27 February 2017

#lokmanzulaikha

**This is a long ass post written hurriedly so pardon the grammar and structure lah! Will proofread later laterrrr.

Tbh, this is the 4th attempt to write about my wedding experience. Basically this post has been edited since March 2016 and then in May, September and finally February 2017. Lol.

[VIDEO & SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE END OF THIS POST]

Anyway, on December 2015, I got married to my best friend of more than a decade (honestly, we don't know the exact number but we have been friends since 2004 so you do the maths). This fella, Lokman, was my classmate in 2004 - a small boy with spectacles looking kinda nerdy sitting in the middle of the class - and again for few months in 2007 before I moved out of SEMASHUR. 

Let's skip all the boring parts and go straight to the wedding because if I were to tell every little tiny detail of how the friendship-relationship develops, I WILL NEVER GET TO POST ABOUT THE WEDDING. And Hawa will be like, will you ever post about your wedding or even your Europe trip and blablabla. Btw, I did my post on Europe trip already.

NIKAH CEREMONY

Okay so we got married in a small ceremony that took place at the mosque near my parents' house - Surau Al-Furqan, Presint 11, Putrajaya.

If there is one ultimate advice I should give to all future brides and grooms, I'd say AVOID BEING SICK BEFORE YOUR BIG DAY. I caught a fever the day before my wedding day and it was horrendous, I just wanted to lie down throughout the ceremony and go to sleep. I remember when the jurunikah was giving the khutbah nikah, I frequently thought of going to the back of the praying area and lie down while he presented his khutbah. Hahaha not bloody likely of course, I was the bride!

Anyway, that morning of 19th December 2015 at around 9.00AM, we tied the knot! Here are the photos:

Lokman, looking as sharp as everrr with this expensive kain songket for samping.
Lokman's baju Melayu was bought at Jakel during Aidiladha sale, I think, and it was presented to him during engagement ceremony held two months prior to this wedding. The sampin songket was bought from Terengganu when he had his job training there. The songket was damn expensive in my POV but everyone said that that's the average price for a good songket. Hahaha, I never knewww.

Me, signing some forms.
My nikah dress was a hand-me down from Auntie Farah since she doesn't have a daughter. Tbh, I feel so touched with her decision to let me wear and keep the dress. The dress suited me well, I didn't even have to alter it! My veil, however, was borrowed from my bridal team. And my make-up was done by Eja Ibrahim - my ex-schoolmate/housemate who is now an excellent makeup artist.

Me being uncomfortable due to my medicines (lol) 

For future brides, I would really recommend to hire her as your makeup artist not because she is my friend but because she is THE MOST punctual person I have ever known. It is very important to have a punctual MUA especially if your event is time-wise strict and I've been to few wedding ceremonies that had to be delayed because their MUAs weren't punctual. My nikah ceremony was to begin at 9AM but Eja arrived at my house around 5.30AM that morning. We started my makeup at 6.30AM and finished by 8.30AM just in time for me to get dressed.

Lokman reciting doa after the akad (refer video)

After the akad, we exchanged jewelries and this is Lokman fetching my necklace.
My choice of jewelry was actually criticized several times because I chose necklace instead of commonly selected ring or bracelet. Personally, I don't wear jewelries most of the time so I fear if I put thousand bucks worth of jewelry on my hand, I might lose it. Therefore, I insisted that to have necklace instead. Besides, Lokman's first present for me back at school was a silver necklace so it seemed sentimental for me to request for white gold necklace with green silver pendant (I couldn't find jade pendant) for my wedding.

After several discussions and arguments from all sides, I got to choose this one myself. Most people in the end just concluded with -- let the bride have her way. Hehehehe.

Silver ring for him

I didn't cry throughout the akad but my mother did and towards the end, I CRIED TOOO :(
Forget me incessantly crying not at the right time (lol) but pay attention to my henna. Hahahaha, the henna was placed by my girl friends who slept over at my place the night before. I was battling with fever so I just lied on my bed the whole night with this girls fixing henna for me. Since it was 2AM, I told them it might be too late to have flowery henna so let's just put them at the tip of my fingers. They did it around my bed while gossiping and I just listened to them while I closed my eyes to rest. We gossiped far too long to wait for the henna to dry and when I cleaned them, the henna was actually black henna! It was really black and dark that night! Lol, so the girls tried to soothe the colour with wet wipes and well... it didn't work much. So there we have it! Kahkahkah.

