I wouldn’t get married

I don’t think marriage works without God.

And I wouldn’t get married if I didn’t believe in a religion that propagates marriage.

Here’s why.

You see, the concomitant dilemma of modern day marriages is this; people get married for love, to be happy

But they divorce, not because they are not happy, but they could be happier

with someone else, something else

This is what happens when you live in an individualistic society.

We are inherently selfish creatures. Women want from men what men can’t give because they are just not wired the same way and vice versa.

We contradict ourselves with our wants.

In the words of Esther Perel, top marriage counsellor and psychotherapist ,

On one hand, we want security, predictability ,safety, dependability, reliability, permanence. These anchoring grounding experiences in our lives.

But we have an equally strong need for surprise, for adventure, novelty, mystery, risk, the unknown, unexpected.

Reconciling it into one relationship is a contradiction in terms.

We come to one person for the things an entire village used to provide;

give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity

but give me transcendence, mystery and awe

comfort and edge

novelty and familiarity

predictability and surprise

we think it’s a given and toys and lingerie will save us.

 

 

So why do we get married? Why do we give out a part of ourselves for this institution, commit our lives to another that can’t give what we idealistically want?

Because Allah swt has promised that a woman that takes care of her prayers, protects her chastity and makes her husband happy, will be able to enter jannah from whichever door she chooses.

And that’s enough for me.

If we see only what is in front of us, our struggles and sacrifices without having a clear sight of the end, everlasting goal, the institution of marriage will never work. If we only see our husbands as liabilities, his shortcomings to what he actually provides, our early mornings to prepare breakfasts and our daily responsibilities to keep house while building a career, our marriages will never work.

Theres something greater than all of us.

Have faith.

And Hafizah, time to finish up your assignments :p

 

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Choose to stay

They say.. you marry the person that you love.

But we often run for the high hills the moment we fall out of love.

Every road block, detour or challenge makes us pause and ponder if the person’s

the one.

However we define what “one” is.

People often say that it’s easy to fall out of love. We forget the good in who we chose and instead, seek to see someone’s better.

We forget the person behind the love haze.

When the dust settles, it wipes away the imprint of good memories.

We forget growth, potential, commitment and love.

We don’t strive to choose to love the person we marry.

We are indeed so vulnerable to our own self entitlement.

So this 2017,

I’m committed to:

  1. Not be too scared of Mr Law. The flight response is very real to the slightest shift in dynamics. I’m not gonna be a trigger happy zuji.com girl anymore
  2. To write my gratitudes every single day and never go to bed unhappy or hopeless.
  3. To pray to God everyday to never leave me to myself. To have Him guide and protect us.

I’m praying everyday for the strength, courage and super glue to always fix and choose to stay. Through whatever, InsyAllah.

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P.S Mr Law, if when you read this, can you not be so fierce? I scared!

Our abode (Part 1)

Wanna get married.(?)

He said. Not. :’)

I still vividly remember the first time we discussed talked about marriage. It was as selamba as you would order teh tarik from the mamak. “Wanna get married” *eats ice cream* “We can get married in 2 years.. Have a baby..” scoops more ice shavings into his mouth *crunch crunch* *mamak teh tarik panas gajah satu*

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I don’t know how we ended up in this place at Clementi eating ice shavings. Or why Mr Law was with me on a weekday afternoon instead of being at work. #someonetellhisboss Lol.

We put the “plan” into writing..

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Numbers represent the age we were supposedly getting married

This boy acts all tough but he’s such a sentimental fool guys. He still has this piece of paper in all its crumpled glory (aww.)

❤️

Well, life moved on and it was not until one random day that I talked to him about my dream home. I told him that I wanted to

a. Live near the trains

b. Live near my parents

and Fazal just wanted to live in a maisonette. And somewhere he can get Iced Coffee when he comes home. Kopitiam ones please.

So putting two and two together, I asked my mum if she knew anyone that might be selling a maisonette unit in our estate. There is only 4 units per block, 6 blocks, so these units are rare commodity here! They are called “penthouse” units because they have an outdoor area and plenty of space.

