Wednesday, 28 June 2017

4 Typical Situations You Face When Buying Property

First of all, a belated wish to all readers. After a month of battle, we are finally free to enjoy this worldly bless. Coming from the guy who needs to consume calories 10 times more than average people do, trust me, it was indeed a warfare.

In case if you hadn't notice, I only weight only 53 kg, while my height is 172 cm. Like literally, that's not okay, and far from being normal. To make it even worse, I dropped a couple of more kg during the month of Ramadhan. Sorrow, that was all I felt when standing on the weight scale.

Anyways, enough with the talk, you probably clicked into this post because of the title. Well, this is definitely not a click bait. Without further a due, here are the list of four things people normally face when getting a property (in a form of video, wink wink!).

If any of you made it to the later part of the video, you probably noticed something familiar, right? Right? Right? (Curving lips, pretty similar to Maleficent with her malevolent smile lol)

That's true, I was in it! Well, when you come to think about it, it does seem like a click bait. Damn!

But anyhow, you were entertained, weren't you? (Another wink wink)

Credits to Skyworld Development for making this hilarious video, and for inviting me to be part of it, although it was just a teeny tinny little part, but still it was fun to make.

Here is the link for more info of them : Skyworld Development

Friday, 16 June 2017

Interview with Sajidah - Wanderer of China (Part 2)

CLICK LINK FOR PART 1 : Interview with Sajidah (Part 1)

Me : Of all cities in China, why Shanxi or Xi'an? Would you recommend it to others?

"Two things affected my decision - first is the school I'm attending, XJTU, it is one of the best school in China; secondly is the food. As a Muslim, I care a lot for the accessibility of halal food. And if you'd been to Xi'an, you would know how easy it is to get those halal food. Just look at the size of Muslim street, you would literally need to spend months just to try out every available dishes there."

"So if you asked me whether I would recommend people to travel or stay here - yes, I would. This city is on the rise, but unlike Beijing, it is not a busy city that makes you long for home within the first few days of arrival. I, myself, do not like big city. I love the town I grew up in, so considering the contrast between my hometown and this city isn't so big, I didn't have hard time liking this place."

Me : There are wide speculations out there saying that China is a dirty country, having rude locals, completely messy and unstable. So, what do you want to say to those people who wish to visit this country, but having such absurd judgment?

"To me, if you literally think of any country that way, do me a favor and just forget your dream to travel. When you travel abroad, especially to such country with so little dependable facts as your guidance, you can't afford to have that kind of silly thought in your head. As a matter of fact, you travel to reveal the truth behind it."

"My people (Malaysians) are likely to think of themselves as the rightful standard, a benchmark to every goodness in the world. People with lower standard are deemed to be judged, while those who are overly qualified, are not one of them. They tend to think that the world revolves only around them. That's just pretty sick."

"This is why I love traveling so much, because it changes how I see the world. I used to be such an egomaniac back in high school, and my background kind of boosted it up. I was known for having good mathematical and calculation skills, a math genius. But when I first attended this university, that was the time when I realized I wasn't as good as I though I was. The locals here were ten times better than me and they didn't even need a calculator to solve a complicated equation. And that wasn't the only event where I felt so timid. Well, my point is, no matter how good you think you are, the world is huge, there will always someone who is a hundred times better than you."

"So, my word of advice is, people need to go out of their comfort zone more often. Traveling isn't just a costly or fancy lifestyle for the rich, it can be a learning tool for everyone. Of course, there are plenty other ways other than this. The world isn't as simple as you think it is. The moment you realize how tiny you are comparing to the universe, that's when you understand what am I trying to say here."

Interview with Sajidah - Wanderer of China

When I first met Sajidah, we were only 17. Both of us were traveling to China at that time for the same program, except that I was in the competing group and she was one of the back-up crew. Growing up in Pontian, Johor, really exposed herself to community that are quite similar to mine - the people were not so keen in traveling. Even when they do, those are the rich that have planned for fancy holiday or family time abroad.

When my friends and I finally decided we wanted to go to Xi'an, her name popped into my head like a light bulb. She's been staying there for more than four years now, she must have some good stories she could share with us. Hence, this triggered my desire to interview her for more.

Me : So, why are you here? How did everything start?

"I'm here for college, it's my fourth year now. I came here on 2013 and I was on scholarship program. At that time, I was very much interested with Public Administration or Management. So, this school, Xi'an Jiao Tong University (西安交通大学) was one of the best school people around recommended to me. But, of course, I didn't just fly directly after my final year of high school."

"As you could see, I graduated from Private High School, with Chinese as its main literacy, and it was very hard to apply for any scholarship back in Malaysia when you are not from the government listed school. Same thing happened to my sister, Amirah. She had worse case comparing to mine, because the government department didn't recognize her graduation certificate and in the end, she had to pay for college fee in China by herself. Luckily, she managed to obtain another scholarship there after few semesters."