These are the hantarans.
I self-decorated the hantarans in green because, let's face it, it's not that hard. I learned how to decorate them for engagement ceremony with Tiq's mother. So I decided to do the nikah ones on my own except for the sirih junjung  - that's just way out of my ability, lol. 

How did I do it? Well, I borrowed the white trays from Nur, my ex-schoolmate/housemate since she bought those nine trays for her wedding. Then I reused the sponge bases bought from engagement ceremony and covered them with cheap green satin. I wrapped the outer side of the trays with thick ribbon bought from an art store, sealed them with tape (lol) and covered with gold ribbons also from art store. The white, cream and green flowers were bought at bridal decor shops for cheap prices and pinned down using needle pins. And, tadaaaa, there we have it!

All of the items were self-bought by me and Lokman except for the fruit in red basket sponsored by Uncle Nan, the green cake sponsored by Auntie Zah and Uncle Lan, the box of cookies from my mother and sirih junjung from Tiq's mother. I am not so sure about Lokman's side but the peach trays were decorated by his cousins, Dayana and Dalina. Of course, they did their job soooo much better than me.

BRIDE'S RECEPTION

Later, the reception took place at my mom's school hall which was cute and highly convenient, in my opinion. Cute because it's a school hall! And convenient because it is near our house thus it was easily manageable.

My dad insisted we hold the reception at the school hall because it is economical and distance relevant. We rented it with the rate of staff's price since my mother teaches there. Lol. I really didn't mind for as long as we have a place to gather and be merry!


The pelamin by Persona Fiza Bridal
I selected my bridal team myself. I found Persona Fiza Bridal on Facebook and immediately contacted them because their packages, designs and location are relevant my reception. The package I chose costed RM2500 including the pelamin, make-up and reception dress. She also lent me a veil for my nikah dress and round pillows for my nikah ceremony. 

The theme for the whole thing was gold and green but I wasn't really strict with colour choices, tbh. I came up with the colour theme because people kept asking me... so there we have it. 

The doorgifts
The doorgifts were personally packed by my family and friends of family. I think there were about 1000+ in total. My Uncle Nan sponsored the paperbag and I honestly think they are really cute. There are M&M cookies by Akid Cookies - packed and managed by cousin, Abang Khairil - inside the paperbags. The small boxes on the right are the cases for boiled eggs - the cases sponsored by my dad's friend and the eggs were boiled by our caterer (also dad's friend).

Basic layout of the hall
We rented the tables and hall decorations plus a tent for RM1500. Since this is a school hall, the venue is not specifically made for weddings so they didn't have the right furniture. My dad made sure the colour suited the theme and my mom brought out the red carpet from the school store. The furniture renter also bought a new pair of gold chair so really the high chairs were still covered with plastics on the day before. Hahaha. Tbh, my parents set a lot of things for the venue in the end because the wedding was on the weekend of my final week of the semester -- IMAGINE THE MADNESS OF MY SCHEDULE. And on the Friday right before the nikah ceremony next morning, I caught a fever. Lol.

Gettin' readyyy
Our photographer was Lokman's friend from university. His team, The Creatigraphi, gave us a pretty good deal - RM2xxx for photos from three events (nikah, sanding & tandang) and videos from two events (nikah & sanding). Besides the team got to attend as guests too! Also, personally I felt a lot better having personal acquaintances to capture our wedding photos.

Makan beradab! And suap menyuap lah ofc
Funny story: I didn't get to finish the large shrimp served for makan beradab. I like shrimps and was sulking about not being able to eat them. My Makcak saw me and so she collected the shrimps and placed them in tissues. She handed them to my sisters so I can have them later! Hahaha!

Cake cutting ceremony
The cake was sponsored by my Auntie Farah. She made and brought it herself. I just told her that she could do any type of cake she wanted as long as it is chocolate! Because let's face it, the bride loves chocolate as much as she loves her husband. Duh.

Our pengapits and us
An and Tiq became our pengapits for the day. Both of them were our college roommates (An is Lokman's & Tiq's mine). Of course, An's involvement with our friendship went far back since school. Anyway we decided the let them choose the colour of their dresses for the ceremony and they chose that colour because Tiq likes blue and An wanted to tailor-made a new pair of baju Melayu. So ok lah. Thinking back, I allowed a lot of people to decide for my wedding huh.

