20 November 2012

Haha, Oops I Did It Again!

Hello everyone! Yes, it's me, the self acclaimed blogger back at your service. Gosh, I've been away for too long really to the point that I had trouble even to log in to my own blog for that matter, haha. Intolerable really! Personally, it's been at the back of my head for quite a while but everytime I thought of scribbling again, I got lost in the middle of the thought process and hey presto...interest died down. AGAIN. Sad yes, and to my faithful blog followers (the 8 people strong army), I am truly sorry for my period of hiatus.

What changed you say? Well for one, my time in the UK for my degree has finally come to and truth be told, it is one of my deepest regret that I was too lazy to write more on my blog about my experiences there, for stories were a plenty and interesting ones they were too. God willing, I'll be glad to share them sometime soon. With the end of my tertiary education, comes the phase that very few of overseas graduate experience. UNEMPLOYMENT....

So, here I am. Back in Malaysia, with a degree in Biotechnology from the recently acclaimed top 5 universities in the world (in your face Imperial College, haha! :P). Ignoring the fact that I did not get a first class grade, it is still a common perception that such a degree would be able to secure a decent job in my beloved home. Alas, while the degree may be sufficient, the nature of what I studied however have proven to be the main hindrance in this case. Little did I realize this until the moment I started looking for a job related to my field...As it turns out, all (at least the ones I've identified so far) of the companies involved necessitated a minimum of one year in the industry. Needless to say, I was quite despondent by all this, and so it proved to be for the next three months upon completion of my studies. Until I got a call...

JPA wanted all of their overseas graduates to enrol for a camp in Pangkor, in an attempt to asses us for our suitability to potentially work as a civil servant under the wings of the government. In general, there were a number of positives to sum up (the Flying Fox was certainly new) but the main one for me personally was the realization that I was not alone. My friend Faiz from Nottingham also had the same dilemma, with both of us graduating with a Life Sciences degree. Though we were both rocking on the same boat, he differentiated himself from me with the knowledge of what is already lying across the horizon. On his words, I was introduced to the fact that the biotechnology climate in Malaysia centered on the study of homeopathy and agriculture, the study of how we can make the most of its diversity of plants. In other words, so far and away from my interest in the study of biofuels. Knockout!!

But despair not he said, for this is where we can still be productive. Masters in Bioinformatics was a suggestion from his lecturer to him and what he passed on to me. Part time, while getting tutor jobs at universities nearby (UUM coming to mind due to it being close to both our homes). Sounds appealing and definitely way better than what I'm doing now, definitely a plan worthy to fall back on. But for now, the search must continue. Any job would do, though preference would obviously be on the Biosciences. And this with a little side note to add...

For those close to me, I have definitely never hidden my desire to continue my education and with the current situation existing, my hands are actually tied up more that I can imagine. At the very least, doing so would enhance my prospects in getting such a job (and yes, the increase in salary also comes to mind) while more importantly making me feel good about myself again in one way or another. JPA has certainly convinced me that the best option to do so would be via their Excellent Scholars Scheme, one that I'd be very happy to grab with both hands.

Now, I'm a part time fence builder for the cattle rearing project Abah and Mak had in mind, and it's been a good way to burn off the excess fat I'm building up since returning. Man, I seriously need to lose weight! On that note, I'll keep you updated if anything comes up and glad to hear from you guys again too! :D

31 December 2011

2011, What Happened?

So it's the last day of 2011, the time is 8:11pm and I'm in my room in Cecil Rhodes House, London on Goldington Street playing Football Manager on my laptop. Then, just then...I remembered about you my darling, you...yes you, my one and only blog. And looking at your lack of scribbles for 2011, I feel bad for letting you down. All those countless times when I actually had time to meet you, to write up something on you...something, anything...but yet, I didn't. I'm sorry for leaving you behind my dear, but rest assured, I'm not giving up on you, I'll try to make things better again, just like old times. Have faith dear and have a good year ahead. :)

