Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Braving Fear

It is natural for people to be afraid of something. Some people could have the silliest fear like the fear of taking a shower or for some, something more serious like fear of terrorism or death. Before going in depth of phobias, let me share something with everyone, just for laughs.

Source: Googly Gooeys
Technically, with creatures like cockroaches and house lizards, that's basically how things are. But what about something like being claustrophobia (fear of small spaces) or acrophobia (fear of heights)?

Did you know that phobias like claustrophobia can be treated? And did you know that phobias are always caused by something? For example, some people are aquaphobic (fear of water) because they might have gone through something traumatising in the past while swimming. The most important thing about phobias is that, one should never force a person to do something if they fear something because it could physically, mentally and emotionally hurt the person which could lead to depression. It also comes down to respecting the person’s fears.

Remember friends, nobody can force you to do something if you do not want to or have a fear for it. Do not be ashamed to tell people of your fears if it mentally or emotionally disturbs you. Talk it out to someone you trust, and try your best to overcome your fears.

[Credits to Sharifah]

Brave the fear!
Quote to share:

"Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing 

the game."

- A Cinderella Story, 2004 (The Movie) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Caught In That Holiday Traffic

It’s Chinese New Year! I dare say that some of you are going back to your respective hometowns to celebrate. I know I am! Yet, it can be a pain to be caught in a traffic jam, no? What was meant to be say, a 5-hour drive from point A to point B could last up to, 7 hours maybe? And it can be a boring.

Here are some fun things you can do when you are caught in what may look like the jam of the century. (WARNING: Other road users may think you are crazy -  or they just won’t realize a thing!)

Blast that music!
Yes, many of us listen to music; either from the radio or your own collection of songs. Put it on reasonably loud! (We would not want any accidents now, do we?) When it is said reasonably loud, not the discotheque kind of loud that would make your car look like a moving disco but loud enough for you to listen to any honking from either ways.

In this case, play Chinese New Year songs! What is more joyous than that? You are on your way to where you grew up from after all!

Read something*

This is a personal favourite! Bring along something light to read like Dik Cergas or Doraemon, or even Archie comics! But always remember to be aware of the car in front of you. Warning: Only read if you’re a good multi-tasker on the road. If not, DON’T EVER TRY! 

Use Your Imagination
This is the fun part; you could imagine many things (Hey, do not take it that way!) You could imagine being caught in a jam is like obstacles where you fight your way through a scary jungle or even fight dragons. Your focus is to the arms of a valiant prince or a beautiful damsel in distress; which is actually, home or your destination. Or, since you are going back to your hometown, just imagine the joy on your family’s face to see you coming home for a special occasion like Chinese New Year! (I know I am excited about getting onto that plane to see my grandpa!)

My advise – Just do not get too carried away with your daydreaming that could lead you to forget about your surroundings, and safety!

Photo credits to 9gag.com
Snap away!* 
Almost everyone now owns a camera-phone. So, be the model AND the photographer and shoot away! Who knows, one out of those pictures could be a potential model search photo! Just avoid ending up as the ‘hot topic’ on the internet.

You can also take pictures of your surroundings if you are not the type to take your own pictures. Maybe the cloud, the jam or some ignorant driver or even weird looking car plate numbers.

Karaoke sessions in the car!
This is my favourite thing to do when I am caught in a jam. No doubt, people might think you are crazy because in actual fact, you look like you are talking to yourself – but as long as you are happy! :D If you want to sing without looking like a lunatic, please use your hands-free and put it on to make you look like you are engaged in a conversation on your phone. But you are not alone, then, it would make you look less. ;) Chinese New Year songs are seriously catchy. Sing along even if you do not know the lyrics.

Play verbal games
There are a lot of verbal games online you can play (Example: http://www.chevroncars.com/learn/fun-games/fun-car-games). Of course if you have passengers. 

This applies when you are not driving alone. You could ask your passengers about their day and then conversation will flow by itself later. I am sure, conversations about missing Mum’s cooking will always be an issue.

Please, when doing one of all the above, ALWAYS be careful when you are driving. Do NOT text or make calls and always be aware of your surrounding. Buckle up and lock up. Most importantly, if you are unfit to drive, let someone else do the driving. Be sure you are not under any influence when driving! 

Happy Chinese New Year and have a safe trip, everyone!

* NOT recommended for manual drivers and Non-multitaskers.

[Credits to Sharifah]

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Remembering The Old Days

For most of us born around the 1990s, I personally think, compared to the generation born today, have had one of the best childhoods ever!

I can be quite old fashioned at times and I don’t fancy change, no matter what form it may come in. I personally feel sad when looking at children nowadays. I see seven year olds with iPads , iPhones and Facebook accounts. Where is their childhood? Because of advanced technology, many parents these days bring their kids along the rise on gadgets and electronics that contribute to making lives easier but lazier.

These kids are missing out on simple childhood pleasures – getting wet in the rain, getting dirty in sand or mud, falling down from chasing one another, pulling out grass from the garden and possibly attempting to eat it, or grabbing worms (Eww!) Okay, I’ve never done the worms but, I think childhood 10 years ago and more was, awesome!

