Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Where there's a will, there's a way (to write)...

I used to blog through windows live journal. Love that software to bits. Then, several years ago, I switched to macbook pro for my PhD because I needed the power to handle SPSS, excel (heavy spreadsheets), Rotorgene, MS word and Endnote all at the same time. Love that notebook to bits too. But I also realised that after the switch, my blogging activity immediately reached a new low. This is partly because I was busy (of course I'd give the easy excuse...) but mostly because, there is nothing equivalent to windows live journal in this super computer (bummer). Oh, did you buy my lame excuses? I did not. Some wise person used to say..."Where there's a will, there's a way." Clearly my writing will was not strong enough for me to reach to the super computer and write. End of story. Now, while I am already on the computer, I might as well write something... And I want to start with an update. I 2013, I returned back from my studies, having been doing experiments non-stop for 3 and a half years during my Phd, I was planning to do some writing in Malaysia. But look at how that turns out? Only after 2 years in Malaysia did I manage to finish my writing amidst teaching and various admin works in my new workplace. 2015 was the year when my thesis was finally accepted. It was such a glorious time for me. I am mostly overjoyed by this particular milestone because firstly, I have spent several precious years of my life committed to getting a PhD and I did. One life goal achieved there. But more importantly, I can open up my life to something else. Now, I can focus on health, being happy, nurturing my students, spending time with my ageing parents, see the world and all in all, just being authentically me.
Now, if I am awake at 2.30 am, I am doing in on purpose. I am awake because I am passionate to write, to do some artwork or to just enjoy the tranquility of the midnight. NOT because I couldn't book the PCR machine during the day so I have to do it at night.
Putting all my PhD related stories archived in my memories, I am ready for new chapters in my life. PhD taught me to be a scientist, to be a team member, to be a leader and to be a speaker. My hats off to my two supervisors. More stories about PhD to come. Meanwhile, lets listen to the sweet breathing of the El Nino currently sweeping all over Malaysia. Home feels home, even if Ringgit is weak, houses are super expensive and my salary could be better ( seriously, human resource, you should really look into this). But yes... home is home. and nothing is better than home. I would say with the exception of Mekah, but in truth Mekah feels more like home to me sometimes. With love, Ana.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The other family

Life is undeniably tricky. It humours you,It made you laugh. But there are also times when life pushed you around and laugh when you fall face down. I suppose everyone learns something from their life story. A simple example, the hardships one encounters in his or her childhood made them strong and fearless when they grow up. Early childhood caring upbringing perhaps moulds people to become caring and sensitive too when they are adults. So they grow up to become volunteers and social care workers. I bet there are scientific evidences to this; only that I am not about to quote them here. So here is a glimpse of my life story. It probably began when two people fell in love and were fated to be together to have me and my two siblings. It was a short marriage. Ended after 5 years and since then I learnt that daddy no longer lives with me. My first impression at that age was, he was taken away from me (like being abducted) by this new family. But I continued my childhood relatively smoothly. There are odds and ends where other kids at my kindergarten couldn't understand why I live with my mom and my aunty and my cousins instead of in a normal family consisting of mom+dad+siblings... I got bullied pretty often. but I never fight back. They would hit me on the head, pinch me on my arms, called me names, may be also call my mom with ill names that I have completely blocked out from my memory. I survived my preschool years with more questions than answers. I have learnt since that the english word for bercerai is divorce and that separated means berpisah so that I can explain to my english speaking teachers the situation in my family. Mom tried her best to give us the most normal upbringing possible. but without a father in the house, it can never be normal to a kid. But mom was good in a way that she never cry in front of me or show any hint of weakness when handling 3 children singularly. Now I know that not many mothers can do that. Especially not when your eldest is 5, followed by a 3-year-old boy and a 4-month-old infant. my relationship with dad and his new family began one day after preschool. it was probably 1988. Dad picked me up after school for something you'd now call a playdate. I was about to be introduced to my stepmother and my stepsister. I still remember that the afternoon was scorching hot, we travelled in this smallish reddish burgundy car to a village house in Meru, Klang. That was when I first laid my eyes on my stepsister, soon to be my best friend. She was very friendly for someone who is so young and small. She is this kind of person who has no prejudice, a good heart and altogether a very genuine person indeed. When dad walked into the house with me, she radiated with joy. Dad picked her up, lifted her in the air and hold her for few minutes asking her to be nice to me. A hint of jealousy struck me and I realised that it remains there until now. I whispered to myself, "Daddy used to lift me that way. Now he lifts this girl. So this is how he spends his time now... with another child." We were then introduced. I was Suhana, anak Abah Zul. And she was simply Anifah mama's daughter. I immediately tried to spell her name in my head, but I couldn't. I made a point that I will ,ask her how to spell her name later that day. Because how would I tell mom about this new friend if I couldn't spell her name? Because only when I can spell them properly, would I be certain how to pronounce them properly. For a child my age 'Anifah' is a very unique name indeed. Anifah was a very friendly little girl and was very cute. She was 1 year younger than me. When I arrived, she was playing with a set of colourful plastic iron and a few doll clothes. she was pretending to be ironing. I thought how lovely the play set was. I have only ever seen the real thing. So I was very amused. Anifah demonstrated to me the many functions that fake iron has and we made believe together for few minutes before we were called for lunch. There were many people in that house. There was Atuk Jaafar who was always sickly with conversation I could barely understand. He was religious and prays a lot. He was also very old. Nenek was Anifah's grandmother.She was not that old. She had a peculiar characteristic that was not typical of other grandmothers I have ever met. Maybe because she was not warmed up to me yet. She always looked at me as if I am a strange subject to be studied. But years down the road, I have grown to love her to bits. Other than these two, Anifah lives there too, with her mama; my stepmother and my dad. It still hurts to write about it... the fact that dad actually lives separately from us. More about Anifah and mama in next entry.

