Accommodation We Had Stayed In Europe (Part 2/2)

August 10, 2017


Okayyy, let's continue with the rest of the accommodation :)


4. Odense, Denmark

Type: Private Room with Shared Bathroom & Kitchen
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

A room for 3 persons

Hugeeee bathroom!

The other side of bathroom. Trust me, it is as big as another bedroom!

The kitchen. 

Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: This amazing place is one of a kind. If you want a very calm, peaceful environment, this is a place to go - you can expect lots of wheat fields along the way to get here (my parents LOVE theseeeee so much) . The house is under renovation (no working was done during our stay) but it does not affect our activity at all. I think the room Tam provided to us was also after renovation, so it was actually MORE than what we expected. :) The bathroom was modern and amazing! It is about 8-10km from Odense, 25-minutes car journey to Egeskov, 15-minutes to Kerteminde. Not really sure about public transportation as we were there on a road trip. Tam is a very nice person who shared about places to go in Odense. He even helped us with washing machine & dryer. Put this Airbnb on you trip as you won't be disappointed! :)
  • This place is honestly one of a kind especially because of the location. My mum would love to have a house surrounded by paddy fields, so... this place is quite close to her dream.
  • In this house, we also stayed with the owner and his family but we didn't meet them (except the owner - Tam). Tam is actually from Vietnam but has already settled down in Odense. Kind of interesting to see how a foreigner can live very well in a foreign country. His house is seriously big!


5. Copenhagen, Denmark

Type: Entire Apartment / House
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

Mak in the living area. That was the couch I slept in. :D

I seriously love the map!

The kitchen :D

The view from the balcony.

A bed for my parents.

Bathroom with toilet and washing machine.

Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: I stayed here with my parents for 3 nights. Our stay was really nice, with a good kitchen, perfectly working WiFi and secure neighborhood. The buildings look similar so a bit confusing at night. Haha. There is a bus stop (about 10 minutes walk) where we can get to the city center, supermarket and petrol station are also nearby. Good communication with Per as well. Anyway, I personally love the map on the wall at the dining area! It feels so great for morning motivation for me.
  • We arrived this place at night, honestly there were at least 8 buildings that looks similar to each other. I forgot to check the building number in advanced haha so we kind of driving around the neighbourhood. 
  • This is a type of Airbnb that use self check-in. What does it mean? The owner will give you direction on how to get into the flat. Sometimes they hide the key somewhere that you need to find based on the clues. Sometimes, you just need to know the password of the door. It depends. :)
  • An interesting part of this apartment was the rubbish hole. Haha. At the main door of each apartment, there is a hole that we can use to throw away the rubbish. Maybe I will show you in my posts of Copenhagen later. 


6. Berlin, Germany

Type: Entire Apartment / House
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

A compact room for 3 persons to sleep in.

Another view of the room.


The bathroom and toilet.

The kitchen.

Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: It was a nice 2-night stay for my parents and I. Everything is provided I must say, you just have to bring yourself. Full kitchen with plenty of groceries, Hardy even gave us chocolates. WiFi works perfectly. We didn't meet Hardy in person but he responded well to any questions. You can find lots of information about attractions and public transportations in Hardy's place, everything is provided for you.
  • Actually, we had a problem with check-in that I have resolved it with the owner. What happened was we could not find the keys to get into the flat. Yes, another self check-in Airbnb. The owner had already sent the instructions but the keys were simply NOT at the mentioned location!
  • It was a tiring night that we needed to get the spare keys at his office (7km away) as the owner was 400km away from us that time, obviously he could not come. 
  • Upon entering the flat, it was nice. Just we kind of afraid if maybe anyone else might have stolen the keys, so we basically brought all valuable stuffs while travelling around the city and locked all doors in the flat. T_T
  • The rest was okay, alhamdulillah. :)


 7. Prague, Czech

Type: Private Room with Shared Bathroom
(click the link to get to its website)


The beds.

Lessons Learned:
  • I did not write any reviews yet on its website
  • This was the nearest, cheapest accommodation quite close to the car rental company and the city center. Before returning the cars, we dropped all luggage at the hostel. 
  • It was funny to recall that time when we parked in front of the hostel (with emergency signal) as we just wanted to drop off the luggage. Then, a police car came and asked us to move the car. After explaining the situation, the policeman asked me to park properly at the parking lot (in which that lots are for residents living there) I told him that I didn't have the resident pass and fortunately, the policeman allowed us to park for 10 minutes. Fuhhh. 
  • Best points to consider if you want to get a room at this hostel are: (1) it is located IN FRONT OF Prague Mosque! (2) it means you have secured at least one halal restaurant. (3) close to main train station and Vaclavske Namesti (4) 24 hours mini market is just downstairs. 
  • The cons - no lifts (I felt bad every time my parents need to climb stairs T___T) , no kitchen, bathroom and toilets are separated. 



