Friday, August 28, 2009

Moo for Malaysia.

First off, I really kesian this cow.
Disclaimer: Apologies for the squirmish ones, don't scroll down!

Opps, sorry, too late

I hope that cow was slaughtered for food, and not for the sole purpose of being marched up somewhere, displayed and insulted, spat and stomp on. And surely not in the holy month of Ramadan.

Here's the story:
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, Aug 28 — A group of Malay-Muslim protesters claiming to be residents of Section 23 have threatened bloodshed unless the state government stopped the construction of a Hindu Temple.

Amid chants of "Allahuakbar," the group also left the severed head of a cow at the entrance of the State Secretariat here as a warning to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

The "residents" said that the construction of a Hindu temple in a 90 per cent Malay- Muslim neighbourhood was insensitive because activities there would disrupt their lives.

They claimed that the "noise" from the temple would disturb their own praying, and that they would not be able to function properly as Muslims.

The group of 50 over protestors marched shortly after Friday prayers from the Shah Alam State mosque to the State Secretariat.

“I challenge YB Khalid, YB Rodziah and Xavier Jeyakumar to go on with the temple construction. I guarantee bloodshed and racial tension will happen if this goes on, and the state will be held responsible,” shouted Ibrahim Haji Sabri amid strong chants of “Allahu Akbar!”

Ibrahim identified himself as the Deputy Chairman of the Resident’s Committee against the building of the temple in S23 here, which is perceived by some as being a Muslim majority area.

He told the press that the state should move the temple to Section 22 as ‘originally planned’, and also labelled Khalid a “traitor to the Malay race and Islam”.

It is understood that the protest is an immediate reaction towards the Selangor MB’s visit to the Hindu temple site yesterday, an act seen by the "residents" as disrespectful to the Muslims of the community.
Mohd. Zurit Bin Ramli, who claims to be the secretary of the "Coalition of Malaysian NGOs" echoed Ibrahim’s stand on the matter, saying that it was irresponsible on the part of the state government to approve the construction as there was apparently a “90 per cent” majority Muslim population in Section 23.

“With a temple on our residential area, we cannot function properly as Muslims. The temple will disrupt our daily activities like prayers in the Surau. We cannot concentrate with the sounds coming from the temple,” stated Zurit.

When asked whether members of the protest were affiliated with any organisations or movements, Ibrahim claimed that the people present today were members of PAS, PKR as well as Umno who are “united in the name of Islam and the Malay spirit.”

The state government was also accused of lying to the people of Selangor.

The Chairman of the Residents Committee, Mahyuddin Manaf excitedly proclaimed that the committee would uncover “the lies” and find proof of the state’s misconduct.

“Khalid Ibrahim wears a mask of a Muslim, but in truth he is a liberal. PAS stands to lose out as a result. I voted for PAS as well as Khalid in the past elections,” Mahyuddin claimed.

The issue first cropped up when the Selangor government proposed that the Sri Mariamman temple be relocated from Section 19 to Section 23.

And my two cents:
Really really makes me don't want to be Malaysian anymore. Nak pergi main jauh-jauh already. Why fight it lah when they tell us everyday we're not "real" Malaysians? Its been one year plus (since last election) of rejection and dejection lor.

Apa 1Malaysia. Look at what people do to tell you forcefully there is no 1Malaysia. How to go on living as citizen, born and raised in a country you have to bow and kowtow to people and prove all the time you are loyal, super-tolerant and have blind faith that one day it will be ok? How many still want to fight the tide, when the rest thinking "suan le, let's just earn money and live nondescriptly". more

Wanna go to Singapore and be like Xiaxue already. At least I already got the ang moh bf I need to mental myself to stop thinking I'm Malaysian. And enough money for blow...sorry, nosejob, and a lot a lot of clothes and make up, Photoshop skill and a semi-celebrity status.

But aior...tak boleh weh. :( Saya suka nasi lemak too much.


Ok. Official: I confess I've been reading Xiaxue's blog the entire evening, and this afternoon. And in some ways, I'm slightly envious.

She's blonde, she Photoshops herself, she had a nosejob and she owns a Princess Room painted in pink. She's probably got 10x what I have in my wardrobe (and spends about as much), she blings her phone, camera and laptop in pink diamantes. My point is, frivolousness aside, I want a bit of her life.

Her blogs are light-hearted and funny, and Joanna writes in the same way: controversial, snarky, other words, I like. I cannot hide it anymore. Beneath all these seriousness, there's a deeply embedded blonde in me. Its screaming a bit lately to be let out.

Along with that, I don't know what kind of instinct is this that's kicking in (not the maternal one, thank God), but I want my own flat/house, cute dog(s), and an awesome kitchen with the works. I want to cook and decorate, and fill up my home with the necessities: TV, furniture, candles, get the picture. Homing instincts?

