Monday, November 7, 2016

Lets get Lost 2016 - Morocco

"To wander is to be alive" - Roman Payne

Hello readers.

It's been a while. I am wandering again. Taking pieces of my angel son and palestine daughter with me as I go.

Breathtaking, isn't it?

I will blog about it more when I return.

Much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

Monday, October 3, 2016

There is no definition of 'Better' for me...

"At the temple there is a poem called "Loss" carved into  the stone.  It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.." ~ Arthur Golden

This request has been sitting in my inbox for the longest time. 

I read it, reread it, thought about helping her answer the question, decided against it, left it hoping i'd forget, came across it again...the process repeats every so often.

Her daughter passed away in her sleep of SIDS 7 years ago. She says 7 years to the day and she is having trouble to deal. She has sleepless nights, she has nightmares. I am fine with reading this. And then after telling me what she has gone through, she asks me a question which makes me shift in my seat everytime I read it. She asks me 'have you gotten better? how do you deal with it? I see you have not written about your feelings for a while...', Everytime I read this email, I wanted to delete it but the last sentence always stops me. She says 'please help me sis...I don't know what to do. It's affecting my marriage, its affecting my capabilities as a mother...please help...' 

I shift in my seat because I honestly do not know how to answer her. I don't. For the longest time I did not want to answer, because the truth is painful, but I owe it to Akif to help other mothers who have suffered the loss of their kids. That was my promise to myself when he died. So i will try my best.

The short answer is 'I don't know'. The long answer would be 'it depends on the day'. 

How do I go back to the way I was before Akif died? That is basically what her email was asking me, whether she can ever get better and go back to the way she was.

I honestly can't speak for anybody else, but for me, there was never any going back to who I was before he died. I will never go back to the way I was before that point. It was simply impossible.

When he died, a part of me died with him, and that is permanent. What part of me that I lost was permanent, irreversible. And so I changed. When he died, I changed.  

But that did not mean I never got better. Not being able to go back to the way I was did not equate to not getting better, it just meant that I had to learn to make the best of what is left of me now and moving forward.

Because moving forward is inevitable, because not moving forward would mean that I would have to stay still and die. And I simply could not do that. I had one more son which was alive, which needed me. And he was stubborn in his demand for whatever that I had left. He would look me in the eye and tell me how much he loved me and demanded that I say it back to him 10 times louder. He would wake me up with kisses and drag me out of bed when I simply had no strength to go through a particular day. He was relentless, constant, unwavering. In other words, he kept me alive. And for the longest time, I had the weirdest logical thought process, I must stay alive and be the best person I can be, because that is the only way I might get a shot at seeing Akif after all that is said and done on the other side.

But that is my drive to pick up the pieces of whoever I was left and to stick it back together and hobble along. I don't know whats yours. But whatever it is, keep on holding on to it. Don't expect to be exactly who you were before she died of SIDS. Don't use that person as a benchmark or definition of getting 'better'. It is NOT and it never will be. The person who you were before is gone, so say goodbye to her and make your peace with the fact that you have changed along with what has happened to you.

People say, the songs say about how nothing can break them, and equates being broken to weakness. For the longest time, I believed it too. But these tears, our tears, our despair and overcoming it is not a sign of weakness, it is simply a process we have to go through to become mended. 

If you have sleepless nights, well I have them too. If you have nightmares, I am not afraid to say that I have them too. It does not mean I am not better, it just means that I miss what I have lost, sometimes unbearably so. We have those days, and we are not any lesser or weaker for having them. 

I have those days and nights, and I get through them. And I have them again. The process repeats itself. 

In between those days though, I see and memorize the laughter of those still living, I look at sunsets with interest, I look at the waves and seas with longing, I notice how the clouds can have funny shapes when Airiel points it out to me. I smile when and laugh when my friends and family makes silly jokes, I read incessantly. I drink too much coffee. I travel and see the miracles that make me feel so small. I am content. 

I honestly do not know what 'better' is and when I will get there. But this is okay. What I have right now is okay. And that is the truth. I do not know of a word to describe what stage I am at and that is okay too.

I hope this helps you.

May your daughter and both my angel children be blessed.

Akif, this one's for you.

