Monday, December 29, 2014

Banjir 2014.

A little update from our end concerning East Coast floods, for my own reminder in future.

My brother, Zahid, is currently stranded at Masjid Kampung Jengka, on his way back from KL to Kerteh. Nearly 3 days now. Ada la dalam 300 orang berkampung sekali kat sana. And Alhamdulillah, makanan semua cukup 3 kali sehari - sometimes nasi, sardin and ikan kering can do wonders. And he said hikmah semua ni, he can jemaah 5 waktu, plus iktikaf sekali. At some point we couldn't reach him on the phone sebab internet line disrupted and flat battery, but Alhamdulillah everything is sorted for now, and he's been keeping us updated.

Far as I know, none of my close relatives are affected by the floods. My kampung in Selising, Pasir Puteh is still standing, and our house in Paka, Terengganu is still there, albeit looking like a zoo, Zahid cakap. I think Indera Mahkota, Kuantan is not affected as well. Alhamdulillah.

But my family in general has been working on relief missions, getting supplies to the affected areas. My mom's side is Kelantanese, so this somewhat feels a little personal. Looking at the WhatsApp threads, my uncles have been updating everyone on the latest development - jalan mana tutup, what's the best way to help, etc. And that includes my dad as well. He brought the younger siblings (Afiq and Adam) to Manik Urai to help.

Speaking of Ayah, have I mentioned that he's no longer working? He retired earlier this year, at the age of 50. I remember he always told us he wanted to retire early, and that by the age of 50 he will be free from mortgages and debts. I'm not sure about the mortgage since I think PV8 tu belum habis bayar lagi haha, but boy he sure did retire early. Since then he's been doing his own side business, and on top of that actively joining relief/dakwah particularly in remote area, ie kawasan orang asli.

A little anecdote about Ayah, there was one time we were travelling on the road from Kelantan to Kedah, going through hills and small villages. We came across a bunch of orang asli kids happily walking by the road side, presumably after coming back from one of the local air terjun. Ayah stopped the car and talked to them, giving them some money and biscuits as small gestures. We were all like, what was he doing? I mean did the kids not get offended when a random passerby gave them money when they were probably as happy and contented as the birds? But no, they were very grateful and didn't seem to mind it, if not welcome the small hadiah as I would say. And since then, Ayah tried to make it a point to bring some food and old nice clothes to give to the orang asli kids, should we meet any on the road.

Which speaking of, Ayah once brought a peminta sedekah into the house when we were in Paka, and gave away Ummi's Hush Puppies old shoes for him to give to his child, which understandably made Ummi upset. Haha -_-

So that's a little update on banjir from our end. And a little story about Ayah. Meanwhile sama sama doakan untuk Malaysia, the floods, the missing plane, and all its entirety. InshaAllah.

If you're in UK/Eire :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last chapter. Welcome home.

So if I'm honest the last chapter of my winter break is all about me coming home to Nadd (dawww), and spend two days in my solitary space. Okay there's the sea of people on Boxing Day but I'll let that pass for now.

Two days, before being invaded by this guy again.

Oh darling your toes so sexy. *creepy stalker wife alert

I so want to write about my adventures for the past two weeks, but that requires time and energy and commitment and undivided attention (considering I have the attention span of a goldfish), so I guess that can wait.

Meanwhile the rest of my winter break shall be filled with revision (hopefully). And of course the annoying sound of mouse clicks from darling hubs playing Dota. 

Is there such thing as a click-less mouse? That's going to be my wedding gift to him when we move in together at some point.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Second chapter. Meet Adam's family.

Giant's Causeway for the second time (Adam's fifth), what's not to love?

Monday, December 15, 2014

First chapter. Tiga kali weekend.

So one chapter of my winter holiday, has finally come to an end.

Three weeks with my parents around Europe have been incredibly full of lessons.

But if there are two things that I really learnt from this trip, they would be of patience and responsibilities.


