Monday, August 29, 2016

A beginner's guide to attending Hari Kebangsaan celebration

Hey, I am Joan. I am Malaysian. And here I am writing a beginners' guide to attending Hari Kebangsaan celebration at Dataran Merdeka.

This is such a long overdue post. I wanted to write about it right after Merdeka Day celebration day but I sort of forgot about it. Besides, I had a hard time finding a blog post regarding how to attend the Hari Merdeka celebration. All the tips are catered more for tourists. So here it is.

Well, I guess as a local attending it is not on a priority list. But, I said to myself - I must attend it once since all this while, I only watch it on TV every 31st of August. (Yeah, given the fact that I grew up in East Malaysia, it would not be a good idea to actually fly to the capital of Malaysia just to attend this celebration. LOL!)

Anyway, enough with the rant.

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What you need?
1) Cap/Hat
2) Good walking shoes
3) Bag (preferably with a zipper, safer to keep your stuff)
4) Water
5) Face mask (seriously, you will need it, its always gonna be hazy this time of the year and there will be a lot of people, close proximity, sweaty under the sun - so go figure!)
6) Sunscreen (not a must, but just maybe)

Where to start?

Start early!

1) wake up early! Seriously. I remembered we started our journey like before 7am and parked our car at Sunway Putra Mall. Took LRT to Masjid Jamek station.

waiting for LRT train

And I thought I was early. Nope! People are more prepared. I would advise be there at Dataran Merdeka by 6am. Yeah, no shit.


traffic light
This was the crowd at 7am. To get a seat there at the grandstand, I think they were there before sunrise.
merdeka day crowd
So many people! And at the moment we reached there, I was already thinking why would I bother to be here. Somehow, it is a nice atmosphere to see people are so eager to see the Merdeka Day parade that was about to take place.
merdeka day crowd
merdeka 2015 parade
Also can be seen people dressing up with fancy clothes. Not to mention the enterprising street vendors that are selling Merdeka Day memorabilia and that super noisy vuvuzela. They really charge you kaw2 also for those kind of stuff. But they will reduce the price kaw2 also towards the end of the celebration. My advise to you - don't bother buying it.

plants trampled

Stand tall!

2) For a vertically challenged person like me, trying to look above the crowd is such a feat. People are just practically standing everywhere. Even on the flowers and plants, pots and ledges, cars that are parked at the road side. You name it. They will try to be higher above to see the parade.

merdeka 2015 parade

For this photo I have to extend my arms fully to take a photo of the Malaysian flag during the parade.

merdeka 2015 parade

Do not get your hopes up!

3) The whole road where the parade happens is practically congested. Super crowded. If you think by attending the Merdeka Day celebration there and then is fun.Think about it again. You will end up just tiring yourself. But if you are up for a challenge or some adventure. Go for it! Hahaha
I got excited the most when I see the army with tank cars parading. Also the army with the camo suit looking like rumput!
merdeka 2015 parade

Expect a lot of walking

4) After the "official" ceremony ended do walk to the main celebration area and go and pluck all the flowers for decoration. Hahahaha. Seriously, there were a lot of the makciks were competing to go and pluck all the fresh flowers at the main stage.

The initial plan to be at Dataran Merdeka was to take photo there and go back. But hey, we got interviewed and were live on TV that day. Hahaha. Talk about being lucky!

ally iskandar
 This was a screenshot by my friend. It was funny how the TV crew decided to interview us. They thought we were foreigners. Tsk tsk tsk. But yeah, we were in TV. First time attending the Merdeka celebration and not watching it on TV and now we are on TV. LOL!
joan on tv

Take your time!

5) If time allow you and you can bear the heat, spend some time there to soak in the moment. It is actually a new experience to see people from different walks of life to be there for the celebration. Although, everyone's intention might be different to be there - it is still fun to see everything live.

sehati sejiwa

merdeka day celebration 2015

Go in a group!

