Medan Trip (2017) AKA Palah’s Best Friends Trip

BY Palah Chingu

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31/3/2017 ( Bad Luck and Uncertainty)

One of my dreams that I managed to accomplish is to bring all my best friends in a trip together. Aside from the original ‘3 chinguz’ as stated in the wordpress consists of Ruby and Fatma, I’ve another 3 bestfriends (Min, Ika and Jib) whereby I met them during my bachelor and master degree study. The trip was impossible at first but we made it happen. We encountered so many challenges. I swear to God, I was pissed off. Our flights got cancelled a day before and Air Asia did nothing except emailing us the cancellation in the middle of the night. Besides, Min was already having a bad feeling over this trip as she missed the bus to Kuala Lumpur in the first place. She’s a bit superstitious over certain things and she’s not wrong though, we got the cancellation notification that night. Ika and I were worried that we may detain at immigration due to our student loan issue (PTPTN). There are so many cases of PTPTN borrowers failed to pay back their loan and blacklisting them from going overseas is one of the methods used by the institution to ensure the debt is paid. I just quit my job at that time and my loan was overdue for 3 months. Ika, on the other hands, just started paying it back after she got a stable job. In addition to that,  Jibah suffered diarrhea and she’s not yet recovered from it.

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1/4/2017 (From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Medan, Indonesia)

Air Asia did bring us to our destination but their customer service is so frustrating. The care line for call is only for certain flights and in order to get another flight, we had to contact them via a live chat. I don’t really sleep that night especially after reading that our flight got cancelled last minute. I woke up early that morning and try contacting them using the live chat right away. Internet connection has been testing my patience past few days and on that fucking morning, it began again. Jibah and I tried to contact it until one of us get through Air Asia. After one hour, we managed to reschedule the flight and the trip was back on. I was spamming the shit out of Air Asia Facebook Page for their unprofessionalism (I knew I was being petty but man that feels good though). We didn’t inform Ruby regarding the cancellation but it was funny on how ruby found out about it. It was indeed chaotic morning and fatma called her sister to rant about this shit. Her sister then posted it on facebook and since we already knew each other for more than 9 years, we do add each other certain family members. Ruby read the post and felt pity about the cancelled flight and realized it in a split second that was ours. We regroup back in Jibah’s house and get ready to go to KLIA 2. I was feeling uneasy but in my mind (if I did get detain), my plan is to stay back in KL for few days and return to Johor right away. We were satisfied with the replacement flight as all of us got hot seats so thank you Air Asia for that. We arrived at Medan Airport around 6.30.

 

There’s another setback I face right away after landed. I was so excited that we’re finally made it there safely so I took a few pictures. I forgot that immigration area is a no go area for photograph. I got called out and my passport was taken by immigration officer. The funny thing that I was so afraid I got detained in Malaysia’s immigration office but I didn’t but when in Medan, I got held up. The officer was so harsh and the treatment I got with other tourists was so different truth be told; maybe because they are Caucasians and I am Asian. As an Asian, I did recognize that we do have the symptom of idolizing white people. I don’t want to prolong this matter so I apologized few times saying I was overexcited and the rules skipped over my head. He was not satisfied with that answer if I was to be honest but he let me go with a warning. My mood was spoiled a bit due to that situation. We bought a sim card so that it’s easier to use GrabCar Service. We used GrabCar Service to our hotel right away. The night was approaching and all of us were so tired. We faced so many things on the first day and we just want to have dinner and sleep afterwards. We stayed at Hotel Kesawan for 4 nights in Medan. The hotel was okay (it was old hotel and they have all basic facilities) if you were to go out whole day and only come back just to sleep. Some people might be a little picky about where they are going to spend their night but luckily, all my best friends were not really fussy about it.

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Medan Kualanamu International Airport (Inside)
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Medan Kualanamu International Airport (outside)
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Finally arrived at Hotel Kesawan, Medan 🙂

2/4/2017 (2nd Day in Medan, Indonesia)

 Penangkaran Buaya Asam Kumbang

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Penangkaran Buaya Asam Kumbang

We found out that our actual ‘supir’ outsource the service to another ‘supir’ and we ended up being hauled to the place that we didn’t even want to go. Heed my warning, if you go to medan, make sure that you will not facing this kind of experience. Besides, if you’re using ‘supir’ or tourist guide when you are traveling to Indonesia, make sure to be firm with them regarding your list of destinations. They get a big tip by the owner if they bring tourists to their place. This park is not in our itinerary at all. We felt angry when he brought us here. All of us already discussed before doing our itinerary. We said no to any animal’s park because we can’t bear to see they are being confined in a small space and can’t even move their body. To cut short, this is horrible experience so don’t go there. The entrance fee was so expensive and the place is not very well maintained.

 Velangkani Medan

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Velangkani Church By Fatma

This is a beautiful church. If you are in medan, put it in a must visit list. The architecture of this place is heavily influence of Hinduism and Catholicism. It was so colorful. There is no mass when we arrived as it was Sunday. That’s a relief so no awkwardness to walk around and enter the church. The interior is breathtaking. Some ceilings and walls of the church are filled with bible scripture. I do want to point out that they refer God as ALLAH. It’s similar to us in Islam. Meanwhile in Malaysia, certain group of Muslim is fighting to ensure only Muslims can use ALLAH word. We never visit church in Malaysia and not we that we don’t want to but coming from a very conservative Malay Muslim society, it was too controversial. The close proximity of Islam and Christian religion shared made it hard to do so. We did visit Buddhist and Hindu temples but never had we got to visit church. We did visit this place so we guess we can cross visit the church off from our list.

Istana Maimun Sultan Deli

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Sunday is not the right day to visit this palace. It was packed and you can’t even appreciate its exterior beauty and interior design. There are traditional performance held outside Istana Maimun and you can sit there just to enjoy it (they prepared few seats for tourists). You can even try the traditional malay attire as there are few businesses cater for it is set up in the palace. If you go there during weekend, there is high probability you may see many couples poses and take pictures in the attire.

