Saturday, October 11, 2014
' an unfortunate incident'
We started the day with some lunch at this canadian cafe named Joma. We had some bagels, sandwiches, salads and some soup. After fullfilling the girls' wishes to eat there, we went for a bit of shopping along the streets of Ly Quoc Su and found ourselves in front of this gorgeous old neo-gothic church named 'Saint Joseph Cathedral'. When i saw the church, i was immediately drawn to the architectures and its surroundings, and decided to take some pictures of the place. I couldnt help but pond upon the fact how hidden this church is. I slowly moved my eyes inch by inch, aweing the place.
I was then joined by my friends a couple minutes later. As bruneian tourists, we had a selfie moment covering different angles, as if we were professional photog. I was so eager to see what's inside so i walked towards the church's door and continued to awe. The interior was spectacular. Its funny how old buildings like this (churches & temples) impress me.
We then went to Cozy Hotel to check in. It was my first time checking in at Cozy. I didnt believe how cozy it was untill i went into our room: the family room. It was huge!!! While waiting for the clock to strike 6pm, some of my friends slept while I had a fun talk with my mum through whatsapp.
That night, Roland and I decided to get a haircut so we went to a salon nearby, recommended by our friend: Kiat. As I sat down facing the mirror, the beautician was sharing some of her stories, emphasizing how safer it is in Hanoi compared to ho chi minh city. She continued rambling on how peofessional the pickpockets are and how dangerous it could be when facing this kind of situation. With an ego of typical bruneians, we brushed the information off and make fun of it instead.
After having our hair cut, we went to Avalon for dinner and was showered with VIP treatments due to that one incident; we were given a table with a spectacular view, free drinks & excellent services by their own manager.
It was a fun
......until Zurah's wallet got stolen.
After not being able to bargain to the price I wanted, we decided to move on to the next stall and realized the girls were gone. Since this was the second time going here, i assumed the girls went to the other streets to check other vendors so Roland & I tried to catch up and found ourselves 3 streets ahead of them. I thought to myself, "where the hell are they?!!"
Few minutes later and a couple of vendors away, Roland's phone rang. A phone call that changed the night from good to bad. That phone call was from Zurah, crying for help as she realized her wallet got stolen. We ran to the entrance to meet them. There they were, Zurah & the girls, discussing about what went down.
We panicked but maintained a brave face. We hurrily went to Highland Coffee to settle this down. As we discussed the many possibilities of ways on how the robber took the wallet, Zurah was on the phone with the Brunei's Embassy, her mum, some banks & a couple of vietnamese friends.
Cards got blocked, parents were informed and friends offered to help.
The clock stricked midnight & the girls wanted to go back to the hotel. As we were walking down the streets, I looked upon my friends- tugging their bags closely to their body, looking cautious and walking fast. They were scared as shit.
An hour later, we found ourselves, marching back to the hotel, smoking the night away. We were worn out by this incident. Situation like this has made me realized (and taught) me to be more careful and be more aware with my surroundings whilst being abroad. Dont get carried away.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
"hari raya aidil adha"
Today, we woke up early as we were invited to spend Hari Raya Aidil Adha with the Ambassador of Brunei's Embassy at his residence. We were surprised to see a Mercedes Benz was waiting for us to pick us up.
As we arrived at the destination, we were greeted by the security and was ushered to the house where the ambassador and his wife were waiting for us at the front door. I love going to this place as it reminds me of home especially the decor.
We arrived at 10am and made small talks with the ambassador as he approached us one by one. I love how informal and how friendly he is. After few minutes, we then were asked to enjoy the food as the maid opened the dishes one by one. We knew the food was going to be great. Hence, the reason why we accepted the invitation. We celebrated a day early due to the ambassador's busy schedules. Here are some of the pictures I took at the embassy:
After multiple counts of refilling our food, we then were asked to eat the desserts.
It may look nasty but it was scrumptious! I would like to thank the Brunei's Embassy for giving us the special treatment in Hanoi. Hehe! The invitation was so fancy that we thought the place was going to be filled with a lot of people. But turns out, it was just for us. Thank you!
