It’s Monday again. It is the day where the morning starts with sitting at the pantry while looking at the window, waiting for your food heated-up in the microwave, and thinking ‘what to have for lunch?’ You barely think about the coming workload for the entire week. The only thing in your mind is waiting for the clock to pass five in the evening and just spend the rest of the day at home. It is just anyone’s typical Monday I guess.
“So how was Cambodia?” asked Meera while stirring her instant coffee in her favourite mug. “It was good. I managed to get them to participate in our event next year. Other than business reason, my trip there was an upsetting one,” I replied inhaling a deep breath. “You know, three nights spent there, I found only two halal restaurants. They were not even restaurants, more of like a place for street food. That’s about food. When I wanted to perform prayer, I couldn’t find any mosque around. My hotel was quite far so I need to perform prayer somewhere,” I told Meera. She continued sipping her hot coffee while listening to the rest of my stories.
“Well, it seems like you struggled a lot there. Why don’t you use Meembar? It’s an app for travelling Muslims searching for halal or Muslim-friendly restaurants, hotel and mosque. Maybe you can give it a try for your next trip,” convinced Meera. Speaking of that, my next business trip will be in London attending an exhibition. Perhaps using such app will be more convenient and time-saving than having to ‘Google’ every piece of information. Lessons learnt in Cambodia and I believe I can survive better in London.
As a city with fame, London has many points of attraction. As soon as the exhibition ended, I opened the city map and start navigating my way to London Eye. A one-hour touring around the area, I started to starve. “Okay, this is where I bet Meembar is going to be useful,” said my inner voice. To begin with, I used the ‘Search’ function. I wanted to know where the halal restaurants were located and the distance from my current location. I turned on the GPS setting and there you go, a list of nearby halal restaurants, hotel and mosque right at my fingertips.
Apparently, the place I stood has many Mediterranean and Middle East restaurants around. I decided to walk to Maroush Restaurant while enjoying the view of Big Ben and London Eye. I was amazed with the information provided by Meembar. It did not just guide you to your nearby area, but you can search any places in the world. Say now I’m in London, but I want to know is there any halal restaurant and mosque in Tokyo. In the ‘Search’ function, just type out ‘Tokyo’ and you will be stunned with the list of details appear on your mobile screen. Oh yes, you can book hotel too from Meembar.
I had such an exquisite dinner experience in Maroush. I couldn’t help myself from taking pictures of its modern interior and flawlessly-presented plate. I enjoyed every bit of the taste that I nearly forgot to write a review about Maroush in Meembar. Here’s another thing about the app. We can drop our reviews about places we went to and share our personal experience being in that place. I definitely wrote good reviews on Maroush and shared some beautiful food pictures into Meembar. Who knows, the next customer coming to that restaurant is because of my review.
The next day, I decided to explore the cultural site of London. They have astonishing palace architectures that made you wanted to shift your professional marketing career into a butler in the palace. Continued sightseeing in the city, I accidentally bumped into a Malaysian restaurant named Melur. With excitement of ‘feels like home’, I went inside and started ordering the classical ‘Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken’. Melur is worth recognized. Therefore, I ‘Suggest’ the restaurant in Meembar. ‘Suggest’ is a feature where you can add more places such as halal or Muslim-friendly restaurants and mosque into the app so that other users will know on the places’ whereabouts. I included details such as restaurant name, cuisine type, address, contact number, operation hour and pictures.
With more than 12 percent population in London are Muslims, mosques were easy to find. I stopped by at London Central Mosque to perform Aser prayer. While waiting for adhan, I turned on Meembar to recite the holy Quran. Interestingly, this app too gives you the prayer time based on your location (some simple settings needed) and the Qibla direction. See, an app like this really makes Muslim travellers like me to be able to practice Islam wherever I may be.
I returned Malaysia safely and couldn’t wait to share with Meera how wonderful Meembar has been as a travel companion. As a gift of gratitude, a mug written ‘From London With Love’ was nicely placed on top of her cubicle. Hopefully she would like it.