21 October 2020

Life | Just Because

Assalamualaikum. μ•ˆλ…•

It's been a while. Again. Lazy mode struck in right after I finished my last entry (which was 8 months ago?). Let's just say, I couldn't find the momentum to update this site let alone to scribble an entry. It's always the 'something came up soon after I thought I'm in the mood to blog'. Same lame excuses. Gotta find a new phrase to replace that I guess. 

Anyways, I went back to Malaysia few months ago (early Mac) mainly to renew my visa. Because of the pandemic, I self-quarantined myself for 2 weeks upon arrival in Malaysia. Was supposed to be back to Seoul few days after completing the quarantine period but things went completely opposite as to what I've planned. Indeed, Allah is the Best Planner. 

Hence here I am today, back to my hometown. My ever-beloved Double K City. I got to go back after 3 months (plus) stranded in Kolumpor due to the Movement Order Control (MCO) & Conditional MCO. I celebrated my Eid Aidulfitri with my first cousins (whose tickets to balik kampung got cancelled). 

Initial plan was to go back to Kota Kinabalu end of March (after my 2 weeks quarantine). Because of the MCO, I purposely cancelled my flight ticket. Although I can apply for permission from the authority. I just don't wanna take the risk. I think that's the best way I can do to help curve down the virus' spread. 

2020 indeed is a year full of surprises. Who could have taught Malaysian most awaited Vision (Wawasan) 2020 would be in such way. I remember back then, we associate the image of flying cars filling the space & skyscrapers along with this Vision. Semua serba serbi maju. Gadget melantun-lantun canggih. Just like what we saw in the movies. Robots are created to assist us; human in daily chores (contoh). 

Alas, those imaginations / dreams cuma mampu kekal dalam kotak minda jaklah kan. Kapal terbang pun 'susah' mau terbang let alone car. Skyscraper tu oklah ada sudah terpacak few. Reality, memang jauh dari apa yang dibayangkan. 

It's been months since I last boarded the airplane; to travel. Last year Allah bagi rasa puas-puas. Every 2 - 3 months, naik kapal terbang & menikmati suasana negara orang. This year, Allah suruh 'rest'. Bersyukur sebenarnya, at least I have memories to cherish. Sudah pernah menjejak & merasa. 

Bab kes makin naik, TMCO, EMCO, itu ini...aku memang avoid to discuss in public. Lagipun dari bebel benda yang tidak contribute apa-apa, baiklah diam. Jaga diri & orang tersayang jak, easier that way. 

Ndak tau apa motif suddenly feeling the urge to log in this site. Pastu siap published new entry kan. Sebenarnya baru mau panaskan enjin. Niat mau sambung cerita my China Trip (yang sudah bertahun berlalu itu) tapi hard disc tinggal di Seoul. Semua gambar aku sudah transfer pi dalam tu, maka terkuburlah impian. 

Maybe akan update cerita trip Europe 2019. Tu jak yang masih dalam folder handphone ni. Insha Allah, soon. Harap tidak menjadi malas untuk kesekian kali.

Soon ok, soon. Wassalam.

eryantierdahabdulkarim

24 February 2020

China Day 10 - Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie

Assalamualaikum. Ni Hao!

Stay safe & practice the best hygiene level everyone; as the attack of covid19 hasn't shown any sign of it to cease for now. Be aware of any warnings / reminders from the government. Do not ignore them nor take lightly. 

May this catastrophic ends soon. Amin, amin Ya Rabb. 

Previous post here.

21 Jan 2016
Zhangjiajie, Hunan China

Alhamdulillah slept soundly the whole night. Langsung tiada lawatan pi toilet di tengah malam. Pagi bangun awal & lepas breakfast ala kadar di bilik, off we went out. Today itinerary is the highlight of our stay in Zhangjiajie. Purposely stop sini pun sebab memang mau pigi tempat ni. 

