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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Hi There. It's Been a While.

And ironically, it's the season of goodbyes.

Universities are a-calling, people are a-leaving, and the rain's a-coming. It's August and its the time of year people are leaving on airplanes to oversea destinations to strive for their futures. - I was going to write future dreams but... you don't really know what you're going to be dreaming about in the future are you? - That means celebratory dinners and farewell lunches as well as possibly I'll hate you for this desserts.

This post is especially dedicated to the following people: Angeline Low, Pak Wei-Han, Mark Donkor, and Matthew Corban. There are probably more who are leaving, but I don't know them and/or I don't know that they're leaving. A special mention of Wan Rezal and Yow Chi Leng since they're going to Nottingham University in Malaysia which is almost an equivalent of moving to a different country altogether. It's in the middle of nowhere. The others are leaving to Europe, other parts of Asia, Australasia, North America... Good luck. All of you. Oh and thank you.

The mentioned are people who made life quite interesting in Sunway College and, thanks to Facebook and other websites, I'm probably going to have a hard time forgetting them. Oh and before I actually DO forget: another special shout out to Candice Novia. Hope to be hearing your soon-to-get Australian accent in the future. Notice that I did not write your last name. Remember that you can complain all you want to my Facebook wall. Or inbox. Depends on whether discretion is needed. Have fun.

Now... back to me. (How selfless am I? I spent 10 minutes writing about other people before I got to the main event). I'm going to be studying Human Psychology for the next few years and guess what? I'll be studying it in Sunway University College! Sarcastic YAY!

Okay, it's not bad and the sarcasm is perhaps unnecessary since I actually really like the place and the people there. It's close to home which means home cooked meals, I know the layout very well, and it's... familiar. That last one.. Familiar... I don't know if it's a good thing or not. Being put in an unfamiliar territory sounds more.. thrilling. Traveling and seeing new places, getting to know more people and perchance picking up a language or two. That's fun. That's how you learn the stuff you can't learn in classes or lectures. That's experience.

The course Psychology was (as most people who know me knows) not my first choice. I thought of doing Medicine somewhere like Canada or UK. But I flunked and my grades failed me. It wasn't horrible, it was just not good at all. I'd like to blame it on my lecturers but... yeah... You get the idea. Medicine sounded great: good job prospects, great pay and you really help people. But after I found out that I wouldn't be doing it, disappointment only seeped in a tiny little bit. I don't know whether it's because I handle disappointments well, which most people would not agree with (but others might), or was it because I wasn't too excited about becoming a medical officer of any sorts in the first place. Even right now, it's unclear.

Psychology does sound intriguing. I frequently played with human mindsets in high school (there are a few people who can testify), trying to understand why people do the things they do. Now, this course offers me professional insight into the psych of humans and, presumably, I'll get paid to do it. This makes it sound easy but my guts, my brains, and my very soul itself is screaming at me "DON'T YOU DARE UNDERESTIMATE IT!" I only wonder whether or not I'll listen. Who knows.. maybe by the end of course, I'll finally understand why I won't eat vegetables.

Assalamualaikum and Ramadhan Kareem.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Melaka/Malacca.

