Thursday, January 31, 2019

Snowboarding at Blue Mountain Resort

This post was first published on March 13, 2015 on one of my older blogs. Decided to repost it here at Her Little Guilty Pleasures due to reasons that I mentioned in this post.


Update in 2019: Wow! I sounded so baku, childish and skema in this post! But, I actually love the fact that I wrote this post mainly in Malay. Lepas ni nak tulis banyak posts in Malay :)

Us at the Blue Mountain Resort
Group picture kena photobombed pun boleh :)

Pada February 15, 2015, kami telah selamat menjejakkan kaki ke Blue Mountain Resort untuk skiing/snowboarding trip anjuran MSA. Sejujurnya saya tak berapa pasti Blue Mountain Resort ni dekat mana sebab langsung tak nampak jalan sepanjang perjalanan. Tingkap bas berais yang macam kalau fridge sejuk sangat tu. Tak nampak apa pun dekat luar.

Pertama kali snowboarding, saya memang takut dan risau sangat. Takut kalau tak dapat tangkap cara yang betul untuk snowboarding. Takut tak dapat snowboarding dengan betul sebab saya memang tak berapa ngam dengan winter sports. Ice skating pun tak lepas lagi. Risau kalau dapat injuries ke apa ke. I can't afford to be sick! Cuaca pula sejuk sangat hari tu. The sensory temperature was -40 ℃.

Farah H at the Blue Mountain Resort
Pura-pura je ni. Boots pun tak strap betul-betul. Hahahahaha :p

Pasal saya dah ada perasaan takut dan risau tu way before I started the practice, memang gelabah habis bila buat betul-betul. Saya rasa saya sampai kena panic attack. Instructor saya pun perasan dan risau. Rasa sedih je sebab tak dapat buat betul-betul lagi. Asyik jatuh. Jatuh pula macam-macam gaya. Yang paling ekstrem dan sakit sekali bila jatuh terhentak kepala. Bergegar kepala. Lepas je jatuh terhentak kepala, terus saya berhenti sebab risau.

Two things to remember if you want to go skiing or snowboarding; do not be afraid falling, and do not give up easily
. Jangan jadi macam saya. Lepas saya jatuh banyak kali sampai yang terhentak kepala tu, terus saya berhenti. Sampai sekarang saya rasa menyesal.

Lepas berhenti, terus saya pergi Blue Mountain Village sebab saya sedih dan sakit sangat. Blue Mountain Village ni cantik sangat-sangat! Too bad saya takde gambar sebab tak bawa kamera keluar. Nak tangkap gambar pakai phone pula nanti tangan sakit sebab kena buka gloves. Dekat sini, baru nampak ada lagi aktiviti yang ditawarkan selain daripada ski dan snowboard. Ada snow tubing, ice skating dan snowshoeing. Teringin nak snow tubing, tapi masa tu tinggal berapa jam je lagi. Tak sempat dah.

Farah H at the Blue Mountain Resort
Muka happy sebab dah nak balik!

Habis jalan dekat Blue Mountain Village, saya balik semula ke slope asal. Tapi, kali ni saya tolong jadi photographer untuk kawan-kawan saya sahaja. Tak larat nak cuba sekali lagi sebab kepala saya masih ting tong lagi.

Apa-apa pun, saya berpuas hati dengan trip kali ni walaupun dapat banyak kecederaan dan masih tak berapa pandai nak snowboarding. At least, saya dah ada pengalaman snowboarding dan dapat explore tempat lain selain daripada Guelph. Oh, and I'm pretty sure this will be my first and last time going snowboarding :p

Update in 2019: I still haven't gone skiing or snowboarding until now though I currently live in Canadian Rockies; one of the best places to go skiing and snowboarding in Canada!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Banff SnowDays & Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019

Banff SnowDays 2019

I went around the town and Lake Louise to see the SnowDays and Ice Magic Festival few days ago. I missed these events last winter because I was too lazy to go out. Now that I only have 4 months left, of course I pushed myself to go out and enjoy these events :)

Banff SnowDays 2019

I had a glimpse of all snow sculptures in town during the day when I went for my grocery shopping. Then, I went to the town after I got back from Lake Louise see them again at night. I personally found them to look way better and more alive at night! 

