Sunday, 28 February 2010


Okay, short update because I really have to go back to my studies! I've been wasting two days and two nights just doing basically nothing (blame the winter, it's too cold to actually do something productive). Sure it felt good but apparently one assignment is due on 3rd March and what do you know, February ends too soon. *slaps forehead again and again*

I wish I could go to the African safari before end of this program next year and see the Big Five in action; Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Cape Buffalo.

And my caught-in-the-act-for-the-second-time poster is still around. I lost my case to a red forked-tail devil disguised as an IT officer. Enough said.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Good Girl Gone Bad II

Guess what, I got an e-mail today that brought back a painful memory; You have been excluded from CeG's IT owing to having Food/Drink in ISAAC. As this is your second offence you are now on a 1 week mandatory suspension from the School IT/IS facilities. My first thought; WHAT THE @#$%?!?!?! You've got to be kidding me! I just took my drinking bottle inside and put it securely on the computer desk. I did not even open it! That's it, I'm going straight to the office first thing in the morning and state my case. I stand by my innocent drinking bottle that has been heavily prejudiced.

PS: I just got myself a Twitter account here! I still couldn't figure out if it's any fun but at least I get to see updates from my favourite channels on the same page and it's always nice to know what your friends are doing on the other side of the planet.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Parlez-vous Anglais?

Ask a French native that and 90% of the time, the answer would be a simple "Non". Straight to the point. It's a clever way of saying "No, I don't speak English at all and you better go and get some dictionary if your problem is that urgent". Granted, they are particularly proud of their language. Don't get me wrong; it's a beautiful language and I myself have been learning it for a year now but when you thought an English bank ATM got your French bank card and the English bank employee couldn't find it after a triple check, you just wanted to cancel your French bank card as soon as you can touch the dial. It was a scary situation, no one could really help directly right away. If I had all the phone credits in the world, I wouldn't mind spending them to perfect my French over the phone all the way across England to Sarkozy's land. Surely you would've thought a French-based international bank would at least have some English-speaking staff to help a dame in distress like moi. What did I tell you; non. And we also know one of the golden rules is that you don't ever call a French office from 12-2pm. Nothing will stop the French from savouring their gourmet. Cut to the chase, my card got cancelled but I still have to call another officer-in-charge next week to re-issue a new one. She's on leave and don't ask me why but they've only got one person for this. Perhaps people there don't lose their bank cards that often. Another golden rule, if you don't speak native level French, don't argue.

On a completely unrelated matter, just how I was obsessed with the bakery back in France, here I have a thing for Indian candies and Turkish Delight.

Seriously I need to watch my sugar intake but they just taste so bloody good!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Home Sweet Home

Home by Michael Buble.

Not that I'm trying to beat myself up with that song, but recently I've been having second thoughts about staying here for the summer. Well, you can count on winter to make someone depressed eh. My professors explicitly advised me to go for a summer internship. This is only for two years, they said. True, two years come and go quickly but I'd miss so much. I'd miss my dad's thinning hair (who knows, they all might be gone by the time I graduate next year!), my mom's inventive cooking, my bro's bragging, my sis growing up and my baby Sarah getting plump big. I'm definitely going to miss two big weddings this March (Aida's who so kindly mailed her wedding card so I wouldn't feel left out and my brother-in-law's) and Mus's engagement. I miss my friends back home. They've known me since I was a kid (okay, a little exaggeration for dramatic effect). I was looking through my photo albums yesterday and let me tell you something obvious, do not browse old photographs while you're trying to convince yourself that they can help you with the homesickness 10,000 km away from the people and places you're yearning for (NOT an exaggeration). Stupid little idea, I ended up crying. Yes, I appreciate how significant a right internship is for my resume. On the other hand, the instinct feels so strong and I don't think it's just about the weather! We all know that sometimes we have to listen to that little voice in your heart instead of that sensible mind. So will I be on the plane flying back to Kuala Lumpur this June (just in time for my birthday, I'm just saying) or will I be staying somewhere in Europe working and traveling? We shall find out very soon (well honestly the flight tickets are not getting cheaper!).