Ngeh. Right. Blogging time. I haven't blogged in a while because I didn't have any inspirations or drive to post anything. But I was reading a few blogs written by friends (which included one very interesting post about a poem) and the blogging bug started biting again. Lets start off with college.
I'm a senior! Yay! I drive to college now! Yay! I'm in both badminton and choir(dropped American Football)! Yay! I'm in really boring classes! Sarcastic Yay!
Now we'll go backwards: Boring classes first. Interdisciplinary Studies, Physics and Chemistry. 3 consecutive hours 45 minutes of battling with my eyelids, willing them to stay open. A class where the lecturer seems hell-bent on getting her points across to you to the point of being repetitive; a class where the lecturer seems to be talking to himself, entertaining himself with problems; a class where we sit and do nothing but listen and watches as the lecturer attempts to use Google Images to teach a lesson. I won't say that I'm the model student, but I really cannot bring myself to get psyched up for any of these classes. These classes are necessary for my future but, at times, I find myself thinking about half dragon half monkeys.
After class activities are so much fun nowadays! Badminton especially! I didn't know it was that popular... All of a sudden, there was a surge of people wanting to join the club and it's only been the third week of the club's opening. We might actually have to decline people soon as we are running out of space for players! The amount of talent Sunway University College has is really astounding. It makes being captain well worth it. Just watching them play makes your racket hand itch to play too. The best part is that everyone is there just to have a good time and have fun so it's easy to enjoy what you're doing, even if you have no idea what the hell it is you're doing in the first place.
Choir (Nothing like Glee). Another club which had a sudden surge of new members. I didn't go there for two weeks but when I was able to go, the room was pretty much filled up! Granted, it is not a very BIG room, but it's hard to remember when the room was last as full as it is now. The members there are so much fun that we get through the work needed to be done quite quickly and happily. And of course, some credit has to go to the overseeing lecturer, Miss Chia, who happens to be my favorite teacher. She's just funny. Everyone in choir club seems to get along with one another and with Miss Chia, and even singing the National Anthem can become fun. Weird, but fun.
I drive. It still freaks me out to drive sometimes... It doesn't feel like I belong in the driving seat. I'd much rather sit in the backseat where you can calmly observe everything. Having to drive every morning and worry about what other drivers are about to do is not an ideal cup of tea. Plus, the car is a Proton Kancil. A car that looks like a cat can push over, a car that shakes when it reaches 110km/h, a car that cannot be seen by buses and trucks. I like the car. Honest. The height, control, speed and everything to do with the car is to my liking. Getting my way around town is still a bit... confusing. As a passenger, I didn't really take in the roads, so now when I'm in the driver's seat, I wish I did.
And finally, being a senior. Not much to say really. The juniors are fun and they're actually my age, so we get along fine. But the only problem is that the other seniors seem to disperse into their own studying groups and not hang out as much as we used to. I guess work really takes a toll on people. I won't complain though, things are interesting enough as they are. A lot of things for me to observe.
I just realized that I posted this under the title "Melaka/Malacca" and yet I don't know what to write about it. So, I'll just give you the overview:
Went to Melaka on a class trip. Watched a dance/performance. Swung on an old-style kampung swing. Rode a really boring horse. Hung out with Guzelle and Rezal. Shared lame jokes to everyone in the bus (the lamest of them being "where do you take a dying man?" - if you want the answer, ask). Ate cendol Melaka which was really, really yummy. Took a Beca ride tour of Melaka.
That's about it.
Oh, and I'm also taking Bahasa Kebangsaan class which is a class where you learn Malay. The latest class was funny... We were learning about how  to say the right intonation for the words and it just so happened that the example used was "Kos" like cost. The lecturer kept saying "you shouldn't pronounce it 'Kus'" and that just made all 3 of the Arabic-understanding students laugh (me included). Then he made a few students repeat and we laughed even harder. For all those who do not understand, please ask me in person because I do not want to write the reason down in my blog.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Adventure and The Tragedy.

The Adventure
Humans have a tendency to take advantage of anything that is available to them. I know this sounds like I'm going to talk about the environment but trust me, you couldn't be more wrong. I was given the opportunity to assist my dad with his care-taking of Yusuf Islam's stay in Malaysia and man, did I take advantage of that or what?

I was told that I would be Yusuf Islam's helper for 5 days while he stayed in Malaysia and I was to take care of anything he asked for. But before I could help him, I had my driver's theory test. I failed. Twice. And the saddest part is? I needed 42 out of 50 questions right to pass the test. I got 41/50. Twice. Anyways, after that failure, I went to the hotel where he would be staying in and consequently where I would be staying as well. And I'm not talking about any normal hotel room: we got the full VIP treatment! Top floor suites with perfect views of Kuala Lumpur (aside from the fact we couldn't see KLCC because it was blocked by the neighboring building -.-') and an exquisite restaurant where we got to dine in for breakfast, lunch and dinner if we so choose to and yeah, we chose to.

I had to wear a suit and to those who know me well enough: I HAD TO WEAR A SUIT! No complaints though: I looked good =P.

Sheikh Yusuf Islam and my family had met before on a previous occasion where he went to Dubai. My brothers and I were not quite knowledgeable back then and I do not think I could fully appreciate what I was blessed enough with to witness: he is an honorable man and a great Muslim, tow things of which we don't see enough nowadays. He is a soft-spoken, courageous preacher who speaks on behalf of his religion, Islam, and has changed the lives of many, and at his stay here we got to witness such an event.

He knew my dad from before when my dad worked with Dubai Media City and I think they took a liking to each other. That's the reason, I think, my dad was informed of his visit to Malaysia and was asked to manage his stay here. When he finally got here, I was asleep. So I didn't get to meet him until the night after. Owh wait. I may have not met him yet, but during the afternoon, while I was watching TV, he called via the hotel phone. My dad was out and I didn't think there was anyone else in the suite so... I picked up.
It was weird. Honestly speaking, I did not expect to hear Sheikh Yusuf Islam's voice over the phone and the way I imagined what our first encounter with each other will be was nothing like this. Meeting him in the hallway was still in the range of what I had imagined. The phone though? Not even close.

