30 October 2013

Prosperous Oct: Be Grateful, already!

This morning, I had a chat with two of my workers while they were busy cleaning the office.

Me: So, how much have u save ur salary so far?

Miss A: I gave all to my mom & she helped me bank in the money to my account.

Me: Great. But if u give her all, what's left for u to spend? Say like u wanna buy reload for ur phone, or ice cream etc.

Miss A: My mom will give me when I asked from her.

Me: And u, Miss B?

Miss B: *looked at me with teary eyes & her lips trembled* My aunty took all my salary.

Me: Ouh I forgot u live with ur aunt. Sorry for asking, but where is ur parents? 

---I dare not to look her straight to the eyes...I got emotional too easy---

Miss B: They passed away when I was still little. My sister used to take care of us but when she got married, she moved to Lahad Datu & stays with her in laws. Ever since then my younger sister & I live with my aunty. 

Me: I see. She took all ur salary? That's what u said just now, right?

Miss B: Yup. She took all & only gave me RM2 daily. For the bus fare.

Me: So she keeps ur money just like what Miss A mom does.

Miss B: No. The RM 2 daily is considered my salary.

Me: What?? I don't think ur salary is as little as that. Where is the rest? Do u have any saving account or anything?

Miss B: I don't have. My aunty said, she wants to buy gold. 

Me: For u?

Miss B: No, for her. 

Me: The other day u borrow money, was that for her?

Miss B: Yup, she asked me to borrow from the company because she wants to used the money to buy things. 

Me: What the hantu?? She thinks this company runs some sort of money lending service? Next time, I won't let u borrow anymore.

Miss B: If I don't get the money, she will kick me out from the house.

Me: *holll* As if making u work & taking ur money aren't enough. She even makes u do the housecores. 

---Speechless! I never thought this kinda thing occurred in real life!--

How could a woman does such thing to an orphan when she is a mother herself. For God sake that poor kids are her sister's daughters; her nieces. Her own flesh & blood! Wasn't it her responsibility to take care of them? 


Listening stories from my workers made me realize how fortunate my life is. Yet, the one who is always gripe about life is none other than Yours Truly. Not them. Dasar minta makan kaki!

Be grateful please Bie, before Allah tarik balik semua nikmat yang Dia bagi sama kau!


27 October 2013

CutiCuti: Macau Part 2

Assalamualaikum. 你好

Previous post (here).

Oleh kerana hari ni aku free dari sebarang aktiviti yang mau guna tenaga secara extreme...why not kasi habis entry for my Hong Kong trip; so I psycho-ed myself. Ndaklah nampak totally pemalas tegar stay rumah buat bodoh jak di kala weekend. 

Still cerita di Macau. Kunun buat tekateki mana next destination after Senado Square. Poyo sangat! UNESCO site yang sangat famous & landmark paling glamour for Macau. Beli fridge magnet memang mostly design bangunan tu.
Still drizzling masa kami menapak menuju destinasi tu. Kalau mau tunggu hujan totally stopped, risau pula ndak sempat explore other places. Orang pun super ramai, ada certain tempat tu crowded gila. Jalan pun serupa macam ikut traffic light, lems. Semua berpayung, comel! Aku jak refuse berpayung sebab rasa diri macho gila thus jalan tepi2 kedai jaklah. Bosan ok sharing payung, jalan jadi lagi lambat. 
Few minutes of walking from Senado Square, akhirnya berdiri depan bangunan ni. One of the two buildings in Macau yang memang dalam wishlist. Alhamdulillah, Allah makbulkan! 
"Ruins of St Paul. First constructed in 1580, it was burned twice in 1595 & 1601. Reconstruction began in 1602 & completed in 1637. It became the biggest Catholic Church in East Asia at that time. But, the church caught in fire once more in 1835 when Macau was hit by a violent typhoon. And that was the time this church left its glory to history."

It's so easy to reach this site. Berlambak signboards; jadi hanya perlu peka & follow the sign. Aku ndak sempat bercinta sama signboard kali ni because we're running out of time. Furthermore, we didn't want to be stuck once more in a heavy rain. Sementara masih drizzling, baguslah teruskan perjalanan. 

This church was built with granites. The baroque facade is rich in ornamentation but with classic oriental characteristics. More info here.
We were supposed to walk up the stairs & visit Monte Fort; situated near this ruin. But because it started to rain again...we decided to leave the site. And continue our journey to the other side of Macau. Kita menyeberang via jambatan Macau!

