Friday, November 29, 2013

My Essentials Before Travelling Overseas

I have quite a list of essentials before this trip. I haven't been overseas in 5 years.. so let the paranoia set in.

  1. Toothbrush + Toothpaste
    Very important. First impressions count. Although it would be unlikely for a stranger to be so close to me while I talk, I don't want the chance of them smelling my breath and fainting.
    Mouthwash is also important. And dental floss if you must ;)
  2. Phone Charger
    Whilst in the midst of visiting a World Heritage Site, or eating your expensive exotic dish.. you decide to take a picture and upload it onto Instagram. And show off to your friends.
    But oh the horror! Your phone battery is dying!
    ahhh not to worry. I'll just share this picture back at the hotel while it's charging.
    *come hotel room*
    Seriously, you don't want to forget it. Especially if you're the only one in your village that has your phone model.
  3. Powerpoint adaptor
    I guess this one's pretty obvious. And I place this on equal importance to a phone charger. Why? If you can't plug your phone charger into the power socket, how will charge your phone? How will you upload your photos on instagram? How will you call your Mum?!
    Remember to buy one before departing for your trip, just in case you won't be able to get one when on the trip itself.
    You can buy them online, or in most convenience stores. But some might not have the adaptors you're after. I think I saw Strandbags sell some, but they are really pricey. I think they were around $20 at strandbags and I was like "NUH-UH!"

    I bought my Australian to Japanese adaptor from a Japanese store in Sydney, Town Hall. It was a store called Maruyu and I bought 4 for $10. Super cheap compared to Strandbags.
    Australian to: Indonesian (left) and Japanese (right) adaptors
  4. Sunscreen and Moisturiser
    Whatever weather you're travelling to, you're going to need this! You don't want to come home sunburnt, nor with skin cancer. The sun in winter can also be just as deadly as the summer's!
    You'd also want to bring a moisturiser because... well, having dry skin doesn't feel nice!
    You can buy sunscreen that acts as a moisturiser, or a moisturiser with SPF30+ in it. The Australian sun is harsh, all year round. If you're thinking of coming to the Land Down Under, I recommend anything with SPF30+, or greater. It's that bad.
    Everytime I go outside without sunscreen, even if it were just for 5 minutes, I notice I am a couple of shades darker. I don't really like tanning.
  5. Compass (optional)
    This is optional for some, but for me.. this is one of the most important as I don't know how to tell North from South, nor East from West by looking at the sun. One of the reasons why I need to know my direction is because I have to know the Qiblat (the direction to the Ka'bah in Makkah) to pray my 5 daily prayers. There are some compasses that come with a book of cities to tell you how many degrees from North the Qiblat is. It's super cool! I'm using the ones my parents got from Hajj, but I think you can buy them from your nearest Islamic bookstore.
    I know some smart phones come with compass apps, or Qiblat apps, but well.. if your phone runs out of battery, or you have not internet data connection, you're going to have to find NSEW using the good ol' compass. I really learn how to tell direction by using the sun. That'd be pretty neat.
  6. Hygeine Things Now I'm going to go into the things that you will definitely need! These are things which I don't think anyone will forget. But I'm putting it into this list anyway.
    Soap, shampoo. And for the ladies, remember to bring your pads for your monthlies.
    'Nuff said.
  7.  Any Others?

LOTR Marathon and Bilbo's Hobbit Hole Cake

The other day, my friends and I decided to have a 'Lord of the Rings' movie marathon. With 'The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug' film coming out in a couple of weeks, we really wanted to get back into the hype!

You can watch the trailer for it here:

And what better way to SWEETEN up a small, casual 'Lord of the Rings' themed hangout at home.. but by BAKING A CAKE!
We were going to make a cake shaped like Bilbo's Hobbit Hole! aka "BAGS END"! And it was going to be a strawberry jam cream chocolate cake! Covered in lots and lots of green icing!

You can find a recipe for a cake here: Taste of Home's Strawberry Cream Cake recipe.