Stay tuned for tips on how to choose a good accommodation. Well, my choices are not the perfect one but maybe you can learn something from my experiences and use them as reference :)

Till then,

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170807

Planner Giveaway By Eeca Shyaa

August 8, 2017


I used to plan my activities in my head and write down on a piece of paper that I will surely lost it somewhere. Haha. Since then, I saved many things on my phone, so glad that I have S Note that I can write with the S pen to feel more natural. 

Click the banner to join.

But, I think it is time for me to get myself a planner. Not only to have, but to use wisely :) 

One of my post-graduate resolutions is to be more organized. Sometimes I feel like I am good enough, but nope.. my skill needs some improvement. When I clean my room recently, I came across few small books that turn out to be my planners when I was in high schools. A bit funny to see my neat handwriting that changed so much since I entered the medical school... but my point is I love the previous me that planned well for my days - things to do, things to buy, chapters to study etc.

Wohoooo, wish me luck!

Batu Burok, Terengganu, Malaysia
170808

Accommodation We Had Stayed In Europe (Part 1/2)

August 7, 2017


I think I will try to make a separate post on how I choose accommodation (like what aspects I put into consideration etc). So far, my favorite website to search for a good accommodation is Airbnb, followed by booking.com, hostelbookers.com and few other random sites.

In this post, I would love to share and recall memories with my parents in each apartments, houses, hostels around Europe.

----------------------------------------------------------------
1. Prague, Czech
Type: Entire Home / Apartment
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

We checked into this apartment directly upon our arrival at Prague Airport. The check-in lady fetched us (with some extra fee) from the airport and drove us to this place. It was an interesting experience as she drove a BMW 5-series, haha I haven't rode any 5 series before. My parents too. :)

A bed for 2 persons. I slept on the couch. :)

A big bathroom with toilet. Big enough you can put another single bed inside. :D My parents love Airbnb that provide washing machine that we can use for free. It is not that we did not bring enough clothes, but at least we don't have to separate used clothes and the clean one. :)

A small storage area where you can find almost all equipment needed - iron, ironing board, drying rack, hanger, vacuum, broom, dustpan etc. 

The kitchen :D I love the idea of the fridge inside the cupboard. :D And a island in the kitchen is something I wish to have in my own kitchen in the future. 


Lessons Learned:

  • MY REVIEW: This place is very lovely and as expected. Even my parents would love to make this place as a reference if we want to host a place in Airbnb! Most of the things are well-provided for the guest. WiFi works perfectly. The location is about 20minutes to city center, no worries as there is a direct tram in walking distance. Neighbourhood is nice, calm and peaceful. We were not on a roadtrip but I can see a lot of parking spaces if you are coming by cars. Sylva the check in lady, is a very nice person. She waited patiently at the airport despite our long Passport control queue and luggage reclaim. She even offered to drop by the city center. Basic things about the place were nicely explained. My parents and I really love this place and trust me, you won't be disappointed to book it. :)
  • It is worth the money to use Uber instead to travel to- and fro- airport. From city center, it costs around 320kc/4 persons one way, in which you don't have to carry your heavy luggage from the nearest public transportation. This is applicable if you are travelling with the elder (I'm sure you don't want a lot of walking for them). 
  • This is the best Airbnb among the rest that we have stayed. 
  • This place is quite far from the city center - about 30 minutes by tram (the tram stop is just 5 minutes walk away). But, I prefer Uber more haha.


2. Hannover, Germany
Type: Hotel
(click the link to get to its website)

A day after my graduation day, we finally started our road trip to Copenhagen. Started from Prague, Czech at about 6.30pm, we arrived Hannover about 6 hours car ride. We slept at a B&B Hotel, very close to the highway. 

A bed for 2 persons (on the first floor)

Another 2 single beds on the upper floor.

The stairs.


View from the first floor.

Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: This B&B Hotel is very close to the Autobahn, so if you are on your way across Germany, please consider to book a room to rest after the tiring drive. About 4 levels of building with stairs (I am not sure if there are lifts or not). Check in was VERY EASY as you were given password for your door, so once you are automatically check in, you don't really have to go to the counter for check in. And no check out needed. The room was compact with all basic necessities. 2 beds on 1st floor of the room and another 2 beds on the attic. The bathroom is small but do all the jobs! Overall, I would recommend this place!
  • It was an amazing experience to stay in a double-storey bedroom. Maybe for next time if we want to stay at this place, we need to request for a room on the ground floor. There was no lifts so, it was hard to take our luggage upstairs.

3. Hamburg, Germany
Type: Private Room with Shared Bathroom & Kitchen
(click the link to get to its Airbnb's profile)

Hehehe, this flat was totally a new experience for my parents and I. Why? We were sharing the flat with the owner. We used to rent the same type of accommodation in London, but the owner did not stay there. 

The bunk beds for 3 persons.

The kitchen.
Lessons Learned:
  • MY REVIEW: This place is very good to stay a night or two in Hamburg, located about 10-minutes walk to the nearest S-bahn station (Harburg Rathaus). The kitchen is nice and the WiFi is very good! Alex was preparing for an exam during our stay but he still welcomed us nicely and explained about things around Hamburg.
  • Although we don't have any specific problem with this flat, I can say my parents were not that comfortable staying there because they were a bit shocked. Haha. A reminder to me, try to find a entire apartment / house in the future, despite the price. :D

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170806

Istanbul Tour With Ayah Mak | Istanbul, Turkey

August 6, 2017


It feels a bit funny to write this post as I realized I just finish writing about my road trip around Istanbul (Where East Meets West) and most of the places we went have been shared in my previous posts. Haha, but let's just see how this post will lead me to. 

10th July 2017
Istanbul, Turkey


Europe Trip started here!

We left the country with Turkish Airlines. My previous flight with my parents was 2 years ago when we were on our way from London, UK to Geneva, Switzerland. Yep, that was from our first Europe trip (so-called Europe Trip 1.0 - more to come hopefully, ameen!) Since Turkish Airlines is not a low-cost airline, I felt relieved at least for them to have a proper, chosen seat and proper meal on board. For meal, we personally prefer Emirates. If you guys love cheesy food, Turkish Airlines suits you more :D

4 checked in luggage - one for Ayah, one for Mak, the rest were food (plus kitchen utensils).

Well, cliche. :D

I don't know what happened to the flight air-conditioner that time, but it felt warm on board. We were a bit sweating. T_T

Arrived Istanbul on time, we decided to walk directly to the praying room. It is quite close to Gate 219 (if I'm not mistaken), seems like I have no idea if there is another praying room around departure area. 

Done with prayers, we continued to the arrival to get to the hotel desk. Fuh, the queue at the passport control was not a joke, it took more than half an hour just to get our passports stamped! I feel glad that I have some experiences with this airport, at least I have some idea to walk around. Save time, save energy. -_-'


Breakfast with Mr. Potato. I persuaded Ayah to buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks just for the sake of sitting there, even though this was my first time with Starbucks. Sorry, I don't know why I don't feel good to sit in any restaurants without buying anything. Hee.

Istanbul was scorching hot that day. Trust me, prepare yourselves with good sunscreen lotion especially with SPF50+ if you are planning to come to Istanbul in July. :D 

If you have a long transit / lay over in Istanbul (Ataturk) Airport, simply request for Istanbul Tour / free meal voucher

Our tour group was quite big that time - about 2 buses (maybe around 40 people?). We are eligible for 9am-3pm tour since our connecting flight was around 4.30pm. The tentative was roughly like this:

Haha, see, I posted at least some points for each attractions :) Click if you want to read, yea?


Our tour group - the guide was explaining about Hippodrome.

German Fountain

Obelisk of Theodosius

Blue Mosque

They looked cute though in those cloth :) 

I have witnessed the same procedure in mosque in Malaysia (for example Putrajaya) where foreign / non-Muslim will receive this kind of clothes to cover themselves. Just, in Putrajaya, they are not allowed to enter the praying areas (so far that I know), but here in Blue Mosque, everyone is welcomed inside. 

From this view, I am a bit confused with the saying that says women with menstruation are not allowed to enter mosques. How can we know that fact among these non-Muslims?

Inside Blue Mosque. Mak said that there were too many people, it was hard to enjoy spiritually. I just realized, here similar to the interior of Hagia Sophia we can see the names of Khulafa' Ar-Rasyidin and the grandsons of Prophet Muhammad - Hasan & Husein. 

