Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Queen Favourite Beach?


One day, I had a conversation with one lady age late 50s named Massie, our regular customer.
"Have you been to Queen favourite beach?" ask Massie.
"No, what is nice about it?"
"It's the Queen favourite beach, and also Princes Anne always go there for a picnic. It's a lovely beach", answer the lady in the excited expression on her face.
"Great would love to go there".
I was so excited because she said it's a Queen favourite beach!
Red Point Village.
Back in the kitchen, I ask Jo about it.
"You know Red Point Beach?"
"Yes, 20 minutes by car, on the way to Torridon", Jo answered.
"Massie just told me it's Queen favourite beach."
Jo just laugh when he heard that.
"The Queen went there 2 times only, it was donkey years ago (long time ago). It's just her favourite beach, not the Queen".
So Massie just make things sound so huge by saying 'its Queen favourite beach'. Another thing that still make me excited to go Red Point Beach is because it is where Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) home is. If you still remember in the 90's he is very famous with acid Jazz.
Red Point Beach during low tide, quiet and peaceful.
The first time went there I just chill at the beach. I couldn't find out which one is Jay Kay home, even Jo has no idea. Jo's dad told me it's on the right before the beach car park, the stone house. But I saw several stone houses. 

Then I found a walking trail leading to another village called Shieldeg. So I make the next plan to come back for tramping.

Tramping along the coastal trail.

This abandoned house has become a place to store the fishing equipment.

Another abandoned house, nice location, facing the Atlantic Ocean.

I didn't make it to Sheildeig village because the trail is not pleasant for me, so many cow and sheep poop. Anyway, as usual, I really enjoy the view. Cantik dan menyamankan.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rua Reidh Lighthouse

My new friends from work, Jo and Kirsty told me about the light house, not far from their home in Melvaig village.
Road heading to Melvaig Village.
They drove me up to the end of the village and show me around the place. All the pictures below was taken a month ago.

Rua Reidh Light House Hostel.
I did not get the opportunity to view the hostel accommodation in the light house, so got no pictures about it. Check here for more pictures, Rua Reidh Light House.
The light house is on sale for £325,000. I wish I could have that sum of money, will buy it and live in the light house like Jonathan Creek.

Scenery is awesome! Facing the Atlantic Ocean, as beautiful as in Akaroa, New Zealand. I keep on relating things here with New Zealand isnt it?

Pose feeling cover album.

Breathtaking views.... :)


Monday, October 29, 2012

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

Assalamualaikum & hello,

First of all, sebelum memulakan topic hari ni, I nak jawab soalan kepada persoalan (berkaitan dengan entry yang lepas), 'masalah dengan imigresen ketika masuk memandangkan stay lama'. Tiket balik memang I dah beli siap-siap. Tapi tarikh I balik pada tiket ialah 2 minggu selepas tarikh tiket I fly in.

Immigresen tanya soalan macam biasa lah, accommodation dah book ke? Apa itinerary? Sebenarnya ikut pada nasib. Time I masuk dia memang tak tanya banyak. Tunjuk return ticket dan jawab dengan konfiden.

Dah lepas immigresen, mulakan plan tukar tiket date tiket balik. Kalau booking online, boleh tukar online je. Tapi ada fees yang dikenakan. Macam I dulu, I kena bayar fare difference sebab tiket yang I beli ialah under promotion. Kalau normal tiket, tukar before certain period tak dikenakan yuran tambahan.

Ok, masuk topik baru. Working Holiday Visa scheme. Mungkin ada yang tak pernah dengar tentang skim ini. Skim ini ialah permit yang diberikan kepada travelers untuk tinggal di sesebuah negara di samping boleh mendapatkan pekerjaan untuk menampung perbelanjaan traveling. Terutama kepada pemuda-pemudi, melalui skim ini anda dapat menimba pengalaman untuk tinggal di negara asing, tanpa berhadapan dengan perbelanjaan yang banyak ataupun tanpa in advance mencari pekerjaan (sampai baru cari), dan juga tanpa attending any expensive university exchange programmes.

Skim ini hanya terdapat untuk beberapa negara sahaja. Contoh untuk rakyat Malaysia, New Zealand & Australia menawarkan skim ini. United Kingdom pernah menawarkan, tetapi sudah ditutup tahun lepas memandangkan ramai rakyat Malaysia overstay di UK, dianggarkan 30,000 rakyat Malaysia tinggal secara haram di UK. Ni laporan dari berita I baca 3 tahun lepas.

