Tag Archives: lifestyle

Eid Fitr Mubarak 1439H/ 2018M

35270257_10216412376924898_7874186757502140416_n

Now I understand the reason why writing will always make me feels good. I always wonder why does it feel good to pour your thought out for others to discover? It is an opportunity to be heard and it feels good to be heard.

And the soul-nourishing month of Ramadhan has ended while the joyful Syawal has begun. It’s interesting to observe how people around you interpreted their belief system. Am not talking about the belief system between different religions but I am more concern about the different interpretation of the same belief system. Islam is just one belief, one teaching and one God … don’t add yourself as another interpretation of other arrogant God.

If you believe that a religion is beautiful then your interpretation of that religion should be that beautiful too. If the teaching of a beautiful religion is to worship the Al-Mighty while at the same time to look for the best in human (as we humans are created as an equal Khalifah on this earth), to bring out the best in human-being and to unite people of various races in the world … stick with that teaching and please interpret this beautiful religion rightfully.

I felt frustrated with the arrogant believer that think that they are better off in front of Allah just because they have better religion knowledge (they believe so) than the rest. If you think that you have more knowledge than others please SHARE in a well-manner more civilize way. Not through a barbaric way as we are now living in an informative and intelligent era. Everybody has their own limitations and challenges … the sincerity of the heart matter the most; the HEART MATTER …

Sorry for the long ranting … I got distracted by the MAN who thinks that part of his leg is already firmly planted on Allah’s Heaven. Well … the more I see the more I want to ask why? And, a woman who always asks WHY is a nuisance for such MAN MADE FOR HEAVEN (so he think so).

Sharing my thought and my latest article in NST about how to capture the spirit of Hari Raya (eid) from a photographer’s point of view aka my point of view.

Eid Mubarak to all my readers.

Cheers,

MM

ps- The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The believer is friendly and befriended, for there is no goodness in one who is neither friendly, nor befriended. The best of people are those who are most beneficial to people.”

Source: al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 5937


new tool for my art

DSCF1678-Edit-Edit

Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, Kuala Ibai, KT/ XT2 16-55mm f/2.8

Bought XT2 Fujifilm camera before my trip to NZ last few months and I paired it with a 16-55mm f/2.8 Fuji lens. My shoulder is not that strong anymore and I don’t consider carrying 2 DSLRs while traveling is traveling ‘light’.

I hope that I made the right choice as migrating into a new camera system is expensive … at least for a freelancer like me.

DSCF1867-Edit-Edit

DSCF2135-Edit-Edit

Horses at Kuala Ibai, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Last month Fujifilm Malaysia organized a trip to Kuala Terengganu and I tagged along with the other 100 over Fujifilm camera users, gathered together to capture the essence of Kuala Terengganu. A very interesting trip and it was an opportunity for me to learn more about this new tool in my hand. So, I took a few photos of the event and share it here.

DSCF3746-Edit-Edit

DSCF3728

Batu Rakit beach, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Bought my D810 way back in 2014 and it was at her own ‘class’ during her time. And technology has changed a lot since then. Cameras are getting lighter, user-friendlier and super fast nowadays … I feel old and left behind with my old D810/ D800E. But quality wise, my images in my old camera is still superior compared to XT2 though 😆 … sour grape!

DSCF2449-Edit-Edit

Young warriors/ XT2

After using this XT2 for over 3 months now, I kinda like this small camera. Small yet a very powerful tool. The XT2 camera ergonomic feels just right in my small hand. The lens is superb too and the price is still within my budget (to be honest , I don’t prefer spending my money on gadgets … I prefer spending it on my traveling instead)

This investment would last me for a few years, so I keep telling myself each time I decided to add more Fuji compliance gadget to my collection. And, with all the technology advantage embedded into this new camera … it’ll help me focus on the only one important thing which is my CREATIVITY.