Elbert Hubbard of the Roycrofters

Friday, 12 February 2010

Good Girl Gone Bad

I got suspended. Well actually, my university account did but it's still the same thing; I broke the law and I had to pay for it. There goes my clean record here. In order for me to re-instate myself (their word!), I had to report to the office. I was gloriously welcomed by a computer screen which showed a camera screenshot of me committing the crime with an unmistakable caption that said caught in the act. After a little lecture and a subtle warning, they eventually let me off the hook. Boy, these Brits really take their rules seriously. My felony? I took a sip of my bottled water in the computer lab.

I'll never take any of the rules for granted, no matter how petty they may sound. Lesson learned.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

One Life, One Shot

Two weeks into my first month here in England and I haven't toured nor studied much. First, to be out and about in this weather isn't really that fun. Imagine you’re a character from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” and by a twist you're trapped in the freezer you have there in the kitchen. Brr~ Second, our critical modules only get into gear next week so I didn't feel the need to study just for the sake of studying something. Having said that, I sort of sneaked around the library for some reading (mainly for leisure...I did tell you that I genuinely have fun reading) and saw some of my classmates doing revision! A little intimidated, but it was not exactly the shock of my life. This group of 20-something students consists of supposedly bright and all-rounded people coming from all parts of the world who are supposedly interested in hydro-informatics and water management and they are finally gathered here in Newcastle for only this one semester. Supposedly as over time, things change. Some of these people are strong headed by the same token so when you put them in one room, you can sense the invisible rivalry and strain. Some pretense too but I'll leave it at that. I'll just carefully choose my battle and mind my own business. There are many things that are not worth spending time, energy and attention on.
g.o.j.i w.o.r.l.d w.i.d.e h.e.a.l.t.h

What I have actually been thinking about more these days is the prospect of being a professor. We all know how flexible they are. Some may choose to remain flaccid in their exclusive office reading and writing while others may opt for more dynamic on the field (and that includes travelling!) and external consultancy work, etc. Of course, one needs to accomplish a PhD in prior so that means another 3 years of waking up late flexibility. So I'm thinking big. Like maybe Oxford?

Or perhaps, a change of environment and go for Ivy League in the States?

Okay, I am well aware of  how incredibly arduous it is. I will definitely apply for somewhere else as well like the equally prominent McGill in Quebec (the only setback is that Canada is always cold, aiyaya). Still, dreams are the beginning of everything great and I'm not exactly asking for the moon. Someone once told me, "There is only a small chance of getting it? Why, there is still a possibility!". The admission deadline is by end of this year for October 2011 intake so that leaves me roughly 10 months to cram and get excellent results both in my studies and one of the most loathed tests, GRE (Graduate Record Examination), obtain admirable recommendations, buff up my resume, write an impressive statement of purpose and of course, an outstanding research proposal. Fuh, that's doable. I can do that. Yes Izni, law of attraction.

Hmm, wonder if I could pull this off without ending up like this poor thing.

k.f.6.n.v.r                                                             r.e.b.e.l t.r.a.d.e.r.s

Well, good thing that apart from cupcakes and Indian foods, I believe in moderation.

So everyone, tomorrow is a new day and let's walk with your head up, be sure of who you are, what you do and what you want. One reader told me something that I'm glad being reminded of - You just live your life with no excuses, love with no regrets and have a great time...our life today is not a dress rehearsal, we only get to play one round. 

In short, have faith and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. InsyaAllah (God willing).

Monday, 1 February 2010

Dude, You've Crossed the Line.

I am a self-proclaimed geek and I'm proud of it. I don't go out on a school night, I like to be prepared and reading / taking a walk / watching movies is my idea of taking a break. Sometimes there are people who make me feel that it's wrong and I should be enjoying my life with going to pubs every other night or coming to class with a brainless head, but it's as plain as day that they simply feel insecure and threatened. What else could it be, if I'm this happy and contented without getting in someone's way?

And so when this guy kept telling me how to live my life and didn't even let me talk, I just snapped and told him to shut his f***ing a** off. Literally, each word.