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Ayam Penyet Cendelaras Station (Lunch)

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We had delicious ‘Ayam Penyet’ here. If you’re nearby, don’t skip this restaurant.

Museum Negeri Propinsi Sumatera Utara

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If you’re museum goers and love history, we suggested spending for about an hour here. They covered many historical aspects in Indonesia. The place is big but some of the section, they didn’t turn on the AC so prepared to be drenched in sweat like we did.

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Vihara Gunung Timur

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It’s the largest Chinese Taoism temple in the middle of Medan. The temple design is made to face Babura River as Chinese believe it will bring a good luck. Our trip did need a lot of luck at that time for sure so we stopped by. Haha. This temple consists of 80 deities and considered as one of the famous historical sites in Medan. Don’t skip this temple because it has magnificent exterior design.

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Tjong A fie Mansion

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This place is so close with our hotel. This mansion belongs to a Hakka merchant name Tjong A fie. He was a very successful businessman and a very rich man in Medan long time ago. This mansion is an embodiment of his wealth, family and history. We have a tour guide while visiting the mansion and he told us the history of Tjong A fie . The mansion is spacious and filled with lots of antiques that has been preserved for tourism purpose.

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Restoran Tip Top Medan (Dinner)

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The food was okay but it’s a bit overpriced. We saw high ratings given by past customers and decided to try it. Their homemade ice cream is delicious though but this is strictly my opinion as some of my friends hated it.

3/4/2017 (Third Day in Medan, Indonesia)

Maha Vihara Maitreya / Vihara Cemara Asri Medan

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It is referred as Vihara Cemara Asri because it is located in a housing complex of Cemara Asri. This Buddhist temple has a huge hall for praying.  We spotted 3 big statues in the hall. We strolled around the complex for about an hour before we resume our journey. In a nutshell, this temple has beautiful garden, captivating paintings on the wall and spectacular statues is displayed at certain parts of the temple.

Kolam Bangau Cemara Asri

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This was not in our itinerary. We passed by the lake accidentally and decided to stop by. The lake is enormous. I’m sure this lake specifically for Egrets / Storks as I couldn’t spot any other species at all. They can fly and come back whenever they want. At the end of the lake, there’s a birdhouse for pigeon nearby the lake.

Masjid Raya Al Osmani (Old Mosque)

IMG20170403111851This is an old mosque and it was built in 1854. The structure of the mosque originally only using wood material but it has been going through several restorations. However the original architecture remains. The Combination of green and color make it look radiant from distance away and beautiful up close. We took time to gaze the beauty of an old design and wandering around the mosque. Its 20 km from Medan City but since we came from Vihara Cemara Asri, the journey was quite far. The road condition didn’t really help so this is not a smooth journey to begin with. However, you could see the Medan countryside. One trend that cannot be ignored is there are many small mosques hidden away among the houses. You can see it while staring at window while enjoying the journey.

Barkah Rumah Makan (Lunch)

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This is quite delicious lunch. All the dishes served here is a traditional Medan dishes.

Museum Perjuangan TNI

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We don’t know how to describe our experience in this museum. We wanted to explore and read it by ourselves but we got invited to the briefing room. We sat in the room for about 1 hour and listened to one uncle dissing our asses for not knowing our roots and ancestors. I can’t speak for all of us because Min did not enjoy that at all but I thought it was hilarious. We managed to do a short trip to each section in the museum. This musem is a reminder of how Indonesian army fought against imperialism and the journey to independence. There are lots of antique collections in this museum to commemorate the past.  If you are a history enthusiast, visiting this museum is a must (but you better decline the invitation to be in the briefing room).

  • Kapak Bukan Sebarang Kapak,
  • Kapak Membelah Kayu,
  • Orang Batak Menjadi Melayu.

– By Random Uncle at TNI Museum

Masjid Raya Medan Al-Mashun

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This mosque was completed in 1909 and one of the oldest mosques in Medan. If you can seen in the picture is that the mosque has an octagonal shape and has wings to the south, east, north and west. That’s what makes the building unique in architectural aspects. The influence of Morocco, Turkey and Middle Eastern style can be seen on the building itself. What a stunning Mosque!

Wajir Seafood (Dinner)

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Delicious, cheap and fast was how our dinner went that day which is pretty rare for a restaurant. Unfortunately, only Fatma, Ruby and I went to have dinner there. The rest were exhausted and decided not to join.

4/4/2017 (Fourth Day in Medan, Indonesia)

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In order to reach Lake Toba, we began the journey around 7.30 am. We arrived there approximately around 12.30 pm so it took us about 5 hours. When we are planning this trip, we contacted ‘Supir Ridu’ to book for his driving service. Only on the 4th day of our trip, we managed to meet him. He is an easygoing and kind guy which is one of the reasons people recommended him. If you choose to use his service, be aware that he loves to bring tourists around Lake Toba and Brastagi area only. We are a bit disappointed as he asked other ‘supir’ to drive us around on second and third day of the trip because we choose to explore Medan city first before heading to the Lake Toba.

Gereja Katolik St. Fransiskus Asisi Berastagi

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We can’t enter the church unfortunately. It was closed at that time. We just admired the design and architecture from the outside. It is heavily influence with Batak Karo cultures and heritages which is why it is so unique looking. Batak Karo is a name of the tribe of local people who lives around the area.

 Lake Toba

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I will let the picture speaks for itself. What a beautiful lake!

– Seafood Restaurant Nearby Lake Toba (Lunch)

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Lunch on that day was an A plus ; it has fresh seafood, great lake scenery and of course, my amazing friends.