I know I said NO to acara merenjis. I insisted that everything is kept simple and within the given budget. In fact, I didn't hire kompang group and just let the music play on speaker followed by selawat to accompany our red carpet walk.

Photobooth print from Jom Photobooth team
I didn't think my budget could fit to hire a photobooth team but my family seemed to be very interested with the idea. I worked my ass off to find a good deal and at that time Jom Photobooth offered a year-end sale or something so I sealed the deal with them - RM1500 for 3 hours unlimited print. My family - uncles, aunts, cousins and siblings - truly deserve this for helping my parents out honestly.

The design for photobooth film strip was adapted from our wedding card invitations designed by Purdy Studio. We really like the design but their service was a little slow and delayed to the point I almost gave up and offered to print on my own. Despite all the trouble, we managed to collect all the ordered items in the end. 

One of many shots from outdoor photoshoot
Outdoor photoshoot was a wee bit awkward tbh because we have never publicly displayed our physical affection. We think photographers play a huge role to allow us to feel comfortable with one another or come up with ideas to portray good relationship without touching one another. Anyway, this photo up here was just candid at first since we were waiting for our photographer team to set up. 

Overall, we spent RM10k +/- for bride's reception excluding food. My dad agreed to pay only for the food because my parents' guests amounted more than mine. Also, my parents got to choose the menu so I handed them total control of food and catering selection. Plus, they also requested for the extra food like char kuey teow, cendol etc which they can afford themselves so ok lah. There were RM2k +/- balance from the wang hantaran for my personal use and I gave all the duit kaut/salam to my parents because they deserve it. Besides, I got to keep all the wedding presents too!


GROOM'S MATERNAL RECEPTION

The very next day was the second reception of Lokman's maternal side was held at Puri Buana Garden Wedding in Bangi.

Tbh, it was really tiring especially with all the fever going on. We arrived at the venue around 10.00AM to see Lokman's family hustling in and out with caterers and others. Our MUA from Wedding Galore had been waiting for us to get ready for the makeup and dresses.

The pelamin by Wedding Galore

Pelamin design selected by my MIL that costed quite a fortune...

The doorgifts
My MIL insisted to pack the doorgift on their own so Lokman and his cousins spent weeks to get all the nuts in these jars. Hahaha Lokman suggested to his mother to just purchase pre-packed nuts in jars but my MIL wanted to have control over the quality of their doorgift. Since she offered to pay half for it, Lokman decided to give in and they packed the nuts by themselves. But I think they really did excellent job! The stickers were designed by Purdy Studio, standardized with Lokman's side of wedding invitation card design.

Table setting for makan beradab by Nurul Izzah Catering
Again, the catering was personally chosen by my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law(?). They chose Nurul Izzah catering and the makan beradab table set up was designed by the caterer themselves. I don't remember the food that they served to guests because tbh I didn't play much role in vendor selection for Lokman's side. I remember saying, "I don't mind. Anything that makes everybody happy." Really, because I have had enough in my hands with all the assignments and test due that week.

The same photobooth from bridal's side

Sample of photo strip - design adapted from our invitation card

Walking and sweating nervously lol
Nuzul was Lokman's pengapit for this side because, well, they've been friends since primary school. Hawa became my pengapit for this one because I remembered she said she wanted to be my pengapit one time during dinner yearssss ago. And I said, okay because she is really helpful and resourceful most of the time.

What's with the face, Lokman?

Ma face at the sight of three-tiered cake l
Probably the most mysterious cake ever because everyone realized the disappearance of this three-tiered cake that night at my MIL's house after dinner. Lol. Someone asked, "eh, who took the cakes?" and NOBODY knew. Well, apparently only Lokman and I got to taste the chocolatey goodness during cake-cutting ceremony. With just two bites, who knows who got the rest of it? We still talk about this mysteriously-missing cake up until today. Hahaha.

Details of the rented songket dress

Lokman's attempt at fixing my tudung

Outdoor photoshoot... again
At the end of the weekend, we were extremely exhausted. The outdoor photoshoot wrapped up the whole weekend event and we really tried to give our best for the shoots. I whined mostly to Lokman about wanting to sit and lie down. For someone who isn't used to wearing high platform shoes, my feet were really in pain. However, all in all, I was surely happy with the photoshoot results -- thanks to the patience from Lokman and our photographer. Hahaha.