Initial plan was to go to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park where the movie Avatar was filmed. But because it was too complicated to go (according to our planner; Ms Jea), we chose Tianmen Mountain National Park instead. Ndak pa janji mountain kan. Mau 'hiking' via cable car katanye.

# Some shops we passed by while walking from the hotel to the cable car station.
# Jangan disangka Zhangjiajie ni pekan kecil ah, tengok jalan raya diorang 6 lanes ok
# Cable car station 
# As usual, datanglah awal mana you can never beat the Chinese standard of awal. 
# Best reached by cable car; and so cable car we chose. 
This ariel tramway ride is the longest in the world. It takes about 30 minutes for over 7 kilometers. And I only found about this fact after I got back to Malaysia. Biasa orang buat research prior a trip, but it's vice versa for me. Hmmm

Admission Ticket : CNY 225 (RM 134.00 per pax)
Fare Inclusive of : Return Cableway, upper escalator between Tianmen Cave & mountaintop

# So are we suppose to crawl or run then? Ok kidding.

Queue ndak lah lama mana sebab sibuk bercerita. Sambil cuci mata tengok orang tapi ndak bersih mana pun mata hitam ku. Gituuu. Masuk dalam cable car together with 4 other Chinese. So both me & Jea kawal diri dari tunjuk excited melampau. Ala, macam Namsan cable car jak bah ni. Berlagak kan dua ketul Malaysian tu.

# Ni sudah ascending sikit so view pun start foggy
# Getting closer to the upper cable car station 
# Upon seeing this, mulut both Jea & I sudah start nganga. Bergoyang lah cable car tu dikerjakan 6 ketul hamba Allah who cannot contained their happiness anymore
# What greeted us at the upper cable car station. Kau rasa??

Subhanallah. Endlessly thanking Allah for what He bestowed upon us that morning. Something we did not expect we will be getting. Sebab di bawah tu kan still clear, tiada tanda bakalan snow pun. Biasa-biasa cuma gitu. 

Sampai atas....automatik rasa macam kena humban to magical land. Kalau Narnia masuk closet, yang kami ni naik cable car. 

# Tengok tiang cable car pun lawa gila time ni
# Eternal gratefulness 
# Gorgeous
# Selalu berangan dapat shot macam ni. Snow covering the branches
# My Narnia kinda imagination; Allah makbulkan. Alhamdulillah
# And this is only dunia. Imagine heaven
# Cantik nian
# Tangga ni lah prime witness orang tu jatuh terjelepuk
# Posing selepas tergolek dog di tangga itu. Susah kalau perangai kanak-kanak Ribena ni. Pfftt

I don't know how to express how thrilled I was upon getting down from the cable car. Dalam cable car tu pun sudah menggelinjat. Apa lagi bila sudah menjejak ground. Truly in fantasy land!

Just so you know, winter has always been my favourite season. Even before I got to experienced winter myself. Gitu level kepoyoan aku kan. Hence it was of no surprise I acted like a little kid upon setting my feet on the snowy land. Joyous enough to landed myself on the flight of stairs. Dalam melompat happy + wow endlessly, suddenly gedebuk. Seketul nangka telah gugur. Luckily no one was around except us two. Ndak tau lah kalau ada yang camouflage as tree kan. Duh!

I guess I better stop now. Will continue next entry.

Till then, wassalam.

eryantierdabdulkarim

18 February 2020

China Day 9 - Jingmen to Zhangjiajie by Train | Halal Food in Zhangjiajie

Assalamualaikum. Ni Hao!

Previous post here.

20 Jan 2016
Zhangjiajie, Hunan China

Our train from Jingmen (departure time: 732am) departed on time. Kali ni memang sengaja pilih hard seat (yang memang locals selalu opted) sebab perjalanan ndak jauh. Jea & I agreed to only buy hard seat ticket for journey less than 5 hours. Itulah cara paling berjimat & efficient for us. Alhamdulillah, memang berkesan. Banyak dapat jimat.

