Greetings from the Al-Abidaat

Dear all,
This blog is initially a place for the three people who write in it to share our thoughts on life. However, if any of our pieces benefit and interest you, we welcome you to share your thoughts on comments. Thank you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

KakYong writes: bits and pieces

As requested by Kak Ngah, to make it look like she's not hogging this whole blog to herself, here I am. Bear in mind that I could not even regularly post on my own blog, so you can guess why I may be neglecting here for a while.

But no matter, here I am now, and I'm planning to write for a bit.

I haven't updated my summer camp report for two days. Maybe because those were two ordinary days, just classes for them, and me running around fixing the schedule and trying to get some seminar work done. Though I look and sound busy, I still had time for some, let's say, extra-curricular activities? Let's look at some pictures shall we?

Activity One: Eat, Eat, Eat

I am not a picky eater. In fact I consider myself quite adventurous when it comes to eating. I like to try out new dishes, especially if people said NOT to try it (what can I say, I have the tendency to go against people's recommendation, and usually I will like what they don't). Muahaha. But I don't purposely go put and search for new kinds of food, like some people. I have enough brought to me. I mean look at where I am now, at the department where it is teeming with international students, who will usually bring something from their home country, and it is usually food. So I get to try all sorts of things. Cool eh?

Kungfu Spaghetti

The above is from the time where I had dinner with the Swedish students, the first night they were here. It was a sort of welcoming dinner. I ordered something I never had before: Kungfu Spaghetti. I don't really eat out much, but when I do, I'll try something that I've never had, and might never find again. The owner, who was serving us, warned me that it'll be a bit spicy, but I just answered bravely, "We are Malaysian" Yeah, it was rather spicy and hot, notice all the chillies, but it was good.

Then on Wednesday Dr Rahim and his wife Manna invited K.Soffi and me to their house and we had Iranian food. Rice and chicken and salad. Manna's a good cook, and she makes healthy food, and she arranged the food very nicely. I forgot to bring the camera along with me, so no pictures here.

Mac & Cheese

On Thursday, after they finished classes, some of the girls asked me for a place where they can eat, so I took them to Amcorp, since they wanted to eat fast food (excuse me for my lack of knowledge on good eating places, 5 years in KL and I still don't know where's where.) I didn't want to eat, I still full from lunch, but they made me eat (not very hard to do, that one), and so I ordered Mac & Cheese, since I always wondered what's it like. It was so-so, maybe I won't order it again?

Then on Friday, Dr. Rosey, who just got back from Hong Kong invited us, and I went with K.Soffi and K.Niswa. We had Chinese cold noodles and I love it!

Nice, isn't it?

my own bowl (this is the first time, you should see my 2nd helping heheh)

Activity Two: Taking pictures here and there

As someone might already notice, I have more personal and authentic pictures these days. Yep, I've been snapping pictures right and left. Just as well that I don't have FB anymore, or it'll be full of pics and nothing else (see, one reason I'm FBless). The below are some random pictures when I happen to have a camera in my hand.

my four mascots

our PA busy at work

a painting by a 93 year old man in China (Dr Rosey's house)

our academy's surau

the lonely bus stop during the uni break

Activity Three: My studies (something that I always talk about, but haven't really done much, sigh...)

a stack of books to comfort myself, not to read,but to look at on the shelf...

on rare occasions that I actually open a book and sit down to take notes

So there we are. Enough pictures to make up for my MIA, can aaa, Kak Ngah? The thing is I know there'll be other people who might read my entry if I post my entry here, compared to my own, where only Kak Ngah will come (and Kak Chik, if she remembers she has sisters). And don't worry Kak Ngah, you can use this blog to put up your personal rantings etc. I did plan to do that, since konon2 my own personal blog will be strictly academic and less personal. But from the looks of it, whatever just go wherever and whenever. Tak kisah la...

Ok,till next time.

Kak Yong

Friday, June 24, 2011

When We Never Say NO

   KakNgah here.

