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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