Banff SnowDays 2019

Tip: The best days to see the snow and ice sculptures are the first weekend of the events or the Monday or Tuesday after, as they are freshly carved, though it may get crowded.

I obviously didn't get to see all of them at their prettiest as I went three days before the events ended. Almost all of them have started to melt at that time, thanks to the high temperature earlier that week. We actually had positive temperature for few days in January. Can you believe that?!

Banff SnowDays 2019

The snow sculptures were scattered at three places; Bear Street; Banff Avenue Square; and Banff Community High School. Most of the snow sculptures were at the Bear Street so I spent more time here. It was more christmassy with lights, live performances, and fireplaces at the Bear Street. I loved the vibe so much! :)

Banff SnowDays 2019

Tip: You'll have superior experience if you actually come when the carvers are around as you can see them carving and ask them questions! They are usually friendly and more than happy to entertain your curiosity.

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019

As for the Ice Magic Festival, I was honestly surprised when I was at the Lake Louise. It was nothing like I imagined and expected but it is what is. I was actually expecting something on a grand scale but turned out it was not as grand as I expected. Maybe because it was almost the end of the festival. Who knows?

Farah H at the Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019

I really wanted to have a proper picture at the iconic ice castle because this might be my last time here. However, as one can see, I failed to get a decent picture at the iconic ice castle after being photobombed continuously by the strangers. I didn't even bother to try again because I was too lazy and I didn't want to keep pestering other people, asking for their help to take my pictures. Haha. #janjiadasudahlah

Tip: Go to the Ice Magic Festival on weekdays or weekends before 10 AM or after 5:30 PM to enjoy free admission. Otherwise, you'll have to pay for admissions.

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019

I think there were more than 10 ice sculptures still standing when I was there. A lot of them have melted and lost their forms especially the small ice sculptures. Anyway, this particular ice sculpture caught my attention though it was not a winning piece because it was carved by a Malaysian and a Mexican! Was so surprised to see "Malaysia" on the information board :) #proudmalaysian

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019

This ice sculpture named Ice Queen Treasures won the first place and people's choice. It was carved by a team from Latvia. I just browsed through my IG and saw few pictures of this sculpture when the skies were pitch black. The ice sculpture looked magical!

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019

Tip: Purchase your Ice Magic Festival ticket online as they offer discounted tickets and they usually have limited walk-in ticket. You also can ask your hotel if they have a discount code. I believe the ticket is only $5 if your hotel has a discount code. You may also get a free admission if your hotel is one of few hotels that offer free admission to the Ice Magic Festival.

This ice sculpture carved by a Russian team won the second place. The piece name is Sun Dance. It looked so simple but I don't it's easy to carve. Hehe. Again. I just saw the picture of this piece when the skies were pitch black. It looked more alive!

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival 2019

A Canadian team won the third place by this piece named Plumber's Nightmare. I loved the small details though you couldn't see it from this picture. They were so cuteeeeee!

Anyway, it was a nice experience and well spent night. Am so glad that I forced myself to change my sleeping schedule and spend some money to catch these events. It's going to be one of the treasured memories for the rest of my life :)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

My Songs of January 2019

January 2019 was all about the crushed dreams and a lingering feeling of sad. How do I pick up myself after learning that there's nothing that I can do at this point to reach my lifelong dreams? Did I not wish for them hard enough all these years that they will never come true? Or, was it not the time for me to have those dreams fulfilled? Or, was it the time for me to let go all those dreams?


