Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Impian Mahligai

Aku hendak membina sebuah mahligai yang indah, jauh dari kekacauan bandar. Aku hendak membina mahligai ini dan memulakan hidup baru bersama buah hatiku. Tetapi, aku takut. Aku gentar apabila memikirkan soalan yang tiada jawapan. Aku takut untuk fikir tentang masa depan dengannya kerana setiap kali aku memberi fikiranku melayar ke suatu tempat yang jauh, ia tidak akan terjadi. Setiap fikiranku pasti berkecai. Setiap mimpiku pasti tidak tercapai.

Mengapakah aku rasa begitu?

Mengapakah aku begitu negatif?

Aku mesti membina mahligai itu. Aku mesti merealisasikan impianku.

Tetapi...hanya aku sahaja yang mimpi. Aku sahaja yang tepuk sebelah tangan.

Adakah buah hatiku berkongsi impian yang sama?

Aku hanya boleh harap......

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From the Outside Looking In...

The neighbour was a dilapidated kampung shed whose inhabitants hailed from north of the sea. It was on a land without natural resources yet with right dose of autocratic leadership, it rose to become one of the neighbourhood's richest and wealthiest household. Everything was in place once it divorced itself from the chains of the so-called less intelligent landlord. Education was the neighbour's first priority. It instilled in them how their father fought for their independence from the "nasty" landlord. But it failed to remind them of their cultural connections with him. Not until recently, did the father realise that his well applauded autocratic style has crumbled and is no longer as effective.

His children have become walking robots. They likened themselves to living in a zoo. A zoo is a artificially created habitat for animals to roam free as they like yet they are under the clutches of the zoo keepers. They are always under constant surveilance less they end up in some mischief or go against the neighbour's code of conduct. Anything which did not go with the ways and thinkings of the father was frowned upon.

A child who happend to be visiting the neighbour drew pictures on the neighbour's wall. What he drew was ugly to the assistants of the father but to those outside the fence of that household, it was art. He was right to be reprimanded for his insolence but to be caned by the father's men was just outright wrong.

Young adults living in the household attended classes designed to keep their minds on academic excellence and for those who excel, they are then chosen to be the father's right-hand men and women. They were good students; always hardworking yet they lacked certain qualities. They possessed abilities which their peers outside their little circle did not have. They could jot down notes verbatim; even the opening speech and little joke their teacher made before the formal lecture began. They never questioned their surroundings. Instead, they just ate the food that was fed to them and excreated it when the time called for it.

The neighbour like any other household disliked to hang their dirty laundry for the neighbourhood to see. They hid their soiled linen carefully in their backyard. The household was crumbling economy wise yet the father's assistants did not allow such bad news to be told to the children of the household.

But the children are no fools. They are observing creatures who have a mind of their own but they never exercise that right for the fear of the father. They talk amongst themselves about the failings of the household.

As I peered through a whole in the fence, this is what I see. But who am I to judge how the neighbour lives and handles its internal affairs when my own household is equally as chaotic. My household is also filled with skeletons in closets that are craftilly stuffed in by my father's able assistants.

Who am I to judge?

Who am I to compare?

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Star Wars and Espradilles

I love weekends. I love weekends when I don't have to rush back to study or have that nagging feeling inside me telling me that I'm wasting precious minutes by strolling the streets of Nottingham City.

I had such a lovely weekend. It started off on Saturday morning where the both of us woke up at 11am but lazed in bed till almost 1pm! We got up because we heard each other's stomach making hungry noises. We quickly got changed and then took the bus to the city. The weather was just nice. It wasn't as hot as it was on Friday. The wind blew lightly and the sun was up as well. The City played host to a French Fair which was very colourful and had temptingly delicious macaroons! But we didn't stop for any. Instead we headed straight to UGC - the Cinema.

We bought tickets for the night show of Star Wars. I haven't watched a single Star Wars before but Vinz dragged me along. He has been bugging me to watch it with him since the movie came out. He told me the whole story while we were having dinner at Nandos. I nodded and tried to comprehend. Surprisingly, I did. I understood the whole picture and was very eager to watch the movie at 8.15pm.

Ok..back to Saturday afternoon. We had lunch at KFC (another one of Vinz's idea). I never liked KFC but to entertain my boyfriend (afterall, he had such a long week), I agreed. I must say that KFC in UK is a far cry from the KFC back home. There is something not right about it. The batter isn't as crispy as the one in Malaysia. Oh well...

After lunch, we headed straight to Victoria Centre. I was desperately looking for a pair of sandals/slippers/espradilles. I always had the Kenneth Cole slipper in my mind but it costs 55pounds. I would have bought it if it weren't the end of the year and I didn't have to go to Rome in 2 weeks. Clarks had Ah-Ma kinda shoes but I must say they were comfortable. Faith had funky shoes which were hard and not nice to walk with. Qube's shop was just too bright and gave me and Vinz a headache.

I was adamant to get a pair of espradilles. I bumped into Jean at Faith and she told me that she saw a few nice ones at NEXT. I was about to head to NEXT but I decided, why not try House of Fraser. Who knows my Kenneth Cole is on sale?

It really was!! From 55 to 41pounds!! Wooohoo! At that moment, Vinz had something to say...