One of my struggles in life is to be patient when it concerns time and people. And just because I am pretty quick and sharp, I tend to lose my patience with slow-moving things. I get restless. There was a time during a road trip around Ireland when my dad asked, "Since when you've become short-tempered?". I am not. I never was. But that question really got me. I know I am not the most patient person on Earth, but am I really that short-tempered? My dad can be the randomest people you'll ever meet - and he can be either incredibly fascinating or annoyingly frustrating. And when my mind decides it's the latter, I snap. Often rather too quickly.

Followed by guilt. Sebab rasa bersalah bila annoyed dengan orang. (This is towards people in general, I do have low treshold with people - not proud of it!!). Kadang kadang bila Ayah/Ummi tanya soalan banyak kali, I'd quickly remind myself, I was once the annoying kid who asked annoying things too frequently. Among my siblings, I am the most 'menjawab'. Bila cakap sepatah, ada je yang nak jawab. So when my parents tanya benda sama a few times, I'd keep telling myself, they were patient with me once, how can I not be patient to them? I am here today because of them. I have my values today because of them.

And my mom said, "Remember that we're getting older, not younger."

Macam mana konon nak berbakti kat dorang kalau time travel ni pun dah kurang sabar?



Selama ni hidup single, husband jauh, family lagi jauh, so hari hari fikir pasal diri sendiri je. Dinner makan apa, exam nak study apa, train balik placement pukul berapa.

And masa ni jugak lah I feel like I was being tested on my responsibilities. I have my parents to be with, my placement in Boston that demanded a good three-hour travelling, my husband who's having his finals that I wish I could be there for, my end of block exam to study for, and finally, my own self, my own sanity to take care of. Belum masuk tanggungjawab kat Allah lagi. Panggg.

And because I so often put people I love way before myself, I tend to overlook the second last bit - my own sanity. The last bit kita cakap lain kali.

So I broke down every now and them. I cried to myself every now and then. I cried out of frustration as I feel inadequate over things. As a wife. As a daughter. As a student. As a human being. As a slave to God.

Tanggungjawab is a big word. Tanggungjawab terhadap emosi dan perasaan is even bigger. If you're anything like me - care too much, feel too deep, overthink everything, you'd probably understand. Emotion is hard work. And to be responsible over my own emotions, is even harder.
Tanggungjawab. Terhadap diri sendiri. How can I take care of people when I can't even look after myself?

Nak type ni pun tengah emosi. Baru lepas hantar Ayah and Ummi kat boarding gate balik Malaysia, waiting for my own flight balik Dublin. Emosi, tahu?

I had very little responsibilities all these while, ni baru nak test sikit dah gelabah.

Dah tu cane nak jadi mak? Tsk tsk.

Sebenarnya best je cuti ni, emosi je lebih. Bella kot. Lain kali lah cerita gembira sikit. Harap harapnya. Meanwhile lemme balik and pull myself together first. 

#mirrorselfie #win - Lin, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014


And knackered.

More adventures to come!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wait for me to come home.

Tonight is one of those nights when I just want to silently cry and dwell in my emotions for no good reasons.

"Wait for me to come home."

- Photograph, Ed Sheeran

Saturday, November 8, 2014

London food hunt.

About some forever ago, (chill Bella it's only been a month pfft), I went to London with Afiqah on a day trip. East Midlands Train was running a promo, less than £15 for a return train to London - can't say no to that, can I? It was a random decision made by the two of us on Twitter. Afiqah tweeted about the deal, I asked if she wanted to go on a trip, and boom, we were both set and ready to go. After all there's only two of us bebimbos left in this cold English land since Edy is yet to return for her PhD.

Main purpose of the trip?


Yes - food hunting! We have a list of things to be ticked off, so we were pretty determined.

1. Eggs Royale

Arrived nearly at 9am, we set on foot to Dean Street Townhouse near Covent Garden after some googling effort of the best place to have Eggs Benedict/Royale in London.

