Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year 2010 and “Suhaimi’s Path of Life”

It’s going to be a new year in a few hours. I am not the kind that revels this occasion, and I don’t really believe in having a new year resolution either. But this last day of the year did prompt me to take a look at my life time goals template which I call “Suhaimi’s Path Of Life”. It’s something that I’ve developed and maintained. I realise now that I’ve neglected its upkeep for quite a while as the last review I did was at least a year ago. I think I will take the cue from the new year’s eve to revitalise it.

The idea came to me after I attended a leadership talk given by an Army General a few years back. He shared with us an approach he did to keep track of his own progress in life. He basically came up with his own objectives, both in short and long terms, and outlined his general course of actions to accomplish them. I was very intrigued and tried to come up with something similar for me. What I’ve come up with are six major aspects which represent my whole outlook on life. Here’s a glimpse of the front page of “Suhaimi’s Path of Life.”:

I know there are actually 12 elements there but I see the two in each category as inter-related and have strong influence on each other. I also discover that the course of actions I come up with normally affect both elements in the category.

For each area I come up with specific objectives I call “Dreams”. They represent what I want to accomplish in short and long terms. All my “Dreams” are defined using the SMART principles; they must Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based.

Then the “Dreams” are used to govern my course of actions in order to realise them. They are also defined using the same SMART principles. For instance, I’ve specified the amount of money I want to secure by the age of 50, and the course of actions include what I must do to improve my income while reducing my financial obligations. All together I have come up with 16 “Dreams” that I want to accomplish in my life and they translate to at least 60 individual actions that I must try my best to carry out.

I have come up with the template that works for me, I like it, I have accomplished some of the dreams but I have also been quite inconsistent in reviewing and monitoring it. I guess the absence of a mechanism to do that can be blamed for this shortcoming. The only mitigation is that all the 16 “Dreams” are embedded in my mind, hence the “mental checks” have been effective in monitoring their progress. However, I can’t say the same about the 60 odd actions that I’ve pledged to carry out. Some have been neglected, while some have become irrelevant.

As a whole, a lot of good have come as a result of this whole thing. I own a new house, I have a blog and a Facebook account, I opened an account and have monthly deduction to save for Hajj, I have progressed a lot since the knee surgery, I have not reached my ideal weight but I am not overweight, I plan and take my family for vacation, I habitually remind myself not to hinder my children from expressing their minds, my children know how to perform solat, etc. I won’t mention the actions which I have failed to undertake or complete within the stipulated timelines……..of course cannot lah.

I think what I need to do now is to review the 16 “Dreams” to make them current, which of course will subsequently lead to the revision of the individual actions I need to carry out. I think I’m still happy with the 6 key areas which represent my life so I’ll stick to them. One additional thing that I need to incorporate now is some milestones for review to enable me to keep abreast with the progress. Yup, definitely and maybe to do it monthly is good.

No new year resolution for me as usual. I think I’d be better off with this approach of setting goals for my life. Come to think of’s like having Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), only mine are meaningful to me while some of the KPIs I’ve seen (including some of those I read in the papers) are merely lip service, and serve as personal or political agenda to some.

Happy New Year 2010 everybody and may the new year brings joy and prosperity to us all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Surgery

I went against all my rugby principles when the fateful injury occurred on 23rd Feb 2006. I was not fit, it was only my second time playing rugby in 6 months and my body was not conditioned for the rigorous rugby activities. I was at the side line chatting with a friend when they called me to join the “shadow run” (non-contact but full speed “game simulation” training) against the Navy Orca team. Not in good physical condition, and not properly warmed was all a perfect recipe for disaster.