Lo and behold, an Uncle was ready to give up his place

The lighted one, highest unit with double storey window 😀

Or so I thought.

The asking price was $700K! *gulp*

And.. it’s a 25 year old building with minimum works. Everything is mostly firsthand.

Quick mental calculation puts this house, including full reno works and furnitures, at $800k. MENTAL. 

#sisbarukerja #sispokai

So we decided to hunt for another place. Via Propertygury and stproperty of course. I was obsessed I tell you. I checked on the websites every opportunity I could. Toilet break pon jadi lah.

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What was my work station on a busy day. The other laptop has stproperty bookmarked of course!

 

We found a couple of houses via these websites but I let me share with you guys some things I have learnt.

#wordsofwisdom

  1. Ads are not very truthful.

Okay, everyone collectively say *DUHH*.^^’ Buttt let me explain. I decided to undertake all the admin work myself and liaise with HDB directly. This will save you the 1% of the property price + GST.

So for example, if we were to buy the $700k property, on top of the stamp duty charges of $15, 000 mind you , admin fees (gas, fire insurance, maintenance fee, town council fee etc etc) you have to pay another $7, ooo cash just to hire an agent to do some paperwork.

PRO TIP💡: Don’t be lazy. Go down to HDB hub yourself and harass the heck out of the information counter. Google things too. Plenty of self help FAQ on the website for dummies like us 😛

But I digress

When you click on an ad for example, (picture just for illustrative purpose, I couldn’t find the original ads)

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Jason Goh is someone that markets the unit, but he does not represent the owner. Instead, he made an agreement with the owner and their agent to market this unit. So if you were to click on this ad, Jason Goh automatically becomes your agent!! Regardless if you would want an agent or not!

Like duddee, that’s so misleading and majorly uncool. 

#sigh #propertyagents #rolleyes #youliveandlearn

We ended up not getting this house..

2) Resale houses, especially maisonettes are pricey! As first time buyers, if your household income does not exceed $10,000, you can get the $30,000 grant (even for ECs)

You too can be eligible for proximity grant which gives you another $30,000 if you live within 2km radius to your family, or in the same town.

Even with that, the average $580,000 maisonettes in dilapidated conditions are not exactly a dream. If you were to factor in the massive overhaul needed for the home (rewiring, replastering of walls, floors, waterproofing), we are looking at a massive renovation project upwards of $100k. That’s $680K guys for a property that might not increase in value.

                    *terbatuk abang*

3) People would factor in their renovation costs into your home. For example, they could build in an ugly odd shaped wardrobe in their room and insists it adds value to the property.>:D>:D>:D😡😡😡 *Oh Allah please help me* I mean, even if the house is aesthetically pleasing, it’s not exactly the dream Parisian Chic theme I have in mind is it.. They should pay me to remove it?💅🏼💅🏼

 

I have more things to share.. about the house that we fell in love with but lost. To what we stumbled upon and InsyAllah, will become home. Sometimes, we can only put our faith in God for He knows best. Always stay positive and work hard, this will never fail us.

Our Abode (Part 2) is coming soon! Also, let me know if you guys want to see the financial break down of things! 😎

Why every woman deserves a hardworking husband

We had dinner at MBS after work one day, me and Fazal, and took a walk around the waterfront after. It was one of those lovely clear nights guys, where you just feel intoxicated with all the love you have for life and the company next to you, full from good food and good ju-ju.

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I was giddy with happiness lying down on the wooden steps when I shared with him what I thought was an ideal home situation.

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You know, the whole white picket fence 4 room HDB flat,  fireplace burning  aircon blasting, soft music and candles. Me and him sharing dinner. When the kids come along, there’ll be bedtime stories and lullabies

And Fazal looked at me exactly like this

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 Smirking like a typical baggage laden, snarky, cynical lawyer.

💔

Tragic really.

But more than that, I knew that that was gonna be the start of 1-2 day(s) cold shoulder on his part as he tries to digest what a moron he thinks I am for having such a naive view of the world.

And he probably needs some time and space to come to terms with what I said and whether he still wants to be associated with such vile thoughts. Or something like that. Ya, he’s asshole-y like that.