Cepat2 selca as of to avoid from being showered again. Bunda berduck face bagai, sungguh! And sila jangan berharap untuk ambil gambar without the orang2an as the background. Massive photobomb happened here. 
Once again, kejadian di Avenue Stars berulang. Dalam kami berselca dua beranak, posing sukajiwa regardless crowd di belakang; suddenly we were approached by a Korean. This time it's an Ahjussi. Offering to take our pictures. Macam2 pose dia suruh kami buat ok! And later he asked his friend to take his picture with us. At first I thought, he will ask us to take his picture after taking ours...but when I said "Ahjussi, camera naenwa." he replied "Gwaenchanhayo". Aku pun sungguh rasa terhutang budi walau banyak gambar blur; kami belum habis posing Ahjussi sudah klik klik...I forgot how many times did I bowed & thanked him. "Kamsahapnida kamsahapnida". Fuh, nasib baik tau few Korean words untuk berbasa-basi. 
We were already at the facade when suddenly we heard the thunder. Ok, time to go. Simpan niat untuk explore jauh ke atas, insha Allah datang lagi one sweet day. Janji tu aku buat separa hati sebab memang belum ada intention to repeat Macau. Well, in few years to come perhaps. Who knows right.
And it rained just on time we reached the ground. Ramai gila orang jatuh di tangga tu ah. Kesian; untuk orang tua of course. But untuk yang muda mudi yang terlampau excited berposing? Aku ketawa dalam hati. Karma tiup, aku yang macam nangka ni pula jatuh bergolek. Lagi sungguh kesian.
Back to Senado Square once more, the sun came out. Panas terik! Aigoo main emosi betul lah weather Macau sama kami. That's St Domingo's Church behind me; the 31st world heritage site of China.
"Constructed by the Spanish Dominican friars who worshiped St Damingo & Lady Fatima (a Portuguese goddess who represents Virgin Mary) in the mid 17th Century. The church becomes one of the performing grounds of the Macau International Music Festival; held every year. Behind the church's main building, there is a small museum housing famous marbles & legacies of St Paul's Cathedral." 

Walking on the very street where my favorite Ji Hoo once walked. Told u, regardless where I am...jiwa Kdrama harus tersemat di hati.
The famous fountain in Senado Square. 
From here, we walked ahead heading to Grand Lisboa Hotel. It's the left turn u should take upon exiting the square. According to my itinerary, we're going to take the public bus from the bus stand in front of the hotel to The Venetian. Another Boys Over Flower filming location!! 
For the umpteenth times, heavy rain came after the sunshine! Lucky this time it poured soon after we reached Grand Lisboa! As we're pretty wrecked, we went inside the hotel. Pinjam restroom hotel mewah; the least we could do here. Mau masuk casino, duit nan ado. Jangan berangan untuk stay walau semalam kan. So kita buat yang termampu saja. Sob.
The hotel's interior decoration definitely put us to endless wow; just like what its exterior did to us. Amazed we were. Such intricate & detailed ornamentation. 
Other tourists joined us as well. The wind was so strong that no one dared to stay outside. The lobby area was a bit packed at this time. Yang berteduh dari hujan, yang memang ikut tour untuk explore this grand hotel, yang memang datang untuk berjudi...and that included yang masuk untuk tumpang ber-restroom. Eh?
Bunda & I had the same question as we passed by the reception area. Sangat curious! We looked at each other & started asking 

"How did they clean all those dangling crystal lights? Certainly they need weeks or months to clean those." 

