Friday, August 19, 2016

2D/ 1N long overdue Kampung Tenom visit

My late dad was born and raised in Tenom. Minus his amazing background stories of him having to walk for hours to and from school, having to continue to work at the rubber estates after school, then to study in the dark just before sleep, then sponsored by the Government to continue his studies in economics in Canberra Australia, and then continued his lifelong journey of being the awesome man that he was - he will always be fondly remembered as the hilarious dad and charismatic politician that he was.

Coming back to basics to where he was from is not only so humbling, but so refreshing from the constant chase in the city. We wanted to see dad's side of the family to announce that my brother is finally getting married (Finally! Hopefully that'll keep mum lay low for a couple of years -_-) and that he's pursuing his studies in KL.

Sometimes, I feel so bad that my dad's side appear so little in my pictures due to distance. I work hard almost 7 days a week, up to late night at times. And even this visit to Tenom was arranged right after work for Jessy and me.

Life can be so messy when you're in the fast lane.

We reached Tenom about 5pm, and immediately checked into this hotel at downtown called Sri Perdana which didn't really fit all 4 of us as he promised, but good enough. Luckily, us three girls are so short we manage to squeeze on to the bed HAHA.

Dinner after church :)

The next morning we woke up early to catch Tenom's famous breakfast of pork and egg. I don't eat it....... Don't ask me why, but the whole family loves it so I'm happy :D

And then we went and catch the Sunday market. 

 ^I wanted to snap a photo of this uncle with the I LOVE PM cap hehehehe<3 cap.="" hehehehehe="" nbsp="" p="" pm="">

Tenom is located right at the heart of Sabah, is one of the access to Malaysia's most famous adventure activity - the Padas white water rafting, between the beautiful valleys of the Crocker range. So beautiful, you'll see valleys and green mountains everywhere in Tenom.

Amazing landscape. You don't get to do a roundabout over a landscape like that every other day.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Missing Venice

Sun lit alleyways, wooden windows, coffee smell, masquerades for sale, soft accordion in the background, stone pebble driveways, people drawing, flowers, fresh vegetables for sale, summer dresses, gondolas, Italian yells, glasses clinking, melting ice creams, chuckles and kisses.

I always think of Venice as a painting, a distant painting impossible to get acquainted with. A travel myth, an illusion, that only the people in the myth tells the love stories. A dream that only one can dream. I mean why wouldn't I, so many emulations of this canal city everywhere in the world. From the casinos in Macau, to Vegas, to every other entertainment city in the world, creators creating an illusion of a place so synonym with love and dream.

Until last May. 

Everything I envisioned of Venice was unfolding right by my eyes from the moment I stepped out of the train station. A grandeur of a welcome by the iconically decorated gondolas, slowly cruising the green blue waters in between the bridges and canals I remember mostly from paintings, amidst throngs of people clad in hats and summer dresses. I think it was the perfect season too.

I am in love. Am I the few that loved Venice so much?

I always fell in love with every, destination I've been in. I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to learning new places. I come nothing but with an open heart and mind. I take everything as lessons, and essentially part of the experience, I enjoy the good and the trials of an exploration, like I personally think every adventurer should. And Venice, was no less.

Staying with Cecilia was one of the highlight of the trip, yes. But the walk with her friend, Alessandro was when I fell head over heels with Venice. It made me put some soul and weight to this beautiful canal city, learning every trick of a pathway there is and every history ever embodied told.

But most of all, I genuinely, simply, just miss staring at the buildings stacked right next to each other almost creating a rhythm, a song in between the blue green waters. Worn and torn from time but still depending on one another. And the suave cruise of the lovely gondolas by slick tanned Italian blokes that seem so easy in small alleys but strangely tougher in big water pathways. Or maybe not so strange. And then it reminded me of my wobbly platform, the boat I was standing on.

I loved Venice. 

Like every other place I've visited, I miss everything about it. I miss everything I've just described, and I wished I could do it more justice then from my one dimensional pictures and words would, I wished that time and distance would give me chance to visit Venice again and relive the pleasantness of being in a painting I thought I've seen before. But like every promise, coming back to a place you've loved is almost always impossible to keep :(

I hope everyone that comes and sees Venice, sees Venice in her best days. 

Like I did, and fell in love with.

