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QUESARAH

Desktop Confessional

Essential living, and laziness.

Sunday, February 27, 2005
4:03 PM

So lazy.

Too lazy to wash the stinking pile of crap that sits upon my head that I call 'hair'.

Try to place self in shoes of the people on Survivor who would crawl through mud to get their filthy hands on a bottle of shampoo.

Too lazy to open Islamic Civilization textbook.

Try to tell self that there are only 4 chapters left to go .. sooooooo cloooooose to the end sarahhhh.. hang onn..

Too lazy to go grocery shopping.

Try to convince self that will be home all next week and will need brain food, fat food, comfort food, good-for-you food to continue on studying and sustaining.

++
Now back to your normal way of blogging.

Exam season hath begun! My heart trembles at the mere thought, and I find myself with abilities to predict the near future. I see myself hunched over notes, delirious with lack of sleep and muttering little points to myself while the clock strikes 4 AM. It's the best, most accurate prediction I've made and I feel it in my bones that it'll be true.

Your procrastinating ways will have to be punished!

Karma is a bitch, it really is.

Already I find myself not thinking about the upcoming papers but insted, on what I would be doing after Hell (ie exam week). I have a long ass break, think mid March to as late as July (college is undecided whether it should be June or July). So I'm thinking that I should get a job, earn some of my own money, start my own savings account and at the end of the break, go somewhere where I can make full use of my hard work.

My dad FINALLY sent the Volvo, which has been sitting on the porch for MONTHS now, to be serviced. What this all really means is that there'll be a car for me!!

And my brother, admittedly. But yay- it feels great to be able to fight with my brother over a car that sits on your porch, ready to be driven, than to yearn for a car that your parents' have taken to work and you can't even beg for it because bringing in income to the household is far more important than frivolous lunch and dinner dates with friends.

What about the haze eh, KL-ites? I woke up for extra classes yesterday and wondered, "WHY THE HELL IS IT SO GREY?" I thought it was a particularly overzealous session of fogging. Dengue cases on the rise, after all. But it rained like it was back in the days of Noah and his ark early this morning (3AM). I should know; I was up, still reading Islamic Civilization and getting terribly afraid of the lightning.

So the haze has cleared, but the weather still remains intent to kill you slowly with sunstroke.

The tool for essential living in this heatwave:

The 2nd Month.

Friday, February 25, 2005
1:55 AM



Old skool billboard on Jalan TAR, KL


It's ironic. February, despite being the shortest month in a year, always feels like the longest. I've done enough in this one month to last for March and April and OMG it isn't even over yet.

I feel it has to do with so many people leaving and coming back into my life. My own little saloon door, like in the Wild West. Swing, appearances. Swing, departures. With all the coming and going, my social circle dwindles and rises dramatically. Currently, friend count is quite low, and MSN becomes very popular all over again as that's the easiest way to talk to people who have swung their way out of my life (temporarily).

February also marks the end of my first semester in Degree. Ah sweetness, I am overjoyed for it to be over. NO MORE ACCOUNTING! NO MORE ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION! It has been 3 months of struggling and fighting off boredom with the two mentioned subjects, and I cannot wait to get rid of them, quick. I actually have to go to college on SATURDAY for EXTRA CLASSES on Islamic Civilization. That's just cruel and unusual punishment. But no matter, there are great plans made for a gastronomic chicken rice lunch at that famous place on Jalan Gasing later. MMMMMMMMMMgood.

Last week, my friend Mei and I went all over KL pretending to be tourists. We had our cameras slung across our shoulders and even brought along backpacks. We started off in Jalan TAR, in the blazing heat; walked around whilst talking and observing little oddities that struck us. It was a great way to pass time- just being a stranger in your own place. At the Maharajalela monorail, someone even offered us a map of KL because of our great performance as er, jakuns. I've always been the one to slow down a group with my tendency to whip out a camera at all times, so to have Mei also doing that (and supporting it) was really just a great change.

I got sunburned by the end of it all, but it was worrrrth it. Useless fact: I can't tan. Ever. I just burn, peel. Remain the same skin tone. It sucks. I WANT TO TAN!! :(

Tomorrow is Hawaiian Day at the college. Am contemplating taking digicam to take pictures of all the pretty Mass Commers all Maui-ed up.