Friday, November 21, 2014

H e l l o ...

Hello everybody. I miss this blog. and I miss all of you too. =^.^= TWO years I abandon this blog due to professional reasons, and I think, it's high time to resume my normal life, which includes blog loving, blog decorating and a lot of blog writing. Life is a story. It hungers to be told, to be shared and to be heard... and here is a perfect platform to do so. I'm in the midst of finishing a big project... So you can expect less writing from me for the time being.. but hey, this big project is FINISHING.. finally. so I m going to make a come back very very soon. I learnt loads, I grew up and becoming more mature in the past couple of years. I can't wait to share with you guys my stories. be back soon.. lovya, Ana

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cabaran belajar di Perth (episod 2): First time renters kene baca nih..

Lip lap.. lip lap... bunyik mata kita pejam celik pejam celik....
Tau2 rupanya dah September 2012. cepatnya masa berlalu. masih teringat lagi first day melangkah keluar dari  departure hall KLIA, dengan perasaan yang excited campur risau campur gementar... semua ada, bercampur baur macam rojak, kita cekalkan jugak hati untuk tinggalkan family tersayang untuk sambung study dekat Perth ni. sepanjang perjalanan walaupun dihidangkan dengan in flight entertainment bertali arus, rasa duk dak duk dak dalam hati tu tetap tak mau hilang.

Pastu bila kapten announce "we have arrived in Perth, ground temperature is 7 degree Celsius...bla bla bla..." masa tu barulah minda ni start nak terima kenyataan, wah.. I'm in Perth. I'm in Perth.. there's nobody here except my hubby & me. wah! boleh buat sesuka hati mulai sekarang!! wah!! seronotnyers!!!!! (oh yea, lupa nak cakap... kadang2 saya memang tak berapa betul. especially bila terover eksaited..  =D ngeee).. kisah seterusnya on how we all survive first few days dekat Perth ni telah dimaktubkan dalam entry yang lepas (here, nyah)...

Haha.."Perth.." dulu dengar nama jer..kedudukannya dalam peta pun kita tak pernah amek tahu.  dah dapat surat approval untuk sambung belajar ke sini baru sibuk2 nak google map kat mana tempat yang dinamakan Perth ni. walawey.. skrg sudah dekat nak 5 tahun kita duk kat sini rupanya. cam tak percaya jer.