It happened when I first touched the ball while attempting my trademark “side step” against the much younger and fitter opponents. There was no contact but the heavy load on the knee as I tried to shift the direction of my run was enough to do the damage. Suddenly I heard a “pop” and I fell onto the ground with my left knee in excruciating pain. I tried to get up but the pain was so severe that I fell down again. That was enough to trigger immediate response from the guys to send me to the Emergency at the Armed Forces Hospital 96 (HAT 96) nearby. To my dismay, they only did minimal checks on my knee, not even an x-ray. I was prescribed with pain killers and was given an appointment with the orthopedic specialist in two weeks. By then my knee was already swollen and I needed crutches to move around.

I was determined to fight it off and I truly believed that I would eventually recover. So, I did what the HAT 96 orthopedic doctor told me to do; regular trips to the physiotherapy department and continuous intake of the “magic” supplement, Glucosamine (the brand I was prescribed with is known as Viatril-S). I did recover to the extent that I did not need the crutches and I could bend my knee fully (so no more praying while sitting on a chair anymore), but I was frequently troubled by my knee “locking” and I always ended up in terrible pain after a mere 20 minute walk. Jogging and other activities involving running were out of the question as well. It was a big and drastic change in my life style obviously. I tried numerous people who provided massage therapy, but still not much improvement in my condition.

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is a powerful ligament extending from the top-rear surface of the tibia to the bottom-front surface of the femur. The ligament prevents the knee joint from posterior instability

Almost two years later I decided to tell the orthopedic doctor, Dr Musa, who by then has become a friend of mine due to my regular visits to his clinic, that I was ready for a surgery. He said it was a wise decision but he cautioned me not to expect full recovery. A good PCL recovery of 70-80% should be considered a success. I did some reading on my own as well and I was convinced that a surgery was really necessary and it was worth the risk.

My surgery was scheduled on 25th Feb 2008. I reported to the hospital the day before, slightly troubled by flu. After a regular check, I was told to shave my knee and they put a huge red “X” on my left foot (I sure hope the doctor did not miss that during the surgery : =)). I woke up very early for the surgery the next day and by 7.15am I was already wheeled on a stretcher to the preparation room. Everything seemed fast and organised, and before I knew it I was on the OT table, ready for the surgery. I was given Epidural which was injected into my spine and a few seconds later everything waist down felt numb. Folks, I was not delivering a baby via caesarean, the similarity was only from the same method of anesthesia using Epidural. At least now I know how it was done when my wife delivered the twins. Two doctors, Dr Amir and Dr Musa, gave me a quick insight into what was about to take place. “Basically, we are going to take one of your hamstring muscles and replace the damaged PCL ligament”. Sounded simple enough. For the next two hours I experienced a PCL surgery which resembled more of a household DIY project with lots of pulling, tearing, drilling, cutting, sawing and knocking. I was awake obviously and it did not feel like an OT at all apart from the caption of the inside of my knee projected on the TV screen. The doctor discovered that the PCL ligament was completely severed so the surgery was absolutely necessary. I was also shown the damages occurred to my meniscus and the repair they did to it. I was also told that a PCL surgery normally required two doctors as it was more complex than an ACL surgery. I was also shown the hamstring that was “bolted” in to replace the PCL. As it was bigger than a PCL ligament so technically, my knee should be stronger after the surgery. Good to know, good to know. I was also told much later by Dr Musa that there were 3 screws placed somewhere in my knee to keep the hamstring cum new ligament intact. One of them is protruding out from under the skin and my daughters love to check it out.

My family was always on my side

The surgery was completed within 2 hours. I was sent to the recovery room and when the nurse removed a tight band around my thigh all of a sudden I felt the whole room spinning and as a result I threw up whatever was left in my stomach. I didn’t even know they put the band there. I was told it was to restrict the flow of blood during the surgery, hence reducing bleeding in the area.  The sudden flow of blood once the band was released resulted in the spinning I felt....that was quite a ride.