17 December 2010

Performing Arts...And Me

And so it ends, an eventful first term in university life as a second year student. It was just like the seniors said it would be, way more taxing and demanding but I for one, am not complaining. If anything, it made me more determined to study and work harder than last year and Alhamdulillah, if I remember correctly my grades this term are better than what I got last year at approximately the same time :) With a job well done, I look forward to a 3 weeks winter break albeit with no winter trip this year. Well, at least not yet,haha. As I sit in front of my laptop while reading my UCL M.Night's script...my head began to wander (as it always does, unfortunately) to how did it come to this? And by this I mean acting on stage in front of hundred's of people come February next year, comprising of not only Malaysians but also locals...what if my English was not good enough? would they laugh at my accent? And yet, something tells me I relish doing this very much, the possibility of making people cry at my tears or laugh at my jokes....needless to say, I'm really looking forward to be on stage to be honest! To say that it runs in the family is a fallacy, as I don't think no one else in my family (extended family included) are that into what I'd like to call 'performing arts', at least not that I know of. Nevertheless, I can't say that's the case with me really...and it all started way back when I was in primary school even!

According to Wikipedia (not too dependable but hey as long as it sounds flashy, its fine by me!) , performing arts can be defined as a form of art which "uses the artist's own body, face and presence as a medium" of conveying a message. By this definition, performing arts would include comedians, dancers, magicians, actors, musicians and singers. Personally, I'm not a very funny man with my best attempts of making a joke often ending with silent approval (or was that disapproval?), I have 2 left frog feet at size 11, and despite my long fingers, I'm not that agile with them so if you're expecting a sleight of hand from me, blink you'll miss it...even if you don't blink you'll still miss it because it wasn't even there! haha (cue crickets in the background). So yes, my passion in this did not stem from a break in comedy, a phenomenal jump in tango or a trick up my sleeve. And yet, in that sense I can attribute it to the remaining three left :)

Singing...hmm, I think this one started way back when I was in primary school and to be more specific, during my time in ABIM Evening Classes. Besides the core Islamic teaching routines, students were also encouraged to get involved in extracuricullar activities to make each and every student more holistic. I for one was chosen to join the local nasyid team and brought the song Shautul Nadza. The competition was held in Perlis and we were up against 20 teams from the Northern Zone comprising of Perlis, Kedah and Penang. Against all odds, we were selected as the winner and was duly rewarded to a prize giving session somewhere north of Kedah, a big deal at that time for kids like us. But at that time, I didn't think that I was going to grow and go on liking singing, a fact supported by my 5 years absence from it altogether in Koleq.

You Are The Music in Me with Sabrina

Satu Pagi Di Hari Raya with self proclaimed Krew Artis KYUEM :P

Somehow, that all changed when I was enrolled into KYUEM. Being one of those nerd looking guys in the batch, I was somehow pushed by my house captain to perform during the weekly assembly. Back then, assemblies were organized by houses on a rotation system and such is the norm that they are expected to bring some sort of entertainment at the end to wrap it all up. Lack of time and lack of personnel, I was told to go for it with support from my colleagues. Nervous? you bet I was! And so we sang "Mungkin Nanti - Peterpan" to a somehow acceptive crowd, much to my surprise. By the end of it, we were congratulated by a number of personnel. Personally, I was just happy to get it over with,haha! From then on, I'd say I'd become more inclined to sing at any possible opportunity. I agree that my voice is not that great, but I'd also say its not the worst out there, a fact that I'm totally happy to admit to. Mum had to plug her ears quite a number of times really and all the while questioning where did I get this sudden urge to sing. Long story Mak,hehe. :P Anyway, as I said I got quite active from then on, singing songs like You Are The Music In Me in Musica Fiesta (albeit with little success,haha) to nasyid performances during Raya Festivals, all the while supplemented from constant Interhouse competitions. And to my surprise, I didn't lose the singing bug while I'm here too. I'm now in a nasyid team based in London called Soutussalam. Alhamdulillah, we managed to achieve 2nd place in the annual Nasyid Extravaganza competition earlier this year so on a collective note, we aim to get first place next time out,hehe. InsyaAllah, we'll make it happen :)

