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Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Diary: A So-called KLite's Nostalgia in KL

Dear Diary,

Kuala Lumpur – the very first time I arrived in Malaysia’s proudest Capital City was in 2002. When? Erm…I wish I could still keep it in mind. I turn to be a little bit forgetful sometimes, you know. Sorry for that. In fact, I was joining a school trip organized by Form 4 students. To reach KL, we underwent a lot of ups and downs. Oh really? Yep, I’m not kidding! So what happened?

Genting Sempah, Pahang

We got stuck here for 5 hours or so. Damn!

Our bus broke down very unexpectedly somewhere in Bukit Tinggi early in the morning. We got stuck in Genting Sempah in Pahang till noon, approx. 5 hours long. Well…I didn’t give a damn! Guess where we stayed in KL? We chose Masjid al-Ghufran in Damansara. By now, I’ve missed the mosque already I swear!   

Masjid al-Ghufran in Bandar Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara

Masjid al-Ghufran was where we stayed

The second time I went there a year after as joining another school trip to Malacca 'Bandaraya Bersejarah'. To be frank, we just stopped by somewhere in KL all the way back to the East Coast.

And the third and fourth time both took place in 2004. Form 4 Umar al-Khattab was the very organizer of the trip and I was merely one of them. Due to my post as a cooperative shop committee, I was invited to attend an annual grand meeting shortly together with other members from various religious secondary schools at the main campus of University of Malaya in Lembah Pantai. Our sponsored accommodation was at the Kuala Lumpur International Hotel in Chow Kit. Thanks Koperasi!

The Kuala Lumpur International Hotel

Our sponsored accommodation. Awesome!
Dear Diary,

2006 wasn’t just a year to me but was the most challenging year in my life as for the very first time I was to be away of my family members in such a faraway distance. I had to manage my life on my own in a foreign place in Petaling Jaya. Staying for one year long there was enough for me to know KL a lot better. Believe it or not, I used to print out LRT route map to ease my journey up cos I know I can never rely on others all the time, can I?

Right. Gonna tell you a few fascinating destinations I was fondest going either for shopping, coping with stress, entertainment or anything. Let’s start with Mid Valley Megamall – one of the biggest shopping centres in Bangsar.

Mid Valley Megamall in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur

Do you know? I bought my first jeans here. LOL

Spending my leisure time going bowling at Cosmic Bowl. Super great!

Dear Diary,

The shopping centre the location of which was the nearest to where I was studying was the main reason for going shopping there more often. You know what? That’s where I bought my first jeans with the lowest price of RM30. Wondering how’s the jeans now? I no longer wear it. Oh yea, I also got to meet up the actor Mustapha Kamal there! 

Coming across the actor Mustapha Kamal whilst shopping

I met the most popular female singer, Dato' Siti Nurhaliza here

One Utama Shopping Centre in Bandar Utama

Dear Diary,

Quite certain that most Selangorians know well that OU or 1-Utama which is situated next to Sri Pentas TV3 is also one of the most well-known shopping centres in the state. What makes it so very memorable to me is because I could see the very popular female singers, Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza and Waheeda for the first time. I saw CT sing the song ‘Siti Situ Sana Sini’ from her album ‘Transkripsi’ live. Siti Saerah, CT’s sister was around too. Honestly speaking, there’s a reality show, that was ‘Siti Nurhaliza Mencari Bintang Pantene’, do you still remember? That’s when I saw Fida.

Dato' Siti Nurhaliza - Malaysia's most popular singer

It's once the world's tallest building

The Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC)

Dear Diary,

When mentioning KLCC, one can never escape of talking about I-setan – the popular shopping centre. Alhamdulillah. I managed to conquer the world’s tallest twin towers till the sky bridge and that time the entrance fee was free of charge after ‘Visit Malaysia 2007’.

In memory: Me in the sky bridge after 'Visit Malaysia 2007'

I loved walking around the KLCC Park where Masjid As-Syakirin and a man-made waterfall are located. Not forgetting the top bookstore in I-setan, Kinokuniya which was once my ‘port’ to find latest books and mags. I couldn’t afford to purchase many books there ‘cause some were just out of my league! Very often I had meals at the foodcourt and liked all desserts. Banana Split was one of my favourites. I’ve never been to Petrosains in that every time I passed it, the ticket was already sold out. Sigh. Bloody hell!

But then, I once chanced to visit Aquaria. Not bad! I touched some turtles and rays ‘illegally’ even though visitors might not do that. So, could you please keep this secret? Huhu…how naughty! BTW, I got a student price which was worth at RM20. At KLCC, I came across actors like Eizlan Yusoff and Fahrin Ahmad.  

Aquaria KLCC

 I intentionally touched turtles and rays during my visit

Dear Diary,

Still stuck in my head, I kept my good friend company for dinner. He’s fasting but I wasn’t. It’s not during the fasting month, hope you don’t get misunderstood. It’s such an exclusive restaurant but I've forgotten its name. My bad. What a surprise! Our first time having dinner there at the restaurant was 'served' with acting. Yes! We’re able to steal some time watching the actresses, Kartina Aziz, Sheila Mambo and others shooting for a Malay film, ‘Mami Murai’. So weird I’ve yet to see the film either on TV or at the cinema. What’s wrong?