"You want to buy Made in China?"

I flipped the slipper over and true enough..it was made in China. Shit. I'm paying over RM300 for pair of Kenneth Cole which is made in China? No wayyyyyyyyy...

I walked around the shoe section and found this really pretty pair of espradilles. It was by Nine West, the Australian brand. My mouth was watering already at that moment. I didn't even bother to look at the price. All I knew was I put it on and refused to take it off. I paid for it at the cashier and wore my new pink espradilles the whole day!! :)

Shoes. You can never have too many of them. Bags too. I got one from Zara on the same day!

Star Wars?

I thought the fighting scenes were quite nice. Yoda was cute. I especially liked R2D2. But I didn't like the ending. It was too abrupt. It felt like George Lucas stuffed everything towards the end to make it link with the next Star Wars. Not good. But I liked all of Natalie Portman's hair do's though.

On Sunday morning, I dragged Vinz out of bed at 9am to go to church. He didn't complain and I was so proud of him that he actually made it! For the past week he has been sharing with me all his worries and problems and guess what? The Pastor read out a passage from the bible...

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."

It couldn't have come at a better time. God certainly has His own way of reassuring us that He is for us and not against us :)

Ahhh...what a wonderful weekend!

Vinz has to work today although its a Bank Holiday and I have to clear up my room and start packing. I'm getting sentimental about leaving my room but I guess one has to move on to progress...

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Friday, May 27, 2005

Farewell and Rest in Peace...

I am overwhelmed by sadness.

What a year this has been!

My uncle (my mum's cousin's husband) just passed away of a heart attack in Sydney early this morning Australian time.

Uncle Bob Lim - we used to call him that because my dad is the other Uncle Bob at home. I must have only met him a few times in my life because they migrated to Sydney when I was a little girl. The last time we met was in 1998 during my sister's graduation. We stayed at their place and we had lots of fun together. He is a complainer (no offence to him). He likes to make crude and rude jokes about his wife's family. Don't know what he has against that family but everyone is so used to it that we never take his remarks seriously. In fact, none of us ever took Uncle Bob Lim seriously. He was the funny man. The man who would put a smile on your face whenever you are down.

He spoke Hokkien and hated the Aussies. He wanted to come back to Malaysia but he thought of his children's education most of all. He worked in a University in Sydney and both his son, Chong was especially close to him. He took Chong to various tennis tournaments and made him a little Michael Chang. Chong was the one who discovered his beloved father lying dead on the sofa at 3am in the TV room of the house. Poor Uncle Bob, he must have suffered during the last moments of his life and he never said goodbye.

The first time I remember meeting Uncle Bob was way back in 1995. He took a few days leave to bring me and my family up to the Blue Mountains. I remember him telling us that...

"Don't worry. It's just 2 hours away from my house."

But it took us 5 hours.

I remember my mum and dad being so tired because of the journey that they didn't want to go see the 3 Sister's (some famous carving of the mountain if I remember right). I hiked up with Uncle Bob and both of us enjoyed ourselves even though it was bitterly cold.

Uncle Bob called "Pizza" with a terrible Hokkien slang. He called it "Pi-Sai" meaning nose shit.

There is this particular Australian desert, something like a brownie but not quite. He called it "Aussie Cake" with the "Aussie" sounding like shitting in Cantonese.

He had high blood pressure and diabetes while he was alive. But he never really bothered with his diet. He always said...

"Aiya...beh hiao kin lah. Si mah si lor"

(Aiya...its oklah. Die, die lah.)

I am deeply saddened. I remember him as a tall and lean man always in a sweater and a collared shirt inside. He always asked us to visit him in Australia but we never did after my sister graduated in '99. He was to come back to Malaysia this July for a holiday with his family but he never made it.

This August, instead of going for a family trip to Pangkor or Hong Kong, my parents have decided that we should go to Sydney to visit Auntie Judy, Chong and Wei-Wei (who incidentally is my god-sister).

Why is it on good days, we don't go to Sydney to pay them a visit and say hello?

Why do we only go now when all is too late for Uncle Bob?

Everytime someone close to us dies, we say...

"We must make an effort to visit so-and-so before it's too late like now."

But we never do.

Uncle Bob Lim, we may not have met many times, but I remember you and your "pi-sai" and "aussie cake" and our hike to see the 3 Sisters and oh..how could I forget about the Roald Dahl books you bought for me when I was in Sydney back in '95.

My sister is more grieve stricken than anyone else at home. Basically, all my cousins who are of the same age as her are very very upset. All of them studied in Australia and Uncle Bob was their father for 4 years. And now he is gone.

Goodbye Uncle Bob Lim and Rest in Peace.

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To All Housewives, I salute You

It's not fun being a housewife.

I've been on holiday since Tuesday at 12pm. I have baked, cleaned and cooked. I've fold clothes, hanged them and dumped them into the machine. And in between, I've read about Coca-Cola's reputation management and how Pepsi picked itself up when on the verge of bankruptcy.

I now am really amazed at how my mother can stay at home for the past 30 years; cleaning, cooking, washing, reading newspapers and cutting out articles of relevance, watching tv and yet still has the time to listen to her husband's day at work and children's daily complaint of how much homework they have; without a single grumble.