Wondering what I did during my 5 years in Koleq then? For those who know me well enough back then, they usually recognize me as a school debater in English, a journey continued from my humble beginnings as a public speaker in my early days in primary school. On certain occasions, I'm also known as a trumpeter for the school's band. Something about bands seems really appealing to me. No, not the kind of rock bands like Aerosmith and Green Day, but bands like the ones you usually see accompanying solo ballad performances in concerts. And so I was assigned to play the trumpet since my 1st year in the team. The trumpet, being a brass instrument requires full control of vibrating your lips in order to determine the specific note to be played, not an easy thing to do especially in the heat under the hot sun after marching for miles, trust me. But still, I find being a part of it as a real pleasure since we get to pump out songs and pieces like the ever popular My Heart Will Go On to the less well known yet equally enthralling Majestia. My only disappointment was that after 4 attempts, the best we could reach was only consecutive Silver Awards with the Gold remaining elusive. Despite KYUEM's capacity to fulfill the needs of its students, one bleak point was the lack of orchestra instruments and the maintenance equipment needed to keep them functioning and as a result I simply stopped playing. Although Koleq is now performing ever so well with consistent Gold Medals, I'd jump if given the opportunity to go through it all over again...and yes, including the constant cross country training sessions and marching practises under the hot sun :)

MCKK Sports Day Marching Band. Sweating trumpeter at the back not visible :)

And last but never the least, acting. There's a funny side to this really. My first experience caused me to get 'gossiped' (if such a word existed) to a girl for the very first time. Acting as one of 4 blind men in a school play entitled...well, 4 Blind Men and The Elephant, the part required me to touch her scarved head to identify her as a girl. To this day I wonder how did I even agree to do it, was it my ignorance or was it due to the fact that I didn't really mind. Either way, being primary school kids, they'd jump at the very opportunity to associate a boy to a girl and vice versa, something if I'm not mistaken called 'puppy love' nowadays. After all that, we went into a competition at Zone stage, 2 teams competing and we lost,haha :S Nevertheless, the outcome of the experience was an enjoyable one personally as it introduced me to the fact that for once, you can escape from your shell of reality to being anyone you want on the stage.

Irshad as Tunku and me as the British Governor. Told you he's fair :)

KYUEM rekindled that flame. It began with a simple Induction Week performance as a British Governor (I tried for the Tunku role against my pal Irshad, but lost. So in the end, we had a 'fair' looking Tunku and a slightly 'opaque' British Governor,hehe :P) And yet, somehow my house seniors were pleased enough to assign me acting parts in the annual Bangsawan competition, albeit with only 3 lines :) Personally, I find the thrills and preparation for acting very engaging. With all the usual mispronounced lines and initially fake looking silat scenes, there was never a dull moment. Occasional work with the backstage crew, the technical crew and the props team were also eye opening as as performance day grew ever closer, one fully appreciates how well and how significant they had to perform in order to make everything go as smoothly as possible. Despite a number of bloopers like forgetting my lines as a Greco-Roman statue to improvisation when the Sultan's golden pendant didn't fall (literally) as planned, acting still had a place in my heart.

Death in the arms of your young prince. Not easy to pull off, trust me.

Sometimes, when you least expect an opportunity and it presents itself to you, you just don't know what to do. In this instance, I was offered to act as a guy called Hafiz in a soon to be made Malaysian movie based in London. This is it! This could be my big break! I'll be treading the very similar path to Lisa Surihani's meteoric rise and fame and fortune will be mine! :D But come decision time, I opted out of it....What are you doing Baku? You're missing this once in a lifetime opportunity! And to be fair, probably I did. But you know what, when thinking that I was paid using taxpayers money to study here and be successful in my field, and considering that I'd need to score well to progress to next year, I think the decision was justified enough. Was it easy? No it wasn't. Was it right? Personally, yes. However, at the very least, that reignited my interest in acting once again, and hence here I am memorising my lines for UCL's M.Night next year. An easy role this is not but InsyaAllah by February, I'd do well enough to get a pat on the back from Director Kevin. :)

And that's basically it really about me and this world called performing arts. On a personal note, I'd very much like to be given the opportunity to be in a musical, a theatrical musical to be exact. So far, I've seen Tunku back in Malaysia and Phantom of The Opera along with Les Miserables here in London. A combination of music and lyrics....oh the sweet, sweet experience of being in one! Acknowledging my current limitations in both my acting and singing capabilities, I wouldn't mind it being just a small role, just to enjoy the excitement and thrills all over again :) to any prospecting talent recruiters out there, I had my say. :) Now back to my lines....oh, and happy holidays everyone!

24 November 2010

My First Scientific Report

Hello blog! It's been quite a while since I last scribbled on your dear face. I am to blame for it really, it's not you...it's just that I'm spending my time 'hanging out' more with my lecture notes since I came back. It's been a quite gruelling month to be honest, with lectures coming thick and fast, I need all the time I have to make my notes and prepare for the next one. But Alhamdulillah, its been okay so far. In fact, I'll tell you and the others about my first experience of preparing a scientific report. You know...the ones REAL scientists do for a living. Ready? here it is...