I said hello and I think I heard him chuckle after he replied hi. Obviously, he hadn't expected to hear a teenager's voice when he called.

He had just woken up and he wanted breakfast. It was in the afternoon but hey, he's the VIP. So I asked him what he would like. His order was an English breakfast, carrot juice, some weird thing he saw on the menu  which I can't remember and one other thing that's completely lost on me right now. The carrot juice stuck with me because i honestly didn't think anyone liked carrot juice...

The first actual face to face meeting with him, however, was a semi-formal affair; wear something neat that had a collar, basically. It was for dinner, supplied by the hotel's finest chefs and in the VIP dining room. There was talk earlier about his first dinner in Malaysia would be all Malaysian style food so we knew what to expect. But the main event was of course, Sheikh Yusuf Islam himself walking into the room. He was wearing a dark purple long sleeve no neck shirt with a black vest jacket. His white beard was short but full, his white hair short and neat. He was thin and quite tall and his voice was deep and somehow or rather, he gives out a feeling of being very humble. The other thing that was noticed by my brother was that he looked exactly the same as when we saw him before, no change at all. After a brief introduction, we dined.

The course was all Malaysian; Malaysian starter, Malaysian soup, Malaysian main course, Malaysian appetizer, Malaysian sweets and Malaysian fruits.Surprise,surprise, it was really good. Hey, if u have a great gourmet chef's cooking team cooking food for you, it's bound to be good. And the Teh Tarik was, Ya Allah, so so so so so delicious! I had 4 refills or something. I would have gotten more but it felt odd every time I asked the waitress for more, like sort of rude? Anyways, all in all, it was a stomach-filling dinner and a great honor as well since the company consisted of such famed people. Alhamdulilah. It was time for thank yous and goodbyes, handshakes and smiles, and finally it was time for bed.

Next day: formal. Suit and Tie. Not a scene you would normally catch me in. We were going to the VIPs of the whole country's houses: The Agung's (King) and the Prime Minister's. So yeah, wearing a singlet or t-shirt was not even a thought! So, after getting dressed up, we headed downstairs to the cars. Sheikh was going to ride in a different car than I was, which was probably for the best seeing as how the car I was in had 6 people already in it. Oddly enough, there were policemen standing next to our cars and I thought at first it was because we had parked in the parking slot that had the disabled person sign on it...Great, dad, get an awesome car and the first thing you do is get a ticket.

But no one else seemed to mind that the police were there and the police weren't writing a ticket so I came to the conclusion that they were there to see the new Proton Inspira but not until we were all ready to go did the real answer come: I heard one of the uncles telling the policemen to go ahead of us; they were escorting us! We had two secret services officers riding motorbikes and shooing people out of our way! My dad basically had a passport to drive at 140+km/h on a busy Kuala Lumpur road in the middle of traffic.Funny thing was: everyone who had to pull over to the side because of us looked into our car and saw 4 people cramped tightly together in the back seat; it was the most cramped VIP car they had ever seen. And to those who looked into our car, we smiled and we waved.

The Agung's place wasn't very far away. It only took us around 5 minutes to get there. It was big. Not much else you can say about it really. Especially since I wasn't actually allowed to go in. VIPs only. Not their assistants. So in the car I waited. Sad, huh? After a while though, a man in green suit decorated with medals came up to the car. Calmly, I freaked out. Inside me: holy crap, a general's coming this way! What am I supposed to do?! Outside: opened door, said hi sir, how can I help you? Luckily, he had only come over to see the car. His exact comment translated into English would be:  Hi, I just wanted to see the car; it's not out on the streets yet. It's good, right?

If you ask my best friend, Amir, what I knew about cars, he would probably tell you "Nothing". He's not wrong. The only thing I could do was tell the general what I had heard from other people about the car; it was good but too bad it's only an imitation of Mitsubishi Lancer. No actual comments about the handling or performance was made though; I couldn't drive yet so I didn't have a clue about it.

After the meeting with the Agung, we headed back to the hotel. We were to change into something more appropriate for prayer, Friday Prayer at that too. Most of us just took of our suits *Alhamdulillah!* and went with our white shirts. Sheikh Yusuf went up to change, so did his wife, Sheikha Fauzia, who I think had bonded a very strong friendship with the Dato's wife. So, after everyone had prepared, we went to UIA, University Islam Antarabangsa (Islamic international School)  There, Sheikh Yusuf was asked to give a Tazkirah(practically means Reminder, so something along the lines of a speech that reminds people of God).

