Thursday, December 17, 2015

#254 - Seoul Searching Day 1

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

07.12.2015

I took a bus the night before from Kangar to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS). I arrived in TBS around 4.30am, reloaded my Touch n Go card and took the KLIA transit to KLIA2. The ERL fare from Bandar Tasik Selatan (BTS) to KLIA2 was around RM28. Since I wasn't in much of a hurry, I hopped off at Putrajaya, went out, punched my TnG card and went back in. I saved more than 50% of the overall fare doing so because the fare from BTS to Putrajaya was RM6.20, and Putrajaya to KLIA2 cost RM5.30. Try this trick whenever you are planning to save on money instead of time. I arrived in KLIA2, used the free shower stall in the departure hall to freshen up, met my brother and boarded. I was ready for the six hours flight to Seoul. ^_^

Getting closer to Seoul..
We arrived around 4pm in Incheon International Airport. We bought the T-Money card (Korea's equivalent of a Touch n Go, just more efficient and widely used) in the 7E and boarded the subway to Gongdeok station. We arrived in our hostel near Itaewon, YaKorea Hostel Itaewon which I already reserved weeks earlier only to find out that it was closed for renovation. What a fate. But I guess it happened for a reason and thankfully it was not my mistake, so the manager found us a new hostel at the same price. If it wasn't for the incident, I would not be able to experience riding in a taxi for free (the fare was covered by the hostel), and our new room in the new hostel, Kimchee Seoul Station Guesthouse was better than the one I booked before. So yeah, I'm not complaining over it. It was a great experience on the very first day in Seoul.

Seoul at night, taken inside the taxi to Kimchee Guesthouse.
After taking a little rest and praying, my brother and I went out to Itaewon for dinner. I ate bread in the morning and spent the whole time on the flight being stingy about having to pay for my food, so I was a little famished at that moment. Because of the incident about the hostel, we went out a little late and Murree Muslim Food Restaurant was about to close when we arrived. Since our tummies were basically growling at that moment, we just stopped at the next halal restaurant we saw and had chicken rice for our dinner.

After dinner, my brother wanted to visit World Cup Stadium while I decided to just go back to the hostel and took a rest. However, since it was a hostel I didn't research before, I didn't note the number of the subway exit I should be taking to go to the hostel. You see, the hostel was very close to Chungjeongno subway station, like 20 steps away, only if you go through the right exit. There were 10 exits in the station and I went through 8 of them before I found the right one to my hostel. For those going to Seoul, be alert of the number of exit you should be taking. Because some stations have a lot of exits, even more than 10, and it'd be time and energy consuming if you don't know which one you should be taking.

Me and the infamous banana milk. Pardon my sleepy eyes.

Tips:

1. Know why you are going to Seoul. For the food? For the culture and history? For the shopping? For the nature? For the Hallyu wave? That way you are able to make an itinerary according to your preference, because trust me, there are a lot of different things you can do and experience in the city of Seoul.
2. Download MetroidHD app in your smartphone. It provides information about the subway; which one to take, how much will it cost, how much time will it take.
3. Choose a hostel near the place you'll frequent, or in the centre which will be near to everything. I chose a hostel near Itaewon, because I wanted to be close to halal food. Because of the change in the hostel, we lived a little far from Itaewon but it was still in the centre.
4. I suggest you buy a T-Money or any other card of the same function, because it is cheaper than having to pay separately for every destination you are going, and just more efficient.

...to be continued...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

#253 Stories In The Cold, Worth To Be Told

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Winter is coming. ^^

Enam tahun bermastautin di negara empat musim, winter is one of our most-awaited seasons. Tapi dekat Poland tu, tiap-tiap tahun bila winter je, mesti ada berita tentang homeless people yang mati kesejukan.

Winter is a beautiful season, but winter can only be enjoyed when we are feeling warm. I'm thankful that I get to experience the harsh coldness of winter, because it helps me to empathize those who are struggling in the cold.

So, I think I will not be able to sit still and do nothing when I know, at the other side of the world, there are still people freezing out in the cold. If we are able to help, even a little bit, why don't we?

Click for more details.
Malaysia ni tak ada musim salji, jadi kita memang susah jugak la nak faham kesusahan yang dilalui oleh mereka di Palestin, Syria, Lubnan, Jordan, Iraq dan tempat-tempat yang terjejas dek musim salji. Tapi kita ada musim hujan yang memang sejuk jugak la kan, lagi2 dengan banjir semua. Apa salahnya untuk mereka yang berkemampuan dan mahu membantu untuk menolong saudara seagama kita kan? 

