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Mini Escapism : Sungai Petani, Kedah


My dad dropped the bomb several weeks ago in our big-family group Whatsapp saying that he's getting married o.O We didn't thought we would receive the news this way but because I'm so much mature than my 25 year old self, I accepted the way the story goes. All I can say is I'm glad he found someone that can take a good care of him. 

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On Saturday :

We planned to go to Sungai Petani together along with two of my siblings. The rough plan was to go as earliest as possible on Saturday, have lunch, go to the river and enjoy a nice sunset before reaching the pre-booked homestay in Laguna Merbuk. 400km took around 5 hours car ride including lunch stop at the famous Restoran Hussain Nasi Kandar *by Aja's recommendation.

We stopped at the Vista Point to take some nice picture of Ipoh from afar :


Click to view the panoramic photo :


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For lunch, we had to queue up to select our dishes - and knowing that I don't really like nasi berkuah, I just chose nasi separuh, sayur kobes + puyuh goreng. It wasn't at all like nasi kandar supposed to be without the kuah. Our lunch was around RM54 for the 4 of us - * a bit too expensive for nasi berlauk. 


This is the map to the famous nasi kandar in Kedah :


We were the earliest to arrive at the homestay, so we had to wait for the others. By then, it suddenly rained so hard we had to cancel all outing plans and go to the nearest mall instead. We were avoiding the hectic homestay so we stayed at the mall for awhile; window shopping, bought new books, played basketball at the arcade *which I won!, bought little trinkets and stuffs.  

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On Sunday :


Note : My sister is annoyed with my protruding high-cheekbones since I can even remember. She complained about the scarf making my face look rounded - even though I don't really have any problems with it because my face is naturally oval. I don't mind the cheekbones and I don't feel the need to hide my chubby cheek for that matter. 

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After the akad nikah at the bride's brother's house and reception at the club's building we went to Kompleks Jeti Sungai Merbok not quite far from our homestay house. *We were still avoiding the hectic house because there were so many people - I can't explain our whole introversion sibling-pack :D

The place looked a bit deserted *probably people don't really hang-out here during the afternoon, except for a giant lizard :


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Next to the jetty was a deserted modern-looking building that we weren't sure was what until I googled it - Gallery Bakau Jeti Semeling. It was located right next to the wild paya bakau territory, we even saw a swimming snake in the lake! All the gallery, office, shop in that area were closed - I think they are still under construction. So we just explored the opened 1km long walkway on the river. 

+ Plus after I checked on Wiki - I found out that Bakau is called Mangrove in English :D I've never known that.






That's the only places that we managed to visit in the short 2 days mini escapism, partly because it rained every day and partly because we had to spend time with 'the families'. 

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We stopped by to minum2 petang before heading back. Aja ordered some dimsum that tasted just decent and a bit too expensive for a ready-made stuffs. This and the water cost us : RM20. Also a short stop at R&R Tapah to buy some fruits and pau for dinner.


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Only the 3 of us siblings went for the wedding, my youngest sister couldn't make it :


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Summary :
  • We travelled around 800 km on car in that 2 days.
  • We spent : RM 98.80 on tolls, RM 82 on gas, RM 75 on foods. The place to stay was sponsored by my dad, plus he gave us some money to spend on tolls and gas too afterwards - so we just spent our own money on foods.

Event : Secret Lies by Fadilah Karim


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Last Wednesday, Af asked me if I wanted to go to Fadilah Karim's solo exhibition - Secret Lies at Taksu, KL. I've been planning to go since she shared about the event in her IG, it took years for me to finally she her artworks live in her own solo exhibition. 

I'm a big fan ! I bought a postcard pack from Art Expo at Matrade several years back just so I can have that one printed painting by her - and I framed it and put it among my small collections :D Among Oren, May-Ann Licudine and Astronautboys' works. 

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Taksu is located in Dato Keramat area, the residential house turned into a private gallery in Jalan Pawang. The gallery is amazingly beautiful ! I didn't expect it to be so green and modern mixed with Balinese elements here and there like those white flowers and leaves that were floating on the small swimming pool, the house was surrounded by trees T^T

There were just 2 of us when we arrived at the gate. We had to press the bell and someone opened the gate for us. She said that the gallery is open only when people come by - to save the electricity. 