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I sorta have some leverage when I’m physically in front of him. I guess a little bit of the naivety tugs at his puny heart somewhere in the depths of his gut and he’ll try to tell me with as much patience as he can muster (not much really) where he stands on things.

The dumping debate only happens after I leave. In 3, 2, 1..

That’s why a majority of our arguments happen over texts.

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But I digress.

Anyway, Fazal lamented that women have a long list of wants but cannot take it when their boyfriends/husbands have to go out and work for it.

Essentially,

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Ya. Okay.

But that got me thinking as to why are there so many odes to women, especially those working moms but you don’t hear it about working fathers. And only recently that I realised how much shit a working mom goes through daily and only by having a hardworking husband can the latter balance the scale.

Let me explain.

Last November’s birthday party cum chalet that ibu threw for ayah was the perfect setting for this incredible life lesson.

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These women are my aunts. All 3 of them are professionals  + mums. This is them taking a photo. The eye of the hurricane.

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And behind the scene they are just catering to their families while juggling demanding careers and tiring chores.

Whilst the men..

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It is just not in their mechanism to worry about laundry or what to cook for the family

Men rely on women to be an incredibly strong, impenetrable home front, to grow and nurture their family. For their selflessness and fidelity.

Thus, only when men are hardworking on the career front can he provide sufficient bread and butter to somewhat bring balance to the scales.

So these days, I just tell Fazal that if we get married, “you just come home la ah.. I don’t care what time. And eat every morsel of food I’ve cooked for you”.

Then we can snuggle

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Lullabies and bed time stories?

We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

P.S. In Fazal’s defence

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It’s not much of him purposely trying to be difficult.

It’s just that at 30, he’s unfuckwithable you know?

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And at life’s trajectory, he’s far on the horizon of the beaten path. He know’s what he wants and god knows that the baggage of past relationships tells him exactly what he doesn’t want.Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 5.31.17 pm

It’s bend or break with him.

The fear of retaliation, contradiction and defamation is real with this one.

And I was the debater who sang High School Musical 😅

Plus, I’m still fumbling in my idealistic corner at the very start of the path, trying to fix the little ouchies. I’m not even enroute, I’m “on the way” Malay version. 

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BUT, in my defence

He has a patience range of a teaspoon guys with a very wide real estate on the fucking pissed department

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He needs a bigger spoon.

Do you guys know where I can buy him a nice big spoon? Industrial size please!

The thing about being in a relationship..

I know, guys, I know.

I somehow always relate my posts about my being in a relationship.

It’s just that professionally, (furiously knocking on all the wood there is around me) I’ve got it under control.

 

In the great words of Casey Neistat,

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Andy Spade said that Working Family is a great name for a business

“..because if you can figure out work and family you will be happy in life. For me, and likely for you, work and family is basically all there is.”

 

This is family. We’re chill.

 

And for the past 9 months..

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This is family too.

 

And the unchartered waters that came along with the new family, namely this strange entirety that is a 29 year old opinionated, short tempered and extremely cranky man..

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Befuddling how he went from someone who once threatened to throw Moomers away, to the love of my life guys.

 

Man. He’s just hard to figure out.

Gimme 100 of these sweaty smelly gremlins I still can

 

But this one big baby

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Uh huh

So, I suck at this guys 😦

sorry kitten

 

Of course after some time, I learn to decipher some of his little nuances..

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Like see that nose flaring and lips curling? Oh boy, THE warning sign.

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When in doubt, always offer seafood.
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Best time to discuss those Chanel bags.. *ehem* My birthday is in 2 months okay?

The thing about relationships..

It’s the few elements in life (like staying on a budget and getting a bikini wax without screaming bloody murder) I can’t seem to get a hold of. 

I find myself helplessly sifting through my Uni modules regarding communications and people management to unearth the answers to the mysteries of being a couple.

Like for example Prof Huang from Coms Management taught me about the left-hand and right-hand column..

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And there will be a third arrow using the left hand column as a yardstrick, to reflect and figure out objectively why and how I got to these feelings and there’s a whole series of strategies to prevent miscommunication in the corporate world. I got an A+ for this module.

