Monday, January 31, 2011

By The Water #4

"Count to seventeen and close your eyes," S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W by My Chemical Romance.


"Not everyday. And from a guy too," Nur walked away still concealing her smile.

She has been waiting tables here at her father's shop ever since she finished her diploma in Business Management, and that was about five or six months ago. Her father didn't think too much about her only daughter getting a degree. Her older brother already did that. She can do what a woman is supposed to do, take orders from other people, was what her father always said. She never said anything back.

The thing about Permaipura is that it's filled with everyday middle-to-upper-class people who share one philosophy in common, "all play and no work makes Jack a dumb boy". Actually, it's more like "any play at all will make you dumb, so work, work, work!" They are all work-driven and they are never satisfied with their lives, at least that's what Nur could observe. Even during weekend breakfast sessions like these, most of them would be on their phones talking about buying or selling something to somebody, usually overseas.

And their thoughts are so concentrated on achieving comfort in this life, it makes her wonder if they've made any preparations for the afterlife. After all, a lot of these people are her people, and share her religion. But whenever she gives the salam, it's very rare that anyone replies. That's what made the guy remain in her thoughts for a while. Not everyday.


My prayers go out to all the Muslims in Egypt and Tunisia. Malaysians, please be thankful for the peace that we have here. Please.

And sorry for not posting for two days in a row. Been busy. Yeah.

May peace be upon you.


Friday, January 28, 2011

By The Water #3

"I'm being chased by my imagination," The Thespian by Alesana.

Credits to

He smacked his forehead a little too hard, but he felt he deserved it. "Man, why did I turn into such a retard?" He honestly didn't know. It was just a waitress. Plain-old-nothing-too-special-waitress.

But of course, she was wearing a headscarf. It's been a while since he last saw one of those. Or maybe he's seen them, but never really cared to look. He never really looked at any girls, really. Not that he swung the other way or anything; he just didn't want to look that much. There was never really much to look at. And even if he did, what would he be hoping for? The girl to suddenly look back and come up to him and say "Let's go out?" Dream on brother.

He now raised his hand again, but thought better of smacking his head again and brought the slap down to his lap. "I knew I forgot something!" He turned his head to look into the shophouse and saw that she was serving some teh tarik to a table of guys about his age. He pursed his lips and looked back at his book and nasi lemak which he had abandoned for his thoughts. Almost forgot they were there.

He proceeded to dig into his nasi lemak while his eyes scanned the lines of the book. His eyes were on the book, his mouth was filled with rice, but he wasn't digesting any of that. He only had one thing on his mind.

The glass of warm milk finally appeared on the corner of his eye.

"Wa'alaikumsalam," he said looking up to the waitress.

A puzzled looked materialised on the girl's face.

"Sorry I didn't reply your salam earlier," he said with a smile, feeling that he needed to explain himself.

The girl half-smiled and left without another word.

He watched her walk away until a person walking by disturbed his gaze. He didn't even realise that he was looking at her. He continued to shove rice into his mouth, which was now smiling for what reason he did not know, but he liked it. Looks like he's going into class with a good mood today. And possibly, thought he, every other day too.


May peace be upon you.


Oops, I Got Carried Away

"Is it about time?," The Murderer by Alesana.

Sorry peepz. I got carried away watching Wheezy Waiter on Youtube into the wee hours of the morning until I forgot to write #3 of By The Water.

You're probably wondering, "Why not write THAT instead of THIS??" Well, I don't feel very motivated right now, and I reckon the quality that I will produce at this hour will be even lower than usual, so I decided there won't be a new episode tonight.

InsyaAllah, tomorrow night I'll post #3. For now, I'll leave you with two things I'm obsessing over at the moment. The first would be Wheezy Waiter that I mentioned above. I just can't stop watching his videos. He's definitely one of the funniest guys on Youtube. You guys should check him out.

The second thing that has got me buzzin' is a Japanese band, "Cinema Staff". Besides having an awesome band name, they play awesome music too. I've only been listening to them for slightly over 24 hours, but I'm already in love.

Big thanks to Shaheir for introducing them to me. Funny story about that too. He actually posted a video of "Cinema Staff" on a mutual friend's wall, not mine. But being the busybody that I am, I checked the video out and immediately wanted more. What? That wasn't funny? Right, it wasn't. Boo.

But seriously, you guys should check 'em out.

That's all for this post. Sorry once more, if you've been waiting (BIG IF there). May peace be upon you.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

By The Water #2

"My brush can't seem to start again from scratch," The Artist by Alesana.