Problem is, I see me doing it here in England. Or in Singapore. I'm used to having an oven. I like having easy access to cheap pasta and pasatta. I've gotten less and less stubborn about being Malaysian, and being out here made it easier to go incognito, and less loyal.

Have I sold out?!


Oh dear.

Tulan leh

But one thing lah:
I declare from now onwards I'll write a bit more Malaysian-style (what to do, who ask me to be born a Malaysian? Blame the stork for dropping me off in KL), and I'll try to be more light-hearted. This way, I have more entertaining things to write about, right?

And when my dissertation finishes (ha, I say it like as though it will write itself), I will blog more and give more time here.

And to kick-off my new resolution, I am going to (er...what's that word gush (GUSH!) over my ABC soup.

Few nights ago, I bought a £5.42 whole chicken (minus head) and chopped it roughly the way mummy taught me, and made a chicken curry out of it.

While I was assaulting and deskinning that poor chicken, the boy surfed onto his Facebook and wrote this:
Tim Jones is watching his girlfriend full on knife assault a chicken then tear it apart with her bare hands. She's a very special lady :)

Cute la that boy. So I was left with the carcass and neck, and a bit more bones from chicken thighs in the freezer. So last night, at roughly 4.50am when dawn was breaking, I envisaged beautiful ABC soup.

But wait. Got potato, got carrot. No onion leh! How?
Its ok. Nick one of Mr Fish's.

FYI Mr Fish lives in Room D, and is a pretty good looking ang moh. After a bit of stalking on FB, found him on Leeds network. Draw your own conclusions lah. But he has the weirdest diet ever. Every morning he dices onion, carrots and celery, saute them in extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and boils brown rice/whole wheat pasta/mullet grain, and mix all of that with two cans of Tesco sardine/mackerel in brine. Then he leaves fish and leftovers in the sink for everyone else to pick up, and expects the hobs to clean itself automatically. He also doesn't know the concept of "emptying the trash".

So with my ABC soup floatng in mind, I try to sleep. Try, try, try.
6am already. Very light outside.
Pop one Paracetemol.
5...10...minutes later...*drools and snores*

So with chicken bones, carrots, potato and stolen-onion, and some salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of Shao Hsing wine, I have my ABC soup. Oh my. I forgot how hearty and good soups like this taste, just like the way my mom made it in the slow cooker (ok, the wine was my idea, and I have no slow cooker).

I am satisfied.

Until I saw that cow up there.

I shall abstain from cow for some time now.

Ok, back to dissertation!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Personal letter for me

It seems too much of a coincidence to let the span of a single day, I've read my bestie's blog and spoken to another of my bestie, and they both mentioned one thing: Privacy.

It's true isn't it?

To quote Amelia -

The purpose of a blog is to allow a space for expression. A space for random ideas, deep thoughts, retrospection and also sudden mind spasms.

And here I am, an adult, still writing in my blog, the same one I've started when I was 15. But circumstances has changed. Back then I poured every feelings I had into my blog. Every angsty thought, every joy, every pain, every celebration and every grief. These days I hardly found anything worthy of writing. My daily life settled into a humdrum routine that hardly required any thinking or retrospection. I wonder how did every event filled me with wonder, and how they were jot-worthy, and these days I let things pass by without second thoughts. Is it part of growing up, of being an adult?

I've never felt more adult before. Perhaps it's overdue, now that I'm 23. What I say and do matter more. I'm responsible and accountable for every word and every action. I can no longer use "being young" as my crutch, because I'm no longer so young anymore, am I?

My thoughts are no longer private and I cannot write as freely as I would like to. Every entry that served as a emotional release for me had to be written in some sort of cryptic way, so I can express myself without revealing too much. It seems to me that blogging, has somehow lost its purpose.

Ah, how I wish I can still write like that. Yes, I'm lifting off my best friend's blog. Her thoughts mirrored what I feel, except she's expressed it beautifully. I've learnt many a lesson about being too free with my writing, and I can remember the first incident where my college-mates printed the blog entry I wrote the previous day, and it ended up with many tears and feelings of betrayal. I learnt the price of being too free with my tongue in university, it was a heavy price to pay. I trusted the wrong people, my spirit was broken for a long while. To this day, it felt like I'm still running away from that period of my life, that miserable six months I existed instead of lived, and it was a bitter life lesson I will bring to my grave. So, I finally learn to self-censor, to keep thoughts about people out of my blog, and to stick to insipid, general things in life that will not offend anyone. Because I cannot pretend to be a nice person who thought kindly of everyone. No, I'm one of those people who are suspicious and negative about things, the kind of person who subscribe to "guilty until proven innocent" mindset, and although I'm much better now, I'm painfully aware that its the way I perceive people, and its something I've not been able to change. So, eventually, I've even stopped writing regularly. So that begs two questions:

1. Is it worth keeping a blog when I cannot even say freely what I feel about anything and everything?
2. Are our lives so dependent on those nearest and dearest to us?

