From Backstreet Boys to Zalora

It has been 24 days to be exact since my return to humid Singapore. And what an exciting 24 days it has been. A lot has happened since and the excitement doesn’t seem to end.

It all started with making my childhood dream a reality by meeting the Backstreet Boys and heading for their concert! Yes! The Backstreet Boys. I’ve been a HUGE fan since I was 12 and that was almost two decades ago!

IAWLTsingapore

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Killing Jesus

killing jesus2

Photo: National Geographic

As I come closing to the end of my school year in ASM, it is quite a delightful surprise to reminisce my first true memorable experience of Morocco. I am a self confessed History, Discovery and National Geographic fan thus it certainly caught my eye when I saw a trailer called ‘Killing Jesus’. If you can recall one of our earliest YouTube videos to the Sahara in Morocco, we actually saw the filming of the show and its crew right here in Ourzazate, Morocco. Check it out from the 6th minute onwards. Near the Musee du Cinema, we were both seriously taken aback with the title ‘Killing Jesus’.

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One Week Left

It is amazing how fast time flies. This time next week I will be back in Singapore, leaving Fairoz behind all alone here in Marrakech.

I seriously can’t wait for my trip back home and for the concert I’ve been waiting for all these years! I will be heading to the Backstreet Boys concert on May 2! But at the same time, I hate to leave Fairoz all alone here. I have mixed feelings about this. I seriously do and I have no idea how am I going to deal with it. I’ve not started packing or cleaning. I am just procrastinating and it doesn’t help that since our trip to London, I’ve not been sleeping well.

Oh well, I will just take one day at a time. Tomorrow will be my last shopping trip to Jemaa el-Fnaa. I need to stock up on those coveted Argan Oils!

Marrakech, you have been wonderful though at times you gave me lots of anxiety. I will miss you no matter what. My time with you is almost up and soon Fai and I will be at another crossroad. Only Allah knows where our next destination will be. For that, we will need a lot of patience.

The next couple of months will be another different challenge. I hope Fai will miss me as much as I will miss him. Haha.

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Quad biking in Essaouira

Quad biking!

Along the Atlantic Ocean!

The last time I rode on a Quad bike was back in 2008 during an Albukhari family vacation to New Zealand. That was my first and last experience riding a Quad bike and it left an indelible memory. I am not an adrenaline junkie nor am I a thrill seeker but riding Quad bikes and driving go-karts have always been my favourite type of ‘sports’. I had so much fun then with my sisters and it is one of the memories I will always cherish!

Quad bike in New Zealand

My sisters and I (the youngest is behind the camera)

So when the opportunity presented itself again, I definitely did not hesitate. I wondered why I did not try Quad biking earlier here in Morocco. Maybe it is because I do not trust the Moroccans (we’ve heard horror stories about Quad biking in Marrakech. A colleague from ASM rode on a bike that has no threads on her wheels! Gasp!) as much as the Kiwis. But all that changed when Fai and I went for a Quad bike ride here in Morocco over Spring break.

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Bell’s Palsy (a stroke-like nightmare)

Alhamdulilah, I have lived my life cleared of any major ailments. I have never been in a hospital nor have I had a debilitating disease. However, Allah wished to test me in a foreign land with a language that I am unable to understand nor speak.

It began on a cold winter Marrakech morning. The winds were gustling as the temperature dropped to 5 degrees. Who would have thought that it could be so cold in Africa?!

I was teaching when my students started to hush around and pulled perplexed faces. I asked them to pay attention and yet more were looking at me till one of them raised their hands.

‘Sir?’

 Yes?

‘Sir, Are you playing a prank on us?’

 What do you mean?

‘It’s amazing Sir! You are making faces at us!’

Huh? As in?

‘Sir, the left side of your face is not moving!’ 

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Marrakech Food Haunt: La Creperie de Marrakech

La Creperie

One of our favourite brunch places is a hidden gem here in Marrakech.

