Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Monday, 29 December 2008
Discard what I said in the earlier post about 'What goes around, comes around'. Obviously, in the insanely infectious world of memes, you get screwed either way. But this is not to say I'm mad at the person who tagged me. A little kick start is good once in a while, no?
Do you think you're hot?
Actually, yes. Which is exactly why I need a bath now
Upload favourite pictures of yourself. Why do you like these pictures?
The last song you listened to?
Vertigo by U2
What are you doing right besides this?
I was spending some quality time with my PSP. The poor thing needs some loving see?
What name would you prefer besides yours?
Nur Adrina Lina *laugh*
Who are the next people you will tag?
Seriously, I would not want to put others through the same ordeal
Who is number 1?
What number 1?
Say something about number 2
It comes after number 1
Introduce number 3
It's not a tree
How about number four?
'For' the love of God, can we stop here?
Yes you may
Thank goodness for that
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 8:42 pm
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Memes/Questionnaires/Tags are a cheap way to fill up an empty blog. And they're also a cheap way to trick your friends into filling up theirs. I like to think memes are the Maggi (more like Megi, am I right?) of blogs but since I've been tagged by a close friend and the fact that I've grown tired reading about complications in pregnancies, might as well respond right?
Flowers or chocolates?
Oh come on. Can't we start with something that's not glaringly obvious?
Pepsi or Coke?
Generally Pepsi. But on days when I need my sugar rush, I'll go for a Coke.
Pop or Rock?
Rock definitely. But then again, I listen to all kinds of music. Yes, even sickly sweet sugary pop tunes and Chopin.
Relationship or one night stands?
Relationships. One night stands usually end up dismally. Plus you never remember what happened the night before.
Love or money?
That's a tough one because I've always thought that I can use money to buy the things that I love.
Oh. We're talking about the kind of love given by somebody else is it?
Movies or music?
Music. Period. But I'd go to the movies too if someone took me
Country or city?
Sunny days or rainy days?
Rainy days. They make for cozy snuggle ups under the blanket. Plus, the mood is great for feeling melancholic without a reason. But I'd definitely want the sun to shine if I'll be shooting photos outside (DSLR, where art thou?)
Friends or family?
Family first with close friends coming in at a close second.
Have you ever:
No. Didn't - and still don't - see the need for it
Broken someone's heart?
I would like to think that I haven't but feel free to correct me
Had your heart broken?
Wish you were a prince/princess?
Have you ever seen how Prince Charles looks like? Do you want to be like him? Me neither.
Liked someone who was already taken?
Yes? My fault really. Was totally ignorant about the said parties' (implying that it happened more than once) relationship. Yup. Classical Jamil-ism.
Shaved your head?
I came close once. It was a form of punishment from my mum cause I was rude to her hahaha.
Been in love?
I have, and it's one of those experiences in life which you hope to bury deep at the back of your mind and pray to never remember them again.
Sang in the mirror to yourself?
Now that I think of it, I shouldn't have been particularly honest about that one
I looked up the meaning of candy in a dictionary and it said "a sweet concoction made with sugar or syrup combined with fruits, chocolate or nuts". If that's the case, can I name myself as my own favourite candy? Well, I am a sweet mixture made with sugar and combined with a nut!
According to iTunes, the song I'm currently listening to the most is Gelombang Cinta by Butterfingers
There was this one perfume once given to me as a gift which I really liked. Smelled of fresh water. Does fresh water even have a scent?
I used to play the organ and was -believe it or not - only six months away from completing the whole course, which is close to seven years. I didn't complete it. It goes without saying that I do regret it, but it was unavoidable. Nowadays, I'm teaching myself to play the guitar. I heard that girls are attracted to guys who play the guitar but I suspect that it's a lie because the only people who listen to me play are my housemates
I'm not exactly a movie watcher, but I have to say that I really like Shrek. It's a thong! - timeless.
Is this based on looks or acting skills? Keanu Reeves in the first Matrix
Super Ring. I could eat ten packets and still want more (the whole idea behind junk food, isn't it?)
Can I have a panda for my next birthday please? But on a more realistic front, I like baby animals. It's kind of the same with people too, but that's another story.
Is there anything you wish you could change about yourself?
How about a more deadpan look on my face? Other than that, I wish I could be more charming when dealing with people I'm meeting for the first time.
Do you think you're attractive?
I know I am.
You have to choose a fairytale as your life. What would you choose?
Do you play any sports?
I'll let my twisted knee answer that one
I don't think I'll be tagging anyone else because like they say, 'What goes around, comes around'.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 8:57 am
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
There have been times in the past where the medical course got a bit too much for me (bloody hell, it still does, doesn't it?) and it is during these so-called 'instances' that I start to question my sanity and soundness of mind on the day I decided to take up medicine.
This is not, however, to say that I regret choosing medicine as my pursuit in life; far from it in fact. It's just that I can't help but wonder if I weren't doing medicine, what is it that I'd be doing instead?