As much as I love these three songs, I don't think I'll listen to them anytime soon because they will remind me of this crushing January and those dreams that I have to let go T^T

Soran (소란) - Opportunity Cost Medley
(Me After You by Paul Kim; Miss Miss Miss by K.will; Love, ing by BEN; and What The Spring by 10cm)

Soran (소란) - Traffic Light (신호등)

Jung Seung Hwan (정승환) - Across The Universe (우주를 건너) 
(Original song by Baek Ye Rin)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워) was one of the last places that I visited when I was in South Korea. Naturally, I didn't have much energy left especially after I hurt my leg in Busan. By the way, this is not the end of my endless posts about my trip to South Korea. I still have few more. lol. I just need to get rid of anything Seoul first :p

My rough itinerary looked like this; Seoul → Busan → Incheon → Jeju → Seoul. And just so you know, orang yang tak buat proper research and planning je route dia macam ni. I wasted so much money and time being an idiot and lazy me T^T

The weather was at its best when I went to the Namsan Seoul Tower. It was so bright and the skies were so blue, though it get quite hot at the same time. #iamaputerililin I personally think that I got some of the best pictures of my South Korea trip on this day!

Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)
I took a bus to get to Namsan Seoul Tower but little did I know that I had to hike for a bit once I get off at the nearest bus stop. Haha. Talk about another lame. It was quite a short hike but it was too steep for my liking. After all, my leg was hurt, no? I obviously huffed and puffed to my way up. Thankfully, the road was shady thanks to the trees. Otherwise, I'll become such a mess because I felt like my skin was burning up when I was on my way up.

Didn't go up the Namsan Seoul Tower because I was a cheapskate. Also, because I was not sure and was not curious about what kind of view that I'll get once I'm up there. Additionally, I heard that the best time to go up the tower is at night. So, I decided to pass.

Love locks at the Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)

Instead, I went to see the ever famous love locks area. OMG! So many love locks. I think they had to remove some due to fire safety. Pretty sure I read something along those lines. Didn't spend too much time here as well because there's only so much love locks that I can see. Haha. Wanted to take pictures at the photo zones but everyone was so busy with their significant others so I passed again. #nasiborangsingle

Pavilion at the Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)
Then, I decided to sit around near the pavilion. I think there was a significant history behind this pavilion but being lazy that I am, I didn't even bother to read the whole thing. All I know was Cha Tae Hyun was here on one of the episodes of 2 Days 1 Night. #thingsidoforchataehyun

Seoul View from Namsan Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)

After that, I managed to sneak around the observation platform to take a peak of Seoul from above. It wasn't as vast as what I've seen from Haneul Park (하늘공원) but it is what it is. I think it'll look super pretty at night with neon light and stuff.

I think I left the Namsan Seoul Tower after an hour-ish because I pretty much get the gist of the place and I wanted to go to few other places after that. Overall, I'm really glad that I decided to visit Namsan Seoul Tower on that particular day. Wouldn't mind to come again if I get another chance :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

All You Can Eat Sushi @ Japanese Restaurant Miki, Banff

I'll start this post with something irrelevant. I used to live 2 minutes away from the Japanese Restaurant Miki for almost a year but it was my first time here! Haha. Talk about lame eh.

Japanese Restaurant Miki, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Anyway, I just recently discovered that Japanese Restaurant Miki offers all you can eat sushi in winter! Can you believe that? I only learned about this fact after a year and half?! Guys, I have been whining about non-existence all you can eat sushi restaurant in Banff all this time but turned out, I was super close to what I have been dreaming of. What a cruel fate eh especially after I have spent more than two thousand dollars on sushi for the past a year and half T^T #justkidding

Tip: Japanese Restaurant Miki offers all you can eat sushi on top of their regular menu in winter. The starting date and ending date are not fixed so you have to be alert with their announcements on their Facebook page.

Japanese Restaurant Miki, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Decided to try their all you can eat sushi because I'm a sushi freak. Also, because I wanted to see if their sushi suit my taste buds and if it's worth the price tag. The price for an adult is CAD 35 plus taxes while for a kid is CAD 17 plus taxes. Honestly, this was the most expensive all you can eat sushi that I have ever had in my life. However, the time limit was the longest time limit that I have ever encountered. The time limit is 110 minutes after taking a seat. Most of all you can eat sushi restaurants that I have been to have 90 minutes time limit. So, I guess, that is a plus point?

Tip: The regular operating hours of the restaurant is 5 PM to 10 PM. However, they may close as early as 8:30 PM if they do not have customers. Again, keep your eyes open on their Facebook page.

