A Different Kind Of (Travel) Reflection

Driving from Kota Tinggi Water Falls_TRAVEL NOTES 101. Taman Melodies Malaysia. 0058 hours

To My Creator,
I just want to utter a sense of GRATITUDE. Thank you for surrounding me with good people. Thank you for the ANGELS constantly guiding me. Thank you for the help of the Holy Spirit to keep me stay on the right track. When the evil/ ego keeps tempting me – when it is EASY to take the wrong path, You bring me back to the CENTRE.

I realized how I am wasting my time for some petty feelings of the “unfairness” of the world.
When I have a CHOICE. To always choose the right thing – the better way.

I realized that my “own self” is the biggest hindrance, to achieving the very goal of my life, in this season of my life.

THANK YOU for giving me good friends…

I guess, now, I understand men better.
Surprisingly, they also talk and dream about SOUL MATE, they are akin to be COMMITTED, they dream of settling down too. – But,
DISCERNMENT is very IMPORTANT – these are the people – the men – who ARE HONEST – who do not fool around – who are not scared of expressing truly what’s inside themselves.

I guess, we ALL DREAM of living out our DREAMED LIFE, to be with the “Right One”. We all strive to be better (human being). ONLY sometimes, the problem arise from the EXECUTION. But we (ALL) aspire to be better – I think it’s BEST to think that way…

##Mafgoingtoopersonal

Local Scene: Hari Raya Bazaar at Geylang Road and Sims Avenue

Hari Raya4Public holiday always makes me happy – it means I can go somewhere :).
Feeling like a tourist as am currently staying in a hostel. Since the flat where I presently resides is undergoing renovation, I decided to move out temporarily to avoid unnecessary inconvenience. Half-way to the city, I am within the vicinity where local food, bazaar, colorful decorations in celebration of Hari Raya Puasa intersects. Here are some Hari Raya snaps:Hari Raya11Hari Raya7Hari Raya5Hari Raya10Hari Raya6Hari Raya8Hari Raya12Hari Raya1Hari Raya9

To my Muslim friends – Have a meaningful celebration of the season together with your family and friends. Eid Mubarak! :)

PEACE amid chaos

PEACE Inspite of ChaosNatural calamities. A strong typhoon (Glenda) occurred in the Philippines killing several casualties and leaving the affected areas in chaos. Glenda has just headed to China. Another tropical depression (Henry) is approaching over the southeastern Philippine sea.

Man-made disaster. Another Malaysian passenger jet (MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed down at the eastern Ukraine, region of Donetsk, the infested war zone of Ukraine and Russia. Imagine, 298 innocent lives suffered again UNNECESSARILY. I am not only saddens by the untimely death of these people, part of me is in rage. The crashed-down which was believed to be missile-shot would have not happen if there is NO war. This should NOT happen. Pushing through certain political ideologies at the expense of killing another is by any means NOT acceptable. Any form of war only achieves a lose-lose situation. Nobody wins in this cruel game. Whoever have done this barbaric act must be punished!

Ukraine – Russia. Perhaps a Peace Treaty Agreement has to be made. The global leaders must step in.

My heart goes to those whose lives lost… I lighted a dozen candles and uttered a prayer of peace. In the hearts of those families and friends grieving, I mourned with you.

Iguazu Falls: One Of The New 7 Natural Wonders Of The World

Maf at Iguazu!“Love is like a waterfall

it pours out of you forever!” –QuotesDonkeyMaf at Iguazu1“Will you be the rock

that redirect the course of the river?” –Claire Nuer

Maf at Iguazu2“Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold;

happiness dwells in the soul”. –Democritus 

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Crossing The Border: Bolivia – Brazil

Crossing The Border. Bolivia - BrazilI noticed a woman sitting on the other side of the window seat who looked rather serious but dressed elegantly. She was gazing from afar and I could sense her thoughts drifting away as she does not seem to care about what’s going on around. Later I would know her as Sandra. Who hails from Campo Grande (Brazil) and lives in Sta Cruz (Bolivia).