Berikut ialah laman web NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION. Click kat gambar untuk ke laman web.

Di ruangan 'FIND A VISA', click di baris ayat yang pertama.

Skim ni memang terkenal di kalangan anak muda di UK, Eropah, Canadian, South America, Japan and Korean. Kalau di New Zealand dan Australia, memang bersepah lah diorang ni kat ceruk mana sekali pun.
Kemudian, di bawah ruangan 'WORK', click 'WORKING HOLIDAYS'.
Basic step I dah share kan disini. Seterusnya anda teruskan apa-apa yang patut. Kalau nak cerita step seterusnya panjang lebar lagi entry ni.

Untuk tahun 2012, skim ni dah ditutup. Tetapi akan dibuka semula pada awal tahun 2013. Anda boleh click link kat atas. Cari Working Holiday Visa. Syarat-syarat semua ada diberitahu dalam website tersebut. Tapi ingat!!! Harus cepat pada hari application ni dibuka.

Visa 6 bulan akan diberikan kalau berjaya. Kalau dulu memang setahun, tetapi selepas banyak kes orang tak balik (kan.... kes overstay ni memang fofular sangat among Malaysian), gov NZ pun pendekkan kepada 6 bulan sahaja. 

Kalau anda bekerja di sektor agriculture selama 3 bulan, visa boleh extend untuk 3 bulan lagi, in total boleh stay 9 bulan. After that kalau nak stay lama lagi, kene pandai-pandai la cari apa visa yang boleh. Walau apa pun dapatkan dulu WHV ni, sampai sana baru fikir macam mana nak stay lama or menetap di sana.

Di samping itu, anda boleh la browse apa-apa link dalam website tu untuk mengintai peluang-peluang lain. Scheme untuk fresh graduate pun ada.

Tujuan I share semua ni bukan nak tunjuk hebat ataupun menagih pujian. Sebenarnya banyak otai Malaysia yang I jumpa, yang dah pernah kerja sana sini dan lebih pengalaman dari I. Cuma diorang ni tak ada blog nak share experience.


A Courage To Take The Risk

Assalamualaikum & Hello, 

This is a continuity from the entry titled 'Saving The Money', sharing how I began to travel and work. My experienced tidaklah sehebat mana, sekadar untuk berkongsi cerita dan pengalaman.

Since graduated from University, I work for 6 years. My last job was in the government. I quick my job in MEASAT to join as a government servant (kat RTM) on my father request. Tak nak kecewakan hati mak ayah.
Time ni debab sket, zaman working in MEASAT atau dikenali dgn lebih mesra ASTRO.
Time kerja di government I started to feel uneasy with the protocol, birokrasi and so on. Cutural shock for me, from working in the multinational company and switch to government sector. The working environment utterly different.

So, I make a plan to start traveling and work. In 2008, working holiday scheme for malaysian to UK still open. So I applied, but luck not on my side, the visa given has reach the limit. I try for Australia Working Holiday Scheme, still the same. Only 200 places offer.
Me when I was still working in RTM, far left.

I can't wait any longer. I send a resignation letter to my boss, to Ketua Pengarah. Some of my colleague said I make a stupid decisions. Who stupid, me or them? Not wasting my young time, years and years working in the same place, with the same experience and grew old, mix around in the same circle of people. My RTM colleague said I just put my self in risk. What risk? Don't talk about risk if you don't know anything. Some more working in the 'iri hati, dengki, hasat dengki' culture, not so me to be part of them.
Met John Dykes, event that I managed with Football Focus Sdn Bhd.
Ticket to Melbourne I already bought it months before I resigned. Been to Australia before alone, went to Gold Coast and Sydney. So, roughly I got the idea where to stay and what to do. I just got a visitor visa, with this visa I wandering around Sydney alone looking for cash job,

FYI, Malaysian can get 3 months visitor visa to Australia. Ok, I used that visa to work in Sydney, in the back of the Turkish Restaurant downtown of Sydney, washing dishes. They pay me daily, under table, 8AUD an hour (roughly about RM 25). 6 times a week I work for 10 hours a day. If you keep your nose clean, no one will come and catch you. Thousands of visitor use their visa to work and some overstay for years and years in Sydney.