Meet Afiqah. A PhD student doing Engineering in Sheffield. Highly independent, despite being the only girl the the family. Love love loooveeeee travelling - been to USA and Indonesia on a shoe string - alone. I repeat, a-l-o-n-e. In other words, a solo backpacker. Seen most of Europe. Setting herself to go to Iran this winter. MAJOR RESPECT I CANNOT. If you want to do something new, go on a adventure, learn to be brave, this is the man. Or lady, whatever. She's truly something.

Meet Bella. A Medical student doing Medicine (haha) in Leicester. Highly independent when her husband isn't around, albeit a cry baby. Cries every now and then about littlest thing, such as the weather being too cold or the grocery bags being too heavy. Been wanting to go on a solo trip, but the furthest she went alone was Scotland after her father said no to her going to USA on her own. Itu pun gelabah nak balik rumah sebab nak Facetime. In constant search for cheap flight tickets to Belfast, kesian. And contemplating every now and then if she should start making babies. 


And the star of the morning, Eggs Royale. This is perfection. Utter perfection. At £6.50 each, I think it's worth trying. By that I mean trying bukan makan sampai kenyang sebab mahal. Because you will end up wanting more. The hollandaise sauce was perfect, the egg was beautifully poached, the salmon was generous. Gorgeous. And the cafe interior was very posh, making it a bit awkward for both of us cause it felt like we were on a date.

2. Cronut, or crodoughnut (a hybrid between croissant and doughnut)

This was suggested by AJ back in Leicester, so went on a search for it. If you Google cronuts in London, one of the cafes selling them is Wild & Coffee. It's a cute little award-winning coffee house.


The much sought-after cronut. They only had it in red velvet flavour, but it was enough to make me want more. I didn't expect it would be that good, to be honest. But it was. It took doughnut to a whole new level. There was a bit of doughnut and a bit of croissant in every bite, not to mention the fresh cream at the centre. Verdict, try it. Especially if you have sweet tooth like me. At £3.70 each it did seem a bit pricey, but definitely worth trying. 

3. Burger & Lobster

That one place in London where it's a must to post in Instagram, myself included, lol. We went to the branch on Dean Street (just opposite Dean Street Townhouse). It opens at 12pm on Saturdays and we got there at about 11.50am after getting the cronuts. And we were greeted by this.

People lining up for lunch. Looking at the crowd, I was disheartened at first, but boy we were determined. It didn't take long, and once the door opened there were plenty of seats inside. It's quite a big eatery, so if you see people lining up like this, chances are you'll probably only have to wait for a maximum of 10 minutes. Well that's the theory anyway.

Not sure which one gets my attention more, Afiqah's sharp look, or the lobster. Haha.

Senonoh mana, senonoh?

Done and dusted.

I found the place pretty cool. They only have three menus - whole lobster grilled or steamed, lobster roll, and beef burger. We went for the steamed lobster, and hands down, I was sold. There was one time I had grilled lobster in Brussels and that was nowhere near this. Afiqah, on the other hand, had a grilled lobster at Manhattan Fish Market back in KL, and she preferred that more. But still we both agreed the lobster here was amazing and it's definitely worth coming back for. The lobster came with fries and salad and a sauce of your choice. The set is priced at £20 each, but since almost all restaurants in London charge for their service, essentially it's £22.50. Speaking of, I'm so not used to service charge in the UK, and suddenly there's a whopping 12.5% service charge here in London. Makes me feel contented to be in Leicester.

4. Noodle Oodle

Afiqah wanted this one so badly so I had to play along. Haha. This is a halal Chinese restaurant near to Bayswater where Malaysian Student Department (Malaysian Hall) is, making it a famous eatery among the Malaysians in London. Their  main specialty is roasted duck, as it's not easy to find halal ducks in the UK. 