The 5 areas where my knee was cut
(No. 1 & 4 are the points where the new PCL/hamstring was bolted.  The protruding bolt is at No. 4. No. 2, 3 & 5 are the insertions made for camera & was a DIY alright)

When I was finally sent back to the ward, the anesthesia was still in full effect. I was told to remain on my back till 7pm to avoid further complication. So I was actually lying flat on my back for at least 12 hours….it was longer actually as I couldn’t remember when I actually first got up after the surgery but it was definitely long after 7pm. I was fed with IV till the next day, and I was given lot of antibiotics and pain killers in the next few days. It was only a few hours later that I could urinate which was a sign that some of the anesthesia was wearing out. I was cautioned about the great pain I would feel when the Epidural effect was completely gone. By the nurse’s estimation that would be around 10pm that night. She gave me a “special” painkiller which I should consume when the pain became unbearable. Just as she said, right at 10 pm the pain started to become stronger (placebo effect maybe) and I decided it was the right time for me to consume the special pain killer. It didn’t help much to ease away the pain, and at the same time I felt itchiness around my eyes. Just my luck, it was an allergy reaction to the pain killer as my eyes were also slightly swollen. As it turned out, this was a true blessing in disguise as I slept like a baby till morning after the nurse injected me with the medication for my allergy.

A get well soon fruit basket from a friend

There were 2 other patients who underwent ACL surgeries on the same day with me. When I met them at the physiotherapy, I could see that they were not happy campers. They told me that they couldn’t sleep as they were in great pain the whole night when the anesthesia wore out. Suddenly the allergy I experienced felt like a “gift” from God as I was fully rested and the pain was not that bad when I woke up in the morning. The physiotherapist then took us through some simple exercises to do as a part of our long journey to recovery. This was going to be my second home for at least 9 months and I progressively went through multiple regimes of exercises to help strengthen and develop my newly constructed knee.

I spent a lot of time with this remote

The loyal Mickey Mouse pillow helping to elevate my foot

Walking gingerly on crutches while the two "spotters" look on in case I fall down

My thigh was put on a cast on Friday and I was released from the hospital right after that. I was touched seeing what Lin had prepared at home. A single bed was placed for me in the children playroom, and as a welcome home gift, she gave me a Mickey Mouse pillow to put under my ankle. For the next two weeks she diligently cleaned and bathed me until my cast was removed. I had to use crutches to move for the next two months. I knew I wasn’t going to recover fully but I was hoping that I could at least be able to run again. So for the next 9 months I followed the prescribed exercises religiously. Dr Musa was happy with my progress and said I was doing extremely well.

A very useful gift from Lin
(she said I can give it to the kids once I'm done with I understand why Mickey Mouse)

Now, it’s almost 2 years after the surgery. I still feel constant pain in my left knee, but it is mild most of the time. The scars and the protruding screw are still there as blunt reminders of what I had experienced. My right knee is beginning to trouble me, and sometimes I feel more pain in this knee than the one that had the surgery. Dr Musa told me that this is almost an inevitable long term effect as I subconsciously tend to put more weight on the right knee since the surgery. Despite all these constraints, I’m still counting my blessing and I am glad that I had the surgery. I can do a little jogging now at my own slow pace. I have jogged up to 5km so far. The funniest thing is that I feel my left knee had to be told to move, hence there is this slight feeling of a few nanoseconds delay in its response. It’s really funny when your left and right legs are not fully synchronized. Dr Musa has a simple explanation for that. He said hamstring is a straight muscle as opposed to the PCL which is subjected to bending and twisting. Therefore, it takes a a lot of coaxing to get it to move and “think/response” like a ligament, hence the tiny little delay in its reaction time. Made enough sense to me. The best part is that now I could lift up and carry my twins. Farzana is 22kg now and I could carry her up the stairs without much trouble. I can enjoy golf again and have been out on the course for the past two months. I can also enjoy rugby coaching a whole lot more as I can participate in some of the drills and exercises. My ultimate dream is to one day climb Mount Kinabalu and I believe my triumph to conquer the peak of South East Asia’s tallest mountain will signify my journey to overcome this little challenge in my life. InsyaAllah.

