Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shopping phrases

During the recent shopping trip to Swindon and London, several phrases were uttered quite frequently that they became sort of private jokes. On such phrase is, "shopping macam tak ingat akhirat."

That phrase is targeted to both the shoppers that I saw, and most important to myself. I saw people in droves 'taking advantage' of the sales to rack up armfuls of shopping items. As for myself, at the end of the Swindon trip, I realised that I've met about 60% of my target expenditure. The thing was, I made a list of items to buy, but I bought things that are NOT in the list. I hope none of the items that I bought are wasteful. Some of them are for folks at home. Some are for health improvements. And I'll admit that some of them are for ego boosts (like the Gucci EDT from Harrods). See, I did a name dropping just to boost my ego. *evil grin*

One thing that I finaly managed to buy was a pair of leather shoes from Clarks. I've been looking at Mansfield, Loughborough, Swindon, Chester, and so on for a pair that suits me. Finally I found one at Oxford Street. The pair feels comfortable, not too snug at its widest opening. The styling does not meet my expectation 100%, but it was a trade off that I was willing to make. Silently, I said - another shopping phrase - to myself, "ambik je lah".

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day surprise

The birth of Jesus is described in the Qur'an. His birth is supposed to strengthen our faith in Allah, the Creator. He can make a woman pregnant without ever being touched by a man. And He made a newborn baby talk in defence of his mother. He is indeed All Powerful. Everything that happens happen by His will.

On this Christmas day, I got my own surprise. And I hope the surprise strengthened my dependence on Him. Without Him, I would never be able to see your face again. I was surprised to the point of not being able to create any plan to maximise the opportunity He had given to me. Looking at your face - smiling, and healthy - was more than I could have hoped for on this day. I showed you the train and the books that I'll bring home and give you.

Hopefully, there will be more times like this when we can see face to face. I pray for un giorno por noi. My dear, I love you. Ku ingin selalu di sampingmu.

Weekend in Birmingham

Instead of wallowing in negative feelings, I chose to be happy. I decided to be happy in Birmingham. Alhamdulillah, Zul was free at that time, and was willing to take me onboard. I drove to Birm on Friday evening.

I arrived in Birm after 4pm. I went to the Bullring to find something for the Zul's friend's newborn baby. I found a Jasper Conran jumper suit on sale. On the way to Zul's flat, I was stuck in a traffic jam. The journey that was supposed to take 5 minutes took more than 20 minutes. However, I managed to make it on time for the trip to Worcester.

In Worcester, Sam treated us to dinner before we get to see his little princess. The battered prawn was excellent. It was a good thing that I've started eating prawn again. So far, there's no negative effects from the prawns. Later, we met Marissa Zahra who was sleeping soundly.

There's nothing quite a stress-buster as looking at a baby's face. You just can melt into their face. So peaceful. So innocent.

On the way back, Ivan, Zul's flatmate, suggested live singing in lieu of the songs on CD. I've been itching to 'punish' my vocal cords, so I was not hesitant to belt out a few Malay songs. In turn, we were treated to some Slovakian folk songs. Ivan's voice is great. I wish he would sing a song in full.

The next day, we went to Bicester Village Designer Outlet. I was surprised to see Dunhil, JImmy Choo and FCUK in the Village. I've never seen them in other Designer Outlet that I've been to. And the Village itself was very nice. Alas, the items on 'sale' were not within my budget. The closest that I came to buying was a Fcuk belt, on sale for GBP13. So, I left the village without buying a single thing.

On the way back, we stopped at Warwick. We visited an old house, and I got to try on a soldier's jacket. Then we went around Warwick Castle. During sumer time, insyaAllah I will visit this castle again.

On Sunday, the activity was markedly different. Zul wanted to check out Clent Hill that was suggested to him by his gym instructor. I was wearing my Bata work shoes. But it did not deter me from joining him hiking up the hill. It was very nice. The weather was just nice for hiking. Sometimes we were chatting away. Sometimes we went quiet, enjoying the silence. All in all, it summed up to me being content. And that's what's important.

Implicit facts about Superman

The man from Krypton is well known on Earth. But there are some facts that are hidden from public awareness. Here are some examples.

1) Either his hair stop growing, or he can control the length of his hair at will. Because no worldly materials can harm him, there is no way that he can get a hair cut at the local barber.

