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Saturday, January 30, 2010

beach Day Out

A bunch of us went to Teluk Batik beach yesterday, and we left pretty early in the morning. We were out of UTP even before the clock struck eight. It was quite a long drive to the place. Usually on a bus trip of that length, I'd be dead bored.

Charlie's angels (Mei Le, Kylie, Yen Pinng)

However, when there's people around, that usually isn't the case, particulalry if you know them well enough to have a good time. There was plenty of talk in the car, well more like Christon vs. Kylie talk, hahah! A lot of friendly teasing went on, and Mei Le was absolutely estactic when Kylie got me speechless twice.

All the talking and energy present in the van made the trip that much shorter, so it felt like we reached the beach in no time at all. It was reasonably early in the morning too, so there were hardly any people at the beach. In fact, when we left, I don't think I would've been able to count more than 15 people on the beach.

I think that was one of the 'nice' factors of our trip to the beach that morning. It was very nice, calm and clear. It's a lot different than being on the Lumut beach by the Swiss Garden Resort or in Penang sometimes where there're loads of people. I think I was able to appreciate it that much extra because I hardly go to the beach. I don't live anywhere near one to begin with.

SK & Javier

Teck Kiong

Kylie & Mei Le

Well, to be honest with you, we had a lot of fun of the beach, I totally forgot of taking any photos of that. It was just one of those times that when you're having fun you forget about everything else, just enjoying the moment. A few racing games along the beach got us going, and pretty tired too. I forgot how hard it was to run on sand, even if its the more solid one that's wet.

We did play fun game in the water. Everybody was standing in a circle with half their body in the water, and each person would have to tell something they did nobody else has done. If they couldn't they'd be splashed all over by everyone else. That said, absolutely EVERYBODY got seriously wet during that game. I guess that proves how horrible we are at that game, lawlzz.

Yen Pinng takes a light moment for the camera

We just enjoyed the water after that. It was just nice and cooling, countering the heat of the morning sun. It was a little funny though, there were some parts of the water that were hot, and some parts that were cold. I just soaked myself in there, it was really refreshing. The only problem was that there were soil/sand bits that stuck to us that we had to wash off later. One thing I realised, was that this was the first time I've actually taken a swim in years! Quite a milestone, hahaha.

Somewhere in between, we did take the time to munch on some things. Almost everybody brought something along to share. There was one consistency in what we brought, we all brought chips!

There were probably four or five bags or cans of chips going around. I was actually a little surprised Mei Le took quite a bit, which is not really like her I suppose. That's when I pleaded her to take a photo of this, hahhaha! Check it out:

Moment of the day: How Mei Le swallows a whole can of Pringles chips.

Second moment of the day: How Mei Le takes a swig at 1.5 litres of a carbonated sports drink.

She looks a lot more fun in photos like those, don't you think? Well, at least I think so.

A group photo after the festivities

It was a tad bit early to go for lunch, so Teck Kiong decided we should just go over to another place for a short while:

The jetty terminal, where you catch a boat to the island.

Well, we didn't take the boat over to anywhere unfortunately, but we just had a nice walk around the place. It looks quite nice actually. You can definitely see that sufficient money has been pumped in around the area to make it a nice place

Shaded areas like this make for a pedestrian friendly environment.

After our short stop at the jetty area, lunch was next on our agenda. Being so lost, we must've taken about 30 minutes before we actually stopped somewhere for lunch. Even then, that wasn't the place we wanted to go to in the first place, haha!

On the way, someone decided to show something they bought from the jetty area. We were all quite bemused at the reason until she said, "Oh, actually its for my dad." Or is it? Heheheh.

Don't you think this sign is hillarious?

This is where we stopped for lunch. The food wasn't fantastic, but the prices were. This is the first time in probably.......... my whole life where I've had a meal for RM 2.20.

Since I only spent RM 2.20 on Wan Ton mee, I'd be willing to spend a little more on a second round of something else.

That wish came true as we decided to make one last stop at the evergreen modern favourite, the emporium of the Golden Arches, hahaha!

I got the chicken McNuggets McValue meal and topped it up with a really nice chocolates sundae for just RM 1.50. Its a promotion going on at McDonalds now, only costs RM 1.50 for a sundae (Strawberry/Chocolate) if you buy a McValue meal.

The final destination, UTP was next, and that marked the end of our day outing to the beach. It was a pretty nice day really, not a bad way to start my new season of the year.

Monday, January 25, 2010

tronoh On Monday

I have to say, my schedule's rather convenient for waking up late on Monday, so I could actually afford to wake up at 11.30 a.m. before going for my first class. Still, I had a few things to do so I got up around 8.00 a.m. I needed to get my final report stamped and sent in to Ms. Elaine. Even so, I didn't leave my room that early. You don't really have to rush your first day.

The first thing was to get my reports stamped. There was a long-but-not-so-long queue at the administration office. I didn't have to wait too long for that, I was out of there in less than fifteen minutes.

The front page of your final report has to be stamped.

The same goes for your weekly report log.