"Assalamualaikum. What would you like to drink?" she asked a table in which sat 4 men in their late twenties. It was only on noisy mornings like these where she felt safe giving the salam, because her father couldn't hear her. If he did, she knew that she was in for another ear-full with a lecture about not scaring away customers with kampung-ness and what not. As much as she loved him, she didn't agree with her father on several things, salam-giving being just one.

It was another busy Saturday morning at the restaurant. Nur corrected her headscarf as she was waiting for the people at the table to make up their minds on what to drink. They were in some sort of discussion among them and Nur didn't feel like she had any right eavesdropping on whatever they were talking about.

She glanced over to her father at the counter just in time to catch a glimpse of him pocketing a RM50 note into his breast pocket. She heaved a disappointed sigh and looked down on her notepad-cum-order taking pad. Minnie Mouse smiled back at her as if without a trouble in the world. Lucky Minnie.

"4 teh tariks," the head of the table disrupted her staring contest with Mrs. Mouse herself. She quickly jot that down.

"Anything else?" she asked with a half-smile.

"That's all," and with that response, she walked away from the table, ripped that page and clipped it on the "order clothesline" at the back of the shop, where a square hole was the only channel in which drinks would go out of. She took the hot Milo and two teh tariks to the table that ordered them near the front of the shop, and noticed a new customer arriving at an uncleared table. "Where's Ara when you need her?" she said to herself while making her way down to the table.

"Assalamualaikum. What would you like to drink?" she asked with that half-smile of hers while proceeding to clear the table from all the used nasi lemak wrappers. These things sure are popular. And rightly so. There were really good, and the restaurant was lucky to have such a talented nasi lemak maker as their supplier.

She asked again, "Excuse me sir, what would you like to drink?" since no answer came after she had collected all the rubbish and put it in one spot on the opposite side of the table from where the customer was sitting.

He seemed to be snapping out of a daydream. "Err, umh, I'll have one glass of warm milk please," came the order finally.

She duly jot that down and asked "Is that all?"

He seemed to hesitate for a while, but finally answered, "That's all."

That's one awkward person, she thought as she took the rubbish in one hand and threw it into the nearby dustbin near the foot of the counter. She stole another glance at her father while managing a half-smile. Her father looked up from his newspaper and gave a look that can only be interpreted as "Why aren't you working?" and she went about her way to the back of the restaurant to place the order and find the 4 teh tariks waiting for her.


May peace be upon you.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

By The Water #1

"I hope you're ready for a firefight," Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back by My Chemical Romance.

Fresh out of college with his English Literature degree, he came to Permaipura not really knowing what to expect. He got a job offer teaching English in a tuition class in this town last week, and the pay was good enough for starters, so he decided, why not? It was either this or back to college for his Masters, and he had had enough of school.

That morning he woke up extra early, as new endeavours tend to make the mind restless, and left his rented apartment early. He knew that the tuition centre was just 8 kilometres away, and with the second-hand Kancil that his parents gave him upon graduation, he could make it there in less than ten minutes when it was off peak hours. And he was sure to avoid peak hours, which would have made it a 30-minute-or-more drive. He wanted to get this job off on a good start.

His friend had told him that there was a restaurant not far from his tuition centre, so he headed there for breakfast. "You absolutely MUST try the nasi lemak there, I tell you," that friend had said. When he arrived, he was impressed by the number of people who were already there. "It must be pretty good then, since it could wake people up this early on a Saturday", he thought as he stepped out of his car.

It was a typical Malay low-budget shop-house restaurant, with the counter at the entrance and a balding man of medium height wearing a button plaid shirt with the three top buttons undone counting some money and pocketing some as well. There were a few tables on the parking space immediately in front of the premise, and he spotted an, be it uncleared, empty table so he went ahead and sat there. He didn't feel like going inside, since it looked stuffy, what with all the people and food jammed in one place. Plus, a few packets of the "killer nasi lemak" were conveniently placed on the table, so he would just eat those.

He pushed the used newspaper/banana leaf nasi lemak wrappers to the other end of the table. As he unwrapped his nasi lemak, he looked around and didn't notice anyone going about taking orders, so he took out the textbook from which he was going to teach later. "Form 3 English, shouldn't be that hard", he reassured himself and opened the book to the place he bookmarked it. He placed the book beside his breakfast and took a spoon from the plastic cup half-filled with water and started on the "must-tries".

"Assalaamualaikum. What would you like to drink?"


This is the first episode of my first mini-project on this blog, entitled "By The Water". It's a short-story (sort of) and there will be several episodes to come, insyaAllah. The next episode will be posted tomorrow, insyaAllah, and I'll try my hardest to post a new episode everyday until the series is done.