2) He never had immunisation when he was growing up. If bullets can't pierce through his skin, what can a needle do?

3) For the same reason as above, he is not circumsized.

Favorite music

The Moldau - Smetana

This is one of my favorite classical music. It was described as a 'poetic' composition. Perhaps that's why I like it so much. The build up towards the crescendo just tugs at my heart. Kalau dapat dengar live performance sure best.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kereta oh kereta

Bulan ni, banyak jugak duit yang mengalir disebabkan kereta. Kereta yang melebihi umur 3 tahun wajib ujian MOT (macam Puspakom) setiap tahun. Sekali ujian kena GBP53. Result: GAGAL. Hampeh. Ada part yang perlu diganti sebab dah haus. Kalau setakat pat lima pound tu ok la. Ni satu part je dah 90 pound. Nak (amaran: literal translation) menggosok garam ke luka, upah pasang lebih mahal dari harga parts. Hampeh kuasa dua.

Nak dijadikan cerita, untuk pasang parts tu, tayar perlu ditanggalkan. Mekanik tu tak boleh nak tanggal tayar, sebab berkunci. Tak pernah tau la pulak tayar pun ada kunci. Rupa2nya, salah satu nut bagi setiap tayar adalah nut kunci. Kena ada anak kuncinya. Which I don't have.  So, kena pergi BMW Specialist. Charge utk bukak 4 nuts: GBP70. Hampeh kuasa tiga. Boleh anemik jadinya bila kena charges cekik darah macam ni. Nasib baik la dah reserve duit untuk hal2 berkaitan kereta.

So, moral of the story: reserve la duit banyak2 kalau nak berBMW.  


1. Do you think you are hot?

No. Suam-suam kuku je. Handsome, but not hot.

2. Upload a favorite picture of you:

3. Why do you like that picture?

Because it actually shows me expressing some emotions. Some people told me that I don't show emotions enough. Emosi kerut dahi je yg selalu nampak. So, that's why I like this picture: me with the glow of hope.


4. When was the last time you ate pizza?


About two months ago. I ordered two pizza (buy 1, get 1 free) from Dominics. It took me about three days to finish them.

5. The song you listened to?

I Know How the River Feels – Diamond Rio.

6. What are you doing right now besides this?

Emailing people regarding my ethics application for my PhD project.

7. What other names do you prefer besides this?
Pak Alang. Sir Hales (for playing computer games) - try to pronouce this name with a Chinese accent.

Now I would like to tag new victims to do it

 1. Puan Telipuk
2. Pn Janji Si Muda Lela
3. Cik Mastikus Behind the Yellow Line
4. En Naohito
5. Pn Aida Quswa

8. Who is number 1?
Someone who once wrote that I looked like a Panglima Harimau Berantai. We met during Program Titian Emas when we were in secondary school. When we entered university - she was at UUM, I was in Canada - we lost contact. (yea la... dedulu mana ada email) I think, this year she discovered my, blog; then I hers. Since then we have keep in touch through each other’s blog. She writes beautifully as well. When she has her nostalgic moments, terserlah kemelayuannya. 

9. Who is number 3 having a relationship with?
Dunno. I don’t know who her kunci is. But I know she has her own band. She had written one song, and lyrics for two songs.

10. Say something about number 5.

She is my cousin on my father’s side. A graduate of UUM. She has her own blog, with pictures of food that make me hungry. Her husband also has a Nikon D80 like me. She has two lovely kids. 

11. What about number 4?

He is my friend, working in KL. He graduated from Japan. He is a very busy person. His blog has been bersawang for quite some time now. Hehehe… that’s why I tagged him; so that he has something to update his blog.

12. Who is number 2?

She is my cousin, also from my father’s side. (I don’t know any cousin from my mother’s side who has a blog). She’s a gifted writer, a winner of several literature awards, and not afraid of being different. She’s inflicting a Permanent Head Damage to herself. Mari kita lihat… siapa yang 'damaged' dulu. Hehehe.

search suggested

Google is successful in part due to its ability to help users find what they are looking for. If a search term used by the user does not produce good results, Google offers alternative. However, this 'intelligence' is not as successfully replicated by others. For example, on a music-hosting site, yesterday, I tried to search for the song Penghujung Rindu by Jamal Abdillah. It did not returned any result. And the search engine asked me if I had meant Penguins Hindu instead. Fenin!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Sempena hari lahir orang yang tag saya, saya sudi panjangkan tag ini. Happy Birthday Sha.