After his speech, he was swarmed by nearly everyone in the Masjid, each and everyone of them wanted to shake his hand. He practically needed to be escorted out of the mass. He looked a bit pale when he got out.
Saif and I were also able to meet up with a very, very old friend, Kamal, after 5 years; another serendipitous thing we have to say Alhamdulilah for. We had lunch there, lasagna made by the University cooks. It was quite good.

That night, Sheikh Yusuf was interviewed by TV3 and the interview was aired early the next morning.There was this one part that made everyone in the room laugh; the cameraman asked Sheikh Yusuf to talk while the camera was focused on him and while the interviewer "pretended to listen" to him talk.

Sheikh had a very interesting comment on it: the sound was bad, all we could hear was the AC in the room. The morning it was aired, Saif and I had an American-style breakfast but we were dressed up formally because what was coming up right after the breakfast was a really, really big deal.

Next up was undoubtedly the biggest thing yet: the Prime Minister's house. One word: PERRGGGHHHHHH!!! In English, this would translate to: WOOAAAHHHHH!!!

It was huge. First of all, it was located on the side of a mountain, so they had all the space to design the house in and they did not mess up. Let me tell you the story first, then I'll describe the place.

When we got through the main gate, we followed the policemen towards a really big building where we were dropped off. However, there was no one there to greet Sheikh Yusuf into the building, so we had to wait outside. Suddenly, a woman comes out of the house and asks us what we were doing here. Odd, right? Sheikh Yusuf was invited over but no one seemed to be expecting him. After a brief talk with Uncle Zul, the woman goes back inside and a few minutes later comes out and tells us that we were at the wrong building. Shockingly, there was another building that we were supposed to go to that was even more private than this one. A place more private than the PM's house. Apparently it was the PM's family house, where he invited family and close friends over. Yeah, he wanted to give off the impression that he considers Sheikh Yusuf family; really nice of him. Next time, though, please give us a heads up on the location of the building. The policemen had no idea where it was and somehow, we ended up taking a bit of a tour around the place; we even got to a parking zone for buses!

When we got to the building, it was once again only the VIPs allowed in. That was a bummer, but it didn't actually bum me; I honestly didn't know what to do inside the house of a Prime Minister so being outside it was just fine. The last time I met a Ministry Official, I was scolded because I was standing in the wrong position to talk to him: I had my hands on my hips. I'm guessing if I was even in the same vicinity of the Prime Minister, I'd have to stand like a soldier; straight, strong, quiet.

Now, the description of what I saw outside the building:

Right outside the really private house there was a roundabout which had an amazing view over the whole area and far away in the horizon you could see the busy life of KL, but in closer view you had the true greenery of Malaysia and the contrast between the two made both their beauty more obvious. The roundabout really had only two exits, one to the building and the other to go out of the building. I guess they thought it would look nicer with a roundabout rather than a straight road. Once away from the roundabout, there was a field with green, short grass and in the field there were brighter green round patches of grass. Saif said it was a golf course, and I don't doubt him. It was vast.

Ahead of the field was a beautiful still lake that reflected the sky exactly like a mirror. It stretched out towards the left and right and seemingly had no end, almost like a river. The lake was, in estimate, nearly a football field and a half worth of distance wide and on the other side was a forest, thick and dark, filled with a variety of trees and maybe even animals. It certainly was big enough to house a whole bunch of animals anyways. Beyond that was God knows what. I couldn't see the other side of it.
To the right of the golf course, there was a small rocky walkway under a wooden roof. If you walk on it, it will lead you down a stairway to the lake and also, if you take a right, to a small area meant for picnicking. You had to skip across wooden platforms that was above the lake water to get there and once you do, there's a wooden bench in an open area with small trees growing around it. Man, I would have loved to have picnicked there.

After touring the place for a bit - and also coming across a really fat cat that reminded one of the infamous Garfield - it was time to go back to the hotel. Sheikh Yusuf had been interviewed by the Prime Minister and the press and everything was done for the day. That night, however, there was one more order of business: Dinner. At another hotel.

This hotel was themed Chinese and as such, so was the dinner. It was Chinese Sea food. There was a variety of different sea food there: lobster, fried fish, other stuff I couldn't identify but there was also (and I loved it to no ends) sweet chicken. They served all the food onto two of those spinning topped tables. One table was for the VIPs, 8 in total, and the other one was for Saif, Uncle Rusdi and me. The servings were equal on both table. You do the maths. In that maths of yours, which of the tables was happier? =P
After that, there was nothing much else to talk about. I had a few conversations with Sheikh Yusuf Islam, most of which consisted of him asking about Malaysia and his plans to move here but the exciting events were over and soon enough, it was time for him to go to Australia.

We still had the car though.

Like I said: humans have a habit of taking advantage of things that are available to them. My dad took my grandma, my cousin, my two nieces and me on a 5 hour drive to Perlis to visit our family there in the Inspira and my dad did not need police escort to make people make way for him! He practically scared people into giving way! I don't know exactly how fast he drove, but it was fast enough to cut a normally 8 hour drive into a 5 hour drive.

In Perlis, I had a small adventure in the form of my uncle driving the Inspira. He took it on a road test; potholes, narrow roads, sudden brakes etc. I bet if he could have tried to make the car do a backflip, he would have. We were actually driving to go buy crabs and I was gifted by the shop owner with the "special" crab because I was playing with it. It was separated from the rest because it was too dangerous. The shop owner tied the crab's claws shut with a plastic rope and handed it to me. It was like having a crab on a leash! So much fun. It also freaked out my nieces to the point where the youngest one cried her eyes out. Again; so much fun. We also went shopping *yawn* but that was mostly for my cousin who said it would be a waste to go to Perlis and not visit the shopping central.


Once back in Kuala Lumpur, I had to take my driver's test again. I failed again. I took it one last time and finally, I got the 42/50 needed to pass the test. It was such an amazing relief and such an annoying result that I was laughing all the way back: I had gotten 41, 41, 41, 42. Just one mark more. You have no idea exactly how frustrating that was. Or how annoying.

The Tragedy
The day I got my L license was also the day I was able to watch"Natrah: the Tragedy" the Musical. And, Alhamdulillah, I got to watch it in a VIP seat too!
 The story is about a young girl, Natrah/Maria, who was born a Dutch and was baptized as Maria, a Christian. During WW2, her mother, Adeline Hertogh, could not support her family and her husband was Missing In Action, so she turned to her best friend at the time; Aminah, a Malaysian Muslim woman. Aminah could not have children of her own so Adeline gave Maria to Aminah at the age of 5, asking her to take care of Maria like she would care her own daughter. 8 years later, Adeline's husband had returned and they searched for the now-named Natrah.

The main conflict was her religious upbringing: she was brought up Muslim but if she goes back to her parents she would be converted to Christianity. The problem was that Aminah had no documentation of Natrah's adoption. Natrah was, at first, told by the High Court to go back to her biological parents but after a second appeal, she was allowed to stay with Aminah, her adopted mother. Natrah soon after got married to a 22-year old teacher in training, whilst she was still 14. This could be seen as a maneuver by Aminah to stop further attempts to take away Natrah as the law states that she now lawfully belongs to her husband, a Muslim Malaysian man. I did some research and I found out that this event escalated into a global scale: there were reports that Muslim countries such as Pakistan claimed that any attempts to separate the couple would be an open challenge to the Muslim world. There were also support given from Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

The marriage caused even more friction, however. Singapore (where the marriage took place) was under English rule at that time. In English law, marriage was not allowed for people under 16 years of age. So the marriage of Natrah was void. The law also states that the biological father has the right of claim over the religion of his children, whilst they were still minors. Natrah's father testified that he would never allow her to become Muslim. So, the Court ruled in favor of the Hertoghs. Soon after, a picture of Natrah kneeling in front of the Virgin Mary was published and the Muslim community rioted. The end result was 18 deaths, 173 injured and Natrah moved to Netherlands. The battle for Natrah had been lost and the battle for Maria had been won. The year was 1950.

The theater version of the Natrah Tragedy conveyed the story well, but failed to evoke a powerful emotion inside me or my dad or the uncles who had joined us to watch it. It was a tragedy, and as such it should have brought tears into our eyes. However, the comedy of the Englishmen speaking Malay was such that it sort of canceled the tragedy. If they had just spoken in English...

One of the uncles had a problem with the scene where they showed Natrah kneeling towards a huge statue of the Virgin Mary. He said that showing the picture that caused the riot would have been enough and that they went a bit overboard with it. It was true. I have a lot of Christian friends and I feel that they would have been quite insulted by how their religion was conveyed. I'm a Muslim and I know for a fact that it is Haram to insult other people's religions. Nabi Muhammad never insulted the Quraysh who threw stones at him. Of course, I do not claim that the scene was actually meant to insult; it could just have been an attempt to convey the seriousness of the matter.