I'm writing this because I want to help them, tapi jumlah wang yang diperlukan untuk setiap set tu mungkin agak besar untuk dikeluarkan oleh seorang individu. Ada yang nak membantu, tapi tak berkemampuan nak memberi sampai RM100. Maka, why not kita kongsi serba sedikit apa yang kita mampu beri, because at the end of the day, bukan jumlah yang Allah lihat tetapi niat dan keikhlasan kita untuk membantu. Sedihlah kalau kita membataskan niat kita untuk membantu hanya kerana ketidakmampuan kita untuk mengeluarkan jumlah yang diperlukan.

Maka, untuk siapa-siapa yang berkemampuan untuk membantu boleh terus transfer duit ke account yang dah tertera dalam poster di atas. Dan jika ada yang mahu bersama saya, kita kongsi sikit2 seberapa yang kita mampu, feel free to contact me and we'll talk from there. (whatsapp/telegram: +60195219250)

Tumpang promote untuk pelajar-pelajar di Eropah yang mahu
 membantu bersama ARIF, AZIM, ALIF dan AMAR.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

#252

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

Tahu tak betapa tak bersyukurnya seorang manusia tu? They always want something they do not have. They are never satisfied with whatever they have in hands. Ungratefulness. Greed. Ambitions. Give whatever names to it, they are actually one thing. Kita sentiasa berkehendakkan sesuatu yang kita pernah/tak akan/belum ada. And I am right now wishing that I am back as a student in Poland. It was a great six years that I am not ready to move on yet, no matter how much I'd like to start working.

So in this post, I am posting six pictures that I wanted to share stories about, for each year I spent in Poland. They aren't the most precious pictures, because I just couldn't decide which are the most precious. But like any other pictures, each has their own stories and each is precious in their own way. :)

2010: Kak Wani and Yuyu

First year medical student. Kak Wani's 25th birthday celebration. My first family in Poland was undoubtedly Fatihah w Lodzi. Yuyu, Pidah, Fadh, Kak Wani and Kak Dina. In a place where everything was unfamiliar, they were the reasons I survived every single day. The picture was taken in my hostel room. I loved the apartment we rented, but there were days where I would be missing this room as well. I love high places and we were on the 9th floor, with a balcony. 

2011: Kak Nad, Kak Moon and Kak Nana
Second year medical student. My three seniors on their way to the train station to catch a train back to Warsaw. This alley held a very special place in my heart because this was where our apartment was situated. It was a nice day with a nice weather, so we came up with a crazy idea to walk to the train station instead of taking a tram. Well, it wasn't that crazy considering we were in Poland, because in Poland, everyone walks. I remembered Yuyu (or was it Fadh?) disagreeing when we wanted to walk home as well from the train station, but she finally complied. In a place where there were no one else, we did everything together, the four of us. 


2012: Pidah, Fadh and Yuyu
Third year medical student. It was a tough year, and finally it's summer break! We were catching a plane the next morning, so we went to Warsaw a day earlier. It was late night when we arrived in Warszawa Centralny. That building behind is Palac of Kultury (Palace of Culture), apparently a symbol of pride to Warsaw. Yuyu was going to Paris with her friends for a vacation instead of going home with us that year. Warszawa Centralny was practically the place I visited the most in Warsaw in the six years. I took pride in knowing exactly what time the train to Lodz departed and in what platform it would be and what was the ticket price for each type of train. 

2013: Shiela, Fadh, Qina, Nadiah and Malaysia
Fourth year of medical student. This picture was taken in Manufaktura, one of the must-visit place if you are ever in Lodz. It was dubbed as "the city within a city", because it does have everything in that one place. Qina, Nad and Emerald came to Lodz for Emerald's badminton tournament and we were able to take them around for a bit. There was some sort of exhibition going on in Manufaktura (which was common), and people were allowed to scribble on the floor with colourful paintings. We decided to draw our very own Malaysia flag, because we are proud of our country. Oh wait. Are we? 

2014: shiela
Fifth year of medical student. It was January, or the latest early February. It was snowing heavily and we were having Family Medicine. We had the seminar in the Anatomy building. This building was where we first had class in the first year. It was where we first learnt how to pray outside in the cold because we were afraid of the eyes watching. However, it was only in our first year. Later, whenever we had classes here and we needed to pray, we prayed in a corridor in the building where it was warm and cozy because if people were gonna watch, well let them watch. ^^ I opened the window exactly at the corridor where we used to pray and wrote my name there. Two days later, my name was still there. 

2014: Anthony, Wesam, Philipp, Yuyu, Fadh, Shiela, Pidah, Marta
Sixth year of medical student. It was the first week as a final student. We started with a Dermatology class. This picture was taken on that first day coming back after an eventful summer break with the realization that we were graduating soon. Six years passed by briefly. We were only 19 when we came here, and we went home being 25. An age where everyone else is already graduating, already working, already marrying, we are just about to try and dip our feet in the real world. We were told that we were the cream of the cream, but honestly, we were the pampered cream, having been brainwashed to focus on studying that it was quite a shock when we saw the reality of life out there. However, after six years in Lodz, if it ever did anything to us, it taught us about survival. It taught us that wherever we are, however deep in despair we are, there will always be a way out. 