That's what I meant with 'A Courage To Take The Risk'. Work where the money is good, and spend where the currency is low. Apa kes kan, kat KL elok-elok kerja glamour dengan artist duduk dalam office pakai baju lawa-lawa. Kat Australia keje ceruk dapur. I tell you.... YOU WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU WILL GET.

Back to hostel from work, I enjoy being with the company of my hostel mates, from France, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, England, Ireland and so on. Young European are everywhere in Australia on the WHV. Most of them just graduated from University, to gain some experience through traveling. Working in the orchard, farm, restaurant, factory and so on.

When my visa nearly expired, I quit my job in the restaurant and back home for a couple of months. Next plan, apply for New Zealand Working Holiday. For NZ WHV application, is easier compare to UK and Australia. Just online from their immigration website. But,,,, you must be super quick. I got it. This time I got legal work permit.
With the hostel cleaning team lepak at McDonald, Rotorua. L-R: Me, Santiago (Argentina), Leo (Brazil), Apis (Penang mai) & Lea(France).
I did various job in NZ. My first job, in the morning working as a cleaner in the backpackers hostel in exchange for accommodation, afternoon till evening work in the Malaysian cafe (cash job) next to the hostel and night time I work as a receptionist (cash job too) in the hostel. I did 3 jobs in a day. One of the way to save money from paying a rental, work with exchange accommodation in backpackers hostel. Usually you only require to work in the morning for cleaning, only 2-3 hours job a day. In the afternoon and night time you can look for a cash job.
The Malaysian that work together with me in the vineyard.
When winter approached, I travel down to South Island for job hunting. Work 3 months in Vineyard doing trimming and wrapping the canes, in the coldest season of the year. Freezing to death. My fingers were all swollen, I can't even brush my teeth, to pain to do so. First few days, menangis dibuatnyer. That's what I call pengalaman.

I moved to Christchurch in Spring time, yes, earthquake. New experience. I work with Malaysian commercial cleaning company, the job is only night time, from 6pm to usually 4am, driving around Christchurch for office cleaning. Many different kind of office I went. The best is every time I went to clean in the game machine slot company, spend few times playing the game. Some office got a free coffee machine, freshen up myself in the late night with cup of coffee.

Summer time I went up to North Island for fruit picking and also to meet some Malaysian friends. In all different jobs I done, I met different kind of person. In the vineyard I work with 2 Indonesian that has been working illegal for 5 years in New Zealand, and a Penang guy. He was in Australia working Illegal for 3 years, and in New Zealand for 4 years. Very surprise, he will migrate legally to Canada to open a Chinese Restaurant with all the money he was saving.

Please be informed, I am not encourage you to come and work illegal in some countries with good pay. I am here just sharing my experience how I begin my work and travel and where I got the money. It's very risky. Many ask the same questions, 'would I manage to get a job? what about if I get caught?'. No specific answer for that, the best I could say is, just try. If you don't try, you know nothing about it, once you try, even though you failed, at least you had learn something, and gained the experience.

With the money I work in Australia and NZ, I travel all around NZ with my campervan that I bought and share with Kier. It's very different when you just visiting or holiday, spending a short time and only manage for sight seeing, you gain no life experienced in foreign country. Through long term traveling and working, you will learn different things from different people. The best thing, you will never know who you will meet, who will become your friends, where you will live next and many unexpected things.

After all, here I am in North West of Scotland, a place that never came across in my mind to try my luck here. My courage to take the risk is worth it. I managed to travel and driving around Europe with some friends in last summer.

Well, I guess I should stop now to start my work. I want to write more but maybe in the next entry. I will give some information about Working Holiday Visa.

In conclusion, it was not easy for me especially finding a job and the work that I done. It's worth it after all if you really love traveling for long term and love the life as a modern nomad.

See u in next entry for more things to share.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Salji Turun Di Pagi Raya Aidil Adha

Assalamualiakum & Hello,

Terlebih dahulu di kesempatan ini, saya mengucapkan SELAMAT HARI RAYA ADIL ADHA kepada semua penganut yang beragama Islam.

Beberapa hari lepas dalam surat khabar 'Press & Jurnal', di ruangan weather forecast ada meramalkan salji akan turun di kawasan Highland, Scotland terutamanya di North West. Angin sejuk dari antartika akan menyebabkan salji turun.

