I'm Moving On.

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Routine is:

1. Reluctantly waking up at 6.30am (well 7.00 if you count the snooze) every morning for Subuh, only to find yourself longing for more comfort time underneath the thick blanket until it is already time for class.

2. Eating the same brand of cereal every morning while checking your email account and the timetable. Occasional panic occurs when you are late for lecture and you still have some documents to be printed out.

3. Walking along the same route that you've been using for the past three months to get to class while listening to your iPhone. What's on the playlist? Hundreds of unfamilar indie songs that really makes your mundane routine an interesting experience every time.

4. Looking for a random spot to sit at for the whole duration of the lecture. Depending on the lecture, sometimes there will be something on that piece of paper you wanted to write your lectures notes on. Sometimes there will be random words on it that do not make sense; which could only mean one thing -you're bored and not paying attention.

5. Going back home only to find yourself too tired and unmotivated to do extra reading or anything productive in general. Hunger leads you to scavenge through the almost empty fridge for lunch.

6. Going to bed at around 1.30am. While resting your head on the pillow, you do a little reflection on the events that took place today and wonder how you could make things better for the following day. You download an app to kill some time before dozing off, but you get hooked on the game and decided it is not yet time for sleep. The next thing you know, you're already back at number one.

But life isn't that boring all the time. Not everything is a mundane routine.

1. Sometimes you have friends who are awesome enough to come and visit you in Manchester to have a good time. This will mostly like mean a visit to the holy ground of Manchester football (hint: Old Trafford), the Piccadilly Gardens, Trafford Centre, a round of Laser Quest battle, and even Blackpool like last week. Then you'll take them to visit the pride of the people of Rusholme - the Curry Mile. Half chicken with rice at Zam Zam? Alright. Lamb ribs at Krunchy Fried Chicken? Hell yeah. Qabily Pillow at Afghan? Bring it on. Yeah, your wallet will probably shrink over time, but the good time you have is just priceless.

2. Sometimes your dream of watching live English football matches right before your eyes may come true. As you are seated at the lower tier of the stadium among other enthusiastic fans of the club, you begin to reflect upon those times back in Malaysia when you were just watching matches at mamak stalls or at the comfort of your living room. The feeling is way beyond compare. It gets even better when you're witnessing the demolition of Arsenal right before your eyes. The next thing you know, you're already joining the rest of the home crowd chanting "Go City Go City" all the way to the final blow of the whistle.

3. Sometimes when you make that extra effort for your International Politics tutorial presentation, you may get rewarded for your effort. "It was a really good presentation Alif" doesn't come around quite often these days, hence when it does happen, you can't help but smile all the way back home.

4. You'd be surprised at the prospect of making loads of new friends when you decide to do something different and get out of your comfort zone. Your voluntary work for UNICEF recently has really opened up a whole new horizon which honestly looked pretty bleak previously. And of course you can't curb your enthusiasm for tomorrow's Giving Aids A Face Fashion Show and the peace march called The Wave which will take place in London this Saturday:)

5. Also, sometimes your ears become over sensitive of the occasional knockings on the door. You feel anxious to answer the call, hoping that it's the postman delivering the items that you recently bought online. Oh what joy it brings when it arrives in such an immaculate condition, just like how you imagined it to be.

Like my man Mraz said, It's the little details in the fabric that you sometimes take for granted that actually makes your life colourful.

I'm loving it here in Manchester.
Like a not-so-wise drunken man I met on the bus en route to Piccadilly once said, "This is Manchestaaaaaah!!!"

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Wrapping It Up

Today is the last day of our fundraising project. Despite the challenging weather that we had to endure throughout the sale, it went really well I'd say. Can't wait for our next project in December. Oh, thank you so much to those who actually came down to our stall and supported the cause by donating their money to the fund.

Pulling a publicity stunt. Wasn't really effective, but it was a good effort nonetheless:)

Setting up the stall.

And the sale was on.

The Cypriot in action.

Oxford Road at its busiest.

One for the album.

In the kitchen, cleaning up.

Adina and Francesca:)

What a fulfilling day.
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Manila Flood Relief

So I went to the chaplaincy upon Adina's invitation right after my lecture a few hours ago. To be completely honest, at first I was kind of reluctant to join the voluntary group because I was the only boy around and that I did not know any of the girls except Adina. So it was pretty awkward for some time, I admit. All the girls were already occupied with stuff to do - some were cooking in the kitchen while others were cutting onions at the table. I, on the other hand, tried to make myself feel at ease by hanging at one corner of the area and updating my Twitter status and checking my Facebook account. Anything that could keep me occupied. Well of course it didn't work.