The dish looks like a chicken rice set as a whole. We got the £10.50 set where it came with dumplings as starter, duck and rice as main, and a choice between banana fritters or some mango delicacy as desserts. And no service charge (hooray!) making it a very very veeerry filling meal. I think we overkilled it with this one, though. You see, we walked for more than an hour from the last place (lobster) to here, and to justify that, we just had to order a set each. Big mistake there. It was too much for us. The whole thing was good, but when you have too much of something good, it becomes the other way round. This is definitely something I would have on a very hangry day (hungry and angry), not on a I-feel-like-eating-everything-in-the-world day. 

Since we were already near Bayswater, we went to Malaysian Hall to pray and me, to see Kak Na, the warden. Had ginger tea and kuih seri muka at the canteen while waiting for her, which too bad I didn't take the pictures, since it's a rare occasion for me to go for kuih Melayu at the Malaysian Hall.

Met Kak Na and the whole family, and she insisted on us staying for dinner (as she always does), but we had trains to catch. By the way, another thing on Afiqah's list was Tinseltown, but we were too full for that. And everyone knows Tinseltown applies the same 'hangry' rule, they do big portions and their milkshakes are to die for, so by that time we thought it was probably a bit too much. Takde rejeki. But well, Leicester has Tinseltown so it's not a big deal! Good reason to make her come to Leicester anyway. Heh.

Later that night only we realised we didn't have any pictures together, so here goes.

Parted ways at London St Pancras where Afiqah took the train back to Sheffield while myself to Leicester. And I can proudly say I had one of the best food hunt in London on that day.

I think most of it went to how we both are so easy-minded. We didn't mind walking, which having said that, we only took the tube from Malaysian Hall to St Pancras. And it's not everyday when you have a friend who's so easy going and not fussed over small things. Like going in and out of stores along Oxford Street, skimming through sales without really buying anything. I mean, I don't have that many friends, but when I do, I really treasure them.

Having said that, we had salmon, lobster, duck, and nearly lamb in one day! Total damage including train tickets was less than £50. Worth every single pence. Ahh, of London and all the glorious food.

Meanwhile I'll just stay put in Boston, ughhh.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


If you remember my Lincoln post well, this is another post that might be related to it. 


No we're not talking about Boston, USA. This is Boston, Lincolnshire. 

Now let's talk geography. Boston is north-east to Leicester, whereas Lincoln is a bit more up north but less towards east of Leicester. As a point of reference, Nottingham is shortly up north to Leicester. Which means that Nottingham is closer to Lincoln than Boston.

Note Leicester at the bottom left corner and Nottingham directly above it. 

Why am I explaining this? One of the reasons is because Nottingham, Lincoln and Boston all fall into one deanery, The Trent. This is important if you're applying for a Junior Doctor job. If you're not, you can move on to the next reason. 

The next reason is to get to Lincoln or Boston by train, you'll have to pass through Nottingham. And here's the real issue. Since Boston is further away from Nottingham, it takes longer to get there as compared to Lincoln. If last time we had to take the train for about two hours to Lincoln, this time it's a three-hour journey on the train. 

A three-hour journey on the train from Leicester might as well get me to Cardiff.

It's just that Boston is so kampung that all the trains are kampung ones, the ones with very loud engines running on very bumpy railways, and very infrequent that the last train leaving Boston to Nottingham is probably before 7pm everyday. 

But on the plus side, the accommodation is really nice, exactly the same as Lincoln, ensuite and all. 

And another plus side is all three of us, the housemates - Nadd, Lin and I are here. Nadd's doing Perioperative Block (general surgery) while Lin and I are doing MSK. And that's Musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) for you non Medic people. 

To be honest I'm not sure why am I rambling about this in the first place. I was actually feeling sappy just now (I always do when I'm on outblock), but ended up explaining the geography of Trent to you guys. My apologies. 

But here's a picture to share the sappiness in me. 