(Gambar diatas nie sama sekali BUKAN rumah kita kat Claremont tu ok.. ni rumah kita kat malaysia..hikhikhik..rumah contoh jer..rumah sebenar dalam pembinaan)

dalam entry kita yang sebelum nie (yang dua tahun lepas tuh....kikiki) kita ada cakap pasal camner nak cari rumah sewa kan. sebenarnya dalam 4 tahun setengah we all duk sini, 4 buah rumah jugaklah yang kitorang duduk. boleh kata setiap tahun pindah rumah tau. bukan suka2, bukan main2 tapi cobaan... betul2 punya cobaan..

rumah pertama kitorang kat Claremont, Western Australia.
jaraknya 6 km dari my school (university of western australia: UWA) tu..kalau jalan kaki 30 minit..kalau naik kereta 5-15 minit bergantung pada traffic light nak hijau selalu ke, atau nak merah selalu... kalau tanak naik kaki atau naik kereta, boleh naik bas juga maa... beberapa sen je kalau uols ada student pass. tp kita tak pernah naik bas sbb my hubby (Mr Hubbs) sentiasa hantar dan amek kita pergi balik sekolah. minyak kereta AUD 40 kot sebulan. duduk within 10 km radius from UWA nie, jangan mimpi indahlah nak dapatkan parking permit yer.. dorang akan suruh kita usaha sendiri pergi sekolah. no free parking. duduk jauh baru dapat parking permit nie.

rumah nie 3 bilik, 1 bathroom, 2 wc, 2 parkings... we all menyewa dengan the other couple yang datang sekali with us tu. Zaman tu (2008), rumah 3 bilik nie sewanya hanyalah 450 jer seMINGGU..bukan sebulan okeh, tapi seminggu. so kitorang split the rent kpd AUD 225 each. sebulan bayar AUD 900 jer. Inilah sewa paling murah selama 4 tahun lebih duduk kat perth nie..

cabaran besar for first time renters ni ialah nak memenangi kepercayaan realty (realestate) agent yang kita nie responsible, dependable and trustworthy utk dapat rumah yang kita nak tu. I mean, rumah memang banyak yang for rent dekat perth ni, but our priorities adalah dekat dengan UWA... so area yang terlibat ialah sekitar nedlands & crawley... maybe extend sampai claremont & cottesloe... tak banyak rumah sewa yang murah kat area2 yang hotz macam ni..

kalau ada rezeki mewah, time kita cari rumah tu ada laa beberapa houses open up, yang harganya berkadar terus dengan budget kita.. TETAPI kita kene ingat yang bukan kita jer student yang baru sampai dan sedang mencari rumah.. raaaaaaamai lagi student yang sama2 tgh cari rumah cam kita.

believe me, normal situation time home viewing, biasanya rumah sebijik je yang available, tapi orang yang datang menyerbu nak view rumah tu kadang2 sampai 24 orang! kalau semua tu couples at least ada 12 couples yang kita nak kene fight utk dapatkan rumah tu.. tapi macam mana plak kalau semua tu singles? kita nak fight for that pretty and cheap and close by house dengan 24 orang yang lain.. akan terpilih kah kita? so disini saya nak bagitau pada first time renters dekat wilayah Perth nie... apekah tips & tricks utk dapat rumah yang uols idam2 kan tuh..

Tips pertama, contact agent nicely & professionally masa tgk website atau tu. bagi tahu situasi uols dengan terang dan jelas. inquire on availability of the house, your interest to view the house and when is the viewing. (gunakan perkataan kindly, and please banyak2 kali dalam email tu)

keduanya.. tengok rumah tu under realestate aper? then pergi ke website realestate tersebut dan download dari website tuh house application form. dah download tu aperlagi, isilah borang2 tersebut beserta lampiran2 yang dikhendaki. obviously kita kene sediakan some form of ID.. yang nie guna photostate passportlah, kalau dapat scan and print kaler lagi bagus.. kalau rasa2 macam takder printer kaler, elok buat siap2 dari malaysia tanahair tercinta kita tu.. fotostate byk2 passport tuh kat ofis... kan ke free je...