1.         Bekas kekasih saya bukanlah seorang yang ternama, terbilang, mahupun gemilang. Menyanyi lagu Gemilang pun dia tak pandai.

2.         Saya sedang mendengar bunyi printer sedang mencetak sesuatu. Mungkin Gina, rakan sepejabat, punya kerja.

3.         Mungkin saya patut balik ke rumah dan sambung kerja mengemas rumah daripada terus mengejar orang NHS dalam urusan etika penyelidikan. Penatnya disepak ke sana sini. Sudahnya, back to square one.

4.         Saya suka belajar, sebab itulah saya sedang buat PhD. InsyaAllah, akan disiapkan sepenuhnya menjelang September 2010. Amin.

5.         Sahabat baik saya bukanlah bekas kekasih saya.

6.         Saya tak faham mengapa sahabat baik saya bukanlah bekas kekasih saya. Bukankah Aishah pernah berkata, jadilah kau sahabatku, kekasih dan teman?

7.         Saya kehilangan kesabaran di pagi Rabu yang mulia ini. Semuanya gara-gara diperkotak-katik oleh orang yang mengelak-elak daripada membuat kerja. Dah berkali-kali dihubungi. Tinggalkan mesej di voice mail, sms, dan email. Hujung-hujung, respon dia seolah-olah kita yang tak buat kerja dan tak berusaha menghubungi dia. Rasa nak melompat-lompat sambil tarik-tarik rambut sendiri.

8.         Ramai yang berkata, masa itu emas. Tapi, tak ramai yang memperjelaskan, emas itu jenis 24K, 18K, atau 9K. Tak pentingkah nilai K bagi emas itu?

9.         Makna nama saya...ialah penjaga dan pembajak. Saya tidak pernah bercita-cita menjadi jaga bank. Tapi saya memang suka berkebun. Yang paling saya suka ialah membuat literature review, satu aktiviti yang boleh diibaratkan sebagai ‘membajak’ dalam konteks menyuburkan ilmu.

10.       Cinta itu ada di situ. Tapi saya tak tahu di manakah sebenarnya tempat itu.

11.       Disuatu tempat bernama...Loughborough, saya ‘membajak’ dan ingin menuai hasilnya dalam masa dua tahun lagi.

12.       Saya akan cuba...sedaya upaya untuk selesaikan kerja-kerja berkaitan PhD sebelum cuti Krismas bermula 24hb ini.

13.       Makna "selamanya" tidak akan ditemui dalam kamus bahasa Arab, hindi, Parsi, Tagalog, dan sebagainya. Makna ‘selamanya’ hanya boleh ditemui dalam kamus Bahasa Melayu, atau kamus yang seperti kamus dwi-bahasa BM-BI.

14.       Handphone saya dah mula buat perangai. Joystick yang diguna untuk navigation dah mula tersekat-sekat, liat, dan membuat saya meluat. Tukau dgn handphone baru karang baru tau.

15.       Saya paling meluat dengan orang yang bermuka-muka untuk memfofulerkan dirinya sendiri. Very de sinister.

16.       Bila saya bangun dari tidur saya terfikir yang saya perlu bekerja. Sebab itu saya suka bila bangun dari tidur pada hari Sabtu dan Ahad, sebab itu hari cuti saya.  

17.       Party adalah satu perhimpunan yang menyeronokkan. Lebih seronok kalau ada elemen seni dalam perhimpunan itu. Bukankan ‘art’ berada ditengah-tengah ‘party’?

18.       Haiwan yang paling cute adalah arnab. Tapi Bugs Bunny tak cute. He’s annoying, and bugging people.

19.       Peringkat umur yang paling menyeronokkan adalah sekarang.

20.       Hari ini saya rasa sangat tension disebabkan perkara yang telah disebut di perkara 3 dan 7.

21.       Malam ini saya akan cuba membersih dan mengemaskan rumah, termasuklah kerja menggunakan penyedut hampagas, mengelap, basuh baju, dan sebagainya. Saya juga nak habiskan pasta goring yang saya masak pagi tadi. Kalau ada masa, saya nak masak kuah laksa – versi Lboro.

