21 June 2015

The Star Interview

https://youtu.be/B1T2G7g36mM

18 June 2015

I Survived Aki's Wrath (Part 3)

The mountain guides too were getting angry. We were already standing in groups, because we were told that the helicopter was coming. We felt cheated and I know that the guides were too... Not to mention that we had already eaten our last slice of bread; we didn’t know when our next meal would be.

Bekumpul suda kenen kami ingat ada heli :(
Screencaptured from Lilian's video. Sama-sama naik, sama-sama makan.
The guides then confer among themselves and they gave us two options. To die of hypothermia at the summit or die trying to descend. Since there’s no shelter and our clothing were not adequate for a night in the cold, we opted for die trying. It was then 4.00pm. We’ve already been stranded for 9 hours. Daylight will also be gone soon.
Not wanting to spend anymore precious minutes at the top and afraid that thick fog might blanket the peak once again, we finally started our dangerous descend. We were already drained out but the thought of coming down and seeing our family again gave us the courage. The mountain guides had told us beforehand how dangerous the trail might be and we had to be extra careful.

beginilah kami turun.
The journey down was very challenging. We followed the new trails made by the mountain guides, and we were told to walk in line. There were times where we have to wait for more than 30 minutes before we were allowed to pass because the mountain guides were re-tying the broken ropes and checking the loose rocks for us. Standing there waiting was nerve-wrecking because should there be an aftershock I know that the boulders and loose rocks could rain down on us anytime and wipe us out! Not only that, we also had to withstand the sight of dead bodies and severed limbs while waiting for the makeshift trail to be made. It was not far from where I was standing, but the guide had already warned us to stay calm if we saw anything on our way down. It really made me sad. I know it could have been me, but God had let me survive.

At 7.30pm, we reached Gunting Lagadan Hut, the place where we stayed the night before. Thanks be to God, it was not badly damaged and I could still go inside to retrieve my backpack. At around 7.41pm, we started the journey from Laban Rata to Timpohon gate. It was horrible. They were many landslides, and the earth beneath our feet was cracked. The mountains kept on shaking and the sound of the boulders falling down the mountainside really terrified us. We forced ourselves to run, even in pain, because the will to survive was very-very strong. Dakat suda kubuang begku tau. Bikin berat saja. At 12.18am, we safely reached Timpohon Gate (Idil and I was among the last in our group). I cannot express how relieved I was to see all the people who had been waiting since morning. Thank u mountain guides for making it possible for us to survive and for being there with us all the way. And thanks to the firemen at Timpohon Gate as well, who gave me bottled water and who helped me to carry my backpack to the gate.


My family and friends told me that actually we were one of the luckiest. We got to witness the before, during and after of the majestic mountain’s near destruction. I am very thankful and grateful that I made it to the top because even if new trails will be made to enable climbers to scale its summit once again, it will never be the same. Thank God for taking care of me and holding my hands throughout my ordeal and thank u Aki for knowing that I do care and respect you. I might climb and visit you again in future when the new trails to your summit are made. Not all of us who made it to the summit that day were lucky, some perished during the earthquake. My heartfelt condolences to the family of climbers and mountain guides who lost their lives that day. 

11 June 2015

I Survived Aki's Wrath (Part 2)


...
All of us were truly shocked.  As the trail was unpassable, the guides asked us to sit in one group at the summit and wait for rescue. 2 hours passed by, but we were still there, waiting. The mountain kept on shaking and the boulders fell down every now and then, I was terrified. Everyone was already praying, regardless of faith, we prayed together and for everyone’s safety. Luckily one of our friends’ mobile phone had a fairly good signal and we were able to contact our families to tell them of our situation .She also uploaded pictures of us stranded at the top on Facebook so that our families were not too worried about us.

At 10.ooam, my body started to show signs of hunger and thirst. All of us were. My lips were badly chapped, my eyes were red (maybe because I was crying) and my throat was as dry as the desert. Starvation kicked in. Fortunately, some of our friends remembered to bring some biscuits and slices of bread, we divided the food among us and that’s all we had to ease our hunger (a slice of bread for 6 person, that’s how limited our food was). We were still positive that the rescuers will come very very soon.

At around 1.00pm, after 6 hours waiting, the thirst became unbearable. We owe our mountain guides our lives because they risked their lives for us going about 700 meters below to refill our water bottles! The boulders could start falling again anytime since the tremors never really settled. Thank God those guides know every nook and cranny, we could only pray for their safety. I had ¾ water left in my 500ml bottle (the water was actually Azizi’s , our other guide ,but he gave it to me seeing me so helpless on my way up. Thank u Azizi!), that’s all we had for the time being, at least enough for everyone to wet our drying throats.