Housewives are great people indeed.

Today, I helped Vinz fold his clothes. After that I cleared the house. I was about to clear the thrash and I realised that...

"Eeeyer...I don't even clear my own thrash. He can clear it himself when he comes back."

I'm thinking of what to cook for dinner tonight. I should go to Kuali.com to check out some recipes.

I think I'm more tired now than the time when I was preparing and sitting for my exams.

Being a housewife is not an easy job at all.

My legs ache.

My hands hurt.

My back feels weird.

For the past 3 nights, I sleep the moment I put my head on my pillow at 11pm.

To all housewives, I salute you.

And so for now, I shall leave all the heavy lifting to you great women out there and I shall just go backstage to continue being nerdy me...

:)

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

When The Odds Are Against Me

I don't think I can make it. Sigh. But it's not the end of the world. I can still do the course but not Mangerial Economics.

I went to the Business Library in Jubilee Campus today. I looked high low for it and I finally found it. It is at the far end of Jubilee and it is not at the Djanogly Learning & Resource Centre I thought it was at. Oh well.

Sometimes you don't know what you are missing until you actually lose it. Hallward Library, the one that I've been frequenting for the past 3 years is undoubtedly the best library in the University. The Business Library is a far cry for Hallward. It is small. Very small. Compared to Hallward, the BL is just as big as HL's study area. Yup. That small. Tiny little place with probably 1/10th of the books in HL. The library is like a freaking sauna too. I had this strange feeling that they forgot to switch off the heating.

Anyway, I read up on Managerial Economics and was shocked beyond words. I didn't know that it'll involve calculus; something which I totally hate.

I had to re-programme my head from word based to alphabet based.

TC = (TFC+TVC)/Q

Sigh.

Not my kind of subject at all.

Then I read up on Business Ethics and Corporate Strategy. Phew. Thank God I could understand them. They weren't easy but they were word based. None of the pages had DD's or SS's or VC' or AC's or MC's or TC's.

So the verdict is...I can study the MA in CSR but I can't take the Managerial Economics module. This means I can't take Corporate Governance in the second semester. Any lost? No lost. I probably am able to comprehend Managerial Economics if I go for class and I devote all my time and energy into understanding what those alphabets and curves mean and signify. But, I am afterall doing a course in Corporate Social Responsibility and not Economics. I rather leave the Economics to the Economists and not dwell on something which I know I can't cope with.

Borrowed a few books to read on Business Ethics. They will be my companion throughout this whole month. People think I'm crazy. I just finished my final exams and now I'm studying again. But I beg to differ. I'm not crazy. I want to keep the studying momentum up. Don't want to slow down because once I do, I know I will take a million years to get back to my optimum pace.

Besides, I am so free. Other than baking and cooking, what else can I do?

Study lor.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Why Law, Why England - Part 1

Why did I choose England? Why did I choose law?

I think its best if I answer the latter first.

I had a tough time deciding between Law and Economics. I excelled in Econs during my A-Levels. I simply loved the concept of demand and supply and Macroeconomics. I enjoyed studying about fiscal policies and different economic systems in the world.

I asked my dad one day...

"Pa...if I study economics good or not?"

"Not good. What for you study economics. You are neither a business person nor a professional nor an academic. No good. Study something else. But if you really want to, then go ahead. I will support your decision."

That's the beauty of my dad. He tells you NO. You can't do this, you can't do that. But he will support you if you want to do it provided you do it wholeheartedly. I was confused.

I always had Law at the back of my head. I regarded Law as my back-up plan in the event that I don't know what else to study at tertiary level. I followed my dad and his partners to court since I was in Secondary school. I read cases and a multitude of law related publications that were lying around the office. I was interested but that interest wasn't as deep as the one I had for the business world.

My mum gets company prospectuses all the time. Each share she subcribes to, she gets a thick book. It will be lying idly on the coffee table and me, being an avid reader will pick up whatever reading material I can lay my hands on. I read them cover to cover. Interesting! So this is how the company spends their money. So this is how the company creates a positive image to the outside world.

Then came the time when I had to fill in the UCAS form. It is a form that must be filled for those who want to pursue tertiary education in the UK. KTJ, the college that I was from, geared all of us up for England. We were drilled to accept England for the next 3 years of our lives. No other country in the world was worthy of KTJ students. That was what we were lead to think and believe.

The UCAS process was torturous. I had to choose 6 universities and write a personal statement on why I want to study the subject that I applied for. Only one personal statement for all the 6 I choose. I left out Oxbridge although I was persuaded by the Sixth Form Head teacher to do apply because I had the requisite academic and non-academic ability. I forgot why I declined to but I think it was because I didn't see a need to study in a place where the name is famous and the pressure is triple that of any other.

I chose LSE, King's College, Queen Mary, Southampton, Sheffield and of course Nottingham.

The next thing I needed to do after choosing the famous 6 was to get down to writing that darn personal statement. I wanted to study economics in LSE. I wanted to read law in King's and Nottingham. The remaining 4 were just to fill in the blanks. I didn't know how to write the reasons why I am divided on studying Law here and Economics there. I didn't know how to weigh the pros and cons. I was lost.

