Saturday, April 23, 2011

Can We Trust?

"A smile could change a life," Healing by Sami Yusuf.

A conversation with Puan S after lunch at her house somewhere in Sydney, Australia inspired this post.

A pretty obvious thing about Australia and Australians in Sydney is that people here have very high levels of trust. Not only do they trust their friends (because you're supposed to be able to trust your friends), they trust their customers and even complete strangers.

Again, let's look at the obvious first. Most of their houses don't have actual fences around their property. Even those that do have fences make it just way too easy for any burglar to climb over them. So they are obviously not worried about any burglar-ing going on. Even their doors and windows aren't fitted with any grilles. Compare this to the houses in our country. Different, no?

Now on to my experiences. At a local park (there are a lot of parks here in Sydney), friends come to have a game of soccer. They leave everything on the park bench and go play. No need for a friend to stay back and look after their bags. Phones can even be left on the park benches for all to see, but at the end of the game, they'll still be there. Now I ask you, how often does that happen in Malaysia?

How about their customers? Here are two examples. One of the buttons on one of my friends' (Afifi) phone was defective. He did not do anything to cause this (at least, not that he knew of). It just didn't work, for some reason. At this point, he had had this phone for about one and a half months. And it was an i-phone. So he took the phone to the local Apple Centre in hopes of it getting fixed. When he showed the phone to one of the staff members there, the phone was replaced with a new one right away, no questions asked, no fee paid. Needless to say, he left the store all smiles.

Second example, given by Puan S. Her daughter's phone (Blackberry, if I'm not mistaken) fell out of her pocket while at the beach. The phone fell into the water. So they brought the phone to the local centre and explained what had happened. The phone was replaced with a new one, free of charge.

Can I get a "wow" for both of the situations above? Imagine them happening in Malaysia. Imagine.

We're an Islamic country. This is a Westernized country. Why does it seem the other way round in this aspect?

I refrain from condemning the situation in our country. I just need you, the readers, to stop and think for a while. Is this the situation in our country? If not, then can this be the situation in our country?

Happy thinking! May peace be upon you.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Scouting Canberra

"Give me truth to my conviction," There's No Solution by Sum 41.

Mission: Scout the capital city of Australia, Canberra and report back to home base.

So the team, cleverly disguised as 60 international university students on a visit-while-learn trip to the country's capital city, embarked on the journey at 0700 hours. The two buses that they used further strengthened their facade.

The trip from "their university" took 3-and-a-half hours. Most of the that time was spent by the team to meditate on the mission at hand.

Those who took some time to rest from their meditations took the opportunity to observe the landscape and terrain of the land throughout the journey.

The agents noticed that the land was bare with very few natural resources. Not knowing if this was positive or negative, they kept their feelings about this situation to themselves.

Their first stop in Canberra was the National Museum of Australia. The objective of visiting this particular location was to carry out an extensive research on the history and legacy of the people of the country and to dig up any information about any weaknesses they had that would be useful in future missions.

We had to work very hard in acting like tourists.

The data collected are as follows (click on the pictures to enlarge):

They have a laughing floor on which they like to roll on, and which acts as a leader to them
Their surveillance system is far more advanced than ours. They have satellite dishes and everything.
They came up with the Pokemon character, Sharpedo:

They recruit lizards instead of eating them.

Their Toyotas are very much still primitive and look like they contribute a lot to the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

They are gravely ignorant about their fauna. Take the platypus above for example. They seem to think that it lays eggs.

.End of museum data.

The agents then proceeded to scout the Australian House of Parliament, the most key of venues in the whole country. They show their lack of concern towards the safety of their leaders by allowing "tourists" like us to go in and out of the building as we please.

The scene outside the house.

I had to do my share of being a "tourist".

The House of Parliament data is as follows:

A picture of the House of Representatives in a sitting. We went on a non-sitting day. Unfortunately.

We sat, however. The seats were comfortable enough.

A big golden stick. Probably their main weapon against assassins. *giggles
Portraits of past speakers. Our mission was made easier.

Pinkish area. Apparently the Senate area too.

.End of Parliament data.

We left Canberra with a lot of useful data that will be sent to home base. May they be pleased with the data that we have collected.


This post was meant to be funny. Please laugh.

Love from Australia,

May peace be upon you.