Sipisopiso Waterfall

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One of the spectacular waterfalls I’ve ever seen in my life. In order to reach the waterfall, we have to climb down more than 600 stairs (correct me if I’m wrong) just to reach the place. The thing is climbing down was easy though you have to be extra careful on the cracked and steep stairs. The problem was at that time we are not sure whether we had stamina on climbing up back 600 stairs. Min, Fatma and I agreed that we’re going to do about 150 stairs only which is a quarter of the journey. Ika and Ruby planned that they were going to do for about 300-400 stairs while Jibah decided just to stay back. You can still see the view of Sipisopiso Waterfall from above actually but I wanted to see a close up just a little bit. It was worth it. I almost died climbing up but it was so beautiful.

Brastagi Small Town (Having a coffee break)

We only stopped by solely for a Coffee Break in Brastagi Town. We don’t have time to tour around as we’re rushing to arrive at Medan city before 8.00 pm. I don’t even have time to take picture around the town. If you’re planning to go to Medan, make sure you spend the night around Brastagi or Lake toba. That’s the only regret we had as we’re not doing extensive research while planning this trip. Most people who came here spent 2 days in Medan City and 2 days in Brastagi/Lake Toba.

Wajir Seafood (Dinner)

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We came back for a second time together with our supir. Again, the service is top notch and the food is incredible. Fourth day of our trip was fun but exhausting.

5/4/2017 (Last Day in Medan, Indonesia)

Pajak Ikan Medan

I’m having flu that morning so I didn’t join the rest to do some shopping. The price at the market is not that cheap compared to Bandung. Besides, there are always some people following you asking you to buy their things even though you already say that you don’t want it. Please be extra careful as they could be a little harsh and extra pushy.

Pt Gramedia (Book store)

A security is tightened around the mall. We had to go through scanners before entering the mall. That’s the first time for us actually. In Malaysia, we only did that at the airport. Pt Gramedia is quite big. Of course, we’re overjoyed. To be honest, We’re not that familiar with Indonesian Literature but who the hell cares. We bought few books and heading back to hotel by grab car.

Off to Medan Airport

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Our flight supposed to take off around 7.30 pm but of course (classic Air Asia) our flight got delayed. We waited for about 3 hours until the plane arrived. The journey was a nightmare. The weather is so bad. This added to a list of unfortunate events we encountered in this trip. Are we that unlucky? Should I say am I that unlucky? I mean life always find a way to fuck me up somehow so I kinda used to have one bad moment at least every day. However, my best friends didn’t really deserve this. The turbulence occurred for about 10 minutes. Certain passenger in the flight didn’t help much though as they get panicked and said prayer loudly in the situation. I don’t mind the prayer but the way they chanted it loudly rendered others felt uncomfortable. It was scary. I held min’s thigh and forgot that my grip was strong. Of course after that flight, I got mocked by min for being a scaredy cat. Well, I fear death. The trip officially over after we dine at Old Town Restaurant for some midnight snacks. We still got shook over the turbulence incident after we landed in Kuala Lumpur safely but still grateful that we made it safely.

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Side Note :

  • Credit to Jibah and Fatma (some of the photos in this review are taken from them)
  • Pocket Money for the trip is well spent (despite having miscalculation of tourists entrance fees and failed to include parking fees for every place that we visit)
  • If you are planning to come to Medan, find a hotel that includes breakfast. You are saving time as you dont have to go far to find meal in the morning.
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Bintulu, Miri and Bandar Seri Begawan Trip (2016).

By Palah Chingu

“I take a picture, but it’s not about who is in the picture or the background of it. It’s about the memories and meanings it holds.” 

Kayla Davis

Date : 3 November – 7 November 2016.

Destination : Kuala Lumpur -> Bintulu ->  Miri -> Brunei -> Miri – > Bintulu -> Kuala Lumpur

*(this time we brought along other chinguzzzzz to join)*

GUA NIAH, SARAWAK

A freaking long walk is a must before we finally made it to Niah Cave. I almost died twice. This is why you should exercise, people. Once you arrived there, the feeling is indescribable. Along the journey, be prepared to immerse in magnificent view of forest and river (and cricket’s sounds too)

CHINESE TEMPLE BINTULU, SARAWAK

Not really in the plan of place we want to visit, but what the hell, right? An enormous temple, i must say and it is well preserved. It is so beautiful and peaceful at the same time. Be sure to drop by if you are around.

KAMPONG AYER, BRUNEI

The first place we visited when we reached Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The boat took us around for about 30 – 40 minutes just to see around Kampong Ayer (Water Village if its translated in english). This is one of the main attractions if you are in Brunei. Brunei currently building the bridge to connect the people who lived there with their mainland. The school, mosque and even cafe are all built on the water. The boat ride is surely enjoyable (for me) but i’m not sure about the rest. LOL

We Nerds love history. Hence, a trip to museum is an obligation. We visited some museums, centre and mausoleum in Brunei. We also drop by to the only  chinese temple in brunei (if i’m not mistaken, forgive me if i’m wrong). The location, unfortunately is all over the place. We literally driving around and got lost too many times to find the museum . No camera is allowed at most of the places we go thus enjoy the picture of us at the entrance only.

(Side Note : No entrance fee to all of these places).

– Brunei Technology Museum

– Brunei History Centre

–  Brunei Maritime Museum

-Teng Yun Temple

– Raja Ayang Mausoleum

SULTAN OMAR ALI SAIFUDDIN MOSQUE

If you are driving around Bandar Seri Begawan, you cant miss the grand view of this mosque. During Night, the lights all around the mosque just enhance the architecture and structure of this worship place. Its just mesmerizing.

TUSAN BEACH, SARAWAK

We intend to come here and wait until the ocean glows (there are planktons presence detected that can make the ocean lights up in blue color). Unfortunately, none of us had the stamina to wait after long hours of driving and staying in car. The beach is pretty much hidden. Fatma is a hell of a driver. Driving there is quite challenging with the road condition and the absent of light, lets just say it doesnt make things easier. However, the sunset view was unforgettable.

TANJUNG BINTULU BEACH

Last stop before we went back to Kuala Lumpur is this beach. It is incomparable to  Tusan Beach but anything with amazing view is worth seeing.