I tossed a coin.

I had to make a decision and I had to make one fast. So I decided on law. Why?

- No job, can work for daddy
- Don't understand, can ask daddy
- Need books and materials, can get from daddy

Stupid reason.

In the end, I got offers from all 6 univerisities that I applied for.

Then I had the difficulty of choosing between LSE, Nottingham and King's.

I tossed a coin again.

I chose Nottingham because it has the 2nd largest Malaysian student community in the UK. I thought that since I will be away from home for 3 long years, it will be good to start off with people who come from the same country and same culture as I do. Besides, London was just way too expensive. Nottingham's fees was 3000pounds cheaper than London's.

And so, it was Nottingham and England here I come.

Nottingham is one place I never regretted coming to. But Law is one subject that I regretted reading.

More on the reasons later...

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Monday, May 23, 2005

I Am Shrinking!

3 down, ONE MORE to go!

How was the 3rd? Well..I would say compared to the 1st two, the 3rd was a disappointment. But, consolation is...I didn't have that bad feeling I had after my Criminal Law paper last year. I could answer all the questions needed to be answered but I am not confident of scoring amazing marks for them. Oh well...it's not as if I didn't study. Actually, given another 10 years to study the same Trusts Law syllabus, I wouldn't have done any better or any worst. It was the way the questions were phrased. Not my fault. I did my best.

Tomorrow marks the end of my 2 month ordeal. I'm in the midst of revising and memorising cases. Sigh. Not easy at all. But since I have 3 loads off my back, this final one seems so much lighter.

I took a day off on Saturday from all the mugging and case memorising. I was so tired after the Trusts paper. I wanted to sleep right after I came back at 12pm but I couldn't. I guess my brain was still very much active. So, I went online and played this :)

I realised that I have shrunk in 2 weeks. My weight has dropped tremendously and my jeans seems so loose. I used to have difficulty in buttoning my jacket but now it seems so easy! Geez. All the stress is really getting into me. Vinz has been persuading me to eat more. But I can't. I either don't have the time to eat a proper meal or even when I do, I don't have the appetite to. For the past 2 weeks, my diet consists of sandwiches for lunch and cereal for dinner. In between I have a bar of Kitkat or a bannana. Really unhealthy. Sometimes I don't eat at all the whole day till its time for me to sleep and then I realise that I am actually very hungry. Oh well. Just one more day of crap food.

I didn't know that if your weight goes south, your boobs shrink too :P

I thought with all the stress, my face will be filled with ugly red spots. To my surprise, it is clear! Well...it is clear to my standards because I never had crystal clear and smooth skin. I must give credit to USANA Health Sciences' Sense range of skincare . Excellent product! It doesn't work like magic but I used it consistently for almost 2 months and I've already felt its effect. No more Neutrogena or Clinique for me. Sense is the way to go! :)

Wish me all the very best luck for my final lap tomorrow. It will be my last LAW exam. But I hope it will not be my last exam in my lifetime. I am looking forward to the 6 CSR papers I have to sit for if I get my 2nd upper!

Can't wait for the new chapter in my life to begin!!!

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Friday, May 20, 2005

And the Dam Broke...Again

This must have been the 10th time I cried my eyes out because of the exams. There must be something wrong with my stress management. I should go for some classes on how to reduce and handle stress.

Vinz came over last night with the purpose of tucking me into bed. But when he stepped foot into my room, my tears dropped furiously. He was heartbroken too, to see me suffering. So, he decided to stay (although he left his light on at home).

I hugged him tightly and told him to go after I fall asleep. But he said...

"No, I can't leave you now. I'm staying."

I had a good night's sleep. We held hands. The best part of this morning was to wake up with him by my side and hear him whisper...

"I love you, baby..."

Wish me luck for my paper in 2 hours.

Wish my luck for my paper at 9am tomorrow morning.

I am anticipating more tears and no sleep tonight.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

"To Learn to Strive and Not To Yield"

There are times when I just feel like giving up.

And the time is now.

Yet, I cannot give up. I have to go on with my journey. It is ending in just under a week. I have to live up to the OBS motto - "To Learn to Strive and Not To Yield".

Yes, I must not yield. I must face the challenges ahead of me with stride and confidence.

The end is near. It is very near. Just a few more steps and I will have finished the race. Whether I come in first or last, it does not matter. What matter's most is I finished it with my blood and my sweat, with my sleepless nights and agonising mornings.

God, help me. Listen to Your child's plea. Take me into Your loving arms. Comfort me with Your love. Assure me that You will be with me every step of the way. Bestow upon me all the goodness I deserve. Give me the strength, the wisdom and the concentration. Guide me. In Jesus's name I pray. Amen

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Craving For Economy Rice dan lain-lain lagi...

One down, 3 to go.

It was alright yesterday. The fact that I did similar questions at least 3 times helped a big deal. I was not so jittery and I wrote my answers systematically. For the first time in 3 years, I underlined my cases and made sub-headings. The only thing I'm unsure of are my answers. I may have done the questions before, but I don't have the answers. One bad thing about Law School here is they do not give model answers for the past exam papers. I guess, I can't blame them. Each law answer is unique. There are no 2 answers which are the same unlike Maths or other Math based subjects. Different students will use different cases to argue. Different cases have different points. Oh well. All I can do is just sit back and pray.