All You Can Eat Sushi @ Japanese Restaurant Miki, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Tip: They have few rules that you need to abide when ordering. So, please read the instruction carefully. For instance, if you're ordering tempura, you can only order up to 5 pieces per person for each item in a single order. Basically if you are alone and want to eat 10 shrimp tempura, you have to order twice but they will only give your the second order after you've finished your first order.

Won't talk about the freshness and stuff because I don't know about that kind of things and I'm not that picky! For me, as long as sedap ditekak, I'm okay :)

However, I was so surprised when my orders were served! Everything were smaller than average in size. I lol'd so hard, okay. I guess I am too used with bigger size sushi that it baffled me when I saw what they served me. Other than the small size, I was pretty much happy. Had 2 round of orders but I practically ordered the same thing; shrimp tempura; scallop tempura; mushroom tempura; squid tempura; crab salad nigiri; squid nigiri; octopus nigiri; scallop nigiri; and tamago nigiri.

All You Can Eat Sushi @ Japanese Restaurant Miki, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

I spent about 2 hour-ish here, a lil bit longer than the set time limit but I didn't get chased out. Thank god! In fact, the server offered me to go for third round but I had to declined because I was too full! I was on the verge of throwing up when I was finished with my ice-cream. Haha. I guess they didn't mind to let me stay longer because I was the ONLY customer in that 2 hours-ish.

All in all, it was a nice dining experience. Service was good and food was okay, nothing special. I got everything that I have been aiming for. However, I don't think I'll come back to this restaurant anytime soon. Mainly because it's quite far from my current staff accommodation and I rather spend more money at my favourite sushi restaurant in town (though it will probably leave a bigger hole in my wallet).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Takoyaki @ Ramen Arashi, Banff

I was craving for takoyaki the other day that I decided to drag my lazy ass off to one of the newest restaurants in town named Ramen Arashi. Found this restaurant after googling about takoyaki in Banff. I usually go to this one sushi restaurant whenever I feel like eating takoyaki but on this particular day, I decided to give Ramen Arashi a try!

Ramen Arashi, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Ramen Arashi, Banff

Ramen Arashi is such a small restaurant that I think it can only fit up to 14 people, maximum. As per its name, one can easily guess that ramen is their main. Am not sure which ramen is the most popular one because I couldn't be bothered. After all, it's not that I can eat their ramen. lol!

Tip: If you have strict dietary requirements, please ask the servers to see their ingredients sheet! They have the most detailed ingredients sheets that I have ever seen. Made my life so much easier (probably will make yours as well)!

Takoyaki @ Ramen Arashi, Banff
CAD 5.95 plus taxes

Was so surprised to see this goodness called takoyaki when my server served them. Mainly because I got 6 balls for CAD 5.95 plus taxes. I think this is the cheapest takoyaki that I have found in town. Other restaurants usually sell 5 takoyaki balls at much higher price point. Needless to say, I was elated. Additionally, I love the size of the balls. They were bigger than the other takoyaki in town. They also looked prettier than the other takoyaki in town.

P.s: Sorry guys, I have this weird appreciation of takoyaki after watching Baek Jong Won's Alley Restaurants. Go watch the show if you want to know why I started to have this weird appreciation of takoyaki.

All in all, I was happy with my decision to try their takoyaki! Though, I doubt I'll come back anytime soon because I pretty much had filled up my quota for takoyaki for the next few months with this visit (I ordered 2 sets, lol!)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

BeaverTails, Banff

I'm not sure about other people but for me, winter is a season where I crave for anything sweet almost every day. It's maddening because I need to control my glucose level but the temptation is out of the world. Tried my best to fight the urge to eat anything sweet but I guess I lost this time around.

BeaverTails, Banff, Alberta, Canada
BeaverTails, Banff

Went to the BeaverTails, Banff to get my fix of BeaverTails few days ago. It was my first BeaverTails this year! It was my first BeaverTails after 7 months as well! Am so elated when I learned this fact. Good job Farah for holding back your craving :)

If you've been with me since years ago, you should know that BeaverTails is my favourite #0calories dessert. I have also mentioned about this before, personally, I think BeaverTails is one of the must-eat desserts in Canada. It's so good and so sweet, perfect to my liking. However, I do not recommend diabetic people to try BeaverTails because I think it's going to be too sweet for them.

