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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Back in the Eastern Province

April 14, 2011 2 comments

I was hoping I would catch a little bit of winter this year, as I’ve only been visiting Saudi Arabia during summers for the last three years. I really miss winter for many reasons. I miss being able to play basketball or soccer at the beach during any time of the day. I really miss the cold early morning runs. I miss wearing my old jacket. I miss not having to restrict my driving hours from late morning to late afternoon.

Sadly, I didn’t make it in time this year. However, I was lucky the weather was fair and it didn’t start getting humid. I’d go to the beach and swim in the freezing waters to try and get some of my training for next year’s triathlon. As usual, no one else is in the water and everyone was looking at me weird. Sadly, I wasn’t able to go cycling as this trip was just 3 weeks and wasn’t worth packing the bike and flying it all the way.

Living away from home makes you appreciate many things you’d take for granted. For one, home-made food. It was the highlight of my trip. I miss the vast variety of dishes served up in restaurants. Being a gear head and and a lover of the open road, I missed driving from city to city visiting friends and family, especially the cheap petrol prices that allowed me to zip all around the province.

Sadly, like all good things, the three weeks flew by and it was time for me to pack up again; mainly dates since I’ll be fasting in Malaysia during Ramadhan Insha’Allah.

And for those of you who always wonder, what’s the difference between a normal day and a dusty day in Saudi Arabia, here are two pictures from the same location.

Rahima Corniche 1

That dusty day...

On a normal day...

Categories: General, Holidays

Vacation

October 5, 2007 9 comments

RT

That up there, ladies and gentlemen, is the first stop light upon entering my city back home; Ras Tanurah; which I will pass through in the next few days Insha’Allah. That will leave me with a few days to taste the Ramadan spirit back in Saudi Arabia; the food, the evenings, the prayers, the whole atmosphere; did I mention the food?

It would certainly be different from what we have here in Malaysia. Living in a bachelor pad, one can only dream about all those delicacies and mouth watering aromas that used to leak out of their mother’s kitchen. Although the boys and I are somewhat good cooks, laziness overcomes us after those hectic days, leaving us with no energy to step into the kitchen, let alone start preparing breakfast. That leaves us with either the Indian, Malaysian, or Yemeni restaurants close by where the foods are prepared in haste in order to keep up with the hoard of customers during the peak hours right before Maghrib prayer, compromising the food’s quality and often being oily; something my system isn’t fond of.

That being said, I wish you all a happy Eid in advance. Do visit your relatives, friends, and sick ones, and spread the love…

Categories: Holidays, Life, Travel Tags: , ,

Been a While

February 17, 2007 3 comments

Tectonic plates must have shifted since I last posted anything. It’s been a hectic few weeks and the powers that be have shown no mercy what so ever in the way they sorted out my semester schedule. Not only have I got bags under my eyes big enough to carry $50 worth of groceries, I’ve also lost contact with the rest of the world due to lack of free time to watch TV or surf the web. A week off for the Chinese New Year is exactly what I need to chill and get some much needed sleep to let my brain regenerate some badly needed cells to replace those that have been squeezed of their juices.

My excuses for not updating put aside, I’ve decided to at least think of turning my sketching/design hobby into a small business, due to enormous pressure from friends and family (yea guys…I’m not stubborn). It will take some time to put the idea into work since I’ve got lots of school work, but with time things will slowly unwrap. I’ve already got a Flash site in its initial stages and will be finished in a month or two. Ready to put up are also some sketches and designs I’ve scanned and I might put them up on my old Blogger page because WordPress is acting up again. Aside from that, I’m already brainstorming ideas for my entry designs for the Michelin Challenge Design and the Designer Techniques 2nd Competition.

I’ve thought of entering these competitions before, but never got the time to do anything worth sending in. I’ve already asked a couple of manufacturers if they could allow me to use their trademarks on my designs and I hope they’ll nod their heads and just let me do my thing. And now…I gotta go hit the drawing board and check out just how much of my imagination is left. Till then…ciao and happy holidays. (Isn’t the the politically correct thing to so these days?)