Meanwhile, I am stressing over my 2nd and 3rd paper. At this very moment, I am revising for my 3rd which is on Saturday morning at 9am. My 2nd paper finishes at 3.30pm on Friday. So, good luck to me.

It was so good to see Vinz again last night. Geez. We were only a part for one day and yet we missed each other so much. Don't know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I think we are getting to attached to each other. Will be seeing him again tonight. Although I sleep on a single bed here, it feels so large without him around.

I suddenly have a craving for Economy Rice. Heheh. I miss the Economy Rice stall we have in JB. So yummy! When I'm home, I must have it at least twice a week for dinner. I will pile up my mini box of rice with kangkung belacan, pak choi, long beans with belacan and tofu. (Me not a meat fan) Yummylicious!!! Can't wait to go home and patronise that stall!

I'm so sick of eating sandwiches day in and day out. I'm so sick of eating bananas and grapes. I'm so fed up of eating eggs and sausage for breakfast. I can't stand the smell of toast anymore.

I want Chicken Rice - Without the chicken :P

I want Bak Kut Teh - Just the soup!

I want Mee Hoon Kueh - Without the pork balls

I want Beef Noodles, Wat Tan Hor, Wantan Mee, Chee Cheong Fun, Nasi Lemak, Assam Laksa, Laksa Johor, Mee Rebus, Hokkien Mee, Prawn Mee and all the other yummy Malaysian fare!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

My "To Do" List

One more hour till I walk into the Trent Building for my first exam out of the 4 I have to sit for till the 24th.

I was just thinking...Wow...I have so many things to do from 12pm, Tuesday, 24th May 2005.

I want to list them down here. Need to de-stress a little bit.

* Post my National Insurance form
* Post my confidential stuff
* Post "Sepet" to Eileen in Wales
* Get my ass to Jubilee Campus to ask them about the 300pound deposit I have to pay
* Get my accomodation for next academic year sorted out - Melton Hall is my 1st choice
* Read up about ROME! Off to Rome on 11th June - 14th June!
* Call Malaysia Hall to book rooms for me, Mum and Papa
* Clean Vinz's house
* Cook dinner for Vinz
* Make packed lunch for Vinz
* Get more self raising flour and other baking stuff to bake as many cakes and cookies I can
* Relax
* Sleep
* Read up on Managerial Economics
* Not get jittery on the 8th of June at 4pm
* If don't get my 2:1, don't get upset or worried. Run straight to Jubilee to sort things out
* Get my National Express ticket to Heathrow
* Most important - Book my Graduation gown
* Wait for Mum and Papa to come
* Spend money in London - shop like crazy with Mummy on Papa's card!
* If I get my 2:1 still run to Jubilee to hand them my official transcript
* Go home to Malaysia
* Get my student visa done (if I get to come back)
* Go on a holiday with my family
* Wait for Vinz to come back - We intend to take a makan trip to Penang
* Visit KTJ and all my friends in KL
* Get my hair curled permanently for the second time
* If I don't get to come back - Actively seek employment

A long list eh. Can't wait to tick them off!!

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Monday, May 16, 2005

The Love in My Life...

It is always comforting to know that my boyfriend is just a phone call away. The past month has been hellish for me. I've been struggling to fit every single case I need to know into the tiny brain of mine. I get cranky. I cry for no reason. I am moody and I blame him for practically almost anything and everything. Yet, he is still by my side no matter how crazy I get. He's been staying over every night for the past few weeks (except on Mondays, for some strange reason both of us can never fathom). It is always comforting to have his warm arms around my when I'm asleep. Sometimes, when I get awaken by a bad dream in the middle of the night, I can hear him saying...

"Baby...don't be scared. I'm here. I love you...."

Tomorrow is the day of my first paper. I'm glad that the day is finally approaching so that I can release a whole load of cases and theories from my head after 3.30pm tomorrow. But then again...I'm afraid that I am not prepared enough. Ok...I know my cases at the tip of my fingers. I know how to apply them. I tried all the past year questions I can find on the intranet and I have answered them in full lengths. Yet, I am still not confident enough to handle the real thing. Is there something wrong with me?

Tears flowed down my cheeks yesterday evening when he said that he won't be coming over. I wasn't upset that I won't be sharing a bed with him but I just felt so overwhelmed by my work that I needed another human being to share that burden with me. The moment he heard me sobbing on the phone, he said he'll come over to "sayang" me after his dinner and after he finishes all the things he needed to do at home. He was true to his word. He came over and he gave me big encouragement hugs and it really did take my load away for the whole night.

He won't be coming over tonight. I specifically told him so. I can't bear the thought of seeing him leave my room at 7.45 am tomorrow morning and having to handle the stress of my exams at 1.30pm the same day. I can only handle on thing at a time.

Sometimes I compare when I shouldn't. But I'm really glad that I do compare because comparing makes me feel so fortunate that I found him and left the old flame behind. I know that each individual and each relationship has its good and bad but when I sit and stare into the void, I can only see dark sides and bleak moments in the old one and only bright lights and happy fireworks in this one. There is not a day which I don't thank God for bringing me such a wonderful and loving man Vincent is. He has made my tentative final year in Nottingham so much more bearable.

