Saturday, September 24, 2011

Had it easy...


Alhamdulillah I have safely arrived in Nottingham; endured the 13 hours flight, thanks to my previous experience of almost 24 hours flight to the States, 13 was pretty easy.

Before I came a lot of people have been telling me how I'm going to compare life in the States and in the UK, in which they prefer the States. But so far, I must say they are even. I hope I won't compare as much, because you know, why waste time comparing and complaining what you had before, and what you don't have. After all past is past, just live your present life lah kan?

But allow me to just make some points here. I've just moved into my permanent housing this morning. I know it's too early to make comparisons, but there are clear differences between what I had in the States, and what I'll have here in Notts. I'm just gonna sum up before I even lay out those points..

I clearly had it easy in the States.

1. Last time I lived in on-campus accommodation. Now I live about 20-minutes bus ride away from campus, and have to take two buses to reach campus. However, I chose to live here because my lab will be based in the City Hospital, which is just 2 mins away by bus, and 10 minutes walking.

2. I paid about $300 a month for accommodation in the States, inclusive of utility bills (water, electricity and internet). Here, the house is 450 pounds per month, shared with 4 people, utilities not included. Plus utility bills, I might pay up to 200 pounds per month. 

3. It makes a lot of difference if your rent is inclusive of utilities or not. Usage of heater during cold seasons really gonna poke a hole in your pocket, kalau tak berjimat. That said, I'm now typing this post with a sweater on, socks on, and I'm covered with duvet from head to toe. Reason? We want to save up on electricity bill so no heater until it's really really really cold. 

4. Last time, we had a laundry room outside the house. We had to share it with the whole community within the same housing complex. During winter, some of us even ran out of clothes to wear because we were so lazy nak redah sejuk and snow, so we waited until it's really really necessary to go out and do laundry. Here, the washing machine is in the kitchen, so yay! no problem during winter, but nayyyy we don't have a dryer! Now that sun is still shining, okay lah nak sidai baju dekat luar. I'm yet to figure out how I'm gonna dry my clothes during winter. Some said they just dry their clothes by hanging them on the heater. Hurrmmmm..

5. Oh about transportation, since I lived on-campus, transportation to the campus was FOC. I could also walk if I missed the bus. Now it's all different. I have to load some amount of money onto my Student Card to use as bus fare daily. I saw a promotional ads on-campus the other day, 179 pounds for all-year-long. Gonna catch the promotion before it ends.

That's pretty much it, so far. 

I'm not complaining, really. My friends from other unis back in the States, they had experienced all that. I guess me and my friends at RIT really had it easy. Now that I'm in their shoes, I'm thankful for the easiness Allah gave me before, and I'm even thankful that I get to have a totally different experience here. 

May I take the best out of this experience, InsyALLAH.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Au revoir.


Honestly, I meant to write something proper before I leave. A post about how I spent my final week before boarding that very airplane to Nottingham, and another post about how awesome my year has been. However I don't think I have the time to sit and write. Preparation has been overwhelming. Plus, I've been busy with a cousin's wedding in Ipoh this weekend. I wanted to take later flight, but since I found a friend who is traveling on the 19th, I just had to change my reservation for convenience purposes.  

InsyAllah if I have the time I'll pay my writing debt. Even after I've safely landed in Nottingham. But for now, I'd like want to thank everyone that has made my year so wonderful, I feel so blessed. I came back from the States in June last year, and now I'm leaving again. I must say I achieved/did a lot of things in this one short period of time that when one day if I reflect upon my life, I will surely remember this year vividly.

Also I would like to say sorry for all my wrongdoings, tersalah kata, tersilap laku, terlebih terkurang, dan halalkan makan minum. 

Dear friends, please pray for a smooth-sailing journey for me, like my ex-boss said, 'Doing PhD is like entering a lonely planet. You'll surely feel so lonely and vulnerable, because it's a long and winding road'. I pray that each one of you reading this will have a successful life, no matter what you guys are doing. 'Let us lean on each other when the hopes are fading' (quoting an inspirational blogger I once wrote to).

Terima kasih daun keladi.
Ada masa kita jumpa lagi.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Eid-ul-Fitr 2011


Raya this year is so much different from previous years.

1. After so long, finally the six of us got to celebrate Raya together. The complete family set. Alhamdulillah. But sadly, I won't be around next Raya (kalau gigih taknak balik la). InsyaALLAH, my place will be replaced with a newcomer in the family, my first ever nephew!

2. Our Raya routine this year is slightly different. Normally we would spend Raya eve at my dad's kampung in Tambun. In the morning we would help out in the making of The Great Rembau Rendang. But since we left our house in Ipoh for quite sometime, you know lah siapa yang datang bertandang, HABUK! Balik Ipoh hari Sabtu, sampailah Isnin tak siap-siap kemas rumah lagi. Nama pun rumah tinggal, banyaklah benda yang rosak. Lampu nak kena tukar, water tank kat atas roof top tu pun sampai dah penuh lumut, kena panggil orang datang cuci. So yeah, we had to ditch our relatives and stayed home cleaning all day long. 

