Sunday, March 10, 2013

Temple, Semenyih

A little way after UNMC, we arrived at a quaint, little Semenyih town. Where the roads are lined with trees and little stalls selling home grown fruits and go all the way straight, you'll see a huge temple.

If you look hard enough, you'll see the Monkey God (Sun Wukong) in the Chinese epic novel, Journey To The West over looking the whole little town looking fearsome to the evil forces.

As a child, I loved Journey To The West. Oh, how I loved it. I even developed feelings for Sun Wukong! This is a surprise to some that I read the subtitles on the whole series! That was the only Chinese entertainment that I watched.

Anyways, I finally got the opportunity to take The Fiance to the temple to educate him about the Chinese culture. I'm a horrible teacher but at least he now, knows about the 12 zodiac animals. He kept saying that he's an Aries whenever I tell him that he's a Snake and I'm a Rabbit.

He was happily snapping away at the statues. What makes this temple so unique is the San Francisco Bridge lookalike to cross to the other side where Sun Wukong stands majestically on his own mountain.

I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Hope you enjoy it.

Michelle May


I  have 2 confessions to make. 1) I never really enjoyed my graduation and 2) This is my first ever graduation ceremony to celebrate my academic achievements. 

The smile I have here is forced and not at all genuine. firstly, I didn't enjoy my graduation because I never made any memory. I can't remember how I felt, what I did, all I know was, Being ushered to registration, robing, pictures, waiting in line, pictures and I got so dizzy. I expected it to be somewhat memorable. All I remembered was my heels were killing me!

Then, there was the case where there were just too many people. I don't function well with crowds and I felt so neurotic and nearly went mental. 

Tremendously grateful for having my mom and fiance around. They put up with my endless complaints and my hissy fits and tried to make me feel happy. The fiance had to go to the car just to fetch my shoes.

He is my rock and he supports me, continuously telling me that I can do it, and he prays for me every single day. 

My mom is a supermommy even if I don't tell her. She was the only one who believes in me that I was smart enough to do my Masters. Sometimes, she feels sad when she can't help me with my thesis but she's the type that would take me to Singapore to buy all my Political Science books, spending thousands on books and she does everything for me, just so I could focus on finishing my dissertation. 

If I could thank anyone for my Masters, it would be my mom and my fiance for always supporting me. I'm not an easy person to live with and I'm extremely difficult when I'm stressed. These 2 people, really helped me to keep my head on my shoulders and they believed in me. Helping me out whenever they can and I thank the Lord for them everyday!

Another person that helped me achieved my Master is my best friend Zumlath Mohamed. She passed away shortly before the results were announced due to sickle cell and when I met her father and siblings, I cried. I missed her and I would have been overjoyed if she was here with me. To everyone else, she was kind and quiet and kept to herself. To me, she was the strength and the one who keeps pushing me to work hard. You see, she was Muslim and I, Christian. I have a rosary in my car and everyday after class, she would keep me company as we drove from Semenyih to Kelana Jaya. 

Imagine, we spend more than an hour in my car and she never once felt uncomfortable in fact, she even says a "keep us safe" prayer with me everytime we begin our journey. I loved talking to her, she was never quiet and we talked about everything under the sun, my family, my grandma, her family, Maldives, religion, etc. Oh, how I loved our "long" journeys back then. Somehow, it never feels like more than an hour has went by. 

Everytime, we would turn on Skype to keep each other company whenever we're doing our assignments. I failed one paper and she's the only one that could remove my doubts about myself and my low self esteem. I always thought that I wasn't smart like the other students in our class but she would always tell me otherwise. We would even share our work with each other, commenting on it and we were very close for that short time. 

She always told me that she knows she won't be here for long. I'm afraid of death, you see. But she would always tell me to start living. this is what she taught me, "Michelle, wearing pretty clothes, spending thousands on making yourself beautiful, won't make you happy. In society's eyes, you can never be thin, pretty, fair, smart enough. The "glow of happiness" many people are looking for, is not something you can buy off the counter, you can't buy it with money. You can only get it by spending time with the ones you love and who loves you in return. People think that they can get things by spending money, but after spending thousands they're still not happy."