This morning before he left for work and as he hugged me tightly, he whispered into my ear...

"Baby...I love you so much. I will never leave you..."

It may sound a little bit overwhelming to some but to me...it is what I want to hear because I feel exactly the same way as he does.

It may not be the right time to talk about "forever" but how can a girl not fly straight up into the clouds when she hears that word coming out from her beloved's lips...?

On the bus the other day, we saw a very old man sitting near us. I told Vinz...

"Eh..tengok itu lao lang. Next time when you're old, you'll be exactly like him lah.."

"No lah. When I'm that old, I won't be sitting on the bus anymore. I will be chauffered driven in a luxury car with you in the back seat with me..."

We held hands. It was so tight; almost like a reassurance that we will work towards making that dream come true...

:)

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Otak 'ku Sudah Tepu!

I'm running my last mile now. No, I'm not dying. I'm running the last mile of my undergraduate years. For 3 years I've been running this lenghty marathon. For 3 years I've struggled with 18 papers to sit for, 42 essays to write in 37 hours, 5 courseworks, 92 hours of tutorial, 14 subjects and probably more than 2000 hours studying for tutorials and exams. Sigh. I've come a long way now...a very very long way...

Just a little bit more, just 12 days more and my ordeal will be over. My 2000 or more hours of studying will pay off (or at least I hope it will).

Wish me luck people. I need loads and loads of it.

Sister Enda, the founder SMK Assunta and the longest serving principal has this to say...
"Just do your best and God will do the rest."

Yes, I'm in the midst of doing my best. And I know God will do the rest. I have faith in Him.

But...I don't have faith in myself. Sigh.

Help me.

I'm stressed beyond my wits. Period cramps don't help during these trying times either.

Can I take a break for dinner with the boyfriend tonight? But if I do, I'll feel so guilty for not mulling over my books...

Help.

Otak 'ku sudah tepu!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"A Lai Wah!"

If you are a Graduate Trainee in a company and you are under a supervisor who serves as your guide, your teacher and your mentor at the same time but he picks on you everytime you do something, whether it is right or wrong. Your situation is something like Kenny Sia's description of a woman's behaviour when she is PMS'ing...

"I stand up also kena. I sit down also kena. I hang around doing nothing scratching my legs like that... ALSO KENA!"

What do you do?

Do you stand up and fight for your rights or do you just let him kenakan you all the way without justifying the reasons why you sat down, stoood up or scratched your legs?

This supervisor of yours also criticises your self-appraisal (something most employees in semi-big and large companies have to do in order to gain a promotion. read: paperwork, red tape). He reads it once and says that you should give examples on how you enhanced your relationship with your clients, presented a good image about the company and interacted with your team mates. You ask him...

"Do you mean I have to write down ALL the projects that I have done in the past 6 months?"

"Yes, of course!"

After that he steps on you even further by saying...

"I've been a Graduate Trainee before. Don't think I don't know that you copied your appraisal from a management book at Waterstones during the weekend."

You spent many hours thinking of the work you have done in the past and writing them out. You never ever thought of even going to Waterstones to jenguk sedikit, what more waste a whole weekend copying down management jargons?

You don't want to pick a fight with him so you dutifully do what he says.

On the day of the interview with the company Director, that idiot screws you up.

You know you did your best. Other colleagues are less hard working than you are. You are always willing to learn and try your best to contribute during department meetings. Yet, you are stepped on by this man who thinks he is a know all.

What do you do now?

Quit?

Scream?

Change department?

Complain?

Or just say - "A lai wah!" (Thai for What the Fuck!)

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"One Cheeseburger without the burger!"

My boyfriend fried burgers at McD's for 2 months after he finished his MSc here in Nottingham. I love to bug him to tell me about his experience working there. My all time favourite story is when a customer wanted "Cheeseburger without the burger".

"WHAT???"

"One Cheeseburger without the burger!"

"How do I do that?"

"Just put onions, pickles, cheese and ketchup in between 2 buns and give it to him!"

And so he did.

He received many weird orders but this was the weirdest of them all! While toasting the buns, he was cursing under his breath because it disrupted the whole order of things in the kitchen. The big flat pan to fry the burgers should be maximised and no wastage should occur. Now, he had one extra burger without any bun to be put into. It just didn't look right on that flat fryer.

The next time you go to McD's and you're waiting for your burgers, just be patient. This means that the burgers fell on the floor while they were in the process of serving them up to you and the kitchen staff are preparing new ones for you. If you are impatient and hurry them...this is what you'll get...

"Shit!! Burger fell on the floor!!!"

"Hurry! Hurry! Pick it up and wrap it before the manager sees it! If he sees us wasting time and burgers, he'll kill us!!"

Picks burger up. Slaps it on the bun. Squeezes ketchup. Throws onions and pickles. Puts top bun over. Wraps and slides it down the burger tray.

So, McD's ain't that clean afterall :P

McD's pride themselves on the time they take to fry their burgers and bring out piping hot fries in minutes. Everytime a customer has some weird requests, the kitchen staff have no choice but to comply but they curse and curse because it wastes their precious time and just disturbs the whole system.