Genomic Library Production of Bacteriophage Lambda via Cloning and Identification of Gene Fragment

So, that's the title. Then comes the Abstract. What's that you say? Oh, its basically a summary of the whole experiment. In a paper, it comes right in the beginning after the title but in terms of preparation, only once the whole experiment is complete can you proceed to make it. Kind of like a synopsis to a novel, like the ones you're used to making in the days of reading KOMSAS texts and stories like the Prisoner of Zenda....ah PMR, good times..good times. Anyway, as in any summary a good understanding of the whole experiment and its outcomes is needlessly essential in making a well written one. The text also had to be short enough so that anyone reading it will already understand the whole process and determine whether it is suitable or not for his/ her specific research. You see, scientists rarely do have a lot of free time so they'll always try to scheme through where possible...not working for me yet but I'll get used to it someday.

Then comes the Introduction. Well, basically its an insight regarding the particular biological aspect were going to be talking about. In my case, explanations regarding the bacteriophage as to what it is, why was it used, the genes within it, the cleavage points within, the restriction enzymes used...anything concerning the topic can be included really, but as always care has to be included in making any particular statement. For example, if you say that "bacteriophage lambda is a molecule consisting of 48kbps and 12 single stranded nucleotide termini in its linear state", back it up. Quote at the end of the sentence as to where did you come up with this piece of information just to make your paragraphs fancier. If you did, then well done and you get marks for it. If not, it'll be treated as a fallacy and could possibly be rejected in the scientific community, a total waste when you consider how man hours one usually spends on these type of articles. In the real world, there will consistently be scientific forums to review newly published research articles and they are a lot more unforgiving than what some lecturers can be. Even the source has to credible enough. In most cases, data is obtained from scientific journals and texts. Lecture notes are certainly a no-no so please under any circumstance do not put them in quoting your lecturer as the source, no matter how temptingly easy this may seem,hehe :)

Moving on to the Methods. Basically, its very easy to write as much as you want in explaining the steps you took. But here comes the hard part. Publishing a scientific report is expensive as each page can cost in excess of 300k of pounds, so its vital that the paper focuses more on the outcomes than the steps taken to complete the experiment. However, bear in mind that the methods must also be sufficient enough to allow anyone to repeat the whole experiment successfully, which in certain cases they do in order to verify the outcomes of certain experiments. So its quite a tricky business of balancing what to put in and what's not, but as always practice makes perfect. Oh, and its also important to explain the reasoning behind each particular step as it makes the results more accurate and easily said, believable. Methods are usually separated to sections with reference to the aim of doing a particular method instead of a timeline. For example, section headers may be titled as "Restriction enzyme digestion","Gel Electrophoresis","Plating Bacteria" instead of "Week 1","Week 2"...got it? so yeah, it makes it a little bit more difficult since the steps are not exactly done all at once but it does make it clearer to the reader. Again, emphasis on making it easy for the reader... :)

Now comes the cool part, Results and Discussion. In this section, one is expected to show the results of the experiment in the form of figures complete with their legends (no, not the one in the classical history segment, mind you!). Legends are basically short descriptions as to what the figures refer to. Simple enough really especially when you have space to explain each and every step of the way. So then, here's my sample to share with you dear readers.

Once upon a time....a bacteriophage lambda was cut into fragments using the restriction enzyme Pst1. To confirm this has happened successfully, samples of the digested molecule were subjected to gel electrophoresis with the presence of controls being the undigested samples.

(apologies for the small picture, increasing its size will only cause the resolution to decrease where by then it defeats the purpose of putting it in in the first place) As you can see in well 3, the genome was cleaved into 27 different fragments while in the control in well 1 is still in one piece, proving that digestion was successful. At the same time, the gel was also cleaved using restriction enzymes EcoR1 and Mlu1 with HindIII digested lambda acting as the DNA marker to determine the size of the fragment, as seen below.

These are particularly essential in determining the position of the specific cloned fragment via Southern Blotting, but more on that later.