I was at the rugby field two weeks after the surgery (once the cast was removed)

Be careful with the knee....winning the President Cup

At home 5 months after the surgery
(no contact happen during this game...the guys were kind enough never to tackle me)

Mount Kinabalu.....hope the knee will hold when the time comes

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cuti Cuti Malaysia ….. Air Wing Family Day 2009

My family & I during the event

The Air Wing Family Day was held at the First World Hotel Convention Centre, Genting Highlands on 15 Dec 09 (Tuesday). It was planned to be a simple family day consisting of a treasure hunt and a family day dinner…easy enough. We were also given discounted passes for the Genting Theme Park for people to further enjoy the time at Genting with their love ones. While almost everybody stayed over at the hotel for one night, a few of us decided to extend our stay for one additional night. And with the Friday being a public holiday, taking the Thursday off really was a good idea. Here are some of the highlights of my 3 days/2 nights excursion to Genting Highlands for this version of my Cuti Cuti Malaysia.

Treasure Hunt

The whole air wing clan gathered near Giant at about 0800 to kick start our family day. The official colours of 501 Squadron (orange), 502 Squadron (blue) and KD Rajawali (black) dominated the scene while me and the few others from the Air Wing HQ, numbering less than 5, tried our best to show our presence in the bright red t-shirts of our tiny little unit. We were flagged off shortly after 8am to pursue for clues along the 95km stretch from Manjung to Bidor. This distance would normally take me less than 1.5 hour, but for this hunt, I completed the whole drive at a snail pace of almost 2 hours. Not bad. My co-pilot, Lin, was a marvelous team member as between the two of us we managed to complete all the questions. And we felt good about them too; Kg Parit Jerman, Sungai Sungkai Mati & Hidup, a temple with a name I still can’t pronounce, a factory famous for making women inner wears....just naming a few. When we handed in our Treasure Hunt Form, we were fully confident that we’d win nothing. The most important was that we had a blast doing it. And to our surprise….we won it. Oohhh yes…numero uno with a 12 megapixel Olympus camera as our reward. Not bad eh…more to come of course.

the Olympus FE 46 we won

Detour to Sungai Klah Hot Spring

Being fairly good at estimating travel distance and time, I concluded that we had plenty of time to spare after the treasure hunt. The earliest we could check in at the First World Hotel Genting was 3pm so I reckoned we had at least 2 hours to do something else. So what to do….we could make a stopover at a small rapid near Batang Kali…….or we could check out Sungai Klah Hot Spring. After convincing one of my friends, Bidin, to tag along, we took a detour to the hot spring. The 10km road leading to the hot spring was very nostalgic for me as we were flanked by the vast palm oil plantation of Felda Sungai Klah. Reminding me of childhood memories (sorry Axl Rose, have to borrow your famous lyric)…..”chop kelapa sawit” and other “anak peneroka” activities. Hmmm…’s been a loooong time. After paying the entrance fees of RM10/adult and RM8/child, we headed straight to the big pool. After about an hour of splashing around in the water, we had to tell the kids it was time to stop. They were obviously a bit disappointed, but the prospect of fun and game at Genting was an easy candy to lure them out of the pool…hah..hah. We then took a quick walking tour through the rest of the area; an egg boiling area and therapeutic pools where you could dip your feet in several hot springs at different degrees of temperature, and that was pretty much all the time we had. It was really worth it as Farhana & Farhana, after the short dip in the pool, were now already in overly excited mood about this trip. Bidin chose a road-side restaurant at Kg Balun (yes, I like the name too) for lunch. It turned out to be a great surprise as the food was incredible. I had kerabu kerang/pucuk paku/taugeh, masak lemak pucuk manis and a grilled catfish with air asam. I didn’t even remember to snap photos of the food as they were gone in a split second. The grilled catfish was definitely the best, no charcoal or burned parts…a perfect result of a slow and meticulous grilling process. And the air asam…with plenty of keresek. My mouth is watering just from describing it. Or maybe I was just hungry…you tell me.