View along the journey was awesome but I was too lazy to take out the camera. Getting an aisle seat does have its own disadvantage (sometimes). Ni memang bukan aku pilih seat, auto assigned. Jadinya, tabah. 'Pinjam' tingkap orang seberang untuk menikmati view. And sambil cuci mata tengok jiran seberang seat juga. Ehem. 

But the funny part would be the locals expression the moment we entered the train. Semua macam berkelip non stop; terpesona tengok dua ketul alien jelita naik carriage marhaien. Gitu assumption si Err. 
Hard Seat (2 pax) : CNY 163.00 (RM 48.50 per pax)
Destination : Jingmen - Zhangjiajie 
Duration : 4 hours 15 minutes
Bought from Ctrip

# Sempat snapped view yang ni jak. Boleh lah dari tiada 
# Seat adalah 3+2 (we got the 3 seats). Ahjussi bertiga ni duduk depan kami *tu yang cuci mata tengok jiran sebelah*

Dalam sejam journey, datanglah train attendant tolak cart. Jual food & drink macam dalam AirAisa tu. Both of us still ada bekalan bun so we didn't buy anything. Kenyang cuci mata jak si Err sebenarnya. And masa ni juga merasa pengalaman inspected by police officers; on the train. Sebiji macam dalam C-drama oii. Kalau ndak silap ada 3 CIDs, masuk each carriages & randomly checking on passengers & their luggage. Sampai row kami, diorang passed by jak. Sebabnya malas mau complicated-kan keadaan yang bakalan berayam-itik aku rasa. Yalah kami jak pun aliens dalam gerabak masa tu. Punah harapan tau. Walhal both of us sudah ready mau tunjuk our ID.

# How our carriage looks like from outside. 
# Train platform at Zhangjiajie Railway Station
# Foggy morning 
# Fog welcome our arrival
# First thing first; cari hotel. 17 hours train ride haruslah masing-masing lemau mau mengangkut anak gajah
# Mall / shoplots along the way to our hotel

At first memang a bit surprised upon seeing the town. Ingatkan pekan koboi kecil jak kan. Sekali tengok. Eh complete ada mall, apartment tinggi melangit, double lane road. Terus ketuk diri sendiri, tulah akibat ndak buat research awal. Masuk second leg of the trip, memang kerja si Jea arranged semua. From purchasing train ticket, to hotel booking, to places of interest, directions etc.

# Passed by this restaurant before reaching our hotel. Terus perut berkonsert

Memang mencabar iman betul tiap kali lalu depan restaurant. Harus perut bergendang buat konsert. Lagi gila bila perut lapar, and hotel pula hilang dari radar. Turned out, Jea hasn't figure out the exact direction to the hotel. She only jot down the information given by the hotel in their page in booking.com. We're already in the right neighborhood just that we didn't know which building. Pula tu semua bangunan tinggi-tinggi, signboard pun haruslah dalam Pinyin. And kami tiada internet to contact the hotel. To make thing worst, Jea saved the address in English but the hotel name in Pinyin. Masalahnya, both of us read NO Pinyin. Huwaaaa

Masa ni memang sikit jadi naga. Sebab ngantuk, penat, bag berat....and lapar. Elehe, haritu hotel di Beijing pun kau salah jalan Bie oii. Walhal masa tu direction lengkap tapi kau yang ndak fokus. Ngek. So aku pun suruh diri bertendangtenang. Benda ndak settle kalau jadi naga, and hotel ndak akan suddenly appear before you. Aku pun jalankan tugas as assistant. Travel berdua kan, walau sudah agih tugas since beginning...kau kena main peranan juga bila benda begini jadi. Sebab kalau kau tetap harap yang sorang jak mencari, dengan kau-kau sekali lah berpusing in circle. Silap-silap sampai malam pun ndak jumpa hotel. Pfftt.