yang ketiga, setiap application perlu disertakan dengan "option fee". usually option fee nie sama harga dengan seminggu sewa rumah tersebut.kalau uols benar2 yakin that's the house that you want berdasarkan gambar2 yang telah diuplodkan kat website reiwa atau realestate tadi, bolehlah seidakan yang option fee tu. tp jangan bank in dulu kat agent.. view rumah dulu!

keempat, time view rumah tu nak buat aper ek?
OK yang nie kita kene guna prinsip first impression lasts a lifetime.. kalau kita nak bagi impression kat agent yang kita nie reliable, patutkah kita pergi home viewing pakai kain batik ngan t-shirt pastu pakai selipar jepun? tak patut kan.. so yang gentlemen tu  pakailah kemeja & seluar slack cam nak gi BTN tu.. tak pun pakai kemeja-T berkolar dan seluar yang kemas. koyak2 lutut tak comeylah...yang ladies pulak, pakai baju yang korang selalu pakai utk gi kerja / majlis formal. baju kurung boleh, jubah seluar pun boleh, asalkan nampak imej professional jadilah.. kalau rambut plak, jangan kasi itu rambut mengerbang2.. biar tersikat rapi.. cleavage juga jangan kasi ternampak... ok! dibuatnya agent tu jelles sbb Uols terlampau hotz.. tak dapat plak rumah tu nanti... huhuhu

tu baru pakaian.. dah sampai kat rumah yang uols nak view tu, say hi to the agent. camner nak tahu saper agent? biasanya agent yang pakai blazer tu. tak kira laki ke perempuan, dorg mmg selalu pakai formal time home viewing. borak2 ngan agent kalau boleh. flaunt your english yang berhabuk tuh.. IELTS kan dapat cemerlang hari tu... disinilah masanya nak praktis! kihkihkih. =^.^= kalau ada anak2 bawak budak2 tu sekali. pastikan masing2 pakai their best outfit, pastikan baby2 semua kenyang dan dah tukar lampin so takder nak nangis2 and on their best cutest behaviour.. then hopefully budak2 tu buat mata "puss in boots" supaya agent tu cair dan dengan hati terbuka akan bagi uols rumah tu..hikhikhik =P

time nie uols boleh pergi kat agent tu cakap "Excuse me, Miss/Sir, I have completed the application form for this house, should I hand it to you or should I go to the office?" masa tu agent akan faham lah yang U mmg serious nak rumah tu..
Now, kalau uols tamau hand in application tu terus, tapi nak view sahaja sbb ada byk lagi rumah lain yang berkenan di hati, kita suggest Uols jgn tggu lama2 sangat utk berfikir.. paling lama pun biar overnight je.. sbb gerenti melepas. especially klu ramai org time viewing tu..

OK tricks kalau rumah yang uols nak tu dah perfect sangat.. besar dan luas, murah, dekat plak tu dengan skool, jalan kaki 5 minit je dah sampai...tapi 40 orang datang view sekali dengan uols.. muka semua professional, masing2 pun nampak cam postgrad student yang dah penah ada karier yang berjaya sblm nie... basically mmg intimidatinglah uols punya saingan tuk rumah tersebut... one thing you could do masa nak apply rumah tu ialah.. increase the rent. kalau agent tawar AUD 450 seminggu.. you letak kat situ 460/week ke..ikut kemampuanlah, ok.. kita selalu naikkan 5 dollar je seminggu... dan everytime kita wat camtu dapat rumah yang diidamkan tu.. so if uols nak ikut trick ni ikutlah tp at your own risk ok.. hehehehe..

Baiklah, sampai disini sahaja buat masa nie..
kalau terasa macam nak tahu lebih lanjut pasal apa2 jer tentang cabaran belajar kat Perth ni, silakan email sahaja tuan punya blog nie ok. tee hee hee. till then.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting it out of the chest

You know that you can do absolutely nothing,
You can say nothing wrong,
You can try to be nice by smiling or greet people good morning,
You can dress appropriately without letting your hair loose or your tits hanging by the cleavage of your blouse,
You can try to remain at the sideline all the time so as to not interfere with other people's way,
You can go to a great length to plan your experiments so that others still get the chance to also use the equipment that you would otherwise hoard,
You could pick up all gloves that people threw and missed the garbage bin, 
You could pick up all empty pipette tip boxes, threw away the insides and arrange the empty boxes ready for refill, 
You could clean the benches, 
Change bench coat, 
Clean fume hoods 
and dirty beakers 
and bloody, smelly pestle and mortars that others used but forgot to clean, 
You could refill the paper towels, 
Change empty glove boxes, 
Rehang coats that have fallen to the floor, 
Walk to MCS to buy dry ice so that you and others could also use them, 
you could nicely ask for help or for information, and remain calm when others rudely dismiss you, ignore you or ask you to find it yourselves..
You could do all these and more..