You know it's genuine happiness bila mata pun hilang. Perfection. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014


My GP once told me,

"So you had a bad consultation with one patient. But as soon as the patient walked out the door, you have a very important thing to do - housekeeping. Keep your mind and emotion in check. Take a deep breath, and remember, whoever comes in next, is a new patient. They don't know what happened in the last consultation, they don't know if you messed up with your diagnosis or management plan. They are new to you as you are to them, but only if you do your housekeeping."

Breathe. It's just a bad day, not a bad life.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hello again, Dublin!

So you guys already know that my brother, Zahid got married over the summer right? But what I'm yet to share is that he came to Dublin to be with his wife for a week plus. Pretty much like how I went to stay in Belfast for a month after we got married la, something like that. Apparently our family has a thing for long distance relationship, lol.

Zahid came to Dublin on the third week I started my classes after summer, and just in time when Adam came back from Malaysia. So Adam and I decided to make a trip down to Dublin.

And this post is just going to be a crapload of rubbish photos from my sad iPhone 4s. I desperately need a phone with a nicer camera, people. I mean, it doesn't have to be an iPhone 6, just something with a decent camera, please? 

No? Okay :(

Left Belfast on Thursday afternoon to arrive Dublin at 3pm. Went to get some Euros and..... Had to wait for an hour for the newly-wed. 

I was fuming.

I consider myself as somewhat quite high tolerance to things la. Pain, people, unfortunate events. I'm quite good at calming myself down when disaster happens. Missed flights? Okay. Lost money? Okay. I mean, can't do anything about it so let it be. But one thing that I really suck at is..


God knows how much I HATE WAITING. Especially for people. Unpunctual people. I'm almost always very punctual up to the minute. When I say 4.30, I mean, 4-three-zero. Not 4.34 or 4.40. And waiting is just not my forte.

So imagine when we had to wait for them for about an hour, with the parking meter running like leaking tap. And if you don't already know, here I tell you. Parking cost in Dublin is very very very expensive. And there we were spending an hour by the canal donating parking money to the Dublin city council.

Rant ends here.

Met them couple, had some nice Japanese food but no picture because I was still fuming. Adam was understanding enough not to direct any conversation towards me because he knew I wouldn't be bothered. Marah okay marah. I TAK SUKA ORANG LAMBAT.

Rant ends here, this time for real.

Still, the self-conscience inside me cooled down after a while. After that we went to some posh tea room. Had caramel something tea, so nice! Again, no pictures of tea whatsoever because my phone is sad. These pictures of us were taken pun because Zahid asked us to. I mean not everyday (not even every year!) that I get to see him in Europe!

And there was a moment of eureka I realised how similar we look! 

Back in Malaysia I have a bunch of guy friends who just 'adored' Zahid because he's so jambu and kinda cute. Kinda. And they thought he's cool too because there was a time when we were housemates (my parents were in Sarawak) and we got to do loads of cool stuff. So they thought he's the cool brother who does cool things but sadly, has a lame sister. I still remember when my friends and I went on a road trip to my cousin's wedding in Kedah, my friends were usha-ing him from afar. I was like, seriously people??? You guys gay or whatt??!?

And how come you guys don't think I'm cool too? Pfft.

Anyways, here's a picture of us, probably not very cool, but just because.

And here's the highlight of the trip to Dublin.

Went to Nyonya with Mau, Pija and Acap! Haven't seen Pija for aaaages! The last time I saw her was before I got married so that was like, more than two years ago! Aaaaaa excited!!!!

Here's Mau busy playing host.

Here's Acap busy singing - guys his voice is amazing!!

Here's the newly-wed, being all newly-wed-ish.

And here's Adam with his classic couldn't-be-bothered-I'm-just-hungry pose.

The fooooooood.

Just love the crowd!

Okay, one thing that people should keep in mind is, nothing is impossible when Pija and Bella meet. Pija was my roomate back in KMB. And we did lots of strange things back then - stalking people sampai padang bola being one of them. BAHAHHAHAHAH. She's one of those whom I don't have to meet or talk to every day, nor every month or year, but just get along once we do meet. In fact, probably get along a little bit too much. We keep telling people, don't put Bella and Pija in the same room, or you'll get all sort of strange stuff happening. Like that evening, we took hold of the mic like nobody's business. And who knows how amazing her voice is!!! 