Just in case you wanted to know, it's a romantic short story, inspired by (you'll find out in the final episode). And you're probably wondering "Anak Pak Man?? Doing romance??" then proceeding to ROFL and smack your keyboard so hard you break it (I hope [but only if you were ROFLing]).

This is just something I want to do and I think will be fun and give me less free time on my hands (I have too much free time on my hands now), so if you're not really interested in this kind of stuff, then you should probably just ignore my updates until I post something with the title "It's Done. You Can Read This One (If you want to)". I'll label this whole series "By The Water" just in case (and if you're following me, you probably know that I don't really label my posts, so yeah, this is sort of a big deal to me).

That's all for now. May peace be upon y'all.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 Pictures

"Maybe I am crazy, and my mind is trying to deceive me," The Artist by Alesana.

Sorry for being absent here for quite some time. Internet connection was disturbed when fibre-optic cables from the nearest town were stolen, and subsequently affected the Internet connection around my area.

Here are pictures of most of the things that have occupied me throughout 2010. But before that, a short speech.


It was a great year for me, a year of change (and no, Mr. Obama had nothing to do with it).

Hoping for a great 2011, insyaAllah.

Please do try to check out my Youtube channel, where I'll be posting weekly on Sundays (I hope). If you like my stuff, please Subscribe.

Don't worry, I won't neglect this blog entirely. It will be updated "from time to time". It's just that I have a brand new shiny toy, so naturally, the older toy will get less face-time. But I promise you, it will be updated with stuff that I can't (or don't want to) talk about in video-form.

Okay, it wasn't much a speech as it was an act of shameless self-promotion and "clarifications". But it had Obama in it, so close enough, ay?

The pictures are in no particular order.

Tun Mahathir the Musical.

We (some of the Institute Culture Club) were lucky enough to be able to attend and enjoy the Musical rendition of the life of a national hero (no matter who you are, you con't deny that he did some good stuff for Malaysia), the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir.

Personally, I felt that the musical touched more than it should have on the "romantic episodes" between Tun and his wife-to-be. Those scenes went on for too long for my liking, and the time that they wasted there could have gone to delving more into the history behind this great man.

Alas, it had to cater to the masses, as it was a performance for the masses, so I guess I'm a person of less mass because of my critique above. Despite my comment, I have to admit, it was indeed entertaining, and if you were there to be entertained while sprinkled with a little bit of history, then you would have been pleased. I was pleased, for the most part.

Getting to know the good people of Cohort 4.

Even though they were our seniors of 3 years, the gap was (most of the times) barely there, since they were a fun bunch of people and were very warm and friendly.

I gained a few close friends from this Cohort, and I am confident that our friendship will last even after we go our separate ways in work. That's because even though we only got to know each other for one semester, the friendships that were built were strong and won't sink anytime soon. Plus, we have Facebook to act as a medium for us to throw taunts and insults at each other.

Raya Feast 2010 at Paradise Sandy Beach Resort.

I wasn't in charge of this Raya dinner, but I had my hands full nonetheless, being the PA guy, an actor in a pantomime, as well as one of the (last minute) MCs, I barely had time to eat. Seriously. And I like eating (just in case you didn't already know).

School Experience at SK Sri Aman.

My first (official) gig being a teacher, and it lasted 2 weeks. The kids were awesome and very supportive. Some even developed crushes on me, and that was cute (no kidding). However, the kid that I got a crush on didn't care about me very much, and that broke my heart. :(

On a serious note, it really did open my eyes to the reality of the teaching scene in Malaysia (or at least at SK Sri Aman). Some of the teachers' treatment towards the children were unacceptable (to me), and the level of respect they had for the kids were minimal. It saddened me to no end watching these kids getting verbally abused and shouted at.

It made me wonder what sort of teacher I would end up being. I really didn't want to become like these teachers who don't consider the students' feelings when interacting with them, and that feeling still lingers. I hope it stays with me for the rest of my life. I wish to become the teacher who is, while firm, is also open to talking and listening to what the students have to say, what the students feel. I want respect to be mutual, and not just me demanding for theirs while I don't reciprocate and do the same to them.

I still have a long way to go, so we'll see where this road takes me.

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention my teacher-trainee partners who went to this school with me, Amala, Piravina and Chrisnarita. I am indeed grateful to have had you guys as partners. You guys helped a lot, and sorry for being late every morning for picking you up. Thanks again.

Project Indigenous to Cameron Highlands.