BUT some people would still.. just hate you or no reason,
hate the fact that you smile weird, 
hate that you dress weird and baggy and ugly,
hate that you are selfish for hoarding the machine at night (when no one wants to use it).
hate that you are so into yourselves that they never see you in school social gatherings.
Hate the fact that you are a muslim,
Hate you for the fact that you already have a medical degree, what are you showing off doing PhD here? Go BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY!!
Hate that you think you are so good, so awesome that others would have to abide by what you want or what you like,
Hate that you never ask around, do you think you are so good already?

And then, one day you would make a human mistake...

By doing your experiment at an inappropriately empty bench at one empty corner of the lab,
or switch off the light for 15 minutes for a light sensitive assay,
or bring the shaker to the cool room,
or suffered poor internet connection that you were unable to cancel an equipment booking,
or had an bleeding emergency that made you unable to attend a meeting or a booking,

That is all that it takes for everything to blow off proportion. 

for an angry mob to come complaining to the authorities for your general unprofessionalism, 
unhelpfull-ness, ego-centric working attitude.


And you would only whisper to yourself,
6 more months..
only 6 more months to go..

and when the 6 month is up, I will gladly mention each and every one of these people in my thesis, or in an all-school email. 
to thank them for an unforgettable experience I had over here. 
and may be mention a little bit more than that too...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And Ramadhan leaves us eventually...

Alhamdulillah we have all performed our duties as Allah's servant during the last Ramadhan and finally the fully anticipated Eid is here. I disagree with the saying that the older you get, the less merry it feels to celebrate Eid. However, it is kinda obvious that the childhood merriment of Eid is somewhat muted now that we are older... not because we put less effort into it, but because as we age, we learn to feel the sorrow and to feel the emptiness when Ramadhan leaves us. Well at least that was exactly how i felt. 

It is bizarre that Muslims talk about Ramadhan with such passion and devotion. It is bizarre that despite not being able to eat and drink during the day, despite having to go to mosques every night for tarawikh, feeling tired and thirsty and just plain weak sometimes... we still adore the month of Ramadhann to bits. There is no explanation for this other than "the eyes can not see what the mind does not know." 

It is enough to say that if happiness can be touched and if peacefulness and calmness can be physically felt, then the blessings that the month of Ramadhan brings to all devoted muslims are quite close to palpable. Bring on the thirst and hunger because it only makes us understands the thirst and hunger of the less fortunate better. it's one thing to perform money transfer to a charity to stop famine in Africa from the comfort of your own office, but it is an entirely different experience to actually suffer the thirst and hunger for 12-14 hours yourselves... But owh, I did not suffer, no I did not. It was far from a suffering. It was more of an offering to show that for Allah, the greatest and the almighty, I'll do anything. It's a prove of devotion more than anything else. 

So it is sad that Ramadhan is no longer here. I hope to meet next year's Ramadhan and preferably as a better person all in all, insyaAllah.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Girls day out

Sometimes a little distraction is good.
It's crazy how I have been living in Perth since 2008, but I have only been to Perth city a couple of times. Last Friday we went to Perth city. Just us, the girls.

I almost forget how fun going out with girlfriends is. 

In the picture above I was with Suhaili near Trinity court. We were about to enter Dome for a cuppa.

We just like the scenery. Soon after, sheeda's husband picked us up. We spent 2.5 hours for the girls only lunch. It's been years since I last eat Japanese food and thankfully we found Shimizu, an ICWA certified halaal restaurant in the city. We had a great time. I am really looking forward to doing this again in the future, InsyaAllah.

Love, Ana.

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