About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Sunday, 27 February 2005

Stockholm, Sweden 2005 - The Land of the Vikings...

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do..." - Henry Ford

27 February 2005
Day 1 - Our Winter Sonata

(The town is covered with snow)

The plane landed at Arlanda Airport, 40km north of Stockholm late noon. The whether was chilly, the air was frosty. The temperature was –6 C. The snow was heavy and visibility was poor. We took the shuttle bus to Central Station but could see little of this Royal Capital of Sweden. We booked our hotel at the tourist information counter. The hotel was near the Central Station and only a few blocks away but the snow made it difficult for us to locate the hotel. Hubby had to go out to look for direction before we ventured out in the snow dragging our luggage. Half way to the hotel, we stopped at Mc D for filet-o-fish and a cup of steaming hot coffee.

While resting in bed we made plan on what to do and where to visit in Stockholm before we retired for the night and slept soundly.

28 February 2005
Day 2 - A City of contrast

(A day tour around Stockholm)

We had early breakfast and got ready for the city tour. The sightseeing tour bus departed from the Royal Opera House every hour. The tour took us round the different islands and gave us some idea of the city’s history. We could see well-preserved medieval buildings stand alongside modern architecture. Stockholm is built on 14 islands and a city of culture and there are lots of exciting places of interest to visit. Unfortunate for us, during this time of the year, the river cruise is not operational as some part of the rivers and lakes are frozen!

In the afternoon we visited the Vasa Museum which houses the royal warship Vasa that sank in Stockholm harbour and was salvaged some 300 years later in remarkably good condition. We spent time in Galleria shopping Mall and later had Tom yam dinner at My Thai Restaurant.

1 March 2006
Day 3 - Between the Baltic Sea

(The replica of the sunk Vasa warship)

Stockholm is a home of Nobel Prize and the world’s biggest IKEA is just outside the city. Today we decided to visit a few more museums. Our first stop was the Skansen Open-air Museet. The museum has buildings from different part of Sweden, dated from different centuries. The museum includes a zoo where you could see Nordic animals, including the elk. Our next stop was the National Museum of Fine Arts, which owns Sweden’s largest collection of classical art. There were exhibition on furniture, glass, textile and industrial designs from the last 100 years.

From the National Museum we walked through the children’s park and had prawn chillies for lunch at Cheng’s Restaurant. The owner is a Malaysian Chinese who has been in Stockholm for almost 30 years. We took the train to Kista Galleria for some shopping. And later watch the movie ‘Hide and Seek’ starring Robert De Nero, a widowed father desperately tries to break through to his nine year old daughter (Dakota Fanning) when she creates a creepy, maniacal imaginary friend, Charlie, with a terrifying vendetta…

2 March 2005
Day 4 - Footsteps of the Vikings

(A wooden house in the open Museum)

This morning we visited the Historiska Museet which is next to the Vasa Museet. The museum building is impressive and an attraction in itself. From the Historiska Musseet we walked quite a distance to the Nordiska Museet, a museum of national antiquities where we could see historical gold treasures and the Viking exhibition. Later we took the bus to one of the shopping mall. There is plenty of opportunity to shop in Stockholm and most shops are situated in big department stores in the city center. After spending the whole day visiting museums and window-shopping, we came back to the hotel to rest and later dragged ourselves to My Thai Restaurant next door for a hot Tom Yam dinner.

3 March 2005
Day 5 - Snowflakes Dance

(The Moose soft toy)

Today is our last day in Stockholm and we haven’t got enough souvenirs for everyone. We took the bus to Gamlastan, a part of the old town. We crossed the bridge and passed the Sveriges Riskbank on the way. The narrow, winding coble-stoned streets of the old town lead us to ochre-colored buildings where they sell a good selection of arts and crafts, antiques and souvenirs. The area is a shopping heaven to tourists. After spending most of our kroners in the old town, we walked to the Dance musset, where they exhibits traditional dances from countries all over the world. We had Tom yam Lunch at My Thai Restaurant again. In the evening we went for last shopping spree at Hamgattan.