   Today Abuya called, which was a nice surprise since he doesn't usually do that. Normally when I call home, I'd talk to Ummi and sometimes the boys if they happen to answer the call. I only talk to Abuya when I have something to ask. (He's usually doing something else anyway when I call, like sleeping or cutting the grass...)

   Abuya said Mama (who is Abuya's eldest sister) texted him asking if I wanted to be a substitute teacher at her school. Now, Mama is a teacher at a secondary school, and the class that she's offering is a Form 6 class. Even thinking about it sends cold shivers up my spine. Even now, when people I don't know meet me for the first time, they'd ask me which school I go to. Or if I happen to visit KakYong or follow my boss to the institute, they'd ask which school I go to and if it was the school holidays.

   Yeah. I get that a lot. I don't think I look that young (but of course you'd have to see me to agree or otherwise). And I'm not really that small (KakYong says the way I walk makes me look short. What???). I suppose I am rather thin (super thin according to most people), but I think it's more to the fact that I don't put up on make-up and dress rather simply compared to some of my friends.

   This worries one of my lecturers, Madam Z. She often calls me, usually late at night, and we often chat up to 1 hour. Sometimes I wonder why it is so much easier for me to connect with old(er) people. Madam Z said I have an old soul. Anyway, she said that she's worried that I might not get suitors because I look far too young and unsophisticated. I look like a school girl, just like she did when she was my age.

   More about that in another post. I should get back to the topic. Anyway, I already have a temporary job (I might have mentioned it in one or two posts), so it's a no-no. But what I really want to talk about is how even if I did not already have a job, the chances of me accepting the offer is small due to my low self esteem on being able to teach and guide older students, I was tempted to say yes. YES!

   I began to find out sometime ago that I am not good at saying no. Usually this occurs when people asks for help or offer me jobs (which usually  helps them in a way or another too, when I think of it). Mama once said that it runs in the family. One of friends once called me a 'Yes' girl.

   I'm sure that there are many of you out there who also happen to be a 'Yes' person. It's not a bad trait,I suppose, in fact it means that you're willing to help people and that's a good quality. The problem is that sometimes, when you say Yes too often, or all the time, and NEVER say No, you might just be too overwhelmed by everything and in the end you'll screw up in both helping people and completing your own work.

   I have experienced several occasions when I agreed to do some work for too many things and later found myself sleepless several nights just for the sake of completing my own work. I've become rather used to that (Ummi calls me a vampire because I don't sleep at night- maybe an owl would be a better nickname? At least  owls are wise... *smug).

   So you probably understand why I was compelled to say 'yes' to Mama's offer, even though I really wanted to say 'No'. The truth is, I do feel that I'd like to experience teaching older students, but I really want to get back home after I finish my job here, sign up for driving lessons, get started on baking which I miss terribly, chat with Ummi, Abuya and the boys and just rest... I need rest.

   I said No. Well, I didn't say no exactly, but I said that I already had a job so I asked if I could offer it to my friend Jannah (who happens to be an ex-student of Mama's).

   Then I thought about all about hwo to know when to say Yes and when to say No.

   And I have come to a conclusion. It's alright to say Yes. It's alright to be a 'Yes' person. It's alright to get a little burdened by your own work and other people's work at the same time. Why? Because helping people is good. There have been many occasions when a small offer that I did for a friend turned out well- I got treated to something, or get the favour returned. Of course, you shouldn't do favours for people and expect anything in return. You shouldn't even expect people to remember that you've done them a favour. But when people do remember, and they help you back when you ask for it, that's good, right?

   You do have to know when to say No though. You shouldn't say 'Yes' when someone asks you to do their assignments for them. You shouldn't say 'Yes' when somebody asks you to do something bad. You shouldn't say Yes when someone asks you if it's okay to do something bad. Sometimes being nice doesn't mean agreeing to everything people say. Telling the truth is a nice thing to do too, but it's not easy.