Make sure you have this stamped too, the summary of scores of your weekly reports.

Meeting Ms. Elaine was next on the list of things to do, so for the first time ever since June 2009, I made my way over to the academic complex. One thing that I realised I have to get used to again, is walking in the blistering sun that seems to have a fond liking for UTP grounds.

Anyway, after I handed my internship material over to her, we talked for a short while about my upcoming FYP, which I am becoming increasingly nervous about. I guess the main thing that I caught at the end of our short discussion was to choose something that I liked, not necessarily something I had to be capable of doing.

I still feel that's a rather risky thing to do, considering the fact I'm rather concerned about not messing up a very important thing, but I'll have to sit down, look at the FYP proposed listings again and see what I want to do.

Anyhow, I rushed for a quick lunch at v4. I have to say, until today, I still like that Pakistani outlet over there. The rice is fine and the beef (or whatever it is) is pretty good. Meat eaters will love it.

I went over to block 20 for my first class, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery (DKMD) taught by Dr. Baharum. When I got there I realised, the room was the same exact one I went to for PCS classes, which means it is freaking small! That room probably squeezes 50 seated places, and there were 80 of us! Some even stood outside actually. Initially Dr. Baharum only wanted 30 students but fortunately, he relented into having all of us for DKMD.

For tutorial classes though, he asked us to write to his gmail. How queer. We were supposed to send him our preferred time and not only that, we had to put in a biography of ourselves in the e-mail. Since he would probably register the names for the tutorial sessions based on the first e-mails he saw, Imran and I went straight to Block 1 after the class that lasted no longer than 30 minutes.

Unlike our hostel rooms, the internet connection is pretty much stable for the computers in the IRC or computer labs in Block 1 & 2. The speeds are more acceptable there too. Imran made a good call to go over to Block 1 because when I went back to my room, I coudln't get connected to the internet for at least a good half hour.

Anyway, I got that e-mail out to Dr. Baharum fairly quick so I was pretty happy about that. Basically, I just put my blogger profile on the e-mail to make it quick. Hopefully I can get that tutorial slot I need. I don't have any clashing lecture or lab sessions so far, so I really want to confirm that slot on my time table.

I guess this is one building I'll be around a lot for the next one year. Hopefully good memories can be made in that time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

back In Tronoh

My father sent me back to my 'second home' in Malaysia. Specifically the UTP grounds located at the small town of Tronoh in the state of Perak. We decided to leave early in the morning so that I could have more time to register and settle my accommodation matters.

I wanted a little breakfast before we went on the road, so we went to the McDonald's at Sri Damansara (I think). I hadn't been there for breakfast or any other meal in quite a while so it was actually a refreshing trip to an eatery a lot of people may be tired of.

When I saw this, I immediately decided to go for it. Double sausage patties were good for me, haha! One thing that I'll say now is that the sausage patty is my favourite among all the McDonald's burger patties, no joke.

You've just got to love that sausage patty with the cheese and the egg. I didn't like the middle of the egg because of the yolk. Its something that I dislike in all other non-omelette's or scrambled style eggs.

The hash browns are good as usual, nothing less from McDonald's.

The tea, it was fine, but man was it hot.

My father and I took our time for breakfast, but after that; it we went straight onto the highway for a good three hours plus.

The road was actually quite clear so we were relatively pleased with that. I slept for quite a bit, natural if you're not the driver.

Thankfully, we arrived sometime past eleven o'clock, meaning there was time to spare before the staff would leave for Friday prayers. Thank God for the good timing, I'd be just enough to get myself registered and get my new hostel room keys.

Thanks to a short online conversation with a friend earlier, I found out that students returning from internship had to register themselves at the residential college office at Block O, around the old USM blocks.

The man I met was Mr. Talhah. I'd heard about him a lot from other people, but I never actually met the man. He's rather nice and polite, which I do appreciate. Due to difficult arrangements, the first thing he asked me was if I'd be all right pairing with an international student.

I immediately said I wanted a Cambodian, because I knew they'd be all right, in fact better than having a Malaysian room mate even. After some deliberation and list checking by Mr. Talhah, I ended up with Sompong, a siamese, but apparently Malaysian national. It seemed interesting, so I went ahead with that arrangement.

Thankfully I was able to get my keys from the V5 block office quickly, since I had taken some time during my meeting with Mr. Talhah.

The arrangment has led me to the fourth floor, the highest I've ever been in UTP hostel blocks. Previously, I'd only been on the 1st (which is actually ground floor) or the 2nd floor throughout my entire time in UTP.

After getting settled in, my father took a nap for a little while to rest himself before driving back to Kuala Lumpur. In the evening, I took a little walk around my area, and I'm reasonably happy the place in the picture above is easily accessible and complementary (free of charge).

Earlier in the afternoon, I'd helped Javier get his room keys since he arrived after office hours, at night to be a little more precise. I had dinner with him and Yen Pinng before helping him move his stuff from his old room. There were more things to get though, because he'd kept some things at a house nearby that Hope church rents.

