Friday, December 22, 2006


Hiya! Sorry for the lack of update. It’s been three days since I pulled my head out of the game that I’m playing that consumed most of my time (Final Fantasy VII) and I realised that there’s nobody around. Everybody’s back home or had gone somewhere. It’s not bad or anything, just… less merry.

Sigh… oh well. Better make good use of the holiday nevertheless. I actually planned to do some advanced studying, wonder where that had gone to. Anyway, in a few days, some friends of mine are going to visit so I’m looking forward to that, even though why on earth do they want to visit Cambridge in winter I have no clue.

p/s If you're sharp you can notice the connection between the picture and something else on the page =)


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Americans get quizzed

Some random stuffs I found on Facebook which lead me to this clip. A few are pretty hilarious.

"How many world wars have there been?"

Ha ha ha.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The holiday guilt

Have you ever worked really hard for a long period of time that when you’re having a holiday, you feel guilty for spending it by doing absolutely nothing that’s beneficial? Well, I kinda started Final Fantasy VII and I guessed I got hooked and now I can’t stop playing. The game is so addictive! I still have some holiday homework and I feel bad that I’m putting them off for the moment. Sigh…

I found the TV room a few days ago and it’s totally empty now that students are gone. The same can be said about the gym as well. I also have the kitchen and the fridge in my floor all to myself so I can put whatever stuffs I want in it and cook whatever I like. It feels great! Guess I’m a bit reluctant to travel around now that things are really getting comfy here.

In other news, apparently the great river mystery was linked to the case of a missing person in Cambridge not long ago. The river was drained for some building inspection work and the police took the opportunity to search for the body in the river and they found it. Apparently the poor soul had a heart attack when he fell into the icy cold water. Gosh!

Maybe I shouldn’t have brought that up =(


Saturday, December 09, 2006

What's the score?

A picture in an article I read about. It's a signboard advertising the upcoming Oxbridge rugby match. Kinda cool, if you think about it. They also have signboards on the number of Poet Laureates, Prime Ministers and heads on postage stamps.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

The river mystery

Two days ago I realised the river Cam became noticeably shallower than usual.

But strangely today, it became normal again. Hmmm... what's going on, exactly? Government conspiracy? Secret experiment being done upriver that uses the water? Or have I been watching too many Torchwood episodes?


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

An irksome exaggeration

I went to breakfast this morning and what ho – the hall is full of interview candidates again. Sat amongst them since I’m interested in hearing what they thought about this interview process and Cambridge in general. I was about to open my mouth and say something when this student came, sat with us and started talking.

I listened for a few minutes when I was like, “What the heck?!” The guy was giving a really skewed description of Trinity! He said that the porters in the college treated girls differently than guys because they are prettier. He also said that college formals are divided into two parts: the one when the fellows are there and the one when they aren’t, in which the formals will turn into a raucous party. I was thinking, “Oh. My. God!” and had to refrain myself from blurting out that NO – the porters don’t have a predisposition towards girls; NO – formal halls aren’t always being out-of-control and disorderly and we definitely DO NOT have to report to our tutors for being rowdy and wild in formals every time because that DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN! What is he telling these people??

So when the guy was gone, I talked to one of the candidates, “Hey, whatever he said, just take it with a pinch of salt because it’s not necessarily true.”

He replied, “I know. I met the porters before and they’re really nice.”

How I love people with common sense.


Monday, December 04, 2006

It’s that time of the year

So I went to breakfast this morning, looking forward to another day full of movies, games and Torchwood when I realized that there are so many faces that I haven’t seen before. I don’t think people are that motivated to go to an 8:15 a.m. breakfast on a holiday. Plus, they all dressed smartly and looking kinda lost. That’s when I realised: it’s that time of the year again. When new prospects came to Cambridge filled with anticipation and not a little nervousness. The Cambridge interviews had now begun…

I still remembered my very own Cambridge interview… having a test that I couldn’t finish… filled with pride for being able to remember the density of air to three significant figures… one of the few times in my life that I can feel the gears in my mind turning as I struggled to understand the concept of unit cell, which, I might add, is not in the IB syllabus and is only being taught in the first year of university. Not something I’d like to repeat but it’s one of those things that made you feel pleased because it turned out well.