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In my personal opinion, I'm not much of an art appreciator even though my mom is an artist herself. I don't really enjoy going to art events EXCEPT if I really like the artworks. I hardly have any understanding with abstract arts or messy patterns and mixture of those things. But this girl, Fadilah Karim, she just blew my mind since she started her art projects in Uitm even when she was a student several years back. I believed that she will make it. I know she will, because she made someone like me appreciate something like this. 

And this is really rare, for me. I've been her biggest fan since then.




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I really wish she produces art prints and postcards so I can buy it and frame it. Alas, she did not. All I got was a catalogue of her current exhibition, which is great because they are giving out for free. Tapi takkan I nak potong the book and frame it kan T^T

Note : Her exhibition will end this 20th of May. 

Work Related : The Sleepyheads Card


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If you are Malaysian and planning on buying this card, you can send me and email : azreen_31@hotmail.com for a special local price.  


Little Stories 221 : A Soft Goodbye


That Thursday night, we received a news about Af's dad. He complained about his headache, and before he manage to walk out after he agreed on going to the hospital, he fell down, unconscious. The ambulance took him to Raub's hopsital, and they directed him to a bigger hospital in Temerloh. 

I was having my usual headache, so I slept early. Af woke me up saying that he needed to go back to Raub, his father was unconscious and in critical condition. I stayed, my headache was too bad to even think rationally. I woke up early that morning, replied to Af's update. His dad had stroke attack, and brain haemorrhage. I knew what that meant, I watched too much of Grey's Anatomy. So I decided to pack my bag and head to Temerloh. Ma and Mi wanted to follow and send me - so I cancelled the bus ride.

Af and I stayed at the hospital that Friday to wait with Af's mom. His father was brain dead and the machine was keeping him alive, for our sake. Everyone came, they can't decide on turning off the machine. No one can hold that responsibility in letting people go, can they?  It was the hardest time for his family, and it hurt me to see them hurt so much. I've never cried that much in my life. I'm glad I was there, witnessing everything. I'm glad I stayed next to him until his last breath, I held his hand when his heartbeats slowed down and stopped. I have nothing to say to him, except for a soft goodbye.

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He was a kind man, quite soft-spoken, and always kept to himself. I hardly talk with him over the year compared to Af's mom, but I find myself at peace with his solitary life. I like to claim him, Af and me as pure introverts, the small team of people who keep ourselves among ourselves. I liked him. 

I realized that the things that matter is not things that were left unsaid or undone, but just the things left behind after all that happened. We can never rewind the past even how much we regretted certain things, but we can always make a change for things that will be written in the future. Don't dwell on the past and people go went it's their time to go, the hard part is for us to accept and adept.

:(

Al-Fatihah. 

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Event : My 23rd Event at I Love Bazaar 2.0


Hello !

Written before the event :
After a long hiatus from the hooman eyes, I finally booked a booth at the local arts & crafts event. This would be my 23rd booth since 2010 - this time I joined I Love Bazaar Handmade Market by RylDesigns. Never really went to their previous events before, but I really hope it would be fun-fun-exciting as I've been putting a lot of time and efforts in making new items for the event :o

I've been searching for high and low for illustrator/artist/doodler/crafter markets and events like in the old days. There used to be awesome Pipit Creative Market, Rantai Art Fest and Fuuyoh Art Bazaar etc. But not any more, these days most famous events are usually Running / Food / Travel related :( I supposed I need to go to neighbouring countries after this like events in Indonesia or Singapore for such events

Things I'll be selling : 
Sticker packs, totebag, postcards, greeting cards, car sticker, poster and art prints. See here.