And like only a true bloke would do, I drew up a list of things I'd do in life had I not
completely chained myself to medicine and threw away the key taken up medicine. Mind you, some of them were thought of after having just sat for my first and second professional exams, so that should tell you something about the emotional state I was in after answering those bleeding exam questions:
1. Burger seller
2. Newspaper/Tabloid columnist
3. Video games reviewer
4. Video games repair specialist
5. Rock star
But looking back, I realised something: even though I'm now a full-time medical student, I'm also a little bit of everything on that list; well probably except for the burger seller perhaps. Columnist? I'm writing in this blog, am I not (albeit not on a weekly or fortnightly basis). Video games reviewer? Always doing that with my gaming friends. Repair specialist? I've brought back my PSP back from the dead on more than one occasion in the past. Rock star? Always have been one, and always will be.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 12:14 am
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Humans are fascinated by horror. Indeed they are thrilled by terror, they marvel at the macabre and they flirt furiously with fear. That is why horror films continue to do well at the cinemas regardless of the cheap scares used over and over again by simple-minded directors (cue for creaking door sound effect and distant howl)
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 8:35 pm
Thursday, 30 October 2008
People make bad decisions. All the time. And although I haven't gone to the extent of actually carrying out a survey to ask the number of times the average person makes bad decisions, I'm quite confident that the findings of the said survey can be summarised as x > 1 whereby x is the number of bad decisions made resulting in a serious desire to bury one's head underground.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 12:22 am
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Short entries that chronicle my life don't make for an enjoyable reading experience. I know that for a fact because I also started having nightmares after reading back the previous couple of posts. Even more worrying is that I have received emails from several concerned mums who reported that since the past few days, their children have been talking about how they 'never want to go online again' and 'that awful blog'.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 8:12 pm
Sunday, 12 October 2008
I have just finished my clinical exams. I could write a lengthy post about how I feel post-assessment but since people keep harping on and on about how 'a picture paints a thousand words', I'll just let the picture above tell my tale.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 9:33 am
Saturday, 11 October 2008
But lamentations will remain at that - mere lamentations. Unless I do something about it. Sharpish.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 1:28 am
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 9:44 am
Friday, 26 September 2008
My good-for-something friend Zaheer said "How come you're jumping from one interest to another? Is the PSP not good enough for you already?" when I told him about my plans for jumping on the DSLR bandwagon.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 2:57 am
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
The 'think tank' up there in my cranial vault seems to have stopped working these past few weeks. I suspect it all boils down to the lethal combination of studies, mindless entertainment on the telly and late, late nights filled with useless musings and perhaps one cup of coffee too many. What I really need to kick start my brain back into Edgar Allen Poe mode is some time off the real world and a plunge into the twilight zone.
I've always thought of myself as never having to grow up, and with a face that makes me look like a fifth former for life, that thought seemed pretty much possible. That was until I lived pass yet another birthday. Now, I find myself not only growing up, but also growing older and probably more *ehem*mature*ehem* too. Actually, discard that last part. I don't feel like I'm growing any more mature compared to when I was in Standard 3, but I do feel like I'm trudging drearily along the path to adulthood, and what a dreary path it is.
Responsibilities are slowly increasing in number and size. In fact, I suspect that by the end of this year, I might have to start thinking about how to go about filling in my own tax forms, never mind the fact that I'm still two-and-a-half years away from graduating. My obligations as a son are no longer limited to 'sweep the floors, hang out the laundry and don't forget to throw out the garbage', rather they now encompass more serious and adult-ly stuff such as 'come back home and visit your parents' or 'try advising your younger brother about his attitude' or even 'don't you have any nice friends to introduce to your sister?'. That last one was a bluff, but you get the idea.
And that's just my duties as a son. What about my other obligations as a friend, a student and a possible future electoral candidate for a by-pass election in which if I win, will see me catapulted into Parliament and open up my chances to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia? (which isn't exactly a future that I am keen on pursuing)
It sometimes get depressing, and leads me to dramatise my life, most notably in the forms of having trouble sleeping, a declining achievement in academics and a sudden caffeine habit, which is not too dramatic, frankly speaking. In fact, I'm sure that if ever my life were to be turned into a Hollywood film, it'd achieve about the same degree of success as that horrible Britney Spears movie, Crossroads.
So, what to do? Just grow out of it I guess.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 11:40 pm
Sunday, 3 August 2008
So it's finally back to the 'wake up early, spend whole day at hospital, came back home to sleep' routine *sweats*
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 8:43 pm
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
As I was surfing the net rather aimlessly yesterday (one of the Devil's favourite pastimes), I happened to come across this rather interesting bit of scientific news - haptic technology.
What exactly is haptic technology then? Well, Wikipedia says that it refers to "technology which interfaces the user via the sense of touch by applying forces, vibration and/or motions to the user". A definition as dry as British wit. I think what it's trying to say is that haptic technology is when you interact with an interface, that interface will interact back by stimulating your peripheral nerves responsible for detecting touch, vibration and motion. Golly, that's just as bad a description given by old Wiki there.