Family Day At Genting Highlands

Our Arrival At The First world Hotel

We checked in into our hotel room at about 3.45pm. The First World Hotel was busy as usual. Man…running casinos is a great business. I remember when I took a tour of the Monte Carlo Casino, the guy told me that Monte Carlo’s annual taking was only equivalent to a Genting earning of one month. Lots of dough we’re talking about here.

Our room was very basic, but I think it was just recently being renovated as everything seemed to be in good condition. The casino hotel has more than 6000 room, so I obviously couldn’t expect too much. Majority of the people are here for quality time with the slot machines, roulettes and black jack tables and they don’t complain much about the room I’m sure. My room had a clean bathtub, and a wonderful view of the mountains. On the rare few occasions when the low clouds steered away from my window, I could actually see the lights illuminating from KL. The kids did a good job of convincing us to let them “go swimming” in the bathtub and that was enough to keep us occupied until it was time to get ready for the Family Day Dinner.

The Air Wing Family Day Dinner

The dinner was held at the hotel’s Convention Centre. We were entertained by a band called Los Cappuccinos. The buffet spread was okay, but food obviously wasn’t the highlight of this event. The MC, Lt Nazhar, did a great job in keeping everybody glued to the activities throughout the night. Lots of music, family games and basically just fun all around as all 350+ air wing members and their families basked in the wonderful atmosphere.

Mama & kids doing poco poco

I was convinced by Lin to partake in one of the games. Little did I know that it was a chance for me to undergo a little transformation…..enough said, this was the horrific outcome:

Oh my........

The only consolation of this whole ordeal was winning 2 giant Tweety for my twins….as I was gently reminded by Nik…”we have all the proofs we need”….scary thought…hah..hah..hahh.

Receiving my treasure hunt prize

And I was also presented with the camera I won for the treasure hunt, and I got a RM30 McDonald’s voucher. Great….

Genting Theme Park

The children were obviously tired the next morning, but they woke up early. Lots of activities to look forward to at the indoor and outdoor attractions of the theme park. These photos sum up their wonderful time, at the expense of cramps and stiffness that their parents had to endure for the next few days.

Everything was great, except the part where I accidently dragged over a tray of brooches from a stall, and broke at least 6 of them. Fortunately, all except one could be repaired (according to the owner). So, I should still consider myself lucky as I only had to pay RM40 for a broken brooch which we didn’t need. Lin somehow managed to tweak it right back to its original condition. So, it worked out well for everybody at the end. Can’t imagine if I had to pay for all the 6 brooches (must still count my blessing).

The RM40 brooch after being fixed

Dinner at the Genting Palace Restaurant

My boss, Kdr Roslan, had been raving about this Lake View Seafood Restaurant where you could have a nice Chinese dinner while being dazzled by the view of the theme park lake. What a better way to end this fantastic family day event than to enjoy great food in a great company. So it was me, him, Nik, Husaini, Bidin and Bob, and our families numbering 30+ all together. We were all looking forward to the dinner, and eagerly gathered in front of the Convention Centre waiting for the boss to lead us to the restaurant. To our dismay, the restaurant was no longer there…it was closed a few months earlier. When my boss called the Genting staff who arranged the family day event, we were recommended to try the Genting Palace Restaurant at the Genting Hotel. He said it would be shorter to just “walk up” the road to the hotel instead navigating our way via the “indoor” route. It was shorter alright…..but it also meant climbing up the steep road while cars blazing through the lightly illuminated road. With low clouds shrouding a big portion of the road and strong wind blowing against our bodies, it was a good workout for everybody, especially for Nik and Husaini who had to push baby strollers as well. Slightly damp and hungry… was a welcoming site to finally arrive at the Chinese restaurant. It was definitely worth the walk as we had the following course for our dinner.