Next, we then insert one particular fragment from the 27 available into a plasmid vector. This is later transformed into an E.coli cell to allow the cell to grow and hence, clone the specific fragment along with it. The next challenge lies in the determining which cells have took up the recombinant (altered) plasmid and which ones still have the unchanged ones. This is done via blue white assay in an ampicillin plate. Growth on the plates means that the cells have successfully taken up plasmids while in the blue white assay, blue colonies proves that the lac z' gene within the plasmid is still intact, hence proving that the plasmid incorporated was not the altered one. White colonies on the other hand proves that plasmids containing the gene fragment was successfully cloned. Sorry if this is a little bit too confusing...

Upon completion, samples from the white colony was again digested using Pst1 to release the cloned fragment. This is later run on an agarose gel with standard DNA marker to identify which fragment was cloned out of the original 27 and what is the size, again as shown below.

My fragment is the one at the end and as we can see, the size of it is roughly around 5kbs. Using certain appendixes provided, the precise value of this is determined to be 5.007kbps. However, from this, it is still not impossible to determine the precise position of the fragment within the genome and here is where the Southern blot becomes vital, as shown below.

The blot shows the labeled fragments of EcoR1 and Mlu1 digests. This proves that the position of the lambda fragment cloned is within these two fragments position and hence overlapping of both with the help of appendixes shows that the cloned fragment is from the part of the bacteriophage which codes for integration, excision and recombination of the genome.

Once all that is done, references must be quoted in the end and any acknowledgements made are also welcomed. Again, this must follow a given format, specifying who are the authors, the publication year, what page and many more things to consider. Quite a hassle really, but like I said, the references mean everything in validating the authenticity of the experiment so just live with it, keep calm and carry on... :)

All in all, it took me roughly a month to complete the experiment and prepare the report. Trust me, its not an easy task to complete and to be honest, I only fully understood the whole experiment 3 days before the deadline but thankfully I nevertheless managed to submit it on time. This experiment counts for quite a significant portion of my final marks for the year so I'm hoping for the best. It's certainly been one cool experience and I anticipate many more in my years to come as a scientist. Sorry for any scientific terms being less understandable but trust me, with a little bit of effort you'll understand it as well as I do in no time. Cheers!

P.S: to those taking their SPM exams (e.g: Yoyong and Yin) , all the best!

09 September 2010

Origin Of A Name

Salam Aidilfitri everyone! Well, technically it's not yet the first of Syawal but since it's the last day of Ramadhan already I suppose no one would complain kan? Tomorrow is the day when victory against lust will be celebrated, forgiveness will be asked for and pockets will be getting heavier (well, for one part of the family anyway :P) Kids will run around collecting 'cukai' and houses will be clean like never before. So, its the final few hours of Ramadhan and I'm now sitting comfortably in front of my laptop. Then, I suddenly had this idea to fulfil a friend's request as part of a deal (you know who you are :P). Oh well, here goes nothing...

"Kita kat sini semua datang dari tempat lain-lain, so aku nak korang semua cakap baku. Aku taknak dengar korang cakap pelet Kelate ke, Utagha ke...paham?!"


Sesi di atas telah berlaku pada suatu ketika dulu tatkala aku baru masuk Form 1. Masa tu, aku memang budak yang skema (ya,aku mengaku). Manakan tidak, pertama kali terpisah dari mak dan abah...basuh baju sendiri pun terkial-kial, inikan lagi nak bezakan mana yang betul2 kena ikut and yang mana tak. Prefects di MC ni pun satu, mentanglah kami Form 1 tak tahu apa2...suka hati jer buat rules sendiri,hehe. Maka, nak disambung cerita...Form 1 pun semua ikutlah, tak ikut nanti kena confinement terus tak dapat nak keluar town, sengsara lagi. Jam berganti jam, hari demi hari semakin ramai yang tak ikut dan mula bertutur kembali dalam bahasa tempat masing masing. Orang Kelate dengan peletnya dan orang Kedah dengan 'cek-hang'nya. Dalam masa 3 hari terus dah balik macam biasa. Namun...

Kebanyakan orang mudah untuk kembali ke keadaan asal. Namun bukan semua bulunya sama, bukan semua lunak suaranya. Apakan daya, aku bukan yang tergolong seperti di atas. Akibatnya, bukan setakat seminggu lebih aku bertutur baku, malah hampir-hampir sebulan! Haa, masa tu prefects pun macam dah tak kisah (makes you wonder why they did it in the first place :S). Satu hari tu, aku dipanggil ke depan sebab kononnya prefect nak jumpa (Zarep namanya). Sebabnya tak dapat ku ingat, nak kata jambu ramai yang lagi comel,haha :P. Nak dijadikan cerita, borak-borak dengan prefect, tiba-tiba dia kata...