Perhaps it'd be easier to give an example. Say you touch a button on a touchscreen (because that's what buttons on touchscreens are for). Normally, you'd only feel the smooth, flat qualities of the glass surface. However, when haptics are integrated into the screen, you would feel as if you were touching a real button, and not that smooth, flat glass screen. It's like feeling something that isn't there. Somehow, unrequited love comes to mind.
Imagine the possibilities of such a thing. You already have virtual reality - go ahead and throw in some haptic technology and not only can you see things which aren't actually there, now you are even able to feel them. This sounds disturbingly similar to what a person with migraine might feel when having their aura.
Medicine happens to be one of the fields to have embraced haptics (not much surprise there). howstuffworks.com says here that 'medical students can now perfect delicate surgical techniques on the computer, feeling what it's like to suture blood vessels in an anastomosis or inject BOTOX into the muscle tissue of a virtual face'. Wonderful! Now if only we can persuade people to go for haptic enhanced face-lifting procedures.
I think for the time being, I'll just settle for this haptic-enabled phone from Samsung *smile*
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 9:30 am
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
- Going to the hospital
- Going to the hospital
- Going to the hospital
- Going to the hospital to take my clinical examination
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 4:27 pm
Monday, 21 July 2008
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 8:43 pm
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Judging from how long it took me to update this blog, you can certainly bet your bottom dollar (or your bottom only, whatever tickles your fancy) that I have not really had the luxury of being able to sit down and compose even a simple entry. I can immediately think up of several hundred excuses but the two that stand out by far are 1) I just haven't had the time considering how much of my life is taken up by that soul-sucking entity called 'The Hospital' and 2) gaining access to the Net over there is about as easy as breaking into Alcatraz. Or my dad's wardrobe. And just to get a certain point across, it's rather pointless spending a couple of hours at the mamak restaurant which has wifi access when you don't even have a laptop.
So as you can see, my absence is very much excusable. Still, you can never keep a good blogger down (think pycnogenol).
Here's a thought - why doesn't someone design a short message system that not only sends text messages, but also includes the emotional tone of that message the way the sender intended it to be? I know - brilliant isn't it?
The short messaging system was indeed a blessing to those who wanted to be constantly in touch with their friends but were too poor to be going out every other day just for the sake of meeting them (read: yours truly). In fact, it is such a godsend that I dare say it's the next best thing after sliced bread, and perhaps credit cards too. However, like all other things man-made, the SMS has its share of flaws, the most obvious being the inability to convey the true tone of a text message the way the sender intended it.
Here's a little test to see how good you are at identifying the real way a message was intended to be read. Try to guess in what manner were these sentences written in e.g. humourous, melancholic, excited. Give yourself a point for each correct answer. No peeking now.
1. Emm..takde apa2 la...
2. Yes, I do suppose that can happen
3. Apa dia tu?
4. I'm sorry but I think you've got the wrong person
Well, have you written down your answers yet? Compare them with mine.
Baffled? Well, what did you expect with those sentences coming from me?
SMS etiquette doesn't help either, which is not surprising really considering they were made up by teenagers. Sure, you may say that 'Hmm...' tells you the person is thinking his answer over or a message with only three dots in it tells you that the other party is no longer interested in conversation (personally, I think that if he's already lost interest, he'd have stopped texting you altogether). However, given the complicated nature of human beings plus the distinct disadvantage of not being able to look at their facial expressions while texting, the true nature of these messages are very open to misinterpretation.
I commonly find myself on the receiving end of things when this happens. As you should already know by now, I indulge in sarcasm and irony and that goes for when I'm texting too. On more than one occasion have I found myself having to explain an earlier message just because the other party did not catch its intended meaning. It is a situation I call 'a Hamlet' due to it's tragic nature. The worst part is that sometimes, these are people who have been texting me long enough to (I assume) know how I tick. In these cases, it's a 'Hamlet read by a hippie'.
But in all due-ness, I have my fair share of misunderstandings too. And I have this really bad habit of pushing it when the other person won't tell me what they really mean. Then I start assuming what they meant by saying such and such and then they get angry because I got it wrong again which goes on to show how insensitive a person I am and then I try to defend myself by saying that I'm actually sensitive and that I'll cry watching Korean soaps and then they get even angrier, saying that I'm now making fun of the situation which also means I'm making fun of them and then we argue and argue and forget what exactly was it that we were discussing about in the first place.
So you see, a short message system which conveys the real tone of a message would help prevent countless arguments from ever taking place. If a husband can read his wife's text message - 'Please don't put the milk carton back in the fridge if it's already empty' as such and not 'Is it so hard to lift your bum to throw it in the bin?', then the world would be such a happier place.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 9:54 pm
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
A classical bedtime story, re-written to comply with the modern standards of 'civilised behaviour'. Taken off from this site.
There once was a young person named Little Red Riding Hood who lived on the edge of a large forest full of endangered owls and rare plants that would probably provide a cure for cancer if only someone took the time to study them.
Red Riding Hood lived with a nurture giver whom she sometimes referred to as "mother", although she didn't mean to imply by this term that she would have thought less of the person if a close biological link did not in fact exist.
