[Note: I’ve added to this entry on Sunday, November 4. Go read that part.]
Is right below!
My tablet in it’s previously unscratched, functional state…I am using an optical mouse on my desktop computer for the first time in … years because my tablet broke. The LED wouldn’t light up when it’s plugged into the USB port, and it just … doesn’t work. I don’t know why. It stopped working on the laptop awhile ago too, but at that time the LED did turn on, so I thought it was a software problem. But downloading new drivers didn’t help either.
It is about four years old, though, so I guess that’s … pretty old in gadget-years. Maybe I can beg my dad to buy a new one. In the meantime, the mouse I’m using, which is actually my brother’s (he didn’t use it ’cause he thought it was dysfunctional too), is seriously weird. It won’t work on flat, hard surfaces. Smooth or rough, paper or the desk; no. It works on padded, curved things, like my pillow and the cushioned computer chair. Or my lap, ’cause I’m too lazy to get the pillow that’s an amazing three feet away from me.
Okay wait. The mouse works now! On flat surfaces, I mean. Sheesh it’s even weirder than I thought.
The poor car with even more pitiful passengers stuffed inside. Thanks to Kim for the pic!Anyway, the last time I blogged, it was still in Ramadhan, so I guess I’ll continue where I left off. Our class had iftar at a restaurant one evening (Thai food, pretty good ) and that day was one of the most memorable ones I’ve had with this crazy bunch of people. For one, there were only two cars for 15 people. 4 guys and 11 girls. The other car did two trips to the restaurant, (though the car I was in was still awkward with five girls in the back passenger seats, and since we had the windows down I clearly heard some passer-by motorcyclists exclaiming, “Ramainye!” as they passed us and noticed the sardine-tin situation ) but on the way back to our hostels… Haha. Let’s just say I discovered it was possible to fit 8 full-grown teenagers into a standard-sized Honda. Five girls in the back, the driver, and two guys in the front passenger seat. At one point, PC, one of the guys, stuck his stockinged foot out the window while the car was still moving. And then everybody was like, “Dude! There’s a certain smell coming about, put it down!” and I called the perfume Pur Chween. (Ambi Pur is a type of car perfume here, and PC’s name is Pow Chween. )
The few successful (and many unsuccessful) attempts at fireworks drawing. 4C is my class, and ALEd is our programme.One the same car ride home, one of the girls (I think it was Ila) suddenly thought out loud, “I haven’t played fireworks in so long…” and it lead to them immediately buying fireworks at the new store right beside our hostel on arrival and us marching to the skate park at 11 pm and playing like little kids again for a whole hour. (Though yeah, some of the fireworks did land dangerously close to people’s feet. Fireworks are not toys, people!) I taught them how to do fireworks art; drawing or writing while the camera’s on long exposure mode… (It actually works with any source of light, when it’s dark. Like torchlights and phone screens.) And even some of my future-teacher-classmates discovered their new talent that night. Such masterpieces. :’-)
A week after that, we got our IELTS results. I had an overall band of 8.0, which I’m so thankful for. I was afraid my Speaking would bring it down, but luckily I got 9.0 (full marks! ) for Reading and Listening. Phew. It was great not to have English lessons anymore, I have to admit. Though right now, we don’t have any lessons anymore for this semester (except for stupid Arch classes ) ’cause the exams are a week away from today! Man I have so much more to study. The thought of Further Maths and even Pure Maths (which we all haven’t touched in the past 4 months) is just … worrying. But instead, what am I doing, eh? Staying at home, blogging, ’cause the hostel internet connection is as bad as ever. (If I see the words Limited or No Connectivity one more time I might just send an angry mob to the internet guy’s place. :shakefist: )
Oh yeah, the picture of HELL (the building) up there is the last drawing we have to do, two-point perspective. The whole background is still blank, I don’t really know what I’ll be doing to fill the space back there. And shading! God, shading. Using rulers and parallel lines. And technical pens. Which, mine, I discovered, had faulty inks! The unlucky box of pens that I got made very watery, greyish lines, and I didn’t even know it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Until I submitted that week’s assignment, and the lecturer said I probably didn’t condition the paper’s surface enough. And then I tried Kim’s pens and they had thick jet black ink, so much smoother than mine. Turns out it’s the ink’s fault. And when the guys helped go to the store and asked to switch the bad ink cartridges, the store guy wouldn’t, ’cause I’ve opened them. Dude, if I didn’t test them out, how would I know they made faint lines? In the end I had to pay for new cartridges, which thankfully weren’t as expensive as the pens themselves.
Apple and orange boxes This one I bought for myself, the ones for the cakes were longer and slightly different in design. (And was all natural-coloured. I purposely chose a box with blue lines. ) Let’s talk about Raya. Mine was pretty short this year, we only went to Johor for 3 and a half days, then it was staying at home being a couch potato / slob. One crafty thing that I managed to do was cover these shoeboxes with fabric, ’cause my mum needed proper gift boxes for some layer cakes she bought (to give to our relatives at the village), and the store that she wanted to buy woven … um, I think it’s rattan or something, but yeah, pretty woven boxes, was closed by that time. I had just (finally) gotten a new pair of shoes, so the idea came around. In the end, though, my mum changed her mind ’cause the thought of keeping food in shoeboxes (though decorated ones) was a little … disturbing. We found really nice woven boxes in Johor later, in Ayer Hitam where my stepgrandmother lives.
2nd day of Raya. Photo by Anas, my brother. It was a candid shot — the expressions weren’t planned. I spent the first day of Raya in an old t-shirt and sweatpants, cutting carrots and lengkuas and onions (and injuring my left hand — the knife was annoyingly blunt and it slipped ) and washing a ton of dishes and sleeping the afternoon away. Village homes are pretty boring, really. There aren’t even all of the terrestrial TV channels (though they do get Singapore channels since it’s so close by), no internet, too many flies, too much heat… The second day, Sunday, we went visiting relatives in Parit Sulong and Muar. Visiting people’s houses usually mean coming in, shaking and kissing the grandfather/-mother/-uncle/-aunt’s hand, eating kuih raya, drinking some really sweet, artificially-coloured drink, and wait while the adults finish talking while hoping the homeowners won’t conveniently forget to give duit raya. Rinse, repeat. I got surprisingly more duit raya than my younger brothers this year (albeit it’s still a pathetically small amount compared to what other kids get, since we only spent one day visiting), though I’ve finished spending them all (except for the ones my parents give, since parents usually give more to their children than to other people’s kids) on groceries and stuff. :\
Ooh, 50 ringgit! …Or is it? Speaking of duit raya, this is seriously the most amusing (and original) duit raya packet design I’ve seen this year. Usually companies/banks have them designed and give them out to people to use, and the designs are usually green, with some Raya-related illustrations. But this one, looks like an RM50 note. Except it’s a little shorter and disproportioned, and has the word CONTOH and an Eid greeting. The joke is; RM50 is a LOT in terms of duit raya. The majority of people only give between RM2 to RM10 per packet, so imagine a kid getting a packet that looks like 50 ringgit, but when opened, sees … a mere 1 ringgit in it. Evil, eh? There was also one that looked like an RM10 note and stuff, but I think they all contained RM1. (Yeah, one ringgit is the minimum amount you’d expect to see. 1 ringgit = stingy. :shakefist: Though actually, some people still don’t give duit raya, but sometimes we reason it out by saying the family’s not well-off [they do live in rural areas after all] and needs the money more than we do…)
The captions say “caaaatttt!” and “oddly excited to see a swing” in Malay, and “Happy Eid” in Jawi.Aman and a random unfortunate catAt one point, we were so bored of eating the same stuff that we didn’t even enter the person’s house and instead played with the cats and swingset outside. Oh yeah, villages have a lot of cats. That’s one good thing. I have bad news about our cats, though. We lost Tim and Chewy. They disappeared one day, just like that. The poster on our gateI don’t know how or why but I think some people took them while they were outside or something. Or else they won’t just run away, since the mother, Winnie, is here and all. My mum even planned on putting up MISSING posters and all but I guess we’re afraid there’d be prank calls and the people around here aren’t all that friendly in the first place, so… We only had it up on our gate for a while. Now there’s only Jean left. (We changed John to Jean/Jeannie. And Tim stands for Timberly, which I discovered was a proper name from Hey Arnold, the cartoon. Timberly is Gerald’s sister. :P)
Haha. Sadiq and I, magic disappearing act. Picture credits for those that have me in it goes to my elder brother, by the way.
