Sunday, November 29, 2009

Come all!

Okay people! 363 S Negley Ave is officially open (well, not until we're done with finals)! We finally had the opportunity to pimp up our apartment (borrowing Elly's term). Now everyone is invited to come to Pittsburgh, especially during the winter break since we're not going anywhere. Yay!

She misses Malaysia... :p


Lucky me

I am so proud of my husband. I am so happy to have him as my partner. He is the man I have been waiting for, because he has the same vision as me. We both believe that in a home, in a family, there should be equality, just as how I wrote in the post on the day we got married. There is equality in the sense that I'm not the only one doing the cooking and cleaning, and he's not the only one who has to assemble our new furniture. There is no such thing as a 'female job' and a 'man's work'.

I'm writing this as an appreciation towards my husband. He not only knows how to differentiate a vacuum cleaner and a mop, but he also knows how to use them - without complaints! And I know of guys who never even touch a vacuum cleaner. Some parents are so...'protective'? I don't know. But some feel like cleaning is the job of the daughter and their boys can sit do nothing (even if their daughters have things to do too). But my husband, he understands we are both students and thus, we should both do our chores equally. It is because of him that I promise to myself when I have my own boys and girls, I'm going to teach ALL of them to use a vacuum cleaner and the right way to put a screw in.

My husband is amazing because when I'm in 'my mood', he does not wait around but instead goes to the kitchen and cooks something for me. And no, it's not fried chicken with omelet, but tom yam, kuey teow, and once, nasi biryani. Tell me where can I find a guy like that nowadays? When he sees the laundry basket full, he goes to the toilet and washed 'em all. He does not have the mentality of that being my job and what being his job. Of course some would say that that's supposed to be the way since both of us are students, but come on, what about when both are working? Isn't the situation similar? Both have outside responsibilities so why is there still this mindset that man does this and woman does that? When I have my own kids, they're going to learn responsibility is equally distributed.

I am a lucky girl. I am such a lucky wife. Do I love this guy or what.


Saturday, November 28, 2009


Alright! Second one! In contrast to the first trip, this one is planned way in advance. The initial plan was to visit Uncle Robert in DC for Thanksgiving. And then I told Zaim about it. And he wanted to spend time in DC too. Then he wanted to go shopping for Black Friday TOO. Alas, we decided to do both, which, is sad for me for Rassyid and I would love to spend more time in DC. So on Tuesday, we took the bus from Pittsburgh at 2 am. We arrived around 8.40 am. Diana called, saying she had arrived earlier than scheduled (we should have arrived first!) So the three of us met and walked from the Greyhound station to Union Station. There we met Uncle Robert who took us to America, the restaurant. He gave us a tour of the place before it opens. Then the tour 'moved' to the McDonald's in the station where we had breakfast. Found out that the rest will arrive late so the three of us went on a DC tour on our own.

We walked to the Smithsonian museum. First we went to the natural museum, then the Smithsonian Institution and then the American History museum. I wanted to go to the Holocaust museum but we did not have enough time for that so we just walked back to the station. Lils called to say they were running late too. After all of us were there, we went to have lunch at America. Uncle Robert was so nice. We had a lovely lunch with a lovelier desert!

Then it was time for Jiamin to give us a free tour of DC. We took the metro from the Union to GWU. Jiamin showed us around her campus and it was really cool that GWU is in walking distance to the White House, World Bank, and IMF. It's especially cool that Jiamin's doing PS too. From there we put our stuff at her place and walked to the White House, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial. It was night (reminded me of our night walk through NYC) so the pictures were not so good but oh wells, it was the bonding time that matters - gossip! And soon we were all tired.

At first we wanted to have dinner somewhere near GWU but the place was closed so we took the metro again to MALAYSIA KOPITIAM, where Aunty Sally works. My lord the food was so nice! I only had roti canai but man, it is always nice to have Malaysian food when you're abroad, more so with nice company! When the restaurant closed, we separated as Rassyid, Diana, and I went over to Uncle Robert's place and the rest heading either to Jiamin's dorm or a hotel.

There, after taking a bath, Rassyid and I chatted with Uncle Robert, Aunty Sally, and Andrew. It was close to 1 am that we slept in Adeline's room with Diana. It was so good to sleep after sleeping in a bus and touring DC nonstop. The next morning we woke up to the smell of laksa! How much better can this get, eh? We ate and soon enough Diana came down and then Zahid called to say he's at the metro station. Uncle Robert went to pick him up and all of us had (original, Malaysian, spicy!) laksa, and rendang and rice... Oh, the point is that we were so full and happy!