And I didn't know Zahid sings. I mean, I know la he got nice voice, but to actually sing karaoke rock kapak, woahhh!! Adam said our family has that voice - the high pitch menjerit voice. Good thing or not, well.. Hahahah.

Boy did we have fun.

We stayed the night at Mau's place. Mau and Acap are housemates, with Shahir and Syauqan. And man their place is sooo cool!

And all I have is a picture of Adam fiddling around this as we kept ooh-ahh-ing in awe at the place after Mau and Acap had left to hospital. (no one's ill, we're just a bunch of medics whose second home is hospital, pfft).

And another picture of the sort of automatic gate where the car park is. How pathetic of me. Tsk.

Left the place before noon to send Zahid to the airport as he was going back to Malaysia, and we had to make our way back to Belfast. And here's me being dramatic.

We even matched each other! Bahahaahah.

Zahid and I, we were very close. Were, because it was a thing in the past. He's the first guy best friend I have ever had. Whenever we were on the phone, my friends around me would wonder if I was talking to my boyfriend or something. Because we were so so so close that it drove my mom crazy when we had our romantic banters. We even call each other I-you, saya-awak, when the rest of the family call each other by names.

I still remember when we went for umrah with my parents and grandma, my mom wouldn't let us sit together on the flight to Jeddah from Cairo, Egypt. That because we sat next to each other in the first leg of the journey (KL-Cairo) and all we did was laugh, gossip, watch movies, play games etc. And my mom thought it would be nice if we could spend the time in our flight reading some du'as, getting familiar with the dos and don'ts in umrah. Of course I rebelled. I sat there not talking to my grandma throughout the whole flight. Hahahahaha!

Among our siblings, Zahid and I are the only ones separated by two years apart. The rest of us has a four-year gap between each other. So that makes us become more like friends. We used to share secrets. When we said pillow talk, we really meant pillow talk - i.e. lying staring at the ceiling telling stories catching up with life etc. And the one year period when I had to defer my entry to uni was probably the closest we've been. Left for work early in the morning, came home to find food on the table, prayed together, telling each other how the day went, the usual mundane stuff. 

We were friends.

Were. Because things have changed. I guess that's what happen when you become friends. Things change. If we were to remain with the siblings-type relationship, it probably won't feel as different. Because he now acts more like a brother to me. And calls himself Aban (for some reasons the name sticks) rather than Zahid. And calls me Angah, instead of my name, which he never did. And I grow on to call him Aban too, which was an issue in the big family when we were younger because I refused to call him Abang.

Sappy moments aside, it was a reaaaaaally nice short trip to Dublin. Dublin makes me miss Izleen and KN, but these people are nothing short. Gotta thank them awesome crowd - Mau, Pija and Acap for making it happen!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

As you turn 24.

As you turn 24
You start to wonder, you begin to ponder
Where this road is taking you once school is over
Do you stay in Belfast where everything is familiar --
-- Or seek the comfort of a wife in Leicester --
-- Or even perhaps go back to your root, and serve em taxpayers.

As you turn 24
Your features soften, your smiles widen
You find yourself laughing a little more often
And goof on your wife of being pregnant
There there, little do you realise what actually happens
Maybe it's time to think of having children?

As you turn 24
You cook healthily, you go to gym
No more oily junks, just grill or steam
As you become more consistent, in pride you beam
As you become hunkier, the harder it seems
To take my eyes off you, with my naughty grin.

As you turn 24
You drool on cars, not that you hadn't before
It just seems more possible, that Audi A4
But a wife who wants an A6 is probably going to make you poor
You wonder if teaching her cars was a good idea after all.