The next time you want to order unsalted fries...think of the amount of work the poor "fries boy" has to do just to satisfy your whim and fancy.

He has to fry a new batch of fries and after that is done, he cannot mix it with the other batch because it already has salt on them. Instead, he has to put in on a cleaner side where no salt was sprinkled. If there is no such side, then he has to shift the salted fries somewhere else and clean the whole fry tray just for your "small fries without salt".

Of course, the customer is always right. In the service and food industry, the customer is the king. But...even a king should have some consideration for its servants right?

If you want unsalted fries, go fry them yourself at home.

If you want Cheeseburger without the burger, go make yourself a cheese-on-toast in your own kitchen.

Take pity on the staff at McD's. They are human too.

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Monday, May 09, 2005

Lightning Struck and Took Him Away...

I'm sure everyone must have read about the news of 2 golfers in Johor Bahru struck by lightning almost 2 weeks ago. One of them (the younger one) was a family friend of ours. When I first read about the news on thestar online while using Hallward Library's computer, I was shocked and was in total disbelief. I ran back to my room as fast as I could to call my Mum. She confirmed the news in between sobs and tears. She lost one of her first friends in JB. Very sad.

Last Saturday, I called home. I asked how Uncle KK's (the deceased) family is doing. They are alright. Luckily his children are all grown up. The youngest son is in the 1st year of university in Australia, the middle son is working as an Actuarist in KL and the eldest daughter is a lawyer in JB. Financial wise, they are good. But, they are still in mourning for the passing of their loved one. One afternoon, he told his wife that he'll be going for a game of golf at the RJCC. In the evening, he didn't call home. Instead, it was the Club's authorities who called and said that her husband was struck dead by lightning. Sad.

He left no last words. He bade no last good bye. He just left this world as fast as the lightning came and went.

I guess when it is your time to go, you have to go. It doesn't matter what shape, what form, what way, what time, what day, where and how you go. Uncle KK was only 55 years old. He planned a cruise with his wife this year. But before he could enjoy that well deserved holiday, he cruised a long alone...

Rest in peace Uncle KK. I may not know you very well but my parents did. You were one of their first friends they made in JB. Without you helping them to settle down, they would have had a hard time.

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mummy...The Jill of All Trades, The Mistress of All

Here's a little something about my mum, my bestest friend, my confidant...

When I was younger, mum used to cane me all the time for reasons such as breaking her favourite vase, biting my finger nails, talking back at her, not doing my homework, arguing with my sister and not swallowing my food when it has been in my mouth for the past 10 minutes or so. As I grew up, whenever I misbehaved she "canned" me with her silent treatment. Weighing up the both of them, I prefered and still prefer being physically canned than having a cold war with mum. Mum had her way of making me feel guilty and sorry for all the bad things I did. All her methods were and still are very effective because I don't think I ever made the same mistake twice. And I love mum for that, for making me the person I am today. I may not be the best daughter or the most successful person but I know for sure that in my mother's eyes, I am her precious one (as my Chinese name suggests too). She molded me to what I am today. She crafted my every single thought. She instilled in me morality, manners and feminity.

Mum gave me independence bit by bit. I resented her for that but I appreciate it now. If she had "unleashed" me, I would have gone so wild that my hair will not be brownish but pink, my dressing will not be modest but provocative and my language even more vulgar than it is now. And most of all, I wouldn't have learnt to cherish the freedom and independence I have now. Thank you mum. You truly know what is best!All throughout my childhood days, I never liked to drink plain water. Mum had to force it on me. She screamed, shouted, canned and even threatened to throw me in the dustbin if I don't finish that cup of water she poured. Then one day, she devised a plan, a very clever plan to make me finish every drop in that yellow cup of mine. "Yam Seng" was her plan. Smart mum! Whenever she poured a cup of water for me, she poured one for herself and she will say "Bottoms up!! Yam Seng!!" And childish me, fell for it. Since then, drinking at least 10 glasses of water everyday has been a habit. Thank you again, Mum!

Mum is the cook. She is also the tailor. She is the piano teacher although she never had any musical education. Whenever me or my sister fell sick, she is the doctor and the nurse. She is the storybook lady, the teacher for every subject and the motivator. Mum lends her shoulder to cry on. Mum shares her secrets with me and I share mine with her. Mum and I watch TV together and munch on our favourite tid bits and then complain about the fat we will put on. Mum tickles me all the time and we are never too shy to hug each other in public. She may be the discipline mistress but she is also the counsellor and the peace maker. She sides my sister and I whenever dad gets mad at us. Mum, you are the Jill of all trades and you are the Mistress of all. You have never failed to be a caring and understanding mother. Mum, I love you for all that you've done for us, for the family and I love you for being you, Mum!! :)

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Friday, May 06, 2005

It is all about the Money

Most Malaysians look up to London graduates. By London, I mean graduates who come from the University of London's many subsidiary universities like Imperial College, London School of Economics, University College London, King's College, Queen Mary and etc. These schools set very high entry requirements to most, if not all their courses. Their fees are usually about 10-15% higher than universities outside London (other than Oxford and Cambridge of course). Studying in the capital city of England is not a cheap exercise. Cost of living there costs a bomb. Just to give an example, to rent a studio apartment in the city in the Holborn area costs £350 per week. In Nottingham, a really really nice one right in the heart of the city costs £350 a month! So, now you see the difference...