3. Unlike previous years, we spent more time at home than at kampung this year. It sure was a relaxing Raya; my Raya was spent watching tv hihi. But I must say, Raya shows this year were BOO-RING!

4. My dad's friend came over to our house few days before Raya and handed him two Malaysian flags. First time pasang bendera dekat tiang rumah. First time ada Merdeka spirit at home. 

5. First day of Raya, all six of us marched to the studio to take our first ever family picture. That was after I kept on grumbling about the fact that it's been a year since I graduated and we still hadn't taken the 'typical' graduation picture. So yeah, it was Raya and Graduation picture combo. I think the next time we are going to get another round is after Mama and Ayah have 5 grandkids, kot? 

6. Alhamdulillah, my nazar to host a doa selamat at home was fulfilled on the night of second Raya. Mama was the hero of the night. She insisted on cooking on her own for 60 over guests that night. We could have just settled for a caterer but Yong said let Mama practice if she were to run her own catering business. Alhamdulillah ramai yang datang malam tu - relatives, friends, neighbors. I must thank Mama, Ayah, Yong, Abg Lan and Angah for making it happened, and to those who came, thanks a bunch! Your presence really made my night.

7. First time merasa friends coming over untuk beraya, and also pergi beraya rumah orang. Tapi still tak dapat join the big convoi, InsyALLAH next time. My house mengamalkan dasar 'rumah tertutup' for 9 years sebab Mama was away and kalau orang datang, serious taktahu nak hidang apa. So most of the time Raya kat kampung je. Budak 'assalammualaikum' pun tak pernah singgah kot, sebab tengok rumah macam takde orang padahal orang ada je kat dalam. Bad bad practice :P Now that Mama is back for good, barulah best nak ajak orang datang rumah hehe. Next year, if saya tak balik raya, jemputlah datang rumah. My mom would love to host you guys. Hehe

8. On the fourth day of Raya, my mom and I with relatives from my mom's side went on a trip to Terengganu-rombongan menghantar mempelai. First time pergi Terengganu. My cousin brother got married to orang Ganu :P Oh you don't wanna know berapa banyak 'jangan ler kawin org jauh-jauh dah' I heard during the whole trip. Haha. Actually my cousin brother was the second to get married, first was my sister. My sister kahwin dengan orang taman sebelah taman kitorang je kot. So it was the first time semua orang experience hantar rombongan kahwin jauh jauh. Yelah yang pergi pun orang-orang dah berumur, and they had to endure 8+ hours journey in the bus, mestilah mulut tu potpetpotpet complain. Kesian Yeop! Dah jodoh kan, nak buat macamana. Tapi harap-harap jodoh saya orang dekat-dekat je hahaha! 

9. Before Raya I asked my brother to fulfill my Raya request, which was to have pelita and lampu kelip-kelip for our house in Ipoh. No he didn't fulfilled my request, but my parents did! Terharu! One evening both of them went out to bazar Ramadhan, and after a while and dah nak dekat berbuka they were not back I got worried and called where they were. Rupanya after beli kat bazar, they found an electrical shop and went there to get lampu kelip-kelip for me! Geram je dengan Tesco, iklan tak boleh blah kata akan restock kalau barang raya habis. When we went there and asked whether they'd restock lampu kelip-kelip and pelita, the staff said, 'Lagi dua tiga hari nak Raya kak, buat apa nak restock'. Grrrrr cakap tak serupa bikin. Nasib baik our neighbor baik, tolong carikan dekat kedai runcit kat mana tah, dapat lah 10 pelita :)

10. (Sebab nak cukupkan 10 point) First time balik raya drive sendiri. And alone! Mengantuk pun kena tahan sebab takde teman borak. Mula-mula cuak je because orang cakap drive time Raya ni lain sikit, kalau nasib tak baik stuck in jam for long hours. Pastu tengok berita pasal Ops Sikap segala, sape tak cuak first time nak drive balik raya. Alhamdulillah traffic that day was not that bad, kaki pun takde lah lenguh sangat kena tekan brek. It took me 3+ hours from Seremban to Ipoh. First time la drive jauh-jauh, if you are an avid reader, you would know about me and driving. Hehe

That's a wrap!

All in all, I'm thankful that I had a great Raya this year. It was so meaningful. I got to celebrate it with my loved ones dengan sungguh meriah. Alhamdulillah.

Selamat Hari Raya!

Minta ampun dan maaf kalau ada terkasar bahasa, tersilap laku dan lain-lain.

Have a great Raya everyone! *Raya kan sebulan :P*