I mean, Prof Huang should stuff his theories up his ass. 

University teaches you nothing.

So these days, in order to figure out this discombobulating web of relationships, I’m taking a lesson from one of the greatest literature of our generation..

Thought Catalog

Tragic. I know.

Okay, but there are some really great articles and one was even referred to me by my foreign entirety. 

First order of business guys, is always, always, research the enemy subject matter.

In order to get more clarity about this foreign entirety(FE), I investigated the thought catalog article he gave me.

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Tell me more Brianna Wiest..

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Okay.. This I agree. FE is as low maintenance as they come. But oh boy, there’s a Line guys drawn so thick and NO! pretty much means no. I’ll hear about it loud and clear.

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FE is all about this. Read above.

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You cannot fake happy.

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And all I feel is happy whenever I’m with him.

Maybe this relationship has no finishing line and the journey is the destination and the obstacles are just detours along the way.

Maybe like bikini waxes and staying within budget, I just got to take it one day (or strip) at a time because the journey lasts a lifetime (of course the former changes with his preference 😉 )

We’re probably gonna face more challenges along the way. It’s just that we are disagreeing at a staggering rate these days and it’s never been this way.

But I know deeeeep down, he still loves me guys.

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If you are reading this, I know I don’t say it enough too..

But thank you for everything ok? ❤

Okay, now to learn how to live within budget. HAHAHAHA.

Yeah. I just heard my wallet laugh too.

The Accident in Bali and 5 Things I Learn To Do In An Emergency

I had planned on doing a guide to Europe on a shoe string budget. I’ll get back to that SOONEST, guys. Promise. 

But I need to write about this.

5 things you need to do when met with an accident in Bali. 

Some context.

I left for Bali on the 1st of December. It was a drop-everything-and-just GO kinda trip. I feel like I’m prefacing this to every trip but it’s true.

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Flight confirmation at 1.58am. Just in time to check in on-line and leave.

 

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I had to encounter the wrath of my Ibu (Mom). Mom: Why are you leaving out of a sudden? Do you have any problems? Bali is not very safe. Me: Haha, well I’m going with 3 other people Mom: Next time when you are married and you behave this way, your marriage will crumble. What wonderful behaviour, telling me this just before you leave.

Of course I felt bad. And I came clean to her when I came back.

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Result: Guys, I reek of sambal belacan, onions and garlic everyday because I’m doomed to kitchen slave duty for the rest of the year. I’m bleeding chilli paste and beef stock.

But the absolute worse is coming clean to Fazal. I’ll spare you guys the gory details but man I think getting a spear through my heart might hurt less. I’d rather be hogtied and licked on the toes by cats.

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Shots fired. Can someone say ouch?

Okay, but I digress.

The weapon

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See that puny little black bike stand there?

I was at the beach front of Ku De Ta with Sophie, my new found Belgian friend, when we decided that we had enough of the crashing waves. Surfing conditions were pissed poor and I thought we would have better luck in Kuta.

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Me and Sopz. Something like this. But of course much, much, easier on the eyes. *bats eyelashes*

But time was a ticking,

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4.15pm. Peak hour traffic to Kuta, 4.45pm. Losing our way, 5.15pm. 45mins surfing plus sunset. Ok can. HURRY, HURRY, HURRY

 

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Mad dash to the scooter

And then this happened..

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I hit a small rock while kicking out to kick up my scooter stand. And my nail just decided to tear itself away from my skin.

Hullo nail, what just happened?! It was gory.

So finally, here’s the 5 things you should do if such events happened to you. 

  1. Do NOT panic.

 

photo (28)

Sopz was washing her board when I came up to her..

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Unfortunately, minus the surfer dude. (stolen from her fb)

“Uh oh Sopz. Change of plans.”

“You don’t bloody say”

2. Assess the situation and ask for help.

The scooter was parked right next to the life guard post and without even asking, a couple of these life guards just came to the rescue.

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These guys are wonderful. Incredibly helpful. Look for Red and Yellow. You can’t miss them on the beach.