After some briefing by Francesca (a sweet girl she is), I was finally given the job to prepare the spring rolls together with a few other people. That was when the awkwardness disappeared. Geraldine, a first year Filipino student, explained to me what exactly happened in Manila last September. Two hurricanes struck Manila twice in the same week, leaving devastating effects and panic across the country. Many people lost their lives and thousand others lost their homes and are currently seeking shelter in schools and churches. It's a sad sight. All the while she was explaining this, I couldn't help but feel embarassed by my own ignorance. Why wasn't I aware of this catastrophe? Now that I understood the gravity of the situation they're facing, I'm really glad that I could be of some help. For once I thought I had a very fulfilling day, despite not being able to have proper Internet access for the whole day and finish my homework that's been piling up since the last two weeks.

Anyway, back to the main point.

The fundraising will begin tomorrow at 11.00am. Feel free to come and support to help lift the burdens off their shoulders. Together we can make it happen.

Good night people. Thank you for listening.

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In case you're wondering, no I'm not on a bus. I figured that I'm running out of beautiful landscape pictures to begin my post with, hence explaining the picture. Not that I'm trying to imply that it's pretty. Whatever. Doesn't matter anyway.

What's more important right now is the fact that I prepared myself a decent meal for lunch. Egg fried rice with barbeque sauce. Normally I wouldn't even bother touching the stove or the rice cooker because scavenging through the empty fridge seems like a better option. Not anymore you see. This young lad is slowly discovering his magic touch. Or not.

Financial Reporting lecture is at 3.00pm. After that, I'm gonna head straightaway to the chaplaincy to help prepare food for Wednesday's fundraising activity. The organisation is trying to raise fund to help the flood victims in the Phillipines, so I thought it'd be cool if I just lend a hand, you know, just to help promote the cause.

Now that the holidays are approaching really really soon, I feel the urge to get out and travel. Egypt sounds like a nice place to go. Spain too. But anywhere will do really. Hey I heard you're going somehwere this winter. Care to take me with you?

Okay. Lecture time.

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Do you know what I like the most about my occasional trips to Atlas? The scent of clean clothes, all dry and warm, fresh from the dryer. If no one's around, I would probably take the time to savour the moment by inhaling deeply the rich fruity scent of the comforter, then followed by a long "Aahh..." How satisfying. I guess the whole experience is even better than a trip to Musicana for a round of shisha fun time.

On the hand, if there are people around, I'll just read a book or listen to my iPhone instead.

Now that I'm able to write all this while doing my laundy could probably mean only one thing: the Economics lecture this afternoon is cancelled. So hooray to that.

The parents expressed their worries yesterday over the lack of communication between them and this son they own. I'm really sorry, but the Internet is somewhat uncooperative recently. I have no idea that she's the jealous type. Don't worry, I'll Skype you guys later alright.

Okay. It's now time for lunch.

P/S: Have you ever stepped inside a Hollister retail store? I really really love the atmostphere. The scent of summer, the dimmed lights and the beach like ambience really set the mood. It makes the shopping (in my case mostly it refers to window shopping) experience really worthwhile.

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Monday Morning

Finished my Economics Class just now. We were supposed to get our essays back, together with the grades and feedback but apparently mine was misplaced somewhere. Funny, according to Dr Richardson, because earlier before the class started he mentioned my name. Now I will have to meet him at his office this Friday instead.

Right now I'm hanging at the cafe, waiting for my Advanced Matheatics class at 11.00am.

Remind me to send my clothes for some drying at Atlas later this afternoon. Then I'll have to submit the Financial Reporting essay before 4.00pm today.

I will try my best to stay away from eBay for this week, at least. I think I've succumbed to the addictive world of bidding and winning that it is beginning to drain me financially. Oh wait, another item is ending soon! Got to go yo.

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A Quick Recap

I just finished a looong post for this blog but it suddenly disappeared! Damn it.

One step at a time I guess. Sigh.

Well, this post was supposed to begin with me realising how long this blog has been in abandonment and that I was starting to miss writing here. Then it would probably be followed by a sentence along this line,"I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder. Oh well, enough with the sentimentality." Or something like that.

Anyway, the main objective of today's post is to compress everything that happened from 19th September 2009 (and maybe a couple of weeks before that as well) up until today, Sunday, 15th September 2009. So here's the recap of previous episodes.

On second thought, nantilah.
I'm lacking inspiration.
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Out of Exile, Into the Wild

So my visa was finally approved yesterday, just in time for my flight to Manchester tonight at 2120 hours.