Nor did she intend to denigrate the equal value of nontraditional households, although she was sorry if this was the impression conveyed.
One day her mother asked her to take a basket of organically grown fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house.
"But mother, won't this be stealing work from the unionized people who have struggled for years to earn the right to carry all packages between various people in the woods?"
Red Riding Hood's mother assured her that she had called the union boss and gotten a special compassionate mission exemption form.
"But mother, aren't you oppressing me by ordering me to do this?"
Red Riding Hood's mother pointed out that it was impossible for womyn to oppress each other, since all womyn were equally oppressed until all womyn were free.
"But mother, then shouldn't you have my brother carry the basket, since he's an oppressor, and should learn what it's like to be oppressed?"
And Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her brother was attending a special rally for animal rights, and besides, this wasn't stereotypical womyn's work, but an empowering deed that would help engender a feeling of community.
"But won't I be oppressing Grandma, by implying that she's sick and hence unable to independently further her own selfhood?"
But Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her grandmother wasn't actually sick or incapacitated or mentally handicapped in any way, although that was not to imply that any of these conditions were inferior to what some people called "health".
Thus Red Riding Hood felt that she could get behind the idea of delivering the basket to her grandmother, and so she set off.
Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place, but Red Riding Hood knew that this was an irrational fear based on cultural paradigms instilled by a patriarchal society that regarded the natural world as an exploitable resource, and hence believed that natural predators were in fact intolerable competitors.
Other people avoided the woods for fear of thieves and deviants, but Red Riding Hood felt that in a truly classless society all marginalized peoples would be able to "come out" of the woods and be accepted as valid lifestyle role models.
On her way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood passed a woodchopper, and wandered off the path, in order to examine some flowers.
She was startled to find herself standing before a Wolf, who asked her what was in her basket.
Red Riding Hood's teacher had warned her never to talk to strangers, but she was confident in taking control of her own budding sexuality, and chose to dialogue with the Wolf.
She replied, "I am taking my Grandmother some healthful snacks in a gesture of solidarity."
The Wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."
Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop an alternative and yet entirely valid worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I would prefer to be on my way."
Red Riding Hood returned to the main path, and proceeded towards her Grandmother's house.
But because his status outside society had freed him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the Wolf knew of a quicker route to Grandma's house.
He burst into the house and ate Grandma, a course of action affirmative of his nature as a predator.
Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist gender role notions, he put on Grandma's nightclothes, crawled under the bedclothes, and awaited developments.
Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said,
"Grandma, I have brought you some cruelty free snacks to salute you in your role of wise and nurturing matriarch."
The Wolf said softly "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."
Red Riding Hood said, "Goddess! Grandma, what big eyes you have!"
"You forget that I am optically challenged."
"And Grandma, what an enormous, what a fine nose you have."
"Naturally, I could have had it fixed to help my acting career, but I didn't give in to such societal pressures, my child."
"And Grandma, what very big, sharp teeth you have!"
The Wolf could not take any more of these specist slurs, and, in a reaction appropriate for his accustomed milieu, he leaped out of bed, grabbed Little Red Riding Hood, and opened his jaws so wide that she could see her poor Grandmother cowering in his belly.
"Aren't you forgetting something?" Red Riding Hood bravely shouted. "You must request my permission before proceeding to a new level of intimacy!"
The Wolf was so startled by this statement that he loosened his grasp on her. At the same time, the woodchopper burst into the cottage, brandishing an ax.
"Hands off!" cried the woodchopper.
"And what do you think you're doing?" cried Little Red Riding Hood. "If I let you help me now, I would be expressing a lack of confidence in my own abilities, which would lead to poor self esteem and lower achievement scores on college entrance exams."
"Last chance, sister! Get your hands off that endangered species! This is an FBI sting!" screamed the woodchopper, and when Little Red Riding Hood nonetheless made a sudden motion, he sliced off her head.
"Thank goodness you got here in time", said the Wolf. "The brat and her grandmother lured me in here. I thought I was a goner."
"No, I think I'm the real victim here", said the woodchopper. "I've been dealing with my anger ever since I saw her picking those protected flowers earlier. And now I'm going to have such a trauma. Do you have any aspirin?"
"Sure", said the Wolf.
"Thanks.""I feel your pain", said the Wolf, and he patted the woodchopper on his firm, well padded back, gave a little belch, and said "Do you have any Maalox?"
I think that's about as offense-free you can get in a children's bedtime story. Hopefully, it didn't touch on the nerves of anyone who read it.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 11:52 am
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
"We are" typed out my friend, presumably while jumping up and down, "going to have a masquerade ball in July. Isn't that exciting?"
I stared at the sentence while pondering over what reaction might I get if I typed back "OMG, thatz so d bomb! U totally rawks!" to show how terribly excited I was. Most probably, I'd get a virtual door slammed in my face. And that is just being polite.
But in all honesty, a masquerade ball does sound exciting, and yes, I do confess that I am attracted to the idea. I've always been interested in occasions where you are permitted to not be yourself (another good example would be during Parliamentary sessions).