And I think after six years, I did secure some friendships that will last a lifetime. And hey, isn't that precious enough? ^^

Sunday, November 8, 2015

#251

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

I'm listening to this song.

The music video speaks a lot about the song. I really like how simple the MV is, but it brings a very meaningful message to everyone, especially the girls out there. We are pressured by the expectations the society bears on us. Working at this age, marriage at that age etc. It is not easy to escape the norms, and people often fall into despair and depression trying to hold themselves together while performing for the world to see.

I am, as a matter of fact, in that kind of battle as of the moment. It stresses the hell out of me; the expectation the society has on me and the expectation I have on myself. 

Until a friend somehow, indirectly, reminded me of the reason why am I trying so hard right now. I am not doing this to please the society. I am not doing this because everyone else is doing the same. I am not doing this because people say it is the right thing to do. 

Often we are stressed, because we do not know the real reason behind every of our actions. I am doing this for myself. I am doing this because I want to repay my father and my family for being there for me in their own ways. And most importantly, I should be doing this for the sake of Allah. I should be doing this to please Him. 

I don't have to try so hard for others. I am trying for the pleasure within.

Stress, sometimes is needed to give us that push we need to move forward. But, Shiela, let's not let stress get the better part of you, okay? Three days to go! Only three days. You want this, Shiela. The adrenaline. The adventure. The life-altering moments. You want to savor this feelings instead of indulging yourself into the bottomless despair. 

And I am okay. I will be okay, come what may. Because it only will make me stronger and better. 

Allah, guide me.

Friday, October 9, 2015

#250 - Talking ABout Myself

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

I rarely talk to people about myself, because I'm afraid I might sound narcissistic doing so. But today, I feel like doing exactly that, and my blog will not judge me for talking about myself, right? Hence I think this will be an appropriate place to boast about myself. Hah ha.

So, here it goes:

1. I am a proud Muslim and a trying-to-be proud Malaysian.

2. As of October 2015, I am a 25-year-old female and I am unemployed for almost four months already.

3. I am the last child in the family, something close friends can tell with their eyes closed but something strangers and new acquaintances find surprising.

4. My face is an open book. People can see my mood of the day just by looking at my facial muscles.

5. I am a hardcore pluviophilic. Dancing in the rain is something I do occasionally.

6. My favorite author of all times is Sidney Sheldon. I came to like his novels when I was 14 after reading The Best Laid Plan, a novel my brother bought. And it's a given that my favorite novel is If Tomorrow Comes written by him.

7. I used to love reading and writing. As of now, I wish I could love writing and reading the way I used to, because somehow along my college life, I kind of lost the interest to write and read as much as I did before.

8. Some of my favorite movies are War Horse, The Italian Job, V for Vendetta and The Recruit. Though I'd usually be biased to like anything with Mark Wahlberg and Jeremy Renner in it.

9. I made a pact to myself to not watch movies/dramas adapted from novels that I liked. Examples are the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series. One exception is the adaption of Ketika Cinta Bertasbih by Habiburrahman el-Shirazy.

10. I rarely talk about myself, but it has been a habit since forever to talk to myself everyday. Literally. As if there are two mes and I am giving the other me pep talks.

11. I like sleeping to the point that my friend has to give an anonymous advice for me to cut some sleep.

12. I do not know how to get angry, especially in front of the person I am angry at. My anger is usually expressed as tears while talking and venting to myself.

13. I am involved in usrah, a gathering of a few people where we recite the Quran, being reminded of Allah and talk about current issues among other things. I am loving every second of it and I plan to keep going to usrah as long as I am able to.

14. One of my favorite verses from the holy Quran is 22:78.

15. I love public transports. I'd take efficient public transports any day over any other means of transports. The keyword being efficient.

16. I love hiking even though I am not that physically fit to be hiking. But it is a hobby I am not ready to give up, so I'd keep hiking until I've had enough.

17. I love traveling though I always get stressed planning for it. I have always wanted to go backpacking taking trains across countries, but I need to find a travel buddy first for it. And money. Of course.

18. I used to live in Poland for six years while studying for my medical degree. I love everything about Poland; the people, the transports, the weather, the places. I think Poland might not be the most interesting place to go on holidays, because you need to live in it to fall for it the way I am. Falling. Hard. Not gonna move on anytime soon.

19. I am having a love-hate relationship with caffeine. So far I managed to stop taking in caffeine because we don't have coffee at home. When I feel like rewarding myself with some coffee, I'd go to my grandmother's house, who is also a coffee addict herself. Now I know where I get the gene from.

20. I have a dream I know I will never fulfill because of a story about the stingy Uncle Scrooge I read once during my childhood. 

Okay, I think twenty is enough for now. I might write again about myself whenever I feel like talking about myself. :)