BeaverTails, Banff, Alberta, Canada
BeaverTails, Banff

Banff has two BeaverTails shops right at the downtown. One is near to the Starbucks and another is near to the McDonald's. The first picture on this post is the shop near to the Starbucks while the second picture on this post is the shop near to the McDonald's. I usually go to the one near to the Starbucks because it's nearer to my staff accommodation and because I live on this side of the road.

The shop near Starbucks is smaller than the shop near to the McDonalds. However, it has outdoor seating as you can see from the picture, while the shop near to the McDonalds does not have seating at all. Additionally, based on my observation, the one near Starbucks is much busier throughout the year compared to the other one. I guess if you don't really like waiting especially in summer, you can go to the shop near the McDonald's.

BeaverTails, Banff, Alberta, Canada

I know I've always mentioned about BeaverTails only but BeaverTails do have other things in their menu like poutine, soft serve with various toppings, gelato, smoothies, and more. I have tried few of them but I couldn't find the pictures. Maybe I'll update about them once I found the pictures?

Tip: Some of the things in the menu are seasonal. For instance, they serve soft serve with various toppings in summer but not in winter. Likewise, they serve gelato in winter but not in summer.

As for the BeaverTails itself, it has 9 different flavors. They are Cinnamon & Sugar; Chocolate Hazelnut; Maple; Apple Cinnamon; Avalanche; Triple Trip; Coco Vanilla; Banana Chocolate and Killaloe Sunrise. My favourite is Coco Vanilla. In fact, I actually have tried this flavor only all these years #habitisscary I think you are allowed to have half-half flavors as well but I'm not sure how's the pricing gonna work.

Tip: It'll be easier for you and the worker if you mentioned the number instead of the name when ordering the BeaverTails.

Coco Vanilla BeaverTails
Coco Vanilla BeaverTails
CAD 6.90 plus taxes

I just checked my old post about BeaverTails and I just realized that they have increased their prices! I can't believe it. Haha! Few years back, Coco Vanilla BeaverTails and Banana Chocolate BeaverTails were priced at CAD 6.62 plus taxes each but now they are priced at CAD 6.90 plus taxes! Things you noticed when making comparison. Haha.

Tip: You can share with your friends or family if you're not used to big portion as the BeaverTails is quite big.

Anyway, I'm most likely to go for few more rounds of BeaverTails in the next few months. Girl gotta fully utilize her numbered days in Canada eh :)

Also, don't forget to try BeaverTails if you are happened to be in Canada, okay? It is worth a try! If you're on diet, you have to try it too. After all, diet always starts tomorrow, no? :p

My First McFlurry in Canada!

Oreo McFlurry, McDonald's Banff, Alberta, Canada
Oreo McFlurry
January 16, 2019
11:50 AM

Ice cream tastes so good when it's -22 ℃ outside! #yesieaticecreaminwinter Had my first McFlurry in Canada after living here for almost 6 years! I know, crazy eh? I guess there's always a first time :)


Did you know that McFlurry was first sold in Canada? I just learned about it today while googling about McFlurry flavors in Canada. Random things you learned from Internet eh? :)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Wild Flour Bakery, Banff

I went to the Wild Flour Bakery, Banff for the first time last Friday, thanks to my Aussie girl's invitation. Understandably, she laughed at me when I said it was my first time because I have lived in Banff for over a year but I have never been there before. In my defense, I'm not a big fan of Western baked goods. So, there's that. Haha :)

Wild Flour Bakery, Banff
Wild Flour Bakery, Banff

We decided to have a light lunch at the Wild Flour Bakery because my girl was not in the mood of something heavy. I actually googled their menu first for I wanted to see if they offer something for someone who has quite strict dietary requirement like me. Alhamdulillah, thankfully, they offer various choices including vegetarian and vegan options. Needless to say, I was happy.