Ouh such kepochi dua beranak itu kan.
Lavishly decorated restroom! Boleh tidur & menari golek2 atas lantai! We spent more than 30 minutes in here. Berurusan itu ini...siap cuci muka bagai. Nasib lah ramai manusia masuk lepas tu, kalau ndak harus aku ambil peluang kasi kering jeans yang lencun tu. Imej kena jaga although chances to bumped into them again is highly zero. 
Siap berdandan, we went out only to be greeted by heavy pour. It has gotten pretty heavy. Angin makin kuat; siap ada bunyi macam orang bersiul. We waited for the rain to slow down a bit. The bus stand is just opposite the road (right side) but with such strong wind & lightning...we dare not to go. 
Few minutes of waiting, the rain suddenly subsides. Kami pun apalagi, lari pecut crossed 2 traffic lights in front. In the middle of the road, while waiting for the green light sempat lagi snapped gambar Casino Lisboa. Pantang!
View of the Grand Lisboa from the bus stand. Memang betul grand! The onion-dome can be seen from St Paul's Ruin tau. I wonder how it looks like during the night. Memang cantik; based on pictures yang orang upload. Dengan mata kepala sendiri jak belum menyaksikan. Gitu! 
We rode the bus #25X from the Praca Ferreira Amaral bus stand. Rain started pouring again as we hopped on the bus. Punah harapan untuk ambil gambar Macau Tower & Macau Bridge. Dari dalam perut bas cuma nampak kabus di cermin. 
Journey from Grand Lisboa to The Venetian took about 30 minutes. The bus dropped us at the bus stop just across the road from The Venetian. View of the picture is a passage to Hard Rock Cafe Hotel & City of Dreams.
Traffic was pretty slow but we managed to arrived within the time of arrival that I estimated when drafting the itinerary. I could say that public transportation in Macau is quite reliable. Based on my experience that is; considering I was there during the summer-rainy season. And not to forget, that guy at the ferry terminal did warned me traffic could be worst during the weekend; apalagi kami yang mau naik public bus ni. 

Fortunately I didn't buy his words. And chose to stick with my plan.

Finally, jejak kaki di tapak The Venetian. I climbed the very stairs Jan Di climbed in the drama. Just to meet her beloved 'cold-hearted' Gun Pyo. Whilst me, mendaki tangga demi menjejak 'foot prints' cinta hati ku si Ji Hoo. Parah!
Just how I always imagined it to look like. Perfecto! 
I entered the building with smile stuck on my face. When I first watch this drama, I asked myself...will I ever set foot upon this place. And years later, there I was! Alhamdulillah.

All this while, reading people blogged about either The Ruins or The Venetian caused serious 'damage' to my system. Let alone seeing all the beautiful pictures they attached to complete their stories. Berdarah mata! 

And now, I am jealous no more for I've had my chance. Both places pula tu aku dapat cover in a day! Syukran Allah for granting my wish. Dream big!


25 October 2013

CutiCuti: Macau Part 1

Assalamualaikum. 你好

I promised Ms G to finish entries for my Hong Kong series as soon as possible. She initially requested me to write about Shenzen but I declined. Cold-heartedly. Slowly I told her. Cerita kena ikut turutan, baru ndak pening. 

Ok, lets start with our second day in Hong Kong & first day in Macau. We only have four days there, so I knew we should utilized the four days to the max. Read few blogs that mentioned about going to Macau while they're in Hong Kong. Therefore, Macau perlu ada dalam list. Paling perlu because first; hunting for Boys Over Flowers shooting locations perlu diteruskan...and second; Running Man pun pernah buat shooting di sana. Killing two birds at once, perhaps? 

That morning, we woke up early. Awal2 sudah kestau Bunda we need to depart as early as possible jadi boleh round banyak tempat di Macau. Yet, Allah sebaik2 perancang. It rained cat & dog right after dawn. Hence we have to leave the hostel a bit late than planned. Had it rained during our journey to Macau, I will be the first to contribute the smell of vomit in the ferry. 
We walked from the hostel to the China Ferry terminal located alongside the Harbour City. Kedai pun masih tutup, bukti kami jalan quite awal. Right after the rain stopped. Belah kanan tu adalah Kowloon Mosque; mostly Indonesian & Pakistanis yang occupied the mosque during prayer times. 
VIP outlets at Harbour City. Cuci mata jak lah kan. Mau shopping sini, tunggu durian jatuh dari langit. Erk, durian? Confirm aku duluan lari lah pula.
Me & street signboard. Again! Ulang banyak kali kan Bie.
This is the building where the ticket counter, departure & arrival hall of China Ferry Terminal is. 
Balik dari Macau...keluar dari pintu belakang tu. Ndak tau rupanya boleh masuk dari sini untuk ke terminal building juga.
Back home, CKS is a supermarket...but in Hong Kong, it's a company that sells ticket to Macau (Cotai Terminal). Like, asal boleh cari connection kan? Area untuk beli ticket sangatlah luas...macam dalam airport pun ada. If aku ndak silap, this is located at the 22 floor of the building. Banyak company yang offer ticket to & fro Hong Kong - Macau. Tepuk dada tanya diri jak mana satu pilihan hati. As for me, awal2 memang sudah set mau naik TurboJet. Pengaruh bloggers sangat. 
Boarding. Just like at the airport & train station. First, check ticket. Pastu diorang bagi seat. 
Masa nampak seat number tu, I thought Bunda & I were seated separately. Mesti ada orang duduk in between; 28B. Turned out dapat window seat. Memang 2 seats jak, ntah apa kaedah lompat huruf ni.
Immigration counter. Perlu cop pasport untuk masuk Macau. And no visa entry for Malaysian.
Boarding area. Ramainya warga China; lepas shopping di Hong Kong mau ke Macau lagi. Adakah aktiviti shopping bersambung? Mungkin sebab boleh tahan banyak luggages diorang hangkut masa ni.
View from the departure hall. That's the ferry that will bring us to Macau.
Kecoh sekecohnya. For once I was quite confused; adakah aku dalam ferry or di pasar borong ikan. Sob.
View of Hong Kong Island from the ocean. 
Arrived Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal (Macau) in one piece after one hour journey. Despite the noise inside the ferry, I slept soundly throughout the journey. While Bunda killed time reading her novel. Macam mana ntah boleh baca dalam ferry, kalau aku harus pening loya2 terus.