Much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekie 2016 - Quayside Hotel

"See that day as I remember it. A day in June, River Severn rolling to the sea, diamonded with sunlight, gulls gliding over the quays on a mild breeze that lifted the Red Dragon standard over Camelot. A quiet enough day for the end of my world..." ~ Parke Godwin

In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the most Merciful

Hello readers.

Another update on my weekie in Melaka.

I stayed at another hotel after checking out of the Shore. Decided to stay closer to the old town area so I can walk and experience all the sights on foot.

I decided on the Quayshore hotel. I was told by the friendly staff that quayside hotel was previously a warehouse, and the owners decided to stick with the theme when they remodeled it into a hotel.

The tables were converted from those huge wheelie things where they wrapped cables and ropes and stuff. God knows what they are called.

Look at the awesome staircase 

The hotel consists of 2 floors and is completely open 

 Love this lamp and the room was pretty cozy.

 The bathroom was sufficient

Remainder of the pics of the room 

Look at those chandeliers and couches. Its such a quirky and cozy place. I absolutely loved the interior design.

The hotel is located opposite the balai polis and a short 2 minute walk from the places where you find the trishaws. So its centrally located. Parking is on a first come first serve basis so it depends pretty much on luck. There is plenty of parking after the peak hours so you may have to park at the melaka cruise place behind the hotel and customs museum and change it later after traffic has died down.

I have to say though, the mattress and the pillows here was one of the most uncomfortable ones I have ever come across in any hotel I have stayed at so far, and I have stayed at a lot of hotels. So after a long day of walking, it was quite disappointing to lie down on such hard pillows and substandard mattresses.

All in all, if you want to stay at a hotel near to all the historical locations, it doesnt get any better  than this (but the pillows and mattress can be so much better please!). So give it a try.

Much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Weekie 2016 - The Shore Residences, Melaka

"For a long time now my heart has had its shutters closed, its steps deserted, formerly a tumultuous hotel, but now empty and echoing like a great empty tomb..." ~ Gustave Flaubert 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Hello readers,

I have updated more in this month than any other months this year I think! Haha. Since there is time, I might as well.

This time, I am updating you guys on the first hotel I stayed in Melaka, the Shore Hotel and Residences.

The check in was smooth, although the tiny corner they called a lobby wasn't very comfy for me. The rooms here though, I loved! Pics below

Was so in love with that table lamp 

 The wall where they put the TV had funky decor and it also had a DVD player. 

There was readingish daybed for people to lounge on. I did my colouring here hahaha. It was placed facing the balcony so if you open the curtains you had a nice sea view.

These curtains actually conceal the floor to ceiling windows. 

 The mini kitchenette and wardrobe. It had a nice electric stove to have some light cooking done.

Me, the vainpot haha. 

 Love love the huge, spacious bathroom with full on marble. And check out that bathtub! Perfect to for a warm soak after a day of sightseeing and playing tourist.

I was given the 35th floor room, and the views were simply spectacular, check that out. Forget Menara Taming Sari, this was way higher and with a better view haha.

Whilst I loved the room, I was not a fan of the lifts. They were so SLOW!. And the parking was not great because the hotel has to share it with the mall and the Swiss Inn hotel next door.

That said, it was still a great experience staying in this awesome room. Any of you guys planning to stay in Melaka, please give this place a try.

Much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Etude House Collagen Toner and Sleeping Pack

'Beauty is terror. Whatever we call beautiful, we quiver before it..." ~ Donna Tartt

In the name of Allah, the Almighty, the Beneficent.

Hello readers.

A product sharing update this time around. Because good things MUST be shared.

I am looking for (i) a better toner than currently offered by SKII; and (ii) a replacement which is at par or better than the SKII essence. Both products should be at a better price point.

Okay so I have been using the Etude Collagen Toner for about a month now.

I was looking for a something that is more suitable for dry skin, like mine and I found this one on Hermo and Althea. It is more goeey in texture than that of a normal toner, and I find that my skin does not flake by the end of an 8 - 10 hour workday in an air-conditioned office. You have no idea how awesome that feels! So this is a go for me. A dry skin must. This will be my designated toner from now on. And this toner goes for max RM50, so it is just wayyyy cheaper. I am saying bye bye to the SKII toner. 

