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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A bad day? Maybe not.

Yesterday was rather a bad day for me. I had to handle a session at school on my own and I had a little time to prepare and a computer which decided to back up files at the time I was preparing for the session. In the end, the microphone did not work well, the speakers too. My slides? It was awefully short and uninteresting. I can see boredom on the face of my students. When I wanted to conclude and asked a student to share what they got from my session, no one wanted to except for one person. Syahmi, you had helped me from feeling a useless teacher. May Allah bless you. As a reward for trying (and obviously, for paying attention! Or else, how can he manage to share what he got from the session, right?), I gave him an envelope containing his reward.

In the afternoon, I had class. I wanted to teach the students on writing. They were busy talking. They were busy doing other things and I felt like they did not respect their teacher except for a few students who are always consistent in showing good manner. Still feeling upset from what had happened in the morning, I decided to gave them some lessons in life. I told them that there are always time to do things and they would one day regret if they do not choose wisely from now on.

I saw one student had tears in his eyes. Was it something I said? Or had something happened before class that saddened him?

Alhamdulillah, by the end of the day, there were a few students who finally made my day. One came to borrow book from the library, some students came and mentioned that I had a messy desk and that they are willing to help me sort out my things. I declined, but once a while they came to offer assistance. How kind! What cheered me up was how they were practicing the second responsibility of  a Khalifah; help others become good.

Thank you Allah.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Bintulu (Day 3 & 4)

Monday, 2 March 2015

Day three in Bintulu, most of the time I stayed in the hotel room, waiting for Fattah to come back from work. I managed to jot down things in my travel journal so that I would not forget things.

When Fattah came back from work, we went to eat at Sugarbun. Sugarbun is fast food outlet that you can find mostly in Borneo. My friend said there is one Sugarbun outlet in Batu Pahat. It is similar to KFC but it serves food to suit the locals' taste bud. We had Nasi Ayam Sambal, three-layer tea and three-layer coffee.

Then we stayed in the room because we had no car because Fattah's friend took the car to settle his personal business. He gave us the car in the evening, and as soon as we got the car, we went out to eat. We stopped at Sup Kawah. The soup was delicious! Here, I came to know Banana Bandung (milk mixed with syrup) and Banana Bandung Milo. Awesome drink these Bintulu people have!

After we filled our tummy, we went back to rest because yes, Fattah had to wake up early the next to to go to work.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

My final day in Bintulu.

In the morning, I only stayed in the hotel room waiting for Fattah to come back from work. Then he rushed back at 1 PM and we checked out at 1:30 PM. Then we went to eat at Srikandi Cafe because I wanted to eat Mi Jawa Sarawak.

After lunch, we went to pray at Bintulu Mosque and later to the market called Pasar Tamu. The market is divided into a few sections; the first one is for the Chinese sellers, then there is the wet market. The wet market itself is divided into two; one is the general one and the other is for non-halal meat. Across the street located the dry market where you can see people sell traditional food of Sarawakians, ikan terubuk (dried salted fish), belacan (prawn paste), and other stuff. Next to it, across the street, you can find people selling fruits. Fattah said, if we come earlier, we might see people selling exotic food.

Then, we went to the seaside, took some photos, enjoyed the scenery and left for the airport. Usually in Peninsular Malaysia, you can find restaurants selling seafood at the seaside but in Bintulu, they enjoy chicken wings and chicken butt.

That day, my flight was supposed to be at 7:45 PM but it was delayed so I had to wait around 30 minutes before the flight took off. Luckily I bought some bread at a petrol station nearby so I was not that hungry in the flight because this time I did not pre-book any meal.

From my four days being in Bintulu, I can see that Bintulu is a developing town. Many people in oil and gas (O & G) industry swarmed inside Bintulu. I heard their pay is high which might be among the cause of high cost of living.

In Bintulu, you can actually find many people migrating from Peninsular Malaysia to Bintulu. They come because of their job, like Fattah, he is a teacher in Bintulu. There are also many Chinese living in town. You should see the old town of Bintulu, there are a lot of old buildings with Chinese company name on them and also a big Buddhist temple nearby Pasar Tamu which reflects the role of the Chinese in Bintulu. They could be the main people running the economy way before Bintulu became the place of industry.

Being in Bintulu is calming, it is not as busy as Kuala Lumpur or any place in Klang Valley, yet the cost of living would make you think more than twice to live and settle there.

Read more:
Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Bintulu (Day 1)
Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Bintulu (Day 2)
Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Review 101 Hotel Bintulu

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Bintulu (Day 2)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

On the second day of my stay in Bintulu, Fattah and I went to have our breakfast at a nasi lemak restaurant called Tumis. I love the interior of Tumis with batik put across the table and the concept was traditional Malay house. I had their nasi lemak kerang and I should say that it was TERBAIK! The sambal was not too hot but you can taste the spiciness. Marvellous!