The idea of wearing a costume together with a mask sounds medievally romantic, wouldn't you agree? In fact, if memory serves me well, I think Meat Loaf - which let no one tell you otherwise, is not a cool name - used the whole idea as a theme for his video clip of "It's all coming back to me now". People say it's a powerfully passionate love ballad, but making a wild guess based on only the title, I think it's about a man who's sobering up from last night's drunkfest.
But I digress.
Putting on a mask means not having to reveal your true identity to others, which in my opinion, is a good thing on such an event. During occasions such as this where you are required to put your best foot forward, not having to show your face kind of helps, I suppose. Just think of the possible wonders worked by an elegant mask on the resident nerd - he'd finally have a fighting chance in his unholy quest to chat up some of the most beautiful lady students on the campus. Not only that, he may even get a response.
Bear in mind though, that this miralce will only work if the mask was truly a magnificient piece of work testimony to the genius of refined human hands of the highest order. Those with toucan beaks won't do. Lion manes will also have to go. Any mask which results in the wearer fairly resembling Andrew Lloyd Webber is an absolute no-no. Gold tint is a nice touch and plume coming from an endangered species of bird rakes in top accolades. You'll be so attractive to others that even representatives from PETA will come down
swooping swooning upon you.
However, at the end of the day, no mask how beautiful it may be is substitute for a genuinely charming personality. Sure you can pluck off the feathers of every single Po'o-uli you can get your hands on (which might not be that many, mind you) to lord over every other masquerader, but still if you have the personality of a toad and the social finese of a charging rhino, all that effort will have gone to waste. Not a single mask can mask the mannerism of Conan the Barbarian.
Having said that, I am still very excited over the idea that one of my friends will be going to a masquerade ball and I would very much like to attend it too. Any seats left?
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 2:31 am
Thursday, 1 May 2008
"Sarcasm isn't funny; it's actually quite damaging", someone said to me. At that time, I shrugged off the comment as merely being a by-product of lost sleep and late nights filled with unhealthy snacking. I can say with 80% confidence that people are prone to turn silly - and possibly ugly, too - when they are deprived of their beauty sleep.
However, now that I have tons of free time on my hands, I've been thinking about it. Could it be remotely possible that I've somehow managed to offend someone with my sarcasm? I mean...I'm not all that sarcastic. Plus, I don't make sarcastic remarks all the time - perhaps only every other time.
I tried talking about this 'problem' of mine with a friend who's more matured than me (read: older, and I mean that in a nice way). She said that we have to reflect upon what others say. Sometimes there's truth in them and at other times, it's just bollocks i.e. grossly exaggerated.
Note: My friend did not use the term bollocks. I just inserted it there to grossly exaggerate the conversation I had with her.
So, I was then asked whether I felt if that comment was truthful or just a way of getting back at me for making witty remarks which some sorry people just aren't capable of appreciating. I replied that I thought that the person actually meant it. Then, my friend proceeded to tell me that she thought sarcasm was a part of my character - how I create rapport with others.
Hold on a minute.
That's as if to say that my way of becoming friendly with others is to take jabs at their fragile emotions which just might crack if I prod at it a wee bit too hard. Sheesh.
But I think it's quite true actually, and I'll tell you why. I'm honestly rather careful with my cynical remarks, meaning to say that I don't throw them around carelessly in the same manner that Hilary and Obama are throwing accusations about each other. I will only proceed to employ sarcasm upon another being if I feel that I am comfortable enough with the person and that the person is also comfortable enough with me, or at the very least, intelligent enough to discern when I am being sarcastic and when I am serious. So if you are offended by what I've said, the possibilities are either:
1. What I said was truly insensitive
2. You're just being overly sensitive (like any participant of Akademi Fantasia), or
3. You don't know me that well yet
To put the blame on myself, I'd of course say that 99% of the time, the reason is #1 (and never once #2). But how about #3? Have you ever considered that possibility? Well, have you?
I don't know. What would you, dear readers, think about me? Am I too sarcastic to the point of being offensive?
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 3:18 am
Friday, 25 April 2008
It seems that in the course of Research Methodology and juggling other stuff over the past 3 weeks, my facial features have undergone some drastic changes. Changes which my eyes could not believe when I first realised them. Changes which will have people either gasping in delight or horror, depending on their individual definition of 'masculinity'.
I've grown some man-whiskers.
Bloody purists will probably scowl and raise an eyebrow at the term 'man-whiskers', saying instead that the correct term for facial hair arranged neatly in a row underneath the upper lip would be 'moustache'. However, I insist that what I have grown without even knowing it are man-whiskers. This is because they resemble something to what Awal Ashaari has on his face, rather than those coarse, unkept and wild-looking strands of hair which Frank Zappa copyrighted after his death.
Frankly (!) speaking, it's a bit too much. People can say whatever they want about man-whiskers (it's a sign of manliness, virility and a darn good excuse to sign up for the Royal Police Force, for example) but for me, I feel as if there's an unwelcome visitor underneath my nose who has a habit of tickling the corner of my lip. Think of it as having a furry squirrel hanging from your nose and continuously moving its tail about. Not so pleasant, I can assure you.