Here I made a custom poster to be shared online :


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Their official poster :


List of vendors :
Axxezories | Azreenchan | Boho by yana | 91 Craft collection sdn bhd | Eco Genesis EMBRACE G_Beads | Happy Button Enterprise | Judy Art and Craft | KYRAIRA NG HANDMADE | Less A Nerve Lovely Nuna Multi I e-Trading | Niswa Precious Delights | Qish henna Artist | Rainbow Accessories Malaysia | Sub Rosa Handmade | The Fool Handmade Jam | TJ HOMEMADE DELIGHT URBANE ASIAN | Yummy Yazmin Confectioneries | 168 Lotus 2 Monkeys and A Sheep Art & Tees SDN BHD

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Preparation (2 days before the event) :

A photo posted by azreenchan (@azreenchan) on

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Post event :

I didn't attend the event as planned, Aja took my place and took care of the booth for that 2 days weekend. She said that the crowd wasn't really 'that' happening, and I only got back around 2/3 of my booth rent fees back - so there's no revenue from the event :( Maybe next time, next event. I'm applying for 2 more events now. See how that goes.



Book : Neil, Elif, Haruki and Riley Fizan.


Post from 2 months back :
I found great books at KL Sentral : 3 books for RM 25, the shop is located at the old Chicken Rice Shop restaurant near Chatime :

1. Purple Cow : Transform your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin. He is a brilliant marketing writer.

2. Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman
I posted the commencement speech given by him in this previous post. I love the speech, I found it inspiring, right straight to the heart. So when I found several of these books at the shop, I bought one for my personal keeping. I wish every creative person own this book, so they can read it every now and then.


3. The Drowned Book : The Book by Bahauddhin, The Father of Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks. I love finding good books in random places. Only one look at the book's spine, I took it out and realized that I found another book translated by Coleman Barks - this time the work of Rumi's father, his teaching. 

The first book I found was 2 years ago at Kinokuniya before I went to my part time work. At that time I was in the beginning of learning about Persian poetry and spiritualism. The book was a bit expensive for me, but I bought it nonetheless thinking that I might enjoy it. I ignored the book after I finished reading it because I found Coleman a bit annoying for my liking. So after a while, finding another book translated by him about a subject non other than another Persian writer is a bit surprising. And I believe in sign. Plus I just recently read The 40 Rules of Love by Elif Shafak that touched about the same subject as well. So it's like a random fate, and I don't mind spending RM 8.90 in a book :D

Siblings ! :


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These days :
Since I work at home doing freelance, I found myself too busy for books. I didn't buy any new books for awhile now. The last book I read 2 months back is Elif Shafak's The Architect's Apprentice, and I'm still in the 1/3 of the book. I'm also re-reading Murakami's Hear the Wind Sing - *the first novella he wrote on and off while having lunch or waiting for Af from work. 

But last weekend, we went back to Raub for the labour's day holiday. I brought back the book I received from Riley Fizan : Bintang Hati Saya last year and determined to finish it during the holiday. I actually got the book for awhile now, but my brother borrowed it and never return it back. I saw the book on his shelves 2 weeks ago and finally took it back. It has been awhile since I last read books written in Bahasa :D

For the little present, I owe you a review, Riley Fizan :)
From the note you wrote to me about the character being born inspired a little by me, I can't stop from making a comparison with myself personally. Things that reminds me of myself : she loves to write, loves astronomy and she's stubborn :D But she's brave and she cares for people, whereas I'm far from that. She's also lazy, always distracted and had difficulties in all her subjects while I was a super nerd who studies all the time when I was a student and I'm workaholic :D 
I also found a nice coincidence : 'Hakimi' was a name I always use in all my cerpen when I grew up. It has always been my favorite name - I think there were 3 of my cerpen with 'Hakimi' as the main character and I never told anyone except for my brother who reads all my writings. 'Adam' is a name I keep in my fiction name-list. 'Harris' was also a family name I used in one of the unfinished cerpen when I was in school. Plus, astronomy was my obsession all through my teenage year, I kept all articles about astronomy and printed images of space and auroras, kept them all in a big file of nerdiness - just so :D
I never thought the story ended that way though. I never saw that coming - that left me quite surprised, I even summarized it all to Af on the way back home from Raub. Kudos for that - *I wouldn't write what happened in the book here, that would be a spoiler to the whole novella kan. Af said the twist was impressive, normally people choose to write cheesy love stories that we can kinda guess the ending, but not this one. I just wish there are more personal thoughts and feelings expressed in the story so I can really get to know the character and relate to each of them :)
Do I want a sequel? I think a prequel to Hakimi's life before meeting Adriyana is quite a nice story. Especially because you left him with so much mysteries :D 
Thanks again, Riley Fizan. 

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