At the arrival hall, we were approached by few travel agents & also representatives from Macau Tourism. Offering various types of day trip package. I stopped by at one of the booth to get a map & this one guy from the tourism office suddenly asked me about our plan. So I told him the places we wish to visit. He marked all the places on the map & offered to be our guide. 100 HKD for a day?!? He said it 's impossible to cover all those places in one day; taking traffic congestion as one of the major cause of delay.

Yet I stood firm with my decision to explore Macau on our own. He kept saying 'It's impossible'...and in the end I politely said "No, thanks. I will make it possible for us...on our own way. Thanks" before leaving. Luckily ndak da aktiviti kejar mengejar paksa memaksa. Else, mesti mood aku ke laut.

Reason why I strongly want to explore without a guide is because of the massive & reliable transportation system in Macau. There are so many buses to ride...be it the free shuttle buses provided by the many casinos/hotel or the public buses. 
From my research, I have to take the bus #10 to A-Ma Temple. Thanks so much to googlemap for the direction. The bus stand for public buses is just in front of the ferry terminal building. Whilst the bus stand for shuttle buses is across the road. To reach there, just use the underground passage provided.
Nasib lah ada English...satu kerja mau belajar baca baca Portuguese or Chinese lagi kan.
The bus frequency is high; there will be 2 or 3 buses every five minutes. 
Cloudy & bright weather in Macau welcome us.
My kinda thing! Seketul bangunan sejarah in the middle of a busy city. Preservation is the key to keep & maintain them. 

Didn't regret my decision to explore on our own as we arrived our first destination; A-Ma Temple after only ten minutes in the bus. That guy told us it could take about an hour from the terminal to this temple; traffic pretty bad during the weekend you know...so he said to lured us. Memang confirm aku ndak makan racun gitu.
That lady in flowery shirt can't stand the incense smoke hence she ditched the idea to enter the temple. Sila tunggu luar, anakonda mahu meninjau kawasan temple ok Bunda!
"A-Ma Temple is one of the oldest Taoist temples in Macau.  It was built in 1488 during the Ming Dynasty to commemorate Mazu; the sacred sea goddess named Lin Mo who blesses fisherman. "

Thus the reason the temple is built facing the sea; I reckoned. 

Wishes written on a piece of red paper & attached together with the bell. U can purchase the bell at a small shop inside the temple. I found about this temple from one of the show in Astro channel. Where Sazzy Falak & her husband were the guest. Mengikut jejak lawat sini but untuk stay at the hotel they stayed at memang ndak kemampuan. Ikut yang berpada2 jaklah. 
This is where the statue of Mazu is worshipped. Hongren Hall is located just after the gateway. And it is believed this hall has the longest history in the complex. 
Disciples burnt incense to pay homage & pray for good fortune. 