END.

Endnotes: Tis a late announcement but WOAH, Jimmy Eat World's Futures album is very good. Download 23 and Work in particular.

Revival.

Monday, February 14, 2005
4:53 AM



I have this money plant, that sits on my dresser next to my decade old stereo. It's been with me since I moved into my room, and can be considered the most successful of plants ever lived in the Chan household; second only to our grass (or rather, lalang). Every other potted plant has lived shortly, and slowly browned and died. But no, not Sarah's Money Plant.

As I lay there- tossing, turning and cursing the Chinese tea I had for dinner- I noticed that it had begun to wilt, due to me ignoring it whilst I was in Seremban for the festivities, and possibly because it's been inhumanely hot these past days. As I filled up a bottle of water and forced watered it into the plant, I knew that tomorrow it would be okay; its leaves would be refreshed (as they say in Bio, 'segah') and all would be green.

Thought: Wouldn't it be fantastic if all people needed to revive their lives was a bit of water? Disconnected friendships, dying romances, dysfunctional anything .. renewed, recharged, reborn. If only we were more biologically simple and organic, eh?

Just for the record, today's weather is highly insomniac, with bouts of contemplation, intertwined with contentment.

Also, I ripped that style off Chuck Palahniuk. Read his book, Diary and it was a mindtrip. I probably need to get some sleep as I need to look nice later on for my Valentines. It is, after all, as Nadiah (or was it her friend) would say- Singles' Awareness Day (SAD). ;)

Visuali.

Saturday, February 05, 2005
10:20 PM

Friday started out so badly. Even in the wee hours of the AM, it was already so bad. All the frustration because of what? Bloody Accounts. I cannot believe I am forced to take that subject. Was still struggling to finish and comprehend Chapter 10 before calling it quits at 4 AM, knowing that I would only get 2 hours of sleep since I'm scheduled to be awake at 6.30 AM. Alarm rang, and was shut off .. and I slept until 7.36 AM. And panicked like a sheep seperated from its herd because the exam was supposed to be 8 AM. So- skipped a shower, skipped breakfast, skipped wearing any normal clothes and came to college looking like a shipwreck.



No doubt I was late (like 20 minutes) for the exam, but traffic was so bad that day that only half the class was there on time. The other half trailed in a few minutes after me, and meesh and Matty (poor things) was an hour late. UGH AND THE EXAM WAS THE MOST HORRIBLE THING I'VE SAT FOR! I'm traumatized- Add Maths was better. ADD MATHS! BETTER! Imagine.

Felt better later though, as had very fun day with Krystle and very effective session of retail therapy. Whee!

Anyway. Think I will skip writing and post some misc. pictures up.



Was always facsinated by the architecture at KLIA. I think they did a pretty good job; it's all very pleasing to the eye. Of course, I'm speaking from an amateur's point of view so .. can't really give any solid reasons for liking it. Most seasoned travelers hate airports, but for someone who doesn't travel much, it's all very interesting. Me and Matty, who were the least travelled in the group, were bust gawking at everything and got confused with the whole process of putting your passport in the cradle then scanning your thumb. Needless to say, we caused undue embarassment to the rest. Heh heh.



Taken from the bus, on the highway from the HK airport. Moving traffic, quite difficult to get a decent shot but I liked this picture for some reason.



I'd like to caption this one, Holding Out for a Hero. *nudges Regina* Inside joke. I don't really know why she's holding an orb; perhaps it's some sort of lamp. If it was indeed a lamp- my god it's probably the most extravagant lamp I know. I looks like it belongs in an Olympic campaign.



I got bored sitting in the hotel pub, drinking their yucky house beer. I never liked beer in the first place, I just took it cause it was complimentary. So I sipped like a quarter of it, and gave the rest to Regina. It was much more fun taking pictures of their fairy lights than drinking the damned beer. :D

I have a different perception of what's fun, admittedly. :S

Am tired even though its so early. Bumming is such a hard job.