I was also looking for a sleeping pack to apply before I sleep so my skin does not flake when I wake up in the morning. Olay has been great to me when it comes to night creams but I am looking for one equally moisturizing but with a better price point and being happy with Etude house, decided to buy the Moistfull sleeping pack as well.

I got this for RM46 during a sale after reading through all the glowing reviews about it. Been using it for about 2 weeks now and I am loving it. I travel to hotels often and sleep with the air-conditioning on, and despite that, the skin feels moist to the touch when I wake up every morning after applying this before I go to sleep at night! And at 46 bucks it is cheaper than even Olay. So I have decided to add this to my night regime.

Both these products I got from either hermo or Althea (link as per above).

I am still hunting for SKII essence dupe and will update you guys on that.

Much love from Airiel and I.

Peace and love to everyone.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fernweh 2016 - Pulau Besar, Melaka

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this..." ~ Henry David Thoreau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Almighty.

Hello readers,

I hope all of my muslim readers and friends have had a blessed Eid ul Adha. Selamat Hari Raya Haji. This year, just like every other year, Airiel went off for the holidays with his dad.

I have learned that to help with the time passing by in his absence, plan for solo short vaccay trips so you don't feel it so much!

Anyways, on a semi work trip, I managed to take a couple of excursions in Malacca. Playing tourist in my own country is awesome! Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage site is steeped in history and places to visit.

I will break my visit up and spots I went into a couple of posts. First up is my trip to Pulau Besar.

Pulau Besar is located about 25 minutes boat ride off a jetty located in the merlimau area. Just waze or google map Jeti Tanjung Batu. 

There is a one time entry fee of RM5.00 for cars to the Jetty. 

 Park and then buy your ticket to Pulau Besar. Its only RM15.00 to and from the island. The time the ferry sets off can be seen in the pics above. I timed my beach hunting trip from 12.00 a.m and coming back at 3.30 p.m.

Whilst waiting for the ferry to take off (ferry is the last red one on the side), just chill and enjoy the view.

Once the ferry is ready to depart, a loud honking sound can be heard and off I go on the ferry. 

Stylo lah this bird chilling ... 

It's a 25 min boat ride where you can just put earphones on and listen to some music... 

 And voila, you are at Pulau Besar!!

 One with the welcome sign is a must.

 I saw a Museum which was unfortunately closed at the time I went.

I was told that this was a bird house? I have never seen one and was so fascinated.

 There is a food court area fronting the beach about 5 mins walk from the jetty where you can have lunch, get this map and rent a motorcycle for RM15 for an hour. I rented a scooter and with this trusty map in hand, went on my exploration.

My primary goal was to hunt for beaches, as you can tell by now I am obsessed with beaches and the sea, but there are a lot of tombs and graves around the island of rather prominent islamic figures that are responsible for the spread of the faith in Malaysia and south east asia region. Pics are as above, so I visited those too. There are also some wells, and the famed nenek kebayan well, tomb, batu belah (yes, THE batu belah batu bertangkup), the tomb of the tujuh beradik. What I found fascinating was the presence of an entire hotel complex, frozen in time and abandoned in all its majestic splendor. I didn't take any photos of those, it was just way too eerie. There was also an abandoned golf course, at the opposite side of the island where it is absolutely deserted, but the roads around it was still accessible which is where I went with my trusty scooter. There were some parts like the Nenek Kebayan well, a cave and a few locations which no matter how much I searched I could not find for some weird reason after a while which I gave up.

I was later told that this place is frequented by those who believe in the supernatural and mysticism, given the tombs and graves that are present here and the myths surrounding them, which explains why so many people were camped out in front of some of the tombs, and why I saw a bearded guy carrying a sword covered in yellow cloth errrkksss.

My advice? Ignore the mystics, and just enjoy the natural beauty of the island. The deserted side of the island has beautiful, sparkling, clear waters where you can just lounge for hours on end, with a book and earphones blasting with music. Just look at the pics above. So so beautiful.

After about 3 and a half hours, it was time to return the scooter and head back. It was fun Pulau Besar! Thank you for having me! Teheee.

Until the next update readers. 

Much love from Airiel and I. 

Peace and love to everyone.