A while after, the mountain was blanketed in fog that had us shivering. We were never before subjected to that kind of temperature; it was like being inside a freezer, at least for me. We tried playing silly word games, did some chicken dance steps and walked around to warm our bodies but it did not really help. The guides constantly reminded us to gather in one place and not moving around to avoid any untoward happenings should there be another strong quake like the first time where falling rocks might hit us.

Some time after, when we were told that there was no certainty of rescue because the helicopter could not land due to bad weather, I almost cried. The condition continued for several hours and then at 3.00pm, the sky cleared up that we thought we were certainly going to be rescued by then. However, despite the clearing fog, we were told that evacuation can only be done the next morning, and most probably we have to stay overnight in that freezing summit of Mount Kinabalu. Truth be told, we were very disappointed and sad with that decision.

...to be continued.

Footnote: Bila sia tingu tu bidio malim gunung, baru sia tau kami minum air lopak. Hahaha. Nga kabalan juga gia perut. Urang kampung gia...

9 June 2015

I Survived Aki's Wrath (Part 1)

On June 4th 2015, around 9.00am, my friends and I started climbing the Mount Kinabalu via Timpohon Trail in hope to witness the sunrise 22 hours later. Since it was my first experience, I was very excited to begin the journey despite my lack of stamina (I always am, being a PLKN trainee didn’t change it).

From Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata
Excluding the killing stairs and the long distance (6km), the whole journey from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata was good. The weather was good, it was not too hot or too cold for me to handle. Upon reaching Laban Rata at about 4.10pm, I went straight to the dining area to feed my starving tummy.  Never did I know that that would be my last meal until the next 27 hours.

At 1.00am the next day, Charlene, Lilian and I woke up to prepare our supper.  Since our room (Gunting Lagadan Hut) was located 500meter from the diner, we decided to have only bread and coffee for energy, not willing to waste our breath going down to the diner to have our supper. About 2.50am, we were all ready to start our journey to the summit, after our awesome guide; Faldey gave the briefing. The journey was good, though tiring, and nothing extraordinary happened along the way. But one thing that I realize was that the higher our ascent, the more mice I saw. They were like running away from something but I thought it was natural. (I have forgotten to mention this to Orangsabah).

Taken minutes before the earthquake

The donkey's ear
So when I reached the peak at around 6.40am (thanks to Faldey for making it possible for me to reach the peak. Like I said, I am physically weak, but because of him, I managed to reach the top), like usual, we took lots of pictures, and yet, we felt nothing unusual. At 7.00am, the guide asked us to start descending but we were too engrossed with the beauty of mount Kinabalu that we ignored him. So we move around capturing the scenery and some ‘selfies’ , until suddenly the mountain shook so strongly that it left us speechless for about 2 seconds. It was around 7.15am. Then as if awakened from a trance everybody started running back towards the peak trying to avoid being thrown down the gorge. I have never been so terrified in my life. The tremor lasted for a few seconds, and that was when the Donkey’s ear suddenly broke and fell down, in a slow motion that it felt unreal and the falling rocks started rolling toward us. I really-really thought that we were going to die that day. Luckily, it didn’t go straight to the place where we were gathered, but it went down and suddenly stopped midway. We were all in shock even the guides themselves. It was like some unseen hands had pushed the rolling rocks from the fallen ‘donkeys ears’ away from us and rolled over to the other side.  


...to be continued....

26 May 2015

Book Review: Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella


Semester 5 is officially ends. Cheers to surviving one hell of a semester! Haha..Now I’m enjoying my chance to do everything that I have to pause doing a month ago; read books, watch movies and sleep. And I finally manage to finish Sophie Kinsella’s 7th shopaholic book; Shopaholic to the Stars, the book that I have been trying to finish since Christmas. LOL.
Anyway, speaking of Shopaholic to the Stars, I was NOT impressed with it. Well, coming out from the mouth of a big fan, that’s pretty bad, huh?
Becky is now chasing a Hollywood-based career, and the story tells how she would stop at nothing to achieve that.
I am disappointed to the core. It is funny (oh, well, it managed to make me laugh hysterically on my bed until my roommate thought I’m delusional), yes, but, the story is quite weak compared to the previous series. To be honest, it’s quite boring because it took me a solid 5 months to finish my read. Or maybe I was just lazy. Haha.. Anyway, I love how Sophie twisted the plot, at least there is something we can remember from the story. But a cliff-hanger ending?? Hmm… I am not really a fan of cliff-hanger ending. It’s frustrating!