Photolog>> A Hong Kong State of Mind.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005
6:26 PM

2 days after coming home to my 'tanah tumpah darahku', and I'm still in a state of sleepinees, yawning and stretching whenever I can get away with it. As you can probably guessed, I didn't get to sleep much when I was in HK. Why sleep when there's a whole new world out there, my mind reasoned. Plus, winter days and nights seem to drag on longer than usual, so when I was pooped at 9 PM, I couldn't possibly let myself go to bed when there's soooo much to explore. So here I am, back home in Malaysia, perpetually sleepy and having an exam tomorrow!

But Hong Kong was wonderful! I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, from the eating, to the walking, to the shopping. All activities very pleasant of course. Food there is so so fantastic, Malaysian-Cantonese fare can't really compare. Walking is an activity of leisure not of great sweating and grunting, because the weather averaged around 17-20ยบ C. Walk one mile? No problem! Shopping is dirt cheap there (think 2 bags for RM40) and variety is the key word. On the same street, you can get budget buys and things from Nine West, Prada, and the likes. Woah. My shopaholic self was spinning in delirium.

So it was a great, eye-opening 4 days and it's hard to sum it up with pictures and words alone. But I'll try so here's a summary of the four days, and there will be an amount of pictures to follow so you have been warned, dial-uppers!

Day One (27/1/2005)

Left for KLIA right after class ended. The college sent a van to pick us up, and the driver was fanatical. It was the shortest ride to the airport I had ever got on. I think we got there in about 30 mins? There we were having a conversation, and making fun of Matty when we look out the window and KLIA was looming above us.

The flight was good, I reckon. I was sitting there watching Garden State, with a perfectly mixed Screwdriver in my hand, and they served us Haegan Daz ice-cream for dessert. AHH, this is the life.



Fastforward all that- we finally reached HK, got on the bus to our hotel in Kowloon. At first it was just highway highway highway, where the heck was Hong Kong?

And then.. from a far distance... we saw.. lights! Just blindings neon lights, illuminating from a distance. Like some sort of beacon, welcome to HK sign. Me and meesh were giddy with excitement! We've arrived!



I practically pressed my nose against the bus window, taking in the sights and the people. It was 12 AM, and there were thousands of people milling around the streets, and all stores were still open. What is this, I wondered, don't they have to work? Nevermind. I was dying to get to the hotel, change and have some sort of supper because was starving.

Our hotel was the last stop, and we were in a place described in our guidebook as "the cancer of Kowloon". It became a running joke throughout the whole trip. Basically, we were situated in a place where there triads ruled, and there were unlicensed sweatshops (which we didn't see, naturally) hidden in places.

Thankfully though, our hotel was niceeee. Me and meesh stayed in, what we called, the "Sex Room", because it looked like it came out of a porn movie.




There was PPV porn on TV, but it HK$90 per movie so we contented ourselves with watching the free previews. Heh heh. Went out for supper at a stall around the corner, and had some wantons the size of a small ball, stuffed with 3-5 prawns. Fanfuckingtastic. Couldn't sleep because was so excited, and because meesh horded the sheets and snored. :D

Day 2 (28/1/2005)

Hurrah, a whole day to ourselves! Took a cab with an intention of going somewhere, but had no idea where to go. Our cabbie spoke great English (and cursed well in Japanese), and gave us a few places we should go. He suggested Nathan Road for shopping, and Canton Road for our brunch. Had no idea where these places were, but okay!

meesh asked him about clubs in HK.
Cabbie: Lots of clubs in HK, but what type do you like.. like heroin or cocaine?
Us at the back: *horror stricken*
Dr Irene (lecturer): I'm not listening to this! *puts hands to ears, for real*
meesh: No no no- just alcohol and music! Alcohol and music!

Hmm. So it seemed like our cabbie has great knowledge of HK's underbelly.

Lunch was various type of balls (mine was some "burst ball" thing) in soup with noodles and it was very, very good. Regina, person who has a bottomless stomach (Penangite la!), actually proclaimed, "I'm stuffed" after her meal of chee cheong fun with prawns.



Canton Road, lots of people all the time. High end brands are common here.


Following Regina, appointed navigator because she's the only one who understands maps, we made our way to Nathan Road, aka as the Golden Mile. It's a looong stretch of road with various sorts of businesses on both sides. You can get almost everything you want here. Restaurants, mosques, clothing stores, souvenir shops, etc. The 3 of us (Regina, meesh and I.. Matty and Dr I went their seperate ways) were mostly around the area near the Chungking Mansions because all the budget stuff were there. And things were CHEAP. We went into the the inner stores, where hawkers ranged from Chinese, to Indians, to Africans were all setting up their businesses. It was great. Malay came in handy during haggling wars, hehheh.