Finally, something worth updating in a very long time.
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They Say Lightning Doesn't Strike Twice

Usain Bolt's done it again!

p/s: I'm going back to Balai Felda today to meet Mr Taj at noon. Come on la Felda!

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Telur & Koay Teow

En route to Ipoh for majlis bacaan tahlil at Atok's place yesterday, we stopped at R&R Tapah for breakfast. Undecided on what to eat, I wandered around the plaza until I saw this cafe selling koay teow and noodles. There were fresh eggs on display too. Two female workers were present that morning - one was behind the counter while the other one was busy cooking in the kitchen. I approached the counter to make my order.

"Koay teow satu kak. Tambah telur mata."

"Telur takde."

I wasn't really paying attention when she said this. Hence when my order was ready, I noticed something was missing. So I asked again.

"Er kak, tambah telur mata satu."

"Telur takde."

"Tu bukan telur?" I pointed at the display beside the counter.

"Tak goreng lagi," she replied. Yes I can see that, thank you very much.

"Tak boleh goreng ke kak?"

She turned to her colleague who was cooking at the kitchen and asked, "Telur ni boleh goreng tak Asiah?"

"Tukang masaknya takde," the cook explained, not even looking back.

Confused (and not wanting to make things look even weirder), I paid for the plate of koay teow and walked away. Before I got back to our table, I bought a fried egg from the stall next to theirs.

All the time while I was having my breakfast, I couldn't help but wonder what really went wrong that morning.
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Pendorong Semangat Saya

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So today I went there as early as I could, but unfortunately Mr Taj wasn't available for the whole day. Instead, I was greeted by his secretary. Her name is...oh no. I forgot.

"Itulah, nak jumpa dia tak boleh main redah je tau. Adik kalau tak buat appointment, susah la nak set up a meeting. Adik ada bagitau dia?" she asked.

"Ada. Saya ada email dia semalam."

"Dia ada reply tak?"


"Patutlah." Dang. Terkena balik.

But it wasn't over yet as she agreed to reschedule the meeting to Monday afternoon. I handed her the letter still, in case Mr Taj was around. Guess I survived the scare today.

And later tonight, the whole family is going back to Ipoh for the kenduri doa selamat which will take place tomorrow at Atok's place. Haih. Lagi banyaklah soalan-soalan sensitif tentang masa depan saya yang perlu dijawab esok.

"I have no further comments. Thank you." If only it's that easy.
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Tomorrow morning, I will get to Balai Felda to meet Mr Taj, Felda Holding's Senior Executive Director of Human Resource and hand him this letter.

Dear Mr Tajuddin Carrim,

I am deeply sorry to learn that my results, as you are already informed, did not meet the requirements that have been set by Felda Holdings. I am saddened by this outcome because the results do not reflect my true potentials. For your information, I have been a consistent student throughout the semesters, besides actively getting involved in college activities. The college can definitely confirm this for you.
I am also aware that my grades may result in the termination of the sponsorship contract with Felda Holdings and that the release letter will be on its way to my mailbox sometime next week. However, in my humble opinion, I do not believe that this is the end of the road. I would like to kindly seek your courtesy to revise my case due to several reasons.
First and foremost, it is indeed true that not only have I failed to meet the sponsor’s requirements, but also both my firm and insurance universities’ as well. However, before any decision is being made, I have good news which I hope will reverse the situation.
1. The University of Manchester has reviewed my case earlier this week and to my delight, they have agreed to offer me a place in one of the degree programmes stated below:

L100 – Economics
N100 – Business Studies

Their Economics degree programme, for your information, belongs in the top 20 universities in the UK which offer the programme. Under normal circumstances, the requirements are usually higher. For my case, however, they are willing to make an exception. The degree programme, to my delight, can be combined with 29 different majors, with Accounting and Finance being some of the combinations offered. Furthermore, the Manchester Business School is also well-known for being the hub of business professionals and economics researchers.

2. In addition to the offer received by University of Manchester, the University of Exeter is also kind enough to consider my case and is highly likely to offer me a place in their degree programme for the October intake. The offer was initially made at ABB, but after reviewing my case they have agreed to lower down the grade. The offer will only be made after 20th of August 2009. This is great news for me nevertheless, considering the fact that Exeter currently is the second best university behind Bath in relation to Accounting and Finance programme*.