After taking a few pictures, we had to say goodbye to everyone and Uncle Robert took us to the Dulles Air and Space Museum. Diana was happy because that's where Night at the Museum was shot; Zahid was happy because he once wanted to be a pilot; and I am happy because that's where Sam found the Decepticon Jetfire in Transformers 2 (Rassyid's just happy to be with me :p)! We walked around the museum for almost 2 and a half hour. We also went on a simulator but it was not that fun. Next, Uncle Robert took us to the Asian market where Diana was the happiest one to get her Old Town coffee and biscuits. After that off we went to the Iwo Jima memorial. But on the way, Uncle Robert took a wrong turn and because of that, we passed the Pentagon! So cool. At the memorial we took quick snaps and then we had to send Diana to her bus stop. Later Uncle Robert took us to the Greyhound station where we finally said goodbye :(

Our bus left exactly at 5.30 pm and headed to NYC. Both Diana and the rest of us were supposed to arrive at 10pm but she arrived earlier - again. So, Zahid, Rassyid, and I, ran 8 streets down towards 34th street where our bus to Woodbury was already waiting. We called Jiamin, Zaim, and Lils, and we boarded the bus.

We arrived at Woodbury around 12 am. Yes, a.m. people, and after another full day of DC tour. We split up and shop shop shop! I thought it would take only, like, 3 hours for me to shop (so that I can spend the rest of the nigh sleeping), but who knows there were so many stores to check out! Not only that, the lines were so long and the queues at the cashier were just as long! At the end, Rassyid and I finished our shopping at around 5.15 am. Yes, a.m. All of us took the bus back to NYC and arrived around 6.40 am.

Because of the cold weather, we bid farewell there on the streets of NYC and Rassyid and I went to the Greyhound station to exchange our ticket to the earliest time available. Thus exactly at 8.30 am we left for Pittsburgh. But because the bus went through so many transits, it took us TWELVE hours to reach Pittsburgh. I swear, I'm not taking anymore buses in the USA. By the time I turn 21 next year, it's just going to be cars for me, all the way to San Francisco. But the good side is that we got to walk around Philadelphia for 30 minutes. It was sufficient enough to buy stuff at the Hard Rock Cafe there.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Long Weekend, no recitation.

Had an interesting weekend. But not in the mood of writing. So gonna put pictures instead. Starting with Friday evening when we went to watch Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project, a ballet.

First we went for dinner at the Original Oyster House, supposedly the most famous restaurant in Pittsburgh for a hundred years. Big fish sandwiches though.

Those pictures were taken after the ballet. The theater is called the Byham Theater.

Me and my Transformers, of course.

Some background of a parking lot and UPMC at the back.

Waiting for the bus.

Forced to get online.

Waiting for bus to go to the Asian market.

"Ella, ella, eh, eh." first attempt at nasi lemak. Will improvise, soon, definitely :)


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hillman Library

I'm at the library. Waiting for Rassyid. Reading a book on ethnicity in Malaysia. Yes, it took me to be miles away from home to be excited on Malaysia. (Tak sangka ada banyak buku on Malaysia here.) On another note, I need to do a paper for my PoliSci class on a constitution, any constitution. So, of course my easiest choice is my home country.

As I was reading, thoughts kept on crashing with each other in my head. On the constitution. On Islam. On NEP. On Chinese-Malay relationship. All sorts of things. I wish for a better Malaysia, but I know not in this generation. I'm not some kind of crazy 'new Malay' that wants equality all of a sudden. Some may say I'm lucky; I don't understand them. Why don't the try to understand me? No, I am not a NEW Malay. I am Malay, full stop. I know and I understand their need for a policy to help Malays. Read again. I know their need. There is no such thing as a universal desire. But of course in order to run a country you need to have some sort 'generalization' of the people or you won't get anything done. Fine.

What really drove me to write a blog entry right now, a few minutes before my PoliSci class, is a chapter in the book on Pork. Yup, pork. And I agree. I agree that pork is a defining topic on the story of ethnicity in Malaysia. Pork is an interesting story. Pork is GREAT. Yes, I know some 'conservative' Malays (note, not Muslims) do not like me using the two words in a sentence. But did I say anything on the consumption of it in that three-word sentence? We know Chinese eat pork. So? (Suddenly I remember Wenli's song with satay babi in it. Embarrassingly, I didn't know there existed such a satay. How ignorant. But then, I don't don't like her. I love her. She's my friend. She's a Chinese. She loves pork, we all know that. So?) Food brings us together, food tore us apart? Why? Just as I've said to friends here, I don't care if you katok. As long as you don't bother me eating halal food, I won't bother you. I'm not an Islamic scholar. I'm just a person trying to live, trying to survive.