Anddd… on campus, us seniors in the programme had a small open house (or rather, open class) and picture-taking session, though not everybody attended. Again, my camera became the victim of these camera-crazy peeps. One more thing — I only realised after Raya that this would be my last one spent in Malaysia before (hopefully) flying end of Summer / beginning of Autumn 2008. Creepy thought, no?
Okay, I think that’s it. I actually have a bunch of videos from all the activities above, but editing and uploading them takes ages, so maybe I’ll have a big video entry one day. So… my exams start this Friday, please pray for our success, oh and my Project Hell is due this Tuesday, pray for my sanity. From 17 November till end of December it is THE HOLIDAAAAAAYYYYYYSSSSS and I shall be so happy and freeeeeeeeeeee!
Take care! Peace!
Edited to add: Okay, so my friend ‘Atiyah, the kind soul that I keep getting rides home from (’cause she has a car ) planned on coming back to the hostel on Sunday, which was perfectly fine with me … until I got a call Friday morning from some Student Affairs Department lady at INTEC. She told me I was invited to an Award Ceremony thingy on Saturday night (I know, the event’s on Saturday and you tell me on Friday? ) since I was nominated or something something. (The call woke me up. My brain was still blurry. ) I was like, um… but she was so insistent that I come (“I’m ticking your name now!” ). Okay okay, I replied.
Unfortunately ‘Atiyah couldn’t make it on Saturday, and I was already 95% intent on not attending the event, ehh too lazy, I wanna stay home, I won’t win anything anyway… so I told Kim (who was also nominated and invited) I won’t be coming. Unfortunately (again), she bumped into one of the big kahunas of our college one night, Encik Hassan, who specifically asked whether I was coming. (Er, yeah. I didn’t even know he knew me.) When Kim said no, he was just as insistent as the lady on the phone and asked Kim to call me and made sure I came. I was in such a dilemma, my only alternative was to take public transportation (argh! One of my least favourite things in the world :shakefist: ). And I had luggage (read: clean laundry ) to carry. And I’ve never taken the LRT and Komuter all the way from home to college, let alone by myself. (I’ve never been to KL Sentral, the main big station where you switch trains.) But … after the Encik Hassan story I decided I better go. I’ve got to get over my fear of traveling on public transport (alone. For a whole hour. With luggage.) sooner or later, since in the UK it’ll be all about public transportation anyway.
So, Saturday morning: I packed as light as possible (one school backpack and one bright orange Nickelodeon tote ), had my elder brother (who was about to go back to university, hitching a ride from his friend, at noon) send me to the orthodontist (had an appointment — that’s the main reason I went home in the first place), then straight to the LRT station. (I’m used to taking LRTs, just not Komuters.) Lalala, no problem, until I reached KL Sentral. Man that place is big. I followed the crowd, through the LRT ticket barrier, and then… saw a few KTM Komuter Ticket Counter signs. I didn’t need any tickets, used Touch ‘N Go all the way, but it meant the Komuter rails must be around there too. Little did I know there were so many platforms. (Two routes, crossing at the station, two ways/directions each.) I went up and down two escalators before I found the right platform, to Shah Alam.
More la-la-la-ing, sat in the train for half an hour (there were many people with big luggage, I noticed ), reached Shah Alam, taxi, hostel. Yay, I made it! Hit a roadblock when the front door was locked from the inside (my housemate didn’t know I was coming back that day, bad me ), then rejoiced in my success at traveling alone. Might not seem like a big deal to other people, but hey, it was a first time for me, k?
Summary of good things about this whole deal, and attending the event:
Kim also won the 2nd best (ie. cleanest, prettiest ) room in the whole dang college (male & female hostels) and got a gigantic (read: heavy) hamper. Our table also had two other winners, for BEST ROOM (congrats Nadia from Ausmat) and Best Academics for ALG (congrats Fuad). Cool, eh? Oh yeah, the fountain pen turned out to not have any ink inside it. (I think.) Oh well, I probably won’t even use a fountain pen, so I’ll just keep it in it’s fuzzy black box until I have any need for it. Or rather, until I know how to fill it with ink.