GROOM'S PATERNAL RECEPTION

Finally, the reception for Lokman's paternal side was a simple dinner at Best Western Hotel in i-City, Shah Alam. It was held on the very following weekend on Boxing Day 26th December 2015 at night.

Again, Lokman's father and his stepmother had total control of the selection for this side of the event. As bride and groom, we really let people have their way especially if they are paying. Hehehe. But of course, everyone tried to inform whatever decision they made so we'd feel comfortable at our own celebration.

Outdoor layout of the venue

Pulut kuning instead of cake!

Doorgift for kids

Lokman replying to incoming guests LOL

Getting ready for family photos

Outdoor photoshoot with i-City as background --

My dress was designed by my cousin, Izrin Izelan!
Overall, yes we did have multiple receptions aka celebrations. Of course, it was tiring but it was all good fun. Personally, I feel really lucky and undeserving throughout all the events. Everyone had been very excited and cooperative in celebrating our marriage. I get to be the bride at wedding receptions held at school hall, garden wedding and hotel too! I mean, it was really great to experience all these despite my health condition that week. 

I thank every single soul who had participated and contributed to our wedding ceremonies. Here's a video from the nikah ceremony and bride's reception:


Did we enjoy it? YES, definitely.
Will we miss being bride and groom? NOT REALLY. We decided that we are glad it happened once and happier to attend other people's wedding than plan our own.

To sum it up, here are the services (with links!) involved throughout the events:

NIKAH
Venue: Surau Al-Furqan, Presint 11
Dress: (Sponsored) Auntie Farah
Makeup: Eja Ibrahim

RECEPTION (CYBERJAYA)
Venue: Dewan Perdana Puteri, SSP
Pelamin & dress: Persona Fiza Bridal
Photographer/Videographer: The Creatigraphi
Cake: (Sponsored) Auntie Farah
Doorgifts: Akid Cookies
Invitation cards: Purdy Studio
Photobooth: Jom Photobooth
Caterer: Tok Ayah Catering

RECEPTION (BANGI)
Pelamin & dress: Weddings Galore
Makeup: Weddings Galore
Photographer: The Creatigraphi
Invitation cards: Purdy Studio
Photobooth: Jom Photobooth

RECEPTION (SHAH ALAM)
Venue: Best Western Hotel, I-City
Bride's Dress: Izrin Izelan
Makeup: Fatin Hilmi
Photographer: Ideo Imaging
Invitation cards: Purdy Studio
Caterer: The View Cafe



To wrap this super long post, I'd like to announce that I was in rush at writing and publishing this post because a new chapter is coming into our life whereby...

A post shared by Zulaikha I. (@juraikha) on

...YASSSS, LOKMAN JUNIOR IS ARRIVING IN FEW MONTHS!
Toodles, folks! Until the next post!

09 November 2016

Travelokz: EU

Edited: Grammatical stuffs.

As usual, I have been in hiatus for so long... on this blog. But I am actually always around for my micro-blog also known as Twitter, though barely on Instagram now.

I am considering deleting Facebook and Instagram altogether but like all big decisions in life, I decided to procrastinate my final say. 


ANYWAYYY,

I am here to talk about my trip to Europe last summer. I am supposed to write about my wedding experience based on request but... I like to tell about my travel experience first. Hahaha, screw sequence! But y'all know I got married to Lokman in December 2015, right? So, all the details about that will be laid out later lah eventually.

So Lokman and I went to London to attend his brother's convocation ceremony, Since it took a handful of money to get the ticket there, why not splurge some more to travel to neighbouring cities? HAHAHAHA and we did just that.

Mind you, we aren't rich and we just got married. The plan was rather a financial suicide but YOLO (no, don't YOLO, plan for realzzz). We began our plan with buying the flight tickets months before and monthly meeting for discussion over dinner. We got Imran, my brother-in-law to purchase intracity's transportation and we bought the tickets to Emirates Stadium and Harry Potter Museum by ourselves. Overall, the planning part was a wee bit hell-ish because there were too many uncertaintiesss.

We bought the Etihad return ticket London-Kuala Lumpur for RM2500/person which is actually a pretty good deal at the time. Therefore, naturally, we had to transit at Abu Dhabi for few hours which was enough for us to refresh and pray. The in-flight meal was excellent (except for that mashed peas) especially the fluffy omelette served with salmon. Damn, that was our favourite.

[VIDEOS ARE ATTACHED AT THE END OF THE POST]

Moving on to...

