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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’


Both mum and I not only have our birthdays in March but also in the same week. I am 16 this year, Alhamdulillah, and my family members had given me wonderful presents.

Mum gave me a lot of her Australian, American, Canadian and New Zealand stamps wrapped in a lovely silver coloured box. My dad bought me stamps at the stamp fair and an A3 sized document file which I now use to keep my stamps in. My sister Aeshah gave me some Vietnamese stamps featuring dolphins that are missing from my collection and lots of odds and ends that I could use for my craftworks. Anisah gave me a number of her drawings and Ali gave me a hairdryer, a ‘Snoopy’ clock and a watch.

My parents gave me a beautiful birthday card with a picture of a flower drawn by mum (the artist), using soft pastels. Ahmad Ali gave me three birthday cards for he enjoyed card making so much that he couldn’t stop making them… Abang Muhammad sent me a birthday card too, all the way from Chicago together with lots of gorgeous U.S.S.R. stamps.

My mother had a marvellous birthday too. Again, most of her presents were stamps from all of us. I secretly looked through her stamp albums and picked out stamps that I own but is missing from her collection. I’m delighted that she was thrilled to receive the stamps that I gave her. I also gave her some Machin stamps (the British definitive stamps with a picture of Queen Elizabeth’s head – mum simply love them, she has a few pages of those lovely stamps in her stamp album and wishes to own as much as she could). Aeshah gave her stamps too. Anisah gave her an envelope with a picture of a cat that she ‘bought’ for 6 stars (our play-money currency) from my little brother.  And Ahmad Ali gave mum a beautiful egg cup and a special Machin stamp(the 1840 Anniversary Machins) with pictures of both Queen Elizabeth as in other Machin stamps and Queen Victoria as in Penny Black.

That night,we had pizzas from Domino’s Pizza for our dinner. Everyone love Domino’s Pizza and we celebrated most of our birthdays with them. It was only last month when we had pizza for my little brother’s birthday!

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Today, picked pocket, snatched theft and stealing are considered as a part of our everyday lives in KL (and also other cities and town in Malaysia). It is very unfortunate that more people are getting so ruthless and commit crime openly.

A few months ago someone smashed the window of my aunty’s car. The car was parked at a well lighted parking lot (outside a restaurant) by a busy main road near Ampang Point (refer to ‘A Sad Incident In Ampang’). Last week my sister saw a man took something from her teacher’s car after smashing the car’s windows in the bright daylight. The car was parked in front of her school (by a busy road). And my mom was so close to become another victim of snacthed theft only that Alhamdulillah she did not carry her handbag on that occasion.

My siblings and I used to be able to run around and enjoy ourselves in parks and playgrounds; but now our parents won’t dare to let us out of their sight in those places. And I dare not go to my neighbour’s house next door without at least having my sister Aeshah watching over… Unsecured? How else can we feel when kids were kidnapped, abducted and some were even killed for no reason; for example the tragic cases of Allahyarhamah Nurin Jazlin and Sharlinie.

Is this a part of civilisation? Or is this a price to pay as we become a more developed nation? How odd when all these nasty incidents are almost unheard of in Columbus (Ohio), Palo Alto (the city of the prestigious Stanford University, California), Chicago or in San Francisco (except in slum areas).

I hope that we can put a stop to all these problems. And we could Insya Allah if we are willing to help each other to make our world a better place to live in (please refer to ‘Our Solution To A Better Future’).

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Last few months after having dinner at a restaurant near Ampang Point we were shocked to discover that somebody had smashed the windows of my aunty’s car.

Among the things stolen were my bag and (believe it or not) my sister’s school bag! My poor sister broke down to tears thinking about her school books and homeworks that she spent long hours to finish. We just can’t understand why on Earth did somebody wanted to steal a primary school child’s school bag? Or maybe the thief wanted to be more educated so that he can look for a better job…

I was so sad to lost my bag. It was a bag I received during the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Convention in Chicago, Illinois two years ago. There was only about RM 20.00 in my bag but I lost my diary, a file of ‘precious’ items and my favourite pencil case.

