Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Part 3: Jeddah & Madinah Al Munawwarah

We reached Jeddah in the afternoon / evening. The immigration process went smoothly by the airport officers, unlike the treatment given by Jordanians. Some people say these Arabs are arrogant. Maybe la kot during Hajj seasons, but not this time of year. Tapi terkejut la jugak I tengok airport dia. KLIA / Suvarnabhumi adalah berganda2 canggih dari Jeddah Airport ni. Biar betul, how do they receive so many people during Hajj?? Tak crowded ke?? But later when I stepped out from the building baru la I nampak about 1 km away from the airport ada macam umbrella tents macam kenduri kahwin tu. I mean the rooftop macam umbrella tents! Kat situ la terminal for Hajj pilgrims. It's so huge!! By the way, after dah settled semua at the airport, solat, collected our baggage, met our mutawwif, barula we all bergerak ke bas. Oh, our mutawwif is a very nice chap from Indonesia. He's only 22 years old, a student at a sekolah pondok in Makkah. Dah la cute...cheh, sempat lagi tu...

Oh before I forget, masa kat dalam flight from Amman, ada few passengers who were already in their ihram. I mean the guys la cos they were wearing kain ihram, the two pieces of while cloth. At one point the pilot announced that in 5 minutes time the flight would be crossing this one place (I couldn't figure out the place's name from his accent. Arab accent), tempat miqat la so he warned those in ihram to berniat umrah. Those passengers would be going straight to Makkah for umrah from Jeddah airport. For us, my group tak payah cos we were going to Madinah first. Tapi macam seronok la tengok those people. Hehe...

Ok, back to the story at the airport. Masa nak boarded the bus, I quickly booked the front seats for me & hubby (kiasu betolll) cos your view of the scenery later on is wider if you sit at the front, right? Kalau kat back seats, u can only manage to see on your side je, either left or right. Tak best la camtu... The journey to Madinah took about 5 hours.

This is the view from the bus
Kat highway on the way to Madinah
Rumah2 kat Saudi Arabia ni mostly in box shapes

We stopped later for our dinner at one of the sort of R&Rs at about 7pm. Dah malam la, dah nak masuk Al Isya (cheh, sebut pun nak style Arab). The mutawwif told us to jama' our maghrib prayer. It's better to perform Maghrib & Isyak once we reach Madinah cos pahala dia lagi banyak. Kat situ we all makan nasi Arab. Huish... best giler. The rice was served in a big tray which can feed about 8 people. We were told that 1 tray would be shared by 5 people. Atas nasi tu ada 1 big chicken and 2 fish. Ada lada hijau jugak, cam ulam dia la & takde kuah. They gave polistyrene plates & spoons jugak but since ayam dia roasted & fish dia digoreng garing, how can you eat with polistyrene spoon??? Luckily ada tempat air basuh tangan, dapat la makan dengan tangan. The taste is yummehh!! I was too tired to snap any pictures plus too shy to ambik gambar makanan pun in front of the group members. nanti diorang cakap poyo la pulak minah ni, gambar makanan pun nak ambik. Oh, me & hubby adalah the youngest couple in our group. Yang lain2 tu macam dah 40-60 ++ dah umur diorang...

After about 1 hour plus at the R&R, we resumed our journey. I refrained myself from drinking after the meal cos takut nak terkencing. We were warned that there would be no stopping after this cos dah takde public toilets dah. Since the outside view was so dark and boring, I just dozed off je throughout the journey. The mutawwif told us to just rest and sleep and he would later wake us up once we reach Madinah.