LONDON 


This is me stepping out of the airport for the first time and decided that it was actually cold for summer.

This is what 8PM looked like mid-July in London. It looked like 6PM in Malaysia all year but the temperature was like 6AM. We arrived that noon and waited for my in-laws to arrive later in the evening before we move to Birmingham.

BIRMINGHAM


My in-laws, Lokman and I testing the camera at our apart-hotel before we head out.
We stayed at an apart-hotel (apartment hotel), Staycity, in Birmingham as recommended by my brother in-law. I liked the place except that my room has no fan, no air-conditioner and no window. Apparently, we were told by locals that it was peak summer (19-20th July) so the heat was rather unbearable for us Malaysians. I KID YOU NOT. Lokman and I slept away from each other as we were sweating profusely. But on the 21st and on, the temperature returns to bearable before it got colder from all the rain. Lol, weird weather.

Lunch at Vietnamese restaurant.




This is a church of which I forgot the name.

Evening stroll with my roommate.



EDINBURGH


My father-in-law rented a car for us to move around conveniently. Since they got a good car for worthy deal, my in-laws decided to drive up north to Scotland. Of course, Imran suggested us to go further to the highlands but since there are small kids in our group, they decided to go up until Edinburgh and return to Coventry. That's good enough for Lokman and I who couldn't afford to include Scotland in our plan, hehe, but we wished for a second trip so we can go the highlands later.



Shawn the Sheep and friends by the roadside.

Hunting for Pokemon in the city...


Secondhand bookstore!

I was allowed to bring only one home to keep our bags light. Sobs.

Edinburgh Islamic Center where we did our Zohor-Asar prayer.



COVENTRY


Our main reason of travelling across continents was to attend Imran's convocation ceremony. So here is a photo of us in University of Warwick. The weather was lovely, I even got myself a scoop of soft-served ice cream topped with my favourite shaved chocolate!

Family photo!

Imran's favourite Nasi Arab place by Somalian cooks.


A visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace... and it was raining.

My face when I asked Lokman to adjust his position. Lol.

Swanssssssssssss.


WATFORD


On Monday, we traveled to Watford for my big moment of visiting Warner Bros. Harry Potter Museum. The trip was amazing and now I really want to go Harry Potter Theme Park in Osaka, Japan (lord, give me the opportunity, please). So we got on a train from Victoria Station to Watford Junction and there was a shuttle bus from this point. 

We're going on a trip to our favoutire museum~ *singing the tunes of Little Einstein*

'Suppp

Happy kid at the Great Hall.

Yule Ball's decoration.

Dumbledore's office.




Butterbeer!
I spent extra pound to get the mug because God knows when will I return here. Anyway, if you plan to go to this museum you can eat beforehand or buy food at the cafe. The locals thought that the food was a little expensive so we kept some snacks in our bag and eat here. You can see the cookies there we bought from Sainsbury!

LONDON


My in-laws decided to spend the remaining of their days for this trip in London. Lokman and I had to move to London, too, because we would be leaving for Europe from Victoria Station.


A picture in front of our homestay before we head to Paris.

Look at this handsome-looking fella...

...and then there's this weird shaped potato.


PARIS


Our journey to Paris from London took around 7-8 hours by bus. We purposely got the night trip because we wanted to sleep in the bus instead of renting a room. Once we got to Paris, it was a little tough on us because not many can speak in good English. I learned a bit of French back in school so that helped us a little bit with reading directions.

Anyway, our first AirBnB was here in Ivry-sur-Seine. It's a small area located in outskirt of Paris by the Seine river. Our host name is Gilles.

And this is the co-host, the massive furry cat, Hellboy.

The well-known Eiffel tower is bigger than I imagined, really.



Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle.


Le Petit Palais; free entrance!

Louvre Museum anddd it was closed on that day. Not that I know if we can afford the tickets. Lol.

This is the Seine river; the city was flooded few months before we arrived but all looks good!

Truly mesmerized with the intricate details of sculptures on Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris.




BRUSSELS


We arrived in Paris that Monday morning, got changed, toured the city and return to AirBnB by evening to get some rest. The next morning, we walked and took the train to the same bus station and board our bus to Brussels. 


