Wednesday, December 18, 2013

25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years by Bijal Patel

Dear Diary,

Came across this in Facebook, thought of sharing it here even though I'm not at 25 years of age

1. Do not try to change someone. Date someone for who they are. Either like their qualities, or find someone whose qualities you do like as-is.

2. Learn to love yourself before getting into a relationship. Don't be in a relationship for reassurance of how pretty you are. You'll never believe it.

3. If you love someone, tell them, whether it's your significant other, family members, or friends.

4. Spend more time with your parents. As we get older, so do they.

5. It is okay if you are not in a relationship, even if everyone else around you is getting engaged and married. Do not settle just because you think you should.

6. Do not wait for retirement to travel the world. Do it while you are young and mobile. Who knows if you will be alive for retirement?

7. Bad days do not last forever, neither do good days. Learn to handle the situation during the bad times and cherish all the good times.

8. Do not plan your life out according to a time table. You never know when life will throw a curve ball at you.

9. Each person that you've encountered with in your life has played some type of role which you have grown as a person. Do not forget them.

10. Do not stress over situations in your life that cannot be controlled. It's easier said than done, but it's something to learn to handle as young adults. Life is never going to get any easier.

11. Do not compare your life to the lives of others. You will never be happy.

12. Make a conscious effort to be less materialistic.

13. Learn to be at peace with your natural beauty rather than caking yourself with makeup. It's okay if you have a pimple on your cheek, no one is perfect.

14. If you have a job that pays enough for you to pay your bills, be grateful for that job.

15. If you're making more than an average person, help those that are less fortunate than you are.

16. Social media is great, but don't invest so much of your time on it.

17. It's nice to actually call or send a birthday card to your loved ones rather than a text message or Facebook post.

18. Take care of your body. Sign up for a marathon, or run for a cause that will help those in need. People always complain that races are expensive, but if you can spend that much at a bar, why not contribute to a good cause?

19. Talk to random people in social settings. This will make you a more well-rounded person, and chances are good you'll make a new friend, too.

20. Failure just makes you stronger. You'll be able to say you've experienced rough times that made you into who you are today.

21. Learn to make your own decisions. It's good to ask for advice from your peers, but at the end of the day, learn to take the risk on your own terms.

22. Try different foods from different cultures. Respect the fact if someone is a vegan, vegetarian, or meat eater.

23. Who you were at 20 doesn't define who you are at 25. Your mentality changes as you explore more of life.

24. There's a time and place to be drunk. Learn from those embarrassing nights. Professional settings may not always be an appropriate place to imbibe.

25. Love what you do for a living. Not everyone loves their job, but this is the time to figure out what you are passionate about. Take the risk to try something new.

~ taken from Thought Catalog

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Dear Diary,

Jom amalkan....

"Barangsiapa memperbanyakkan istighfar, nescaya ALLAH memberinya jalan keluar dari setiap kesulitan dan memberi rezeki dari segala arah..." [HR Ibnu Majah]

Friday, December 13, 2013


Dear Diary,

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

So, dance until your feet ache,
laugh until your side hurts,
say I love you to those you love.
For tomorrow may never come.

* Quoted from Precious Family Forever

Friday, November 29, 2013

Live Life and Let Loose

Dear Diary,

Received this email some time back, thought of sharing it here...


A friend of mine opened his wife's underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package. "This" he said, "isn't any ordinary package."

He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box. "She got this the first time we went to New York, 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put in on, was saving it for a special occasion."

"Well, I guess this is it."

He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died.

He turned to me and said, "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion."

I still think those words changed my life.

Now, I read more and clean less. I sit on the settee without worrying about anything and just relax. I spend more time with family and friends and less at work.

Money is to be spent not saved. I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through.

I no longer keep anything. I use crystal glasses everyday. I'll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it. I don't save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.

I go out with my friends whenever I want to rather than thinking I don't have the spare money or time. The words 'Someday...' and 'One day...' are fading away from my dictionary. If it's worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now.