Wild Flour Bakery, Banff
Wild Flour Bakery, Banff

Meat Focaccia at Wild Flour Bakery, Banff
Meat Focaccia @ Wild Flour Bakery, Banff

Initially, I planned to buy their vegetarian focaccia but decided not to because I was more attracted to their pecan butter tart. It was all because I have been looking for a good pecan butter tart for about a year. I was surprised to see that they carry pecan butter tart that I decided to buy two of them. Another reason I decided to ditch the vegetarian focaccia because they put few vegetables that I'm not fond of like kale.

My girl ordered meat focaccia and according to her, it was super good. She's also ordered a cup of coffee but I'm not sure what kind because I'm illiterate about coffee. Again, she said it was super good. I guess everything was good for her as this is her favourite bakery in Banff. She literally has spent hundreds of dollars here.

Pecan Butter Tart at Wild Flour Bakery, Banff
Pecan Butter Tart @ Wild Flour Bakery, Banff

As for their pecan butter tart, I would say it was good, better than ones that I bought in a grocery store here but still not up to my par. I have tasted a much, much, much better pecan butter tart at much lower price back in Ontario. But I guess this is the best that ones could get here in Banff. Other bakeries in Banff do not even have pecan butter tart in their menus. A beggar can be choosy, eh?

All in all, it was a nice catch up sesh with my girl and I thoroughly enjoyed my pecan butter tarts at the Wild Flour Bakery, Banff. Am thinking to come here at least once after this so that I can try the other things in their menu.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

How Do I Use My Credit Card?

I've been receiving few questions on the way I use my credit card. Honestly, I've been pounding with this same question including from my family members since few years ago. It seemed like most of them cannot process that I can be perfectly fine using a credit card, especially my parents for they are afraid that I'll get into a debt spiral. So, here's few pointers that I've been practicing ever since I had my credit card 7 years ago.

1. Expenses < Income

This is a cardinal rule that you need to ingrain in every cells of your body. Do not spend more than you could afford. If you couldn't abide this one rule, please say good bye to your credit card. For me, alhamdulillah, my expenses are usually lower than my income, though I did live with negative balance for few months T^T

2. Know your credit card spending limit

Aside of knowing the first point, you have to know your credit card spending limit. I'm not talking about the ones decided by bank but your own spending limit. I believe everyone should have a ballpark figure for their credit card spending limit. For me, CAD 800 is my sweet spot because that's the average of my credit card spending.

3. Always pay the full amount

Always, always, always pay the full amount whenever you use your credit card. Don't pay minimum amount only for that is going to be your doom as the interest will be accumulated.

Actually, I used to treat my credit card like debit card. I used to pay the amount that I used right away. For instance, if I used my credit card for my groceries in the evening, I paid the amount that I used at the same night. I don't do this anymore because my banking transactions are limited to 12 transactions only per month and I usually use my credit card more than 12 times a month.

4. Make full use of the interest-free period

I'm not sure how other credit cards work, but mine offers 21 days interest-free period. I surely am making full use of it. Like I mentioned previously, I used to pay whatever amount that I owed straight away. However, I stopped doing this due to limited number of transactions. Instead, I make sure to pay for everything within 21 days. To be exact, I make sure to pay for everything on the 14th day, maximum.

As you can see, I don't do anything special. I just use it and make sure that I pay for it. That's all.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

How to Improve Your English? (Versi Orang Kampung)

I know it's very contradictory to write a post on "How to Improve Your English?" by mixing Malay and English but this has always been my way and I'm comfortable with it. So, bear with me? :)

Disclaimer: I'm referring to myself when I use the Orang Kampung in the title. I'm the orang kampung! I live in a place that I considered as kampung and spent years studying in suburban schools. I'm a kampung girl through and through! :)

Rasa macam tak layak nak share benda-benda macam ni sebab Bahasa Inggeris saya pun tak perfect, grammar pun masih tunggang-langgang lagi, pronunciation pun ke laut, tapi rasa terpanggil bila tengok orang-orang sekeliling saya yang masih struggle lagi dalam menguasai Bahasa Inggeris. Jadi, saya nak share cara saya improve English saya. Again, please remember my English is far from perfect and I'm still learning but I really want to help other people to start enjoying English. Also, do note, whatever that work for me may not work for you.