As you turn 24
You pay for more things as I stand there and watch
You still do chores like putting laundry in the wash
Never did you whine, neither did you dodge
Sometimes it makes me feel guilty just a tiny little notch
But to be the luckiest wife alive, I feel posh.

As you turn 24
You cook the best rendang nevermind the paste
But still asks me how to cook chicken to your taste
Not that everything I cook is always the nicest
So at times I wonder if you're just being courteous
But oh well, it's not everyday I can be a cook genius.

As you turn 24
You still call your wife your baby gurl
Gurl with a 'u', it's completely intentional
It drives me mad but I find it adorable
It makes me break my grammar nazi rule
It's the child in you that makes you playful.

As you turn 24 this year
It's nearly 5 years we've been together
You do realise, it's a long time to annoy each other
Still I love you all the same and perhaps a little greater
We've come this far, we've taken it further
And I know in distance do our hearts silently suffer
And that I never get to be there on your birthday doesn't make it any better
Still, we persevere
For in this love of ours, do the hearts find pleasure.

As you turn 24 this year
I wish it will be your last birthday without me, ever.

Happy 24th sayang,
-- Your Bella.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Summer Love II - Of Kelantan and Pulau Perhentian.


*deep breath in*

Friday, 01/08/14
Spent the day doing final preparations for my brother's wedding. Well, more like me nudging my mom to buy new tudung and find new kain, actually. Went to Pasir Puteh with Ummi and bought some stuff. And we had KFC there! TWICE! We had our first KFC in the car on our way back, and the second one after we came home to realise no one was cooking lunch (not me, not everrrhh), so we went out again to Kok Lanas KFC. So much of wanting KFC man. The rest of the night was spent arguing who should iron one of the dresses for hantaran - it was quite tricky and no one wanted to take the risk. But oh well, all was well.

Saturday, 02/08/14
Abang kita kawen waweeee! It's akad nikah on the bride's side.

I love love looooove this picture! My Adam looks soooo giant at one end while Little Adam looks sooo tiny at the other end. Hahahaha! As for my brother, who needs friends when you have truckloads of male siblings and cousins in the family? Yes these are all the grown up male cousins in my family - leaving myself, my sister and cousin Nadirah as the only girls. Hmphh.

Pretty much the only ones left after the akad and makan makan ceremony. It was almost noon and everyone just wanted to go home by that time. 

And this, is the excited faces of Nabilah and her husband (who was forced to look excited, btw) with her sister's monopod and a fish eye lens, the whole time being watched and laughed at by the younger ones. 

And by this time I'm pretty sure it's already very apparent that I was so tanned from the sun. Spending  a month in UK summer only to go home to the tropical weather of Malaysia did that to me :(

Sunday, 03/08/14

Muka pengantin lama. Lol. No we did not tempah the outfit just for our wedding anniversary. That would be too much hahaha. It was reception on the groom's side, aka our side, so everyone was wearing brown, which I had no pictures of. Sads. But yeah, it was the day our marriage turned 2.

Somewhere during our stay in Kelantan, I finally got to meet cousin Alisya after two years, and I think she liked Adam a wee bit more than me. Grr.


Monday, 04/08/14 - Wednesday, 06/08/14
We made our way to Pulau Perhentian as a stop before going back to KL. Just the two of us - the old married couple. Haha. Stayed there for 3D2N on a full board snorkelling package. One thing that I always wonder when I go somewhere with Adam is - why didn't I take more pictures back then? For a start, we don't do selfie that much, so most our pictures were taken by someone else. And I'm too lazy to carry my phone or camera around. And our time together is limited, every minute counts for we know we would have to eventually go back to being the long distance couple, so pictures are not really in the priority list. But everytime after we get back from somewhere, I always feel a tiny bit terkilan for we don't have proper pictures together. Rant ends here.

Admittedly this is the ONLY picture of us throughout the trip - taken just so that we could send it via WhatsApp to our family back home. Had they not discussed about dinner or anything, perhaps we'd end up with no pictures at all.