The other thing was that they seemed to put a lot of emphasis to the love story part of the tragedy. It was... Unnecessary. Yeah, everybody loves a good love story, but going into so much detail for the love story of this amazing tragedy was a, I think, waste of money, time and focus. I mean.. There was even a Bollywood dance for it! Why, oh why, did they do that? It attracted a lot of attention, but for this tragedy, the attraction was for all the wrong reasons.

The only part that evoked a powerful reaction in me was the first time Natrah was taken away from Aminah, the adopted mother. There was nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with Malaysia being biased against by the law, nothing at all except for raw, heart-breaking cries of mother and daughter being separated by brute force. The actress who played Aminah was brilliant, simple brilliant, at that scene. I don't know how she faked the emotions behind her screams but it felt real. It felt like she was having her heart ripped out of her, like she was desperately fighting to stay breathing. It was brilliant.

There are a lot of controversies surrounding the Tragedy amongst which is that some people seem to think that it is a sin to allow Natrah to marry at the age of 14. It's actually not. Anyone that's hit puberty is allowed to marry. Natrah never had adult relations with her husband while married to him. The problem here is that people seem to think that marriage and adultery are synonymous. You can be married and not do anything. Marriages were used to represent a bond between tribes and families, showing the respect and honor a man and a woman is given by their respective tribes and families as they were trusted to represent them. Natrah actually lived with her mother after the marriage, so I don't actually see what some people are talking about.


The theater showed us things mostly from the Malaysian point of view. If we looked at it from the biological parents' point of view, we see that the mother was in a financial crisis during the WW2 when her husband was Missing In Action. The father knew nothing of Maria's adoption and so was angry at the fact that his daughter was given away. All he wanted was his daughter back. Back then, there was no one to legally document the adoption, so Aminah had no proof of the adoption and he had every right to claim his daughter.  So, who would you feel sympathetic towards: the Dutch parents who was forced to give away their daughter due to hardships of war or the Malaysian woman who had cared for Natrah as her own daughter for 8 years and was physically forced to separate from her?

But that's all in the past. Nothing we say can change what had happened to poor Maria/Natrah who became mentally deranged in her later years (who can blame her? Her childhood was a global-scale hysteria). There was news that Maria had planned to murder her husband because she was afraid to file for a divorce in case she lost the custody of her children. The plan failed because news got out that she was planning it. In light of her past, however, she was excused. She died of leukemia in 2009.. They say that she was constantly unhappy with her life and wanted to go back to Malaysian land but couldn't because of finance.

In conclusion: It was one of the most exciting, the most gleeful, the most eventful week of my life. And I have my dad to thank for it. Thank you, Abah. I really, really appreciate it. Sorry I couldn't go to Terengganu with you. Oh, you can read his blog if you want more on Yusuf Islam: 1426.blogspot.com

Really long blog post huh?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

GOAL!

They were AWESOME!

Lemme explain:
These past two weeks have been really good, really fun, and really AWESOME.There was Talent Night, visiting Aida, and tonight: Video Game Competition.

Let's start with Talent Night. I had fun watching the talents from Sheffield Private School, my old high school, but this was above and beyond that! For one thing, there was AWESOME dances including a Michael Jackson mimic(almost an exact copy, except Iranian), a super AWESOME hot dance by an amazing dancer and even Shakira's waka waka! Then there were singing which made you want to wave your hand in the air and say aiii-o and cheer them on. Owh and even a Magic trick! The MCs were funny, and sometimes unintentionally so - when one of them tries to be funny... then... fails. I even got up on stage! Of course for a small amount of time only, but it was enough to make people remember me. I practically shook my butt on stage. It was AWESOME fun.

The acts there were just amazing. Bravo to all of them. Now I wish I had talents like theirs.. AWESOME.