The steamed Patin was exceptional. I never thought you could steam Patin fish due to its “hanyir” nature, but to my surprise…none of the smell, just plain juicy Patin meat steamed to perfection.

And as you might have guessed it, our walk back to the First World Hotel was via the “indoor” route.


The whole occasion had been wonderful. Farhana & Farzana were additionally pampered with a trip to the movie, "the Princess and the Frog" at the Sunway Pyramid right after coming down from Genting (complete with a treat of freshly made pop-corn of course). Me and Lin……we were beat…we are still feeling it now. The accumulation of fatigue from the trip to Genting, the “merisik” ceremony for my sister the day after we came down from Genting and our trip to Ipoh on Sunday to watch Navy Orca in the National 7’s Rugby is really taking its toll as I’m now coming down with a flu…and I can feel my body temperature slowly rising…’s a sign and I’d better take notice. Where’s that warm tea with honey……zzzzz.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's All A Mind Game

I was never a gifted rugby player.....I was a gifted sprinter, yes.....but a gifted rugby player I was not. Now at the age of 38 and after having under gone a PCL surgery, I am no longer a gifted sprinter.....and I am still not a gifted rugby player. I am proud of all my rugby achievements no doubt. As a not gifted rugby player, I never imagined that I’d accomplish all those things I did in my 15 years as a competitive rugby player.

How did I accomplish those things?

Here’s my secret.....

Well.....I only discovered long after I quit competitive rugby that it was my mind that got me there.....and of course, ultimately, God Almighty’s blessing that had allowed the whole thing to manifest.

Why the mind?

I always knew I was not a gifted rugby player, so I knew I had to work hard. The skills did not come naturally to me.....I had to imagine it first. I saw how easy it was for some people to acquire a skill, but not in my case. I would normally begin by imagining what I'd like to do, then I’d try to visualize it, and then trying it on my own.......Finally, after feeling a bit comfortable, I’d try the skill during practice. Lots of practice, lots of visualising.....and that was just the beginning.

The ultimate mind game?

.....Even today I can’t believe some of the tricks I pulled during a match. And I believe my mind played a big role in helping me making the split second decision, and enabling me to move and run and allowing me to execute the skills.

.....Ultimately, this was how I did it. It began to really develop when I was playing for the US Naval Academy team. We normally played on Saturday and the night before the game I would only be thinking about the match and pretty much nothing else. I would prepare my boots (cleats) and all my game attire well in advance. Slowly, the thought about the game would become really intense that I’d normally find it hard to sleep just from the sheer thought of wanting to perform well in the upcoming match. I’d rehearse in my mind what I’d want to do when I get the ball, I’d visualize how I’d beat the opponent and I’d have a clear picture in my mind how I’d perform certain skills. As a result, I normally fell asleep in the wee hour well past midnite, fully immersed in these rugby thoughts. The act of imagining and visualising would continue leading to the game and as the game became nearer, the thoughts intensified. I would normally eat very little as I had little appetite. This subconscious ritual continued on till the end of my active rugby career. Inevitably, this process came with a terrible side effect…..I would also be subjected to a terrible amount of stress, which on certain occasions, subsequently caused me to…..throw up!!!. It didn’t occur that often but the uncontrollable stomach reflex was plain for everyone to see. But the whole thing would just go away once I stepped into a match…..and I’d have 110% concentration in doing my best.

And the result?

It was mind boggling.....I was amazed by what I could do in a game…..some of my team mates called it magic.....I didn’t know what it was back then.....but I surely enjoyed it. I believe God gave us a very powerful tool.....our mind. And I am glad it helped me to realise my rugby dreams.

And to sum it up......

I think this aspect of the mind can be used in a lot of things that we do in our daily lives. When we want something….. we must work hard to get it, we must truly believe that we are capabled of doing it, we must put our mind into it, we must visualise the results that we want.....after all that, we must have faith in ourselves and in God’s will. The beauty of it matter what the outcome turns out to be.....we can live with it, and we can live to accept it.