One of my juniors from AC came today for the interview. She had to do the dreaded Thinking Skills Assessment test. Ha ha, if I was asked a bit earlier I might have given them some tips on choosing the types of interview. Oh well.

I chatted with some interview candidates during dinner. I think I scared them a bit with my description of the interview. Oops.

There was a sketch in the Brit National evening in AC that I remembered about Oxbridge interviews. It goes a bit like this:

Interviewer: So, you came here to be interviewed.

Candidate (nervous): Err, yes.

Interviewer (holding out his hand): There’s a heavy brick in my hand. Pick it up.

The candidate picked up the empty air on the interviewer’s hand and pretended that it was really heavy.

Candidate: Urggh, urghh…

Interviewer: Feel the brick. Can you feel the texture? It’s really heavy, isn’t it? Good. Now, throw it out the window.

The candidate swung his hand backward and threw the imaginary brick towards the direction of the window.

Interviewer: Impressive. Though the next time, you might want to open the window first.


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Freedom of religion?

Somebody in Cambridge sent me this link via e-mail today. Have a go and read it first.

Personally, my initial reaction is, “What a twat!” Then, when I calmed down a bit, I guess my comment would be “He’s a rather ignorant person, isn’t he?”

I’m referring to the writer of the column mentioned in the article, Prager.

Since Mr Volokh has presented his arguments more informatively and eloquently than I can ever manage, I guess there isn’t much else I can say. Just want to add my two-cent worth. I think being born in a supposedly multicultural country makes people think they’re all embracing diversity and all that jazz, but the reality is people might be more ignorant then they think they are. He implied that it doesn’t matter what you think and believe, when elected to congress, then uphold the bible. Seems like a contradiction to the supposedly multiculturalism, don’t you think? It doesn’t matter that the person will feel somewhat forced to adhere to another religion’s holy ceremony. It doesn’t matter that the person will probably not take the oath seriously because, hey, you don’t believe in the bible, so the oath is void, right? In fact, the oath doesn’t matter at all, what matters is that you swear on the bible and then just do your job as a congressman. Is that what he’s implying?

I think this is coming from the mouth of a person who really has no inkling of the significance of religion to somebody else. This is not tolerating other religion/culture. This is “Hey, as long as it doesn’t bother me, then who cares” kind of attitude. But if it does disturb your blissful apathy, then you’ll say “Nope, we’re not having any of that!” If this is the paradigm of an average joe, then we have a long way to go for multicultural understanding.

I also agree with the article in that the person doesn’t have to take an oath on the Qur’an, just do an affirmation on the name of God or something. That’ll do.

As an aside, in Cambridge, when you graduate, they’ll present you your degree in the name of the holy trinity. However, you can tell them beforehand and they’ll just say ‘in the name of God’ or something of that effect, and you don’t have to bow before them. I know, Cambridge is cool that way.


Friday, December 01, 2006


I think I’m being hooked with sushi.

I had my first taste of sushi during the chemical engineering dinner. They looked really nice and when I tried them they tasted nice as well. Of course, at that moment I also didn’t know how wasabi looks like and when a friend challenged me to eat a lump of it, I didn’t suspect the worse. Hey, we Malaysians eat chilli paste for breakfast, right? So I put a small bead of it into my mouth and I can immediately felt it going to my head. Good thing it’s not that big a lump or I might grab the first glass of water or wine within my reach and dunk it all up.

Live and learn, heh heh.

I’m proud to say that that’s also the first time I tried eating with a chopstick and I got the hang of it pretty quickly. Yay!