I compiled more photos during this Fujifilm X trip in my Matsuda’s Zenfolio. Please check it out here but it is still not complete yet as I take time looking at my photos and decide what should I do with it … yes! not a pro yet in organizing 😂😂

DSCF3556

Pak Ali kite maker of Terengganu/ XT2

IMG_5806

My new tool XT2 Fujifilm with 16-55mm f/2.8

Gotta run … bye.

Cheers,

MM

ps: … saving my money to get myself the new Nikon D850.


Blessed Malaysia

14379625_1039081772828094_172484815463097241_o (1)

Blessed again. After 15 years with doomed leaders. The last 5 years was the worst, watching the news and listening to the political dramas for almost every day was heart-wrenching … cringing without being able to do or say anything, helpless.

The air suddenly feels pure again. The morning light today looks beautiful than usual. Alhamdullilah.

Our beloved father of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir is back again in the office. Looking physically old and fragile (at 93 years old) but the smart mind and the sharp tongue is still there … as intelligent as ever.

May Allah bless you and grant you with years of life in good health and always under his protection 24×7. May Allah bless Malaysian too … witnessing fellow Malaysian from every age group casting their votes, waiting patiently for 48 hours to see the outcome of our struggles and our prayers … a proud moment to be Malaysian. We were united as 1 Malaysia regardless of race, religion and belief system. Bliss …

IMG_5886

voting is a responsibility

Time for us to rebuild our tarnished nation. I don’t mind working hard for a country that gives me the freedom to be the best of US … not milking or enslaving us RAKYAT for the sake of a greedy self-interest leader. Enough ranting … time for work!

Welcome back Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad … I love you ☺️

Cheers

MM


Circling KLCC

DSCF3869-Edit

KLCC from my angle, 1000 feet up above the air

I guess my theory is right, that u can just be anything and be anywhere that you want to be with a camera in your hand. I had another unforgettable moment just recently, circling Kuala Lumpur city centre particularly KLCC and KL Tower on a flying machine, the lightest and the slowest aircraft ever … a paramotor.

It was totally unplanned. We saw an opportunity and we decided to grab it. Our second time flying tandem together in a crowded city centre while our first experience was quite scary. We were new and inexperienced during the time that we took up the job to circle around Petaling Jaya area, a crowded highly populated city centre in the heart of Petaling Jaya.

But we always wanted to fly circling around KLCC, once was the tallest tower in the world. Had a goosebump when we started our flight that morning.

Flying in a congested city area is not easy. Wind in between tall buildings is unpredictably strong due to the funnel effect and obviously dangerous for a light flight aka paramotor like us.

DSCF3954

View of the city from the Royal Selangor Golf Club

The weather was good with a zero wind condition at our takeoff site, it added a great confidence to both of us. We made our usual safety test while on air before heading to KLCC and KL Tower, we circled a few times around the Royal Selangor Golf Club and as we gained our confidence … we then proceed to the city centre airspace.

 

DSCF3873

i love this …

 

Uhhh … after years of taking photos at high altitudes while flying, I still had that ‘gayat’ or vertigo feeling especially if we were flying close to buildings, a bit scary though but the view is always worth it. Both my flying buddy and I love flying so much that little hurdles or challenges while on air so far couldn’t kill our spirits.

I set my camera at ISO 800 and put it in S mode and start framing my visual composition. Instead of my usual D810, I opted for a mirrorless camera with an equivalent of 24-70mm lens. For safety reason, I am looking forward to changing my photography gears to another lighter option.

DSCF3883

The other side of KLCC

DCIM100GOPROG0028203.JPG

Wefie on air while cruising at 1000 feet up on the horizon

This experience honestly inspired me to dream further.

I want more experience like this. Am adding a few more things to my “to do list before I go senile”… a dream of flying across the pyramids in Egypt, flying across the beautiful landscape of Yemen and exploring the airspace of the City of Dubai. In Sha Allah, if Allah permits.

DCIM100GOPROG0028190.JPG

I like!