I told my other friend, what's the use of writing now that I've lost my audience with my blog being on hiatus for over 8 months? She, whom I will not name, told me perhaps its for the better cause, because I have the privacy to write and not have persons concerned reading and judging me for it. She started a private blog for that exact same reason: she wanted to write from her heart and not get into trouble for it.

(I've even read through and edited this entry, so that it doesn't appear a certain way, to speak of the devil)

So why do we choose to express ourselves so publicly, and yet lament the lost of privacy? I bet nobody from a mere generation ago (think: your parents) would imagine that just about anyone could be famous through youtube, and through their writings and photos (think: Karen Cheng and Kenny Sia), that you could text or email your local politician, and critisize your prime minister on his blog. We are a generation hungry for attention, and we are a generation who record our lives publicly. No details are too sacred and personal these days. People record their relationships, pregnancy, dying and living for all and sundry.

So do I.

But self-censorship, I certainly practice. When I write, I'm conscious of the risk of having my friends, classmates, professors and my mom bumping into my blog.

And the last thing I want to do is to hurt them, their reputation, and in consequence, mine. Expressing myself may be important, but -and I cannot believe I'm saying this- the people I care about, people I love, are even more so. Certain things should be kept private and personal, and I see why, I see it now. Another part of me is still trying to reawaken the part of me that feels life so urgently. Been dormant for a while, and I want to be able to describe life in all its vividness without resorting to talking about people. I want to record life as I see it.

Like I said, I've never felt more adult in my life. I'm responsible for myself, and I'm far, far away from those I grew up with, and from mom and dad. I worry. I worry about where I'm living next, whether I can get any jobs, what sort of jobs I can try for, and where I'll be this time next year. I worry about money, about failing my parents and myself, and somehow, the feeling of inadequacy is ceaseless. Sometimes it felt like I'm only maintaining a facade, that there's still a child in me wanting to burst out and be careless and irresponsible. But those days were long gone. My peers had gone on to be engaged, get married, made babies. Holding jobs, paying their mortgages and having weekend getaways in nearby cities. I'm lucky to have been given a year's grace, but even that is ticking away.

I'm not angry anymore. I'm not sad anymore.

But I'm still lost.

Who am I? Who am I?

Can I still afford to be lost?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick hi

Really I've got nothing to say at the moment, its quarter past midnight (ha-ha I've even started using the English time system - quarter past, quarter to, half past) on a Monday evening and I really SHOULD BE WORKING.

Instead, I got suckered into reading no other than Karen Cheng's blog..yes the woman of "Doing the Karen Cheng" fame. I guess what I really want is to get back into the groove of writing (semi)regularly, especially blogging.

Once in a while, I examine the reason for the lack of writing, and connected it to Facebook and the wonders of photo uploading. So instead of words, I (and thousands of others) went the lazy way and uploaded photos that suffice in making up for the words lost.

But that needs to complement the writing, not replacing it, as I realise how rusty I am with this, I've really lost the knack of writing, of looking for necessary vocabulary to express myself, especially because I'm not reading as often anymore, either. Perhaps being in THE English-speaking country abetted the loss of words ever-so-slightly...but meh. Who am I kidding?'s the story. I'm currently still staying in Central Quay, the student flats I've stayed in since I arrived. Except in a different flat in a different block, and only til the end of this month. Early next month, I move.

To The Boomerang, the building that was an ex-pub.

View Larger Map

Not for long, I hope. I must confess a certain dislike to the area the building's in (Netherthorpe...which is *rough*), and how thin the walls are (noise travel TOO well in that place), and how we all have a single bed (been spoiled rotten with having a double bed), and also the fact that I'm sharing with even MORE people than I ever had. Six of us will be sharing a flat, and the only saving grace is that we're all friends, and there's three toilets and two showers in there. But I'll miss having my own self-contained bathroom where I can spend a lot of time and leave whatever I want in there while I mind my business. And then...I don't know what. I've been house-hunting pretty diligently the last couple of weeks (with a lot of help) and quickly realise that houses are easy to find, within the budget range...housemates are not. I've been offered a room with a double bed for pretty damn cheap rents near Bramall Lane (home to Sheffield United team), but has yet to see the place. Hopefully things will work out; people living there are nice. And I like nice people. And I strive to be nice.

So that's my housing situation.

I really hesitate to air the rest of my plans only because I haven't had any idea what I'll do with myself a few months down the road. Been hitting a worrying crisis lately, of not knowing what to do. I have enough money to live and find work for the next few months, but money will run out, and economy's grim and lately I've felt homesick enough to think maybe it's not bad at all that I return to Malaysia, and then search for work in Singapore. It's just easier. I'd move home. And live with mom. Except...can I still...? After living out for a year, do I want to move back? Being out here for almost a year now (in fact I've lived out for 11 months now!) made me realise I've been ready for such a long time to be on my own. Except I've been a lucky turd and got head start with money. But I know one day the tap will dry up and it'll be up to me to turn my own tap on. And of course, that's my main worry these days.