 Side Notes on the trip :

Do not go to Brunei on Friday. They shut down all the business from 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm. We are so hungry that we even chase the delivery guy thinking that his restaurant might open at that time. Of course not, silly. ALL BUSINESS is OFF for 2 hours. What we do for 2 hours? We played ‘Jutaria’ game. (We didnt do the research properly, thats why we stranded  there for 2 hours without food. They put all operations on hold  for 2 hours due to Friday Prayers).

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Long hours of Driving means a lot of sleeping in the car. A LOT.

However, Fatma (The driver for this whole trip) and i (a good company, obviously, duhh) are really enjoying this long driving (well, what else can we do?)

TOO MANY PHOTOS (SORRY GUYS)

I’ll be back with more reviews on other trips that we threechinguz did. Adios!

Short Getaway to Kuala Sepetang, Perak

by Ruby Gege

All hail the weekends, people! Palah and I decided that for our second weekend getaway, we would go to Kuala Sepetang. Where the hell is that? You may ask. Trust me, I asked the same question two years ago. Hahaha.

Kuala Sepetang is a small town 16 km away from Taiping. It is not much of a town, really, but a highly-functional fishing village. It used to be quite busy as a mining area and was formerly known as Port Weld (fancy name, eh?) It is known for its great seafood, fishing village that looked pretty much the same since Merdeka days and its riverside tourism (boat ride, eagle-sighting, dolphin sighting (if you’re lucky) and some fireflies stuff, too). Since I am not a fan of nature, my purpose was mainly to enjoy the scenery and fresh air, aside from going to the Matang Museum and Mangrove Forest walk.

The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Sepetang can be quite tiring. Thus, Palah and I (joined by our master nappers, Jeep and Fatin) decided to stop by Ipoh and spent the first night at Palah’s family home. We headed to Kuala Sepetang the next day, which took us about one hour.

The first place we went was Kedai Makan Yut Sun, a superb kopitiam in Taiping. For the past 2 years, I have been having an intense love affair with this establishment. We orded the best food to have there – kaya and butter bread, chicken chop with rice, Roti Seremban and kuey tiow. The coffee there, I tell you, is one of the best coffee in Malaysia.

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Palah looking absolutely serious and Fatin choosing what to eat.

Afterwards, we headed to Matang Museum, which is situated between Taiping and Kuala Sepetang. Rich in history, it tells the history of a powerful Malay nobleman, Ngah Ibrahim, who ruled Larut (together with Matang and Selama, the districts had Taiping as their capital). During his rule, chaos reigned as the Larut Wars were happening between the clan of Hai San and Ghee Hin, two Chinese secret society based in Malaya during that time. Come the intervention of the Perak Sultanate and the British colonial government, somehow Ngah Ibrahim found himself punished for opposing the British rule. A complex history at that time, to be sure.

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Matang Museum, also known as Kota Ngah Ibrahim

The building itself is beautifuuuul! The fort surrounding the building is actually the original fort of Ngah Ibrahim’s mansion. The house is also quite intact. When we went in, the officers of the museum were quiet but cordial to us. The exhibitions in the museum are also praiseworthy. They have different sections – the different types of miners (Chinese and Malay), the Japanese rule, the replica of offices of Malay noblemen and British officers. Aside from that, the museum also offers lots of knowledge about important historical figures that our mainstream society has seem to have forgotten about.

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Jeep smiling with the vintage background. Looks like a painting, does it not? The wall, I mean, not Jeep.

The outer side of the museum, of course, is highly Instagram-ish. It is a good thing that they did not alter or renovate the paint so much that the building retains a nostalgic and historical feel.

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Where art thou, Captain Speedy? Here’s to me fantasizing myself as a Malay princess 200 years ago, and Jeep ignoring my antics.

A few hundred metres from the main building is the house of Captain Speedy, who was Ngah Ibrahim’s officer. Sadly, though, the building is not open for visitors so we could only get to take a picture outside the house.

Then, off we went to Kuala Sepetang. The first place we stopped by is the Mangrove Forest Reserve. Since I am not much of nature’s lover, I’ll just say this to you – it is quite an amazing place for you to take a nice long walk. In the forest. Literally. Surrounded by a gazillion trees. Palah went cray cray with her love for greeneries. Haha. According to Palah, the Mangrove Forest here was actually declared as the best mangrove forest reserve in the world! Not bad, Malaysia, not bad. Sometimes, the country does make me proud!

There is also a small jetty at the end of our walk. We rested by the jetty for a while. Palah embodied her role as a serious inspiring photographer, taking a picture of what-not.

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After spending some time there, we went to have lunch at the famous Mee Udang Mak Jah. The mee udang there is soooo delicious! It is spicy, soupy and has lots and lots of fresh prawns.

After lunch, we went to our hotel, the Happy 8 Retreat, which is right by the river. It is a nice place to stay, though can be quite tiring as it has no elevator and our room is on the (God forbid) 3rd FLOOR! So, lots of climbing for us fat people! The staffs are quite helpful and friendly, most of them seem to be local people. We took a nap, rested and basically enjoyed our beds and air-conditioner. However, if you guys are serious coffee or tea drinkers like me, I would suggest that you bring your own supply of beverages since they don’t supply it a lot there (like… only one packet of instant coffee for each room).

Finally, after resting and before dinner, we went on a boat ride! I can’t really remember the name of the boat service company (Palah does, so you guys can ask her) but it is situated not more than three shoplots away from our hotel. After our phone call, she came to pick us up right away and took us to the boat. Imagine, only four of us and the aunty and the boat driver and the aunty’s son. The boat ride cost us RM 80 but it is totally worth it. We get to see the fishing village in more details! The houses in each side of the village – the one by the river and the other side which is literally… houses on the river… like… floating).

Come the next day, we did not do much. We rested all morning and drove to Ipoh to visit our friend, Ika. She is teaching English at a centre there and we lepak-ed at Plan B, this high-end food chain from KL. I am so surprised to see how Ipoh has changed in some certain parts. People are trying to be more hipster (kinda like Penang) and that annoyed us a bit. Of course, the food, though, is still alright.