I hope that I would never get bored of this.

Maybe my life is not as perfect as the rest of makcik and pakcik bawang out there at the kitchen corner safely curling in their comfortable nest. How I choose to live my life might look a bit weird compared to the rest of the so-called ‘perfect’ people … but so far I feel more alive, contented and blessed with whatever presented by the Al-Mighty to me. I don’t give a damn … It’s my life, I’ll have it my way.

Good night!

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Another year

 

IMG_4155

Bonding time with Rocky from Dhaka

 

2018.01.18: Time for revisiting my 2017 resolutions and evaluate my yearly self-achievement. What have I done in 2017? Have I achieved all 3 of my 2017 Resolutions? My 2017 resolution is here in this previous post.

  • Kiasu ‘win’ attitudeyes! I signed up and participated in some competitions but no sign of winning yet, but at least I am out of my comfort zone.
  • Travel backpackyes! to Mongolia 
  • More create timeyes! thanks to NST 

I think I need new resolutions for 2018, realistic resolutions just like last year, to keep me moving forward. Ok … my 3 resolutions for 2018 are:

 

IMG_4202

Light and shadow

 

I want to have a constant income from this hobby of mine, to be able to support my hyperactive wandering activity. So that one sweet day … I could be a full-time nomad, living just anywhere but I still earn a decent income from working while wandering. So, what should I do this year? Hmmm, puzzle …

This year I aged another year … women at my age, another year of aging is horrifying lol. But everything aged, even my old cat Chicken would turn 13 this March. I want to age gracefully … I want a healthy lifestyle in 2018. Cutting down on sugar and meat. Eating only healthy home food … maybe I should stop eating at that mamak restaurant. Hmmm, puzzle again.

More meaningful wandering aka traveling. I don’t want to follow the crowds … I want to follow ME. I want to wander and explore because the selfish me want to, not because everybody is going to Iceland then suddenly I have to go to Iceland, no way … I would go to Iceland because I want to go to Iceland lol … okay, puzzle again and again. Mental …

 

DSC_9216-2

A yak and a great sky in Lhasa, Tibet

 

I’ll write about my visit to Gandruk, Nepal last-last year on my next post lol … I need to see mountains and smell the cleanly filtered foresty air badly before I turn insane.

Ok lah … lemme get my beauty sleep in that rabbit hole of mine. Bye for now …

Yezza cheers!

MM

 

 

 


Still I Rise

Am learning to be at peace with myself

It’s either that I don’t get enough sleep or cause of this mild flu that I had since a few days ago, my head felt like it’ll burst, a headache … better than a heartache, I hope so. Pretty busy these few days … writing and trying out something new.

I am aiming for something different in my life so that I can be free doing the thing that I like the most … which is daydreaming :-).  Hope it’ll work out well …

My girlfriend sent me a poem of Maya Angelou … just the right motivational boast during my downtime. Keeping it here … cause I like it so much, hell yeah! I rise … jom layan …

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise. 
.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
.
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
.
.
.
Off I go … exploring life. Bye for now …
Cheers,
MM

Secret Hideout in KT

IMG_2322I found a new secret hideout in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia.

A simple, quiet and rusty place for an introvert soul, like mine … or let me rephrase it again, an OLD and worn out soul like mine. Lol … Selfish me, everything has to be like mine … mine all mine, no sharing and I do not want to share my soulmate either (if I ever have any) … gth! mental … oh yes!
IMG_2324

Pak Awi’s Yellow House located at Pulau Duyung, Kuala Terengganu

Kuala Terengganu has a few small islands in-between the mainland and Pulau Duyung (Duyung Island) is the largest island. I flew over the islands during a paramotor event last 2 years. Never occurred to me that there are interesting stories to explore down there on the islands.

 

IMG_2325

Well … Pak Awi didn’t pay me anything to promote his place so don’t get me wrong. I just love the place.