After about 2 hours plus, hubby gerakkan I and I could see in front of me a city full of lights (we all kan duduk paling depan...). Masa tu rasa syahdu la jugak cos tak percaya that in a short while I would be stepping on Madinah's soil. Tanah berkat tuuuu!! I could see a signboard of "Al Haram" and baru la I tau Madinah ni Tanah Haram. Ingatkan Makkah je... So kena la berhati-hati dalam percakapan dan juga apa yang terdetik di hati... Mutawwif pun started to wake us up (through microphone) and told that we were about to cross Al Haram. He recited a doa for Al Haram and we followed suit. I still remember that he said something like this "Di sini tidak perlu memakai masker kerna udara di Madinah adalah obat, penduduk2 di sini adalah obat...bla bla bla". I was like, really?? Bagus betul... Oh, I pulak terus rasa syahdu je especially bila mutawwif kata di Madinah ni la tempat bersemadinya jasad Rasulullah. Oh, syahdu betul. We all were advised to perbanyakkan zikir di sepanjang perjalanan. Ye la, kata nak pergi melawat tempat Rasulullah kan...

When we almost reached the hotel, I looked to my right side and Subhanallah! Such a beautiful view! Masjid Nabawi berada di depan mata & terang benderang. At that point of time terus rasa syahdu lagi... of course all this while selalu dengar je orang cerita... Sekarang dah sampai pun kat tempat ni.. We stayed at Al Fayrouz Hotel, just about 100 metres from the masjid, to be exact 100 metres from the Gate to women entrance. Senang la untuk we all yg pompuan ni... All the buildings surrounding Masjid Nabawi look alike and you can get confused easily. So you have to be extra alert on what's on your right, left, the landmark and so on.. This is especially when you want to make a visit to nearby shops, jalan2 ke apa ke...

This is our room
We paid for 2-bedded room (Double)

On the left is our hotel
Can you see the Masjid??
Cantikkan umbrella-shaped roof tu??

Clearer view from the Masjid

Siap ada burung2 lagi...

See? The surrounding buildings / hotels which are look alike

The weather in Madinah is cool in the morning and at night. Tapi during the day tu panas la jugak but udara dia sejuk. We spent most of the times in the Masjid. I managed to go to Raudhah 3 times during the time that women are allowed in. Of course we can't see the actual makam Rasulullah cos there's a really big and tall divider that separates women and men sections. We only know that we are in Raudhah beacuse of the green carpets and signboards. I was told that last time women were allowed in tapi sekarang dah tak boleh dah. In a day, there are 3 times that Raudhah are open to women. About 2-3 hours je la for each slot. After Subuh, after Zohor and after Isyak. So memang berebut2 la wanita2 ni termasuk la I. Dah la Turkish people are big size, suka tolak2 pulak tu. Nak solat sunat kat atas green carpet tu pun tak aman cos sambil tgh solat tu pun boleh ditolak2. Alhamdulillah I managed to berdoa di Raudhah. Hope that everything that I asked for will be granted. Amin! Oh, friends & families, doa2 anda pun I sempat mintak di Raudhah juga...

We just finished performing solat Zohor & I quickly snapped this pic
Manusia berduyun2 keluar dari Masjid

Actually kat Masjid Nabawi ni tak boleh bawak masuk camera. Nak masuk pintu masjid mesti ada spot check. Since there are so many people going in and out from the masjid, their people can't afford to check everyone thoroughly. I always carried my handphone and camera in a small pocket inside my slingbag provided by the travel agent. And yet diorang tak pernah pun belek that pocket cos so many people berasak2 nak masuk dalam Masjid ni... Nevertheless I never dared to take picture once inside the mosque cos I was worried that I would be caught red-handed. But hubby selamba jer ambik gambar guna camera phone cos dia cakap ramai jemaah lelaki main selamba je click sana click sini. Dah balik Malaysia baru I tau... Kalau I tau awal2, dah lama I snap pictures of masjid nabawi dari dalam. Oh, the interior and architecture are sooooo breathtakingly beautiful! memang cantik and sejuk je kat dalam ni... Quran memang berlambak-lambak and even tong-tong air zam-zam are everywhere. Unlimited supply of air zam-zam! I siap bawak empty mineral water bottle untuk refill air zam-zam lagi...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Part 2: Hasyemites Kingdom of Jordan