A quick photo at the Grand Place before we temporarily join the quick tour.
We learned that Belgium is a trilingual country in which they can generally speak three languages: English, French and Dutch. The free tour guide told us that that should be no surprise since they are a small country squeezed between three big ones. Most of those from the north can speak Dutch and English while those from the south speak French and English. Regardless, on preference, they choose to speak English and Dutch compared to French. 

Belgian waffle vs Liege waffle

Manneken Pis
Behind this picture are many tourists taking photos of this little statue. We honestly do not understand how this little fella is made famous by pissing on a pond but we took a picture regardless to present you how tiny this thing is. 

AMSTERDAM


We did not spend the night at Brussels despite we were still very curious about the city. We just grabbed some souvenirs, lunch and headed straight to Amsterdam by bus. We arrived quite late around 9PM and worried that we won't get to our AirBnB before downpour came again by nightfall. And exactly that happened, hahaha. We walked from the train station to our next AirBnB and it was dark around 10PM. It started to rain by the time we saw the house!

Amsterdam Sloterdijk: kinda like our Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS).
The next morning, our AirBnB host drove us to the train station nearby his house as he was headed out too. Thus, we got to experience riding in a car with left-hand drive in a country on left-hand lane. We spent only one night here in Joost's house so we really had to make our Amsterdam trip count!

Joost and Lokman talking about the Netherlands.

Lokman's intrigued by this juice maker at Amsterdam Sloterdijk.

Hello from Amsterdam Centraal!

It was actually very chilly that day. Well, at least for me.


Us taking pictures in the middle of cycling track before we knew what it is.
Behind us in the above picture is Rijksmuseum. We didn't enter the museum due to time constraint but we did walked through the tunnel there and listened to a live band playing Game of Thrones theme song. That was the moment I miss the comfort of our home, slouching around watching the series. Anyway, I thought the live band performance was magnificent!

Moco Museum displaying modern arts.

Big fat golden Belgian Fries topped with melted cheese.
I Amsterdam sign near Rijksmuseum.
As you can see, all the maps pointed to this I Amsterdam sign near Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Thus, look at the mess of all these tourists gliding on the big poor sign. But the next day, when we were on our way to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, we saw the exact same sign with nobody gliding on it! Hehehe so we went straight there and took a picture! And then it rained again...

Us with clean I Amsterdam sign.

BERLIN


From Amsterdam, we boarded the flight to Berlin Schönefeld Airport and this trip was actually sponsored by Imran, my brother-in-law, because he claimed Berlin as "can't be missed" and "worth the penny". Based on his words, we attempted to book a bus ride from Amsterdam to Berlin and it would take approximately 14 hours. Therefore, Imran offered to pay for the flight so we would really visit the city and I kid you not, the city is my favourite as compared to all other cities I visited that week! 

Bradenburger Tor slash Brandenburg Gate
We joined a free tour guide led by Lyndsey, a petite chic looking girl speaking good English with German accent. She brought us around for 2-3 hours and after the tour, we can tip her with how much we think the tour was worth. People gave her generous tips and we did too because we think she was really great at showing us lesser-known historic spots along with their details.

The remaining blocks of Berlin wall

Konzerthaus Berlin; among the cheapest (yet still with its own class) concert halls in Europe
It was Saturday and summertime so a lot of people were seen chilling by the stairs and all over the parks. The weather was excellent. And behind me, there was two men playing musical instruments and since the acoustic was great in this area, the whole block can listen to their good music. 

Quick lunch by the park like true budget travelers LOL

The remaining of Berlin Wall up close: yea, it ain't as big as we imagined but terrifying still

The blocks of buildings used to temporarily house Berliners after the end of the terror
We were told that underneath this buildings used to be Hitler's old bunkers. Lyndsey also told us what happened to Hitler during the remaining of his days before his downfall. A lot of speculation has been made but it is believed that he died in a suicidal death with his newly-wedded wife.

Photos below are some concrete slabs built as a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. Listening to the historic part of this memorial is very intriguing yet I cannot overlook the irony of our history. Religious wars have been going for centuries after centuries yet no one feels like they are doomed to repeat the same mistake over and over again. As we walked and sat in silent out of respect to death of the European Jews, I felt rather remorseful thinking about Israeli Zionist attacking our Muslim brothers and sisters over Middle East. I mean, really, we all blamed Hitler for murdering these Jews and will we blame Netanyahu as we erect the memorial for murdered Muslims of Middle East somewhere in the future? How many memorials should it take to remind us that war and terror aren't the answers?