"As for me, I got a recommendation from my teacher to apply for private scholarship issued by Dongzhong (董总). I spent around a year teaching in my high school, and at the same time applied for this. The process was supposed to be more complicated, but due to some recommendation, I managed to obtain it within three months."

Me : So, it's been quite some time now, what have you seen so far? What are the good stuffs about Xi'an?

"A very standard advice I'd give to any visitors that asked me this - first, you've got to visit these nearby places first, Bell Tower (钟楼), Drum Tower (鼓楼) and Muslim Street (回民街). Next, it'd be Terracotta Army Museum (兵马俑). Lastly, the cafes near Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (大雁塔). Only when you've done with all this, seek for the best local stuff. Of course, this is just personal suggestion."

"What do I mean by the best local stuff? One of it is the food, but not the kind of food that they serve in the hotel or high-scale cafeteria, more like average daily dishes that locals eat (家常菜). You would normally find it in a cheap restaurant or hawker center."

"For example, I would suggest you to try their glass noodles (凉皮) or biang biang noodles. And also if you Google up the top ten funny or interesting stuff about Xi'an,you would normally see these few things. One of it is, if you go down the streets or alley around this city, you will see this particular type of small restaurant that serves all sort of noodles, to customers who dine in by squatting on the road side. Not much of a pleasant sight to see, but it's interesting to learn that it's a norm for them."

"Another cute thing is how the ladies here wear hijab without covering ears. It looks kind of like their signature here in Shanxi or Xi'an. And one last thing I'd like to point out is how huge their naan is. It's literally the size of a farmer's hat, or a big pot."

"But of course, those are just the tourism part. If you really wonder what this place has given to me (not just Xi'an, but China in general)? I'd say a lot. I've come to learn loads of stuff that changed my perspective in viewing everything. I would say you were crazy if you ever thought China wasn't much as a country."

Me : Can I say you are more mature now after traveling to this country? How did that happen?

"Yes, absolutely. One thing that everyone knows about studying abroad is that you will be left alone in a city with very limited resources. In my case, I didn't have any problem with communication, as I speak fluent Mandarin. But the thing I truly lacked of was friends for support. In my first year here, I had only one Malaysian friend whom taking the same major. As for the rest of the Malaysians, they were 45 minutes apart in different campus. It's really cool when you think about it, that how this hardship actually led to a new discovery for me."

"People need to understand that when you are abroad for school or work, the locals normally wouldn't look forward to become friends with you, unless you have something valuable that they can learn from. I believe this implies on any places in the world. Even I, myself wouldn't approach a foreigner in my hometown for no reason. Hence, this thought forced me to get out from my comfort zone and make myself appealing to people in school, by joining more social activities or groups. I needed friends, but not like desperately."

"When it comes to free time, I figured I should go wander around more, with a hope to come in contact with new things. I tried car-pulling, like Uber, and sat in the same cars with strangers. It was fun to eavesdrop these people talking about their work and life. Sometimes I could literally learn something from them. Definitely not the kind of stuff that you learn fro school."

"Also there is one more thing I've learned, I believe you too could relate - patience. The mainland Chinese are notorious to the world for the way they behave. They tend to rush things up, even when those things can be managed with patience. So, slowly, I have accepted the culture here (but not by becoming one of them). I literally would let these people go when they cut queue or argue over trivial things. It wasn't worthy of my time."

CLICK LINK FOR PART 2 : Interview with Sajidah (Part 2)

Monday, 12 June 2017

Lemon Tree Restaurant @ Johor Bahru

In case if anyone wonders, no, the foods here do not revolve around lemon, nor do they serve lemon trees. Just like Starbucks, you don't see them serving stars, do you?

Now back to the subject, a restaurant that deserves to be mentioned - Lemon Tree Restaurant, at Taman Melodies, Johor Bahru. You will find all types of food here, which include local, western, eastern and desserts. Basically everything that Malaysians love to eat.

I had dinner there with a group of friends, and to my surprise, the bill was pretty reasonable. After splitting, each of us only had to pay around RM 15 - 20. Another restaurant that serves great food, but with cheaper price. Ow you don't know how much I love these owners.

As always, here are some of the honorable mention, or something to ease your menu selection.

Creamy Mushroom Chowder. Thick and creamy chowder served with shreds of mushroom (a whole bunch of them, honestly), a perfect appetizer before you start digging into main courses.

Lamb-shank. The mix of its gravy and mashed potato was so slushy, that it tasted so different comparing to the rest of Lamb-shanks I have had before. And the tenderized meat, just don't get me started with that.

Seafood Pizza. This post wasn't made to condemn other competitors, but most of the time when I ordered a 'Seafood Pizza', it would turn up a pizza with either only tuna or crab sticks, and I hate it every time I fall for it. So, that is why when I ordered this menu, I was flattered by how much the chef wanted to please his customers. The pizza consisted of real shrimps, squids, tuna chunks, pineapple and paprika, a tasteful combination.

Here are some further details:

Facebook   : Restaurant Lemon Tree
Contact      : 07-335 5688
Address      : 18, Jalan Bedara, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor, Johor, Malaysia.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant @ Johor Bahru

I believe I am not the only person in this planet with some crazy obsession. Others do too, right?

Just so you know, I would literally go into frenzy mode when these few things are placed in front of me - novels, travel photos, RPG games, web series etc. You see, I'm just like regular people who have hobbies. Reading fictional novels gives me insight of how others handle their lives. Travel photos provide inspiration and maybe to help me plan my future travel. RPG games relaxes my mind, but not to the point where it stops functioning completely. Web series, it's just like reading fictions. Taking all these away wouldn't cause any harm to me, but I would definitely feel empty inside. Sob sob!

And there is one more thing, and that is Japanese food. Ow God, if I had the power to convert my every meal into Japanese food, I would definitely do it, and not getting bored even a bit.

Here are some reasons why these type of cooking attracts me so so so so much.

1. They use less oil (and some do not consist of oil at all).
2. The ingredients are mostly whole foods.
3. They savor flavorless food, but high in nutrition.
4. Chili isn't something common in this cooking, and I'm honestly grateful for it.
5. Sushi and sashimi were the gifts from heaven.
6. And wasabi was the green ribbon that came along with them.

Get it now?

Okay okay! I think that's enough. Now let's talk about where can you get amazing foods in Johor Bahru, but with seriously affordable price. Easy, just google "Yuzu Japanese Restaurant Mount Austin", and the internet will take you straight to it.

Located in the heart of Mount Austin, I'm sure it won't give much trouble finding it.

Before any of you place in some hopes in having your dinner here, let me give you a quick heads up. This restaurant doesn't serve sushi, nor sashimi. And to fit our Malaysian culture, most of the main dishes are either don, ramen or udon. Another good thing is, the portion is enough for you to order just one set.

On the side note, this restaurant also serves other side dishes like edamame, saba fish, salmon head, kimchi, gyoza etc. (basically all of the things I love). 

When it comes to bill, no need to sweat, as it only costs you between RM 15 to RM 30 per person. Exactly like I said, affordable.

My best suggestion would the fish head set and gyoza. The fish head would be the best selection if you were into fish or seafood. Nothing can beat the taste of salmon's oily fat. As for the gyoza, it was handmade, so I liked the texture very much.

Here are some further info to ease you search.

Address   : 27, Jalan Austin Height 8/4, Taman Mount Austin
Contact    : 07-361 5965

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Iftar With The Taste Of Malay Culture @ Citta Mall

Just last week, my friends and I went for a quick shopping spree in Citta Mall, Petaling Jaya. We were there with the intention to grab something simple to eat, but to our surprise, this place offers much more than what we could think of.

Ranging from local cuisine to the food served overseas, you could actually get them here. But of course, I can't possibly share the entire building in one post. So, without further a due, allow me to show these 5 places to suit your interest toward Malay culture.

1)  Jom Bali

Indulge yourself with the taste of Malay Archipelago. So, order your fried and 3 other dishes. You may select either chicken, beef, fish or veges. All cooked with different styles. Ow not to forget this, with additional RM 5.90, you could get yourself a cup of cold drink. RM 2.90 for a hot cup.

My personal suggestion, try that 'Salted Egg Chicken' and 'Daging Goreng Halia (Fried Beef with Ginger)'. Each set cost us only RM 45.90, and this is enough for two persons.

2)  Onde Onde

In this restaurant, the focus will be slightly different, you're going to be served ala carte style. Grilled Chicken Butter Cream Pasta, Curry Laksa Seafood, Asam Laksa, you name it.

Although Onde Onde does serves these mouth-watering main dishes, but I really have to say that the side dishes, too, seem appealing. Two things I would love to suggest - 'Golden Banana Fritters with Gula Melaka' and 'ABC Gula Melaka'.

3)  Teh Tarik Place

I don't know why, but this place is pretty iconic. Perhaps because of its name. Also perhaps I used to dine in this place with my colleagues after work, discussing about our relentless day while chewing on their fish crackers. The place surrounding here seems a little bit like a kopitiam (coffee shop), but serving Malay/Mamak dishes.

Suggestion - 'Ayam Golek Set (Roasted Chicken Set)' and 'Nasi Goreng Ayam (Fried Rice with Chicken)'. 

4)  Kedai Bless

One can't simply eat all the time, am I right? So, let's take a look this apparel outlet, selling modern/fusion Malay look. Not to forget to match your outfit with those traditional accessories.

5)  Rain Forest

How about some classic wooden decors? If you were a foreigner renting a place in Malaysia, why not get yourself this local design to brighten out your space. And if you were Malaysians having own place to decorate, try visiting this place, it might give you a better idea.