I always told her that she was so brave, to live when she knows that it's not long, her reply was always," I live for my family. They're very important to me, I have no regrets because I spent every single minute being with them. I will worry about them though, I worry about my mother and younger sister the most, but luckily, I have my dad to take care of them." 

I will then ask her, "Don't you feel sad?" her answer is always so simple and it fascinates me, "No. I'll feel sad when I think that my family is sad. I don't like seeing them sad" By then, she would laugh and say that she'll feel sad if I'm sad too... So, I'll normally force a smile for her and change the topic. 

She has always spoke about visiting her in the Maldives and she is my only true friend in Nottingham. Well, she was a very strong person, no one knew about her condition because she didn't want sympathy or preferential treatment. She re-wrote half of her 15,000 words dissertation because she received comments that she has to change a few things. 

By then, she was already complaining of fever and headache and being in Malaysia while her family is in Maldives during Ramadhan. We used to keep each other company way into the night. I miss her. She was the sense in my crazy world. I hope that she's with Allah in Paradise now. I hope that she knows how thankful I am for a friend like her and lastly, I hope that she knows that I miss her very much. 

Thank you Zum, we made it. I thought of you as I walked up the stage to collect my scroll that you helped me with. Thank you very much. 

With my lecturers Chris N. and Josh S. 

With my beloved Dean, (He's like the coolest dean ever!) Prof. Neville W. and my classmate and lecturers. 

Overall, I'm glad to be finished and done with my MA. Now, time to find a "real" job. And, sorry that it's a lengthy post as I really miss my friend so much. 

Michelle May

Bali 2013: Day Three - Bali Safari and Marine Park


Day 3 was like the MOST AWESOME DAY EVER!!! I love animals and no matter where in the world I am, I make it a point to visit the zoo or the safari. My fav destination would the the Maasai Mara or any other nature reserves. Through the brochures, we saw Bali Safari and Marine Park. I've visited Taronga Zoo which I thought was one of the best zoo ever! and The safari in Korea and the zoo in Singapore and Malaysia. Now, I put the Indonesian safari on my list. 

The park is relatively huge as they have a safari. I just notice that safari means being in a "van/moving vehicle" and observing the animals in their natural habitat, without cages. The only place I encountered a safari was in Korea, and now Bali. Entrance is not cheap as we paid about 50USD per adult. For more information, do visit Bali Safari WEBSITE.

As usual, more statues, architecture and intricate and scary stuff. 

The highlight of the visit was writing on paper made from elephant poo! they collect the poo from elephant, giraffe and plant eating animals to be processed and made into paper. This is as eco friendly as anyone can get! I loved it!!!

I'm too lazy to describe each and every picture but I could say that this is the best safari ever. I would love to go to an AUTHENTIC AFRICAN SAFARI this year but this is as real as it can get. 

If you have some extra dough to splurge, do stay a night at their Mara River Safari Lodge where you wake up and the free roaming rhinos, zebras and wildebeest greet you a very "Good Morning"

For more information, do check out Mara River Safari Lodge ONLINE for rates and reservations. 

When you're hungry, do drop by Tsavo Lion Restaurant where you dine in a glass enclosure as lions stare at you while you eat. Simply amazing. 

Some helpful tips, you need to purchase "tickets" to take pictures with each animal (50,000 rupiahs) and if you need them to take a picture for you, its an additional 50,000 rupiahs. Thank God I had Karin and she's a professional photographer and she took some brilliant pictures for me, for free! I kinda saved 50,000 rupiahs. 

Oh, all the pretty gorgeous pictures on my posts on BALI, are all from KARIN or Instagram (kayteelle) and she shoots amazing pictures. 

This concludes my amazing short trip to Bali, Indonesia. Till my graduation in a few days! 

Michelle May