The whole thing reminded me of this MadTV’s average asian clip I once saw on youtube. Pretty funny stuff.

So anyway, I had a craving today so I went and bought two sushi sets from Sainsbury’s. They’re yummy.

I also made my special chocolate-covered strawberries today for the Malaysian weekly cook-out. Don’t they look tantalizing? Can’t wait to eat them all.

Until then, have fun whatever you’re eating!!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who's name again?

We were studying fluidized bed when we came across something called the ‘Richardson and Zaki’ correlation in the lecture notes. I find this amusing since I know a friend named Zaki and it’s rare to find a theory with a name that’s remotely ‘sort-of’ Malaysian.

Sadly, the lecturer broke my reverie by saying that the story is that the aforementioned Richardson is THE Richardson in ‘Coulson and Richardson’ (a really famous and useful chemical engineering book) and Zaki is the one that cleaned the apparatus. Oh well…

Still, isn’t it amazing to have a law (or correlation, relationship, formula etc.) that has your name? Hmmm, like Yazid’s law or something, he he.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm smiling

I have this t-shirt stashed in my cupboard. It's one of my favourites.

I saw this in a shop the other day. Think I should go get it?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Another week left

It’s almost that time again! The time when the Brits will go back home and the Europeans will board their flights (which probably cost less than £20, grrrr… I’m jealous) and the college will be owned by a bunch of overseas students and some poor souls who decided to stay because they think this is the perfect time to catch up on their studies, like my neighbour last year, ahahaha (sorry Dom, that was laughter in good spirit, he he). Anyway, I can’t help being in holiday mode, which is a bit worrying since I have a few more work to finish before I can call it a term. Still, term ends next Friday, and after that I’ll be free to do whatever I want. Well, almost.

For the moment, I have to finish one example sheet, a fluid mechanics exercise and a full lab report for the last lab of the term. I pity people who will have their lab next Wednesday since they will either have to finish it in three days (instead of the normal ten) or stay in Cambridge during the holidays to get it done. Oh well.

I saw this in Borders the other day. They’re adapting Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather on BBC. Don’t know if it’s good or not but it looks cool.

I will probably fill my Christmas break with watching lots and lots of films, animes, doing nothing and going for random walks all day. Might also drop by at the Malaysian AC students’ place in London to see how they’re doing. In the meantime, I’m wishing everybody who stumbled upon my blog a happy holiday! Cheers.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Spot the sameness

I always find this quite funny since I've only seen it happen in the UK and never back home. But anyway, it's really hard to take a picture while trying to be inconspicuous at the same time. Still, go ahead and spot the sameness...


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Let’s get fit

In AC, there was a gym that we students can use. One of its rules is that you have to have at least another person with you while you work out. Hence, my gym-a-holic dorm mate Safi used to drag me to the gym every now and then. I used to work on the running machine since my swimming instructor advised me to improve my stamina (I first learnt how to swim properly in AC) but I was reluctant to try the weights machine (at least when someone’s around) since it’s embarrassing when my dorm mate can lift some forty-pounders without breaking a sweat while I’m struggling to raise some twenty pound weights.

Anyway, I kinda missed having him around because now there’s no one to drag me to the gym anymore. As a result, I’ve never known the insides of the Trinity College gym at all last year. This year, though, I’m trying to get that changed, what’s with volleyball and all. So I attended the gym induction the other weekend and picked my brand new gym card. Yay! Now I just need to find someone to drag with me every time I feel like getting a work out =)

On another note, I just signed up for the Chemical Engineering department’s nine-course meal Christmas dinner. A bit counter-productive, don’t you think?


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cool name

Don't you think it's really cool to have a surname like Newton or Einstein (or Bond, he he)? That way if you introduce yourself people will be like, wow! Talk about being proud of your ancestry.

There was a notice on the notice board about the people elected on the Rouse Ball Senior Studentship (whatever that is) on Trinity and one name in particular caught my eye. Wow, how cool is that?

(I blackened the names coz I'm still not sure of this whole publishing names on the internet thingy)

She's in the same university as her ancestor, not to mention the same college too!


P.S. Talking about cool name, I made a search in Facebook and it turned out there are a number of people named Malaysia. Ha ha.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The poppy

The poppy appeal is back again this year. I noticed it when someone from TCSU held a box of poppies and a donation jar at the dining hall queue. The next day, there were a few other poppy volunteers that I saw on my way to Sainsbury’s. They weren’t paying me much attention, though. Probably because of the fact that they thought foreigners won’t have a clue of what’s it all about, which is quite true, by the way.

I remember a German friend in AC wearing one of those poppies on her shirt and people were giving her amused looks. She said something about ‘it’s about remembrance, not the war itself’.

I pretended to be clueless (one advantage of being a foreigner) and ask a friend during breakfast, “What’s the poppy all about?”

“Oh, it’s about remembering people that served in the war.”

“What if you don’t agree with the war in the first place?”

I think he was amused by my questions. I can’t recall his exact answer but it probably lies along the lines of you can still wear the poppy. I was tempted to ask my last question, “Is it remembering both sides, or just one side of the casualties of the war?” I know the answer to that one.

I didn’t ask that last question.

On a break from studying last night, I sauntered to the common room and grabbed the first paper available to me. It was a copy of The Times. On the front page was a report about an event of commemorating the British soldiers that had died in Iraq. About 121 in total. I can’t help but to ponder, are those people in the ceremony remembering war casualties on one side only, or does it crossed their minds about the death on the other side as well?

Was browsing through my friends’ blogs yesterday and I found this nice song by Outlandish from Youtube. Thanks Zaid!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Image mosaic generator

Ever seen those pictures that were made up of hundreds of different little tiny pictures, but they all combine to make a bigger picture? Ta da!

Just click on the picture.

Found this on the internet the other day. Thought I'll have some fun fiddling with it =)


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's autumn

... and the trees are changing colour!

Isn't it nice to have the leaves falling down while you walk past?


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We had a lecture on stresses due to pressure today and the name Euler kept cropping up in the lecture and I can’t help but chuckle or cringe or both everytime because the lecturer pronounced it as ‘YU- LER’. I mean, this is Cambridge, right?

I wonder how many people in the masses actually know that Euler is pronounced as Oiler?


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guy Fawkes Night

It's here! The night when Cambridge inhabitants all flock together in Midsummer's Common to enjoy an overdose of sweets (think cotton candy and toffee apples) and watch things that go whizz and bang that explodes in a myriad of colours in all directions. Yay!

I went there with a friend of mine just a bit after seven to catch the event that will commence at half past. There was a similar event at the Boat House but you have to pay for that and they serve you mulled wine which I can't even drink, so why bother? Anyway, I took a few pictures and videos until my camera ran out of space. The event lasted approximately fifteen minutes, which I felt was a bit shorter than last year. I wonder why that is... insufficient funding? Well, in any case, it was a good display.

My uber Canon Ixus 55 proved to be too complicated for my friend to handle. As a result, there's no picture of me with the fireworks as background.... *sobs*.

Oh, if they look a bit blurry, it's because I use fireworks mode (longer exposure time) with no tripod =( I also must admit, it always looks better and larger in real life. Or maybe I just suck at camera =)


Friday, November 03, 2006

Just a quick update

We had our second friendly volleyball match today. It was rescheduled from next week, though the one that’s supposed to be in late November is rescheduled to next week, so we’ll have three weeks of matches in a row, including last week. This time, sadly, even though an e-mail was sent, only five people turned up, though in Cambridge’s beginner’s volleyball team’s defence I should mention that this is a last minute match notice, so people might have other commitments planned out already. We played against Anglia Ruskin again and, embarrassingly, a secondary school. A university against a secondary school?! Then again, the school does have a coach and a properly trained team and I did mention last time that MCKK’s 2002 volleyball team can give a good match against us anytime so you can’t really compare a uni and a secondary school that way.

