Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday 2012

Have you ever heard of a postponed birthday? It comes to no surprise for those who had experienced or heard of it. My birthday this year was in fact a unique one. I am an Aquarius and now the horoscope sign has passed the water bearer. Being at a special age this year, it is only natural to celebrate it and I did not have the time.

First came the preparation for my long holiday in Taiwan, followed by family's schedule being ever busy. We did not have a common free time. So I decided we celebrate it when I'm back but again, we did not have the time because I am busy preparing for my graduation parade.

So my birthday celebration is not only postponed, but extended.

It started with a birthday song at the strike of midnight on my birthday. Few days after, I was off to Taiwan. Syaz and Khai was sweet enough to send me off together with my parents. I had no idea there was a birthday cake involved. It came with a card. Not only a birthday card, a farewell card too! Then I flew off, with sweet memories in mind thinking about home.

When I was back, I had about two weeks to graduation and all I have in mind was to have a birthday party. Even as an educated event planner, I really can't find the time, resources or energy for that matter to organize a birthday party. Not even at home. Even if there's resources, I don't think there's time to call upon everybody. In the end, I tell myself to find an alternative instead.

So I decided to bring my family to Aquamarine and there goes my birthday party with ten guests. Laugh all you want but all I wanted was a proper celebration! I am glad that all of them were satisfied, and most importantly happy. A big thank you to my uncle for the top from Massimo Dutti and thanks to my parents in advance for they will be getting me an iPad - just that I don't know when will I be getting it!

In the evening that day, Syaz and Khai brought me somewhere as another post celebration because they wanted me to fly I-so-call the wishing lantern where you write your wishes on the lantern and let it fly away. It was thrilling and amusing! I can't help it but to laugh because we almost burn the entire lantern. Although there was spare but the idea of writing my long wish on it again is atrocious.

So there goes my unique birthday celebration. How belated can it get! No matter, thank you everyone!

Taiwan, Taipei 2012

This is probably long due but I will share with those who're interested. My trip to Republic of China is wonderful.

I spent three weeks there, where most of the time was spent assimilating myself with nature away from any form of electronic devices! I had the time to reflect about life, about what I had went through in life so far, and what I would love to achieve and do in the future. It was a detoxifying trip for me somehow!

The weather there was marvelous. It was cold most of the time, misty and only sunny occasionally. It was a mental, physical and spiritual challenge to face those odds, and going up the mountains was indeed a worthwhile journey because only then you'll get to see a panoramic view. It was breathtaking must I say. Seeing the silhouette of mountains in front of the shimmering golden rays of sun was something that not many can experience. I was indeed fortunate and very grateful to be there. For once, I felt so small!

Getting to town, you will see that the Taiwanese are amongst the most beautiful people in the world you can find! They were so nice and welcoming unlike people from some other countries that will probably chase you away without even saying a word. Most of them were fashionable to the extend you thought it was a fashion parade. What is fashion without the right attitude?

At times I do feel under dressed. There were reviews and comments about my outfit. Newsflash people, I'm on a trip that is anything but not another fashion week. And those are the only thickest outfit I have so far! Anyway, if you really dress up there and walk down the road you will not feel left out like how you would feel back home. Some people might just give you a weird look agree? I understand your predicament but lo and behold, there's nothing wrong with dressing well wherever you go because studies have shown that people who dress well will feel a greater sense of well-being. I hate to admit, it's true. Of course, I don't expect to see someone in mink walking down this sunny island. By then you will not only get my attention, you'll get the medic's attention too.

Shopping there was easy and comfortable because you see friendly faces around. You will not feel alone. Even the cab driver does not show any signs of racism or nationalism like how you would find in some countries. There's cab meter by the way. But I really think some of the cab drivers need to tone down on the adrenaline. Thinking back how my cab ride went, my heart did not just skipped a beat but it could just jumped right out of the cab. However, should there be any other flaw, it would be language barrier. Even so, it is not hard to speak to them if you know the basics.

Taking their MRT is so convenient, trust me. Very user friendly. The staff was very friendly, and helpful too! They took the liberty to make calls to find out for us how to get to our destination!

There were many places of interest that I went when I was in Taipei but there's too many to talk about.

I had the chance to visit one of the prominent landmark in Taipei, The Grand Mosque. I was lucky to be able to perform the Friday prayers there. Although I may not understand fully what the sermon was all about but I got the gist of it since the topic title was translated in English, and listening to some keywords that I understood, I know what he was talking about. It was a unique experience because then I could see how the minority Muslims in Taipei live, and get their fresh halal food. It was my first time seeing women go to Friday prayers on the contrary to what I see back home.

Another must-not-miss place that I went to was Taipei 101. I was so happy to see the second tallest building in the world! Whenever I travel, I love looking at symbolic buildings. I may not be an architect or interior designer or anything that has got to do with design, but I really appreciate these kind of things. Love it loads! By the way, if you're filthy rich, this is the it place to go. Nothing that I can afford there because I had no more cash! No cash, no holiday! LOL!

We went to several theme parks. They had a fair share of rides and sceneries. One of the theme park I went was Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village. If you didn't know, Taiwan was known in the past as Formosa which means beautiful island in Portuguese. Well the Portuguese didn't lie. I rode on this free-fall ride - UFO and it was madness! Didn't even have the time or the courage to scream. First it went up slowly, and it rotated. From above, you got to see beautiful view and the next thing I know it went down at a speed of UFO and I didn't dare to open my eyes! Definitely not for the soft hearted! I really thought this park was interesting because I have been reading a lot on Malay history and one of the theories involves Taiwanese aborigines coming down south.

In this trip I realize there's much more to learn out there and knowledge is probably the only thing that most didn't know is a living thing.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

10th Specialist Cadet Graduation Parade

Just so my loved ones know, I had just graduated from my command school! I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends around me throughout the course from the foundation term to professional term. There were a few setbacks but if you're strong inside out, I think you'll get through it. Living life with a bunch of people you don't really know for about 22 weeks doesn't sound comfortable at all, but at the end of the day, you will let yourself lose and assimilate yourself instead. Nobody said it was going to be that easy.

I am very thankful to have my lovely parents, and my uncle and family to come by to join the occasion. It was a memorable experience that I will not forget. Sure this placement may not be as high as some of yours but I do hope it becomes a motivation for those after me, and reward for those who stood by.

This is not hard if you put your mind to it. After reading this you might say 'Macam faham!' or something along that line but when you face with this reality, you will understand what I mean. Congratulations to my comrades too!

Here's a video of my rank presentation, hope you enjoy it as much as I do.