These seems like a lifetime ago when in fact, only several months had passed.
There were other smaller meaningful happenings in between, but in the interest of brevity, I've decided to only sum up the major events in this entry.
1st to 2nd March 2014: A crazy, exhausting weekend of traveling from a wedding in Paya Rumput, Melaka to another in Semerah near Batu Pahat and finally, from west coast to east coast of Johor to experience an overnight stay in Tanjung Leman within the space of 12 hours. Moreover, we needed to take off by noon the next day in order to reach home before midnight! That's how crazy it was!
10th to 12th March 2014: Work visit to peaceful, idyllic Kota Bharu and Kubang Kerian. During this trip, I confirmed what I suspected and learned greatly from it, but my travel mates seemed to have grasped a different, conflicting lesson which may bode ill for the future. The meals throughout this trip though, were spectacularly delicious!
16th to 20th March 2014: Langkawi revisited. Very dry season this time around. Hardly any water flowing down the various falls. I am quite surprised at how very few photos I had taken during this trip! However, it was one of the most enjoyable and relaxing holidays of the year.
12th April 2014: Participated in part one of an Instagram-o-philes gathering at Kuala Lumpur Commuter Station. Despite being warned and chased off by police and a short blackout during lunch, it was a thoroughly fun outing! They moved on to an even more awesome venue after that but I sadly had to give it a miss.
26th to 27th April 2014: Another weekend travel, but more relaxing this time. To Pahang we went, from a wedding in a crowded housing area of Temerloh, we made our way to windy Cherating. It's been a while since I last experienced a truly refreshing dip in the sea. This was totally worth the hassle!
30th May to 6th June 2014: Paying homage to the third Holy Land was a nerve wracking but exciting journey. From Jordan we traveled into the captured lands of Palestine- Jerusalem and al-Aqsa, still independent Ramallah, Bethlehem, beleaguered Hebron, beautiful Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth. Floating in the Dead Sea was quite painful due to sunburn and we also checked out the shopping scene in Amman, Jordan before flying home. At this point in time, my beloved Nikon D-90 was already lost to me as it had been burgled from my home just 4 days before I was due to depart. The images from here onwards were captured using a compact camera, the Olympus Tough.
21st June 2014: After meeting up with my Brother at the state mosque in Shah Alam, I went on to see what Floria Putrajaya had to offer its visitors this year. Surprise, surprise! There was an entrance fee this time but without any justifications as to why there should be. The exhibition flow was horrendous and the displays, less wondrous compared to previous years! There were a few gimmicks and extras that may have brought on the charge but overall I believe it was an unfair toll to pay. Looking back though, I have been coming to this event since 2008, when it was still held at the Lake Gardens, Kuala Lumpur. Perhaps being charged makes no difference at all to the general crowd who may be there for the first time ever.
20th September 2014: Took leave off my senses and followed a group of kids up Broga Hill. This place is frigging selfie central, I tell you! There I was, huffing and puffing for my life while they smiled and snapped pictures front, left and centre! The stop by Tekala Waterfalls did succeed in freshening me up, thank you!
6th to 14th October 2014: Conference, meeting and work visits, with a bit of sightseeing on the side, where Queen Elizabeth II currently reigns. Rubbed shoulders with other tourists, taking in the atmosphere at the birth home of Mr. William Shakespeare. Experienced a bit of salty Grimsby, lively Manchester, sadly rundown Liverpool, scenic Chester and the carnival lights of Blackpool by night. I was fortunate to have a willing guide and a bunch of happy-go-lucky postgrads to accompany me on my little adventures!
22nd October 2014: Stadium Merdeka. "Mariah, you're on faiyah (fire)..." croons rapper Mase in the remix of Honey. Indeed she was fiery, Ms. Mariah Carey, but we were all downright wet out there. Having bought budget seats, we were so way out that all we saw were these tiny glowing boxes up front. The fact that the Ministry of Tourism had a hand in the management of this event made it all the more appalling. This Diva deserved a much better arena than this, preferably covered!