I tagged along with Yen Pinng and Javier to help get their stuff. The annoying thing was that the house had no electricity so we hard to work in the dark. Yen Pinng and Javier had their phone flashlights which made things a little easier. It actually reminded me of the 'Blair Witch Project' or some thriller or horror type movie concept. Yen Pinng actually said we looked like robbers, moving things out of the house in the dark, haha!

Saturday was pretty uneventful until dinner when a group of us went for dinner at this Chinese restaurant in Tronoh. Jenny, Wong Ning and Yik Chieng had just come back so we had more people around.

Halfway through dinner, I looked across the place and I saw Jialin! I hadn't seen her for a full solid year so I went over, hugs exchanged and a little chat before she realised we should stop and wait for another time to chat, haha! She still looks the same. Short. =b

Later in the night, I went for a walk around the field, one of my favourite places in UTP at night. I know there's a lake just across but for some reason I prefer walking around the field. Maybe I'm just not used walking an even longer distance to go someplace.

As I was going around, a number of memories came running back into my mind. Being out of UTP for an extended period of time really does make you forget certain things, but once you step back in, certain things come back into your life that you forgot about.

Being back in UTP after my internship, it feels like I have a whole new restart of my UTP life, the only thing is that it isn't a restart and from a practical point of view, is just a continuation and the beginning of my final year in this place.

Thinking about certain things, I do wish that certain things could change. I do wish that certain things could just restart and start afresh. Life just doesn't go that way though, and you just have to move forward, which is what I'll be trying to do this year. Move forward.

I went to church on Sunday, and I have to say this right now. I seriously like this sign a GAZILLION times more than that old Styrofoam one that they had on the door when I was still around. I honestly thought they were better off without that, but in all fairness, that's not the main thing about a church. I just wanted to say that.

Anyway, Chee Lim was preaching on Sunday about the battle of the mind. There are too many things today that influence people and hence, its important to have safeguards. Its especially so when there are so many things that cause us to compromise, especially on things we like to call 'grey' areas.

After church, we went someplace not far away, Tesco. A number of people had things to buy so I just tagged along.

Lunch was first of course. We were pretty chatty at first, then during the meal, it suddenly got real quiet and I started getting bored looks like this:

And scary ones like that:

I ended up buying Ruffles from Tesco, the cheese flavoured ones. I’ve already finished it. Potato snacks have never survived more than 24 hours on any occasion that they’ve landed in my possession.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

pasta Zanmai With Hearts

I got together with a number of friends on Thursday for dinner before I left for UTP the next day. Unfortunately, not everyone could come but there was a fair number of them so that was nice enough.

I came a bit early so I walked around One Utama before meeting with Wai Nyan at 7.30 p.m.

Obviously, Chinese New Year isn't too far away, and the malls have already been in the mood for the festivities for some time now. The lanterns are up all over and there's a dash of red all over the place.

While I was waiting, I just checked out a couple of places, including Toys R' Us, heheh.

I have to say love this LEGO set! If you click to enlarge, I love the scared surprise face on the lego soldier at the bottom of the image in the middle running away from the 'Battle Wheel'. Lego just keeps getting better and better.

A hot item these days are the Mighty Muggs, the Transformer ones were released recently, and I have to say, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are hot items.

I had more time to kill than I thought so I went through Cold Storage and found something that surprised me.

Canned Poppa Dum! You know the tagline 'Malaysia truly Asia'? The writing in white inside that little red box says 'truly Indian', hehe. Its got the halal tag on, so I suppose all Malaysians can bite into a piece of that.

There're two flavours, lentil with black pepper or lentil with cumin. What's the difference? I don't have the slightest clue, so try it yourself and tell me what they're like!

Well 7.30 came soon after, so I met with Wai Nyan, Bernice and Ian just outside Vietnam Kitchen.

The original idea was to eat there, but we discussed a few more options as we waited for Felix, Josh and Megan to arrive. We thought of Chilli's, Carl's Junior, but it all had been done before, maybe it was time for something different.

Bernice's recommendation Pasta Zanmai. They serve Japanese food, but more of a western fusion kind. As the name suggests, a lot of the main dishes are pasta with Japanese food like sliced raw salmon, or unagi and the like. It seemed interesting enough and the rest of us hadn't been there so we decided to give it a shot.

Bernice ordered the pasta with soft shell crab and that was quite nice actually. I pinched a little from her, haha!

Bernice with the watchful eye.

Shortly after, we were joined by the rest, Felix, Megan and Josh.

Megan & Felix

Wai Nyan, the rookie lawyer, hehehe.

Josh, Ian & Megan

After dinner, we though about bowling, but it was pretty late and there wasn't enough time to have a good game on. Instead, we just went to see the super huge giant cats on display at the Oval. Something we were talking about was, "Why on earth do they have moles!!" I actually thought of Khye Shin when I first noticed that, hehehe.

We didn't do much after since it was nearing 10.00 p.m., which is the time most stores around One Utama begin to close for the day. After chatting around the Oval some more, we called it a night. That's the last time I'll be seeing those people for a while.