Anyway...back to what I want to blog about. Being in one of the London universities connotes a certain prestigious feel to it. When your employer sees your certificate with the LSE sign, they will employ you straightaway.

Unfortunately, my perception of London universities has dwindled since a couple of days ago. A friend scored a 2nd lower for his undergraduate degree in Nottingham actually was able to pursue his MSc in Engineering in Imperial College when his offer was conditional upon him getting a 2nd class upper. I don't know how he did it or how he begged his way through, but he managed anyway. When I heard that, my jaw dropped. Imperial College, must be one of the world's most famous university for Engineering actually accepted a 2nd lower student? Sigh. What happend to them boasting about their high entry requirement and etc? What happend to their constant talk about "our students reflect the quality of our school"?

To me, its all down to the money. Its all about the money. As long as you are willing to pay (international students pay double fees), any university is willing to accept you. Of course your results must not be staggeringly low. Average will do. 2nd upper is no longer coveted. It is only on paper. What they want is your cash.

I'm not generalising. I'm just appalled by such low standards a high quality university boasts to have. I'm not sure about Oxbridge but so far I have not heard any 2nd lower student getting a place there (unless he is the Prince of Wales or the King of Arabia I guess).

Nottingham University is not flawless. I'm sure that money can buy a place in any course that you want to pursue here subject to at least an average result. I know of someone who failed his A-level Math and studied Engineering in Nottingham after only one day of persuading the admissions officer. Integrity? Quality? Bullshit. I say, it is the Money.

I hope I don't offend any LSE, Imperial College, UCL, KCL or QMUL students and potential students. I'm sure there are many of you who obtained places based on your merit. But please make this as a reminder that coming from such big-name universities just puts you on a pedestal high above the rest but...the quality that comes with the price tag may actually be compromised because the eyes of such universities are plastered with the £ sign.

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Fathers that You Want and Fathers that You Don't

Some people lose their father in tragic accidents or some incurable disease. Some of them lose their fathers at a very young age and never had a father to look up to. Some see other people's fathers waiting for them in front of the school gate every evening but they have to walk home alone by themselves; their hearts green with envy. Some have to live with less because the sole breadwinner of the family has gone to be with the Lord and their surviving mother earns a meagre wage barely enough to support their family. Some just wish they appreciated their father and cherished him while he was still alive.

Some fathers are doting, caring and loving. Some fathers on the other hand are strict discplinarians.

But some wish they did not have one at all.

These are the fathers who are irresponsible; who are gamblers, alcoholics and womenisers.

These are the kind of fathers some do not want to even acknowledge.

It is sad to know that different sorts of families in this world. Some have happy stories to tell and some have sad ones. Some are filled with happiness and laughter while some are broken and shattered.

When I heard this phrase yesterday, my eyes nearly filled up with tears...

"My family is not as happy as yours..."

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Society - The Pain in the Ass

The Chinese has a saying "The door must fit the door frame" (men dang hu dui) which means that when a person chooses a life partner, he or she has to choose someone who is fitting of his or her social class and status. To give a very extreme example, if you are a PhD holder in Atomic Science and your spouse is a rubbish collector, it certainly is not a case of "men dang hu dui".

I agree with this saying only to a certain extent. Yes, how can a rubbish collector talk the same topics as a Phd holder in Atomic Science? As husband and wife, I am sure there will be occasions where both will be invited to certain functions and parties and there will be chances to socialise with other people in that group. I think it will be a very difficult for the rubbish collector to speak atomic science language to a bunch of spectacle wearing and bow tie donning people.

But then again, they say love transcends all boundaries; all ages, all religions, all races and all social status'. Maybe there are people who have such extreme occupations and yet are able to live happily ever after. Maybe there aren't. I don't know.

Will I stick to this saying?

Its a tough question. I will to a certain extent, I guess. I want my future husband to be on par with my intellectually or even better. I want him to be guiding light and hand. I want him to make the decisions and be a good example to our children. Nonetheless, I am not saying that a rubbish collector or someone less qualified than I am cannot fit into this criteria. I know that collecting rubbish is an honest job and someone has to do it. But will he feel inferior? Will my parents object?

Most importantly, what would society say? Will they point fingers and mock at us?

Society - the pain in the ass.

If I fall in love, truly fall in love with a billionaire's son, society will stare and point fingers at me...

"Aiya..this girl. Marry him because of money lah.."

I can't deny that I am guilty of such finger pointing too. I'm guessing, it is a case of sour grapes.

Recently, I heard of a friend who is dating a gorgeous girl who is also witty and intelligent. In fact, she is one of Malaysia's most beautiful woman. This friend of mine (other than his good boyish looks) has a gold mine waiting for him back home. He probably doesn't have to work for the rest of his life because of the vast fortune his family has. The first thing that came out of my mouth when I heard of the gossip...

"Shit. She must either be too easy or he is just damn good. Must be for the money lah.."

Shoot me. I am a pain in everyone's ass.

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