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Jeep and Fatin, possibly over-whelmed by the over-hipsterness of Ipoh…

Of course, we would not want to leave Ipoh without going to a museum. First, we went to the Darul Ridzuan Museum but left extremely disappointed as most sections of the museum were closed for renovation. Determined to never give up, we googled and finally found Ho Yan Hor Museum. The outer look of the museum is very pleasing – blue in colour and homey-like. We did not know what the museum exhibits but the staffs there are extremely hospitable and friendly. Ho Yan Hor is a really famous herbal tea brand in Malaysia created by a pharmacist/tabib/healer decades ago. Due to his hard work, he managed to spread the fame of the tea nation-wide.

After saying goodbye to Ika, we then returned, quite reluctantly, to Kuala Lumpur. The short trip to Perak was short indeed. But it was lovely as hell. So guys, if you are looking for a place to visit which does not require lots of planning or money to be spent, we think Kuala Sepetang is the place for you. If you have more days to spare, you can actually stop by many townships on your way there ie Kuala Kangsar and Teluk Intan as well. I’m sure they have lots of interesting things to offer there as well.

That’s all for now! Bye bye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Langkawi & Us – The Unforgettable Trip

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

I guess i should at least update something on this blog. It’s been ages since ive been here. (As a threechinguz’s representative) Pardon us , dear followers, as all of us failed to update and review something for the past 4 months. We’ve been busy with work and all kind of adult stuffs. I wish i could say more than apology but whats done is done. Alright, lets get back to real stuff. We have been planning this trip for over 3 months. We picked Langkawi because Fatma never been there and last time ive been there was in 2003. I brought along one of of my best friends, Jibah in this trip. We met in USM and she can get along pretty much with my other best friends so i dont see any harm in bringing her in one of the best friend trip (thats what we called it, its a bit tackly but hey, dont judge). We spent about 300++ per person for 3 days 2 night in Langkawi. It’s pretty much affordable considering we are not effing rich.

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We went there by ETS. From KL Sentral to Arau, it took us about 7 hours to finally arrive. According to Jibah, taking a ferry from Kuala Perlis is quicker than taking it from Kedah. Hence, why we choose the train in the first Place. The ticket price cost us each RM 86 per person. Well, I am not complaining because we cut 12 hours of driving if we decided driving there or going there by bus. Look at us, all happy. Honestly, we killed the time by talking, eating, talking and taking a picture. Brace yourself for a lot of photos and we are addicted to having a selfie or wefie everywhere. Selfie and Wefie is a must for this trip.

We arrived at Arau around 9.00pm. No, we are not going to Langkawi right away. As we are all tired, we planned to spend the night at Megastar Vacation Inn. We’ve got 1 room with 4 beds with affordable price. It was comfy and clean making its hard to believe that for RM 90.00 per night, we can get such room. I forgot to mention that staff there are  nice and friendly too. Its hard to beat our expectation on the Hotel that we are going to stay later in Langkawi.

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For RM 90 per night, you got 2 queen beds at Megastar Vacation Inn.

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We could go to Langkawi by flight but seeing that all of us are feeling a little bit adventurous, we went to the Island by Ferry. Ferry service charged each of us RM 18. I didnt have time to compare price with other ferry lines but i choose Ferry Line Ventures because they have online ticketing service. It makes my work easier as self proclaimed trip planner. Haha. We felt nauseous a little bit when ferry bumped with a big wave but thats just it. Nobody puke. Its a little bit dizzy but all is good in the end. We arrived at Langkawi after 1 hour in a ferry.

We arrived at Langkawi on time. Boy, we went to Langkawi at the wrong time. It is packed with people. I know that i shouldnt expect the island to be empty but man, even the toilet formed a long queue. Its like people are seeking protection from Zombie attack at Langkawi. I blame me for picking the wrong date and i blame all of us that we are being bloody optimistic its not going to be filled with a massive amount of people. What can i expect, we’ve got 2 public holidays plus weekend, of course its a full house. We faced a little bit difficulty with Car Rental Service. We have to wait for 2 hours for the car to arrive. Thank God, it arrived. My mind scared me off by imagining that we have been deceived or scammed. Turned out on that day, those who came to Langkawi without any plan, they couldnt get any car rental. Booking and paying deposit early wont kill you, i guess. We rented Viva Produa from ANON car rental service for the price of RM 180 for 3 days. We slept at Joy Motel near Pekan Kuah. It was not in a good condition comparing to what we have at Arau but we are not going to spend our time in a Motel. Weve got long list locations and places that we’re going to visit. As long it got 4 beds and the toilet is working, we are okay with it. Joy Motel charged us RM 110 per night for family room.

and the trip began….

 

Underwater World Langkawi:

Makam Mahsuri :

Tengah Beach, Langkawi:

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3D Art Museum :

Langkawi Sky Cab:

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Wat Koh Wanaram Temple:

Wildlife and Birdpark Sanctuary :

Langkawi Legend Park:

and the journey ended here…

Again, we took a ferry to Arau by Ferry. I’m telling you that i’m not going anywhere on Public Holidays. It made me realize how overpopulated our earth is.

We made a brief visit at around Arau and Jibah’s house before we went back to KL.

The 12 hours journey began. I cant avoid this trip because all ETS train ticket are SOLD OUT. I managed to get only this even though i turned up early at ticket counter. T___T However, it cost us RM 41 only per person. Its cheaper though.