Lol, this isn't a recipe blog post since it technically isn't an original recipe. I just wanted to show you guys some pics of the cake and how well it looked sitting in front of the tv while we watched LOTR :)

So... we firstly baked 2 normal, round chocolate cakes to make the 2 layers of the cake.
While we waited for it to bake, we watched the first disk of 'The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition'. Wow... I don't own the Extended Editions, but I really want one now. I felt like I was watching the film for the very first time!

Anyways, after the first disk, we set to decorating! I think this is the task that I enjoyed the most! But also the stickiest!

We put strawberry jam and whipped cream between our two 'layers', stuck them together and covered the entire thing in green icing!
We achieved the grass effects by stabbing the icing with a fork, and kind of using the sharp point to 'raise' the icing a bit as we were pulling out the fork.

The Back of the Hobbit Hole.
Lol, can you see my friends reflection?
We used MnMs and cream to surround our little Hobbit Hole to make it looks like stones and mud!

The Finished Product! Complete with chimney and door with a knob right in the middle!
And the above picture is the front! 
We added in our own Bag End sign, just to make the top of the hole look less plain. We surrounded the front of the house with some dried dates. And for the door, we used a biscuit which we covered in icing! We then used a toothpick to make some markings on the door!

The knob is a tiny MnM!

For the windows, we used the same whipped cream that we used to make the 'mud'. And voila! 

The only thing left to do was finish our marathon! Whilst eating our cake!

OH! and this is completely unrelated to cooking, but this Hobbit/Mean Girls parody had me in stitches!
After watching the MeanElves video, and after watching the LOTR films, I REALLY want to read the books now. I'm curious about the story of Legolas, about Aragorn and Arwen, and all them other characters in the film that we really couldn't see in the book. I've read the character backgrounds on wikipedia, and there's a giant chunk of stuff that I didn't know!

I've read the Hobbit for English class back when I was in high school, but I hardly remember what happened. 'The Hobbit' film actually refreshed my memory, but didn't refresh it too well.
I have a copy of 'The Hobbit' book on my shelf. Funnily enough, I remember receiving it for my birthday because my mum noticed how much I loved reading it for English. And I hated English. English was my worst subject at school!

I am yet to obtain a copy of the LOTR. I'm thinking of heading down to my local library and borrowing it. But it's SO THICK and I'm not sure if I can finish it within the loan period ahahahah.
Confession: I did borrow all three books back in the day when I just finished reading 'The Hobbit' for the very first time. I was overwhelmed with the size of the novels, I didn't get past the front cover. And so, back to the library it went.

Ah, I'm pretty sad that I didn't read it. I was young back then.. I think maybe 12 or 13? But I'm in my 20s now. I think I can do it!
LOL, as I'm typing this, I can see my bookmarked copy of 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' novel on my bedside table. Still haven't finished it, and I started it 4months ago..

Home is where you feel safe

The concept of home is an interesting thing.

For example, when you're travelling overseas doing this and that and after a long day of trekking the rainforest or whatever, you've decided to go home.

Okay, not the best example.. but what I'm trying to say is, do you mean "go home to the hotel where you're staying at" or "go home back to Sydney"

It's interesting..

This sort of thought came to me since I'll be going to Indonesia in a couple of weeks. My parents are from Indonesia, making me a first generation Australian (is that right?). I am an Australian with an Indonesian background. Or an Indonesian-Australian.

Growing up, I was never really surrounded by lots of cousins, nor did I have countless wedding invites a month because a cousin or second-cousin or that other cousin was getting married. All of my blood-relations are overseas.

I guess it does feel like going home when going to Indonesia. But that doesn't mean I will not miss my home here in Sydney terribly.

Testing testing testing one two

So I'm just fooling around on this post. Still trying to establish my online identity.

I've been doing some researching and I've come across some AMAZING blogs. I've picked up a thing or two and have some sort of idea what I want my blog to look like!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Map of Masjids in Tokyo

So I will be going to Tokyo in a couple of weeks, and I was wondering how awesome it'd be to visit some masjids while I'm there!

I looked up a couple of websites, and they've listed quite a few! And also from other cities as well!

I thought it might be useful if I compiled them all and put all the Tokyo masjids onto one map. So that you can see which masjid is closer to where you are and can compare and stuff.

