Friday, 28 January 2011


Maybe it's the accumulated snow outside the door. Or maybe I should've let more sunlight through the window. Many actually fork out a lot of money for light therapy during winter as depression silently crawls into their system so for someone who has been living in a tropical climate for 24 years, I'm probably at greater risk.

The neighbours are so eerily quiet today. I'm starting to appreciate loud Malaysian neighbours. I'm also starting to think more about home. Home, as in Malaysia. Perhaps that's why I've been feeling so disconnected. Knowing that there are only 7 1/2 months left before I see KLIA again, I can't help but feel that time is moving rather slowly. Like a snail trying to cross a road and after so much effort with days and nights faithfully taking turns, realises that it's still halfway there. Melodramatic as usual.

Goofing around with the webcam has never been more... erm, soulless?

Thank goodness at least I'm not alone. If I were, light therapy may not sound so bad.

Monday, 24 January 2011

First of 2011

I'm a bad travel writer. I just can't put the whole thing into words and do them justice. At best, I try to take photos that reflect the ambience or emotion but there are moments that I inevitably miss. Those are only in my memory, struggling to be out but no perfect means to do so. Well at least friends in my Facebook circle are able to see the captions that I hope will give some life to the still photos. So this post, not intended to be a travel guide of some sort, is merely my personal thoughts as in most posts in my 4-year-old blog.


The reason why people don't usually travel in winter is because the weather can be unpredictable and mean. Like what happened in Italy when our plane had to be diverted to another Venice airport due the poor visibility. When we landed, everyone applaused and cheered but that was just the beginning. We had to be transported from one airport to another and back again before it was considered safe to board the plane and jet off to Spain. We were half a day delayed.

Barcelona is so tropical that it immediately reminded me of Malaysia, especially when we kept having lots of colourful fruits for the two days we were there. Inside the Gothic Quarter however, it's really European with the narrow cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. La Sagrada Familia stands out the most. It even has its own website here so take a look if you're interested in knowing the story behind something so magnificent.


Bad luck again. We were already strapped into our seats when the pilot made an urgent annoucement for us to get off the plane as the oil was found leaking. Back to the terminal, the airline had to call a spare plane all the way from Luton to fetch us and that apparently took six hours in which most of us resorted to sleeping on the airport benches including yours truly. How long can you wander around the boarding area anyway? When we got to our hostel, it was almost two in the morning.

Now, the city is really romantic and interesting. People often compare it to Venice but personally, the legal prostitution in Red Light District and drugs everywhere else make it feel less romantic. Nonetheless, Amsterdam has its own character that's reflected by its quaint buildings and markets. The Spanish were generally warmer than the Dutch, but I suppose the weather does play a role.


Brussels is a typical European city which is not bad, considering that it's also the administrative centre of the European Union. An obvious feature is that the city has two faces: urban metropolis and historical town. Nothing much to elaborate but there seems to be an obsession in a urinating boy statue whose costume is changed several times a week. Doesn't make sense, does it? If you can pee in public, you won't really bother with having fancy clothes on. There are many legends behind this but I must say some of them sound so absurd. The people speak French so we got to use our rusty French.

And that's the end of our first backpacking trip of the year. We're heading to Istanbul next week so I can't eat any desserts this week to make room for a baklava galore!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Officially Stressed Out

We've just discovered that we have to get our Danish residence and work permits BEFORE going to Denmark. I thought the same procedure as before would apply. We got our French & Hungarian residence permits AFTER I've started school. To make things worse, a new fee has been introduced two weeks ago. If we had applied before that, we wouldn't have to pay six...hundred...Eu...ros! Yes, 600-oh-my-God-EUROS! I don't know how I can enjoy our backpacking trip to Barcelona, Amsterdam & Brussels this week when there's an urgent need to check my e-mails every single day to settle all this. Oh, including a missing recommendation form for my professor which is another topic altogether but with the same utmost priority. I'm also unable to work on my group project because I couldn't install the software and my limited mobile broadband doesn't allow me to access the remote desktop.  They probably think I'm a slacker. Sigh. I'm trying soooo hard not to get bogged down with these matters but it's even harder when they all depend on out-of-your-control external factors which is always the case in real life. 
But I'm a student! I'm not supposed to have real life. I have four free days every week and approximately four months off each year! Urgh. Be grateful Izni.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Take a Break...

...and have a Kit Kat! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

My New Year starts tomorrow, I don't care what the date is. No more late nights and freeze my brain to slow death as I sleep away the day. No more intense work that leads the road to burnout.

I am balanced.
I am balanced.
I am balanced.
I am soooo balanced.

And tonight, since I've worked hard enough that my back hurts so much, I will stop even though I haven't finished. I will go away right now, make myself a healthy light dinner of egg, potato, beans and orange juice, slump into my bed and watch a good movie.

Like the movie Black Swan. That was brilliant.

But that's not the point. My point is I'm uncomfortable with myself for being too lazy one minute and too industrious the next. I need to balance myself again. 

I need someone to massage my back, hmm... *looking at the man*