Short backstory about English and I
Back then, I hated English to my bones and it was my least favorite subject ever. Anything English made me want to throw up. However, everything changed ever since I met my English teacher in Standard 5. She changed my opinion about English and helped me to improve my English tremendously in two years. After that, English became my most favorite subject!

1. Attitude

You have to have the right attitude in learning English. Firstly, kena kuatkan hati dan pekakkan telinga especially when you have unsupportive people all around you. Back in high school, I got so many comments like, "Poyonya kau ni nak speaking. Cakap Melayu sudahlah. Semua pun orang Melayu kat sini." Unfortunately, I succumbed to these negative comments that I stopped speaking in English. This is something that I regret until today. Well, sampai sekarang pun saya dapat reaction yang sama juga. My own parents and sisters roll their eyes sometimes whenever I speak in English. However, I'm a bit wiser now so I don't let their reactions to bother me. Ingat, kena kuatkan hati dan pekakkan telinga! :)

2. Familiarize yourself with English in fun ways.

I know English can be daunting for some people so I would suggest you to start step by step. Get yourself familiarize with English in fun ways. Kalau suka menyanyi or dengar lagu, cuba banyakkan dengar lagu English. Kalau suka tengok movies or TV shows, banyakkan tengok English TV shows or movies. Kalau suka membaca, cuba start baca buku English pula.

3. Read a lot of books

I'm a reader so I chose to read. I used to take a week or two just to finish off one book. It took me that long cause I wasn't used to English book and there were so many words that I didn't know. I had my dictionary with me all the time whenever I was reading. Now, I can finish reading an English book in one day or two depending on my free time. I personally think this is the best way if you want to enrich your vocabulary. Also, you can see different sentence structures. 

4. Watch movies, dramas, or TV shows with subtitles

I'm not sure about you guys but I find watching movies or TV shows with English subtitles is helpful in improving my English. I watch everything with English subtitles and when I say everything, I mean everything - Malay, Korean, English, Japanese, etc. I picked up a lot of new words this way.

Though I have to say that I experience a downside as well. The downside of watching anything with English subtitles is I become lazy in listening as I tend to read the subtitles? Whenever I'm watching anything English, I tend to forget to listen how they pronounce words. Which is why my pronunciation ke laut T^T Kalau tengok cerita Melayu pula, memang tak tumpukan perhatian dekat apa yang pelakon-pelakon tu cakap. Unless kalau ada perkataan yang saya tak pernah jumpa dekat subtitle tu baru saya macam, "Eh, sekejap. Sekejap. Tadi dia cakap apa eh?"

5. Fully utilize the resources around you

Kalau ada any activities or workshops related to English, join! Gunakan teachers and lectures awak. Gunakan kawan-kawan awak. Ask them to help you. Back when I was in university, I joined quite a lot of academic writing workshops because I wanted to improve my writing. Writing has always been my main weakness (other than my pronunciation) that I forced myself to join the countless workshops. I still think that my writing sucks but it's a lot better than when I was in the first year.

I also joined a program called Conversation Partner when I was in second year. Most of my acquaintances joined this program because they wanted to make new friends. As for me, I joined the program because I wanted to get used to talking in English. Thankfully my partner was very helpful and understanding. She helped to fix all my mistakes instead of mocking me. She was also very patient while dealing with the awkward me.

6. Be the supportive and understanding person that you wish others would be to you.

I can't stress enough about the importance of this. While trying to improve your English, you may find people with the lower level, same level or higher level of English than you. Please please please, jangan pandang rendah dekat orang lain. Please don't have the holier than thou attitude. You have no idea how someone may get affected by your words or response. I personally got hurt so bad once by one of my friends. She belittled me just because I pronounced few things wrongly. On another hand, I was so motivated to improve my English when one of my friends helped me to fix my pronunciation and my grammar.