Now, my favorite topic: special rights to the Malays. Yeah, I've heard it all. "Malays need it to get equal!" "Malays were denied privileges by the British!" But all I hear is, "Malays are weak." There's this thing we learn in class call the 'Trust Fund States'. Basically, it is a country where there's so much oil that the leaders are not hold accountable to the people since they don't need the people to do anything for them! You know which country I'm particularly talking about, let's not be too direct here. These countries have everything. Wealth. With that, they don't need to do as much, compete as hard, or be as wise. But as I've said, I don't want to generalize. I've seen some of those people trying to make it work here at Pitt. But that's just the ones here. Now take this idea, and put it in Malaysia. Once you have the back of the state (not government, as it is a weak institution), you just won't try. If you get 6As for SPM, so what? There's this thing called Matrix where like, what, 90% are your 'kind'. Then from there, where? University of course. How you gonna pay? Look at skin color, government, etc. Now, what about those with lighter skin color? They got 7As and all they can afford is a private college. And you want to brag? Please. I know I'm here under a scholarship, never let it slip my mind once. But I think I got it fairly. Not saying there are people who don't, I'm not here to judge. But I was in the list. I know even without some special privilege, I could still get it. I know some would say that's a premature judgment on my side. Luck plays a part. I don't call it luck; I call it God. Point is, there are many ways to survive, if you feel you need to. That's why they call it survival of the fittest. Now think. Those who are not 'fit enough' are given an advantage over those who are. They call if fair. I say it's weakening the country. I'm not saying we should let the rest rot off. I just want Malays to think why is it that Chinese could still survive after all? Because when they need it most, they have guilds and associations. Malays? Kaki dengki. Plus, it's proven throughout history that when citizens are not happy, they revolt. When they revolt, the country does not work. Thus?

Blast me all you want but remember, the country's not yours. Neither is it mine. I'm not calling for a drastic change. I've even give up my hope of being a politician, much less to be the first female Malaysian Prime Minister. I'm not interested. Politics is dirty. Why bother if I'm the only one?


