Day 118

27th November 2014, Wednesday, 12.52am

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?” 
-Lance Armstrong, It's Not About The Bike : My Journey Back to Life

Well, as weather forecast earlier, that today will be a rainy day. It looks like the rain finally found us today. No worries. Looking at the bright side, we're so excited with what was waiting for us. Schedule of the day was to meet a friend of a friend that we've met in Brno, the owner of  a bike manufacturing factory. This factory provides cycling sportswear and this was pretty exciting day, as they've promised us to sponsor some winter cycling attire. Hoping the day could get any better, so we rode our bike to the next destination, Blučina. Just because it’s raining doesn't mean we have to hang up our bike, and wait for the next ray of sunlight. Biking in the rain can actually be pretty great, but, honestly, it's not about bad weather, it's about bad clothes!

Blučina is a small village in the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic. On rainy days, there’s a stillness to the city not found on sunny days. Places that are normally overrun with people are suddenly yours to appreciate, and views that you've seen a thousand times look different, better, in the rain. There's no way that this rain will stop us!

We arrived our destination at 12pm and the owner already expected our visit. Thanks to Mr Pekarek, he made a call to the owner as soon as we reached Blučina town. Immediately,  she brought us to the store and showed some of their winter cycling attire collections. We took some of the things that we needed the most and they gave us super specials discounts although prices at the factory was already after 50% discount! Alhamdulillah, this is one kind of happiness of the day!

Rain all-day-long didn't bother us at all, thanks to this warm cycling attire by Sykora from Czech Republic. As we entered the Austrian border, we were welcomed by its hilly road. Alhamdulillah, we managed to safely arrived in Vienna later that evening and try to reach for wireless connection to contact Mr Iskandar, one of our followers on Instagram. He offered his place for stay if we are in Austria. How thoughtful and kind he is! Dearly known as Abang Is, he fetched us while we're arrived nearby to his house, showed us around his house, and served us dinner. They're very kind-hearted people.May Allah bless their souls and grant them happiness. We exchanged stories about us on the road and he told us about life experiences living in Vienna. Later that night, we slept early, it really was a tiring day, especially cycling in the rain, but we survived! Alhamdulillah, indeed, it was a very long day.

The next morning, we were introduced to Abang Is's wife, Mrs Fitriah Bakri known as Kak Fit and she prepared us Nasi Lemak! it was so fragrant and utterly delicious!!! Nasi Lemak in abroad! oh goshh, those who are abroad would pay anything to get a taste of this perfect combo; stewed in coconut milk and pureed spices that coated each bit in magnificent flavor. Also the sambal chilli sauce, bursting with flavor, and not to miss these pretty creatures, fried anchovies! oh goshh, alhamdulillah, feeling blissful in Vienna, thank you Kak Fit! You're awesome! 

Then, we followed Abang Is sending his friends off to the airport. Then, we accompanied him to the car service until noon. After that, we visited the United Nation building since Kak Fit is working here for the UN. So, we had a little tour inside the buildings. We were left with Asrul Ramli, another Malaysian living in Vienna since Abang Is need to fetch his children from school.  Asrul's wife studied here in Vienna and he's off work, so we spent time walking around UN building area. 

After Abang Is returned back fetching  his children from school, we had a little tour inside UN building. It was a great tour. We saw so many beautiful pieces of artwork and invention from all other UN members. After the tour inside the UN ,Asrul brought us to take a walk along the river  to the central mosque and then, we took a train back to Abang Iskandar's home. As we arrived, some of the Malaysian students already waited for us, we cooked and prepared dinner together.

It's ritual thingy they have every weekend in Kak Fit and Abang Is house; the Malaysian students in Vienna will usually gather at their house for small gathering. These students have already heard about us coming by to Vienna and they have been expecting us for 3 days. We're touched to hear that. You guys are the best! But, due to miscommunication with the owner in Brno and Sykora from Blučina, and the unpredictable weather for the past few days, leaving us no choice that we have to delay our journey off to Vienna,  so we have to delayed until Wednesday.

The next day, early in the morning, we went out again with Asrul around town and we covered a lot of places the whole day. Asrul brought us to Kahlenberg by bus,  and at that night, we witnessed the night view of Vienna from uphills. It was such a breathtaking view, especially with a cup of cappuccino! Then Asrul recieved a phone call from Kak Fitriah, saying that Malaysian Embassy wanted to have a dinner with us and Abang Iskandar family. They served us some traditional cakes and coffee and that night before we did a little tour with the Malaysian Embassy around the city center and we met Abu, a Malaysian student studied in Austria, he's also staying at Abang Iskandar house for a few days with us.

This was my first time experience celebrating eid away from home. Eid in abroad is one instance when you long to be back in your neighbourhood amidst your family, relatives and your childhood friends. You just feel like going back home. Chanting takbirs in the mosque, with an array of people from around the globe is a unique experience for the Muslims residing in non Muslim countries.

The most interesting parts of celebrating Eid here is when we went to the mosque for Eid prayers, we noticed an array of Muslims, long-robed Arabs, Somalians, Palestinians, Turks, newly-converted white Muslims, Parkistanis, and this motley interacts, embraces and greets each other, even if they are not necessarily familiar with each other. Subhanallah! It is wonderful experience to see Islamic values and culture being uphold in non-Muslim countries,  witnessing how they celebrate Eidul Adha is one priceless experience i will treasure my whole life

Nothing beats celebrating Eid celebration in your own country, and it's the joyous atmosphere and ambiance that is missed the most when celebrating the occasion abroad. The spirit of rumah terbuka - or open house, widely practised by Malaysians for generations - on of the heart warning things that is missing.

This is the best time of the year for members to savour all-time favourite Malaysian delicacies like satay and ketupat, beef and chicken rendang, spicey sambal and its bursting flavour, mmppph! Memories come rushing back, the ketupat, rendang and food prepared by my mother's loving and her meticulous hands. Oh I miss my family! and not forgetting to mention, we managed to make satay, pieces of meat skewered on thin sticks, grilled over a charcoal fire and dipped in a spicy peanut sauce! 

For Malaysian especially students and expatriates who visit the open house, it's an event they look forward to most eagerly each year. Malaysian living abroad uphold their tradition of wearing Baju Melayu and Baju Kurung during Hari Raya. The colourful parade of these traditional attires worn by the Malaysian students has always fascinated their open house guests. The open house concept during festivities in our country should be continued because it provides a good avenue to promote unity among the people. Some of the foreigners are surprised with the colourful tradition and enjoyed the scrumptious food prepared for guests. Yes, the spirit of sharing among Malaysians are well known for the world over!

Journey in Vienna is one memorable experience that i will cherished. Countless thanks to the almighty for this wonderful experience.Our sincere thanks to Abang Is, Kak Fit and family for having us in your home. Your house made us feel at home and you exceeded all of our expectations- the food was wonderful and thank you for your kind treatment. Warmest thanks to the Malaysian students residing in Vienna,- Abu, Asrul, Aisyah and valued staffs of Malaysia Embassy in Vienna; Kak Suzy, Abang Fadli, Abang Anis and the respected Ambassador of Malaysia. It is always great to see you all, and inviting us to stay over, thank you for being gracious hosts and treating us so royally. I can't thank you enough, thank you so much for welcoming us with the warmth and kindness, we always attribute to the vibrant city of Vienna. May Allah repay your good deeds and kindness. In shaa Allah!

One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind. 

Auf Wiedersehen! 


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