La Creperie de Marrakech is a cool cosy French shop located near Polyclinique Narjiss before Lycee Victor Hugo. It is an eatery that sells everything with creperies. Well it is a Crepe House afterall!

The eatery is eclectically designed! A poster of Asterix and Obelix hung beside a 17th century Moroccan door while an amiable parrot greeted us at the entrance. Unfortunately, the parrot got a little too friendly sliding onto our table once. Nur is not especially fond of birds. Lucky for us, the staff came and saved the day before the parrot ran away with our pancakes.

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Harry Kane England Debut: The Golden Boy

The English fans were up on their feet on the 71st minute. No, it wasn’t that the English team were already up by 3 goals to nil. It wasn’t in recognition for the rejuvenated Rooney who has turned his season around when it looked bleak being ignored into a midfield role by Van Gaal for the likes of Van Persie and Falcao. It wasn’t because the English team was finally playing smooth football against undeniably small minnows.

They were up for a 21 year old man coming from the town of Chingford. As Rooney shook hands with the youngster, the whole stadium erupted with a roar of anticipation. And it took just 80 seconds before the young man from Tottenham Hotspurs scored his first England goal on his debut.

KaneFinal

Source: www.tottenhamhotspur.com

That man is none other than Harry Kane. He is simply having an amazing season. Indeed, after the loss of Gareth Bale, Spurs fans might have been forgiven if they would ever see a brilliant UK player zipping on the field. It simply says a lot for the youngster to be Spur’s main striker having supplanted both internationals Emmanuel Adebayor and Robert Soldado.

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LKY’s death & a Note from an 8th Grader

Today I received an email from one of my Eighth Grader. He is one of my smartest students here in Marrakech. And his message made me go ‘Awww….’

Here is a boy enjoying the time of his life basking in the sweet nectary Sun of Mexico when he took the time out of his precious Spring break to write a condolence email to me just because he saw on the Spanish news the death of Lee Kuan Yew.

He wrote,

I was watching the Spanish news with my uncle who lives here. One of the headlines was the death of Lee Kwan Yu. I would like to give my condolescence for the loss of the founder of your country.

He ended the email with ‘Saya berat’ (which means I’m heavy in Malay) and that made me chuckled warmly cause I think he meant ‘with a heavy heart’ but a BRILLIANT effort nevertheless to write in Malay!

Living overseas has made me realise how Lee Kuan Yew’s death has garnered numerous international media coverage. It is amazing that happenings of a tiny dot on the world map is being highlighted worldwide.

Every media coverage states that Lee Kuan Yew was the founding father of Singapore. But I have to clarify a few things about Singapore.

  1. Sang Nila Utama (an Indonesian Hindu King) founded Singapura in the 13oos. He named it Singapura after spotting a lion on its shores. Singa is Lion in Malay and Pura means City thus the name ‘Lion City’.
  2. Singapura was a fishing village then until Sir Stamford Raffles (a British Governor) turned it into a thriving port in 1819.
  3. In 1965 Lee Kuan Yew along with Dr Toh Chin Chye, Devan Nair, Othman Wok, and Goh Keng Swee guided the separation of Singapore from Malaysia thus making him one of the Founding Fathers of Modern Singapore.

I hope this little piece of information helps you understand more about Singapore’s short history.

Nevertheless I am very touched that my Spanish student here in Marrakech remembers that I am a Singaporean.

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Mini makeover for MarocMama

Amanda Close Up

Earlier this morning I received a text from Amanda of MarocMama asking if I could do her a favour. I’ve to admit when I received her text this morning at 10am, I was still in bed lazing around. Mak Eton aka Mama D’Cruz just left Marrakech the day before. Thus, Fai and I had a late night and only slept at around 3am.

So, when I received that text from Amanda, I was like, ‘oh no! I am not awake yet. What favour could she possibly want from me?’ Plus I’ve a ton of errands to run before the Winkler brothers (Fairoz’s cousins) visit us in a couple of days. But when she told me that she needed a quick and simple makeover for her photoshoot with a well-known women’s magazine, I said, YES! Why not right?

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