I think we did better than last week. We even managed to win a set =)

Tomorrow is Guy Fawkes Night. I can’t wait! Hmmmm… cotton candy, toffee apples, fireworks…


Monday, October 30, 2006

Ze vampirez are coming

Happy halloween!

In the spirit of Halloween (or rather, despite the spirit of Halloween), I’m linking an article I found on Digg the other day about vampires. You can read it here.

It’s very interesting, considering how simple the maths involved really is. Of course, to make it more complicated, you can imagine that a certain number of vampire victims are ‘sucked dry’ and died instead of becoming a vampire. Wanna try and work out the maths for that one?

While you’re on the Livescience website, you might also want to check out the popular myths section. I was surprised myself at a few of the myths, which I always thought somehow or rather were true.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Remember ‘Where’s Wally’?

Just came back from London for the PETRONAS open house today. A bit knackered but I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially when meeting new first years from AC. They were really friendly and, even though I don’t know how to react sometimes when they referred to me as ‘the Yazid’, I quickly warmed up to them.

Remember ‘Where’s Wally’? It’s a cartoon I watched when I was a little kid when you have to spot this Wally guy in a picture full of people. Funny how I can still remember these kinds of things. How old was I at that time… eight? Seven? Probably a bit younger. Anyway, I was walking through Borders on my way back to college and I saw this:



Friday, October 27, 2006

First match

Our beginner’s team had our first match today against two local teams. To tell the truth, it’s not so much a match as it is a friendly game. We played until 15 minutes is up for a set instead of until 25 points since we booked the sports hall for exactly two hours. You do the maths. Anyway, only five people from our team showed up initially so we had to play at a disadvantage for the first set. Then we got hold of some random guy to make up six players. The other teams were alright. I think we lost a few times to them, although not by much. Bear in mind that we (the beginners team) only had two practice sessions so far. Oh well... all in all, it was a good experience. There should be two more events like this this term so I’m looking forward to it.

Might just be nostalgic bias on my part but I can’t help feeling that MC 2002 volleyball team (from back then) is able to trash them if they were to fight. Oh, the good ol’ times, he he he.


Friend Game

Ooooo, oooo!! This is so cool. I was just checking out the Facebook blog and I realised they have created a feature called the Friend Game. It’s like a quiz where they test your knowledge about your friends.

This will keep me busy for a while…

See ya!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

A tax quote

It’s been a year or so since I did economics in the IB. Wasn’t particularly fond of it, though I did manage to get a seven, probably something my teacher didn’t expect. In any case, we started learning the economics aspects of chemical engineering today and I don’t know why but I just found this quote by the judicial giant, Lord Clyde fascinating:

“No man in this country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or to his property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel into his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow – and quite rightly – to take every advantage which is open to it under the taxing statutes for the purpose of depleting the taxpayer’s pocket. And the taxpayer is, in like manner, entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Revenue”.

This basically means that the tax-collecting body can – and has a right to – extract as much tax money as possible from people. Similarly, a person can use means to make sure he pays the least amount of tax possible. It doesn’t matter as long as it is within the law. Somehow I kept imagining in my mind a battle of wit between two parties: each trying to use loopholes and opportunities to get the tax to be the amount that they want. Pretty interesting.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The TV license people are stalking me

Received a letter from the TV license people. Unlike so many other things or announcements where you don’t have to do anything when it doesn’t concern you, in this case if I don’t have a TV I have to call/ write them and wait for them to contact me to confirm it. Otherwise, further investigations will not stop. Gee, make that more bloody difficult, will you?

*peeks behind shoulder* …nope, no TV license people in sight…

Can't help but feeling like a Big Brother kind of thing...


Good timing!