We stopped by at few hotels, tried to ask the location to our hotel. Ada yang awal lagi geleng laju, some did try to help but because the address was in English therefore they cannot help much although ada nama hotel. Too many hotels jadinya diorang memang lah tiada kerja menghafal nama each hotels. Sikit lagi mau give up masa tu, mau cancel & walk in any hotel. Tapi sebab sudah bayar depo, by hook or crook kena jugalah cari. Maka bermula lah sesi membanding ejaan nama hotel yang kami ada with the hotels name on the signboard. Gigih ok periksa each signboard. First time in life, aku try baca Chinese characters. And alhamdulillah, Allah bantu musafir dua ketul ni. After nearly an hour searching...we finally found our hotel. 

Characteristic Topic Inn (Theme Topic Inn)

Room Type : Standard Twin Room 
Date : 20 January - 22 January 2016 (2 nights)
Price : RM 187.00 (2 pax)
Booked via booking.com
Nearest station : Zhangjiajie Railway Station

# If only ada nama hotel in English, senang jugalah kerja. But yeah, thing happened for a reason
# Lobby area
# Counter / reception area
# Common area

Berkat sesat barat tu, perhaps bagi more time to the housekeeper to clean our room. And although we arrived earlier than the check-in time, we're allowed to go to our room straight away. Alhamdulillah. Boleh lah regangkan segala urat yang tegang. Masa ni pun mood masing-masing sudah kembali normal. Adat bermusafir. Level sabar / darah naik turun.

# Sebabkan hotel ni kan ala-ala bertema katanye, we're given the English Theme room. Puas hati sebab katil besar wei, instead of twin room (single bed)...it's a twin room (queen bed). 
# As per Jea, ni jaklah kot yang ada ciri English. Apart from the pictures hang on the wall above our headbed. 
# Clean & spacious bathroom. Kali ni tiada glass window or frosted glass macam di Harbin & Xi'an

Pastu sajalah gatal tanya one of the staff if we can have a look at other room. Kunun mau bilik selain English Theme tu. Dasar kan sempat lagi perangai gitu muncul. The only room available is the Hello Kitty room. Ok, masa ni aku sudah berbunga sebab bilik pink. But when he told us why he didn't give us the room; we immediately agreed to just stick to our current room. I forgot what the reason was but it was enough to make us changed our mind. It has something to do with the bathroom if I'm not mistaken. Was it outside or was it clogged. Yang penting, laju dua ketul tu ndak jadi tukar bilik. Padan muka, jadi cerewet lagi.

# The Hello Kitty Theme room. Comelnya lahai dinding pink, curtains pink. Bukan rezeki

Lepak sejam dua, settledkan apa yang wajib i.e solat, makan, mandi; barulah kami keluar lagi. Kali ni misi beli train tiket to Fenghuang. Kami cuma stay 3 hari di Zhangjiajie. On the way tu memang disajikan dengan view orang berjualan makanan tepi jalan. Cuci mata jaklah tengok. Sambil telan liur. Memang sudah set dalam kepala, no halal food di Zhangjiajie.

# Oh makanan! Kenapa perlu non-halal? Gitu soalan aku sama Jea masa ni

On the way to the railway station, sudah ditentukan rezeki kami...we saw this small shop with Halal sign. Green signboard memang landmark kedai tu owned by Muslim. Allah jaklah tau macamana melompat keriangan kami petang tu. Automatik rasa lapar semula. 

Pagi tadi dari train station kami memang guna laluan sama untuk pi hotel. Macamana boleh missed kedai tu? Ish, memang mainan perasaan betul. Tapi apa pun, Allah sudah bagi nampak. And memang rezeki kami dapat makan di sana. 