Takhta 3 Ratu – Drama series review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

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I’ve been waiting for this kind of drama ages ago. We had so many stories in the period of Malacca sultanate but our film industry failed to take advantage of our history. Takhta 3 Ratu or in english it would be ‘the throne of 3 queens’ take us back on the sultan Mansur Shah period where he ruled Malacca in a glorious manner. According to history, Sultan Mansur Shah’s strength lies on diplomatic relation with many powerful countries at that time like Majapahit and China. In order to achieve their alliance, well, he married their princesses. This story is not entirely based on historical text. There are some things that Erma Fatima changed to match the story well. Why i decided to review this drama, i still couldnt figure out the reasons other than it was historical fiction and the main characters is 3 woman from different backgroud with similar mind set, to make sure their son take over the throne. Dont get me wrong, History text stated that Sultan Mansur Shah is always being fair to all his wives (yeah, Polygamous marriage has been practiced by royal families for so long). While we are allowed to believe otherwise, it would be nice to have someone to take a deeper look at his wives’s relationship and translate it into drama.

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The first 2 episodes, the story revolves between Sultan Mansur Shah and Raden Galuh Chenderai ; how Sultan Mansur Courting Raden to be his wife right after his queen died. Raden disagree to the whole marriage as she doesnt really know the sultan. His father, the Majapahit king already agrees to the marriage as it would do good to their county to add malacca as their ally. Sultan knew he should try to woo Raden herself. He relentlessly pursuing Galuh by imposing himself as shipping captain who just passing by Majapahit. They exchanges letters a few times until they first laid eyes on each other in the wedding ceremony. Raden knew that he would be a good husband and a great king to her. Who knew such happiness would be just in a short amount of time?

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The third episode when Malacca is under attack from few countries. The threat is getting bigger. Sultan Mansur Shah worried over his kingdom. He then heading to China to strengthen their diplomatic relation on Tun Perak’s suggestion. Raden knew that Sultan Mansur Shah left to take another wife when she overheard palace servants has been ordered to bring the best spices to China. As ridiculous as it sounds, Sultan Mansur Shah in this Drama knows how to cook and charmed all his wives, including Raden and Hang lipo via his culinary skills. Raden tried to stop Sultan Mansur Shah from going to Malacca but it was too late. She was stopped by Hang Tuah. Hang Tuah felt symphatetic towards Raden but His loyalty towards Sultan is his top priority. This, most of us knew, that Hang Tuah placed his loyalty towards Malacca and Sultan above everything. He even killed his best friend, Jebat for Sultan.

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Raden mended her feeling by confiding it to Hang Tuah. Hang Tuah and Raden become close friend when Raden learned Silat from him.However,Their feeling and attraction grew stronger each day. Hang Tuah put his own feeling hidden and rejected Raden nicely. After few months, Sultan returned from China with Hang Lipo. Tuah has been ordered to shift Raden to another palace. Raden felt sad and disappointed but she obeyed. On the other hands, Hang lipo felt suffocated and couldnt find anything that she would like in Malacca. She felt frustrated and Sultan Mansur Shah couldnt find any time to entertain her. Raden took her chance by being a good wife and serve his husband right. However, Sultan Mansur Shah returned to Hang lipo’s side when she managed to get herself pregnant. It was unfortunate to Raden as she couldnt get herself pregnant even married to Sultan for years.

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Raden knew she had to do something. She visited Hang Lipo and tried to appear nice as she can be. Sultan Mansur glad to know about it and wanted his wives to treat each other nicely. Little did he know that it was all an act between his 2 wives. They envied amd couldnt stand each other. Raden hated Hang lipo for bearing son first and Hang lipo hated Raden because she is always the Sultan Favorite. The facade of visiting and spying between each other is normal. They will do anything to let Sultan favor them a little bit than others. Hang Lipo gave birth to son and Raden felt insecure for not being the first one to give Sultan Mansur Shah, an heir though at that time, she’s already pregnant.

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The following episode focuses on how Malacca again is under threat from other prominent states like Inderapura and Siam. Sultan Mansur Shah send Hang Tuah to investigate the issue. Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat went to Inderapura and met Lelawangsa, Inderapura’s princess on the way there. Hang Tuah seize the moment and kidnapped Lelawangsa right away. Sultan Mansur Shah fell sick and the tension arises at the palace. Hang Lipo went to Sultan’s side right away and pretend to care for him as Raden wont be able to do so. Raden is weak at that time prior to her condition after being in labor. Hang Lipo went on badmouthing and accuse others infront of Sultan Mansur Shah after his health has been restored. Sultan Mansur Shah believed her and put Raden in Jail. Puteri Lela Wangsa on the other hands stuck in the situation between wrath of 2 queens after arrived there with Hang Tuah. I wouldnt spoil the ending to you. You guys should watch it in order to know whether Puteri Lela Wangsa end up marrying Sultan Mansur Shah or ran away with Hang Tuah. I bet most of you already know how the ending would be.

Raden Galuh Chenderai portayed by Feby Febiola

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This girl could act. I mean for local standard, her performance is outstanding. I like her character more than others. Yes, she is wicked but she is not 100% evil. What she did in the palace is for her own survival. She never know that Hang lipo will turn more evil than her.

Hang Lipo portrayed by Soo Wincci

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She supposed to be evil. I felt she fell a little short in her character. She just a mean bitch you may have met in High School. Her command in Classic Malay is okay. She can act but not in this role. I guess not everyone could play a convincing evil role.

Sultan Mansur Shah portrayed by Azri Iskandar

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Come on, need i say more? He has a pure talent in acting compared to those group of actors who just depends on good looks. He managed to be a sweet talking husband, sometimes being an unfair assholes to his wives and a sultan who is easily swayed by rumors and false news. I like him when he successfully portrayed this role and i dislike him because this role is just everything that i hate in man ; unfaithful, unfair and pessimist.

Hang Tuan portrayed by Awie

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After the epic tale of Puteri Gunung Ledang of Tiara Jacqueline, i felt no one could bring Hang Tuah alive other than M. Nasir. However, Awie live up to the expectation and didnt disappoint me in the role. I dont know how others felt about it but to me, he nailed it. You can felt the agony in him of loyalty to the Sultan and wanting to follow his own heart. Just watch Awie past films esp. In the 90s, though some of it is very cringing but dude, he performed in each role.