I checked my pigeon hole on Tuesday morning and what do you know… an eid greeting card from Australia! Apart from some text messages, e-mails and blog eid greetings (which I really appreciate), this is the only card that I’ve received this year. Thanks Farouk! The fact that it’s there Tuesday morning means that it must have arrived on Monday, the 1st day of eid. Cool!


P.S I would love to reply it back… if you remembered to include a return address =p

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Great Court run

The run is a special event for freshers where they can run around the Great Court of Trinity at 12 noon and try to complete it before the clock stops chiming. This year, the event was held yesterday. I missed this last year, so I’m making up for it by taking pictures and all…

There are prizes for the first place, as well as prizes for the most fancy-dressed person, so you can see people wearing all sorts of things while running. A few people completed the run but I don’t think anybody this year managed to break the record.

The race starts whe the clock strucks noon

First years getting ready

Started running, run...

Can a caterpillar beat humans in a race?

...caterpillar again...

The run was actually quite short. I didn't stay long so I don't know who got the awards. Oh well...


Scholars Admission Ceremony

It’s long overdue, so I guess I’m going to write something about it. But first, introduction: I got to be a Junior Scholar because I got a first in the exams. I can lose this next year if I don’t get a first again. To be a Senior Scholar, on the other hand, there are two alternatives. You can either get into the top 5 in the university (in your course and your year), which two friends of mine had done though it’s fiendishly difficult, or you can get a first two years in a row, which I’m aiming for.

There’s nothing much to the ceremony, actually. We had to dress up a bit (well, a lot; I finally learnt how to wear a clip-on bow tie, heh heh) and stand in the chapel waiting for our names to be announced. Then, the Master of the college said “By the authority given to me, I admit you as a Senior/Junior Scholar” or something like that. We then shake hands with the Master and made our way to the Master’s Lodge where we had cheesesticks and drinks. I don’t know what the significance is but it’s sort of a tradition where they serve you cheesesticks in the Lodge. I had this last year as well when the freshers were invited for a drink with the Master.

I went to the Jesus Christ iftar after that wearing my ceremonial attire. I felt proud =)

I’m sure there’s a patch of grass somewhere that only scholars and fellows can walk on, sort of like a special privilege, but I can’t tell precisely where yet.

This is the book that they gave us after the ceremony. Click on the picture. Notice anything odd about it?

Did you notice it?

Apparently, it’s actually correct grammatically. I don’t really have a proper explanation for it yet, so I won’t even try. But it’s interesting that we learnt these sorts of things in Cambridge. Last year, I learnt that the correct word for typesetting is actually fount. Then Microsoft (or whoever it was) changes it to font but some of the professors here still use fount and font is considered a spelling error, unless, the professor said, “…you can produce a valid American passport”. I thought that was funny.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I can walk again

After two whole days of pain-in-the-legs, I can finally walk again. Well, maybe not up to the point of running and skipping around gayly, but still, I finally managed to walk up a staircase without wincing every second. Yesterday was torture, having to walk to class and climb up to the second floor where my lecture room is. I hope I'll be better by next Saturday coz I'm sure planning to play volleyball again.

Just finish my fluid mechanics lab report. A big difference between this year and the last is that we now can finish our reports out of the lab, instead of writing it all in the space of a few hours in the lab. I realised that my results are out by a few order of magnitudes, and that I can't go back to the lab again to recheck the equipments. Well, as they say, no matter how horribly wrong the experiment turned out to be, as long as you can justify why it went wrong in the report, you'll be fine. That's exactly what I did. I sorta blamed the equipments and the lab manual for not being precise and clear, he he. Hey, it's my marks that's on the line here!