Visiting Aida. Well, it wasn't planned or anything. I didn't get to visit her the day before so I decided to go. I had quite an adventure trying to get there while spending the least amount of money possible. No taxis, one LRT ride, one other LRT ride, and quite a long walk. It was worth it though. I got to tease her about her boyfriend =p. Owh, and now I have his number on my phone.. Huhuhuhuhu. Awesomness.. =p


And finally.. Tonight. Game Night. RM10 for 2 hours of AWESOME fun. It was for FIFA 10 on the big touchscreen board. I got to the semis but lost. Pfftt. But watching the other matches were just so much fun, especially since they are so LOUD! They were practically cheering as if it was a real live football match! "SHOOT LA"! "PASS PASS!" "WHAT THE EFF WAS THAT?!" "GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I'm deaf in one ear now thanks to them. I think the person next to me was deaf in his one of his ears thanks to me. After my Semis, I played PATBALL (after sooo long since I played it! Man.. brings back so many memories) with Sammy, big dude who's real good at it. It was AWESOME! Huhuhu Final score: 11:10 to me. =D Still got it! Then we played TEKKEN. Haven't played that in so long either! Hwoarang was my choice, of course, and he did not disappoint! Only a single loss! Woot! AWESOME, I know.

So, all of these events so far:
They were AWESOME!

Monday, 13 September 2010

One Chapter Ends, the Next Begins.

Two days ago, this house was filled with all the family members on my mum's side, even the cousin who's supposed to be at boarding school. There was a feast on the table, good shows on the T.V., lots of fireworks to be lit and laughter throughout the day. That was Raya. That was the last time I lived with my parents. That was the end of a chapter.

The day after, my parents and Muhaimin had to pack up and prepare everything for the flight back to Dubai. It was mostly, it seems, clothes since they had planned to move back to Malaysia permanently before OR move back to Dubai but live in a different house. The old house was given to an old family friend and his family. It was mainly my mum who did most of the packing with my dad pitching in here and there with Muhaimin. The final count was 3/4 bags, one box and one comforter. Yeah... I think my mum realized that they needed something to keep them warm in Dubai. They're going to have to do a LOT of shopping there. Luckily, Dubai's a major shopping stop in the world.

That night, my uncle drove us to the airport in his big, red car to KLIA, Kuala Lumpur International Airport. As we headed to the airport, a bizarre sight reminded us that it was Raya: on one of the main roads, crossing it in a herd, were cows. I think what my mum said at that time was quite fitting: Even they want to go back to Kampung(village)! It did seem like they were heading to KLIA, maybe they had a flight booked...

The parting wasn't extremely emotional. In short: we arrived at KLIA, we checked in our bags, we went to eat McDonald's, we ate, then we said goodbye. In long: we arrived at KLIA, we checked in our bags, we went to eat McDonald's, we ate, then we said our goodbyes, with hugs and kisses. They had a safe flight. When they got to Dubai, they called me at 8am... apparently they thought I would be awake then. I was. Thanks to them.

It wasn't until I had a bit of time to myself that I realized two very important facts: I had to take care more of myself; this includes cleaning the house, cooking, making sure stuff were paid, waking up on time for college, making sure there's transport to college, making sure the fridge isn't empty... This all meant one huge thing: I would have a lot less time on the laptop from now on! Of course, I still have a bunch of people to help me out, especially in the starting, but I would have to learn not to depend on them too much.

The other thing I realized was: I would be living with my older brother most of the time now. That seems pretty normal enough and it is. But we've always had a bit of a communication problem: we don't. I guess that's another thing we both have to get used to, depending on each other rather than anyone else. He's going to leave to Canada in two months time, anyways, which means I have to get the most out of the two months I have left with him. He's a real nice guy, and I still am a bit blur on the reason why some people are scared of him.

So, the start of my latest chapter in life has been going great. The first night without parents... Weeellll.... I kinda slept REALLY late. Sorry. But the second night, I slept really early. At least early for me. So it kinda cancels the lateness out. Hey, gimme a chance to learn. ;D What we've been eating is mostly... Pizza. Yep. Good, delicious, fattening pizza.

I hope Muhaimin's schooling issues get resolved soon. He's enrolling in Al Ansar School in Sharjah with one of our oldest friends, which might mean that the whole family will move to Sharjah instead of Dubai. That's still fine. Some really good friends live in Sharjah.

Now that Ramadhan's over, the ban on my participation in clubs is lifted! Which means that I can enjoy the roughness of American Football once more. Awesome. I'm still unsure if they'd allow me back in after such a long hiatus but lets hope for the best.

Speaking of hiatus, One Piece's hiatus is nearly over!

Aida's blog is looking great. Go read it, People!
http://willbeoverit.blogspot.com

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Eid-ul-Fitri

Selamat Hari Raya to All!

It's Eid! Raya in Bahasa Melayu and this Eid is quite special; it's one of my only raya ever in Malaysia. And the one thing that's different here is that people take Eid really, really seriously.

In Dubai, we do go to Eid prayer, do Takbir, go to friend's houses, and wish everyone well wishes... But that's it. I don't feel that Eid is any special a day than the other 364 days that we have to go through until the next Eid. But that was all in Dubai.