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Story of the past

Dark, cold, and sleepy. Tututtutu...tututtutu!! Once. Twice. She can't hit snooze more than that. She want to. But she can't. Rubbed eyes. Turned left, turned right. It's still dark. But it's already time. Feet dragging body. Six am. Splash! "AARH!" She's now awake. Hot water. Drip... Drip... Why one has to bathe in the morning? It's not like one run a mile before sleeping. With that thought in mind, she wrapped herself in a thin towel and stepped out. Wishing. Can't she lay down for five more minute. No. One minute. Thirty seconds. Please. Of course she knows the answer. Took out the blue uniform, looked at it, and wished for the day she'll be able to wear anything she wants. Second wish. A slap of deodorant. Pull them on. Mirror. Immature, childish, young. Put on face powder. Hides imperfections. Not enough. Blusher. Too pink. Wiped it off. Lip-gloss. OK. Turned west. Pray. Prostate. Can she grow up any faster. Bag filled with books, blue scarf, and off. Every one's there. Mum. Dad. Brother in college. Took a seat. Mmm. Coffee. Toast. Malaysian style. Every thing's there. Ready. But oh look! Ten till seven! Dad's putting on socks! Thrust down half a bread and drained the cup. Gulp. Now. Scarf! Pull one end. Then the other. Done. Kissed mum. Hand and cheek. Bye! Socks...they're not in the drawer! Ran to the room. The one near the back of the house. Next to the kitchen. In a basket. Black socks. Black shoes. S-! The car's engine's on! Run run. Get in the car. The car. Blue car. Move. Red. Glimpses of a rising sun. Another day. Kissed dad. Take money. So simple. If only she has her own source of money. Third wish. Walked through the gate. There's her! There's him! Oh friendly faces. Wait up! Talk. What about? Nothing. Laugh. Over who? No one. Put bags. Stood. Time for prefect job. Who's in the toilet? People. Smoking? No. Moving on. Who's at the back? People. Smoking? No. Moving on. Who's coming through the fallen gate? People. Who's going out? There! Stop him! Done for the morning. Rrring! Bell. Blue uniform. She can arrive late at the assembly. Sing. Negraku. Sing. Duli yang maha mulia. Sit down. Alone? No way. Look left, look right. Babe, save a place for her! Join babe. Teacher talked. About what? Nobody cares. Why bother. Teacher's going to say the same thing tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow. The final word. Dismiss. Blue uniform. Take position. Check. Look. See. Anybody wearing colored socks? Her! Name please. Not wearing camisole? There! Name please. Long nails? Everyone. Name please. Empty. Moving on. Classroom. Take seat. At the back. The farthest away. Teacher can't see. Her talk. She laughed. Put her bag. Life begun. Tok..tok...tok. Footsteps. Everyone. Places! Assalamualaikum cikgu. Waalakumusalam. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. Duduk. Terima kasih cikgu. Repeated. Twice? No. Three times. Look at the time. Ten minutes to 10. Need to go to recess. Hungry. Half a bread consumed. Brain needed energy. Why now? Blue uniform. Ooh.. Nobody. Empty. Nasi Lemak. Four a table. Her, her, her, and her. Hurry. The bell's gonna...and it has. Kids rushing. Big guy. Tall guy. Hurry up guys. Go to your posts. OK. Plates. Basin. Bye babes! Walk. And walk. Yo there! Anything new? No. Thought so. I'll be there, you go there. OK. Toilets. Smoke? Nuh-uh. Field. Fights? Juniors. Stop! Why? None of your business. Really? Hey, that's the friendly sis. Huh? She's cool. Nothing then. Right. Don't fight. Watch. Five till bell. Bored. Tired. Tall guy not around. Sit down. At the back. Near the surau. Bell. Waited for her babe. At the stairs leading to the canteen. Her babe's commanding everyone to clear the canteen. She needs help. Go down. Talk to them. Empty. As before. Walk. To class. Teacher on the way. Hid behind wall. D-! There, the other stairs. But that's the faculty's stair! So? Fine! Run! Near main office. Walk slowly. Smile. Up another flight. Run! Reached class. Teacher's not there yet. We are. Sigh. Looked outside. Beautiful weather. Wait a minute. Wasn't she sleepy before? Where did it go? Mystery. Sun's out. Honk! Man, if only she can drive outside. In a circle. With no point. Any car. With a license. Fourth wish. Look at the time! Five more minutes till end. Countdown. Four. Some kids were running. Three. Wasn't that the afternoon session's kids? Two. My guy's behind the door. One. First to pack bags. Zero. BYE EVERYONE! Hi. Hi. How's your day? Not bad. Got the result. And? Not an A. It's okay, there's always next time. Yeah. Wait, do you hear giggling? Turn. Her and her. They're behind them. Well. Same route. No one to blame. Okay, see you this afternoon. You too. Open the gate. Forcefully. For someone to realize she's back. Knock on the door. Shout! Yes, coming! Tired and hungry. There. The food's on the table. Ready. Put bag. Took off scarf. Get a plate. A scoop of rice. Two pieces of chicken. No, just one. Diet. Veggies? No thank you. Front. TV. Cartoon. Disney. Ha.Ha. Not so funny. Finished rice. Sleepy. Oh yeah! Have to 'replace' lost time. Change clothes? Nah. Washed face. Pray. Dear God, thank you for all you've given her. But can you give more? Fifth wish. Magnet. The pillow. Yes. Now this is heaven. Tututtutu!! WHAT?! Time already?! Four dot three zero. D-! He's gonna be here soon! Wash face wash face. Arrg! Hideous! Powder! Better. Lip-gloss. Obviously. Now where's the eyeliner...there! Time. Four dot five zero. Bag! Oh God. The phone's ringing. OUT! Hi. Hi. Slept? Uh-huh. You? Same. Walked. Below the flyover. Wait! What? There's a car there. Oh, thanks. You're welcome. Across the drain. Tuition. Up stairs. Another flight. Left. Big room. There's her, and him, and oh, that's the cute couple! I'll sit here. Okay. See you later? Uh-huh. Hi babe! Hi. Hi. Hi. Good afternoon everyone. Afternoon. Biology. Chemistry. Two hours. Six. Down the stairs. Another flight. Right. Blue car. See you guys tomorrow. Uh-huh. Moved. Across the highway. Near the big supermarket. Behind shop-houses. Close to the playground. Home.


Where did those days go? Why didn't I appreciate them more? Because I was a teenager, a child. Eager to grow up. What now? God knows :)