6) My last tip for you being a beginner is go in a group, it will be more fun. But not in a super big group 3 to 4 people will do. It will be nicer besides there will be people helping you take pictures. Hahaha. I went my husband and also my sister.

kids in malaysia flag clothing


So, it was a blast. A very different experience. I think every Malaysian should actually try to attend the Merdeka celebration at least once in their life just to have a feel of it. Anyway, do not be surprised with the amount of trash and also decorative plants being destroyed after the whole thing. People just don't care. Sad right?

merdeka day 2015 flower trampled
This is not a grave but a mess of trampled flowers

By noon time, we made our way back to Masjid Jamek station which was by the way will be super crowded too. So, be careful with your belongings and that face mask I told you to have will come in handy. (Sun, sweat and crowded places is just so smelly)

Will I go and attend again this year? Nope. Hahaha. But I hope this guide will help you on anticipating things if you ever decide to attending one. Good luck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life in blur


Been trying to write more these days, be it for my thesis or perhaps writing lyrics. Yet, I always stumbled to a very high wall every time my phone beeps or a whatsapp comes in regarding work, business or any other things. Apparently, I have too many things on my plate now.

Seriously, managing the food court business remotely is not an easy feat especially when the idea is very very new to a place. Hawker style food court concept is very much accepted in West Malaysia but in Sabah itself, let alone Tamparuli. Hmmmm it's truly a challenge. Now, I do understand why change is uncomfortable especially to Tamparuli people. Complacency and resistance. These are the two things that made change is almost impossible.

Truth is I think people need to travel more and see what is there beyond their own comfort zone and self proclaimed horizon. The possibilities has no limit. Your mindset set the limit. The younger minds are still easy to influence but the older ones. Hmmm. Unless they are willing to break down the resistance wall, they will most likely rot with their backwards brain while living their life. Not to mention with their sour attitude while handling technology like social media. Trust me, those who talk cock and share shitty stuff on social medias are all these kind of people.

Back to my source of annoyance. Change affects someone's comfort zone. The hawker style food court concept is new. The most simple example of their ignorance is the basic thing about collecting payment upon serving the food. And trust me the learning curve is so steep that they have not figured it out until now. I hope the revelation will come to them soon. Or else I have to step in (again).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

#TamparuliFreeMarket

Hey all! Me and a few friends are organizing a free market that is happening in September. Yes, it is next month. It is gonna be in Tamparuli. So, perhaps if you are around, you can contribute and also come as a customer. More details as follows. You can contact me directly via the phone number stated below as well.

tamparuli free market

tamparuli free market

tamparuli free market

tamparuli free market

Friday, August 12, 2016

My Sembonia Wallet

sembonia brown wallet
New wallet!

sembonia brown wallet
Lotsa cards slots!

sembonia wallet wristlet
And more card slots!

sembonia wallet wristlet
Can even put a phone inside there!

This is like my first ever leather wallet. Yeah, I am not a grown up yet since I never owned anything "leather" - so now I am a grown up. Hahahaha. I bought at this Mitsui Outlet Park. It is so freaking far from the city but it is always worth a visit (especially when I have family members visiting and it is a good reason to drive all the way to the airport ).

According to sales person, this is not the latest collection as they have recently came up with a green and another funky color that I can't remember. Got it at MYR240 only (I think, can't exactly remember but its around that price). Retail is around MYR349 and on Sembonia website it is selling at RM279.20 (but not this brown color, brown is not available online anymore). 

My previous wallet was a Jelly Bunny wallet. The PU leather inside the wallet just doesn't last long and it started flaking after two years. Sembonia Calf Leather Continental Wristlet, let see you how you gonna perform.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tamparuli, Home Sweet Home

Recently, I got a chance to go back to my hometown. Although it was a short trip, it is always nice to get to see familiar faces around. I was back in Tamparuli to take care about a lot of other things regarding property lease and also the future of my career. Anyway, the couple of days at home was a refreshing few days as I get to enjoy the quite and peace of Tamparuli. I actually forgot how laidback and tranquil is my hometown. Sigh, I guess the city is changing me bit by bit. 

sunrise Tamparuli
Calm and peaceful view from the balcony. You can see mount Kinabalu at a distance.
white dog named Mantou
This is Mantou.

sunrise in Tamparuli

family room
Me and my sisters used to utilize this space so much. Jamming and practicing music. Now we are so busy with studies and career

Tom Yam Bakut
When I am back, this is a compulsory menu. I have to pay a visit to the shop at Bakut. Yummy!

Mee Tuaran Wun Chiap
Wun Chiap Fried noodle. People know this as Tuaran Noodle or Mee Tuaran

pretty cat
This is my pretty cat. Cholo Emilyana Fuentabella

Yeah, I miss Tamparuli so much!