The other one is, I've got less than a month now to write my dissertation, and I'm nowhere at all, AT ALL, near done. I can say confidently I've got a couple chapters' draft, but that's it. Its a big sprawling mess, and I'm not feeling the panic yet, the rush and the need to get things going. It worries me, and cripples me. Like right now, it's past midnight, and I've stayed in all day, NOT working. I guess this is the time I send a silent prayer to the stars for strength and grace. And epiphany.

One more thing I want to mention is, I'm really trying hard to balance things. I've been seeing Tim a lot (every day of last week!) and while I enjoy every moment, I need to remind myself that it'll not be permanent, and I need to remember I'm my own person, and that I should not neglect my friends. Its easy to do so, using dissertation as my excuse, but I should know better. I've also been avoiding going up to Boomerang, only cos I can't be arsed to make the trek halfway up the hill. I also don't want to fall into the trap of being obsessed with my boyfriend - "Tim this, Tim that...Tim and I blah blah blah", especially with a couple of girls on my Facebook seeming so guilty of it that it makes me fascinated sick reading their blogs and following their walls. But it can be easy to do so, huh? But I will not let my life revolve around my boyfriend, I will grow my balls and worship gumption.

I will not resist this though:

Me in his jacket, hee.

Though, this I will say: I'm not sure what will happen in future. Of course I'm scared. It seems like no-future-no-hope kind of thing, hinges on where I'll be in a few months' time, and in the longer term, where he'll be when he finishes uni. I can feel it, feel myself feeling more for him with time. Its unsettling to say, yeah I've got a boyfriend. I'm 23 and its the first time in my life I can, if I want to, point to a guy and yell "That's my boyfriend!". Feels surreal. And still feels like its just a dream and I'll snap out of it soon. This insecurity I have about guys not sticking around, its really unnatural, is it not? A product of one unsuccessful long-distance short-lived semi-relationship, and a series of sad sordid tales. I know I've got mental strength, so its up to me to snap out of it. To know that decent guys with good hearts exist and I've met one. He's so endearing and cute and funny, and we're good together. I hope karma doesn't (see I'm stuck for the word I want right now.) bite back (that's it!) after the shit I've done though. Let bygones be bygones. Water under the bridge. I've straightened up good now!

We've also been doing a bit (ok, a lot!) of cooking lately, and I'll let the photos do the talking:

Bolognese sauce and pasta

Strawberries and whipped cream - we whipped it by hand ourselves! Utterly sinful.

Lasagne (he made this with *some* help from me!)

Stuffed peppers

You get the picture! Yum. I really do enjoy cooking when I have people to share my food with, though I must say its a costly and time-consuming hobby considering the way I live off 10-minute prep time meals for ages, and not bother with something as elaborate as a cottage pie or lasagne or my mom's boiled pork belly that takes like an hour to cook.

But...I gotta say, it's worth it. Yum.

Next, I wanna try baking muffins or banana loaf. Never meddled with any sort of bakery or pastry stuff before, time to try! Yes, I am semi-Kitchen Goddess! Step aside Nigella!

Anyway, I should really do some dissertation work. Really really should.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things to do, and to bring back...and forth

1. This is my to-do before I leave:
-Find accommodation for after 19th Sept DONE
-Change my HSBC account to something that doesn't bloody charge me £8 a month DONE
-Get new young persons' railway card (one month in advance)DONE
-Collect train tickets London-Sheffield from Sheffield Station DONE
-Change my address details to the new(as yet to be)found place for Vodafone, University, HSBC
-Sort out London trip before I leave DONE
-Where to kip for the night when I return DONE
-Get back deposit from Unite and Vodafone DONE
-Make appointment with UHS DONE
-Sell textbooks DONE

2. This is a (GROWING) list of things I'm shipping back to good old England in preparation for winter:

-Milo DONE
-Konnyaku jelly DONE
-Ipoh White Coffee (for the Boy)DONE
-Chinese Tea
-Curry Paste DONE
-Chinese mushrooms DONE
-Ikan bilis DONE
-Sago DONE
-Root beer DONE
-Dried mango DONE
-Sakema DONE
-Lantern DONE
-Durian flavoured things (dodol?)
-Contact lens
-Contact lens solution DONE
-Nivea Lipbalm DONE
-Toothbrush (Oral B) DONE
-Laptop fan cooler
-External hard drive

3. And THIS is a reminder of things to check before I go home:
-Undies from Marks & Spencer for Chenn DONE
-Pet advice for the dogs
-Jewellery cleaner for mom
-Shortbread DONE