But anyways, I think I learnt a great deal from this trip. It was admittedly the first trip we had, just the two of us, in a veeeeery long time. I think our last couple trip was when we went on a Euro trip covering 5 countries, and that was in December 2012. Most of the times we spent lazying at home and did nothing, or went out with the family - we went on a family day on Adam's side at Bukit Merah Laketown last year, it was amazing. And this Perhentian trip was our first couple holiday in Malaysia. Ever. That if you didn't count the road trip to East Coast we had before we got married la. Even with that one we went with our teachers. See? Haha.

It's a great deal of lesson in the sense that, honeymoon - expectation vs reality. To be completely honest, we always thought we're the honeymoon couple, considering how we spend most times apart,  so every waking day that we spend together is a honeymoon day. But that only applies to our normal life - the long weekends crashing at each other's place either in Belfast or Leicester.

But Perhentian is a foreign place. A strange place. I've been looking forward to this trip even before I came back for summer holiday. My love for islands and beaches is too much, that I wanted us to go on a beach holiday. What I didn't prepare beforehand was, the practical things.

1. Weddings are tiring.
We just got back from my brother's wedding. It was very ultimately tiring. My parents even said to the younger siblings - no one gets married in the nearest time, we're dead tired. Of course it didn't help that Adam and I had a very simple wedding, that we feel too thankful for that, that we (or at least I, myself ) wondered why do people have to make wedding a big deal. It is soooo tiring! So by the time we got to Perhentian, we were both knackered. We just wanted to rest. Or best said, to go back home - KL.

2. Malaysia is a very hot country. 
Apologies if I sound rude, but it's very true. I love the sun, don't get me wrong - in fact I'm one of the biggest sun-freak in the family. But it's just too hot it drained us. I got tanned and sun burnt, I got cranky. We had no aircons in Kelantan where we spent our days before going to Perhentian, when I got heat rash. And inevitably I got very tired, leading us back to point no 1.

3. You can't wear glasses when snorkelling. 
This, we hadn't considered at all. AT ALL. I felt guilty for missing this one very crucial point. Adam's vision without glasses is worse than mine even before I had LASIK done. But at least back then I could wear contact lens. That doesn't apply to Adam because he has a history of corneal abrasion, where he can't wear contact lens for a very long time (or maybe ever). And he left his power swimming goggles in the UK. AND WE DID NOT THINK ABOUT IT, AT ALL. 

4. People get sick even when they wish they hadn't. 
Adam slowly became unwell in the evening of the first day. We thought it was the heat, and he had tons of iced drinks (which were amazing, btw) in the afternoon when we first arrived. As a result to that, he started to get chills and slight fever in the evening. Which lasted throughout the whole trip. And I only had ibuprofen that I carry around with me most of the times, thankfully. He barely jumped into the water on the second day when we went snorkelling for feeling a little unwell (and the power goggles, remember?). I was frustrated. I was upset. I felt bad because he was ill and there I was, being in my elements enjoying every view of the underwater creatures, and he couldn't see them, he couldn't enjoy them, and I thought he probably wished he didn't have to be there. I was torn between guilt and self-indulgence, which in the end we compromised. He came with us for the snorkelling trip, albeit staying on the boat most of the times, but in the evening stayed in the room as I wandered the beach by myself. The things you do for love.

Still, I had a good time, albeit being very very very tired and knackered at the end of the trip. We left first thing in the morning on the last day, and I drove almost all the way back to KL with Adam sleeping most of the times. And Adam went on being unwell even after we got back to KL.

There you go, expectation vs reality.

It made me think - this is the reality. People get sick. People get tired. We've never lived together more than 2 months, thus we hadn't seen enough of each other at our worst. But we also hadn't seen enough of each other at our best - the early morning snuggles, the lazy strolls in town when we know we have all the time in the world and not worry about our flights not being checked in. 

Whatever the reality brings, I look forward to the day when we can finally stop counting the days.