Folks, It’s all in the’s truly God’s most precious gift to us.  And we can accomplish wonders if we put our mind into it.....

I’m In the Eagle Club

It’s been a long week. I absolutely needed the golf therapy yesterday. The four of us, Rahim, Harris, Razman and I teed off after the Friday prayer at about 2.45pm. The usual place of course; Teluk Rubiah Golf & Country Club. I was playing slightly better than I did last Sunday but still managed to lose a couple of balls during the first nine. By my standard, it was not bad…..

I was struggling a bit during the second nine. My knee (the one that had the PCL surgery obviously) was starting to trouble me and I dreaded the prospect of losing a ball in the roughs, as that would mean more walking around while searching, and ultimately putting more load on the already handicapped knee. The first sign of luck came at the 15th Hole Par 3 about 160m.  I teed off with 5 Iron and the ball landed nicely about 15ft from the pin. As luck would have it, I missed a 2 ft putt and ended with a Bogey. To make matters worse, Harris who had to chip the ball from near the bush, ended up getting a Par after he hit a miracle putt from at least 25ft out while being challenged by a damaged patch obstructing the ball’s path.

Rahim and I teed off wonderfully at the 16th Hole Par 4, with both looking straight at the pin from about 60-70m out after we got the better of the lake and coconut trees. My Driver felt right, the ball went straight but there was the worry of the muddy ground in the vicinity where the ball had landed. As it turned out, Rahim’s ball was buried half way in the mud, while mine nicely perched on top of a patch of grass on the fairway safely away from any danger. I don’t have a Pitching Wedge so it was either 9 Iron or the Sand Wedge. I opted for the 54ยบ SW. As the ball sailed away, I saw it heading straight towards the flag on the green and just disappeared. I thought that I had hit it passed the green. Hence, upon arrival at the green, I began to look around at the area behind the green which was sloping downhill into a rough, but the ball was nowhere in sight. It never occurred to me to search inside the pin. I was puzzled by the disappearance of the ball. I’ve had my fair share of losing a ball, but this was difficult to comprehend. It was Razman who had the instinct to look inside the pin, and there it was….nicely tucked between the flag and the side of the pin.

Yessss, I had my first “Eagle” yesterday. It was a miracle. And it’s going to be a greater miracle if I were to repeat that in my life time. A friend said, “It's more luck to have an “Eagle” than to have a Hole In One”. I don’t know the odds between the two, but having done so I think I just want to cherish the thought of being blessed with this luck. And for somebody who is so used to Bogey, “Double Par” and Scratched….an “Eagle” is definitely the miracle I need to boost my game to greater height. And I’ll definitely put this little golf ball as a trophy in the house as I’m sure it will give me a lot of comfort knowing for that particular moment on 11 Dec 09, I was blessed with a little miracle.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cuti-cuti Malaysia…The Lost World of Tambun

Anak-anak dah banyak kali sangat bertanya bila nak ke Terengganu, Awana Kijal to be precise. Alamak, bukannya dekat, last trip pun courtesy kursus Helicopter Under Water Escape (HUET) yang saya hadiri. Anak-anak dapat mandi di kolam renang, Papanya di kolam renang juga tapi berbeza sikit……kena rendam tunggang terbalik dalam mock-up helikopter. Anak-anak memang suka sangat ke Awana Kijal…..dapat main pasir, buat sand castle dan mandi di kids pool. Tapi pada umur 5 tahun apa anak-anak ni tau pasal jarak...."Kita pergi Terengganu ye Papa!!!!" (berulang-ulang kali dah minta ni….).