"Kau ni memang cakap macam ni ek? Panggil kau BAKU ah!"

"err...." (-_-")...

Mula-mulanya, dia seorang jer yang try nak impose nama tu. Tapi, masa berlalu, dengan pengaruh yang dia ada, nama tu cepat tersebar. Secara jujurnya, aku berbohong andai aku katakan yang aku suka akan nama tu. Sesiapa yang ku dapati sebut nama tu padaku, ku tunjukkan riak muka bengang (like that's gonna change much kan?haha :P) . Namun, lama-kelamaan aku mula senang dengan nama tersebut. Aku mula melihatnya dari arah positif, ia menjadikanku...unik. Lagipun, aku lebih rela namaku Baku dari nama Farhan ditukar menjadi Cipan, nama seorang teman se-batchku,hehe. For the record, sebenarnya aku nak namaku menjadi A'an, nama panggilan manja yang arwah atukku selalu gunakan terhadapku tapi yang ini pun bolehlah.

Masuk alam kolej, aku ada membuat cubaan kedua untuk mengubah namaku menjadi A'an. Malah, nama tu turut ku gunakan dalam majlis suai kenal dalam Diamond House. Apakan daya, aku merancang, lain yang jadi. Memandangkan Azu, Haqqa dan Meri (teman-teman seperjuanganku di MC dulu) pun ada sekali dan dengan personaliti bersosial mereka yang sungguh mantap, lama-kelamaan nama Baku itu lebih cepat tersebar dari nama yang cubaku perkenalkan. Haha, redha jerlah...

So, itulah kisah di sebalik namaku yang unik ini. Sekarang ni, kalau diperkenalkan kepada orang baru, ramai jugak yang responsnya, "laa, kau ke Baku? haha :D" Maka, lekatlah nama ini agaknya sampailah diriku tua nanti. Kata orang, nama ini doa kita kepada seseorang. Andai nama Farhan maksudnya kegembiraan...nama Baku mendoakan apa ek? hehe :)

Oh ya, memandangkan esok hari raya, saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan selamat hari raya Aidilfitri, maaf zahir dan batin, halalkan makan dan minum dan kalau senang singgahlah rumah ya. Cheers! :D

15 August 2010

The Trip Down To The South

gambar keluarga lengkap yang pertama dalam masa hampir 2 tahun :)

"Along, Abah ajak pegi Johor tgk Yong. Along nak ikut?"

"Along ok jer Mak,hehe..."

Maka, pada pagi Jumaat yang lepas kami sekeluarga (termasuk Uncle John yang hendak ke assembly di JB) telah pergi untuk melawat adikku tatkala dia sedang menghadapi peperiksaan percubaan SPMnya. Dengan situasi berhimpit bagaikan sardin dalam kereta Citra Abah, kami telah bertolak pada pukul 3:15 pagi dengan harapan untuk bersahur dalam kereta. Setibanya di Hentian Bukit Gantang, barulah ku sedari betapa mengekspoitasi keadaan betul peniaga kat sini. Sepinggan nasi + 1 sosej + 1 telur goreng = RM 5.50?! Nasib baik ini bulan puasa dan aku tak sahur lagi, otherwise aku terus letak balik makanan tu semua,haha :P Oh ya, for the first time jugak Abah let me drive his Citra dari lepas tol Jelapang ke Hentian Sungai Buloh, farthest distance driven so far really.

kediaman adikku, Yoyong di SAMURA

So anyway, by pukul 12 Alhamdulillah kami selamat sampai di Muar. And yes, memang ada kubur di tengah-tengah SAMURA ni,hehe just like my brother told me. To be frank, Yoyong memang terkejut nampak kami sampai lagi awal dari yg dia ingatkan (pukul 3) so while barely packing anything, dia ikut kami ke JB utk jumpa my grandmother from Sabah yg datang ke Semenanjung also for the assembly. However, sebelum bertolak, Abah terperasan yang something is wrong with the car and as it so turns out, tayar belakang sebelah kiri of the Citra dah haus to the point of potentially blowing up at any point. So, lepas a quick service di kedai tayar, we were off to JB, this time with my uncle taking the wheel.

