pm. There would be more than enough time for me. Since many Spanish could not really speak English, I asked my tour guide to instruct my cab driver to make a quick detour to the bull ring before dropping me off at the train station.

The cab driver just went around the ring so I could only manage to snap the photo from within the cab. Even so, I was happy enough. But does it really worth it? I could not really say for sure. All I knew was if I didn’t follow my heart at that time, I would definitely regret it ^_^.