I found a new hidden place that I could stay for a few days or even weeks without creating a big hole in my wallet. A cool and safe place to go home to after hours and hours wandering around Kuala Terengganu.

IMG_2331

Lepaking at one of the bench 

What would I do here in Kuala Terengganu? Hmmm … I am going for a story hunting and I myself not sure what is the outcome gonna look like, lol.

I plan to hang around with the makciks (mid-aged ladies) around the villages listening to them gossiping he he he and the pakciks (middle-aged man) around the coffee shops or jetties reminiscing about life. Tengok berapa lama boleh tahan … the rest is a secret.

A few more photos of my new found hiding place before I end this post.

Last but not least … my all time favorite breakfast, Nasi Kerabu.  A blue colored rice mixed with fresh vegetables, salted egg, stuffed green chili pepper, a piece of roasted chicken and sambal (chili paste). Wallah … am hungry now … gotta run.

IMG_2318

Bye

Cheers,

MM

ps- sambil dengar lagu “kutuliskan kesedihan, semua tak bisa kau ungkapkan, dan kita kan bicara dengan hatiku” dan perut yang lapar


Eid Fitr Mubarak 1438H/ 2017M

Eid Fitr Mubarak to all my Muslim readers near and far, all over the world.

Ketupat

My mom preparing Kelantanese traditional ketupat for Eid celebration

Ramadhan 29th, 1438H/ 2017M: Last day of Ramadhan for this year and tomorrow would be the start of Shawal. Sad to see the holy month is about to end this afternoon. The spiritual night routine and the day time struggle to guide oneself towards understanding humanity is very nourishes to my soul.

I experienced new lessons during this Ramadhan. The first time for me breaking fast/ iftar at the nearby mosque with hundreds of fasting Muslims. A few of us shared the same tray of food, sitting on the floor while enjoying our rice with side dishes together. Then we performed our tarawih prayers together as one ummah. The warm feeling flew deeply inside me … my first time.

IMG_1088

My ‘food tray mate’

IMG_1025

And this is how the food moves

A calmer month for me this time around, learning and seeking for in-depth peace between me and my Almighty Creator. Thanks to my children and friendly soulful friends around me … they never failed to warm my heart. And, thanks to that particular soul too. Alhamdullilah ….

And, tomorrow would be back to normal business again for me. I hope to be able to adopt whatever that I have learned during the holy month into my daily life too … a quest to be the better me. In Sha Allah

 

Bye

MM

 

ps- am placing my camera on alert for my mom’s beautiful moment while preparing for the Eid Fitr celebration. Life is short … a soul would come and go, according to Allah’s plan.

 


Enchanted by the Mongolian

Nomadic lifestyle caught my attention. After comfortably adopting a minimalist mindset a few years back, I started to like the idea of living my life more towards a nomadic mindset too.

Not that I wanted to pack my things and move from places to places … hmmm not yet I guess… but I sense (acewah! boleh plak sense lol) that with a nomadic mindset I could explore more in life.

And being able to experience living with a real life nomads in Mongolia even just for a few days was a nourishing moment for me. Approximately half of the Mongolian’s population is still leading a nomadic lifestyle, rearing their livestock freely throughout the entire Mongolian’s land.

A rider

Origil lives in Terelj National Park, Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

They live in gers, a big comfortable tent like moveable home and moves from a campsite to another for at least 4 times a year in search for the best place to rear their livestock and to protect themselves from the harsh climate especially during winter.

Living in ger would free them from the need to attend to house rentals or bank mortgages, a great step out of any financial burden.

MYS_3046

A family that we met in front of a Shrine near Ulaan Baatar

My first time in Mongolia … and my first experience with anything about Mongolian culture. The food … the people … the culture … the harsh winter, everything was totally new to me.

Our local guide, Alma had everything properly figured out for us in advance and we were like an empty shell that willingly waited to be filled with whatever Mongolian adventures by her.