# Entrance Zhangjiajie Railway Station. Belah kanan tu area yang kami keluar pagi tadi (arrival hall)

# Lepas discuss train fare & type of seat bagai, Jea jalankan tugas beli tiket

Sudah dapat tiket, ke mana kita? Oh yeah. Mestilah destinasi terpenting; kedai halal. Walau kecil jak kedai ni, besar sumbangan sama musafir macam kami. Tiba-tiba emosi kan. 

# Memang patut ndak perasan pun, sebab al-kecil. Tersepit di tengah gitu
# Macam biasa, mau order kalu...tunjuk jak menu di dinding. Or if berkenan menu orang yang tengah makan tu...tunjuk bowl orang tu
# Muka orang happy tunggu order (belum tengok happy yang behind the camera tu macamana kan). We decided to have it tapau-ed (take away).
# Dinner. Seriously sedap gila as the noodles were freshly made upon order

Syukur. Dalam risau kebuluran, rupanya wujud kedai halal di Zhangjiajie. Kenyang melantun dinner malam tu. Terus pandang sepi maggi & segala buns. Tapi sempat jak aku supper dengan bun malam tu. Forever perut tong drum.

Before tidur, aku sempatlah membebel bilik tu extra sejuk. Pastu siap boleh dengar orang lalu lalang berborak di jalan. Katil aku tepi tingkap, clear sangat lah segala bunyi nan bising tu. I can deal with the noise but not the cold. Pastu aku pun selak langsir, rupanya si Err bijak bestari lupa tutup tingkap. No wonder lah sejuk semacam. Pasrah jak Jea dapat travel partner extra bijak macam si Err.

Both of us tidur awal that night. Penat masih bersisa gitu. Kena simpan tenaga sebab the next day mau hiking katanye. Begitu penyakit mau hiking bagai masa winter. 

So where to us the next day? Next entry.

Till then, wassalam.

eryantierdabdulkarim

15 February 2020

China Day 8 - Xi'an to Jingmen by Train (En-route to Zhangjiajie)

Assalamualaikum. Ni Hao!

Previous post here.

19 Jan 2016
Xi'an Railway Station, Xi'an China

And so dari Terrocotta Museum balik hotel naik bas lain. Not as cosy as the one I took earlier that morning. Journey pun macam lagi lama (longer route). Apapun, selamat sampai hotel before check out time. Alhamdulillah.

Jea pun sudah ready when I got back.  And she had half-recovered from the mild fever. Double Alhamdulillah. Lepas aku packing lebih kurang, off we went to the train station. Before tu sempat singgah bank & withdraw duit sebab poket si Err makin nipis. Pinjam kad Jea, I didn't bring any card with me (hatta IC pun). Bijak kan??

Hard Sleeper (2 pax) : CNY 512.00 (RM 152.00 per pax)
Destination : X'an - Jingmen
Duration : 13 hours
Bought from Ctrip
# Xi'an Railway Station
(please take note, the station for bullet train from Beijing is different)
# Tu dia anak gajah, sikit bengkok badan si Jea
# Haritu sampai Xi'an awal pagi, so tiadalah keinginan mau ronda station. Dalam kepala, mau cepat sampai hotel jak
# As usual, memang yang ramai tu locals juga. Train ni memang salah satu main transportation for the Chinese pasal tu train system diorang very the vast (systematic, well organized). Hence the price fare *sobs*
# Waiting hall
# Train attendants helping the elderly with their bags. Ada yang bawa karung guni somemore ok (filled with potatoes & other agricultural produce)

Kali ni naik train jam 4pm. We're gonna spend the whole night on the train. This time Jea managed to grabbed the hard sleeper seats for us. Panic kau sebab weeks prior this trip, almost all seats were sold out. After few times trying, akhirnya dapat juga. Kalau sudah rezeki kan. Pengsan lah kalau dapat hard seat as the journey will take approximately 13 hours. 
# How the hard sleeper carriage looks like. Lebih kurang carriage kami naik Beijing-Harbin, only yang ni macam a bit old. 
# Each compartments memang open macam tu. Kalau yang train Beijing-Harbin tu at least ada dinding yang cover those triple-bunk beds
# And tilam kali ni firmer that the Beijing-Harbin (belum habis comparing kan)
# Masuk carriage, terus panjat katil. Ntah apa yang letih sangat kau Bie

Mengalah sama Jea, was supposed to have the middle berth tapi sebab minah tu still unwell I took the upper berth instead. Still, unaware of the consequence later that night. 