Portuguese influence. This row of building situated at the right side of the temple; where we started our journey visiting the rest of cultural buildings along the route. 
It was scorching when we reached the temple...and suddenly came the heavy rain minutes after we left. Menduga betul weather di Macau ni. 
And as if I haven't get enough with walking up the hill in South Korea, I did it again here. Hilly road will lead us to our next destination; apparently we were left with no choice...menapak jugalah. Waiting for the bus will consume more time as jalan di area ni semua sehala. And the place we want to go adalah melawan arah. Ndak rela mau tawaf sepusingan. So, superwalkertapaki it was. 
Though Morrish Barracks is situated less than 5 minutes walking from A-Ma Temple, sempat basah kuyup mandi hujan before sampai. 
"Constructed in 1874, it is a neoclassical building along Rua Direita on a slope of Barra Hill."
The long veranda running along its sides. 
The building is intended to house an Indian regiment from Goa; whom was employed to strengthen the Macau police force at that time. There were also two hundred Indian soldiers stationed here according to historical record. 
It is also one of the buildings within the Historic Centre of Macau & is inscribed as a World Heritage by UNESCO. This building is now houses the Macau Maritime Administration. 
We stopped a little longer at the veranda; waited for the rain to subside. And just as we began our journey to the next site, it rained again. This time, Bunda insist on buying an umbrella. Was being asked what colour to buy, haruslah kelabu tengok warna lain terus. Aigoo, no need to ask lah what ur anakonda likes.
Lilau Square; also one of the cultural sites inscribed by UNESCO.
"Situated in the old 'Christian quarter' where the Portuguese first settled in Macau. Because this area is surrounded by many Portuguese style buildings; it represents Macau's unique style & features."

Mandarin House (more here) should be our next site after Morrish but brilliant moi missed the junction to the house...and ended up at the beautiful stone dual staircase of the building below.
St. Lawrence Church; one of the most beautiful churches in Macau. Located near the Government Headquarters, the school in front of this church is a home for many priests as well.
"Originally built of wood in the 1560-s, later changed to clay in 1618 & finally constructed in stone around 1803."

This neo-classical green pastel coloured building is Dom Pedro V Theatre; named after the Portuguese King Pedro V. This building is considered by some to be the oldest western style theatre in Asia. 
"Officially known as Macau Theatre in 1915; it was a popular social venue for Portuguese & Macanese residents whom were greatly interested in dramatic arts."

Bunda-Anakonda inside the first floor of the circular auditorium. 
The theatre is our second stop where we unwind a bit. Walking in the rain drained our energy pretty fast. It was totally tiresome. Jeans basah kuyup ok. Jalan pun macam dragging beban seribu tan di kaki. 

Motif utama minta gambar, not because of the building at her back. But mainly to show off the pink transparent umbrella that save us from getting showered by the rain. 

Situated right across the theatre is St Augustine Church. It is part of a monastery founded in 1586. An English services held here every Saturday & Sunday. 
"The church's marble-clad high altars contains a statue of Christ carrying the cross."

But the church is closed when we were there hence I didn't get to take any picture of the statue.
Some Portuguese style buildings we passed by on the way to Senado Square from St Augustine Church & the theatre. I fall in love with the historical & cultural buildings in Macau. Pretty amazed on how dedicated they are in preserving the buildings; mainly to keep the history remain intact. 
Greeted by super heavy raindrop soon after we reached Senado Square. 
Eventually we got to experience Macau's fluctuated weather. One minute it was scorching hot, next it rained like it's not gonna stop accompanied with strong wind some more...yet suddenly, the sun came out again.
We walked from one block to another...just to get closer to our next destination. One of the most awaited site...also Macau most famous landmark.
Holy House of Mercy is the oldest social institution in Macau. It is one of the most prominent building in the square area. This house of mercy is easily seen from the fountain at the center of Senado Square. It is open for visitor from 10a - 530p. And the fee is MOP $5.
"Founded in 1569 by the first bishop in Macau with the intention on doing charitable work for the local community."
Ditto the idea to enter the House of Mercy. Picture of the next historical site was playing in front of my eyes already...siap melambai2 as if it can't wait to welcome me. Motif sangat kan kena lambai.
See that smile?! I was on my way to the site...tempat tercipta kenangan between Gun Pyo & Jan Di. Regardless where I stand, jiwa Kdrama tetap dibawa. 
Will update about that place in the upcoming entry. Too many pictures in this post, aku pula rasa mau muntah. Till then, have a nice day. Gitu!