The cold winter didn’t stop us from our quest to explore. There was one time when we were kinda lost in the middle of nowhere in an unfamiliar valley as the snow was quite thick that it covered the road trail (just some tire marks along a wide plain) … wow!  it was like surrendering yourself totally to Alma and Oyunna (our driver) and depending totally on her experience and her guts feeling.

Well … it was a very raw adventure for us … not complaining at all.

I will share a few photos of people that we met along our 8 days journey here in Ulaan Baator, Mongolia. Looking back at these photos … remind me of their warm hospitality and all the funny moments that we had experienced while trying so hard to blend in with their culture.

We stayed for two (2) days at Janat’s home, a kazakh Mongolian family. Watching him and his son Bota tendering their herd every morning and afternoon. Experiencing the nomadic life. Janat and his family members were super friendly. We even shared their everyday food too.

I tasted my first steamed horse meat and chewed on steamed cow testicle like a pro (just because I didn’t know that it was what it is). My first in everything … he he he

Living in a minimalist home in a ger … kinda cool too except that the toilet was sooo faaar aaawaayyyy … as in winter at lower than -17℃ with the strong icy wind chill, your mind refused to obey your bladder’s command.

MYS_4917

Grandma Dorjsuren with her daughter Enkhtuul (purple) and Oyunna (blue)

We stayed for a night with grandma Dorjsuren Dambiinyam and her hardworking daughter. To reach her place we have to travel for hours wandering on a roadless plain … towards a certain mountain he he he I was also lost track of our whereabout.

Grandma Dorjsuren looked like a reserve type of a person,  I could feel that she is quite a strict no hanky panky lady but her hug was so warm, it melts my heart. I like her … I think my soul like her very much.

Their gers were located hidden behind a small hill … but still, the sub-zero chilling wind was so strong that it shook our ger for the whole night. Oh well … I was tough like a nail stuck in a wall!

MYS_4798-Edit-Edit

Grandma’s home

We stayed for another one night at Grandpa Bor (80s) and Grandma Yandag (70s). The route towards his valley was very challenging as it was snowy and the plain was totally white covered by the thick snow.

MYS_5138-Edit-Edit

Grandpa Bor with his livestock

He claimed that at one time he owned 1000 goats and sheep before he distributed some to his children. Goats and sheep in extremely cold weather are of different species compared to the one in my tropical country.

When I showed him our goats species like Jamnapari, Boer and Saanen, he was so engrossed with it. He laughed so hard when he saw that most of our goats have long ears. Despite our language barrier, this man never failed to make me laugh with his weird joke … yeah weird because each time I have to take at least 5 minutes to digest his joke lol. Uhh … I can smell his sincerity.

IMG_9456

On our way to Grandpa Bor’s home. Oyunna manually changed the tire setting to 4×4

Hmmm … observing their nomadic lifestyle and listening to their stories on how they cope with the hurdles of shifting from one campsite to another makes me wonder again about how resilient they were towards the unpredictable life.

Having the opportunity to change their surroundings at least 4 times a year made them more flexible with life. I have respect for them …

And, being a nomad doesn’t mean that they are totally disconnected from the society. They are as alive as every human I met across the globe. They are fully equipped with all basic modern materials … solar electricity to power their electrical appliances, cars and trucks to transport them around.

Yeah … maybe I should learn more about this nomadic mentality and add it onto my minimalist lifestyle, use it to strengthen my self-mental so that I would be more resilient towards the hurdles in my life.

Looking back at these photos makes me yearn for my next adventure … I am still not sure where would I be heading to next. Probably a short weekend trip to Mt Bromo in Surabaya, Indonesia to observe the upcoming Kasada festival. In Sha Allah ….

IMG_9378

At the 10th Eagle Hunter festival in Ulan Baator

“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return” ~ Maya Angelou

Cheers,

MM


2-cats and a family

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells - Dr Seuss

aku dan kamera

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells - Dr Seuss