I overheard them talking in a language that I don’t understand but sounds familiar. They looked Americans of Middle Eastern ethnicity. We were queuing side by side since from the Immigration of Bolivia and then Immigration of Brazil. But our eyes never met. Nor we spoke a word. We just knew we exist. They are there. I am here.  Later I would know them as Paula and Francisco, siblings from Fortaleza (Brazil) who went for holidays in Bolivia.

And there was this slightly chubby blonde girl who’s wearing a tube dress with a flower tattoo at the back of her right shoulder. She approached me and said in strong English: “ticket please!”. Then she talked to the bus driver and afterwards handed back my ticket saying: “time is okay”.  Gesturing her right hand with thumbs up. I never knew her name.

A donde vas?”De donde eres?”  The guy who sits next to me casually asked. I said, pardon, “Habla Ingles?”. I mean, “Voce fala Ingles?” “Yes, I am.” “Where are you going?” “And where are you from?” I answered him. He said, “wow Filipinas?!” He was astonished and looked at me with amazement. His name was Lindon. Who teach mining in Corumba (Brazil) and was going to Salvador (Brazil) for training.

***

I arrived at Puerto Suarez, the small town in the border of Bolivia at 6.30am (local time). I paid 6 times higher for a standard taxi fare of 5 Bolivianos from Puerto Quijaros bus station.

It surprised me to learn that in this part of the world, the Immigration is only OPEN at a specific time. Like office hours, 8am to 6pm, M-F, S-S. If you arrive after 6pm, you have to stay at the border for a night for your passport to be stamped the next day. Or if you arrive earlier than 8am, like what had happened to me, I have to wait or if I choose to leave I am risking to pay the consequences.

While waiting for the Immigration Office to open, I took a light breakfast at a nearby café – empanada and a hot tea. And then fruit juice afterwards. I left my luggage just outside the door of the immigration as my sign that someone is queuing. I requested the Police to keep an eye to my luggage. “Por favor, (pointing to my luggage while gesturing that I will eat) no peligro?” They nod and said something that I didn’t understand. I left my luggage trusting that it is safe to do so. I decided to spend the Bolivianos I have as I won’t be able to use it in Brazil.

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Captured Scene: Laguna Verde, Potosi, Bolivia

On our way to the border of Chile. We stopped by Laguna Verde or Green Lake. But where is the green lake? We were told it was covered with frozen snow and the lake only turns green in the afternoon. Meanwhile, we spotted this cute Vicuna (Vicugna vicugna) running away from us. Friends am back! :)

On our way to the border of Chile. We stopped by Laguna Verde or Green Lake. But where is the green lake? We were told it was covered with frozen snow and the lake only turns green in the afternoon. Meanwhile, we spotted this cute Vicuna (Vicugna vicugna) running away from us.
Friends am back! :)

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” -Rachel Carson

How I Prepare For My (First) South American Trip

Maf goes to South America!Some unpleasant circumstances are perhaps taking place to give way to a more favorable and better experience that we are ought to have, do and go. I got lost trying to figure out what’s going on lately with my life on a professional and personal level. I kind of forget that there is some kind of image that I have to maintain and project? Rubbish. Right now, I am kind of mixed up to be honest. My brain is pretty scattered. I think this is what you get when you continue to work non-stop, no days off on weekends and after toiling hard you get a shit in return. I really don’t understand why some people can be a pain in the ass. I was reminded of Warren Buffet – Look for three things in a person: 1) intelligence, 2) energy and 3) integrity. If that person lacks number 3, forget about the rest.

Hey, hey, hey this is about my very much awaited, very much needed break, very much looking forward for my first South American trip! Finally, it comes :). I am waiting for this trip to come as soon as I begun to think about it!

I had one month to prepare. Initially, South America was not in the picture yet, at least to visit earlier this year. It’s Iran and a few Middle Eastern countries supposedly but as I have mentioned when things go wrong and looks unfavorable there are better things that we ought to experience I guess. Otherwise, South America would not come into picture this earlier :)

Here are a few tips that you may find useful when you embark for South American trip. Continue reading