They poured alcohol solution on my wound and.. (shivers up my spine, guys. i s.c.r.e.a.m.e.d. So.Much.Tears.and.Snot.) I gripped on Sopz real tight and begged them to not pour anymore.

They wrapped up my toe neatly and I was off.

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3. Go back to your hostel/hotel to get ID

Of course for me, right at this very moment, Fazal decided to break his silent treatment

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I swear this guy, he’s a bloodhound. He sniffs me out the exact moment I get into trouble.

4. You can choose to go to the hospital or any of the pharmacies around the area. Every pharmacy has an in-house doctor to deal with all your ouchies.

I chose (well, more like me and Sopz stumble into) the Kimia Farma Apotek just 2 minutes out of the hostel. They are a chain and you can find them everywhere in Bali. They are so gentle and kind, they really take care of you, guys.

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Hospitality takes time.

 That-means-if-you-have-a-severe-injury-please-get -the-heck-out because-you-might-just-die-waiting-in-line. A chef came after me with a severed thumb and his thumb was literally blue and he was moaning in pain but nope, the doctor was still inside tending to some sprain ankle -_-

5) Take lousy amount of selfies to distract you from the pain

 

Because the pain, it’s gonna hurt real bad. Real bad. 

The doctor had to use anaesthesia to remove the nail from the skin. And anaesthesia (4 brutal jabs) on incredibly sensitive toe full of nerve endings?

Wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy. Or maybe just that one bitch.. I KID.

Aftermath

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Hullo toe nail.
photo 4 (6)
Doc took this for us after the procedure. HAHA. How sweet. Sorry if you lost your thumb waiting for us.

Then I went back to the hostel to shower and eat my meds. Pain killers come come, come to mama

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Mama bear Sopz

Then I went to bed

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“Moomers, I bwoken”

Couldn’t find my receipt but..

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SO. EXPENSIVE. It should slightly more expensive at the hospital (according to Pak Tio, the hostel manager at least).

Then I went back home to my best friend

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HEH.

More like..Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.24.04 am

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😦

In all honesty,

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Sundae scale of pain

Seriously guys, you can be the toughest buff lord but breaking your heart hurts no amount of painkillers can fix.

It’s true what they say. You just got to find someone worth the pain.

Me and Fazal, we are tentatively trying to fix us tentatively fixed us and how we deal with things.

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But he’s worth it, guys.

SGD2,000 for my 1 month EU/UK trip (include flights)

I spend a month traveling around Europe and UK the summer of 2015. It was a drop-everything-and-see-how-it-goes trip and all I can say was, “Wow.”. I lived for hashtags like #livin’onmom’sprayers because at times, it was true. More on that later.

 

lisboa
Lisboa. What people think backpacking looks like.
bag woman
What backpacking actually looks like.

I started my journey in Paris, and went to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid). Dropped by Lisbon, Portugal before heading back to Spain’s Andalucia and Malaga. From there I headed to Cote d Azur, France then Venice, Italy. I ended up in Brussels, Belgium somehow before missing the bus to Amsterdam and thus headed to London. Left for Manchester and then to Cardiff, Wales before making it back to Paris and then home. I did all this by bus (+ 1 train ride but whose counting). 

my journey

 

It was pretty much a whirlwind of travelling; of missing buses and not finding the eurolines offices and NOT knowing how to do the online booking until my FINAL days, lol. I’m not a fussy traveller and I recommend that anyone who wants to try a trip like this to pretty much have strong back and thick face. Then you’re set. I promise.

Or to at least have enough money to get 3G on their phones.

Or to not break their phones and the maps along with it.

Or to have the charger that is not BROKEN for your back up phone.

Or AT THE VERY LEAST, when you’re blind as a bat, to remember to bring your spectacles.

Or at scraping bottom of the VERY least pile, not to lose your spectacles on the way to the airport at the very start of your trip.

Needless to say, to quote the greatest YouTuber alive Casey Neistat, my trip was off to a very irresponsible start. HEH.

backpack
In the Louvre with all my barang barang. I entered for free and got a really nice tour from this French student, Bijay (from Nepal), working there because I told him that my sister Mel was marrying a Nepali. Or maybe because my tits were hanging out :/ You choose.