Hang Jebat portrayed by Beto Khusyairi

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I felt he was too intense and emotional in portraying Hang Jebat. In my understanding, Jebat is somehow more rational compared to Tuah. I dont know whether Erma Fatima wanted to Beto to portray Jebat like that or Beto wanted to bring his own depiction in the role. Jebat in this drama always questioning everything, accusing or throwing accusation before investigate it and always being cynical to others including Tuah. If thats how beto really wanted to put his own twist in Jebat character, i guess he did it. Its just me that hate those twist.

Tun Perak portrayed by Datuk Rahim Razali

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Any local film maker knows that having Datuk Rahim Razali in the historical film is an added advantage. He will be perfect for any given roles ; be it advisor, treasurer or warrior. He delivered well in his potrayal as Tun Perak. As a man full of wisdom, he remain composed whenever Sultan Mansur Shah being reckless and lacking in making his own judgment. Aside from his fake wig, i dont have any problem with his role.

Puteri Lela Wangsa portrayed by Erra Fazira

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Puteri Lela wangsa, in my opinion, is the character though short in appearance but making such a big impact to the Drama. Lela wangsa before being kidnapped by Hang Tuah is childish. She has been promised to Siamese Prince and They have been engaged ever since. She is playful and a spoilt princess. After being kidnapped by Hang Tuah, she fell in love with Him during the journey to Malacca. Again, both of them try to hide their feeling. She’s becoming more mature and confronted Hang Tuah about her feeling (whether Hang Tuah did accept it or reject it, i will not spoilt it.) Go watch it, guys.

Shameless (US) : Season 5 – What Happened So Far?

By the Gorgeous Palah Chingu

Warning : This post contained a lot of spoilers.

Shameless : Season 5
My Rating for this season : 4.5/5

First of all, sorry dear readers and followers for not updating this blog ( at least 1 post per week). It seems impossible (due to my laziness, of course). However, I need to let off some steams due to many series that i watched concluded their season in the most satisfying (yet i wanted more) kind of ways. For example, How To Get Away With Murder (season 1). Anyway, that’s not why i’m here. Today,I am going to review or babbling or whatever you guys wanted to call it, each characters in SHAMELESS and what did they bring to the table in this season.

1) FIONA GALLAGHER

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Fiona and Sean.
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Fiona and Gus*my bias. kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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Fiona and Jimmy/steve

 She’s getting married to a guy she barely knew. Classic Fiona. When it comes to successfully destroyed herself and tangling in the complicated emotions, feelings and shit, she is the best. What were you thinking? Dont get me wrong, ( GUS is sweet, gentleman and everything that girl could wish for) but getting married a few weeks after she knew him, Nuh-uh, it doesnt work that way, dear!. Like i said, Fiona love to wreck herself and yes, she did when she fucked her ex-boyfriend, JIMMY/STEVE, right after the she’s got married. Things went south and Gus distancing himself from Fiona. Come on, who doesnt? You just fucked your ex boyfriend a few weeks after getting married. This is too fuck up. Fiona is trying her best to make the marriage work but i felt that this relationship wont last longer. As much as i would love to see FIONA-STEVE back together, I hate seeing GUS getting hurt in the middle of it.

2) LIP GALLAGHER

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Lip Gallagher
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Lip and Amanda
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Lip and Prof. Helene

He’s always been my favorite character. He maybe an asshole when it comes to love, girls and relationship but he valued family above anything else. If you watched ‘The Originals’ Series, he is a bit similar to Elijah except he is Ghetto-ish and not a gentleman at all. Actually, i loved lip and his current girlfriend, Amanda. It’s such a shame if they really broke up this season. They have this compromise of being in an open relationship which Lip is totally cool to do it given that Amanda provides him a financial support. However, A new character appeared, which is one of Lip’s professors interested in him and they ended up fornicating. Amanda seems jealous about but since Shameless has 2 more episodes before season finale, we’ll just have to wait and see. [Crossing my finger] Please dont break up!!!

3) SAMMY GALLAGHER?*because she is a frank’s eldest daughter but she’s not sharing the same mother with the rest of GALLAGHERs

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Sammy & Frank
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Sammy, being the needy daughter.
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Sammy & Chucky

This girl is lunatic. I mean by lunatic, not normal crazy like us, but really mad. We all know what happened last season when Frank tried to lure her in donating her liver (but failed due to some incompatibility issue). This girl got way crazy this season. She’s practically invited herself to live with other Gallagher’s siblings and make herself as 2nd Fiona. Since Fiona got married and got a job, she couldnt make time to care for Debbie, Carl and Liam. Fiona’s absence in the household leaving an opportunity to take over and taking care the household. Sammie felt that Her daddy (that’s what she called Frank) cant live without her after the operation. She used this chance to redeem her childhood which Frank was never in it. She has a mentally-handicapped son named chucky that she brought with her in the house.

4) DEBBIE GALLAGHER

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Debbie tricked matty into sleeping with her.
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Debbie confessed to Derek.
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Debbie and Derek as official boyfriend and girlfriend.

Debbie, Debbie & Debbie. I am sorry but she’s not really giving what i need from Debbie. Debbie who used to be an outsider and doesnt really care has turned into someone needy, clingy and (whatever cliche words you can use to describe a teenage girl). When she wanted to get pregnant and try to persuade fiona into giving her permission, i swear to god, i just want to slap her. You can have sex but to throw you life away by getting pregnant? No way man. I support fiona in whatever decision she has made including dragging you to the abortion clinic.

5) FRANK GALLAGHER

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Frank and Dr. Bianca
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Bianca before she committed suicide in Costa Rica.

FRANK, FRANK, FRANK. I really hate him. I just couldnt handle how a father could be so freaking reckless, cold hearted and manipulative bastard. He played sheila to bear the responsibility of himself,  Sammy into taking care of him, the parent’s of his liver donor and of course, he somehow managed to find some sick doctor into running away and living her life as she will die the next day. Only this time, He fell in love so hard with the doctor. The cancerous doctor does not want to fight the cancer because she only has 3% chance of surviving. He tried to persuade her into living healthily and tracked her medicine time. Unfortunately, it didnt work. The doctor killed herself when they are in Costa Rica. He returned to USA as a heart broken man.