After the agonizing 9-hour flight of sleeping, eating, tossing & turning, we finally reached Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. Oh, talking about Jordan & the people, these Jordanians are quite arrogant lots! Just imagine, dari Bangkok lagi they already showed their tantrums. Masa check-in kat counter, logic la kalau your bag kena scan kan? Ni tak, before boarding their aircraft, two Jordanians dah stanby kat luar pintu aircraft tu nak check our bags and the rest of our group. We were quite late but not that late la, about 10-15 minutes before boarding time. The two chaps dah ready tunggu kat luar tu ngan posing cam gangster mintak bukak bag. Apa kes?? Dah scan bag before this sudah la kan... Ini tak, bukan scan tau tapi kena BUKAK! Siap check satu2 item lagi. My hubby was carrying our 5-nighter bag cos we all kan kena bermalam kat Amman. Our other bags semua sampai terus kat Jeddah. This Jordanian guy siap dengan garangnya suruh hubby bukak bag tu & check2 semua. Dia belek2 lagi our adapter (adapter ke? ala yg pasang kat power point tu. Lain country kan lain lubang2 power point tu...) with very suspicious look. Mesti dia ingat benda tu bomb ke apa... Hubby had to explain to him baru la dia lepaskan kitorang... Fuhh, lega... Ini baru 1st stage..

Sampai kat Jordan pun satu hal... Just imagine, sampai2 pun punya la banyak tapisan2 scan dia... This is the 1st time I went to a Muslim country so mana la I tau nak beratur scan tu kena asing2 male and female. Dengan selamba jer I beratur belakang hubby. Habis kena jerit ngan orang Immigration tu.. I can't remember how many scans that we had to go through tapi hubby pun macam malas dah nak pakai balik belt dia pasal belt pun kena bukak... tension je dia. The same goes to other group members.

We did not go for tour this time cos we only had limited time, dalam 8-9 hours camtu je, so tak sempat. We arrived about 4.30am, after ding-dong2 kat airport terus checked in kat Airport Hotel, about 5 mins drive from the Airport. Kat sana memang we all tido je la... Me & hubby did not even go out for breakfast pun. I was hungry actually but was not sure the breakfast was served or not. Rupa2nya some of the group members ada yang pegi breakfast kat hotel tu. Of course la breakfast is served. Logic la kan?? Blur pulak I ni...!! But me & hubby only managed to get our beauty sleep for a few hours cos by around 9am tu dah start bunyi bising2 ada orang bertukang kat dalam hotel... The hotel is currently undergoing refurbishment. Since dah tak boleh tido dah, kitorang lepak2 mandi & tengok tv je la...

This is the airport hotel
Can u see the crane next to it? Tengah refurbishment kan...

About 11am, we were asked to get ready to get back to the airport. We were to leave for Jeddah around 1++ pm, dah tak ingat dah time dia... A shuttle bus was ready to bring us back to the airport. Oh, kat Jordan sekarang ni baru nak habis winter, tengah nak masuk Spring season cam tu.. sejuk la...

Some of the group members
Getting ready to board the bus

Scenery that I managed to snap whilst in the bus
Jordan flag

When we reached the airport, we had to go through the same nightmare again. Endless body and baggage scans, arrogant and unfriendly officers, bla bla bla... So moral of the story don't ever go and visit Jordan. Menyampah je haku! Cakap je bunyi Arab, tulisan pun tulisan Arab tapi berderet je liquor kat Airport tu, dalam flight pun ada liquor. Diorang ni kan liberal... bukannya Muslim country pun...

Boarding time...
Jeddah, here we come!!
Labbaikallah humma labbaik!