Sebagai kompromi, pada 3 Dis 09, saya membawa keluarga bertandang ke The Lost World of Tambun (LWT). Pada permulaannya hampir tak jadi sebab lepas Subuh hujan turun dengan teramat lebatnya. Tapi selepas pukul 9.00am, hujan berhenti dan matahari mula keluar dari celah-celah awan. Saya dan Lin membuat keputusan untuk ‘kira jadi’ trip ke LWT sebab minggu berikutnya saya akan mula kerja semula dan kami tak prefer pergi waktu hujung minggu….sure sesak sebab cuti sekolah.

Bila adhoc jadi pergi kenalah bersiap secepat mungkin……..pukul 11.00am keluar rumah kira ok lah tu, dengan 3 beg besar….tuala, robes, pakaian untuk salin, air, toiletries, camcorder, kamera etc….macam biasalah bila bergerak dengan anak-anak kecil. Stop by restoran nasi kandar Biriyani 23 Jam untuk beli nasi bungkus. Anak-anak terpaksa ‘digula-gulakan’ supaya makan dalam kereta, “Siapa habis makan boleh pergi swimming di LWT”. Trick menjadi of course….hampir licin biriayani setiba kami di LWT. Bukannya apa, nak maximise waktu di sana sebab sampai di LWT dah pukul 1.00pm dan closing time adalah 6.00pm. Bila anak-anak dah kenyang, tak risau nak berhenti lunch (budak-budak kalau lunch, maybe sejam baru boleh settle). Bermula lebih kurang pukul 2.00pm, anak-anak dah mula berkubang. Memang mereka nampak enjoy sangat.

Sedikit highlights aktiviti kami di LWT:

Water Park. Di sini kami habiskan paling banyak masa. Kids Pool (Kids Explorabay) memang sesuai untuk kanak-kanak umur macam Farhana (Kakak) & Farzana (Adik). Crowd yang ada pada hari tersebut juga tidak terlalu ramai tapi meriah. Kakak & Adik cuba semua slides yang ada. Adik yang paling berani, dia memang nampak selesa dengan air. Kakak ada takut-takut sikit tapi tetap enjoy semua slides yang dia cuba.

Dry Park. Sekejap saja di sini. Lagipun tak banyak rides. Anak-anak naik children's carousel (named Perak Parade) dan Giddy Galleon, anak-anak nampak ok aje lepas naik tapi kami yang rasa tak sedap…. Mabuk! (benda tu berpusing-pusing… tu yang perut pun rasa mengelodak…).

Tiger Valley. Kami bernasib baik sebab sampai tepat waktunya untuk tengok feeding time. Pengalaman yang menarik untuk anak-anak tengok aksi harimau dari dekat (ada tiga ekor harimau, salah satu harimau bernama Sultan).

Petting Zoo. Petting Zoo adalah attraction terkini di LWT. Ada terdapat pelbagai haiwan untuk diperlihatkan pada anak-anak. Kakak & Adik semangat betul cuba menangguk ikan di dalam artificial parit sekeliling Pulau Arnab. Linpun semangat juga, kadangkala lebih dari anak-anak…tapi hasilnya nil.

Secara keseluruhannya, LWT memang amat sesuai untuk membawa anak-anak bermain air puas-puas terutamanya bagi anak-anak kecil di lingkungan umur macam Farhana & Farzana. Attractions sampingan selain Water Park kira biasa sahaja, tak umph sangat. Bagi anak-anak yang lebih besar, dan bagi mak-mak budak dan bapak-bapak budak yang datang untuk keseronokan sendiri, mereka mungkin merasakan LWT tak cukup thrill. Bila ditanya mana lebih best antara LWT dan Awana Kijal…….anak-anak jawab, “Lost World of Tambun”. Obviously, I got lots of hugs and kisses from them as well. Salah satu nikmat jadi Papa. Selepas dinner yang amat menyelerakan (sebab lapar agaknya) di Johnny’s di Kinta City, kamipun balik….tak sempat sembang apa-apa dengan anak-anak sebab tak sampai 5 minit mereka dahpun lena…. Cuti-cuti Malaysia trip yang simple ni amat berbaloi...Yeah.