Chungking Mansions, I don't know why they're called mansions. But they're these rundown blocks which house a lot of foreign citizens (mostly Indians).


Bamboo scaffolding!


After much shopping, we headed to the Hong Kong Cultural Center which has a nice view of HK Island's skyline. Unfortunately it was foggy, so the view wasn't as fantastic.



The one thing I regretted not doing: getting on the Star Ferry to HK Island

This is where many TVB serials are shot with estranged lovers breaking up, or getting back together overlooking the skyline. :p


How do your flowers grow?


We took a cab back home since we were so tired with the walking. We left at 10.30 AM, and after ALLLLLLLL that activity- it was only 4 blinking PM! Yay to long winter days! That only means more time to walk around later.

Had an early dinner around the area where the hotel was located. Seafood + rice + other dishes = damn full. Walked around, exploring the area before we went back to the hotel for our complimentary drinks.


A typical store in Kowloon


Everyone was tired at 9.15 PM, but me and meesh decided to go downtown and walk around just for the fun of it. Succesfully managed to take one of them double decker buses (and sat on top!), and also met this HK guy named George who so nicely walked us to this pub meesh wanted to go to. We asked him why there's so much activity even at 12 AM, and he just said, "that's early for Hong Kong people!"

Was slighty buzzing after my magarita, and suddenly found the idea of paying HK$20 for a bowl of nuts to be a matter of great amusement instead of great waste. We laughed over a deformed nut which I dared meesh to eat and it turned out to be a raisin, to which we laughed (yet again! Will the madness ever stop!) and pitied the damn thing for being called deformed.

Walked around more, had fishballs on a stick and took a cab home. Great night.


Day 3 (29/1/2005)

Can't remember much of this day as it was Conference day. Was scared shitless so forgot to take pictures of us wandering around the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Felt a little out of place, with all the professors and intellectuals milling around talking about their research. And our topic of conversation? The wonders of a third arm transplant that'll make holding cups and plates easier. Ohgodwearesoscrewed.

Surprisingly, our presentation went great and the audience was very intrigued with our ideas. They told our lecturer that we were "so bright" and "so good" and that she "must be proud of them" .. we were all greatly amused. If only they could see us in our spare time, talking about a deformed nut.

Went out again at night, for more shopping. Got off the bus too soon and had to walk a blinking mile to reach the shops we wanted. FINALLY understood the significance of "THE GOLDEN MILE." Bloody hell!


meesh and Regina at the bus, posing for my picture.


All the time we were in HK, we used the term "orang bertiga" to talk about the triads for fear that some member would undertand us and proceed to chop us into little pieces. Esp around our hotel area! It's really scary because there are some people who are SO OBVIOUSLY triad members! I was waiting in line at 7-11, when this buff guy in a ponytail walks in and the cashier goes, "Weng kor!" (Brother Weng). Paid for my wine cooler and ran out of the shop.

So. Here's a picture of us trying to be part of the triads, on the steps of Kowloon City Park.



Wow. We're a bunch of intimidating biatches, aren't we. :S

Day 4 (30/1/2005)

LAST DAY!
meesh: Won't it be nice if we just ran away from the group?
me: How would we survive?
meesh: I could prostitute myself near the Chungking Mansions.
me: You'd be a hit with the Indian men, I tell ya,
meesh: And we could play you up as a Korean-Jap prostitute as well! We'll move in with George in his HK$7000 a month apartment!
me: Can you believe that THIS is wishful thinking?!! What's wrong with us?!

Had last breakfast as authentically as possible, with congee and yau char kway in a quaint little shop. Their char kways are huuuuuuuge, and taste a bit better than the ones I'm used to. Grab one last egg tart to go, and savoured it all the bus home. Felt very sad to leave HK.


Saw this on the bus to the airport


Checked in. Walked around. Bought chocolates for my brother, before kicking myself when I saw a Maxim in a bookshop. He would have loveeed that. Got on the plane.



And was home.