I don't know what my friend's wife would have done if she knew she wouldn't be there the next morning, this nobody can tell.

I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends. She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. She might have told everyone how much she loved them. I'd like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favorite food.

It's these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come...


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dialect 3

Dear Diary,

As I'm now in my home town, I thought why not write another post on Kedah dialect. Let's learn new words...

LA - now (sekarang)
AWAT - why (kenapa, pasal apa)
DAN - in the nick of time (sempat)
AYAQ - water (air)
HABAQ - tell, inform (khabar, beritahu)
LALU - have appetite to eat (selera untuk makan)
CELUIH - fit nicely (muat)
LOKOIH - thoroughly wet (basah lencun)
KETEGAQ - stubborn (degil)
LIGAN - chase, run after (kejar)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My First Son is 9

Dear Diary,

When I look at you, I cannot believe that you're already 9 years old. Has it been that long? You've grown son. In a couple of years, you'll be in your teen years. How I wish you can stay as a kid forever.

Among your siblings, you test my patience the most but you also teach me a lot. Being a mother to you, I learn to be a better person. A child is a huge responsibility from Allah. I always pray that I'm able to lead us both to Jannah.

If one day you read this post, I want you to know that no matter how hard or how usual I scold you and how long I nag you, it's all because I love you very much. I only want the best for you.

Whatever it is, I am always here for you in your happiest moments and darkest hours.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Some Words to Ponder

Dear Diary,

Life is short, live it.
Love is rare, grab it.
Anger is bad, let go of it.
Fear is a mind-killer, face it.
Memories are sweet, cherish them.

* Quoted from Precious Family Forever

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taking An Unexpected Break

Dear Diary,

When you thought that nothing more could go wrong, something did go wrong. My precious laptop is at the repair shop now. It has not been operating well for some time already. My instinct told me it was just a matter of time before it kaput. Last week, it hanged many times and just went blank. The last straw, it cannot find operating system.

To make matter worse, all my pictures and blog drafts are somewhere in there. Yup, I didn't save them elsewhere. Meant to do it but oh well no use to cry over spill milk right.

This is only a small trial. Thank you Allah for this opportunity that taught me to reflect positively.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Drive Around Ankara, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

The next morning, we woke up early feeling fresh and looking forward to seeing more of Turkey’s wonders. At the same time, we mentally prepared ourselves for another day full of activities. Our 6th day in Turkey began with a long drive to Ankara.

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is the second largest city after Istanbul. It is divided into two sections, namely old and new section. In the old section, visitors can roam and marvel at ancient buildings on narrow winding streets. While in the new section, modern buildings, shopping malls, government agencies and foreign embassies are located. For more information on Ankara, please click here.

Sharing more pictures of Ankara… antique shop
...spices, nuts, dried fruits
...row of shops in the old section of Ankara
...a copper shop, i think

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Traditional Dances at Altinocak Restaurant, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Our fifth day in Turkey was pack with activities from early morning up until middle of the night. After a pit stop at Pasabag Valley for taking pictures, we went back to our hotel, refreshed ourselves, dined scrumptious buffet dinner then we gathered at the lobby for another activity. Remember our lunch at an underground cave restaurant, Altinocak Restaurant. That night after dinner, we went to the restaurant again. This time not for culinary experience but for cultural and folklore shows.

Light refreshments of mixed nuts, fresh fruits and Turkish Delights were served to us. From the listed shows, I was looking forward to watching Sufi whirling and belly dancing. Whirling dance was the first performance. There were two male dancers. One of them looked very deep in trance. It seemed as if he was hypnotized and was in another realm. It was surreal. For more in depth info, please click here.

Next, we enjoyed several upbeat traditional dances. The performances were lively and pleasurable.

As the night grew longer, our eyes were droopier. We were up from before dawn and we were dead tired! Furthermore, the kids started to act up. In the middle of the show, all of us unanimously agreed to call it a day. We longed for our beds and rests.