Friday, March 26, 2010

PART 1: The Journey

Our journey to Holy Land was on Monday March 8. Flight dalam pukul 9pm camtu so siang tu sempat la me & hubby beli apa2 yang patut, last minute shopping la cam beli tissues (in case ada nak nangis byk2 ke, kena flu ke), went to clinic to get supplies of medicines for flu, cough, ciritbirit, fever etc, went to kedai jamu Indon to get supply of ubat sakit urat for my maid, went to workshop to get hubby's car serviced & apa lagi ye?? macam-macam la we all buat hari tu. I was fasting that day but I didn't feel tired at all despite doing so much work, running around to do errands, melayan my kiddo. We only packed our things the night before je & we brought 3 luggages. 2 really huge bags & one 5-nighter bag as a hand luggage cos we would be putting a night in jordan before resuming our journey to jeddah.

Masa kat klia tu I tried refraining my emotion of sadness cos i knew that later I would be parting with my little one. Masa we all (us & families) were having some drinks at a nearby cafe, my kiddo sebok lari2 sana sini kegirangan tengok so many people at the airport. Siap main hide & seek kat belakang2 tiang semua. She looked so pretty wearing new blouse & pants that hubby bought for her. My maid yang pakaikan dia baju tu, I didn't know cos we left the house earlier than them. I tengok je my kiddo from the table, I didn't dare to go nak layan2 dia takut perasaan sedih tu datang. But after a while i pikir2 balik takkan I tak layan dia langsung pulak nanti terkilan la tak main2 ngan dia. At that time dah almost 7.30pm. The group leader had warned us earlier that we had to be at the satellite building by 8pm. Dah la nak gi solat semua dulu. I pun pegila main2 ngan my kiddo, pretending to snap her pictures although tak dapat nak snap pun cos she kept fidgetting and turning her face away from the camera. Takpe la, luckily I still had some of her pictures / videos inside the memory card & my handphone.

Masa yang ditunggu2 pun tiba. We decided not to solat kat situ cos selalunya surau kat situ crowded. we all nak solat kat dalam departure hall before boarding the aero train. Kat situ selalunya lengang je, takde orang. Masa salam2 tu I masih control macho lagi. 1st salam my mom, ok je... salam my dad pulak, ok je... salam my MIL, dah tak ok dah... I burst into tears cos masa tu my mind was focussing on my little one je... I salam je with the rest without looking at their faces & masa I pegi cium2 & cuddle my kiddo my tears kept streaming down my face. She put on a puzzle look. Of course she couldnt digest the situation although me & hubby always told her that we would be going away to Makkah and asked her not to cry. She knew that we would be leaving her behind but maybe she didn't have the idea that the duration is long. Masa I nangis2 tu I saw my mom pun nangis2 jugak. Mesti sedih tengok I berpisah ngah anak I. Sob! Sob! Masa nak turun escalator to Immigration tu, my maid who was carrying my kiddo siap nak ikut sekali turun. Hehe... While waving bye bye to them, my kiddo was still putting on a puzzle look... Hmmm So cute!

Then, when we went for prayer I was still sobbing non-stop, naik aero train pun dok nangis lagi. Rasa malu la pulak kat other people especially those in my tour group. Oh, by the way there were only 17 people in my tour group including the group leader. Sikit je tapi best jugak cos at least we recognize each other and nak bonding tu senang sket... hehe...

We took Thai Airways to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. That was my 1st time at Bangkok's new airport. The last time I was there in 2004 the new airport was still under construction. Oh, the airport is so hugeeee! Macam KLIA disambungkan dengan satellite building je... I didn't take any pictures cos macam segan la pulak dengan the rest of the group. Just imagine we had to walk 2km from the arrival gate to Transfers counter!! Just so you know, we only transitted in Bangkok and changed to Royal Jordanian to go to Amman. The umrah package that we took included visit to Jordan. Oh ya, masa kat KLIA earlier I bukak puasa ngan air je cos takde selera langsung nak makan pasal sedih... Bila dah naik flight baru la terasa lapar giler cam tak sabar2 pulak tunggu food sampai. Dalam Thai Airways tu I makan licin terus pasal lapar punya pasal... Hehe...

Okla, our arrival in Amman is to be continued soon. It was a 9-hour flight from Bangkok to Amman & most of the time I just slept. Orait, bubye!