Now I want to trim it off, but Dad won't tell me where he has hidden his Man-Whiskers-Ridding Tool, otherwise commonly known as scissors. I think they may stay with me for a while.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 9:48 am
Sunday, 30 March 2008
So I went to visit my dad's friend who works as Pegawai Attache Pelajar (whatever that is) over in Cairo. What a far cry from all the other houses I've been to so far his place turned out to be - it was massive! Spacious! Luxurious! It had Pharaoh written all over it! (am I starting to sound like a Brit yet?). My logic cannot even begin to comprehend how such a beautiful home could exist amidst all the dust, rubble and uncompleted buildings.
After spending the night in the 'Ramses Hilton' - which happens to be a real hotel in Cairo - the next morning, my 3 friends and I headed off to the Malaysian Hall, or Arma as it is called here, to meet up with our female classmates. According to an agreement made beforehand, we were supposed to go to Asfour (a crystal factory) together. However, you can imagine our manly surprise and dismay when we arrived at Arma only to discover that the girls had left without us. What kind of agreement is that? We felt like Palestinians betrayed by another of Israel's so-called peace treaties.
But to give them credit, at least the girls gave us the mobile phone number of a male student who could take us around Cairo so that we wouldn't feel all lost and left behind. Charming indeed.
While waiting for our guide to arrive, we dropped by the warden's house who happened to be a nenek saudara to one of the boys in our group. Although I had never met these people before, I instantly felt at home with their graceful invitation to stay for tea and even lunch.
Since it was already 2 o' clock and our train back to Alexandria was in 5 hours time, Helmi decided that it was best we took the taxi around. Over here in Egypt, the taxis don't use meters and the fare has to be agreed beforehand - a consumer's worst nightmare, you could say. We hurriedly flagged down one of 'em battered cars and made our way to Asfour to buy some crystals for members of the fairer sex (read: mums and sisters)
What was initially thought to be a 30 minute affair turned out to take one hour and a half just because of the
Having snapped several shots together, our little group crossed the street to the other side to pay a visit to Saidina Hussein's Mosque. It is named as such because in it, it houses the tomb of Saidina Hussein. This tomb is said to hold the head of Rasulullah's (PBUH) grandson after he was killed in the Battle of Karballah. This mosque is also said to house The Prophet's hair, sword and several other items which are sealed off in a room adjacent to Saidina Hussein's tomb. I don't know if it was just me, but the mosque smelled extremely fragrant from the moment I stepped into it. Subhanallah.
We spent several minutes offering prayers at the mosque and then made our way to Khan-Khalili which was situated just beside Saidina Hussein's Mosque. Khan-Khalili is the place to go if you're shopping for souveniers. It also happens to be the place to go if you have a lot of money and are in the mood to get cheated by fraudulent traders. I tell you, the second the sellers identify you as a tourist, the prices will instantly go up from 5 pounds to 30 pounds. There's so much cheating going on here that even President Bush would probably blush a bright red.
My male instincts told me these would look better on women than men, but polite behaviour dictates that I keep my opinions to myself.
Update: I've just received a full-length explanation from one of the girls concerning the messed up plans. Turns out that it was a case of miscommunication. Don't you just hate it when that happens?
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 7:53 pm
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
I never knew that the weather here in Alexandria could remind me so much about a certain teacher I had in Form 4 - they share the common trait of blowing hot and cold at the same time. Is it any wonder then that they both have made me ill?
My throat is sore, it is plugged with mucus and swallowing is fast becoming a tiresome (not to mention painful) chore to do. On the bright side, I now sound like Michael Buble...if he were ever to sing with a pillow over his head.
So far, I've been going out every afternoon after class exploring the strange land that is Egypt and I am proud to say that I have covered pretty much both shopping areas near the Faculty of Medicine (Manshiya) and my hostel (El Ibrahimiyyah). It's actually quite fun looking at all the shoes, bags and jubah on display, save for the over zealous shop attendants who can be annoying and scary at the same time. One of them even hugged my friend and I just so that I'd buy something from his shop! Needless to say, I didn't. But perhaps things would have been different if it was a she.
Afterthought: Of course it would be different. I'd most probably be locked up in an underground prison somewhere below the Sphinx by now if that had happened.
My list of accomplishments also includes the limited ability to order food and know beforehand what it looks like, in contradiction to other tourists in foreign places who simply point to fancy names on a menu and end up being surprised by what's served in front of them later on. Among the local food which I have sampled are makaronah (macaroni), aruz bi lahmah (rice with beef), kashari (macaroni with rice and something like noodles), bashamil (a local version of lasagne) and sandawish (come on, you can figure out this one)
Other than that, I have also been frequenting the many juice bars found in abundance here. Mind you, this is not your normal overpriced-yet-watered-down jus epal we're talking about. Over here, they take a couple of apples, blend the whole thing till it goes into a semi solid, semi liquid state and then serve it right in your face. Local custom dictates that it is polite manners to chug the whole thing down and wipe the froth left on your facial hair with your right sleeve while letting out a grateful sigh of satisfaction. Of course, I just made that up, but it's certainly what a few customers do.