Memang plan nak turun ke Inverness nak tunaikan solat Raya Aidil Adha. Kalau raya yang lepas solat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri diadakan pada pukul 10.15am. So aku try cek website Masjid Inverness, huh, under construction sampai la hari ni.

Pagi ni aku pun chow la ke Inverness, ambil masa lebih kurang 1jam 20minit nak sampai. Memang pagi ni sejuk, lebih kurang 0celcius. Kat hill top dah ada snow, kelihatan keputihan. Mungkin malam tadi la kot turun.

Masa on the way drive, sampai di Kinlochewe, salji turun. Taraaaa!!!! Apa lagi berhenti la sat dulu nak snap snap photos. Tiga kali aku berhenti, last stop kat Rogie Fall.

Rogie Falls

Sudahnyer sampai Inverness jam 11am. Orang pun dah habis sembahyang raya. Di pintu masjid ada dilekatkan kertas putih memberitahu 'Eid of Adha Prayer - 9.15am' dan 'Eid Celebration Party- Saturday, 2pm-5pm, Community Hall'.

Kalau ada transport sendiri memang aku turun je esok pagi nak ke jamuan raya. Memandangkan kereta pinjam, terpaksa la batalkan niat. Dah terlanjur sampai Inverness, kesempatan diambil round dalam town. Melawat museum dan shopping groceries.

Inverness City Centre dari tingkap museum.

Snow di puncak bukit.
Minta maaf entry kali ini bukan kesinambungan dari tajuk entry yang lepas. InsyaAllah topic 'Saving The Money to be continued' di entry yang akan datang.

Selamat malam semua.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Saving The Money

Assalamualaikum & Hello,

Everybody always wanted to do something in their life and it always a reason behind that. I always wanted to travel and work abroad and be part of their community to gain culture experience and learn new things. I thought I could have never done that.

It looks impossible at the beginning. But if you know where to start, then you realize it's not impossible.

My entry this time is in respond to some request from some of the readers that wanted to know how I manage to get a job abroad.

Before I jump straight to the answer for getting a job abroad or how I get the money to travel many places, it is best for me to start from the beginning.

Saving The Money

If not because of my parents keep remind me to save money, and only spend on what is necessary, I couldn't have done what I had done today. Well, nothing great actually what I have done, I'm not a lawyer nor a doctor, not fall into any professional group.

Let's start with PTPTN. Yes, our student loan. This is the source of a huge amount of money that has been given to me once the loan approved when I was a student. Tell me, what most of the students do with this money besides paying the University/College fees, house rental, books and other necessities?

Majority of my friends during my student time, was busy chasing the latest gadgets in the market, this handphone, that handphone and so on. And also busy chasing the latest fashion like the one they saw in the magazines.

Every semester I got roughly about RM 1,800 per semester. UiTM fees are the cheapest in Malaysia University, plus hostel+university fees = RM400 (approx). Since I lived in a student hostel, I save money from eating outside. Though  many students moaning about the food in the hostel cafeteria, but for me it's fine, nothing bad about the food.

For 5 years I got my PTPTN money (diploma & degree), and every semester I could save up to RM1000. So altogether 5 years has 10 semester, I graduated with RM10,000++ (plus the dividend I got from saving in ASB and Public Mutual). People will always said GRADUATED WITH FIRST CLASS HONOUR or bla bla bla, but..... I always said I GRADUATED WITH RM10,000 in my bank account.

Later on after a month graduated I managed to get a job with MEASAT, good pay, with performance bonus and 2 months salary bonus. Save and save again. Still I'm not into chasing the latest gadgets or fashion. Saving up money to start traveling.

Well, enough of my babbling this time, will share more. To be continued....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Home Away From Home.

Assalamualiakum & hello.

Please welcome to my home, a small caravan that I call home of my own at the moment.
Rajin datang bertandang.