The Kuala Lumpur Tower

 Apparently, I've already conquered the tower for 5 times, at least

Of the observation deck (Height: 421m high)

Dear Diary,

I went up to the observation deck of the world’s fourth tallest communications tower in 2002 – over my first school trip to KL. Today, I’ve been there for 5 times already whether during the daytime or even at night. The ticket is presently way expensive than ever and that’s why I don’t feel like visiting it any longer.

Around the observation deck

The typical scenario of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Dear Diary,

KLites call it a popular destination for shopping spree. There’s where Pavilion, Lot 10, Sungei Wang Plaza, KL Plaza and Low Yat Plaza have been built. A so-called shopaholic like me used to shop for Raya at Pavilion and Sungei Wang Plaza. At the same time, Low Yat Plaza was where I usually got my electronic stuff such as mp4, pendrives, coolers and headphones. 

Jaya Jusco Alpha Angle in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur

 Where I most regularly got sushi, my Japanese favourite food

We're only shopaholic wannabes, do you see my point?!

On LRT on the way back to campus

Dear Diary,

This one I considered the nearest shopping centre to my Uni. Every time I went to JJ, I didn’t forget to buy sushi. FYI, sushi is my Japanese favourite food! My roommates and I frequently hooked up there as well as had dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Plus, there’s where I met up a veteran singer, Dato' A. Rahman Hassan shopping.

I used to go bowling and see the movie here

Wangsa Walk Mall in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur 

Dear Diary,

Ha! Ha! What’d we been up to? Going bowling, for sure! I’m not good at bowling, honestly! Just play for fun. On top of that, we went to the cinema. One Malay film I watched there was ‘Nur Kasih The Movie’. Typically, Pop Corn and a large cup of Coca Cola was just a perfect combination for me to consume while enjoying the movie. Oh by the way, I watched Adam AF and Shima there performing on stage, not to mention other artistes like Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Tini 3R and Ruffedge. More interestingly, that’s where the drama ‘Nora Elena’ was shot. My favourite drama, of course!

Besides Wangsa Walk Mall, another venue we loved hanging out was at KFC restaurant which is located nearby. We liked staying overnight outside just for fun. I rode my junior’s motorbike and that’s when I dared to ride it myself in a foreign state! Take it easy guys. I do have a motorcycle license and wasn’t a bully for borrowing my junior’s vehicle. 

The Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, Selangor

LCCT in Sepang - where I flew with Airasia
Dear Diary,

This was a frequent airport I headed to whenever I wanna go back home. Yup, I got on a plane, mostly Airasia. Like I said previously, I’ve already flown in the blue sky for no more than 15 times as yet. Getting on a plane doesn’t mean you’re rich, OK! Last but not least, I bumped into the actor Tony Eusoff there. That’s all!

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor


Me and the celebrity Ally Iskandar checking in at the airport

Dear Diary,

The celebrity Ally Iskandar and I used to get the MAS domestic plane off after Eidul Fitr festival in Oct 2007. That day, I took ERL Express which merely takes 28 mins to reach KL Sentral. Truly fast!

The Kuala Lumpur Sentral (also known as KL Sentral)

KL Sentral is the main transportation hub in the city

Inside KL Sentral

PUTRA LRT - the main public transport I most often got on

Dear Diary,

Talking about KL Sentral, it’s uncountable how many times I’ve been there. Its function as the main transportation hub in the metropolis, that’s where I took KTM commuter or PUTRA LRT to reach diverse destinations including KLCC, Bukit Bintang etc. It’s the location where I booked Airasia and MAS flight tickets manually for the first time. Occasionally, I spent some time having meals at KFC or Mc Donald’s there.

Merdeka Square (or Dataran Merdeka) in Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square - where the National Day is annually celebrated on Aug 31st.

STAR LRT I constantly chose to reach Putra Bus Station

Dear Diary,

I never spent my whole time here. As you know, it’s a historical destination where Sultan Abdul Samad building was built as well as the National Day is annually celebrated. Last time I hooked up there with my family. In the past, I asked my schoolmate to discuss his problem there.  Motive?

Mc Donald’s at Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur

Dear Diary,

Seemed like a bad habit, I was used to taking breakfast at the fast food restaurant. Should I get the express bus off at the Putra Bus Station, before changing the STAR LRT to PUTRA LRT at Masjid Jamek station, usually I stopped by at the McD for breakfast. It’s pretty good to have my tummy tucked in before I kept going, wasn’t it?  

Burger King at the Lingkaran Karak petrol station, Gombak

That's where my lecturer treated me and my classmate

Dear Diary,

Here was where my lecturer asked me and my classmate, Izzati to have dinner and very fortunately, all meals were on her! I think no lecturers used to treat me like that except her. So kind of her. She spoke English damn fluent, OK!