Blended apples aren't the only fruit juice they serve - there's burtu'al (orange), muuz (banana), faraulah (strawberry - my personal favourite so far), 'asab (sugar cane) and a whole lot more of others. Experimenting is currently ongoing to find out the most delicious fruit juice.
That's all I suppose. You may stop drooling now and go buy some apples to blend yourself.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 5:50 am
Sunday, 23 March 2008
As I'm writing this, it's getting a bit chilly outside and the sound of blaring horns coming from passing cars is getting a tad bit unbearable. My housemates are studying inside their rooms - about the abdomen and the physiology of the gastrointestinal system, I suppose. Tomorrow, I'll be following them to class again for another round of lectures given in a rather peculiar tone of English. Not that that's a bad thing, no. It's just, well, peculiar.
As you might already guess by now, I'm merrily typing this away on my gracious host's laptop in his rented apartment in Alexandria where I'll be stuck for the next two weeks. And by the looks of it, it's going to be a very long fortnight. I mean honestly, who comes to Alexandria to study medicine? This was supposed to be a holiday!
Still, it might be a little too early to be hollering about the injustice of it all. Who knows? I might end up liking lectures given in a peculiar tone of English after all before going back (though if I really did like it, it'd have been a long time ago considering some of the lecturers back at home are from Alexandria anyway)
So that's that. A brief description of my trip to Egypt so far. Yeah, it's empty and useless and contains about as much information as a roll of toilet paper, I know. But I promise to write something more interesting in the next update - which I have no idea when that'll be.
Postscript: Ayah, tak jumpa la carpet.Minyak atar dah beli dah la tapi.
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 5:23 am
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 7:25 pm
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Unknown to most of the readers here, I've been doing some research in my free time concerning the IT literacy rate among Malaysians, and I've come up with a very interesting conclusion: Mamaks have one of the highest IT literacy rates in this country. Don't believe me? Where do you think I'm posting this entry from?
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 6:52 pm
Friday, 7 March 2008
In less than twenty four hours, we will be ushering in the 12th edition of the Malaysian General Elections...
...which frankly my dear, I don't give a dram. I'm more concerned about my final exams next week. And looking at the amount of reading that I still need to cover, I think I should be more than just merely 'concerned'. I should be 'freaking out'.
We'll be going for an overseas trip after the exams are done. Personally, I look at it as one big step forward into adulthood. At least now I won't be so ashamed to face my other friends who are studying abroad. I tell you, it's going to be an absolutely fantastic, totally Mediterranean, partly sponsored trip to mystically romantic Alexandria to......listen to some more medical lectures. Bummer. On a brighter note, we'll have the weekends to ourselves, so I plan to make the most of it and get Lost in Translation. You know, just like that Sophia Coppola-directed film of the same name. And judging from how good I am in my Arabic just as Britney Spears is at being a mother, I definitely see myself getting lost. Literally. Let's just hope that I happen to bump into Lawrence of Arabia if I do lose my way.
Got to go. Books are a calling; like any envious young wife.
That reminds me: Sarah, enough with the teasing already! Hand out the wedding cards, will you?
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 3:27 pm
Friday, 1 February 2008
Mention the word 'witchdoctor' and most of us will probably get mental images of a dark brown leathery skinned, long-bearded middle aged man with wisps of long white hair flowing about his face incessantly and wearing a necklace made out of fish bones. That picture might have been applicable if you were still living in, say, the 16th century, but witchdoctors nowadays are an awfully modern lot who look like every other avergae Joe, so much so that they blend right in with the crowd. In fact, most of the time, you'd have a pretty tough time differentiating a modern witchdoctor from one of those fruit-sellers you see at night markets.
The reason why I am talking about witchdoctors is because I had the splendid honour of coming across one at Friday prayers today. I kid you not, dear readers. I was standing right next to a real, living, breathing witchdoctor at 1.17 p.m. today. And the best part of it all? He was holding a demonstration of his wares.
Apparently the witchdoctor had with him a plant so mysterious that he would only call it by the name 'Pokok Mati Hidup Semula'. The name already drew a few brave speculations as to what it could do among my bedazzled friends, but I was more interested in what the witchdoctor had to say.
"Hah, abang mari mari mari..pokok mati hidup semula ni mujarab untuk semua jenis penyakit. Siapa-siapa yang ada gout, darah tinggi, kolestrol semua boleh sembuh lepas minum air yang dah direbus dengan pokok ni. Tak ada ubat yang boleh hilangkan semua penyakit kecuali pokok mati hidup semula. Abang pegi la kat doktor untuk rawat gout abang, dia akan cucuk abang dan kenakan bayaran RM60. Lepas tu, dia akan kata abang tak boleh dah makan udang, ketam, kacang tanah. Tidak dengan ubat ni. Abang amalkan minum dua gelas sehari, InsyaAllah dengan kuasa Allah, abang akan sembuh. Kalau ada yang tak percaya, boleh cuba minum segelas sekarang dan InsyaAllah dengan izin Tuhan, abang memang akan rasa kelainan dia lepas habis sembahyang Jumaat".