Wahhhh.... sudah lama ku tinggalkan blog ini... Really missed blogging so much but now when I'm back in cyber space cam malas pulak nak update blog.. Got so many pictures to show you guys... hang on there!!

Even my FB pun I tak touch langsung! Cam malas pulak nak update FB or nak check status orang lain... Hmmm... let me settle down first, luckily when I got back to the office takde jobs / new assignments awaiting me... nasib baik! so bolehla surf2 internet sikit kasi aura rajin datang. hehe...

Ok la, mebbe after this i will start writing my experience in bumi makkah, madinah & jordan... and plus bangkok!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear God...

Assalamualaikum everybody...

In about 3 days, I'll be going away to Holy Land Makkah with my hubby and leaving behind my little kiddo. We planned this two years ago but with kiddo and maid in the picture as well as my parents and sister. But somehow the plan didn't materialize and only me & hubby would go ahead with this trip. I know I will be leaving Malaysia with a heavy heart cos I've never been apart from my kiddo for so long. The longest that we were separated was only 5 days when I had to go outstation in Johor. I can feel that my kiddo would miss me terribly cos I'm the closest person to her.

So dear friends, I would like to seek forgiveness for my wrongdoings if there's any (oh, obviously!) and hope that my ibadah will be accepted by Allah and really really hope that no bad things befall me. Aminnn!

P/S: Oh, kiddo just called and she wanted me to buy her "...so many whistles!" Ok, babeh, 100 whistles pun takpe...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Assam Pedas Melaka


Yesterday me & my dear friends had lunch at this place called Asam Pedas Melaka Sejati. It was an impromptu and last minute decision as everyone was famished and didn't get to think properly. My friend Mr BH has been to this restaurant before and I've read in a blog about this place and the good review on its assam pedas. Since I've never tried the food before I quickly suggested it to my hungry friends and they all agreed to the idea. Hehe...

The restaurant (restaurant ke?? It's more like kedai makan kecik jeee...) is located somewhere along the main road in Desa Pandan. The kedai looks ugly (sorry! tsk tsk) from the outside and even the interior pun buruk jugak butttt the taste of its assam pedas is Marvellous! You just choose any raw fish displayed at the entrance (fish: kembong, jenahak, pari, apa lagi yeee???) and they will cook the fish for you in a claypot. So you can just imagine that the assam pedas is still boiling hot when it is served to you... Hehe... Besides fish assam pedas, they also have assam pedas daging, burung goreng, ayam goreng, telur dadar & ulam-ulaman..

See? We just got this assam pedas & it was still boiling!!
We order 3 big-sized ikan jenahak & 1 pari
All cooked together in one pot! Baru mantoppp!!

Lauk sampingan: Telur masin, ulam & sambal belacan

Oh, Mr BH ordered 2 burung goreng & I forgot to snap the photo cos we were so busy chatting... From our experience yesterday the time that they took to prepare was not long even though there were quite many people having lunch at the same time. So overall, it was great and I'd suggest that we can do a second visit for the assam pedas. Maybe we'll try the assam pedas daging pulak. OK friends??

P/S: I'm counting days now... Ngeh! Ngeh!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


My kiddo has been asking a skipping rope and a water color set since last week. Knowing me & hubby, we always bow to her demands cos she's the only child we have at the moment and pleasing her 24/7 is always not a problem to us.

Since hubby wanted to find something at Ikea yesterday, we went to The Curve to look for kiddo's skipping rope & the coloring set. There's this one shop which sells Crayola products from water colour, magic color, crayons & lots more which made me sooo tempted to get them all. But we opted for water color which is gel based so the color won't get dry when you leave it uncovered. Another set that we bought are brushes which you can only scribble on a special paper.

The first row of water colors yang jadi mangsa
Da Vinci!

Another 2 rows yang belum bukak lagi

You can only use the brushes on this paper to see the color traces,
on other surface tak boleh, color tu tak melekat

The painter at work!