22.       Saya betul2 inginkan bulan saya jatuh ke riba.   

23.       Bila tengok muka kat cermin pagi tadi, saya rasa saya ni hensem. Rambut saya makin tebal. Saya kena jumpa tukang gunting rambut. Tapi saya tetap hensem.  

24.       Shopping kompleks tak wujud di Loughborough. Yang ada adalah kedai-kedai yang simple. Boleh habis pusing dalam 30 minit. Tak kompleks langsung. Mega-plex jauh sekali.

25.       Makanan segera biasanya segera jemu dimakan. Macam lagu-lagu KRU. Oooopss.

26.       Ayat2 terakhir pada orang yang sengaja cari gaduh dengan saya ialah “Ya, betul tu. Apa yang awak cakap semuanya betul.”

27.       Nak panjangkan tag ini? Ya. Silakan Puan Telipuk, Puan Janji Si Muda Lela dan Cik Mastikus.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Know How The River Feels

Tak sangka boleh terminat dengan lagu country pulak. Kalau setakat Shania Twain dan Lee Ann Rhymes tu, dah biasa. Tapi, tetiba terminat, terkasima, dan teringin nak buat entry pasal lagu ni. 

Tajuknya saja membayangkan puitisnya lagu ni. Sekali baca, tak tertangkap maksudnya. Sungai ada perasaan ke? Bagaimana manusia boleh berempati dengan sungai?

Aku sendiri ada dua tafsiran peribadi.

Tafsiran pertama: seperti yang dikisahkan dalam lagu ini, pencarian tempat persinggahan dan perteduhan berlaku tanpa dipaksa, dan tiada paksaan untuk berhenti. Memang indah jika akhirnya sampai ke muara kasih. Tapi, dah terasa penat. Cukuplah. Cukup dengan apa yang ada sekarang. Tak perlu dicari-cari. Ia ada, hanya menanti untuk dideriai. Jika menanti ia hadir dalam pakej seorang insan, mungkin jadi penantian hampa. 

Tafsiran kedua: I think I know what my life calling is. That's why I'm willing to sacrifice a great deal of my life back in Malaysia to pursue a PhD in the UK. I imagine myself in September 2010. Graduating. Being addressed as Dr Harris. The I'll know how the river feels. That's where I belong. I'm destinied to be a Dr. These works I'm doing now are like the flow of the river. I'm accumulating lots of knowledge and experience along the way. And when the moment comes, the river will join the sea. I will join the wider, more turbulant, and richer scholarly word. Then I'll know how the river feels.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Un Giorno Por Noi - satu terjemahan

Hari untuk kita, masanya akan tiba
cinta akan bebas, tiada batas
mimpi yang dinafi akan bersemi
raikan cinta yang kini tersimpan

Hari untuk kita, untuk rasa hidup
hidup sepenuhnya, untuk kau dan aku
hari untuk kita, untuk rasa hidup
hidup sepenuhnya, untuk kau dan aku

Cinta ini akan rebahkan
segala rintangan dan ombak
dan akan ada untuk kita di dunia
detik menjulang juaranya cinta
detik menjulang juaranya cinta

Dedikasi untuk orang Diamond Bay.

Pantun di Malam Yang Panjang

Di tepi kolam menunggu dinda,
kolam bina bersegi-segi,
bukankah malam masih muda,
mengapa gusar mengintai pagi

Pulut tanak diletak ragi,
tiga hari timbul masam,
mengapa tidak mengintai pagi,
rasa siksa dibelit malam

Bunga-bunga dekat di taman,
hutan jauh diidamkan,
bintang ada jadi peneman,
mata ingin menatap bulan

Ke hutan mencari jati,
jangan pula berburu rusa,
di bulan tesimpan hati,
bintang tiada menerbit rasa

Breaking the Premack

Okay. That's it. I want to break what I've promised myself. The ethics application is taking longer than I expected. Since making that promise, I've done quite a lot of work, including leg-works. I feel I've done enough to reward myself. So, I'll be updating this blog.

Furthermore, it seems that the more actual work I'm doing, the more time I have for blogs, facebook, and so on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blobs of lights

Blobs of lights
Originally uploaded by pak alang

The lights are bright, but not sharp. trying to find a bubble of light, to hang above my bed, and wait for the bubble to burst, sprinkling me with light dusts.