   Yes. No. Make the best choice, and follow your instincts. And always, always put your trust in Allah. Insya-Allah you'll be fine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Bird on the Sill

   There is a small bird that likes to perch on one of the windowsills in my room and announce its presence to the world. Most of the time it comes in the morning, and wakes me up with its loud twitters. Chipper twitters. I like the sound of chipper twitters. Sometimes it comes around Asar.

   Sometimes when I fall back to sleep in the morning, I feel a little annoyed when it flies on to the sill and begins its wake-up call. However, it makes me get up so that's good.

   I can't say that we have become friends, because every time I try to get away it flies of in a hurry. Huh, not so bold when it comes to face-to-face meetings, are you? The most I can do is to creep slowly and quietly from behind the curtain, lifting it ever so slowly and watching my chirpy little friend from behind the dark glass. Well, yes we may not be friends but we have developed this i-stalk-you-and-you-stalk-me relationship. We bug each other, but there's a wall made of glass that separates us.

   Here it is. I'm afraid my camera phone does not provide photos of very good quality, but it's clear enough, I think. I can also only take photos from behind the dark glass.

It seemed to have sensed that I was there...

Did I hear something? it thought

Little did you know I was there taking photos of you! Hehe
   I also recorded the sound of its merry little chirps. I haven't figured out how to upload audio files, so you'll have to make do with this:

This is what I hear every single day. 
Even if it annoys me a little sometimes, I'd miss it if it forgets to call...

   Finally, I also recorded a short video of my little friend! It just goes to show how bored I am these days, even with all the work that I have to complete....

However annoyed I get, I can only say Subhanallah whenever I see this little being on the sill. 
It has such a pretty combination of black and yellow!

   What happened at the end of the video was that I was trying to get to the open side of the window to get a closer look... and I didn't make it before my friend flew off. Oh, well.

   Allah's creations are truly amazing and beautiful. I don't often get to see pretty, colourful birds like this up-close except when I visit zoos and parks, so befriending this little fellow has helped lend some colour into my currently rather colourless life. I'm looking forward to going home, but I'll miss my little friend.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Short Update

   How lame is it that I'm using the same title for this entry as well as the one in my teaching blog?

   We do apologise for the 1 month absence from this blog. While KakYong is busy running or managing or coordinating a Muslim Youth Camp for students from Sweden (you can read about that here), KakNgah is buried under tons and tons of work and some assignments- all of which require a lot of reading. Thankfully all the  materials have been prepared- now I just have to read them!

   Meanwhile KakCik has yet to make an appearance. She's usually very busy when on campus, and you might think that she would have time to write and post some stuff now that she's home for the semester break, which is quite long as the new semester will only open in September. However, she doesn't have access to the internet at home, so I'm afraid we'll have to wait until everybody grows beards before she posts anything.

   KakYong's camp will be up and running sometime next week if I'm not mistaken. She plans to write updates on her blog.

   All this while, even though I have not written much on the blog, I have done a lot of blogwalking and visited numerous blogs, many of which are very interesting. I usually love leaving comments whenever I read an interesting piece, and when I do I put a lot of effort into it- merely writing "Hi! Nice blog." or "Interesting ideas. Keep it up!" doesn't really show that you read what the writer has written, does it?

   However, for some reason I've lost spirit in doing that even. I was supposed to go to UTM with my boss this morning, and I was quite excited about it, but when I woke up today the excitement was gone and all I wanted to do was lie in bed and sleep. I don't like this, I don't like this state that I'm in at all. I feel homesick all the time. It's good because you know it shows that you love being home, but it distracts me from working. In order to distract myself from being homesick I surf the internet, but doing it so much distracts me from working too!

   I think I need some sort of break. Just a short one. I should have gone to UTM, getting out for a bit might have helped. Tomorrow, however, I have plans to go to a classmate's wedding with two other classmates, so I'm looking forward to that! Let's hope my spirits will be better after doing that. For now, I must make a lot of zikir and remember Allah, as well as pray that he gets me out of this mental block that I am in.

   On a happier note, it won't be long 'til July comes. In two or three weeks I'll be home. Think of that! :D

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