Monday, October 30, 2006

Raya sakan!

Food is the order of the week. Being a sophomore, you don’t get as many eid invitations as the super seniors, but quite enough to fill you to the brim with sated appetite. I’m loving every bit of it. Hehe. On Saturday, we were invited to the open house of the kakak-kakak 5th year. Briyani, roti jala- the usual gorgeous stuff. Some contemporary Malay movie was screened in the living room so I sought refuge in one of the bedrooms where the earlier shows of Shin Chan was being shown. Much as I despise that immoral punk of a character (I like his pengetua and teachers though ;p), the alternative of a yusry-erra-farid kamil-fasha etc., etc. combo was almost too daunting for words. Do pardon my prejudice, although I think it’s rather justified. Ngehs.

Some of us girls

Istimewa Aidilfitri bersama Shin Chan

*Both pics courtesy of Neemo

Then there was Raja’s birthday celebration where we had a somewhat distinct course of menu than that of the former- spaghetti bolognaise, fried noodles, fries. An honorable mention goes to the exquisite cheese cake- it’s been quite a while since I had one as cheesecakes are a bit expensive here. The entertainment department didn’t fare too bad either- we had Jeremy with his keyboard, dancing his fingers away with a fetching rendition of ‘Selamat hari Raya’ and a few other classics. The negative bit? Being a camera-less photographer’s distressing.

Er, cos we lack some eid pics here, I'm showing an example of a winter wedding gown for marriage aspirants. This was captured somewhere along Prospekt Lenina last Friday, when Sin Ye and I went nuts and decided to walk all the way to the academy from hostel about 25 minutes before class started. We made it before the teacher (he was late, obviously).

The Diwali celebration yesterday was grand, to put it in plain words. Guilty as it sounds, my (almost) sole mission going down was to revel in the glory of the mutton. Tee-hee. We were served with briyani, mutton curry, dhalcha, fried chicken, veggies, payasam, laddoo. I wished my favourite Indian dessert, kesari was included. But still, hats off to the boys and girls who started cooking in the wee hours of the morning- the efforts certainly paid off with the success of the event.

Note the pretty little kolam made by the girls (and guys, perhaps?)

As we went out to capture some moments together, I noticed this magnificent streaks of sunset proliferating the layers of the heavens. Mashaallah.

It completed my kenyang day ;)

Meanwhile today is my classmate, Farah’s birthday. We brought two small cakes to Anatomy class to celebrate with our beloved teacher, Irina Vladimirovna, all along hoping she would cancel our test for today (birthday’s a good excuse, no?). Our plan backfired funnily; except for the birthday girl- she was exempt from the test but no mercy spared for the rest of us. Haha. Still we had a good celebration afterwards- I realise that I’m going to sorely miss Irina after our 2-semester stint with her is over, come January. She’s easily my favourite teacher, and I’m sure many others feel the same way too.

Irina Vladimirovna and Farah

Meredah hujan selepas kelas

And finally, tonight the freshmen threw an open house for the seniors. I'm out of words by now, my mouth is full. Thank you.

Gadis-gadis cedok air

*The rest of the pics are courtesy of Fatin's camera

Monday, October 23, 2006

Today strangers are family

I wanted to set the alarm at 6 am but I knew better than to trust myself not to hit the snooze button about six times before eventually waking up. So I set it at 5.23 am (it’s a meaningless habit of mine, planting odd numbers) and close enough, my body finally caved in to the persuasive clock after four ‘snoozing’ actions. Thank God for the chipsmore-ish hot water currently in effect, I managed to have a really good mandi sunat hari raya. After putting on a nice baju kurung, I had a bite of the ketupat and rendang ayam which we cooked last night (Actually I just helped blend the chilies and stir the gravy;p) before going down to pinch my sister’s brilliant rendang daging. Unlike me, she is an amazing cook. Her modest reply to compliments would be that she simply hentam-ed and threw every bit of this and that into her dishes, but well, her hentam-ings would always turn out into some scrumptious piece of art. My hentam-ings, on the other hand, would materialise in the form of tongue-flaming (not in an exciting way, not really) sambal sotong, bland briyani (tu pun dah pakai ready-made perencah!), soggy fries. I’m much better in the eating department.

Emulating the tradition of having family breakfast before the prayer, all (well, most) 2nd-year students gathered and gorged on a gorgeous spread of soto, nasi minyak, rendang, etc. So much so that we missed the rombongan to the mosque (via hired mashrutkas) for raya prayers. Erk. There were 15 of us (including a few 1st year students left behind as well) and we decided to cross to the other side of the road to mashrut no. 19’s final stop and hired one car. Upon looking at the long queue of waiting passengers however, we scrapped the plan and called for taxi instead, asking to pick us up in front of the hostel. Thus we went back and waited. And waited. The trip to the mosque takes abut 15 minutes; the prayer was due at 9, and we had about 20 minutes left.