Upon leaving Blue Mosque for Topkapi Museum, Mak kept mentioning the roasted corn. T_T Fuh, I did not have any Lira, but thankfully the hawkers accept Euro coins (the big one like one and two Euros). So, craving fulfilled :p Bought chestnuts as well. Haha


Standing on European side of Turkey, at the back is the Asian side. Most historical sites are located in European side.

The sea... Mesmerizing!



What else can I share in this post.....?

Hmm maybe my personal comments about the tour?
  • This type of tour (9am-3pm) involves a lot of walking. Please bear in mind and put this into consideration if you are planning to join the tour with the elders.
  • Food, entrance fee and all transportation you use during this tour are for free.
  • Mind that the food may not be according to your taste and the food is Turkish style. But, why not have a try? :D
  • Istanbul was really hot that time. Prepare your own water. Don't drink from the tap water, not recommended.
  • There are few souvenir shops just outside Blue Mosque (the entrance facing the Hippodrome). For this specific type of tour (9am-3pm), you don't have the chance to go shopping at any bazaar. Unless if you are eligible for another type of tour (9am-6pm). So, be prepared with some Turkish Lira in advanced if you wanna buy some souvenirs.


Hagia Sophia, maybe next time?

  • Ask the tour guide at what time the bus will leave for the airport. You may get lost or get separated from the tour group, so at least you know where you can meet them again to catch your connecting flights.
  • Prepare a good camera as you can either listen to the tour guide or wander around. I mean, if there is any view that catch your heart, directly snap it! You may not have the chance to return to that specific point. 
  • All in all, the tour is hectic even for me. I have a feeling my parents would love to come again and enjoy the city slowly. :) But, we should not complain as everything is for FREE, remember that :)


With the background of Blue Mosque.
Till we meet again, Turkey. :) 

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170806

MARA-Sponsored Graduates - What Should We Do Once Finishing Our Studies?

August 5, 2017

Haha, such a long title!

4th August 2017
Day 3 of BFG 
(BFG = back for good if you guys are wondering) :D

For overseas graduates, we can get these procedures done few days after we got the results by sending all the documents to MARA officer in charge. For example, for MARA students in Czech, we need to refer MARA Officer in Germany.

As even though I did not get the real scroll of my degree (before graduation ceremony), usually the university will give a letter called Dean's Letter. The letter is important to prove that the mentioned name has already finished his study and currently waiting for his graduation ceremony on the particular date... The Dean's Letter can be used to replace the scroll (so far that my friends had been doing).



But, it does not matter if we want to do once we arrived in Malaysia as after graduation, we can just use our scrolls for everything. Just go the MARA Headquarter at Jalan Raja Laut (well, I guess we all know the location haha)

Okay, let's go through few things to be done / forms to be filled.


Bahagian Penganjuran Pelajaran (BPP) 
- Level 3 (use escalator at the lobby)

1. Borang Lapor Diri Tamat Pengajian - get the form here (click)

2. Borang Elaun Akhir Pengajian - get the form here (click)

3. Surat Tuntutan Bayaran Balik Tiket Penerbangan
  • You can use this template. 


WHAT TO DO?

  • Fill in the forms.
  • Refer our previous MARA Offer Letter for all information, especially study information (like program, course, duration of study, duration of sponsorship)
  • Attached a verified copy of these - scroll, results transcript. I recommend to verify each pages of the documents (like how MMC wants). If we forgot to verify all those, please bring the original scroll / result transcript and test our luck :)
  • Attach a copy of flight tickets, flight receipt / booking confirmation. 
  • Attach as well bank information like I attached below.




Bahagian Kawalan Kredit 
- Level 3 (use lift - ask for entrance pass at the reception)


4. Permohonan Pengurangan Bayaran Balik - get the form here (click)


WHAT TO DO?
  • Fill in the forms.
  • Attached a verified copy of these - scroll, results transcript. 
  • I recommend you to check your current amount of debt via eBaki. If you have not use this website before, simply register as new user. From this eBaki, we can trace ALL money given to us, simply refer the code on our previous offer letters. Like DLES (elaun sara diri - monthly allowance). The 'interesting' part is to see different amount in RM if we received the money in Euro / USD / GBP. Even though my offer letter roughly estimated the sponsorship amount with conversion of €1 = RM 5, it actually depends on current conversion rate. It was getting worse from 2011 - 2017 haha higher rate means more debt. -_-'
  • When we meet the officers, some will tell us the total amount of money sponsored to us.
  • I am not sure when this rule has started, but now, we need to pay RM 300 in advanced to get our forms processed. Simply go to Counter 3 at Bahagian Kawalan Kredit to pay (they will ask us the IC number, MARA number, amount). We can pay with debit / credit card as well. CIMB Click / M2U are applicable as well they said. Send a copy of the receipt back to the officer. 
  • We are done with applying.
  • Now, wait up to 3 months to receive a letter from MARA. It will tell us the total amount of sponsored money, how much we need to pay, how much is percentage, the table for payment etc.
  • RM 300 that we have paid will be deducted from our debt. 