Tonight we slept very late, feeling happy that we have had a wonderful holiday and also feeling a little bit sad that our winter holiday is coming to an end.

4 March 2005
Day 6 – Locked in Time

We had breakfast and checked out from the hotel early. Took the 9 o’clock train to Arlanda Airport and stayed in the lounge for a while waiting for the final call for boarding. On the plane we met with Ismail Lajim, my old classmate during my diploma years in ITM and exchanged news of old friends from School of Applied Science.

We were tired and sleepy. During most of the journey, we slept while holding each other’s hands...

5 March 2005
Day 6 – Stray snowflakes

The plane landed at KLIA at 7.30 a.m. After buying lots of chocolates, we took the ERL and later a cab to my office to take the car. We stopped for a hearty breakfast of roti chanai at the Mamak restaurant. We skipped lunch and the whole afternoon was spent catching up with sleep. Later we had dinner at Victoria Station with Sara and Saufi.

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Richmond, USA 2005 - The Federal Reserves...

"Know when to cry, know when to laugh, know when to be silent..." - Mark Crow

Thursday, February 24, 2005
Policies and Strategies

(The city of Richmond)

We had a leisure breakfast at the Barlowe's Terrace restaurant. Took the hotel shuttle bus to FRB Richmond. The whether was very cold. It was snowing and raining at the same time. I was subjected to tight and thorough security checks. Andrew was already waiting for me at the lobby. Met with Roland at the 23rd floor meeting room and we had serious discussion till noon. Lunch was at the Executive Dining room with Marvin, an interesting young man with lots of ideas, who is also the economic adviser to Greenspan. The vegetarian lunch was delicious and filling. We continued discussion at Roland’s office and had the opportunity to visit the processing room and their workshop where the engineers were in the middle of upgrading the BPS machines. My attachment program ended with a visit to their money museum. They should come and visit our money museum in KL, which, I think is bigger and more interesting. The shuttle bus fetched me after 5 p.m. and later we took a cab to Chesterfield Town to window-shop and later to Sam Miller Restaurant for a lobster dinner, which cost us a fortune. Only tonight, after 5 days of my official duties, we started to plan what we want to do for our holiday and felt so excited about it.

Friday, February 25, 2005
A glimpse of The West Wing

(An Art Exhibition in Richmond)

We checked out of Omni Hotel right after breakfast and took a cab to the train station. The train was delayed for an hour and it was late noon when we reached Washington D.C. After checking in at Capital Hilton Hotel again, we took the Old Town Trolley city tour. As it was the last bus for the day we didn’t have time to hop on and off. At least hubby had the opportunity to visit a few museums including the Air & Space Museum when I was busy with my seminar. During the tour we passed by Washington and Jefferson's monuments and Lincoln Memorial and also the Library of the Congress and Federal Supreme Court and the US Capitol where elected Senators and representatives meet. We ended the tour by viewing from far the world famous White House, home to the American Presidents. We had Japanese dinner at the Union Station and later watched Cursed, a B-grade movie about werewolves, starring Christina Ricci.

(Admiring paintings by local artists)

Saturday, February 26, 2005
A Tale of Winter

(The Washington D.C. Train Station)

We had breakfast in the hotel before we checked out. The snow was still heavy outside but the sun was shining brightly. We took a cab to Washington Dulles Airport. Out flight was delayed. Our plane was made to wait at the runway for almost an hour. But we had ample time to spare at Newark International Airport before our flight to Stockholm. We spent time in the lounge and had light meal. The flight to Stockholm was also delayed but the journey was pleasant as we had the opportunity to taste Malaysian food again on MAS. It was the beginning of our winter holiday. And we were all excited about it. We watched a few in-flight movies and listened to music and catnapped in between meals.

Saturday, 19 February 2005

Washington DC, USA 2005 - A Banknote Conference...

"You don't have to have it all figured out to move forward..."

America's capital is a heady mix of politics, history, culture and entertainment. Visit the White House, the Capitol, the Smithsonian and the Lincoln Memorial, then unwind in Georgetown. Lodging ranges from five-star hotels to historic inns.