In Malaysia, huge numbers of family members go to a single house and there they enjoy the company of each other. This is in the NIGHT before Eid. Then, after Isha' prayer, the people who just prayed would go to people's houses and then Takbir and eat, and again, enjoy the company of the others. What's amazing about this is that they willingly welcome people into their houses and prepare food and drinks for their late night guests, which can easily number over 30 people. Even though I did take part in this at first, I left for home after a few houses, but I had heard that they would go on until ALL the houses would have been visited, sometimes going on until 1 or 2 am!

That is the spirit of the Malaysian Muslims. They would go so far to make sure that all the houses would be blessed by Allah, making His name resound in their halls, across the streets, throughout the entire neighborhood. I just wished that this spirit would have been passed down to the next generations, who seem to have lost their way. I include myself as one who has lost his way. I hope I can find my way back and soon.

Another aspect of the Malaysian Raya that I find intriguing and inspiring is the phrase: Maaf Zahir dan Batin. If translated, it loosely means Forgive me, physically and spiritually. I say it is inspiring because it is not easy to seek forgiveness. To do so, you have to humble yourself and admit to your mistakes. You have to realize that you have wronged others and trust in them to forgive you. That is truly inspiring as it takes A LOT to do all of these things.The people nowadays, especially politicians, refuse to admit they're wrong, no matter how much evidence is piled up against them. It's in their nature. And then in the eyes of others: the ones who forgive are only the most divine of people. That is not so. Everyone can find in themselves the strength needed to forgive others.

And in that very same spirit, I seek from all of you the same forgiveness. I may have written something that has offended someone, somewhere, and if I did: Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Selamat Hari Raya Eid-ul-Fitri.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Clubs.

During the orientation week, I was asked to join any club/s that I wanted to join and they accept anybody. The only reason why people don't join all the clubs is because the timings didn't suit them or the clubs' activities aren't to their liking.

But I like all sorts of things and the college offered ALL sorts of things! This ranged from sports e.g. football (soccer) to indoor activities like... choir. Yeah. Choir. Do Re Mi Fa So La Choir. And yeah... I joined it.
It was more like I got swayed into joining it... it was really a 'in the moment' kind of thing... Sounds like I'm just making excuses up, right?  Then yeah, I'm just making it up. Truth is, I like drama classes like that. Acting, singing, NOT dancing unless it's break dancing or hip hop. It's just another creative outlet really.

I did also join alot of other clubs: swimming, basketball, soccer and flag football (whatever that is) That's my whole week. So thinking about it, I'm pretty balanced. xp The only thing I thought of joining but didn't join was the school council; it seemed like too much work and not enough play.

Impulse was the main reason I chose all those clubs... It just seemed like it was gonna be so much fun and it would give me something to do. Most of the clubs start at 4+pm and my lessons end at 1.30pm. That means I have enough time to do all my homework, research and all other school-y stuff and THEN start having fun. Afterwards, I still have the time at home to finish off anything that wasn't completed.

Again: It's pretty balanced.

But this week was a bit more... eventful. I saw Eclipse (Kind of sucked but still enjoyable) and went to Aida's school's carnival. I DIDN'T GET TO SHOOT A PAINTBALL GUN! Or get to freak a ghost out in the haunted house but still... NOT GETTING TO SHOOT A PAINTBALL GUN is such a shamee..
There was also this karaoke competition sort of thing. Nana rocked the house xp. Aida wasn't bad at singing either(not saying you're good - at least not until you're 'friends' are able to play the guitar infront of me) but I didn't sing. I don't wnaNana had so much fun, didn't you? =p She got to sing with a professional singer lagi tu! Baby TOPpy was there as well... But I'm not even gonna bother explaining what that is. -.-'

Right now, I'm just waiting for a confirmation of two bears' names. Apparently, one of them has a big chance of being called Waka Waka (Waka for short) and the other one has no name choices at all right now - kind of sad but I'm hoping this means that the final name is awesome.

Life has been a good experience this past few weeks, Alhamdulilah, and, Insha'Allah, this fun experience won't stop just yet. The clubs are all gonna start this week. I am so looking forward to it.

OWH OWH. ESPANA WON! HAHA! THE TEAM I WAS VOTING FOR SINCE THE START OF THE WORLD CUP 2010 HAS BEATEN NETHERLANDS AND WON THE BIGGEST FOOTBALLING EVENT! I'm better than the octopus. xp
 
 
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