It was an awesome trip, being able to get a glimpse of the life of an Malaysian orang asli (aborigine) in Cameron Highlands. They treated us like royalty, but we tried our hardest to accommodate ourselves with their ways of doing things. We cooked and ate communally, we slept in their houses, we prayed at their surau, we interviewed their elders and played with their kids.

My favourite part about the trip to Kampung Kuala Boh the children there. They were by far the best bunch of kids I have ever met. All they wanted to do was play with us, ALL THE TIME. I fell for their "abang abang abang" calls for me far too easily and got tugged away from work way too often, and this was really heart-warming. I loved them, even though I no longer remember their names.

I also found out that they were really big fans of Wali Band's song "Cari Jodoh". They were all able to sing that song from start to finish, and they proved that over and over and over again throughout our stay. I have come to memorise that song as well, just because they sang it for us so many times.

Big ups to the Project Managers, Aminah and Najihah, as well as all the other committee members who played an integral part in making it all happen.

Camping at Pulau Pangkor with Cohort 3.
Now this was one of the first things I did in 2010. We got there on the 31st of December (I think) and spent new year's day there with Cohort 3. I went there one of the facilitators to Mr Sam and his team of lecturers for their Outdoor Education Programme. The other facilitators were Pak Din (Science Education), Naqib (Social Studies Education) and Akmal (Mathematics Education). The facilitators were from the same batch, i.e. first year degree students.

We had a whale of a time with the Cohort 3 folks. They were really a fun and awesome bunch of people. I could never forget the night when we stayed up and made crude jokes around a bonfire together. I also won't forget my first experience being a "safety" in repelling, being the honorary "parang holder" while jungle trekking and exchanges of "Happy New Year" with Esther, the spunky Cohort 3 girl. We still continued to greet each other as such even after we returned to the Institute, and I'm sure if we were destined to cross paths again, there would be no change in our greeting.

I had an awesome time, and Madam Malar treated us facilitators very good, taking us out for laksa and other foods. I still love her and the way she calls each of us "Abaaaang~".

I also got to bond with my fellow facilitators throughout the camp, for which I am very grateful. They were great to me, and friendships like that cannot be bought.

Assignments and presentations.
As we were in our degree years already, the learning shifted from sharpening our language skills (during the foundation course) to sharpening our teaching skills. No more were the days of merely learning language was on the agenda, since emphasis was put on being able to teach. Here, we were forced to switch modes from "carefree English student" to "professional English teacher", because if we weren't professional enough in our teaching, our grades would suffer, as mine did in one particular subject. :(

My favourite subjects of my first year are Children's Literature and Classroom Management, and it showed in my grades. Please don't misunderstand. I don't like these subjects merely because I could score in them. I genuinely loved them because:
-the lecturers that taught these subjects were awesome.
-both subjects were 100% assessed on assignments and presentations (no written exams).
-both showed how I could interact with students better.
-the lecturers were awesummmmm~

The subjects that weren't close to my heart, I won't mention. Why they were not close to my heart, please find the opposites of the above reasons I gave.

Ultimately, I am now faced with a humongous task of pulling up my pointers to where they should be, because right now, they are waaaaaaaay below par. And I can't stress the "way" enough here. Wish me luck. I'll need it.

Trip to Jerejak Island.
You may watch the video I made of this trip by clicking here. It was truly an awesome trip. Loads of fun. I recommend it to anybody looking for a change from going to Queesbay Mall. It's a healthy and much more fun alternative. And seriously, you haven't been to Penang until you try it, even if you're studying in Penang.

I took that opportunity to record my first video since it was an interesting enough programme, and I wanted to see if I had it in me to make a video. But I realised that when you make a video, you don't really get to be in the video much. Heck, in this Jerejak video, I'm not in it at all. So those glamour-chasers shouldn't take up video-making. (What Youtube channel? What IniAnwarHadi?)

First Time Donating Blood.
It was a good experience, but as you can find out by clicking here, it didn't go all too well for me. I'm definitely going to donate again in the near future. Just want to find that opportunity to present itself.

Selling Burnt Catfish at the Institute Ramadhan Bazaar.

Okay, they weren't burnt. From the feedback we got, they were pretty good. Not bad for first time catfish mongers. We sold 20 of the 20 fish we had to offer, and there were still demands for more. However, it was one-day-only event, and we had to close shop. Now that I think of it, we still haven't done anything with the money. Bagan! Mana duit tu?!


Obviously, a lot more went on in 2010, but these are the only pictures I've got. I need to go and scavenge pictures of the other activities I did in 2010.

So with this 2010 comes to a close. What will 2011 have in store for us? We'll just have to wait and find out.

I pray you all the best, and take care.