Saturday, February 19, 2005
Long Haul Flight

(A dark and gloomy sky)

Our flight was delayed for an hour but we reached Stockholm on time. Although the journey took almost 11 hours, traveling on business class was comfortable especially with the new seats of the 777. Thanks to our frequent flyer points, hubby's ticket was upgraded to business class too. We transit in Stockholm for 1½ hour. The whether was cold and it was snowing in Stockholm. We could see workers clearing the snow from the runway and pavement. Temperature was –3 C.We reached Newark International Airport quite late at night. Next connecting flight to Washington D.C. is tomorrow morning. We stayed the night at Wyndham Hotel, a cozy transit hotel, 5 minutes drive from the airport.

Sunday, February 20, 2005
A Definitive Forum

(The imposing Egyptian obelisk)

We had a hearty breakfast at the hotel. Our flight to Washington D.C. was at 10 a.m. We reached Washington Dulles Airport almost noon. We rushed to take the shuttle bus to Capital Hilton Hotel. I need to be at the hotel before 2 p.m. as I wouldn’t want to miss the keynote address by John F. Moore, the COO of the US Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. I hurried with the registration and managed to get my name tag processed. Without the tag, the Secret Service in-charge would not allow me to enter the Conference Hall. They even made us register our thumbprints to track our attendance! At the end of the day’s session, we adjourned into the Exhibition Hall for cocktail reception. I met a few colleagues from other institutions and exchange latest news.We were still having jet lag and spent half the night sleeping. The whether was chilly outside for us to go for a walk so we decided to order room service of seafood tempura and onion soup. Tonight, trying to catch-up with some sleep we stretched our tired muscles and soothed our aching bones.

Monday, February 21, 2005
Emerging Trends

(A glimpse of the White House)

I joined the other delegates for continental breakfast in the Exhibition Hall although I already had breakfast with hubby in the room. While I was attending the conference hubby will have time to go for sight seeing around Washington D.C. and hopefully snap lots of pictures. After the first session, we were transported by bus to the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing for presentation and later tour the printing plants. Bought some key-chains for souvenirs. Earlier, I promised Andrew McAllister of FRB Richmond to join him for lunch with his boss Roland Costa and Barbara Bennet and Anthony Dazzo from FRB LA. Met the Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia and his delegations. I met Bapak Maulana several times before this, during Currency Seminar in Rome last year and in Shanghai the year before. Tonight I skipped the cocktail reception again to spend the rest of the evening with hubby. Again, tonight we ordered room service and felt contented to be close to each other and watched late night movies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Leading Technologies

(The first Astronaut)

The panel discussions were thought provoking and a timely insights into the latest developments in the industry. Today I had Lunch with G&D delegates from China and through our discussions, we compared notes on the latest processing and sorting machines. I met up with Dr. Marco of Crane, Dr. Gesteiger of G&D and Gary of PolyteQ after the last session. I skipped the cocktail reception and we took a cab to a Pakistani Restaurant for Nasi Bryani and Tandoori dinner. Later we watched a play ‘The Graduate’ at Warners Theatre. The leading role was lead played by Morgan Fairchild. Although inspired by the film and original novel, the play was definitely its own entity, and added new dimensions to the story of Benjamin's seduction by Mrs Robinson and his later love for her daughter, Elaine. The inevitable Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack brought back sweet memories of the 70’s…

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Trends and Innovation

(It was still snowing)

The Banknote Seminar ended with closing remarks by the organizer thanking delegates for their active participation and sponsors for their exhibits of latest products and technologies. Later we took a 45 minutes bus ride to FRB Baltimore for lunch, tour and presentation. Over there they organized a lucky draw and I won a watercolor painting for a prize. We traveled back to Washington and reached the hotel at 5.30 p.m. Hubby checked out at noon and was already waiting for me at the lobby when we arrived. We stored our luggage at the Capital Hilton Hotel and brought with us one overnight bag enough to pack our clothing for 2 days. Took the subway to Union Station and bought tickets for the 7 o’clock train to Richmond. The train ride took almost 2 hours, enough time for us to nap. From the train station we took a cab to central Richmond and checked in Omni Hotel.

(Warm and cozy in the hotel room)