Me in between the concrete slabs
None of these concrete slabs is labelled or marked despite they were relatively difference in sizes. Some were built taller than the others and as you go deeper into the middle, the slabs are much taller and it was quieter. Lyndsey told us that perhaps it was meant to build that way: as you walk deeper into the memorial, you'd be able to feel the loneliness and eeriness felt by the victims during the dark days. I am actually rather impressed with Europeans having able to protect their historical building from vandalism despite there are graffiti all over other random walls.

On our final day in Berlin, we went to a flea market Mauermarkt at Mauer Park. The market is located near to a stadium and we visited the place on Sunday morning. Naturally, there were a lot of people selling and buying merchandises, singing and dancing and picnicking. Lokman and I walked through the market to buy souvenirs and looked around to see all the odd stuffs. They sold everything from old cameras, clothes, artsy stuffs, food to bicycles and plants. It was really fun but we had to be aware of pickpockets all the time. 




After we were done shopping, we boarded the train to the city to get more souvenirs before we return to our AirBnB to collect our stuffs and fly back to London. We took the longer route to walk to Brandenburg Gate because we wanted to visit Victory Column Siegessäule, a monument built to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War. 

Looking for Pokemon or searching for the next route? Hmmm

Chilling at the Kinder Spielplatz, a garden used to be royals' hunting ground back then

Us at our AirBnB apartment before we left for London
We spent two nights in Berlin as the accommodation was cheap. Even the food and transportation was cheap too. Our host, Laura, left us alone in her house because she went to a music festival with her roommate. We really love her house and glad that we decided to spend two nights here.

Laura's room interior

The Fernsehturm, a Berlin television tower
We stopped by Fernsehturm to take pictures and bought fish and chips for dinner. We thought for such a cheap price, we would get small box of fish and chips. Boy, were we so wrong. The box was rather handful and the fish and chips lady literally crammed our food inside the box until it couldn't fit in there and placed it in a paper bag. We thought nak buat alas perut je but then it became proper dinner...

The fish and chips weren't intended to be our main dish because we were really curious about currywurst. As we have plenty of time before our flight (our flight was next morning), we stopped by Döner Turm to get currywurst meatballs and kebab. Again, we were deceived by the cheap price. Makanan melimpah-limpah saiz besar muka. With plenty of food stock in hand, we headed straight to the airport for supper and sleep. 



LONDON


At the Berlin Schönefeld Airport, we realized that we will see no proper bed and shower until we arrive home in Kuala Lumpur. We showered and napped at Laura's house on that Sunday night. The next time we can shower and sleep properly would be on Tuesday night. I counted that we were temporarily homeless for about 52 hours. I have never felt so drained before in my life, I think.

We flew from Berlin to London that Monday morning and took the train from Stansted Airport to King's Cross station. We walked to the British Library to drop our bag for FOC - we felt guilty but we were really financially tight at this point and the locker room at King's Cross were really expensive for us poor travelers. Anyway, we really admired the British Library and took a proper tour around the building. 

St. Pancreas building just opposite King's Cross

To the Emirates Stadium tour!

Look at this overjoyed man...

...with his chirpy wife.



The tired faces of those who slept on cold hard chairs the night before


After we left Emirates Stadium, we walked around Oxford Street to join a walking tour. However, we arrived late and it was lightly raining. Most walking tours cancel their trips if it rains heavily so we proceeded to walk our own route. Besides, we needed to find few other souvenirs and our lack of energy may slow the walking tour anyway.



The Big Ben and House of Parliament, London

The London Eye under the pouring rain

The British Library! After we collect our backpacks hehe

National Gallery of London right opposite of Trafalgar Square

The Palace Theater housing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child performance
That week was actually the release week of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child book edition so there was a lot of sightings of the book (and book sales!) around London.



Heading home.
I cannot even describe how relief I am to have written all these in a span of two days with plenty of breaks, hahaha. Even more relief to have boarded our flight home from Heathrow Airport to KLIA. I remember falling asleep even before the flight took off because I missed the comfort of the soft chairs. When the flight attendants handed out the food twice, I ate was so happy because one, seafood and two, fooooood.

Here are the videos as promised before.





And finally, home sweet homeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Thank you to my travel partner, Lokman, for our honeymoon 3.0! Hehehe. Now, we are on to our next adventure which may require less travelling but more on learning because apparently we found out we are pregnant a month after we return from Europe. Lol.