Photo sesh with the ambassador & his wife.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
"The Commencement ceremony"
On September 16th, we were given a task to perform at the Commencement Ceremony. A ceremony for the freshies who got accepted to FPT University. The event was held on the 29th September and the task was either to sing We are the world by Micheal Jackson in our own language (malay) and in our cara melayu and baju kurong.... or dance to a flashmob. We chose to sing due to the reason of not wanting to practise the dance moves. Since the gatsby night coming up, we didnt have enough practise but had to go with the flow. We did try but it wasn't perfect. Mind you, none of us can sing. I missed one practice as I had something to do that night, the group decided to give me a solo part. It was the last part where the notes are really high. I knew right then and there, i just need to suck it up and do it. I kept reminding myself that i'm doing it for the experience.
As the day had finally come, we got ourselves ready and sang our hearts out in the room. Shouting and screaming, simply raising our voice to get the perfect voice. "Pfft like that will help," one might wonder.
We were escorted to our place which was on the front row, taking in all the privilege of being a VIP. When the show starts, i saw my friends - giving me their nervous looks.
When the emcee announced our names, we stood up, went up the stage and realized one of our group members was missing. Then, the music started and singing began to fill the quiet air as 500 students were watching us. I remember a funny moment where everyone including me were sweatig like pigs and singing to different key notes. It wasnt that disasterous. It was ok. I guess.
The reason why I participated this activity was because when im older, i want to look back and know that i've done or tried what i always wanted to do. To perform. Its wasnt wembley but i think 500 is a crowd.
Such an experience.
Till next time.
"The great gatsby" kinda night.
When you're out of the country alone, you want to have the feeling of home by your side no matter what. You know the feeling of having to gossip about nonsense things or the feeling of having to update the love ones about your day or even spending a special occasion with your family and friends. Here, in Hanoi, two girls were having a birthday in September and me, being a good friend, had the need to do something with one aim in mind; making these two girls cry. The two girls are Jastina Jalani and Izza Idris.
A week ago or last September, we celebrated Jas's and izza's Advanced Birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise but you know, words got around, even others want to be invited. For this occasion, i decided to go big so i need help. Lots of help. Help also known as Zurah & Rolland.
We were assigned a specific task; Zurah was in charge of the guest list and place settings, Rolland for the music while I prepared the videos and finding a nice place to stay. I checked booking.com (the best website...like ever!) and booked a 3-bedroom apartment for two nights at The Somerset Grand Hotel which is located in the city named Hoan Keam. The apartment includes a kitchen, 2 bathroom, a living room, a dining area and 3 huge bed rooms. Good job pe! We decided to pamper ourselves with good bed, good food and good company. The apartment was huge; it can accommodate up to 6 people, but for this special occasion, i just had to ask the rest to sleepover (which was 13 of us). I divided each room for the boys, the girls and the birthday girls. As it was their night, we decided to give the master bedroom for the birthday girls.
At 5pm, the birthday girls had a make up artist sent to their room and get themselves ready with make up and hair do. While waiting for their turns, i showed them a video i made - messages from the loved ones at home.
Since there was a theme, everyone needs to dress for the occasion. I remember vividly Nazurah kept reminding the others to dress up. The dinner, unfortunately, got pushed to 7pm as everyone arrived late and the fact that the girls was not ready yet.
At 7.30pm, there they were, dressed in full Gatsby outfits. As everyone looked over their shoulders to get a clear view of the birthday girls, the girls exchanged smiles as they were ushered to their leather seats. Everyone was awed by their pressence. Izza was wearing black lacey dress with a strappy black bedazzled heels and a diamond bohemian chic headpiece while Jas rocked a white lacey dress with shiny gold heels and a floral lace head piece, complimenting their best features and emphasizing their curves. The make up they went for was a total opposite where Jas went for a subtle goddess while Izza went for the classy smoke.
After the dinner, we went to a club for a bit of dancing which i am not going to elaborate on. Hehe! We did have fun though. No surprises there. We then ended the night with eating the birthday cake in the hotel room.
Im glad the girls loved the party.