6) CARL GALLAGHER

Episode 305
Carl Gallagher
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Carl and Debbie.
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Carl in Juvie Detention Centre.

Carl and Debbie in this season is such a cute brother and sister. They always hissed and bickered at each other but come on guys, siblings are supposed to be like that. This time they are having some sort of competition of ‘who will be the one between them to lose their virginity’. Of course carl would cheat and using some sort of trick to earn that title. Debbie on the other hand, conceded but she vowed will not stop until her virginity is gone. It’s crazy but that’s what happened. Carl who always loved being the menace among  other gallaghers proved again that he is indeed irrational teenage boy. He entered the drugs world and being a dealer in such a young age. He took a wrong step and end up in the juvie world. He could get away from juvana if he said to the judge that he regretted his action but we are talking about carl here. He enjoyed his ‘thug phase’ and wanted to stay in the juvie. He insulted the judge and the court gave him a maximum sentence. Again, another headache to Fiona.

7) IAN GALLAGHER

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Ian and Mickey
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Ian and Mickey having fun with each other.
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Ian and Monica

Ian’s character is probably having the most unexpected turns in this season. We all know that Monica Gallagher have this disease and Ian is the one who inherited it from their mother. This soon caused a chaos in the family as most of them could not handle ian’s unpredictability. He kidnapped his boyfriend’s son, he locked that baby in the car and he almost endangered that baby’s life when he encountered unfavorable situation with the police. Of course we couldnt blame him but dude, please take your pills. I know you say it’s not you and you dont want to live the rest of your life depending on that pills but considering you almost killed your sister, you are way out of line. The break up is the worstttttttttttttttt thing ever. I am so rooting you and mickey will end up together. What the fuck? Breaking up is not the solution. I really like you guys. You guys made dysfunctional love sweeter than ever.

8) VERONICA AND KEV

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Kev returned to Veronica
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Kev & Veronica

It’s just a phase guysssssss. This thing happened in marriage. However, it’s funny how the roles reversed between two of them. Veronica or Vee that we all love being sass and funny didnt enjoy the new kev. The three babies should be a pure joy to  Vee but she just didnt feel that way. Kev has shifted all of his attention to their babies and left Vee felt loveless all the time. They often fought about it causing Vee to move out temporarily. Due to that, Kev felt so frustrated but managed to take care of their babies separately. Both of them are miserable without each other but just too egoistical to forgive each other. Time passed by and they both try to moving on but they just couldnt do it. Vee try to go on a date with her high school lover but she just couldnt bring herself to sit on the table. Kev is just a different story. He joined lip business venture selling weed in school and turned himself into coed’s magnet. They called him ‘the rape walker’. He just manipulating the chivalry to ensure the girls would invite him to bed. Yes, he has alot of sex and he confessed to vee. (of course, again, it’s a normal sentence man would use to a girl which is it’s just not the same with you). Vee forgave him and he promised that he will try to save their marriage together with her.

No God But God by Reza Aslan – Book Review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

This is such an excellent book. It was well elaborated and provoking in the same time.

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My Rating : 5/5

I was raised in the environment of strictly religious sunni muslim background. Not that i wanted to label myself as Sunni Muslim (i’d like to think we are all Muslims regardless of how the individuals practices and approaches their own religion). However, reading about other branches of Islam like Shiite and Sufi definitely is a treat to myself. I have been longing to know about it but i just cant find the right book that is not heavily one sided. Usually, it will be one sided and most of the arguments stressed on how their side of religion overrule one another.

To be honest, the book is quite thrilling and challenging to me. There are terms and words that forced me to open online dictionary to understand it’s meaning. There are moment that i have to look at it’s own glossary to really comprehend what is Reza Aslan try to share with his readers. Sometimes, i have to stop for a while and absorb all the facts from his book.Trust me, this book provided me more information about my own religion than what my 5 years combined in Islamic Boarding School. In my school, all they (Ustaz and Ustazah) talked about is ritual. Ritual (in a very conservative society such as mine) somehow influenced and judged heavily on being a good Muslim. If you are reading Quran everyday, then you are considered a good Muslim. the downfall for this is reading and understand is not the same. That’s what Reza Aslan try to point out in his writing. He was very bold on writing over the controversial sub topic. He criticized how some Islamic Scholars misinterprets Islamic law for their own purpose.

I was forced to enroll in Islamic boarding school when i was thirteen. Those 5 years living in that boarding school can be sum it up as hell to me. I didnt fit in and i kind of questioned everything especially when the culture of women seclusion seems normal in that school. Having read this book, it seriously opened my eyes especially Women rights in Islam. It is undeniably underrated in Islam. When reza pointed out his arguments of veil and the symbolization of Muslim women chastity in this book, i couldn’t be more happier. Anyway, the only added advantage that i got having an Islamic educational background is i am familiar with some of Arabic terms in this book. When Reza  Aslan argued on whether Hadith is legitimate sources because of their Isnad, or on the rationality of using Ijtihad than Hadith, I understood what is meant by  Hadith, Isnad or Ijtihad. I learned it before in school.

Overall, this is an excellent reading. Everything is written in elaborated style but in the same time you can understand it. From Prophet Muhammad history to 9/11 post effect, all of it has been covered in this. Yes, this book might challenged and provoked your thinking and idea about Islam ( especially the one you thought you knew) but thats the whole point of reading it. You may agree to disagree with Reza Aslan’s points but that means you are doing some thinking of your own. Rather than accepting it wholly without questioning it, i would prefer this approach better. Yes, Reza Aslan may go a bit overboard with his writing over how shiite was formed but that’s something i can accept considering he himself is a shiite Muslim.

This book can refresh the new idea of Islam and maybe in the same time, we can embrace this long-awaited Islamic Reformation. This book is highly recommended to any non-muslims who wanted to know more about Islam.