 

Here is a breakdown of my expenditure

Flights: $869.

I always use Zuji to look at prices of flights before cross-referencing to the airline website itself. The time old adage is true, when you see a price you are comfortable enough paying, JUST BOOK, don’t think of whether the prices will decrease because lo and behold, it might just increase.

I used my MH miles to get myself upgraded to Business on my outgoing flight, but was back in cattle class enroute home (I could have sneaked my way to an upgrade if I went for a later flight, but Fazal would have killed me. Boyfriend>Comfort *ehem* anyday *ehem*)

Anyway, I got myself a full flat bed coming home too, on the floor that is (I ain’t no germaphobe yo, I sleep wherever)

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Malaysia_Airlines_A380_Business_Class01
Picture taken from the internet. I met a French girl that was high. Throughout the flight she was just complaining that she needed a cigg pronto. At one point, she was sucking her toes. Umm. She told me to get in touch with her when I’m in Paris, but needless, “Ok…aaay. Nevermind”.

And enroute back..

plane floor
Something like this.  Without the mystical grey tinted lens. It was uh-g(l)ey.

Transport

  1. Eurolines 15 days youth pass 195 euros = $300. It should be 210 euros but I got it on a sale. VERY important because this was my SOLE mode of travelling around Europe. Single city passes could have cost more that 60-70euros in June, so this was a very good deal.

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photo 1 (7)

2) Megabus

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This got me from London to Manchester, Cardiff back to London and then to Paris. A whopping 31.50 pounds (S$61.30) guys (including booking fees). .

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Buses are a great way to travel, guys. It allows you to interact with fellow travellers and you’ll never know who you meet, even if you can’t speak their language. I’ve met the best people on the buses and some I spend the entire days (s) following our bus ride to find our way in the city. To the mothers and grandmother whom fed me in these buses, I’m eternally grateful.

3) Train

13.57 pounds = S$28.60

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Trains are a tonne more comfortable, albeit slightly more expensive mode of travelling. I got these tickets online and it was much much cheaper than purchasing on site!

Accommodation

Out of the 29 nights of travelling, I stayed in 6 hostels and for 7 nights in total. The rest were either in buses en route somewhere, in public places or in some kind soul’s home. (Sorry ibu ayah, Fazal)

83.95 euros + 29 pounds = S$129 + S$61

= S$190

la flor de gaudi

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2nd night in Barcelona. I highly recommend this hostel. You get curtains over your bunk bed, power plugs in the bed and a really good size locker (bring your own padlock) underneath it. I met Dans on Eurolines from Paris and we travelled around Barcelona, sleeping on the beach and all. 

 

dan
He is exactly my height, guys.
dans2
Okay, maybe just slightly taller.

 

logo lisbon chillout

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1 night in Lisbon. Pretty hostel. Really nice big lounges to hang out in but I remembered having to scoured the place to charge my blackberry. I met Achyata on Eurolines too. Her sister is Miss Nepal 2013. Gorgeousness oozes out of her soul, this one. 

 

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Of course I lost our photos. But I took this one, and hey LOOKIE, that’s my bag and scarf.
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The route up to the hostel is made of tricky limestone pavements and it gets really slippery especially after rain. Of course I slipped, fell, dropped Fazal’s HTC One, which I used specifically for navigation, into the longkang. YEP. I took so many photos of Lisbon and Cascais that day. Some shots I even risked my life for *wails*

 

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1 night in Granada. This was an alright hostel. You get a real bed here, but the vibe (I felt) was not young and friendly. The owners come into the room to check if you put your bags on the bed -_- Nevertheless it was really clean and I travelled with a Korean around the city. My heart was not in it due an unexpected devastating event.
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Selfie stick does wonders
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Al Hambra :’)

villa nice

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Yikes. I’d rather sleep on the beach. Springy bunk beds, drunk dwellers and by far the most disgusting. But I made a really nice friend staying upstairs, Emilliano (Italian mix Brazillian who is playing football in Switzerland). I would have attached his picture but I lost them along with my Blackberry