Our guy-in-charge, Shafwan called again but was told that no calls had been made and whether we wanted them to dispatch the cars now. Na-ah, too late. Last resort- intercepting a mashrut going up to their last stop (a 19 or 75), an idea proven to be the easiest and should have been executed from the beginning. Hence we rode on a 75 and luckily managed to reach our destination just on time. The crowd was wonderful (I felt strangely at home and almost cried...the mercy of Allah is ceaseless), albeit myself being sandwiched in the truest sense by a Russian lady on the left and a Mongolian lady on the right. It wasn’t this crammed when I went for Eidul-adha prayer last year, I thought.

After we finished praying and listening to the khutbah, a round of hand-shaking and cheek-brushing followed. This one young woman (of Armenian origin, I would guess) offered us dates. Meanwhile, one mak cik handed round 1 rouble coins as sadaqah and I got one. It reminded of my 1st Syawal last year, when a Russian guy on the street wished me and my friend well and gave 10 roubles to each of us. We did not understand a word he said, with the exception of ‘Musliman’ and ‘Ramadhan’. We need not to. This day… today… is one of those days when even utter strangers can be your family. Everybody wishes you with a smile and you couldn’t resist smiling at everybody yourself. Haha. There’s just such a good vibe around you can’t help but be merry. Even if the devils are back.

Me, Fatin, Farah, Fahida, and Baya in the morning

Rombongan kanak-kanak lambat ke masjid- waiting for mashrut 19/75; the weather was wet and cloudy, though not very cold.

Rombongan pulang dari masjid- the location was in a kampung neighbourhood; walking back to main street gave me sort of a homey feeling, like walking back from the mosque to my grandparents' house in Kampung Selamat. =)

Taking picture with some of the juniors (plus 1 senior). Pak cik Ruski ambil. Gegar la pak cik...

ps: All pictures courtesy of Fatin's camera

So long, Ramadhan

The dawning of Syawal, as usual, is greeted with bittersweet emotion. Alhamdulillah for the past month we managed to perform tarawih, qiamullail, tadarus Al-Quran, and, just now, takbir together as a jamaah in this tiny Muslim community far, far away from the sweet warmth of home. Selamat Hari Raya to every Muslim in the world- may Allah accept all of our ibadahs and grant us absolution from our past, present, and future sins. Inshaallah.

To everyone who knows me, I beg forgiveness for my every wrongdoing towards you, halalkan makan-minum and everything. =)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My blogging debut

My blogging journey began when Azleen invited me as a guest to write in her blog. That was more than two years ago. A few days ago, meanwhile, I suddenly noticed the link to Azleen’s old blog displayed in her current one and decided to have a walk down the memory lane. So here’s my first ever blog entry (Sorry I took it without permission, Azleen.. bleh eh?), for old times’ sake. It has been only two years, but I sense a stark contrast in the way I write, then and now. For one, I was more cheerful then. You can easily note this by the numerous exclamation and question marks (double at a time no less) expressed in the entry. Jeez. Look at what two slight years can do to your brain and soul. *shudder*


The Game Is On..!

Assalamualaikum! For the record, i am NOT the original pH_Yulio. She just plead temporary insanity, so... i'm taking oveerr!!!!!! *BEWARE* boy, this blog needs total revamp!!*kidding, kidding* heyy... this is cool. blog guest huh.. ok first, let me just say that pH is one extraordinary person- she has me as her friend!! that's just the coolest thing ever, is it not??.... Like, would any of your friend be so kind as to write in ur blog when you're too lazy to write?? NO? exactly. the whole point is, pH, i'm your lifesaver. just remember that each time you even think of wanting to remind me about how many times i forgot to let go of the handbrake.

Alright..... what does a blog guest write about?? herself?? or the lucky-but-not-thankful blog owner??... due2 la.... kan? ok... let's see... today we went to school on a request from Pn. Azora to help with the english debate team. But i guess in the end we just hampered their holistic development as excellent debaters. plus we hotwired Pn Azora's laptop and 'accidentally' took it for a little ride around Kuantan Garden courtesy of Faezar's Tiara. or, should i say, her sister's. anyway i guess after three months' leave from school my brain has technically become frozen. As frozen as TKY's(go figure) sense of humour. i guess i'll go and defrost it now. all in all, it's not a bad day today. cheers everyone;p

ps: pH won't be back anytime soon so don't hold your breath

It was cool experience writing for you, Azleen. And now, reading these 'cute' entries reminded me of the fun, hassle-free days of post SPM which I treasured dearly deep in my heart. Sentimental lah pula...