*Based on the Times Good University Guide 2010

3. Earlier this year, I took the effort to make an application for a place in one of Australian universities to pursue a degree in a related course. University of Melbourne, which belongs to the elite Group of Eight, have offered me a place in their Bachelor of Commerce degree programme for February 2010 intake. For your information, its Bachelor of Commerce programme is as good as, if not better, than the one offered by London School of Economics.

What I mean to say here is that even though my journey to Manchester might have been held back a little bit by this disappointment, I am lucky enough to be given not just one, but three opportunities to mend the situation right. I have learnt, from my personal experience, of many people who shared similar upsets as I currently do and yet the slight misfortunes did not hold them down. They failed to meet their sponsors’ requirements, but because of the trust being given to them, they managed to prove that the results they received were only a tiny fluke. I do understand that it is the policy of Felda Holdings to maintain the standard by setting 2A 1B as the minimum target, but in my humble opinion, the results are only part of the process. I know that everyone, myself included, has tried the very best to achieve this, but there is a bigger picture that we have to look at. I do admit that I have failed to live up to your expectation, but right now, I have the opportunity to prove my qualities. Three universities have put their trusts in me and are expecting my arrival. The only thing that is left is your approval.

I have done all I that I could on my part, and now my fate lies in your decision. Hence, I am full of hopes that you would consider my situation the best way possible. I personally believe that, rather than relinquishing Felda Holdings’ investment on me by terminating the contract, it will be more desirable to see your investment grow and become even more rewarding in the long run. Parting ways with Felda will definitely be a difficult thing for me to go through.

I would like to thank you for the luxury provided throughout my entire 24 months in KYUEM. I am forever indebted.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Alif Nurhaziq

Hope everything will turn out for the best. Wish me luck.
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Azwan Arif

Get well soon, Azwan.
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A Rebound

You know, after 10th of August, this blog was supposed to be one detailed account of my journey to Manchester. I already had everything planned. Oh how I really wanted to write about my experience enduring the last seven days leading to the big day, that Monday morning when I got my A Level results (along with the big smile on my face, the supposed prank I intended to pull on my parents about the results, the endless phone calls made and received, congratulating my friends on their excellent results. And then my journey to Manchester begins with visa application after receiving my unconditional offer from the university, followed by passport renewal, pre-departure briefing at Balai Felda, attending the ceremony celebrating the scholars, kenduri kesyukuran at my house, shopping and then KLIA. Then I'm already en-route to Manchester!

But as it came to my realisation, some things just don't come your way that easily.
I thought that at the end of the torment, after the excrutiating seven days of waiting, I would finally get what I had hoped for. Well, um, I guess things seemed to be a little bit more complicated than that.

On Monday, exactly one week before the results were out, I couldn't sit still. The clock's ticking alright! By Wednesday, I started having some weird dreams about marriage and world peace. On Friday, when I was having a bonding session with The Creator, there were tears on my cheeks. This was absolutely rare. Sunday night, in my opinion, was the longest night of my life. I couldn't sleep at all. Watching Man United being beaten by Chelsea in the Community Shield match gave me an epiphany. There goes Ferguson's Shield. Will my Manchester dream go the same way too? The aircond was switched on the whole night, and yet tucked underneath the blanket I found myself sweating like mad.

The thought of not being able to make it was killing me. What's gonna happen to the skydiving experience with Aainaa and the gang? What about the community service in Africa? What about Eurotrip? What about donning my best winter gear, walking along the streets of London and get spotted by Scott Schumann and being featured in The Sartorialist? What about taking part in Boxing Day shopping madness? What about Old Trafford? What about taking beautiful pictures? What about having a blonde girlfriend? (Okay, maybe not that) What about graduating and living the good life? Damn. Fikir je pun dah pening.

I had planned to make a countdown on this blog too, just like everyone else. And then on the last day before the results were announced, I would say something like this:

"If there was no update on this blog tomorrow regarding my results, then it could only mean one of two things - either there was a shortage of good news to deliver, or...I'm too busy celebrating!"
Hint: It's not the first one!

Or maybe something more catchy.

However, the results were not as pretty as I had hoped for. I knew that by 8.30am that day Facebook was already flooded by updates delivering their good news. Congratulations were everywhere. Oh how I wished I could join you lot. I didn't have the nerve to tell my parents just yet, so I waited until my dad came home that night to break the news at the dining table. What a great timing to spill the bean yeah? Soon awkward silence filled the air. Eyes downcast to the dinner plate, I was feeling guilty as hell. Urgh.

But I know deep down that not all is lost. I know it was a major disappointment, but this thing is far from over you know. Reading the entry from Fiqss' blog made me realise about how the system works. Her post reminded me to not lose hope, but to have faith instead.