7. Be confident and don't be afraid to make mistakes

Saya tahu memang susah nak jadi confident untuk guna English lagi-lagi bila kita tak biasa tapi pernah dengar tak phrase, "Fake it till you make it?" Acah acah confident so that insya Allah, satu hari nanti boleh confident betul-betul? And along the process, please don't be afraid to make mistakes. Semua orang pun akan melakukan kesilapan masa belajar. Dan daripada kesilapan tu, kita boleh belajar supaya tidak membuat kesilapan yang sama.

8. Acknowledge your weaknesses and try to improve yourself

In order to improve yourself, you need to acknowledge your weaknesses. I have mentioned this before but my main weaknesses have always been my writing and my pronunciation. So, I started to find ways to improve myself in these two aspects. On writing - I read a lot in the hope that I can incorporate some of the writing styles with mine. I also write my daily journal in English. On pronunciation - Cambridge Dictionary is my best friend. I make a habit to learn pronouncing at least 5 words a day.

9. Open your heart and mind and heed the constructive criticism

Bila ada orang yang betul-betul ikhlas tolong tegur awak, tunjukkan kesalahan awak dan cuba betulkan awak, terima dengan hati terbuka. Kuatkan hati awak dan jangan berputus asa. Dan, jangan fikir yang mereka ni sentiasa cari kesalahan awak kalau diaorang ni betul-betul ikhlas. If you find these people around you, approach them, stick to them, and ask them for help.

Good to know

1. Not everything that you read or listen to is grammatically correct. So, please be aware.

I have read so many blog posts and books with major/minor grammatical errors. Some of them were written by native English speakers, TESL students, and overseas-bound students. Saya pun salah seorang yang selalu guna grammar yang salah. haha T^T

2. Just because someone pronounces words differently than you does not mean s/he is right or wrong. People pronounce words differently according to their accents even though English is their first language.

Kita ketepikan Malaysian accent or any accents of Asian countries because English is not our first language. But, seriously, have you heard American, Canadian, British, Australian and NZ accents? I'm all good with American or Canadian accents as they are the kind of accents that I'm used to but British, NZ, and Australian accents scare me as I tend to take a longer time to process whatever they are saying.

3. Try to stick to one 'version' of English. If you are comfortable with British English then use British English. If American English is your thing, then use American English.

Tak tahulah awak perasan ke tak tapi dekat Malaysia kita guna dan belajar British English dekat sekolah. But we tend to pronounce things in American English (or to be exact Malaysian English)? I'm still struggling with this one cause I tend to mix British English and American English when writing. But I do know that I use American English whenever I'm speaking (minus the accent).

That's all from me. I know all of the points are menial and more like common sense but I hope at least some of you may find them helpful! :)

Thursday, January 03, 2019

My 2018 Best Nine

I don't have a reflection post about 2018 ready because I have yet to reflect about what happened in my life in 2018. Also, because I have been terribly sick for the past few days that all I wanted to do was to sleep more and do nothing.

Anyway, let's look at my 2018 best happy memories as per my Instagram accounts, shall we? *ayat copy paste dari post tahun lepas je :p*

My 2018 Best Nine
My public Instagram: @happilyfarah

As you all know, I use my public Instagram for blogging and/or contest purposes. Looking back at my Instagram posts and blog posts in 2018, I'm pretty sure I updated ton of posts about South Korea. However, none of them made it to my 2018 best nine! Instead, all the nine posts are about Canada! Canada, you're such a beauty and I know I'm going to miss you terribly when the time comes! <3

My private Instagram

Wow, looking back at my private Instagram's 2018 best nine, it really looked like I had a chunk of good times in 2018. In 2018, I welcomed a new member to our family, visited few new places in Canada, re-visited few special places in Canada (probably for the last time), and reunited back with my high school girlfriends. I guess I just conveniently forgot about them whenever I felt helpless and useless.

Well, here's hoping that 2019 will be a smooth year to the anxious me! :)

P.s: I kindly ask you to refrain from typing my full name or my private Instagram username anywhere in this blog due to few personal reasons. Thank you so much. Your cooperation is highly appreciated! :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...