The National Zoo in Ampang, Selangor

I've been a local tourist here for 4 times


Children, what animal is that? Elephant! Yeah, so clever.

Dear Diary,    
My Uncle’s home is in Taman Melawati right behind the National Zoo. I used to stay overnight at his home. Obviously, you can hear lions roar anytime at night. Creepy, isn’t it? I visited the zoo for the very first time in 2004. At present, I’ve visited the zoo for 4 times, once with my schoolmates, once with my brothers, once with my family.

Taman Melawati

Dear Diary,

I can still remember when my coursemates invited me to join them having ‘Cendol’ at a so-so restaurant. Completely delicious and I didn’t tell them my Uncle’s home was somewhere nearby. Hehe. A sweet moment to be remembered! Sadly, no photos were taken.

The Look Out Point, Saujana Ampang

You can see the Kuala Lumpur skyline behind me, can't you?

Dear Diary,

Thank you so much to my big friends, Najib (not the PM), Dzul and Lukman for making my dream come true. Of the peak of Ampang Hill, I could observe wonderful scenery of Kuala Lumpur skyline. So nice! The weather was a bit hazy. So miserable! The film ‘KL Menjerit’ was shot there before and so were many other Malay films and dramas.

Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur

Dear Diary,

A small village within the city. Prior to registration at UIA Matriculation Centre in July 2006, we had had our lunch at a restaurant there. For the second time, I went there with my friends, Fizul, Boo and Tasya for breaking fast in the month of Ramadan. There, I first met up my former friend, Shahrifuddin after 10 years! Can you imagine? So incredible! What a tiny world! Last time I went there with my family and we had lunch there before leaving for LCCT in Sepang. We’re actually on our way to Sarawak, 'Bumi Kenyalang'.

Lake Metropolitan, Kuala Lumpur

We're still doing teaching practise that time at secondary schools around KL

Dear Diary,

FYI, this was where me and classmates gathered one evening. This place is also called ‘Taman Layang-layang’ and many visitors spend their evenings playing their colourful kites, conversely we ate ice-cream on that day.

Sunway Pyramid in Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Sunway Pyramid - I already felt like somewhere in Egypt

Now everyone can go ice skating in Malaysia!!!

Dear Diary,

I shopped like hell at Sunway Pyramid in PJ with my international friend, Esam, a Yemeni. I spent several hours looking for attractive attire. It’s Raya shopping spree! Although the Yemeni growled at me for being a shopaholic of the day!   

The Putra Bus Station in Kuala Lumpur

Dear Diary,

Which bus station should we go to for East Coast destinations? Putra Bus Station, of course! Such a popular bus station for all East Coast residents which is just next to PWTC. This is the main transportation hub for us to go back to the East Coast. I was accustomed to taking express bus to go back home other than Airasia. The bus station is located near The Mall.   

The Mall in Putra, Kuala Lumpur

That's the shopping centre I most regularly hooked up

Dear Diary,

Speaking about The Mall – a shopping centre attached with the Legend Hotel, I liked having meals at the foodcourt. My favourite choice was Thai Corner. That’s where I hanged out prior to departure to Terengganu. After purchasing my homecoming bus ticket, I usually would have my meals at the shopping centre. What’s so funny about the mall was when I once forgot to pay the pizza I ate at Pizza Hut restaurant. Luckily I was quickly aware of that. LOL! Was I starving, I’d have my breakfast at Mc Donald’s sometimes.

Sogo, Kuala Lumpur

I shopped here for Raya occasionally cos I'm not a well-to-do guy

Dear Diary,

I used to shop here for Raya. Many people say it’s an affordable shopping centre. This can be supported by the typical phenomena that so many school trips will come shop there. Plus, you can come many school children across at times shopping. You’re sure they’re shopping? Aha…I think…maybe they’re just fooling around. Huhu.

Maju Junction in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur 

Where I kept my buddies company for meeting Maher Zain

Dear Diary,

Maju Junction was the destination me and friends used to hook up. We met Maher Zain there. Whilst my friends were busily queuing up to shake hands with the Sweden singer, I took my brunch at KFC having Chicken Rice. Yummy!

The Central Market (or CM) in Kuala Lumpur

My Malay favourite film, 'Cinta' was shot here

Dear Diary,

The Central Market (also called CM), is such a popular handicraft shopping centre. There was one location where the Malay film, ‘Cinta’ directed by Khabir Bhatia did the shooting. Remember the scene between Nanu Baharuddin and Que Haidar. That’s the place! 

Masjid India & Jalan TAR

Dear Diary,

I ever performed Friday prayer at Masjid India and the khutbah was delivered in Tamil. I had to. I went shopping at Jalan TAR quite often but actually not really shopping. I regularly kept my friend company especially when Eidul Fitr was just around the corner.

Seems I got so much to tell. I’d better pen off here. There're so many places I've been to. All this was some of the memoirs I can keep in my heart. The Malays are right to say ‘Jauh Perjalanan, Luas Pandangan’. Yeah, I just admit it! 

PS: Life will go on but the nostalgia will ever remain...


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