Nasi Lemak Kerang at Tumis
From there, we went to Park City mall and Farley supermarket to survey backpack for Fattah. His backpack is torn. There was not much choice so we returned empty-handed.

We then had lunch at Restoran Sajian Mas. We both had Laksa Sarawak. I drank iced lychee syrup and Fattah had iced corn bandung (milk mixed with syrup). They were tasty! If you are willing to pay more, you can add a larger shrimp. Two laksa Sarawak, and two drinks cost us RM15.

Laksa Sarawak at Sajian Mas
With full tummy, we went to Bintulu Mosque to perform our salah. The unique feature of Bintulu Mosque is that the minaret is located some distance away from the prayer hall. The area of the mosque is huge, with a lot of trees around it. From far, you can only see the roof. without the minaret, we might not know that it is a mosque.

Bintulu Mosque
From the mosque, we went to visit the school where Fattah is currently teaching at. SMK Bintulu. It is a very old school. You can see old buildings left to rot. Even the buildings made as classes are not so new. Next to the school, there is the District Education Department. Behind the school, there are a few houses for government staff and a primary school.

Next, we went to Tanjung Batu at Kidurong. We decided to stop only to take picture at the signboard of Tanjung Batu beach, tour Kidurong and go back to our hotel room to rest because later that day we went to fetch Fattah's friend Wafi and his family at the airport. At the airport, I came to know that the airport closes at night after the last flight unlike KLIA and KLIA 2 that open 24/7.

At Pantai Tanjung Batu

From the airport, we went to Soto Nor Cafe where they serve among the best roti canai in town. They also serve venison (daging rusa) or else known as 'payau' among the locals. I had fried rice with payau sambal. It was delicious!

Nasi Goreng Payau Sambal at Soto Nor Cafe
Then we went back to our hotel room to rest because the next day Fattah had to go to work.

Read more:
Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Bintulu (Day 1)
Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Bintulu (Day 3 & 4)
Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Bintulu (Review of 101 Hotel Bintulu

Friday, 6 March 2015

Huda & Fattah Jalan-jalan: Review of 101 Hotel Bintulu

During my stay in Bintulu, Sarawak from 28 February until 3 March, 2015, Fattah booked a deluxe single room at 101 Hotel for us. He booked the hotel room from Agoda and we managed to get a cheaper rate.

Picture taken from Agoda

Once, this hotel was Tune Hotel. It has two views; one facing the shops, cafes and clubs (the front side of the hotel which might me a bit noisy during weekend) and another one facing Assyakirin Malay settlement (the back side of the hotel). We wanted a room facing Assyakirin but were given the one facing the shops. The receptionist mistakenly gave us that room. Seeing it as no big deal, we settled with the room given.

Picture taken from Agoda

Our room was small, yet cosy. There was a ceiling fan plus an air conditioner, a television placed in front of our bed, a chiller, a safety box, two towels and two complimentary drinking water. Unfortunately, there was not telephone and kettle. Should you need to contact the receptionist, you can find a phone next to the elevator.

If you need to use an iron, you can ask from the receptionist. TV's remote controller and wifi password will be given to you upon check in. The wifi account valid for 24-hours. Then you can get new password for the next day from the receptionist. As for the remote controller, you need to return it to the receptionist during check out.

The toilet was clean. One thing that Fattah found weird and uncomfortable with was the toilet has no lock. If I am staying with a friend, I would mind too!

If you are looking for places to eat, halal or non-halal, you can easily find them around the hotel because there rows of shop lot. If you want some snack, you can grab them at the convenient store downstairs, opens everyday until 1;30 AM except for weekends, they open 24-hours. You too can find a car-rental counter and a laundry downstairs. Parking so far, is still free parking only that during weekend, especially in the evening, the place got busy.

If you are going out and come back after 12 AM, please make sure you bring your key card because they will lock the main entrance. To open the door, you need to tap your key card.

For Muslims, the qiblat is shown to you. Just look up, and you will find it.

Check in time is 2 PM and check out time is 12:00 PM (but you are given until 1:30 PM). Check out made after 2 PM  until 4:30 PM will be charged 50% of the room rate.

Among everything, I love their friendly and helpful staff the most, even the housekeeping staff were so friendly! :)

Out of 5 stars, I give them 4.5. The other 0.5 was because there was no kettle and mugs to make hot drink. I had to enjoy hot drink outside, even though I got sachets of pre-mix drink.

101 Hotel Bintulu Room Rate
Deluxe Single (One queen-size bed): RM110/night
Deluxe Double (Two single-size beds): RM110/night
101 Single room (One single-size bed): RM100/nigh