view dari bilik 2419, Hotel Selesa. Singapura nun jauh di sana

Kami tiba di JB pada kira-kira pukul 3 petang dan bersetuju utk menginap di Hotel Selesa (atau kalau ikut the signs, Hotel Sel...hehe) Sementara Uncle keluar untuk memotong rambutnya, kami yang selebihnya berehat di hotel buat seketika sambil menunggu hampir waktu berbuka. Tatkala matahari hampir terbenam, aku dan adik-adikku keluar utk membeli juadah berbuka di bazaar Ramadhan yang sangatlah sukar rupanya utk dijumpai. Setelah sekian lama, akhirnya terjumpa juga satu pasar tersebut yang terletak berhampiran dengan sebuah masjid utk Taman Sri Tebrau. Optionnya tidaklah banyak namun kerana kelaparan, kami langsung tak merungut (tak larat pun nak merungut,hehe) Tepat pukul 7:19, kami berbuka di dalam bilik 2419 sambil melihat view Singapore yg sungguh indah sekali di waktu malam.

aku dan Lolaqku, Emerenciana Dalmacio

Selepas menjamakkan Maghrib dan Isyak, kami bergegas ke hotel bersebelahan iaitu Hotel Paragon utk bertemu dengan makcikku dari Singapore yang bersama-sama nenekku. Setelah hampir 2 tahun tidak bertemu, nenekku memang sungguh gembira sekali utk menjumpai cucunya. Lolaq (grandmother dalam bahasa Visaya) sudah makin berumur namun dirinya masih lagi sihat. Untuk sesiapa yang musykil, assembly yang mereka hadiri ini adalah seperti sesi forum agama utk para penganut Protestant Christianity cabang Jehovah's Witness. Rupa-rupanya, satu hotel tersebut telah ditempah untuk para hadirin yang menyertai assembly tersebut. Atas sebab itu, bilik-bilik biasa yang ditempah telah di-upgradekan menjadi bilik eksekutif atas ihsan pihak hotel, dan memang bilik yang didiami oleh nenekku layak digelar bilik eksekutif. Sampai dapur sendiri pun ada disediakan! Selepas sekian lama berborak dan mengambil gambar, kami kemudian berangkat pulang ke hotel kami. Penat memanglah penat tetapi gembira utk berjumpa mereka setelah sekian lama :)

Bilik eksekutif yang dikatakan. Rotating TV pun ada! :)

Awal pagi, aku dan adik-adikku turun untuk bersahur sementara abah dan mak di atas masih nyenyak tidur. Buffet yang disediakan tiadalah mewah sangat namun cukup untuk mengenyangkan perut kami,hehe. Kami kemudian berkemas utk check out dari hotel tersebut sebelum pukul 12 tgh hari dan selepas itu menuju kembali ke Muar dengan Uncleku ditinggalkan di JB. Tatkala tiba di Muar, tempat pertama yang dituju ialah shopping market yang berdekatan utk adikku membeli barang-barang keperluannya untuk beberapa minggu terakhir di SAMURA. Rasa-rasanya, kira-kira 140 ringgit juga adikku gunakan utk membeli barangan tersebut. Katanya, abah jarang datang so nak jugak belanja lebih sikit. Alasan...:P Tidak lama selepas itu, kami pergi pula ke bazaar ramadhan yang terletak betul-betul di hadapan sekolahnya. Hanya ayam seketul dan murtabak yang diambil adikku sementara kami membeli nasi yang hendak dijadikan makanan semasa berbuka puasa dalam kereta nanti.

abang-abang yang prihatin atas kebajikan adik,hehe :P

Sekembalinya ke sekolah, bilik Yoyong digeledah oleh Mak. Hehe, mak kata sarang tikus lagi bersih :P Nak tak nak, mak pun mula mengemas bilik gerakan pengawas yang didiami adikku sambil diperhatikan oleh kawan-kawannya. Malu rasanya Tuhan sahaja yang tahu. Niat Mak baik tapi rasanya tak perlulah sampai dimalukan depan kawan-kawan Yoyong. Oh, aku sendiri pernah merasakan the indignity...lagi-lagi depan para juniors Form 3 ku. Tidak lama kemudian, kami pun mengucapkan selamat tinggal kepada adikku dan mendoakan agar dia mendapat keputusan yang terbaik utk percubaan dan SPM nanti. Godspeed brother! Kami kemudian mula beredar untuk kembali ke Kedah dengan perjalanan dari Muar bermula pukul 6:45 petang. Sepanjang perjalanan, kami sempat juga singgah Hentian Dengkil dari Selatan dan merasakan sate Kajang buat pertama kalinya. Alhamdullilah, kami selamat tiba di rumah pukul 3 pagi namun sesuatu yang tidak diingini telah berlaku...