Couch that will turn to bed at night time.
This is my 3rd time living in a caravan. The first time was in Bleinhem, New Zealand, not really a caravan, but a truck container that has been renovated to be a room and second time was in Napier also in New Zealand. Just a simple caravan. Small but just nice for me.
Ruang tempat menyumbat barang-barang.
Found a multi-colour flag in the cupboard, so used it to decorate my caravan. 
Facilities, this caravan equipped with toilet, but I never use it. Reason, when the poop tank is full, I have to throw it. Tak mau buat semua tu. So, shower and everything, I'll go into the landlord home. Masak-memasak dalam caravan, dapur ada, microwave pun ada.
View from the kitchen.
I got power supply from my solar battery. So during the day I put the solar battery near the window where it can get the sun light. But most of the time I just use the power from landlord home connected through extension plug.
Static caravan, kecil tapi sudah cukup selesa.
Or... I just burn a candle, but very rare I do this. Just sometimes for fun when friends around. When landlord not home, I jumped in the home for watching TV and lie down on the sofa.

In summer it's fine in the caravan, warm and nice. Now the proper cold is coming, I'm freezing in the caravan. Got a small heater fan, use that to warm myself. Anyway, I'm getting use with it.
Not worship anything, just playing boardgame in the dark.
Living in a caravan is quite common here. Not far from me is another man living in a caravan alone. His bigger than mine, with one bedroom. The gypsies living in a caravan, but they move from one place to another with their caravan.

Ok, that's it. Jumpa lagi dalam celoteh yang akan datang.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Smell Like Country Side

In the last entry I mentioned about to bring the readers to meet the Highland's residents. Let's meet some of them. The residents that are loyal to the Highlands. Like New Zealand, Scotland also popular with sheep and cow.
Tak mesra sangat, malu-malu.
Here, if you can't see them, you can smell them. I love to wake up in the morning, looking through the window, and see a flock of sheep starting their routine, eating grass in the field behind my room.

Menggesel-geselkan punggung di kayu untuk hilangkan rasa gatal.
In Spring season, usually in April, the lamb will come. And you can see them in the field with their mum, jumping and playing. Ohhhh so cute!

Orang kampung panggil Panda Sheep.
Also in spring season it's a sheep shearing, removing the sheep wools. So that they will not so warm when summer come. 

Between spring and summer, the most horrible job in sheeping, cutting lamb tail or docking. The purpose of docking is to reduce the faeces build up around the bum which can encourage flies.

Before new method came, they used to cut using a sharp knife. It is so inhuman. Some still using this method. The new method that has been using widely is using a rubber rings that band tightly around the tail to stop the blood circulation. The tail will fall by itself, you can see them falling on the road, on the field in the summer.

Highland Cows, berbulu tebal for cold season.
Next, highland cows, they started to breed this cows in Highland, Scotland and exported it widely to cold country. Long furry coats protects them from the cold winter.

Lembu biasa, tapi tetap comel.
The meat is different from the normal cows. Tak pernah rasa lagi. Some said the meat is leaner, or 'padat'.

Slug, sedang bermesra.
The black colour creature and look like a snail without the shell is call slug. Memang banyak, usually can be found on the grass.

Well sambung kerja, got to go. Next entry, an invitation to my house here. All are welcome :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cycling in Highlands Scotland.

Cycling has become part of my weekly routine kat sini.  End of summer, just a few days I came back from europe, I decided to cycle for long journey, tapi tak long sangatla, 80km return. Our destination is to Gruinard Bay and camping a night there.
From Gairloch to Gruinard Bay is about 40km.
 We stop in Poolewe for energy top up, had a rest and meal.
Beg untuk disangkut di belakang basikal.
For this long cycling trip, Kier interested to join me. Outdoor activities are really him. Since Kier came with me, all the camping gear I put on his bike, so I just had a backpack only.

If you not into physical activities, such as jog or running, this could be very hard for you. The road are not flat here, up and down the hill.

It took me about 3 hours for 40km cycling, while Kier only took about 2.5 hours. He did this quit often before, so, eaaassssyy for him!
We went through a bushes full of fern leaves to get to the camping site. I hate this fern leaf because it's the home for a tick. A small bugs that sucks your blood. About the half size of lies, so small. But you don't feel they suck the blood, when it's full they can grow like the size of a peas.

FOOD, I brought 'nasi goreng' for the dinner and 'mee goreng' with 'sambal telur' for the next day breakfast. Kier also brought his own style of 'nasi goreng' and a cheese sandwich.
Gruinard Bay.

Low tide.
I had really a good sleep. The next day we had to cycle back to Gairloch. I ran out of the energy, or it was just me starting to feel lazy.

Till now, have a nice day everyone. In next entry will bring you to meet some of the highlands residents.