I couldn't believe my ears! Finally, a cure-all that will save mankind bucketfuls of money on medication that needs to be taken more times in a day than you would pass wind! Doctors can at last chuck their diagnostic tools out of the window and retire for good! And while they're at it, why not burn down hospitals and build theme parks in their place? Thank goodness for the witchdoctor and his Back-From-The-Dead Plant!
Needless to say, I was outraged by all the bull this witchdoctor was continuously churning out of his wretched mouth. My friends, having come round to their senses, also shared my sentiments. In our minds, we were all toying with individual ideas of how best to give him an honest-to-God butt busting.
But that's still not the best part. Oh, definitely not. One of my friends went up to him and asked "Ubat ni boleh sembuhkan penyakit Type I diabetes tak, bang?".
To which he asked back, "Type I tu apa?"
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 6:08 pm
Monday, 21 January 2008
If you were to ever listen to what my friends have to say about me, then they would get you to believe at the drop of a hat that I am a person with many needs and wants. Quite on the contrary, I am actually a boy with simple needs. Of course I have been ranting continuously about how it would be nice to be the owner of an iPhone and perhaps also the brand spanking new Macbook Air, but for the most of it, it's just hot air blowing. Perhaps when I get my first pay, then it'll be a different story.
No, I'm just kidding. The truth is, all I've ever really wanted is an elder sister. Yes, that's right. A sister who is older than me.
Sometimes it gets kind of boring being the eldest, and I'm not just talking about how you're expected to be a good role model, how you're always held accountable for your actions (and those of your siblings too) and how your parents so depend on you to advise your brothers and sisters when it comes to boy-girl relationships. Bossing around your siblings just because you can as the eldest also loses its fun once in a while - but only just.
So during these periods of self-loathing, I always imagine what it would be like if I had an elder sister. Would I still be this responsible? Would I still maintain my integrity because I am looked up to by the younger ones? Would I still be this poor? (stupid scholarship).
The honest answer is: I don't know. Though I do suspect that most probably I'll be a tad bit naughtier and perhaps have some of my work cut out for me when it comes to buying the latest toys. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I want an elder sister - so that she can buy me stuff.
I may be wrong in saying that God gave us elder sisters so that we need not wait that long in saving up our money (if we ever get it!) just to buy a Playstation 3, but from what I have personally witnessed and know, most elder sisters do just that i.e. offer to buy the poor brother what he wants. Just about a month ago, a really close friend who always spreads false lies about me in my comment box was treated to a Nikon D40 by his eldest sister. Imagine that! I'd be lucky enough to have someone treat me to the empty box or even the manual.
But elder sisters are good not only just for shifting responsibilities and buying stuff; I romantically imagine they would also be THE person to refer to when it comes to questions about girls. You can't go wrong when asking your own sister how come girls are so complicated and difficult to understand...or can you? Well, if I ever get an elder sister, I'm going to grill out of her the answer to that question and many more.
But like so many of my other dreams - to be smart without studying, be the first Malaysian to get shot into outer space or even just be seated next to an attractive stranger on public transport - the fantasy of having an elder sister will just remain at that. I suppose it's a bit too late to ask my mum for one and I certainly don't believe in all that kakak angkat nonsense. The only acceptable situation to tell other people that you have a kakak angkat is when you can specifically mention what it is that your sister is lifting in the first place.
"Eh, saya ada kakak angkat karung simen".
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 2:52 pm
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
It goes without saying that there's a lot of frustration going about in the world today. In fact, there is hardly a day that passes by without one waking up only to feel depressed by it all and then pull up the blanket again. For the most of it, these frustrations can be broadly categorised into two: those that make you want to bang your head against the wall, and those that make you want to bang your head against the wall some more. I have had the greatest pleasure of experiencing a frustration of the second category for some time now.
Ever since our second semester started, oh say, about four months ago, I have been living off the sympathy of my parents and friends all due to the fact that my stupid scholarship has not arrived yet.
For an overworked(!) and underpaid student like myself, nothing spells out 'food' and 'basic necessities' so much as 'scholarship'. So you can imagine the state of living I have been in for the past four months without monetary aid from the government. Some friends have been quick to point out an alleged similarity to a malnourished caveman.
And it's not as if the students haven't done any complaining. About two weeks ago, a student rep asked the Deputy Dean of Student Affairs for her help in inquiring about the state of our scholarship. When the involved government body was contacted, the best answer they could give was "We have not yet decided on the amount. Please inquire again in a few days time". I imagined the department was probably full of little men in black suits and bowler hats spinning about red tape as if it were the last thing to do on earth.
I know it's no use complaining against bureaucracy. Half of the time your complaints get shoved down a garbage chute, if not your throat. And for the rest of it, you may very well go to prison for 'spreading false lies about the ineffectiveness of the government'. But what do they expect me to eat whilst waiting for their undecided amount of money - grass?
Scribbled by Jamil at roughly 1:07 pm