views of seas, boats, rivers, small wooden houses and girls in kurung

I used to travel a lot, tailing my parents to few countries like Australia, Bali, Los Angeles, Switzerland, New Zealand, Austria and Saudi Arabia. But those were the times when I was still a child, and all I could remember was fighting and quarrelling with my brother all the time. After my mother fell sick when I was about 12, we don't travel anymore, regarding her condition with disable needs.

However, the course I am majoring in (architecture) gave me good opportunities to travel. Most of my works relating to my course involve observation of different places.

pick of the week When I was studying in UTM Skudai, I had to stay in Malacca for about a month where I was assigned to measure an old building and re-draw it on papers. I found Malacca very interesting because it still preserve the old style of town planning, but we're living it on present time. Somehow the atmosphere and presence of the way of life, practiced hundreds of years ago can still be felt when I stand in a middle of small roads surrounded with old shop houses in Malacca.

But I love Kedah more. Maybe because I never had that kind of kampung, my heart will jump exitingly as I passed the green paddy fields. I love it when I was being taken to the deepest place in villages, only to found orgasmic views of seas, boats, rivers, small wooden houses and girls in kurung. The innocence seen in Kedah sort of reminded me of my origin as a Malay, as a Malaysian. The place is all about my idea of serene, an idea of a good place to grow up I felt people who was born in Kedah are very lucky. Not that in any other states is less interesting, but there is something about Kedah that captured my heart, that made my heart feels heavy to leave the place.

As I continued my study in United Kingdom, I got to join a field trip to New York, which I think was the best so far on overseas. New York is surrounded; actually packed of tall buildings of at least 20 stories high. I found it as a place where great architecture was grouped in one place and walking in street of Manhattan was like walking in an outdoor gallery. New York too, probably the place where I felt so small, I couldn't imagine what a 10 year old kid must've felt like standing in New York. Even in my head, I knew that the Petronas Tower is higher than the Empire State, but somehow the Empire State seemed more gigantic along with other tall buildings around it.

And the thing about New York is that every single faces of New Yorker reflects a survivor look. Unlike the British which is well known with their reserved and play-safe culture. I like the idea of the view of city itself giving an impression of challenge, and made you wondered what does a city like that has got to offer to you.

When people ask if I like to travel, I honestly do not know the answer to it. I hate having to catch a plane, or bus or train. I think having to be in places where I've been was just plain fate – I just happen to be there. I would definately love to see more of the outside world. Being in people's places will always remind me of how much I love home, and how true when people say home is where the heart is.

I think with that, it will always keep me on the ground.

shaliza mokhtar – ~

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