 

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Emilliano was judging me the entire time but it was SO HOT guys. I offered to share the umbrella (stole from USS) but he was all I’m-too-macho-for-this.
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*shoves my BB in his face* “Take my picture Emilliano” “Aren’t you gonna open your eyes?” “Nope, I want a calm zen photo HURRY HURRY I’M HUNGRY”
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My first (and last) 20 euro restaurant meal. Pic stolen from the internet but you guys get it.  Nice was EXPENSIVE! Emilliano left halfway to catch his flight. On my way back to the hostel I was asked harassed by a tricycle driver that promised sex beyond my wildest dream HEH. Some smooth talker he was. Needless to say, I HOOFED it up to the hostel. All those sprints finally had a practical purpose. He was harmney (Harmless but Horney).

brussels

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By far the most modern chic hostel but LOOK at the price. I can almost stay for 3 nights in Lisbon for this. Cheapest room too, and one of the cheaper hostels.

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Same spot different days. Why same spot? Well, behind me there’s a Starbucks = Free WIFI. ‘Nuff said.
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Funny story. So I was at the main square, Grand Place (pronounced with a froggy French accent), minding my own business with my lecherous smart WIFI stealing behaviour when I was approached by an American (originally from Jamaica) traveller named Tim asking to borrow my map. I took him under my wings and showed him what Brussels had to offer (1 day old, so I was a PRO at this point. ) We passed this Hotel Amigo where there was a throng of girls screaming and singing 1Direction songs. Turns out the band was staying in the hotel for their concert later that week and the girls were waiting for their arrival. Of course, since I know that my Mendaki girls love 1D, I would make greatest teacher in history if I took home a photo. I stayed, and the surging crowd caused me to drop my phone and the camera broke. I asked Tim to take the photos, and two hours later (he was really funny and we shared many stories), when 1D actually came, he snapped a photo of me. Then we went our separate ways and I forgot to ask him for his number/facebook account. So I have no photos of 1D AND a broken camera phone.

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Beds as shit as at Nice but clean(ish) and has a nice communal area. I met great people here who brought me to eat fish and chips. It was popular amongst the younger crowd. I met Mika and Greg here.
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Mika and Greg bringing me to the Odd bar to get their free cotton candy and popcorn. Can you tell why I like them so much?!

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The Sabah/Brunei crew I met at Manchester. Really a bunch of amazing students from Sheffield!

So there you have it. 6 hostels, 7 nights.

Grand total: S$ 1, 448.90

The rest were spend on food, inner city trains and buses and on my last day in Paris, I shopped a tiny bit to bring souvenirs back home.

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I’m not saying that everything was rainbows and unicorns because it definitely wasn’t.

When I couldn’t find a place to stay, it was mostly like this.

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Illegally hiding under benches to sleep when the train station closed in Venice
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Or this.

But when you wake up, go to the public wash room, wash your face, brush your teeth and..

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SMILE.
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Because no one owes you a living and you’re on an adventure of a lifetime so wtf are you whining for.

I lived mostly off..

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Supermarket food
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Free hostel food
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People’s kindness. Mostly the grandmothers owning bakeries that are closing for the day.

Ramadhan started the last 9 days of my trip so I was mostly writhing in bed by 7pm during the 19 hours of fasting

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The. Clock. Must. Be. Broken.

On lucky days, I met nice strangers turn friends like Elodie who offered me a place to stay..

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On luckier days,

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silk sheets and stunning views.

The people I’ve met and all the adventures of running after buses and figuring out the way around town, the Olas, Obrigadas, Bonjours and Mercis and trying to make myself understood in a foreign land with no GPS.

Oh and not forgetting the animals too..

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Yeah, guys, this is my bird Percy. I’m so cool, I’m the bird whisperer.
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WTF IS HE PLOTTING??! GET THIS EVIL THING OFF ME!!
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Chips are good for you, ya. See a lot of fibre, no la, where got leading cause of obesity.

I wouldn’t change it for the world, guys.

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Then I came home, to my best friend.

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