pagar dawai dihadapan rumah yang dipotong

"Motor merah mana?!" rupa-rupanya, motor kesayangan abahku telah menjadi mangsa rompakan yang semakin menjadi-jadi di Pokok Sena. Kecewa di hatinya hanya Allah yang tahu tatkala Abahku melihat lubang yang dipotong oleh para perompak untuk menarik keluar motor tersebut. Sudahlah penat memandu, ini pula yang jadi. Keesokan harinya, abah pergi ke Alor Setar untuk membuat laporan polis namun dia hanya dikecewakan oleh jawapan polis yang langsung tidak memuaskan. Abah pun dah senaraikan nama suspek yang dicurigai kerana berdasarkan kesan yang ada, perompak seperti sudah begitu arif dengan selok belok rumah ini. Namun begitu, polis enggan utk walaupun sekurang-kurangnya menyoal suspek. Sepanjang hari abah sugul, sepanjang hari juga senyap rumahtangga. Time berbuka pun sama...hmm, mungkin bukan rezeki kami utk simpan motor tu lama-lama. Rest in Peace, oh si motor merah...

same individuals after more than a decade on. Yeah, we know we're not that cute anymore,haha :P

PS: post ini ditulis dalam BM utk mencuba kembali kebolehanku utk mengarang sesuatu dalam bahasa ibunda. truth be told, I'm getting worse really... :(

26 July 2010

Wait...6 months?

Yeah, that's definitely how long it took for me to finally update my blog again. At this rate, blogpost may even have the power to take it down once and for all. Sigh, anyway it's been close to 4 weeks since I came back from London and since then I practically haven't done anything much really. Of course I keep telling myself and especially my inner lazy half to help around the house, practice on your flute, go swimming in Alor Setar or feed the poultry animals behind...but most of the time, I end up in front of my laptop (particularly on FB) or in front of the TV (to my surprise, Dad just subscribed to the movie channels HBO, MAX and the not-so-familiar other one. things that definitely didn't do much in helping me curb my laziness)

Luckily, my cousin has been coming to my house even more frequently now that UPSR is just around the corner. English classes as usual but to be honest, I'm not complaining even for 1 bit as its not like I have anything better to do really. However, a personal evaluation of my teaching skills somehow leads me to conclude that despite both of my parents being teachers, I don't think I inherited that teaching skill from them at all (if it was even possible to be inherited which I highly doubt) I find myself to be a rather mean mentor really, as I get quite easily agitated if something I taught him like only the past 24 hours was found to be wrong again. If in the good old days, one would usually use their canes to beat (ok not beat...reprimand) the student, I practically grabbed anything close by which in this case usually happens to be a football. Poor kid, maybe I'm the one who should be taking teaching lessons from my Mum. Then again, maybe not...well, not now at least. :P

On certain evenings, I actually do manage to get up and go to the garden close to my grandmothers house. I'll be honest, on most occasions its usually my Mums persistent nagging about my increasing waistline that does the trick while my Dad is usually the one reminding me about how slim he WAS back in the days of his youth,hehe. There, I usually get the job of using a lawnmower to clear up the growing grass around the lime trees while my Dad keeps an eye on his beloved group of goats. Seriously, he loves them so much I wouldn't be surprised if he starts naming each one of them and moves them into the house! well, not like that's going to happen...right? :S Anyway, as time passes by I find the goats kind of cool to play with too once I'm done with the lawn mowing bit as I get to hold them (only the small kid, mind you) while I feed them on the cut up grass bits. Only today, I had the chance to send one kid to the vet for a medical checkup on its nose. It'll live...InsyaAllah :)

The time is now 11:25 at night and everyone else is asleep for class tomorrow. Wonder what I'll do then...hmmm. Oh well, at least I have the whole night to think about it :) Before I sign out, here's a shot of me with the kid I was talking about. Till next time, cheers!

Me and 'The Kid', the sack was necessary to prevent it from kicking around in the car.