Tapi susah betul nak cari skipping rope cos most kiddy shops that we went at The Curve ni do not sell skipping ropes. Nevermind, today we are on a hunt again for that thing. Nak cari kat Toys R Us kat MidValley la pulak. Semestinya ada la kan...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh My! Oh My!

Do you recognise what this thing is?? Well, look at the picture carefully...

Hmmm... it's my floss! Look at that!

Look what my kiddo has done to my floss! Patut la senyap je dia dok dalam bilik I. And then saja je dia dok tarik-tarik floss tu depan muka I... She's always like that. She knows things that she should not do but she will still do it and purposely does it in front of my face cos she knows that I will be angry if she does that. Alaaa... budak-budak kan suka seek attention ngan makbapak dia... Kalau I ignore je dia, mula la nak buat benda-benda pelik so that I akan give attention to her. Takpela, baru sorang anak. Cuba 4-5 orang, mau I buat dekkkk jeee... 4-5 orang pun still buah hati jugak kan? Kena jugak sayang....

By the way, my floss is still like that until now. Camana nak kasi floss tu masuk balik dalam bekas dia, aahhh?? Habis la all the mint flavour kat floss tu. Tsk! Tsk!

Looooonggggg time no see....

Hello peeps!

Oh, I haven't been blogging for quite some time cos kemalasan melanda and I was sooo lazy to write anything. I just wanted to facebook, blog hop and sleeeepppp... Heehe... I have so many stories to tell but everytime I touch the keyboard all my ideas will disappear... Hehe... macam justification yang students would give their teachers on why you don't complete your homework.

Have I told you that I already underwent an endoscopy procedure last week? Oh, I haven't?? Well, the procedure went very well and the doctor didn't find anything wrong or peculiar in my stomach. So he can rule out the tummy that caused the reflux. So the only culprit left is the gallstones. The doctor referred me to another surgeon who is a specialist in gallstones. Anddd, the only option I have is to get my gall bladder removed. Otherwise the stones would go into the duct and block the pathway and eventually affect my liver. And that is worse. Some sort like that la the explanation given by the doctor.After further deliberation with my family, I agreed with the option but I have not decided yet on the date. Nanti la dulu... Whoooo I'm so scared! After living with my gallbladder for xx years and now I have to part with it?? Oh, that's so sadddd.....! So long my gallbladder!

Ok, enough crap about my gallstones.

My kiddo now sangat tergila-gilakan Ben10. It's a cartoon character from Ben10 Alien Force shown on Cartoon Network. She's so into Ben10 that she always plays Ben10 games on PSP, she wants Ben10 DVDs, she wants Ben10 products, bla bla blahhh... But my kiddo is a girl!!

Ben10 ni is just a normal boy but when he hits his watch he will turn into an Alien. Ada banyak jenis aliens yang dia boleh bertukar tau... And my kiddo begged me to buy her the watch. Me & hubby, being ignorant parents (as in ignorant tak pernah tengok criter Ben10) bought her a normal watch. Alaa... watch yang biasa2 tapi ada lukisan cartoon Ben10 tu la... being good parents, we bought her an extra watch tapi with lukisan Tom&Jerry pulak... So she received 2 watches la instead of 1. Bila dia dapat jam2 tu she didn't like it cos she said it was not the watch that she wanted. "Not this one! Wrong! Wrong!" sambil baling2 je jam Ben10 tu. Jam Tom&Jerry pun dia baling2 jugak sampai pecah muka jam tu... When Ben10 program appeared on TV she showed me the watch. Oh patut la, jam tu punya la gedabak besar...

And me being a good mom, I bought her the new Ben10 watch the next day and my kiddo now can pretend to be Ben10... Oh, u can insert a disk inside the watch and boleh pantulkan the alien images kat atas dinding or paper. Macam buat projection camtu...

Ok, peeps... Need to get back to my work. Until we meet again with more stories!