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Cooking class in Pattaya

Winning a lucky draw like free stays are GREAT, but when you're thrown into a destination you barely know of.............

I decided this would be a great time for me to bond with my little sister Jessy despite not knowing what we could do together in Pattaya. There were a few things to choose, from a floating market to petting the most adorable elephants. Eventually I decided to do something that would be more educational, in a sense, some useful information that we could bring back home and possibly apply.

I reckon cooking seems like the perfect bet!

So we decided on the website with the best SEO, haha, cause I simply Googled "cooking classes in Pattaya" and Walter and Lom came up first. I emailed Walter about 2 weeks before the actual date, and Jessy and I secured ourselves a half day class with him and his wife :)

Happy Chef Thai Cooking Class:

For every activity I do, I must choose the ones that are close to my hotel obviously for easy transport.

Getting there, was an adventure on its own. 

Jessy and I were given the options separately to choose the dishes that we wanted to cook. It seemed very natural for us to choose different dishes from another so that we could try, and obviously emulate the ones we liked back home.

My first dish was Chicken with Cashewnuts. OMG DIVINE.

I keep telling myself that I wouldn't be able to finish the dish........

But, I just kept eating.....

And eating.....

And next thing I know.. I cleaned up the plate! -_-" (must be the heat)

^So good.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A night in Papar in Koposizon Homestay

There is nothing - nothing like the feeling of seeing one of your best friend walking down the aisle. Angel was asking me whether I'd come for Stephie's wedding, but the actual fact that she is one of my closest, and coolest, made me consider whether I'd stay on for the party till night.

Because, why not. 

So I said yes, and just maybe continue the night. I wasn't gonna cut short on a friend I've known for almost 20 years' wedding party. After all, I've got all the freedom in the world to }:)

One of the highest honour in life is to be able to help your friend on her wedding day. I sorted her bouquets, the flower girls' flowers and even her bridesmaids'. She requested for it to look tropical, and I tried just that. It looked like a tropical jungle out there! So so beautiful.

After the church wedding, we drove to Papar and started the party.......... #yolo decided to stay on for the night (minus Morris because he is from Papar himself). We hooked ourselves up with a stay under the Koposizan Homestay, with Uncle Nasius who was also at the party...................................

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Rome by Foot

Yes you can! 

We did just that without knowing that we could. Prior to executing our actual visits to Rome's main attractions, I was looking through online and found out that these places are "quite near to each other". So I took everyone's word for it, and decided a day for Rome's city centre.

I had to decide only on 3/4 attractions, the ones that we really wanted to visit. Mum said, Spanish Stairs, I said Villa Borghese, Fontana de Trevi and city of Trastevere. Jessy chose Fontana de Trevi as well. We had only our map to equip us with the day, our phones are not on roaming so the option is out. And we reckon, that the crowd is our source of information.

Our stay in Rome was very central.

We're just by the side of a bus station that connects us to basically everywhere, so we decided to hop onto the bus to bring us to our first main attraction, Villa Borghese. Little did we know... this was the no 1 starting point of going into the road that would lead us to all the attractions.

Let's start with this map.

Not sure who to credit this map, because the website is a bit strange: 
Hotel Marghere 

^At the very top of the map is Villa Borghese.

As you can remember, we wanted see Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, that just these two could make us happy already. What we didn't realise was that we could start with (and eventually did all) of Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori, Santa Maria in Trastevere and even the city of Trastevere itself! (One of Rome's oldest city).

2 versus 9 attractions!

But that also means, WE WALKED THE ENTIRE PLACE.

It would have been easy if it was just me, while I manage my own walk and time, but I was bringing my 60 year old mum and sister together with just my map. The road that connected to all the attractions was DEL CORSO. What was supposedly a main road, was flooded by people and I assumed that is why there were not many cars or buses into the main road because it was just impossible to!

1. Piazza del Popolo 
The irony that we wanted to visit Villa Borghese, but was dropped by bus at Piazza del Puopolo and then we completely forgot that we're supposed to visit Villa Borghese... Argh, the Romans architecture does that to you. You see one very beautiful building or architecture and you just forget the world.

Piazza del Popolo is a beautiful square, I even see people jogging circling it?! There was a beautiful fountain right in the middle of it all.

^This is one of the smaller/ inner roads from Piazza del Popolo.