The timbalan pengarah JPA’s currently in town. Yesterday all JPA students were thrown a grand(-ish) dinner at Intourist hotel whilst us non-JPAs bit our fingers in denial. Haha, as if. Still, it’d be nice to have someone treating you to a dinner at a hotel once in a while. Dato’ Adnan, jemput la ziarah Volgograd… ;p

A bug on the wall at home a week before coming back here- it stayed put for one whole day before falling off the next morning, dead.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My oh my brain

My state of mind is a scrambled 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle. These random thoughts keep gyrating in my brain without much congruence to one another, all at once. Some people might say I lack organisation. I don’t disagree. So here are some arbitrary words of wisdom (not!):-

I’m not a bright little sunshine, for I feel happiest when the day’s cloudy.
I’m terrified of the dark though; I prefer to sleep with the lights on.
I really love being able to watch sunrise from the eye of my window; although frankly I think sunset’s prettier.
Cats are the cutest animal on earth.
Walking used to be my favourite pastime and mode of transport, but I wonder why I never walked down the hill and take the bus instead of dashing across the street and flag down mashrutka (my excuse is the fasting month, but I think it’s more to do with my waking up late in the morning).
Having been a debater at school, I reckoned I should be able to put myself across fluently. Interestingly, I have spent the better part of my social life being misunderstood.
I don’t think I’ve gained anything of substance in Philosophy class.
And I’m surprisingly surviving without my handphone- thought I wouldn’t last a week. Human being’s sense of endurance is remarkable. I bet I can live through winter.

Ps: Happy birthday Azleen! You’re nearing adulthood, kid. Beware. ;)

nostalgic nye... hehe.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mixed spices of a few days

There is one advantage living in a four-season country that possesses this amazing knack to switch weathers on the double- you won’t run out of topics for a blog entry. We had a cold day yesterday- a sudden change from the day before, though the sun has decided to spread some love this morning. It’s still cold though, a fact contributed by the ever swift gust of wind outside. Plus we haven’t had hot water in hostel for days now. The call for patience cannot be more aptly placed at this point in time, what with Ramadhan and all... At least people don’t hog the bathrooms that much! Hah.

Last Friday, whilst we were whiling the time away during our practical hours for Surgery, an old nurse came to me with the kind smile she always wore whenever we bumped into one another. She then suddenly asked (in Russian, of course), “Why are you wearing black headscarf? Why don’t you wear another colour, like your friend there?” She then uttered a Russian word- something like ‘gorye’, which didn’t sound like it had a very nice meaning so I determinedly shook my head no. “I simply like this colour”. Well, it’s true. The lady nodded and smiled, adding that she thought I was *insert gorye word and the likes* and simply asked. Back in my room, I suspiciously scrounged the word in the dictionary and found the answer- ‘grief’, ‘mourn’. Oh right.

But I wore khaki pants!

Well. Later that day, we were fortunate to witness an operation (our third in this class) where the patient had a trauma of the leg and subsequently a thrombosis in the popliteal artery- we went in late but managed to observe the surgeon performing anastomosis to repair the artery.

People these days no longer pose me this question, “Your parents suruh jadi doctor ye?” Instead, they ask, “Nak specialise apa nanti?” and my response would always be almost non-committal, ‘hehehe’-ing around and mutter, “Not sure la, see first”. Truth be told, I want to become a surgeon. The reason I don’t say it out loud- especially not in front of relatives- is that I would only be sadistically laughed at. Why, jokes have been made time and again on how I would like, leave scissors or gauze or whatever inside my patient’s body cavity if ever I become a surgeon. Which is rather funny and well, rather justified too (haha), but I still want to become a surgeon. Something about this discipline simply caught my eye in ways I cannot plainly spell out- perhaps it lies in the challenge; perhaps the seemingly sheer simplicity of the practice (according to some, “belah badan, korek2, buang ni, taruk tu, jahit”) yet its complex exigency for precision; perhaps the steadfastness in the doctors’ eyes that I had observed as they worked wonders with their fingers - I think I’ll risk trying to become a surgeon. And it’s not because I watch too much of Gray’s Anatomy, I promise.

Eating sushi the other day at Soko Maru (sesiapa nak tolong translate, silakan...)

The first time I tried chocolate-rice-coated sushi stuffed with fruits, drenched in strawberry syrup. Fab!

ps: pictures courtesy of Fatin's camera.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
The stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company;
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth to me the show had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

Feeling schmaltzy... hehe. It's been a week since I unwittingly lost my phone. To those who SMS-ed me and didn't get a reply, many apologies. We have a big concluding test this Saturday, and I'm nowhere near getting started (on revising, of course). Need to hit the sack! er... books, I mean.

ps: I tried to align the poem centrally but to no avail. Any help for this IT-not-so-savvy blogger?
pps: the song's from Final Fantasy 8 which I'm (re)playing after more than six years... for old times' sake =p Currently in Esthar trying to cure Rinoa.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Of etiquette

A recent incident got me thinking. It came purely from observation, and I don't intend to draw fires from anyone.

You don't put your comrades down in public. You just don't.

And no finger-wagging gestures please.

Don't the words etiquette and courtesy mean anything?

One cute fella with his cute bike