Categories: College, Holidays, Life, Wheels

Sam’s Take On Malaysia

January 16, 2007 17 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this joint and you can pick any guess as to what kept me from writing anything. Being in Malaysia for two months now…I’ve been busy doing everything but sight seeing; pretty ironic huh…

Aside from entering a university and renting a house, I’ve had to do a lot of traveling between KLIA, KL, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, and Melaka (a somewhat historic city). Although cheap if your consider a couple of trips, taxis can make a huge dent in your wallet if your require several trips a day, so I had to rent a car for most of my stay here. Some might ask why not use the metro, but all this traveling is for newcomers, both family and friends, who are also applying for universities or want to start businesss here, or simply to enjoy a two week vacation; who want someone tey know to help them out. So the metro isn’t the best way to go about in such cases.

KL isn’t as good as others have told me; due to a couple of factors. One; it requires deep pockets if you want to venture out into the center. Some taxi drivers can be plain assholes by refusing to use the meter and charge exorbitant prices if they think you’re a tourist. Some even feed on people’s desperation at rush hour times or simply depending on how much of a hurry the person is in; painting a pretty bad picture for the majority of the nice taxi drivers who strike me as some of the best in the world.

Another thing that seriously annoys me is the toll plazas we face every few miles between cities. I’m glad my trips aren’t daily and don’t have to commute through tolls to the university every morning, as that by itself can amount to a fortune.

The third thing…although not everyone shares this opinion with me, are the organizers of the Visit Malaysia 2007 who continue to exhibit extravagant fireworks displays for tourists at night time while over a hundred thousand victims of the recent floods have nowhere to call home and sleep at makeshift camps at schools or underground car parks. This strikes me as hypocritical…seeing how the Malaysian government says it cares for its people while the organizers of these tourist events are going overboard with entertaining foreigners. Why not donate that money to help those who have lost their whole houses and means of earning money? I’d say that…at times like this, as a foreigner and part tourist, I wouldn’t expect to be entertained by the tourist industry. Why…what would a tourist think when they see all these extravagant displays of fireworks and the next moring see in the front pages of local papers pictures of flood ridden towns and people swimming through dirty waters trying to salvage whatever is left of their homes?

On a lighter note…Malaysia’s pros outdo its cons greatly. One thing I like about the locals here is that as a foreigner, when I try to speak Malay, they’ll go out on a limb to make me feel closer. Oh…the food! I love food…and the variety here is great. One can never get lost here; because there are loads of street signs and boards guiding you every few miles; although each district and town has several ways to get to, making it somewhat confusing. The people here drive safely, and unlike KSA, the folks here make good use of their turn indicators.

I’ve been told I’m missin one of the coldest winters in KSA and neighboring countries. Just my luck…my favorite season is winter and here I am in tropical Malaysia…

Happy Holidays

December 29, 2006 Comments off

 Eid

Wishing everyone a happy Eid Al-Adha and a happy New Year

Translation: This time around, try first thinking about your family and friends before thinking about food.

Categories: Family, Holidays, Islam

Malaysia…truly Asia

November 25, 2006 15 comments

It’s true what they say about this colorful country. It’s got the technology to rival the west…people from all walks of life and religions to prove its a free nation…Arabesque sctructures to put Arab nations to shame…futuristic bridges to make the Germans stare in awe…malls to rival the Gulf…and did I mention technology? You know where I’m going with this…

Only having been here for two weeks, each day is like a new day, with new places to drive up to. With daily showers and an all-green landscape (I’m still looking for a grain of sand), this is one place worth getting used to. One of the greatest things here is the abundance of wireless internet and cinemas. But one thing not so great is the British side of driving…something dangerous for someone who’s lived their whole life in the Gulf…although the safer driving habits of people here makes up for that.

There’s lots to say about this place, but that’ll be once I’m back in KSA

Categories: Holidays, Life, Picturesque, Travel

Eid Mubarak

October 23, 2006 Comments off

Happy Eid

Wishing you all a happy Eid

Categories: Holidays, Islam, Pictures