By going back early, we didn’t get to watch belly dancing though. Lucky, I already watched it at Colossae Spa & Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pasabag Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

We didn’t stay very long at the underground house in Cappadocia since we had a tight schedule to follow. Before heading back to our hotel, we made another photo stop at Pasabag Valley. In Turkish, Pasabag Valley means General's Vineyard.

Subhanallah was the first word that I uttered when I laid eyes on the landscape. Pasabag Valley, also known as Monks Valley, contains some of the most incredible fairy chimneys, with twin and triple rock caps. There before my eyes standing tall was pillars of rocks (fairy chimneys) with cone shaped black stones (rock caps) on top. These fairy chimneys are called mushroom shaped fairy chimneys. It seems like some magic hands work wonders by placing all the stones fittingly in place.

Volcano eruption and later erosion shaped this landscape to what it is today, a natural process that took million of years to materialize.

Betapa besar ciptaan dan kuasa Allah

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tea Drinking at a Local House, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Not only we visited an underground city and lunched inside an underground cave restaurant, we were also welcomed into a local house (an underground one). This is an actual underground house with people still living in it. What an experience!

Pathway leading to the house
It was a simple house with minimal furniture and adornment
A heater in the middle of the living room…very useful during winter
The hospitable owner who has 2 children
Nice, hot tea
Zarra and Irfan enjoying their teas. Nak jadi cerita si Irfan dah bagi tumpah teh tu ataih carpet yang tuan rumah tu hand made. Masa tu rasa nak ja meresap masuk dalam tanah. Malu weh!

Hand made crafts by the landlady (bought few items....dah anak bagi tumpah teh kan)
Can you spot all the hanging grapes?

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's Irfan's Birthday Today

Dear Diary,

Today is Irfan’s birthday. He’s 3 years old. Let me tell you a bit about my youngest son…

He’s one cheeky boy. Among my three children, he is the only one who likes to tease people. He likes to smile but don’t fall for his smiles because he’s also very garang. He’s very close to me. Wherever I am, he’s there like a shadow; maybe because I raised him from baby without helper unlike his brother and sister.

He started talking much later than Imran and Zarra at around 2+ years old. At first, he talks gibberish. I’m the only one who understands his “language” though there are times I myself had no idea what he’s trying to say. Alhamdulillah, in the last two months his speech has become more comprehensible. His sentence construction is also better. Lately, he seems to talk non stop. This is very different from his younger self who was quieter.

He always offers to help me with chores and always like to participate in what his elder siblings are doing. One more thing, he’s very neat and quite particular in arranging things.

MUHAMMAD SYAHIR IRFAN – My prayers are with you always. May you grow up to become a soleh son who brings happiness to people around you. May Allah bless you with good health and good life.

I love you always!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blue Art Center, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Stuffed with delicious foods and done with lunch at an underground cave restaurant, we hopped on to our tour bus. Ibrahim, our quiet driver, drove us to Blue Art Center.

Blue Art Center is a jewelry production center, located in the heart of Anatolian region. Assorted types of jewelry are produced here using gems such as turquoise, lapis, emerald, amber, amethyst, onyx that come from all over the world.

A representative of the center briefed us on their products. All female member of our tour group were ecstatic, me including, listening attentively to the explanation given. Girls being girls kan.

Turquoise is a very important stone for Turks and plays an important role in their lives traditionally.

In the end, I didn’t get anything. Too expensive la, better I buy 916 kan :-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Altinocak Restaurant, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nov 2012

Dear Diary,

Having experience moon-like landscapes at Uchisar Castle,Pigeon Valley and Goreme Open Air Museum, we were all geared up for our next unique experience.

Destination: Altinocak Restaurant

Description: An underground cave restaurant

For lunch, we devoured bread with soup, salad, rice with fish and pudding.

For a while there, we got to experience “living” in a cave.

Address: Yeni Mahalle Hasankalesi Mevkii Eski Tuz Yolu No. 95 50500 Avanos Cappadocia. Website: