Some family time

I should really be studying now.

 

Just like I should be studying yesterday, but of course I didn’t. I’m on holidays for God’s sake.

 

Which, in a houseman’s life, is a lot of bull. You’re never on holiday even when you’re not on duty.

 

I used to get a lot of anxiety attacks when I first started working. I never got a fitful night’s sleep; waking up at least once every night, automatically looking at the time and giving out a sigh of relief when it’s not time to wake up yet and go to work.

 

The stress was wearing me out. But thankfully over time, I learned to cope. No more waking up at night, no more breaking down in the toilet alone.

Ah, the sight of me back then.

 

Anyway, some family bonding time!

 

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They’re always like this; dunno what’s so funny =___=”

 

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And then we’re like this.

 

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I love it when she’s home! Even if she always ends up stealing my clothes =____=”

 

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Dinner just before Raya. Because lil bro’s in the picture.

I get to see him like twice a year.

 

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We’re at it again hehe.

 

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Absorbed at playing…..Word Search lol.

 

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Ok lah I go study now tata.

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Thailand: A quick stop

Thailand wasn’t in our itinerary initially but it’s the route we had to take in order to reach Cambodia.

 

So off we go.

 

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It took us a while to reach the train station as none of the tuk tuk drivers knew what train means. It took us a lot of hand gestures to finally make them understand.

And this station is like 40 minutes outside the city so you better get a head start.

 

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We were lucky to grab the last 2 sleepers’ class ticket.

It’s an overnight journey so…..

 

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Don’t worry, this train was a short 5-minute journey to the border of Laos.

 

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Getting through the immigration was easy and straight forward……you’ll figure out the reason I’m saying this in the next post.

 

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Hello Bangkok!

 

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We booked a hotel 10 mins away from the train station.

I forgot the name of this hotel; the interior is clean and modern, a comfortable one night stop.

 

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We didn’t really know what to do so we decided to hit the malls.

After being in Laos for 5 days, Thailand seemed so modern in comparison lol.

Little did we know that the ground outside the mall was one of the major places for the riot.

 

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It was like a riot bazaar; there were a lot of booths selling souvenirs.

Such opportunists these people *applauds*

 

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Ordered green curry and seafood tom yam for lunch.

The Thais certainly know their food; I would so go back for these.

 

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We decided to watch a movie to kill time. And we thought since we’re already in Thailand, why not watch a Thai movie?

 

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Chose a soapy love story and bought the combo popcorn + drink + cushion just for the fun of it.

I still have that cushion btw.

 

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And ended up crying buckets watching it hahaha

 

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Nothing aggressive; just a talk given by one of the politicians.

 

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We walked to the train station at 4.30 am to catch the 5.55 am train to Aranyaprathet; it wasn’t really scary, the city was pretty much alive by that time.

Now this was when the fun started.

 

To be continued Winking smile

Laos: Kuang Hsi waterfall

In case you’re wondering why I suddenly have a lot of time to blog, I’m on a 10-day leave.

4 days left now *cries*

 

It’s awesome not having to wake up at 5.30 am everyday.

 

Anyway, I’m gonna finish off the post on Laos. Because I’m dedicated like that *too much time on hand*

 

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And off we go to Kuang Hsi waterfall.

The beginning of the 4-hour trekking woohoo.

 

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There were only 3 of us in the tour group; me, Zie and this 70-year old German who worked in China.

He was touring the SEA alone; he realised he’s been working hard for so many years and impulsively went on the trip.

And I also suspect he’s a superhuman because considering his age, the 4-hour journey didn’t tire him at all  =___=”

 

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Since the meat’s not halal, we opted for the vegetarian menu.

Quite delicious I must say.

 

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And we arrived at the top of Kuang Hsi waterfall.

I’ve never been to the top of waterfall before!

 

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This place is out of this world; it’s such a fairytale subhanallah.

I can so imagine fairies taking baths here.

 

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Behold, your natural infinity pool.

 

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Now let’s go down to the base of the waterfall.

I’ve done a few trekkings in my life and heck, this was the steepest route I’d ever encountered.

It would be easier to slide down the path instead.

 

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An overview of the waterfall.

This place is wayyy bigger than what my camera could capture.

 

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The colour of the waterfall is actually a striking turquoise; my camera failed me sobs.

 

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And then we found out there’s actually a direct entrance to the waterfall ROFL.

Even so, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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The Laotian version of banana fritters  

We bought a few, WHO CAN SAY NO TO BANANA FRITTERS?

 

Andddd that’s it about Laos *fireworks*

 

But I have yet to blog on Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam crap.

Short but sweet

The thing is, I forgot this blog existed.

 

That’s how hectic life has been nowadays, forgive me. But now that I’m done with my first posting (5 more to go woohoo), I might be able to shower some love to it.

 

So. How’s life as a doctor?

That’s the first thing people ask me these days. Tiring, I would say. Demeaning is another word I would use.

But let’s not concentrate on the bitter parts, let’s try to grab whatever silver linings we could.

 

I won’t say it’s been a breeze, and I know it’s not going to be a breeze ever; there were times when I felt as if I couldn’t go on anymore, that I’d finally reached my limits….but that’s what surprised me. If there’s one thing it has taught me, it’s that you won’t know your limits until you’re tested to them.

 

Working 32 hours straight sounded impossible before, but I survived through it anyhow. It’s amazing what you could do, if only you set your mind to it. 

 

If there’s an ounce in you that loves being a doctor, don’t give up, don’t give in to this arduous system. We’ll get there some day, insyaAllah.

Now that we’re done talking about work, let’s talk about the little life I have left outside the hospital.

 

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First day of Raya, everyone’s in green/turquoise.

The pink one’s adopted.

 

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Just because.

 

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With the only guy who’d layan my fashion dilemmas (and actually dish out useful advices).

Much love to my doctor-to-be ❤

 

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This dress is gorgeous but……

it weighs a ton T___T

Ok lah fair enough, can enjoy all the Raya dishes and work out at the same time.

 

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Nowhere.

 

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We’re pinky on the second day (the guys wore dark pink baju melayu).

This girl is such a drama queen.

Nisa has been dethroned.

 

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I had to work 3 weeks straight to get 2 days off for Raya. Though when I compare that to last year where I had to celebrate Raya in India with…books, I’d say this year’s a lot better.

 

Don’t let your children/siblings be doctors it’s never too late

 

So that’s it, Happy Raya folks!

Laos: Lao Lu Village

So many posts on Laos…….

 

But we did spend 5 days in the country. And I’m being bias, because Laos is my favourite 😀

 

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The next day we went on a tour to visit Lao Lu Village and Kuang Si waterfall.

It cost us 35 dollars, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This was definitely the highlight of our trip! 😀

 

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Our timing coincided with the primary school’s recess time. 

It took us 45 minutes to reach this place and the road was a rough one. Imagine going there on tuk tuk…….

 

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The universal childhood game.

I think you use a marble to aim and shoot at another marble. And then what?

I’ve never played this so….

 

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Our tour guide pointed out these 2 houses, “Those are the traditional Laotian monks’ houses.”

So I asked him how he knew that.

“The monks’ houses are usually windowless with 2 doors. One for entering/exiting purposes, another one is to access the praying place. A house this big usually houses around 6-7 monks.”

 

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We were fortunate because there was a spiritual ritual going on when we were there.

Of course, no pictures were allowed 😦

These rituals are usually performed when a person is sick, or as a protection prayer before someone is about to leave home.  An animal is usually sacrificed, and in this case, a pig.

 

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Cactus fences to keep out the animals. So smart!!

 

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This is what travelling means to me; learning and understanding a piece of people’s culture. It’s a real eye-opener, it teaches me to be humble and to appreciate what I have. 

I love going to rural places the most- these trips always end up being more meaningful than say, a vacation in the big cities (not that they’re not fun). It never ceases to amaze me how these people could be so happy while having so little. Certainly, contentment could never be bought.

You never know which part might touch your heart.

Laos: Luang Prabang – on temples

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This place is situated right opposite the National Museum.

I forgot the name……..*crickets chirp*

But but but the entrance fee was 20,000 kip.

 

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Right from the first step we took, this place was gorgeous all over subhanallah.

 

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So pretty la this place!

 

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Lunch by the Mekong river

 

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The BEST veggie spring rolls during our trip.

 

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Veggie phad thai and fried rice with tofu, veggies and eggs.

It’s vegan all the way.

Ok la except the eggs. But some vegans do eat eggs right?

 

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Stopping for direction…..yet again. LOL.

 

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Sunset by the river.

Coconut shake, music, and a travel journal is the way to go.

 

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I always try keeping a travel journal during my travels.

It’s a good way to preserve the memories 🙂

 

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Dropped by the night market for some souvenirs.

 

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The same things cost a lot less here than in Vientiane.

 

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Crepes are crepes, wherever they are.

So what’s different here?

Pork crepe. Wahaha.

 

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Laos: Luang Prabang- library//museum

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Early in the morning, waiting for the pick-up vehicle.

This was our first time, so we bought our bus tickets from the hotel but here’s an advice; just hop on a tuk tuk, go straight to the bus station and buy your tickets directly there.

You could save a lot 🙂

 

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Pastry haul from a Scandanavian bakery. Uh-oh, no.

Go to Le Benetton please hehe.

 

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What would be  the most comfortable bus I’ve ever been on, and I’ve been on a lot of them.

The 9.5 hour journey was a breeze.

 

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Checked in at Lao Lu Lodge. Highly recommended by Trip Advisor.

And us 😛

 

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In love with the bathroom.

 

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Dumped our bags in our room and went out to search for food. We stumbled upon this steamboat place yippee!!!

 

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Pork, pork and pork. I’ve never seen so much of them before.

 

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The food we took. Tofu, vegetables, fish, prawns, squids. We dare not touch the meat.

The waiter, upon seeing our bare steamboat, brought us a plate of……pork.

HAHA. But it was still so sweet of him, really.

 

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Zie asked me to take some water spinach (kangkung), and I was like, eh I took some already ok there look.

And she said, “Nisa these aren’t water spinach, do you even know how they look like? =____=”

Green leafy veggies all look the same, as if your stomach would know the difference just eat laaa haha.

 

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The weird thing is, Luang Prabang is high up in the mountains.

But Vientiane’s colder. Yup, the city.

 

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Breakfast. The baguette’s a winner.

 

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Morning market.

 

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Weird fish.

Because all fish look weird to me hewhew.

 

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It’s a sin not to check out the library.

 

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They have comics!

 

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The bank. I love all these french colonial buildings.

 

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Those white and baby blue rugs were giving me a heartache.

They’re gorgeous.

Backpack so small haih.

 

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Obligatory tourist picture.

 

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Fish food at 5000 kip per packet.

 

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Trust me, I won’t even bother doing this in Malaysia haha.

 

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Amboi.

 

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The entrance fee was 30,000 kip each. This place was huge, this one’s just the temple..not the museum itself.

 

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No pictures were allowed in the museum. This used to be the Royal Palace, so I’d definitely recommend you to visit this one. The Japanese glass art on the walls were stunning.

 

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Ancient Shell gas pumps we found at the back of the museum.

 

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I’m just hopeless at posing, I know *sighs*

Laos: Vientiane @Mekong River

I’m so full; I knew I shouldn’t have eaten such a big lunch!

Anyway.

 

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One of my favourite places in the whole trip would be this place; by the Mekong river.

 

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It’s a nice place to chill; there’s the night market to the left, the recreation road (which is closed off to cars in the late afternoons) and the square to the right.

Imagine running along the strip of Mekong river everyday; my idea of heaven! You won’t get bored because there’s so much to see.

 

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Watching the sunset here felt so serene subhanallah, I didn’t wanna leave.

 

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I never did bother changing out of this instant hijab after the flight eheh.

 

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There’s an aerobic thing going on every afternoon, it surprised me that so many people joined in!

 

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Came night time and all the street artists popped up.

This dude’s from Tokyo and he’s performing to fund his trip around the world.

 

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You can get everything here; from gadgets to clothes and makeups to souvenirs. Everything.

 

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This one’s from Austria- I thought his sita remix was quite cool and relaxing.

 

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So I bought a copy of his cd for Dad for USD 7. He likes all these blues and jazzy stuff.

And he felt asleep even before the first song even ended.

Daddy what is this!

 

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Vientiane vegetable spring rolls. So and so.

Food wise, it’s really hard to find halal food here. We had to resort to turkish/indian/western food. Which beats the purpose of travelling in my opinion.

But we tried.

 

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Parotha in Laos!

 

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Our budget hotel/inn/motel; I’m not sure what to call it.

But it’s nice- clean, comfortable and accommodating. And the wifi’s speed was satisfactory (doesn’t everyone judge everything by its wifi speed nowadays?)

 

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Stoked wood fired pizza from a nearby cafe; smoked salmon with shrimp, olives and mozarella.

THE BEST PIZZA I’VE EVER HAD.

 

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Chilling out at a coffee shop on our last night in Laos.

 

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I always go for ice blended choc, wherever I am.

I’m not a huge fan of caffeine.

 

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Surprisingly, it’s cold there in Vientiane. Not winter cold but it’s-so-chilly-why-didn’t-I-wear-a-sweater-argh kindda cold.

 

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Nominated as the best bakery in the entire trip!

 

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*salivates*

The only time I’d ever tasted a croissant that good was in Paris. Seriously.

Everything’s delicious here; we bought a bunch of pastries for our train ride. Worth every penny.

(please try the apple tart)

 

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Everytime I wore this hijab meant that I was about to go on a long bus/train ride.

This was before we were about to board the train to Bangkok 😀

 

Aite, see you guys in Luang Prabang!

Laos: Vientiane I

2 days at home and I’m already bored. Lol.

 

I just got back from my 2-week backpacking trip yay! Had a hard time convincing my parents to let me go, seeing as

a) It’s just me and a girlfriend

b) Most of the countries are third world countries

 

But I persevered and after months of persuading (throw in a few tantrums, ehem), they relented.

 

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We stayed in Vientianne for 2 nights; the night before we went to Luang Prabang, and the night after we came back.

 

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This is like….I don’t know, an auditorium or something. But one night when we were passing by, there was a crowd in front of this building. People in pretty frocks and dashing suits posed in front of flashing cameras.

Then we went back to our inn, switched on the TV, and realised that some sort of entertainment award was taking place there. Turned out the people we saw were actually Lao celebrities lol.

 

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A Nissan Juke which isn’t available in Malaysia.

One thing we noticed about the Vientianne-ians was that every single car on the street seem brand new. No kidding.

 

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Books are pricier here than Malaysia.

 

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I was curious; I’ve never had any smoked banana (pisang salai? haha) before. It was meh haha.

 

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Hush puppiesssssss.

Hush puppies hush puppies hush puppies!!

 

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I was looking forward to seeing the tuk tuk in each country!

 

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I managed to haggle down the fare from 50,000 kip to only 10,000 kip!

Sorry la, I lived in India for 5 years; haggling with auto drivers was a skill I had to master.

 

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The Patuxai.

Similar to the Arch de Triomphe in Paris.

And the India Gate in New Delhi.

Having been to both, I was pretty nonchalant about this one.

 

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But when I looked up, I was awestruck!

So pretty masyaallah!

 

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Absolutely no idea what this is about.

 

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Just a random temple we walked into.

 

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Another random temple; they’re everywhere!

 

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The only mosque we stumbled upon.

 

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It’s nice to see how modern and well kept it was.

 

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And that people are using it.

 

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A shrine for the deceased. So fancy omg!

 

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I didn’t realise there were so many pictures taken in Vientiane alone waaa.

Will continue later, insyaAllah!

Bridesmaid once again

For the third time. I dare say I’m a pro by now.

 

Ain’s wedding, unfortunately clashed with our convocation. As if planning a wedding wasn’t hard enough, she had to juggle between convocation rehearsal, our Hippocratic Oath and whatever nuisance the university managed to cook up last minute.

 

I arrived in KL earlier than my family (they came a few days later for the convocation) and headed straight to Seremban. I’ve never been to Negeri Sembilan before!

 

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Nasi Arab with them on the first night.

 

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Bridesmaids’ duties began!

 

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I’m so proud of our DIY!

 

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We must had folded hundreds of these.

 

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The bride-to-be’s inai. Looks so traditional, love it!

 

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We got one too. It was my first time wearing the inai so I was pretty excited hehe.

 

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This picture is a must because….look how fake Balqish’s smile was! She has always been a pro at that.

 

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I do think the most crucial part of the wedding is the make up. I’ve seen too many brides with beautiful gowns and caked up face.

 

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This is Ain’s 1-year old nephew. He’s so adorable!

 

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With my ex-housemates-who-weren’t-my-housemates bridesmaids.

We had so much fun catching up on each other’s lives; I haven’t seen them since we left India.

 

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And they’re married! Barakallah Ain and Ajib 😀

 

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I love love the wedding dais. It felt so homey.

 

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Beautiful, subhanallah.

 

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So many pictures! But I do hope this makes up for the lack of updates 😀