Monday, July 15, 2013

Mamak.

I have always been a foodie as far as I can remember. Street food, to be precise. My nights used to be spent (read: wasted) at mamak restaurants up to wee hours for no good reasons.

Sometimes I wonder what is it about mamak that I really can't get over with. I don't think it's the food, really, since I don't have any particular preference over certain food, though my usual order at mamak are usually cheese naan with chicken tandoori and three layer tea or neslo tarik. But I am also happy to settle for Mali's char kuay teow or SAS Corner's mee kungfu, which, as the names suggest, aren't mamak-style.

It's the feel good factors that come with the package. One of my favourite things to do (read: wasting time) is observing people. Tonight I was watching two young girls selling some sort of madu herba under the name of charity. They had me thinking, what kind of rumah kebajikan would let two young girls walk around asking for donation at this hour i.e. past midnight? Then there were a bunch of U-mobile promoters giving out their flyers. That was when I wonder, who goes to mamak with the intention of buying broadband packages and phone plans? Well there's always a chance, as they say sambil menyelam minum air. But no, really? These people, the girls, the promoters, amazed me with their persistence. There I was, at midnight, just idling around enjoying the good food, while there were people still trying their luck to earn some cold hard cash (or postpaid customers, in this case). 

To me, late night outing means good food and good company, but to some others, it determines whether or not they can pay the rent for next month.

I should really be grateful.


Cheese naan with chicken tandoori and three layer tea.
And a very absorbed husband.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Experiencing Etihad.

I think I'm losing my touch in blogging. There are a million things I wish I could say but most of the times my conscience takes over insisting that those are all small stuff, not a big deal whatsoever. But somehow writing keeps me sane and these days, or rather weeks, I feel like I'm losing my sanity.

To begin with, I am now back under the hot scorching sun, drenching in sweat at only 11 in the morning. And that can only mean one thing - I am now back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A lot of things have been going on for a while but I still fail to get my head around the time and date and weather and everything here.

Heck, I couldn't even get myself to speak in Malay on the phone. And often feel offended by rude cashiers or ignorant shoppers, forgetting that this is Malaysia. Funny that I feel out of place here, which is terrible since I feel out of place pretty much everywhere except in  Leicester, in my own room, and  that means my own solitary moment.

Speaking of solitude, I learnt new words from Ayah about it - recluse and hermit.

And I hereby admit to being a hermit. Woha they rhyme!

Social awkwardness aside, I just want to share about our flight back to KL from Dublin. Our, because I now have a husband. Well, I already have him for almost a year but yeah, just stating the obvious.

We flew Etihad from Dublin, transitting once at Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE. For seven. Freaking. Hours. It was the cheapest ticket that I could find, considering that we have pretty tight return date and airport location. I mean, yes, I can always choose to fly from Birmingham or London where there are more choices of airlines etc. But then again, it's a we now, so someone has to take an extra flight either way, and I chose to be that someone.

And people, do remind me about this journey whenever I say I don't mind the transit whatsoever. 

It. Was. Horrendous.

Horrendous sounds pretty horrifying isn't it? Alright I take back my words then.

It. Was. Annoying.

Now that seems more like it.

I am never a big fan of waiting. Punctuality is my forte, and unpunctual people annoy the crap out of me (and that includes you, Adam, if you're reading this). So when it comes to flights with transits, chances of unpunctuality and delays increase tremendously (another big word, heh) since there are more flights that you have to take. And even if the flights are on time, there are still a lot of waiting and queueing happening around.

I have always flown direct when it comes to long haul flights. So that was my first time flying with transit.

It wasn't too bad, but the waiting was really killing me. SEVEN FREAKING HOURS AT THE AIRPORT I COULD HAVE USED THAT TO MAKE ANOTHER JOURNEY BACK HOME.  AND THEY EVEN DELAYED FOR NEARLY TWO HOURS. Oh sorry, some emotion amplification there. But yeah. The good news is, we had the chance to walk around and explore the airport, which was super impressive, and it was the first time I saw toilets with hose in months so man I was excited!

And I finally succumbed to Mc Donalds under the name of darurat. Wth I know. I made sort of like a promise to myself that I won't have McD and Starbucks unless under extreme circumstances. And apparently a seven hour transit was one of them.

Just a quick look around Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).


Yes this is very impressive. Click on the picture to see the bigger image and have your jaw dropped.



There were quite a number of other Asians (or rather, Aseans?) so we didn't really feel special wtf. And I'm guessing at least half of the aircraft from Abu Dhabi to Kuala Lumpur were filled with us the browns ahahahah.

We met a super nice stewardess in the first leg of the journey. She's a Malaysian which made it even nicer. Well a Malaysian stewardess on a UAE flight, some familiar faces anyone? She knew we would have seven hours of transit so she gave us a truckload of tidbits and bottled water just so we wouldn't die of starvation - well we surely didn't, thanks to the evil tempting McDonalds.


Etihad flight overall was okay. We thought the first aircraft we flew in (DUB-AUH) was cooler than the AUH-KUL. The food, however, wasn't quite to my liking. I haven't had vast experience with food on long haul flights since I have only flown with MAS which, undoubtedly, no matter how sloppy their food are, you still find them good, as there's a hint of home. I took Egypt Air once, and found their food super awesome with the big portions and all. And my stay in Egypt was filled with super awesome food so yeah, Egyptian food are good. Yums!

But Etihad's food, erm, is a bit too Middle Eastern-ish (?) to my liking. The spices were a wee bit too strong and I didn't manage to finish any mains on both flights. You see, I'm a big fan of inflight meals (yes call me weirdo) so me not finishing up the food was quite something. But I guess it all went down to personal preference.

Seats were okay, though I might have to check with Adam about that since it would be more significant on him. Inflight entertainment was good too! They let you watch movies, listen to radio etc right after you board the aircraft, and right before you disembark. Unlike some MAS that I have flown with, they disabled the inflight entertainment two hours before landing! Crazy I tell you.

So yeah. Flight was cool. Airport was uhmayzing. Just that the transit sucks. Real bad. I thought I could put up with it but it turned out to be that I hate waiting more than anything.

Apparently travelling for nearly twenty four hours took its toll on me.

But who cares, we're here, home, at last! We have another gazillion things to do and having to alternate between two houses thirty minutes apart is not too fun, but yeah, so far we're doing good. Ummi is here for the weekend so at the moment we're staying at my place, PV8. Next Monday we'll go back to Adam's, before flying (again) to Miri. In between those we're looking at dentist appointment, KMB visit, hospital checkup and some other stuff.

Meanwhile for now I'll just hope that I'll wake up for sahur tomorrow morning.

Have a blessed Ramadhan everyone!