My diary means a great deal to me. I wrote about my travel experiences, things that I saw around me, and even some science and mathematics formulas. And my drawings, songs that I wrote … they mean everything to me. It makes me wonder what did the thief do with all of my things (except the RM20.00) – as those things were of no value to others. And I can’t help laughing thinking about what I kept in my pencil case. Well, it was a real big pencil case in which I kept lots and lots of broken pens, little pieces of broken erasers and little pencils (less than an inch long) that looked too cute to be thrown away. And also there lots of small pieces of papers that my mum calls junks (please refer to my previous posting ‘precious vs junk’)in my pencil case and my bag.

We found out that the thief also broke into another car nearby and took away a briefcase and a suitcase. Actually the incident happened at a private carpark outside the restaurant. It was well lighted and right by the busy main road.

Dad always warn us about snatch thief in the Ampang Point area. It seems that this problems are getting worse nowadays. It’s sad that all these are happening everyday when Kuala Lumpur was a very safe city just 10 years ago. I just wonder how things will be in another 10 years if we are not serious about putting a stop to all these negative behaviour.

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As I was reading (a poem) “Kemanusiaan” by Usman Awang (from ‘Sasterawan Negara: Usman Awang Edisi Kedua’ by Zurinah Hassan, DBP), I came across a word ‘Air Terjun Niagara’ or The Niagara Falls. All at once, I was transported back to the most magnificent place I’ve ever been to!

The Niagara Falls (consists of The Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls) are massive waterfalls on the Niagara River, shared by the USA and Canada. Famed as one of the world’s most famous spectacles, the Niagara Falls are unmatched for their sheer vastness and volume of water; not even by the Victoria Falls!

We drove from Chicago (Illinois) to the Niagara Falls (New York). Along the way we stopped at beautiful parks, lakes and scenic small towns. We spent a night in Holland, Michigan.

We reached the Niagara Falls just in time to watch the Falls Fireworks and Illumination Show. It was an awe-inspiring sight to see the massive falls illuminated in coloured lights over the darkness of night added by the thundering sound of water pounding down the falls.

Just in time for the fireworks at Niagara

Early the next morning we headed to the Prospect Point to see the American Falls. We saw the Rainbow Bridge over the Niagara River and also Canada across the river.

Then we drove across a bridge over the rapids to the scenic Goat Island. The whole area is under Niagara State Park. The park is so clean and beautiful, flowers blooming in flower beds and in the trees, leaves had started to change colour since autumn is just a few weeks ahead.

From the car park, we were greeted by the sound of the falls. Walking towards the Terrapin Point, I was speechless for I’ve never seen such a spectacular sight in my whole life. My little brother, Ahmad Ali was so excited to see a few full rainbows all at once in the morning mist below us over the Horseshoe Falls.

One of the many rainbows forming over the Horseshoe Falls

We walked to Luna Island across a beautiful bridge to have a close look at the Bridal Veil Falls. Along the way, we saw the Cave of the Winds; but it was too dangerous for us to go down to the cave for Ali was just 3 years old at the time. And for the same reason we couldn’t go aboard the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour of the American and Horseshoe Falls.

Crossing the bridge to Luna Island to have a close view of the Bridal Veils Falls

Connected by bridge to Goat Island are three small islands named Three Sisters Island. Next to the third Sister Island is an even smaller island named Brother Island. Three sisters and a little brother – just like me and my siblings! What a coincidence.

The Three Sisters Island

Subhanallah. Allah is the Greatest as only Him can create such a great creation. No rides on theme parks could ever match the feelings of standing by the Niagara Falls. And no words can ever justify the awe-inspiring sight and sound of the Niagara’s water, plunging into the their turbulent rapids! [It can fill up one million bathtubs in one second!!!]

I pray to Allah that I can visit Grandpa Jan in Toronto and have a chance to visit the Niagara Falls from the other side of the river – Ontario, Canada.

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