So, that's all.

I myself just applied everything, now I need to wait as well. Hope this post helps you to get rough idea of what to do. :)

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170805



Priorities

August 3, 2017

Wow, it is already August, guys!

August.
My favorite.
Why?
The same reason why you choose your favorite month. Haha.
Mine is coming soon as well. :p

Welcome home, Malaysians.


I am currently settling down in Malaysia, just roughly unpacking my luggage while filling in all forms to be sent to MARA as the common procedure after MARA-sponsored students finish their studies. It is my turn finally, to complete my convertible loan with MARA and finally have a hugeeee amount of debt under my name. HAHA.

Anyway, thanks MARA and thanks my dear Malaysians!


---------------------------------

Jet lag.
But let me share you something.

"Perbuatan dan perkara yang sia-sia". Al-Mu'minun, verse number 3.

Define "sia-sia".

For me, it is something that we don't gain anything from it.
Or that thing does not give us profit.
Or we don't learn anything from the losses / consequences.

Surah Al-Mu'minun.



That is actually the aftermath of muhasabah, for me.

I am not going to say more details about the verse itself as I haven't read the tafseer of it. But maybe let me just share how I feel it to be related to my life. Reading the third verse of surah Al-Mu'minun is when I finally found a reason to be more grateful having a packed life since the day I was done with my very last final exam. It was super busy since that day that I slowly started to miss my study life (without the exams though). Nevertheless, I must agree that by getting busy, at the same time I started to put priority levels on everything.

Different people have different priorities, obviously.

Let me share few scenarios directly and indirectly related to me :)

1. Changes. 
Honestly this tweet reflected my feeling towards my married friends, especially the one close to me. But, thanks Siqah for opening my eyes and heart with your reply to this tweet. Married people have new priorities, especially if they already have kid / kids. I believe they really want to hang out with us but they need to take care of their family - that is their priority.

I still love you guys. And I know you too as well.


2. Opinions.
"Eh, sayangnya, sambung lah belajar buat specialisation kat luar tu, lepas tu baru balik. Tengok anak sedara pakcik, dah dapat kerja kat **** sekarang tengah sambung jadi specialist." 

Pakcik, I agree with you. Memang menarik untuk terus sambung belajar. Balik-balik je dah jadi specialist. But, you need to understand the situations. First, the language barrier in Czech. It is doable but I think it is still better to spend my life in Malaysia. Czech offers its international students to work there, even the doctors encourage us to stay (as most of Czech local graduates go to work abroad for higher salary) but I am not that excellent with new languages especially for clerking. Other alternative - work in UK / Ireland (where they prioritize their own graduates), work in Germany (where I need to learn another new language as well). T_T

Second, I want to be with my family while I still can. It does not matter in which state I'll be working as long as it is reachable in a shorter time compared to Europe. This is the main reason I want to work in Malaysia. My priority.

3. Heart Game.
The whole thing is not a game, honestly. I am not playing around. But I feel like I am playing with my heart - up and down. You know, when you invest yourself in something, you need to watch for the risks and consequences. And if you are willing to take the challenges, you need to bear anything you will face. It is basically the same thing when you invest your money, your time and the most fragile is, your heart.

I am giving up on something. Deep inside I believed I already did my best, even though I do believe there are more things I can do to make it worth an investment. But, sometimes, things do not happen according to our plan. Release the rope and let it go. If it is really fated to be mine, it will be. Sooner or later. :)

Good bye T___T

Here, I prioritize my heart. My own heart. The one and only heart.


---------

Enough of examples, I guess.

Plan our days well. My Day 1 after back-for-good phase went good, I did not waste my time so far, alhamdulillah. Towards the upcoming days, I will try my best to appreciate and use them well. Time is gold. I am going to continue living my life to the fullest. InsyAllah :)

SS, Perak, Malaysia
170803
Jet-lag hmph.

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