Then it occured to me. It seems that my brain works best under pressure or when I'm caught in a problem. When I was a kid, I used to get into a lot of trouble and yet I had always managed to find a way out. This is no exception either. Hence, I masterminded a plan. An master plan that will take me and my luggage to the UK this September. Oh I will get there alright. Just you wait.

P/S: Aainaa has a blog!
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Better Late...

Here's a rather bizarre article I stumbled upon the internet today, as featured on Greg Ross' page.

Shizo Kanakuri disappeared while running the marathon in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. He was listed as a missing person in Sweden for 50 years — until a journalist found him living placidly in southern Japan.

Overcome with heat during the race, he had stopped at a garden party to drink orange juice, stayed for an hour, then took a train to a hotel and sailed home the next day, too ashamed to tell anyone he was leaving.

There's a happy ending: In 1966 Kanakuri accepted an invitation to return to Stockholm and complete his run. His final time was 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds — surely a record that will never be broken.

Moral of the story? I don't know. Perhaps if you have to choose between a glass of orange juice and national pride, always pick the latter.
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Seketika Di Dapur.

This week so far has been an unproductive one for me. I wanted to go jogging, but my left leg hasn't fully recovered yet (tapi bley je kalau nak). I wanted to start reading a book, tapi at home takde title yg interesting enough. Watering the plants tu memang tak ah. So I was left with no choice but to proceed with the usual routine -TV, internet, tido, and movies (which is fine by me, but not quite according to the mother.)

Tapi not today. Sebab today, I finally did something awesome. Haha. Gua buat doughnut weyh! Lu bikin apa hari ni? (Sorry ar poyo sket. Sangat excited dengan pencapaian diri.)

Ini bukan lakonan semula. Ini saya, mula berjinak-jinak dengan dunia pastry yang indah. Haha.

Mula-mula, buat bentuk normal.

Curious, I went on to make a pretzel-looking doughnut...which I failed miserably.

Goreng-goreng time.

Next, sapu sket glazing sugar on the surface of the doughnuts for maximum impact. Haha. Then siap!

So yeah, that's about it:)

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Bukit Jalil

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A Lonesome Friday

Both the little sisters are coming home today. I never thought I'd say this, but I secretly miss them very much. I miss being annoyed at their antics and gossips. I miss getting into fights with them over petty things such as the TV controller and the internet. At least it's better than having conversations with my head all week long.

Isy. Cepat ar balik, makcik-makcik sekalian.
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Admit it. Stop-motion videos are never boring to watch because they are awesome and unique. Those who appreciate them will understand the huge amount of effort being put to make a simple 3 minute animation for the viewers' pleasure. Well, at least to some of us. When me and Tiger attempted our first stop motion video last year, it took us days and thousands of photos to create a six minute video. Although it was a painstaking process, it was worth every minute. So when I stumbled across this video on Youtube the other day, I couldn't help but admire the awesomeness of the video and the director. This is truly a masterpiece. Nod your head if you feel the same way too.

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Just Now.

On my way back home from KLCC just now, I noticed a lad sitting in front of me in the LRT. His eyes were closed, his head rested against the glass panel, totally unaffected by the occasional knocks he received throughout the journey. His bag was firmly placed on his lap as water was dripping from his wide open mouth. I also noticed the writing on his shirt. It read "A Wild Dream."

Then it came to me, "Oh patut la. He's living the dream."
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My Favourite Pictures From Redang

Owh Redang Island we miss you already.

Advertisement 1.

Advertisement 2.

Upon arrival.

"Macam postcard," Azam suggested.

Dalam boat.

Our private beach.

The island.


Masjid Kristal.

And the winner! Sorry Safu, tapi serious lawa:P
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Settling Down

I got back from Langkawi yesterday. The bus started its journey at 9pm and arrived at Pudu at around 5am the following day. While waiting for the LRT to start operating, we had breakfast on the streets of Masjid Jamek. How interesting.

The Langkawi trip this time around, to me, is awesome in its own way.

To Pua, thanks for the hospitality.
To Atuque, nice keeping in touch with you.
To Tloy, thanks for the story. I'll try to learn a lesson or two.
To Reno, Ali and Nasy, selamat fly ke Aussie.
To Haziq, congratulations. Imperial baby!

And to Oggy, good luck dude. Manchester's waiting.
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Redang Bay Redang Bay!

I just got back from Redang this morning!
Woohoo best giler.

Will dedicate a post about the trip, but perhaps some time later.

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