Right after departing, I went to the washroom to get changed. Didn't take any pictures of the water dispenser & toilet / washroom as they look the same as in the previous train we rode. Jama' atas katil jak, tabahlah kena duduk+bend 40' sebab memang ndak boleh duduk tegak. Then, dinner. 

Later, sempatlah chit chat sama mamat sebelah katil. He's from Beijing, and he speaks good English although having learnt it only in the university. He never get the chance to go outside of China. Tapi gigih practice his English skills; every time jumpa foreigner he will try to talk to them.

Actually...I was already sweating & starting to feel nausea & dizzy. Signs of claustrophobia. Yes, you read that right. Confined place suffocates me. And maybe, he noticed that hence he started talking to me. Just to get me distracted. Alhamdulillah it worked. We talked about a lots of things, well it's literally more to him 'explaining' about China & its people. Me = listening side; which I enjoyed because I got to know a bit more about the Chinese i.e why they are always in hurry; something I've been pondering ever since I arrived in China. He wished me good night after seeing me yawning few times. Not that I was sleepy honestly, but that's me being me. Memang sejenis habit menguap bila malam+atas katil walhal bukan ngantuk betul pun.

Anyway, I can't remember what time I drifted to sleep. Sebab sempat edit gambar bagai lagi malam tu. What I know, I woke up in the middle of the night. Panic attack! I remember vividly how I crawled to the end of the bed, and mouth breathing. I was gasping for air. Heart pounding. 

Turned out, the train was stopping at one station....and the air conditioner was turned off. I was already starting to have stomach cramped & headache (train stopped for about 10 minutes), and already thinking of calling Jea out loud when I heard the engines started. Fuh! Just in time. Else memang confirm berdrama di tengah malam di bumi China. I was back to breathing normally soon as the train starting to move slowly. What an experience betul lah. Masa tu memang terus bagitau diri sendiri, no more upper berth after this Bie. Aku rasa soft seat tu way better than upper berth. Kalau lower or middle tu boleh compromise lagi, tapi upper memang big no-no lah. Rasa ceiling train tu hempap aku. Huhuhu alhamdulillah nothing serious happened. 

I went back to sleep not long after that. Super sound asleep. We arrived Jingmen Station 30 minutes passed 5am. 

20 Jan 2016
Jiangmen, Hubei China

# Stairs, rarely jumpa lift or escalator di platform
# Luckily we opted for backpack. Imagine turun naik tangga menjinjing beg AF tu. 
# Jingmen Station (arrival hall). Don't ask me where the heaven this place is. Jea in-charged of this route, aku ni mem-follow ajo.
# Entrance to departure hall

Nasiblah memang sudah aware pasal ketiadaan heater di train station di China ni. So awal-awal body sudah embrance segala kesejukan (winter+dawn...tabahlah wahai badan). Ambil wudhu' dengan air sejuk bedi, alah bisa tegal biasa. Alhamdullilah dapat Subuh dengan tenang sebab next train kami in 2 hours time. Sempatlah breakfast lepas solat tu.
#Sila lah rajin study information board ni. Insha Allah memang accurate & up to date 
# Awal pagi lagilah so berpeluang lah tengok train station ni sunyi. Only few locals & tourists like us waiting for their train.

Sempat juga aku terlelap while tunggu train. Boleh baring kuak lentang sebab tiada penghadang between seats tu. 

So untuk next destination, I'll continue in next entry. 

Till then, wassalam.

eryantierdabdulkarim