Some masjids I'm not too sure of the location, such as Shibuya Mushallah, Ikebukuro Mushallah, ShinOkubo Mushallah and I think Machida Mushallah. Basically all of the ones that I couldn't find a picture of (or couldn't see on Google maps), which is understandable since they're technically not what you call a mosque, but in the building itself which doesn't look like a mosque on the outside. Nevertheless, I've included them anyway.

So here's the link: Masjids in Tokyo

Credits go to these 2 websites where I found the addresses:


Forgive my absence..

so sorry! ごめんなさい!

So I am on my summer break now. I'm just nervously waiting for my results.. and praying to God that I don't receive an email saying that I've failed anything.

Amiin. Insha Allah I get good marks!

In case you didn't notice, I am a Muslim. I guess before I start delving into this blogging thing, I just want to give you all a good idea about where most of my future posts will be headed.

My interests are many: sport, travel, cooking, DIY, movies, religion, health, books...
just to name a few ahahah. There's so much more to me of course.

Also, I'm not that very good at blogging. But I will try my best Insha Allah.

So I've just told you all that I'm a Muslim. And what is a Muslim? Well, to put it simply, it is a person who follows the religion Islam. I know there are some negative images about Islam in the media right now, but I hope those images don't deter you from reading my posts. I am no scholar in Islam, so I will try to avoid some topics which I am not so knowledgable about.

Nevertheless, my blog is in no way a blog to go to for information about Islam. If you have some questions about Islam, I think it would be best if you go to your local masjid(mosque) and ask them. I don't want to tell anyone the wrong thing.

Simply put, my blog is about me: my adventures and just some of the things in life that I come across.

p.s. notice how I said 'sorry' in Japanese up there^
I just wanted to show you guys that I've been studying a bit of 日本語 (Japanese language). I guess I could tell you about learning Japanese and all.. but I'll save that for another post :)

Thinker vs Doer. So it's that time again...

I, am an ideas man.


Modesty and humility aside, I think I am quite the creative person. When I think of an idea, the idea is just BRILLIANT.
But well, the thing is, rarely do these absolutely fantastically brilliant ideas come to my brain. But when they do, expect a big bang.

So in reference to the title, I wonder if I'm a thinker or a doer. Lately, I "think" I am more of a doer. I've noticed that at University club meetings, I am just quiet... and I don't contribute much. And I partly blame this on my shy nature. But anyways, I am sitting there in the meeting, or even in class and people around me are contributing. They think of ideas that I KNOW I could've thought of myself.

And how do I KNOW that I will even think of those ideas? This is pretty lame excuse, but my brain is pretty slow. It takes probably half a day to process something, and just when I am in the middle of doing something random like preparing to go to bed.. or washing the dishes.. BAM. The idea comes to me and I kick myself in the leg asking myself why I didn't suggest it at the meeting.

The thing about me is, when I am into something.. my subconscious is still processing it throughout the day. and then BAM. yes. BAM.


But in the meanwhile, I go about doing DOER things. Which are: listening to orders and following them mindlessly. I don't want to to be a doer. DOERS are the ones that get stopped on. DOERS are the ones that have no voice. DOERS are the ones that cant stand up for themselves.

Yep, I think I am a DOER.

Hey, Doers aren't all that bad. They're hard-working and rarely do they procrastinate. They're easy going and easy to get along with. And quite frankly, thinking takes far too much of my energy. And I would prefer following orders than have to sit down and think of ideas.


Wait. I'm a procrastinator.. *FACEPALM*

But I REALLY want to become a THINKER. And I think I am a bit of both. I am a thinker some times.. when I have those BAM moments. And I'm also a doer.

The ultimate personality would be both. A thinker and a doer, without the negative traits.  A thinker, who gets ideas, and a doer. The one who will execute the ideas. I want to be both.

But if you can't be both, I guess that's how teamwork comes into play right? It's always good to have a partner, where you can invest in each other's skills. Your partner should preferably be someone that does not possess your negative traits. Someone like-minded, but different.


p.s. I think I have too many "The Castle" jokes in my blog. ahahahah. It would be pretty awkward, dear reader if you don't actually get the joke. *epic fail* *facepalm* *hides in corner*

well here it is for those that haven't watched this Aussie classic: