Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Most Memorable Books That I Have Ever Read

In respect with the title... I used only my memories to list down this books... I didnt take a small trip to my small library downstairs to remind me of books... all right, here we go... I break it into a few categories according my likings.

a) Something British and Witty

Corduroy Mansions - Alexander McCall Smith

Maybe it is unfair that this book is in my list since I only just recently went through it. But something about McCall's descriptions of the everyday lives of Londoners hooked me... The plot line of the story is almost nothing to me... but McCall wrote it like everything was suppose to obvious... it is indifferently witty... can i say that? Is that an oxymoron?

Simple as this - I wish I have McCall's talent in writing...

Also in this category;
1. Lady Caro by Marlene Susson

b) Something thrilling, otherworldly and could remind me of my childhood.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling

Why only this one? Of all the seven books... why only this one? Not that I think that other 6 books are not memorable, but it seems that I only took this one to read over and over and ovr again. To me, Rowling managed to twist the plot line, put subtle clues between lines... sometimes so obvious which would make u slap urself once u found the revelation....

I think the second book had the most complicated twists and turns of plots and mysteries, and the easy reason of why it is in this lsit is because - while im writing this, i feel like i want to pick it up and read it again.

Also in this category;
1. The rest of Rowling's books
2. All Famous Five series by Enid Blyton

c) Something thrilling, mysterious and serious

Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

It is gripping, I am not going to lie, but it is. I still remembered when Brown described that the last of the preferiti (cardinal who were kidnapped, he was the last to be saved but... read it yourselves!) died, i remembered that i was sad and I actually put my fist through a table... (yeah, maybe this is because of my overly dramatic reaction) It is unputdownable. It is so unputdownable that it inspired me to create a Malaysian version of Robert Langdon called Ipin. But Ipin never survived the first three chapter, since i stopped writing it because i cant think of any speculation as good as Brown's.

Also in this category;
1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
2. The Pelican Brief by John Grisham

d) Something historical, dramatic and full of suspense

The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory

Okay, I admit, sometimes I would love just a simpel 'drama swasta' kinda book, and this books serves that and more. Gregory, funnily, put suspense in every line of the book. One more pulling factor was that I am just in love with history and this books kind of helped me with learning history - more or less- since we have to understand that historical fiction IS first and foremost a fiction. However, you will learn one or two things about Tudor England, and for those of you who has not realise of this great character from the world's history called Anne Boleyn, i suggest you read this book and gape at her formidable character.

Also in this category;
1. The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
2. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
3. The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir

e) Something indifferent, sci-fi-ish and thrilling.

Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton

I am so sad that Crichton is dead, it is just that nobody else could put a dinoasaur in a book and didnt make it corny and unreal. You will feel that is as real as your cicak crawling around you. The best part about the book was the presenattion of the 'Titanic' theme. You know, the titanic theme... No?

Okay, you remember the movie Titanic? no? You dont remember anything but Kate Winslet's left boob? Okay let me jog your memory, you remember how the famous quote in the movie by Winslet's snooty fiance 'Even God cant sink this ship.' You remember that? Okay, and you do remeber sometime after Winslet showed her boob the whole ship sunk killing thousands tragically while brave (poyo) violinists played to their death? That is the Titanic theme, where no technologies can match the will of God....

In the secular world nowadays, it is fun to read something so powerful, so imaginative being humble to Power of God.

Also in this category;
1. The Lost World by Michael Crichton

f) Something Classic and Ironically Refreshing

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I dont care what others want to say, I will still obstinately say that Wuthering Heights is the BEST book in the whole wide world.

But why would i put P&P with it? Since i cant think of which one is better, okay, I know I said WH is the best but P&P is a close second.

P&P is funny, romantic, witty and fantastcally relevant even when the book was published almost 270 years ago. The dialogue between the characters are to die for. I wish i have even an inkling of Auten's writing talent.

On the other hand, Wuthering Heights is dark, twisted, scary, and thrilling in the same time. The creation of Heathcliff will haunt EVERYONE who reads it.

Both have the descriptive language that could make you picture the scene as it is almost as if you are watching a movie.

also in the category;
1. The rest of Austen's books
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Well, there you go, those are the books that I can only remember now... I would put in more as it came into my mind. Anyone who wants to read good books, pick one from this list, YOU WONT BE SORRY.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

To those who look down on teaching profession


Aku tau aku belum dapat kerja tetap lagi sebagai seorang guru sekolah menengah,

So, apa aku kate ni adalah berdasarkan

3 bulan mengajar kelas terakhir tingkatan 4 di SMK Sri Rahmat, one of the most notorious school in JB untuk subjek bahasa Inggeris

2 bulan setengah (and still counting) mengajar 2 kelas terakhir (subjek BM and Muzik) darjah 4 di SK Dato' Onn Jaafar, sekolah biasa2 di sebuah pekan called simpang rengam, Johor.

Glad we cleared those things up, so, u r free to taunt my credibility in saying this

In light of recent problems of new Educational Graduates who had been jobless for almost 4 months now

and the rumour saying that there is probability that teachers will get an RM 200 raise for their salary

and also thousands and thousands of sayings about how the educational system is politicised (seriously, people are shocked by this?)

There are some uneducated people who think that they are educated enough to say things like;

a) Oit, kalo setakat stayback sampai kul 4 kat skolah tu ape la sgt woi? Orang lain kerja smpi kul 5, ni baru masuk kul 7.30 balik kul 4 pun da bising, grow up la woi...

b) menyampah aku dengan cikgu cikgu ni sume, tetiap tahun gaji diorg je dok naik, gaki kita ni pegawai kerjaan lain dok kat situ je, masih lagi RM 2900, nape gaji guru da samapi 3 ribu lebih dah starting nye?

c) aku nak nasihatkan anak2 aku nanti jadik cikgu la... gaji diorg sume lebih, buat kerja bukan seberapa pun, setakat masuk kelas, ajar, kuar kelas, apa la sgt kan?

This is just a few which i saw own some politician's blog. Those are comments. I know i should not be affected by it, because like i said, these people are uneducated.


I just cant,

It is just that, i believe that some of us are busting our backs to teach ur delinquents that you called children and u go and criticise us?

Everyday we have to

enter class

screamed on top of our lungs telling them to use punctuations and good grammar when they write in the hope that all of them will comprehend

get out of class

do the reports

make panel letters

update the files

think of what to teach next

make sure no students will
-beat their friends
-rape their friends
-molest their friends
-stab their friends with their pilot pen
-stab the small, mousy new teacher with their pilot pen
-paint a mural using a knife on our cars
-jump from that tall building over there
-break their tables and chairs
-bully their friends until they want to jump off from that tall building over there
-bully the small, mousy new teacher until she/he wants to jump off that tall building over there
-wear their sports attire when they are told to
-wear at least more than one article of clothing to school
-wear make up
-whore themselves around
-force their friends to touch their private parts
-force the small, mousy new teacher to touch their private parts
-touch their own private parts and get off in class while their teacher is happily explaining about what 'befuddling' means
-touch the teacher trainee in his/her private parts
-touch him/her at all
-fail to listen to instructions in class
-forget about what being taught in class
-not know how to read
-not know how to count
-not know to at least write their own name
-make their teachers want to borrow the shovel from the tukang kebun and hack themselves to death
- - in short - become and asshole when they leave school while scoring their SPM/PMR/UPSR with good results

(the list that i have listed is what i have encountered in both school - true stories)

what I am trying to say is that, being a teacher is not as easy as it seems, so you ingrates who are under the impression that we go to school to just sit around, shout to students and go back while receiving a big fat RM from our PM are happily living in lala land

We are busting our backs seriously

at least i do

(the statistics below are taken from my students in SK Dato Onn Jaafar, where i teach BM, Muzik and I am a class teacher - nicknamed a single father of 34. I teach two classes for three subjects - one more being pend moral)

6 of my students cant read well
they are 10

67 of them have some attrocious family background that makes them lose hope to live
they are 10

6 of them have lost at least one of their parents
they are 10

2 had lost both parents
they are 10

18 are living with at least one ailing parent
they are 10

NONE of them have parents who earns more than RM 2000
they are 10

1 had lost her parents to a most tragic even you can think off
she is 10

So people, on top of my work to tell them how to use tanda baca, how to spell, how to read, how to write, how to speak, how to use big words, how to listen

I have to be some kind of a life coach to this kids

on top of all the admin work that we do

come on, give us more credit will you

sorry if i offend any working teachers...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A lousy week, a bad year

I had a hard week...

Had some feud with people I love...

had a 'great' time at school...

And suddenly I lost the will to just do anything...

I am not usually like this,,, I dont sit and laze around.

In my free time, I

2.Google some interesting facts on the net like finding out how people in Timbuktu lives
3. I run, like work-out la

but I dont know... It started with one thing, i mean one problem...

and then my mind mysteriously raked all past disappointments (which I had pushed back waaaaaaaaaay down in self-loathing pool inside my brain) back up...

things like

1. How could I have stopped writing for over a year
2. How could i gained like 16 kg in just one year
3. How I couldn't run like 2 km as though its nothing anymore...

It gets to me man...

If i have used that year wisely, I would still maintain my stamina, and I would have thousands of short stories to rewrite...

but I have none... but i have lots of fat...

so today... i tried to create a timetable for myself

woke up early

took my breakfast (at this point, i was impressed at myself)

didnt eat at all in school

Used a new method to teach today (and magically everyone actually did their work quietly)

Went back home, did some weights (pulled a muscle at the back of my hip, painful till now)

and started to continue writing, managed a thousand words today

went for a jog, couldnt do more than 2oo meters, was breathing like a wheezy old guy on his deathbed,

went back home and wallow in self pity...

When i think back...

I didnt only had a lousy week

I had a bad year...

but hey, the year hasn't ended

and even though the government sees fit to not take me up for a job they had been training me for...

and i have my graduation to look up to...

and a date... (Blush)


I just have to get off my ass, and do something!

I need to survive, and I dont want to die of heart attack at 26...

Hopefully i will stick on my routine this time...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tikus Segan - Politik dan Korupsi

Aku dah naik bosan dengan perbincangan tentang politik...

Rasa cam nak jerit... CUKUPLAH...

Dua-dua pihak tak habes2 kutuk pihak lain...

Lepastu... yang paling aku menyampah bila ada avid followers yang seolah-olah mencium tapak kaki leader masing-masing

yang A kate B corrupt, Yang B kate C, C kate D, D pulak tuding balik kat A.

Nak migrate, tapi negara lain pun sama...

senang macam ni la... baik aku bagi satu analogi... kepada mereka yg kate A corrupt and B tak,,, mari aku tunjuk macamana corruption boleh berlaku dan tak boleh dikawal...

Scene ini di Kantin Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tikus Segan, Muar, Johor.

Mak Cik Tipah adalah seorang pekerja kantin S.M.K.T.S, Muar, Johor.
Peraturan yang ditetapkan oleh pengetua En. Nik Ajib adalah semua pelajar di kantin perlulah beratur semasa membeli makanan di waktu rehat.

Maka semua org perlulah assume yang peraturan ini have no exception;

Tetapi, MAkcik Tipah, seorang wanita berumur 40-an ternampak anak jiran beliau yang sering bermain konda kondi bersama anaknya setiap petang sedang beratur di dalam barisan.

Makcik Tipah sangatlah sayng dengan anak jirannya yang bernama HArry Potter ini... maka dia pun;

MakCik Tipah: Harry, Lah, kamu rupanya... mari ke belakang ni... mari...
HArry: Mak Pah, kenapa ni?
Makcik Tipah: Mak Pah tatu pulak Harry sekolah kat sini... mak sihat?
HArry: Sihat Mak Pah...
Makcik Tipah: Bagusla tu... eh, ni Harry nak makan ape?
HArry: Tadi harry nak beli nasi lemak...
Makcik Tipah: Oh, nah, 1.50 je...
HArry: Wah, terima kasih MAk Pah... takyah susah-susah beratur... hehe....
Makcik Tipah: Haha... ye lah... dah pi makan sana....

Adakah ini satu corruption? Cuba fikir betul-betul... di sini... tiada 'moral grey area'... di sini ada betul dan ada salah...

Ya, ini adalah satu corruption...

Mengikut kamus Cambridge Online Dictionary yang aku baru je google 2 saat tadi... corruption bermaksud; illegal, bad or dishonest behaviour, especially by people in positions of power

Makcik tipah berada dalam posisi berkuasa pada waktu itu, maka dia menggunakan power dia untuk membuat satu yang illegal demi anak jirannye...

Ya, ini adalah satu corruption...

Sekarang aku nak tanya; korang rasa berapa byk lagi situasi seperti di atas berlaku di kalangan kakitangan sekolah?

Antara Guru Kelas dan Murid,
Antara GPK 1 dan Guru,
Antara Tukang Kebun dan Guru,
Antara Makcik Kantin dan Boss Kantin,
Antara Boss Kantin dan Guru,
Antara Guru dan Guru,
Antara GUru Cemerlang dan Murid,

Fikirkan, mestilah berlaku byk corruption yang kita rasa harmless dan takde effect kat sesape...

Tapi bayangkanlah kawan-kawan HArry Potter yang sedang galak berpeluh-peluh beratur dalam barisan demi mendapatkan sepinggan nasi lemak, mereka semua akan berfikir, apa kelebihan HArry Potter untuk mendapatkan layanan istimewa? Adakah aku pun perlu berpindah ke sebelah rumah kakitangan makcik kantin? Kenapa dia boleh potong line aku?

(Well maybe, being teenagers who are to engrossed on hormonal induced sexual tendencies wont even be bothered, but at this point i want to remind u that this is an analogy... so cuba faham ok)

Sekarang aku nak tanya lagi satu soalan;

PErlu atau tidak untuk para pelajar menggulingkan Pengetua mereka kerana behaviour Makcik Tipah yang motherly itu...?

Ramai yang akan jawap Tidak, tetapi beliau perlulah menegur makcik tipah...


cuba kamu fikirkan... berapa luaslah kerja seorang pengetuya itu... beliau bukan pergi ke sekolah untuk enjoy air-cond free dan download cerita katun untuk anak dia dekat internet free di komputer free dalam bilik dia sahaja...

Beliau ada urusan dengan Sekolah lain, dengan JPN, urusan mendapatkan guru baru, kewangan sekolah, urusan dengan guru-guru, request cuti guru, panggilan telefon dari IPG berdekatan untuk penempatan guru prak, aduan dari ibu bapa....

Banyak kot...

macamana dia nak detect satu corruption yang dialakukan oleh seorang pekerja kantin dalam masa 5 minit pada waktu rehat di sesi pagi sekolah....

Pengetua bukan Tuhan ok....

Tetapi apa yang lihat di kiri dan kana aku, dan di kedua-dua sekolah (Govt and Oppo), semua murid seibuk mengatakan yang corruption tu adalah arahan pengetua...

Lepastu murid-murid persoalkan kenapa Pengetua dapat kerusi span, bilik aircond, computer sendiri dan assistant... kenapa pengetua ada kelebihan tu...

apa lah korng ni... sebab dia Pengetua la... haih...

Cuba kamu semua fikir... untuk mejaga sebuah negara adalah thousand times harder dari menjaga sebuah sekolah, betul tak?

Korang kata mudah? Aduh, korg nak govern diri korg pun tak tentu lagi... Solat siap tinggal... mulut tak reti jaga, kesihatan diri cam haram... lagi nak rasa diri hebat nk jadi pengetua sekolah?

Come on la...

air dari akar, tak tentu akan sampai dengan selamat ke pucuk... sebab air tu nak lalu batang, dahan dan ranting, yang kekadang ada kumbang atau ulat kayu...

arahan dari ketua tak semstinya selamat dijalankan hingga kakitangan terbawah sekali... ramai orang di dunia ini berperangai seperti makcik tipah... yang walau niat dia baik, tetapi tetap salah...

sebelum korang menuding jari... cuba fikir... apa corruption yang kamu pernah buat?

Betul perubahan itu boleh mula dari seorang... tapi bukan bermakna dari YOur Vote... but your personality....

Ini adalah peringatan untuk diri aku sendiri juga...

Jadi berhentilah cakap mana satu pimpinan lebih corrupt dari yang mana... padahal kamu pun kekadang ada bertindak zalim juga,,,, jadi marilah perbetulkan diri dan masyarakat dan negara... yes, in that order...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What I Want...

Sometimes we have wants and it screamed a lot louder than our needs. For Example, there was one time when I depleted a whole lot of my deodorant, but i refuse to buy a new one since I think i want to use the same amount of money for a KFC meal - hence a smelly customer in a KFC outlet.

So in this moment of free time from scolding my students to have better writing.

I want to list down all my wants...

1. I want to get posted... I mean, RIGHT NOW!
---- it seems as though that my loving government kinda forgotten about my existence... it is kind of they had shoved our documents aside and tend to bigger needs like - the pilihanraya

2. I want lots and lots of money
---- not like i work for it kinda thing... i want a huge sum of money - like 10 million ringgit - to just fall on my lap, so i can make all the following wants real...

3. Buy a huge house, the kinda house that could make Elizabeth II think that BUckingham is a shack.
---- Just so that i can put my whole family members in it so that everyone will have their own personal space and can cry without anybody else hearing them.

4. Live in Putrajaya
---- I want to live and work here, is that possible? I love this place, it is well-planed. And Alamanda is so deprived of people... spacious... and it has GSC...

5. To own a huge library
---- in my huge house, they will be a huge room just devoted to books, so that i can run into it escaping from all life's commitments for one minute

6. To stop certain people from swimming in a pool of debts...
---- easy right? If i have 10 million ringgit, i can stop these people from creating a whole new set of debt, right?

7. To just sit quietly in one space, with my laptop, without the sound of any whinings or fake ass crying, and write a book.
--- there is a probability if this happens... everything else in the list above could be true... but i am not any good, and that is why there is wants #8;

8. To have a crazy writing talent that could sink Harry Potter like titanic
---- if i can only snap my fingers and make this true... if only.,, but nothing can happen unless you work for it

9. TO go around the world without thinking of the expenditure...
---- right, even the money spinning datuks and datins think about the expenditures right... what more a part time pekerja macam aku ni...

Well, it is like desire, like sometime you close your eyes and imagine things are truer than what they are in your head. How I wish... some people may think that it is too materialistic,... but this is just a moment of weakness... like you cannot think of anything else but to just snap your fingers...

I know it cant happen... some of the want is near to an impossibility... but hopefully it can be achieved...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I am so glad

Sometimes, In my mundane days of a Jobless life. I would sit in front of my house, looking at the mundane street, thinking of the past and the future...

Thinking of the student life that has left me for over two months already.

Somehow I miss it, to the point that it would wrench my heart....

Like the time I was living in a house for one year in Serdang with the 4 most awesome housemates I could ever have.

The classes in UPM, the resourceful resource center in the faculty

The Navy training

The most invigorating lecturers ( a few lah)

The volleyball game every evening in JB

The easy access to bookstores, 2nd hand or new or online

The big fat allowance every semester

The easy access to my favourite cinema: GSC

Alamanda, Putrajaya (because there are not many people, i hate crowded place)

My room, My bed, my table

the routine

Well, to name a few...

and then i looked at the pictures, and somehow, despite the gut wrenching missing-activity

I felt a new emotion looming in my heart...

and that is Gladness!

I'm glad that those life had left me

I figured that I can make my future more interesting (probably the dread of having to work as a teacher wont help much - but, still)

I figured that I could leave past problems in a baggage labeled: Stupid College Adventures and Conflicts

I'm glad that I've left parts of me behind, parts when I was still stupid and stupid (yes i said stupid twice)

The time when I had long, curly hair, and faded jeans, and some annoying colleagues

I am glad that it is all over. It's over... woohoo...

I don't miss life in college

I actually miss the friends and the everyday routine -

which could be easily remedied by developing communication and transportation technologies and also a well planned discipline...

mostly, I am glad that it was over... I would miss it sometimes, but I am so glad!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Writer's block

I have a story

with a pretty good ending

with pretty good conflicts

with 7 most interesting characters that I have ever created

but I cant seem to end it,

because I feel that I am not good of stringing words into a story.

Whenever I read thing back, i felt

the story is choppy, and abrupt


and i am haunted by my past

2 years ago, when I was still actively writing

I managed to write things that are beautiful

but now, after two years of not-writing

It seemed that I can't write anymore...

I feel so empty...

Damn, I am melancholic fool again...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hogwarts: an escapism for all who need to escape

It all started from a small imagination by a woman in a train ride....

and then paired with her magnificent talent in stringing words into creating a world...

a world where all children/teenagers/and adults could go to escape from their daily routine life.

Who else have created a world like this?

Hogwarts, and everything in it, became a new world for children all over the world to grow up with.

I remembered how i was in Love with End Blyton's famous five series...

Blyton had this wonderful talent of knowing what children wants to hear...

J.K Rowling on the other hand, had the talent of creating a world where everyone could go to.

Her style of writing had the way of making your mind wonders into that world.

and i fell in love with that world.

and was thankful to her for creating the world where i actually could think that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were my friends.

and i cannot believe that by the premiere of the movie last Thursday...

It would be mark as the end to us all...

I simply wish that she would write more books, but it is good that the story ended as how it was.

Don't tamper with things that is already perfect.

J.K. Rowling, what would I give, if I could be given a chance to talk to you for just five minutes...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

an Attack to English Language in Malaysia

I am disgusted...

First, all of the Sasterawan Negara decided to take a train to stupidville and make a tunjuk perasaan a few years ago so that the Math and Science medium of instruction could be reverted back to Malaysia holiest language - Malay.

And then Astro decided to have a dwibahasa thing in English channels such as FOX and Disney

and then there are next to none bookstores in small towns such as Simpang Rengam

and even if there is a bookstore, the English section is only two shelves...

and then they blame English Teachers because students nowadays cannot master the language...

and then they brought in 100 English Teachers from the US believing that those Mat Salleh's can do wonders....

hey why don't you just drop English Language from the curriculum...

Stop with the crap that it is our second language... Just say that it is a foreign language...

Easy... simple....

so that students can come to school and see no importance of studying a foreign language...

and when these students miraculously survive to university, they can ask the TESL (who will be called TEFL) students to edit (and by edit I meant re do) their assignments in English.

Because it is not important...

because the environment for the young to use or listen to language is near extinction...

For all of you little people out there who thinks that ETEMS sucks, you're so STUPID...

yes i said it


even all the sasterawans or big named, important people...

you're STUPID

because you thought that it was an attack to Bahasa Malaysia

you thought that it would downgrade BM as the medium of knowledge...

well then, use the language for something that is more intelectual than just maing stupid movies like 'Jangan Pandang Belakan Congkak' or 'Kongsi'

because things like that plays with your children minds.

and it has a direct effect to the way they use BM...

It downgrades it...

and YOU, Little Humans who believes that English is BAhasa Penjajah as has been promoted by people such as A. Samad Said and Faisal Tehrani....

you are STUPID...

do you know that all those important people who went against ETEMS sends their children to the UK and US to study?

So their stupid, spoilt brats can master the language so they can make it big in Malaysia, and stand on YOUR children failures on mastering the Language,.,.

here we all are, busting our backs trying to make sense of why students should study English and why is it important for their future... and you simply change the channel for them to learn...

I respect BM...

in fact... I love BM lit...

my sister is a BM lit enthusiast and she had troll everything down to me.,..

Languages are languages...

it is not owned by you or me or the mat sallehs...

it is everybody's language...

Allah created languages for us to listen, communicate and learn,

not for you to pee around and mark it as your territory..

idiots! really...

so please... it is disgusting how you people are attacking English Language,...

of course, some of you obstinate stupidheads, who are too insecure to even ask what obstinate means would call me unpatriotic...

whoever dares, lets have a debate with me on the origins of your beloved BM... i would loooove to comment on your endless stupidity...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

London: Part 1: A New-Comer Guide to Surviving the Alpha City

Some of my friends said that this place is an overrated tourist location. It is as overrtaed as Mawi or the long standing disgraced ex-Deputy Prime Minister.

However, you cant deny that it is an interesting tourist spot.

Maybe for those who love the architecture, English Lit and History would find it fun to be in the city.

And I, with my minimal amount of income could reach the city, I thought the chances were astronomical.

So here I am, writing about the city to the sour grapes who believed that they could not go,

and this is also for those who dream to be in the city but they think that it is impossible

I present to you;

Part 1: A new comer guide to survive in the city

Step 1: Buy some glue, pluck some feathers, paste it to your arms and fly!

AirAsia: The stewardesses for the international flights are hotter, honest!

Okay people, learn from my mistakes. I bought the ticket only three months early, so My return ticket was RM 2500. I know it was still cheap compared to some other airlines, but you can save more money.

This is what you do, plan your holiday, but a year or at least 10 months early, you WILL get return ticket for at least RM 1500 with tax included. Seriously, no joke.

Don not go around summer, because even if you buy a year early, the tickets will be expensive.

My advice is for you to go in Spring.

However, AirAsia is clever too, cunning if you ask me. They will trick you with many hidden charges as you go along buying your ticket. So you need to be smart and say no to all of these things. (Do not pay for extra luggage space, you don't need it, pack light, England is not tropical like Malaysia, you wont sweat.)

Do not be luxurious, be smart. Do not complain of the cramped seats, it is wider then the local flights, if my 63 year old mother could survive the 14 hour flights with the so-called cramped seats, then all of you sniveling complainers can too!

Step 2: Catch some horses, saddle up and move.

Stansted Express or Airport Limo: If you decided that walking would waste your holiday

I don't know if you decided to use MAS, Royal Brunei, Singapore Airlines or the Garuda. But if you use AirAsia, you will land at the Airport with the cheapest tax - Stansted Airport. Also, arriving at Stansted will save you some time at the customs, because it is not as busy as Heathrow. Heathrow is the busiest airport in the UK, you will spend a lot of time waiting at the customs or even waiting for your bag.

Heathrow has its plus points too, apart from you having the chance to run into British Celebrities, you will also find it easy to commute from the airport to London. Using the famous train system in London - The London Underground, there is a station in Heathrow. (More about London Underground in Step 7)

Using Taxi to get out from Stansted

Now, if you are in Stansted, the problem will be getting out of the place. If you are in a group of 4 or 8 (take note, I worte 'or' nor 'more') or 12 or keep on adding 4. I would suggest you to use the Stansted Airport Limousine. This is a cosy van with large luggage space fit for four passengers. It will cost you 106 pounds (around RM 535) to get to Queensborough Terrace (I will explain why Queensborough Terrace in Step 3). But you need to remember that the 106 is only the cost for the Limo Company, the driver will need a tip from you. (All British services will consider you cheap and out-of-the-world if you does not give them tips, so if you want to fit in, fork out some money.) So it is advisable for you to give the driver 110 pounds (RM 550) so that he will keep the 4 pounds as his tip.

Since you are going to give him RM 20 tip, you may want to use him to the max. If you are lucky, you will get an understanding driver who will take you through the heart of London city to get to you destination, ask a bunch of questions about the sights, he will pleasently oblige.

How do you get a limo? After you have been cleared of customs, you will arrive in a Lobby of the airport, look for a cab/van booth and ask the nice lady about your destination. She will explain to you about the price and where to claim your driver. However, she will explain in a rapid jabbering of British accented English. You may want to swallow your ego and ask her to slow down because you are an innocent London first timer (Even if you are a TESL Graduate).

Too expensive you say?

Use the Stansted Express, this is a train that will usually cost you 21 pounds (RM 105), however the price is seaosanal, sometimes you will find that it will drop to 8 Pounds (RM 40).

This train will only get you to Liverpool Street, here you may need to find an Underground Station for you to get to whereever you want to go.

Step 3: Looking for a lump of hay to rest your head.

Malaysia Hall: Oh, and there is the Malaysian Flag, happily flying in London.

The cheapest, most Malaysian Abode

Well, the cheapest for all Malaysian is in Malaysia Hall of course, situated in the Queensborough Terrace . This will cost you 13.41 pounds per night. It is the cheapest in London. Other hotel prices (thousands of hotels are scattered all over London, you will have no problem finding a room, but the prices may kill you) vary from 25 pounds to 300 pounds. You can find hotels anywhere in London; Queensborough itself is a home for more than 40 hotels along the street.

Malaysia Hall: a HOSTEL fit for a King!

Malaysia Hall is a hostel. But it is a spacious two-bed bedroom with intact bathroom and toilets. It is a single sex hostel, so bad news for those newlyweds who plans to consummate their marriage in here.

A word of caution for most Malaysians, the toilet is off Hardwood Floors. So you cannot spill water when you are cleaning your - er... - backside after you have finished doing your - er... - business. This is when your creativity comes into play, be as imaginative as you can.

They will provide a beaker in every toilet, if you can't find any, you MUST go down to the receptionist and her to provide you one. Again, swallow your ego, this is for your well being. For the rest of the Malaysians who depend on toilet papers, no problem for you - there are loads here.

You will need to familiarize yourself with the use of the heater in your room. If it proved to be ineffective, you MUST go down to the receptionist and made this problem known because you will desperately need your heater. Even in the hot summer, the nights are chillingly cold.

Since that it is a hostel, the woman at the counter is NOT affable (like all other government based services), so don't waste your breath trying to tell her how excited you are that you finally got the chance to travel, she will only stare at you. True Story.

You would need to pay everyday if you plan to stay here for more than one night. They don't entertain 'I want to stay for three nights' kind of things. Pay every morning to ensure that you have a pillow to sleep on.

Also, if you decide to sty here in the months of September to December, DON'T. Malaysia Hall is closed to give way for students who are starting their studies here. Heed my advice, again, go in the Spring, the city is prettier and Malaysia Hall is emptier.

Have craving for a more luxurious stay?

If you decide to sleep on a plusher, more expensive pillows, just walk into a hotel, ask for an empty single/double/family/executive suite and tell them the duration of your stays. Politely give them your last name (or any names if you have bin or binti) and take your keys and go.

If you want to be wise, since most hotels will charge you per head and not per room. Send one of your most charismatic friends to the counter and ask him/her to book a family room. This will usually cost you 80 to 100 pounds. After the transaction is done, ask your friend to cleverly smuggle you with the excuse 'Oh, they are just visiting.' to the suspicious receptionist and share the cost of the room among yourselves. This will not be an easy thing to do, ration the large luggage of your group between yourselves so that the receptionist wont get suspicious that the people you claimed to be 'just visiting' are in fact people who want to spend the night.

Be careful and creative.

Step 4: Read the Sun and Stars, stick to your way of life and pray

For Muslims, England is a country where the sun is extremely and constantly fickle. Sometimes you may get 8 hours of light or sometimes you may get 18 hours of light. So it is only natural that the prayers time will constantly change.

Compass: Bring one, so even in a stranger's land, you will feel at home

The case of Islamophobia

However, despite the 2010 minuscule, but extremely fascist, movement of Islamophobia in London, the city turned out for me to be one of the most Muslim friendly cities in the world, even friendlier than Singapore. This is in the sense that there are thousands of Muslims here, you can find Halal food anywhere, and there is a famous mosque near the Barbican.

Take note that even when the Muslim-haters movement is on the move, you need to know that it is not a popular belief, the whites in London proved to be extremely friendly and welcoming to my Hijab-clad sister and mother when we were there in 2010.

When I was there in the month of May, 2010. The Queen of England had just gave a peerage to the first Muslim senator in London.

So there is no serious problem of Islamophobia in London.

Prayer times

You can get the prayer timetable in the Malaysia Hall itself or the Mosque in Shoreditch. The Malaysia Hall itself has a big Surau underneath, right next to the canteen.

Step 5: Put the letter in the bottle, throw into the sea, hope for your loved ones to get it.

You may need some groceries such as bread and nutella to help you ration your money in this budget trip. You may want to buy sim cards for you to call home and tell you mommy that you have safely arrived or brag to your friends of the fact that you are in London and they are still in Parit Sonto sipping coconut juice nursing their envy.

Queensway: Everything you need from filthy keychains to knock-off designer bags.

Just two streets away from the Queensborough Terrace is the Queensway: a street full of shops with everything you need. There is a Tesco near the Bayswater underground station and here they sell halal food. Stock yourselves up with bread, butter, jam or even chicken sandwiches.

You may be surprised with the cheap prices here, a bag of 6, extremely sweet apples will cost you around 90 pence (like our cents) or 1.20 pounds. At the end of the road is an Alamanda-sized shopping mall called the Whiteleys. You can shop here too. There is also a cinema in Whiteleys in case you want to watch some movies.

Along the Queensway Road, there are numerous shops that sell hand phones and you can buy your sim cards here. A fair warning on sim cards, they will tell you a thousand and one offers but you will always be to shy to ask them how to use it. The Malaysian hand phone will sometimes be as giddy as you with the excitement of being in London.

There would be some codes for you to enter before you can use the sim cards, but you may dont know this and you will resort the conslusion that the seller had coned you. Again, swallow your ego and ask the seller about the sim card until he is annoyed at your existence.

Step 6: Grind some meat, pick the eggs, shoot the ducks and eat.

Breakfast: Nothing beats the large European portion of Food.

For all Muslims, here is a good news for you, Halal food is scattered all over London. It is not hard for you to find Halal food. Even some of the western food are halal too.

If you are on your way to the Queensway from Queensborough Terrace, you will find a petite restaurant wedged between a money-changing office and souvenir shop, it is overlooking the Bayswater road, here you can have your English food with heavenly hot chocolate for under 10 pounds. (Look at the picture, that is the food that you will get if you eat here.)

Fancy a more exotic meal? Near the Tesco which i had explained in Step 5, there is a Pakistani Kebab restaurant called 'Halal', you will not miss this shop since they put the word 'Halal' on top of the shop in red neon light.

Or if you miss Malaysian Food for God-knows-what-reason, you can always eat in Malaysia Hall canteen back in Queensborough Terrace. They serve the usual Nasi Campur. A little hint on the taste though because they dont have the similar ingredient like they have in Malaysia, so your 'Teh Tarik' will taste a little powdery since they use creamer and not the run-of-the-mill F&N milk.

But a good thing about food in London is that it is off the European Proportion. Meaning to say that it is LARGE! You may find yourself full for the whole day after you had force yourself through a large plate of Chicken Burger with fries at breakfast.

For all fast food chains, they are non-halal, but for the non-Muslims, of course there is no problem for you. Plus, the prices for the meals are all around 1 to 3 pounds per meal. So knock yourself out.

If you decide to go the fine dining restaurants (there are only one or two that is Halal, try 'Angsana', it is a Malaysian Food restaurant) make sure that you have more than 50 pounds in your pocket because the price on the menus will gouge your ayes out. What is more, you need to hand in a 25% tip for your waiter. Heed my advice, unless you are a son of a money spinning Datuk, or you have a money-spinning Datuk or Datin for your sugar mommies or daddies, or you are a money-spinning datuk yourself, do NOT eat in a fine dining restaurant.

Note: The only Halal KFC that I found was in Coventry.

Step 7: Clean your horseshoe, resaddle your horses and canter around.

Now there is always a question of how to move about in London, take note that you are in a city with the most efficient underground trains.

They have at least a station in nearly all streets in London. So you can cover a lot of touristic spots using the Underground.

London Underground: You'd think that I dont take pictures in Public Transport

You need to buy Travel cards rather than Oyster Card or paying at every stations. With only 6.40 pounds per day, you can travel all around region 1 & 2 (these two regions are London, you dont need to travel as far as region 8) and re-use the cards again and again and again.

Go to any Shops in Queensway that says 'Travel Cards Available' and but it for 6.40 pounds. The next thing that you need is the underground map, do not be too traumatised with the Kuala Lumpur KTM/Komuter/Star/LRT map that you distrust the Underground Map, it is actually very efficient. First, find out a station nearest to your Touristic Location on your map, look for the station in the underground map and look at the lines that connects the station nearest to you and the station nearest to the location, board the train and enjoy.

For example, if you are now at the Queensway, you have two stations on you, either the Queensway or the Bayswater, if you decide to go to the Tower Hill station, Bayswater has a direct line (circle line, yellow in colour on your map) to Tower Hill, make sure you board the right train, for example, if you are going to the tower hill using the circle line (because London underground has more than ten lines), on your map, they mark the circle line with yellow colour, so make sure you board the train with yellow poles in it. Simple as that.

London underground is highly efficient, do not worry if you miss a train, they have a train available in every 2 minutes.

If you want to understand more how to use the Underground for touristic spots, wait for Part 2 of this post.

Step 8: Break a twig, pick a stone, some trinkets for you to bring back home.

Of course you would want to buy some souvenirs for your friends to further rub it in to their faces with all their envy.

Queesnway is strewn with shops that sells souvenirs, from Teddy bears to key chains. If you are as popular as Brad Pitt, but not as rich, you might want to buy just key chains for your friends, because mugs and t-shirts cost around 5 - 25 pounds.

Dont worry about your friends, they will aprreciate it that you think of them when you are having the time of your life, if they say lame/cheap/boring/hmph! to the key chains that you have at least spent nearly RM 10 on, you know who to disinvite to your wedding.

Seriously, their currency is nearly 5 to 6 times compared to Malaysian Ringgit, so economise yourself, spend more for your families, that is justified, but not when you have the family with the size of families in Ant hills.

And tha is the end of Part 1, in ppart 2, I will explain to you where to go and what to do at the coolest sights in London.

Monday, May 23, 2011

after 6 years: the end!

After thousands of complaints, liters of tears, cackles of laughter, hours of emo-ing and so on and so on and so on.

The six years have ended.

It ended.

And I cannot believe it.

(but actually I can)

In this 6 years, I grew up, and most of my friends did too, we came with our high school mentality and we leave with at least non-high school mentality. Even though we are not yet mature enough but
we still we did grew up.

This growing up thing will be the reason why I am going to miss studying bot in Maktab and UPM so much. Because this phase of my life is very meaningful. I will miss the lecturers, the study, my friends, the cohort 4 and the ketua warden (seriously?) and everythinglah!

I have done a lot of things in these six years, and I am proud of almost all my decisions that I have ever made. Let see some of the things I will miss the most..

Awesome friends
(This picture was taken a gazilion years ago, note the immaturity)

Wasting our time doing Maktab activities
(Most of the cohort 4 will remember this Danga Bay trip 6 years ago as our very first picture moment together. We were at Danga Bay hailing flags for Merdeka celebration, oh we were so young)

acting in Pygmalion
(Cynthia: Aaaaaoooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh)

Dorm mates
(Since the lovely Maktab decided that i can be a better teacher by living in a dorm, i decided to make that whole sem fun, but we did only one outing with all members present. How can i forget listening to 5 different songs at once, zero privacy, and saifullah screaming at the top of his lungs... oh the times)

Debating for K12, UPM
(we won 9 times in a row, this could be the best team that i have aver had in my entire life. And of course, i was the best speaker, twice...just had to say it.)

London Trip
(The ultimate event!I was bored with the Cohort's plan to go to the UK that i decided to plan one of my own and bring my mom and sister whose dream was to be in the country where History is alive and literature are as abundant as coakroches in the Larkin gutter.)

(One of the best decision in my life was to join this thing, and to quit it too... bittersweet memories, definetely enjoyed the training)

(My first script got in stage and it was good, enough for me, however i did learn things about human behaviour on this course, which would take another whole post to explain)

The lelaki B Bola Baling team
(Kalah bermaruah beb...)

The ability to ponteng kelas and go to places like aquaria to enjoy life
(Certainly you cannot pull stuff like this when u are in the working world. So i would definitely miss it. This was when Samantha, Cynthia and I decided to ditch Puan Juridah's class and went gawking at giant Arapaima in giant aquarium)

Hardcore Literature Class
(Now I am going to be stcuk teaching who is Miss Broome in the infamous qwertyuiop. but i really miss learning harcore literature with a hardcore lecturer such as Dr. Edwin.)

Wearing normal people clothes
(Of course this doesnt apply in Maktab, but still, i am going to be stuck with the noose-like neck tie and i hate it. I miss keeping my hair long and messy and wearing my stripy t-shirt and jeans)

Going out to cool places like the theater
(They dont have things like this in JB or anywhere i'm posted later)

There are actually loads more that i would miss, come on, it is 6 years of my life... but the focus now is THE END, so lets be excited for the next phase of life....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Committing suicide

I have been watching a lot of Hindi films growing up, 70% of the reason being that my dad hails from the land where there they say Romance is thriving... (India, really?)

Well, the point is, Hindi films had taught me a lot, for example, never go against your parents in choosing a bride, you will have to burst in songs and you will have to roll down the hill with you forbidden lover. I for one is tone-deaf, so I have to follow this lesson so i wont start to croak out a song and create a wave of hate mail drowning my house...


One of the lesson that I got from watching Hindi films is (apart from how to dance and sing and roll down a hill) is about suicide.

you see, Bollywood in the 80s and 90s are famous with its suicide scene, example, a girl who is denied her lover by the parents will burst into a heartfelt song and used her father hard-earned petrol oil and her brother's matches (which he kept secret from the father because of a whole different subplot) and dramatically burst into flames and died, much to the father's regret.

The lesson of the story that I got from my parental guidance support is that;

Never ever commit suicide, because life is a gift and you would be buying a ticket straight to hell if you do it... also, committing suicide would be a very,very painful way to go.

Well, in Islam, committing suicide is haram. Since life is given by Allah s.w.t, so you must find a way to make your life worthy and productive. All your problems which would bring you to the edge of the knife would be a test from Him, so you should find a way to survive with your faith intact.

Well, of course I am against committing suicide and the last time i checked, the whole world is against it too... until Euthanasia is made legalized in America (America has more possibilities than India)

I read that most people who turned into Euthanasia had three main relevance ;
1. 'I am too old and sick, I dont want to trouble others'
--- and the whole world is nodding in understanding while watching whoever that had made this complaint pay thousands to a hospital to die.
2. 'I am old now, i cannot bear watching my wife die before me, so we decided to die together'
---and the whole world 'awwwwed' in understanding that they are such romantic couple
3. 'So what? I dont fear death, life is too complicated, with politicians and corruptions, i wanna see God'
----??? speechless

Well, to me, whatever you rational is, it is still suicide, it is still Haram, it still seems to me that you have given up.

God has plans for all of us, even when you are sick and needy or just plain stupid, stop being selfish and imagine how much blessings the people who are taking care of you would gain...

well, euthanasia for me is just one more way to commit suicide that Bollywood havent use.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Landslide Brought Me Back

So yeah, I think the entire universe heard me when I complained about my students and my teaching practical...

It is like a virus, controlling my brain telling me it make a lot of sense for me to complain. I rationalize myself that if i dont complain, i would become crazy.

But i didnt realise how stupid and immature it is that i complained about a band of 16 years old tearing my brain out.

It is my job, i signed up into this, i knew what i was going to deal with.

but i still complain...

Like a a four year old spoilt brat who was denied the world's most colorful sweet.

So yesterday, i complained about a boy in my class whose sport is to make fun of me. I complained as loudly as i could. Towards 7.00 pm i realised how brazenly stupid i was while i was complaining.

So i tried to avoid myself wallowing in the sudden embarrassment by looking through Youtube looking for videos of losers trying to catch attention by dressing up like clowns and miming to Justin Bieber's I need somebody to love.

But what i found slapped me so hard that i was depressed the whole night.

The tsunami in Japan.

Here I was, thinking that i was having a bad day, and happily cursing a 16 year old while thousands in Japan were going through a nightmare came to life.

The tsunami literally wiped out the civilisation. Houses.People.Cars.Buses. All gone in matters of minutes.

And i was complaining that i had one idiotic kid in my class...

The survivors were dealing with their lives literally turning upside down. Lost loved ones, and any kind of momentos of their lost loved ones were swept away too...

No photo albums, no homes, they cant tell their friends that 'this is the place where i used to do something absolutely wicked/happy'

To them it will remind them of the time where they felt a humongous loss and defeat and sadness.

And i was complaining about my life while i was eating twisties and watching Glee.

I feel so stupid and childish...

My heart goes out for the victims.

My prayers are for you.

and to everyone else who is going through the same problem;

The survivors in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The survivors of the Brazil's mudslide

The survivors Haiti and the China earthquake

The children in Palestine


Where is Ultraman when u need him?