I used to play with my Cinderella castle with my dad. We would create dialogues and change the original story, like making the Fairy Godmother the villain. I remember playing ‘guli’ (marbles) outside the house. Dad would line them up and we had to hit them, my memory is vague. My family used to go outside to play badminton in parks, and take slow walks around the housing area. Or with friends, we used to pretend we were hunters in the jungle, or conducting a talk show, or imagine we were spies investigating a murder in school. Remember the days of the ‘rotan.’

What do kids do these days? I wonder. They’re either on the TV playing some advanced graphic game or engrossing themselves with the iPhone or iPad, probably playing Angry Birds. Come on, peeps! Those phones and gadgets need a break and we need to reconnect! Let’s balance and avoid spoiling young kids with expensive gadgets. I think the most expensive gift I got was probably a Barbie Doll worth RM40, max. ;)


[Credits to Marissa M.]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bienvenido & Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina (Part 2)

Travel tips to Buenos Aires!

Always prepare a lot of coins because you will need it for public transport which is the colectivo (bus) and subte (train). The bus only cost me AR$1.25 pesos for a long distance and train is AR$1.10 pesos for any distance. Bear in mind that in BsAs, there are 141 buses with 90 different companies operated. If you are confused with the buses around, ask the local, I will suggest you to use subte as it is convenient.

Go for a free tour organized by Jonathan Evans, he knows everything about BsAs as he live there for years. He will give you the insight of what to expect during your trip in Buenos Aires which will assist you to explore the city yourself. He will explain how to use the public transport and tour you around the famous place in Argentina. (http://www.buenosaireslocaltours.com/)

Make sure you change your money which is the USD to Argentina Pesos at Banco de La Nacion in the Ezeiza Airport and the remaining money you can always change in your own hostel.

Use money belt to keep your money and belongings, I would recommend your passport and other documents/money to keep in the hostel locker. Bring only what is necessary. I’ve almost get rip off by a pick pocket in the train.

The way Argentine greet people is different, be expect to get a kiss from a lady on your cheek with a hug and seeing a man kiss on the other man cheek and a hug.

Living expenses might be expensive, for example, the MCD for the medium size cost around RM40 compared to Malaysia which only cost around RM10. My advice, try the local cuisine instead of the fast food. For instance, empanadas, milanesa, parrilla, dulce de leche, steak & wine and pizza.

Mineral water (agua) cost varies in different places. It does not vary from few cents (centavos) but few pesos instead. Roughly, the cheapest you can get is $4 pesos which is located at the kiosk or supermarket at the neighborhood.

Lunch and dinner is so different in Argentina, people will have lunch around 2pm onwards and dinner on 9pm onwards. The nightlife is great as the club will starts around 1am onwards till the next morning.

Tango in La Boca
If you want to watch tango performance, it is worth to go to La Catedral which is a cheaper option compared to watching at Tango Porteno which cost almost $400 pesos which include the dinner. You can always see a tango street dance performance at La Boca (Take Bus 152) and Puerto Madero or San Telmo.

For souvenir hunt such as antiques, mate cup, T-shirts and etc, go to San Telmo or Florida Street, be aware of pickpocket, check for the best bargain and make sure you can speak little Spanish for travel. (greetings, number, direction)


This blog intend to inspire the youth out there to explore the world, motivates people who want to travel solo and meet new people!

Keep a look out for MYC!'s upcoming issue of MYC! News themed 'Around the World'!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bienvenido & Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina (Part 1)

In conjunction with MYC! News' upcoming issue for February 2012, we share the experience of one of our contributors who loves to travel around the world. Here he shares about his recent trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and some travel tips you'll find useful. Enjoy!


I always believe that travelling around the world will get you motivated, inspired by others because you will have the chance to learn their culture, language and get to see people that come from different walks of life. Meeting with other people such as backpackers will allow you to share your experience and listen to theirs which will inspire you.

Sky’s the limit; always grab the chance to travel when you are young so that you can gain tremendous experience that will help you to be a better person. I’ve went to many places around the world and managed to conquered 6 continents at the age of 22. My last trip was at Buenos Aires, Argentina which I went there for 10 days last 18th December 2011.

I went there on my own and took Malaysia Airlines from Sibu to Kuala Lumpur then to Cape Town and to Buenos Aires. Total flight was roughly almost 30 hours plus the transit. Unfortunately, I was stranded in Cape Town on the 30th December  on my way back to Sibu due to there is a problem at the aircraft and I have to overnight in Cape Town, there again, I managed to see the well known Table Mountain in South Africa.

Buenos Aires (BsAs), Argentina is known as the Paris of South America because of its building structure, charming mix of tree-lined streets, high fashion and history. There are a lot of things you can do in Buenos Aires, exploring the city itself and feel the atmosphere; the spirit of Argentine is a satisfaction for me. I am truly impressed with the people here, they are warm and friendly.


Stay-tuned to Part 2 for 10 useful travel tips to Buenos Aires!

Friday, January 13, 2012

When In Rome, Do What The Romans Do (Part 2)

Different countries have many different types of culture. Malaysia is colourful with different cultures but despite our multiracialism, we do not specify (much) on who can do or cannot do according to that particular culture. So, it is also important to know that different countries have different cultures and their dos and their don’ts. This could also mean using hand languages! Did you know by putting your thumb up is not what we commonly mean in Middle Eastern countries? Or what could mean, “let’s eat” in Indian might mean something else in Italy?

Use of language slangs and expressions is also something you have to be aware of. You could get into serious trouble. Remember, you are going on their turf so there is no 100% special priority for you even as a foreigner to the country. But must not be the reason for not visiting that particular country or city. Culture could also cover on the country’s native music, language and other things like architecture. Take Barcelona for instance, if those activists against bull fighting win their case to take away bull fighting, Spain has nothing much to show other than the fandango dance and their architectural monuments by Antonio Gaudi, who designed the unfinished Sagrada Familia. Well, to football fans, there is always Barcelona FC and Real Madrid FC.

The best part about traveling is getting to know the people and see how they interact with you. There are good people and there are bad people. You must also be prepared to brace yourself for gypsies especially in European countries. This is a shocker, even for me, Spain may look like a country that is more advance but the sad thing is about 80% of the people there are unemployed. Thus, whenever you go traveling the tour guides or hotel concierge will tell you to be careful of pickpockets.

Pickpockets are very smart people and they are very quick. They could throw a coin onto the floor and pretend to cower onto the floor looking for it while two other men behind you going into your pocket. Or ask you to sign a piece of paper and while you do so, they pick your pocket and could forge your signature. So you have to be careful at all times when you are traveling. Stay off the back alleys at night and always make sure you keep your passport and wallet in a safe place or carry just enough cash when you are out. Unless, you are the type who, enjoy being around happy people, you could go to Amsterdam and be amazed on how happy the people are there even at 7 am!

So, when you travel always take into account that traveling is NOT a cheap hobby but it is NOT an opportunity to let go either. In the event you have no choice but to go to a certain place, be sure you do your research about the country and be sure you try things that is not in the norm. I shall end this with a quote by an American author, James Michener;

"If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."

[Credits to Sharifah]

P/s: Keep a look out for our upcoming issue of MYC! News featuring articles about travel & around the world!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When In Rome, Do What The Romans Do (Part 1)

Many of us would love to go traveling in our lifetime but when planning a trip somewhere, what is the main reason for you to go to that destination? What made you thought of the place as a holiday destination? If you were to ask me, my answer would be pretty simple, I want to know more about the country from the locals rather than to read reviews online or in books. Culture and history in foreign countries very often fascinates me as I grew up listening to stories about a country’s history and their way of life.

The reason why I enjoy traveling is not only to visit places but to also to also feel of being a local. Try their food, learn their cultures and see how they behave in their own home ground.  Like how the expressions go, “When in Rome, do what the Romans do”. Have you seen the Malaysia Tourism print advertisements?

Photo taken from here.
Notice how they use foreigners in that picture? This is because foreigners who come to Malaysia participates with what our culture have to offer them. Most of these foreigners are bold enough to try our traditional dances and food without any hesitation. As much as some of them do not like durian, at least they try and to determine if they like it or not. Technically, they are doing what Malaysians do when in Malaysia! That is what traveling is all about. You should be trying what you do not do at home. If you are too scared to try anything different from your own country, you are missing out an experience.

I was in Lisbon last month when I saw this Asian family at the hotel’s coffee house. I would have thought they we were able to eat anything that was served on the buffet table but I saw they were eating instant noodles in a cup instead and one of the ladies at the table was complaining on how it was difficult to eat around there and they were grateful they brought their instant noodles in a cup.

What was the difference in Portuguese bread with their local bread? Before Lisbon, I was in Madrid and I tried something I thought that looked icky but tasted good; paella. Paella is a Spanish delicacy that would look like sticky nasi briyani but with seafood and there this family, who could supposedly try anything on the table, was not trying something new. However, in Amsterdam, when you enter a coffee shop, be aware on what you eat because by eating the ‘wrong’ thing, you could get unusually happy at an impropriate time. So, basically, it is also important you know what you want to try and what you do not want to try.

This is only Part I of the article. Part II coming your way so stay-tuned! :)

[Credits to Sharifah]

P/s: Keep a look out for our upcoming issue of MYC! News featuring articles about travel & around the world!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Angry Birds Or Just Plain Crazy?

Examine this:

Of course, it's the award winning, chart topping, heart winning mobile game, Angry Birds! Yes yes, we all love them Angry Birds, the game that sort of revolutionized mobile gaming, along with Fruit Ninja with their HD graphics and gesture controls, but that was a while ago. Nonetheless, even now, whipping out my phone and throwing down a few rounds of Angry Birds never fails to keep me entertained.

However, there is more to life than mobile gaming, dear readers. Sometimes, we should flex our imagination.
Like this:

OR, sometimes, we just need to get physical.

They're just crazy like that!
How crazy are you? Share with us on MYC!'s Facebook Page now @ http://www.facebook.com/mycclub

[Credits to Alvin L.]
[Disclaimer: MYC! by no means encourage attempting any hazardous activities without safety gears and supervision. Remember, safety first!]