I figured out what a band is. It is worn on the collar and it looks like this:

In other news, I got a shock when I found an e-mail in my inbox inviting me to the Jesus Christ iftar(breaking of fast) on Saturday. It turns out that it's actually organised by the Muslims in the Jesus College and Christ College. Ha ha, that was hilarious!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bow tie and volleyball

It turns out that the Scholars can’t be Scholars without a proper inauguration ceremony. Therefore, we will be having one this Friday in the Trinity College chapel. The event has a strict dress code, though, so I have to prepare these items: a dark suit, white collared shirt, white bow tie, white bands (what the heck is a band, anyway?), black shoes and the college gown. Gosh, they sure are fussy about what we wear, aren’t they? I don’t have a white shirt and I left my shoes at home, so I went shopping yesterday. Got most of the items, plus a few totally unrelated things. I didn’t buy any shirts yet since they have numbers like 39 and 44 for the sizes instead of letters like S or M and they’re all plastic-wrapped, so I can’t try them.

My first white tie event… I’m excited!!!

I went to the first beginner’s volleyball session at the Kelsey Kerridge Sports Hall just next to the swimming pool. It’s a bit of a hassle because you have to pay £1 every time you want to enter the hall. Still, I had a lot of fun. Once you get pumped up, the people didn’t seem as intimidating as when you saw them at first. I guess I did well, probably because it’s not the first and second team sessions where I’m sure I’ll be spiked to death or something. We’ll meet every Saturday from now on, and there are chances of entering competitions with other universities as well.

The aftermath: I'm sore all over. I can't even walk properly!!

Right now I’m listening to defying Gravity from the musical ‘Wicked’. I saw a video on youtube about somebody playing this song on the piano. I wish I can play it like that.

Add to list ‘Things to do before I die’: Learn to play the piano.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Money matters

We had a break in lecture yesterday in which somebody asked the lecturer what his salary is. Naturally, he did not give a straightforward answer. He did mention, though, that it is enough to go by, but probably not enough to satisfy those who are looking for big bucks. Somebody else mentioned that the average starting salary for people like us is probably around £20,000. I’ve heard this figure before, but suddenly it got me thinking about it. Assuming an (extremely low) exchange rate of 6.5, that will be more than RM 10,000 a month. Gosh!

Then I stopped thinking about it because it’s one of those things that make you more depressed the more you give them some thought.

If I say “Don’t think of a pink rhinoceros!” will you not think about it?

I guess being a sponsored student like me means you are getting the average of the deal. In one hand, you receive a more expensive education than most of your peers are getting but you’re paying it in the same way as them. Viewed like this, you win. On the other hand, if you’re good enough, you still won’t be reaping the full potential of your reward, as in you earn less than what you can potentially get i.e. like the situation above.

Of course, without sponsorship I can’t go overseas in the first place, so it’s sort of a moot point.

Found this t-shirt design on the internet. Pity I can’t buy it.

It’s entering the second week of term. I think I need to get used to using the library. Last time I read an old book there, I only lasted twenty minutes.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Books and stuffs

There is a group of shelves in Borders where they usually display the current bestsellers, which is one of my favourite spots in the store. As of now, however, they are filling those shelves with new books for autumn. One of them caught my eye…

Yay, the third book in the Tiffany Aching series of Discworld! I’m gonna wait until the paperback comes out and buy it. Definitely.

Speaking of Discworld, I also saw this in Heffers the other day. Funny how I didn’t notice it in Borders or Waterstones. And since I already have a journal, I don’t know if I’m actually gonna be using it to keep track of things or not. Still, I’ll probably gonna buy it anyway. Nothing wrong in owning a wacky journal once in a while.

Ahhh, the must-have of a chemical engineer. I would also love to have this book, but not in the conventional sense. The book costs about £40 but our lecturer said the other day that BP (if I don’t mix companies up, they are sponsoring an awful lot of things in the department) will give the book for free to each student that gets a first or two-one in the final exam. Gee, companies really do want us Cambridge students that badly huh? I feel appreciated!!

I just discovered that my room has an electric fireplace. Cool! Now I can sit and warm my toes on cold nights while drinking hot chocolate.

Is the above description romantic, homely or is it just cheesy?

I found out that the guy whom I always eat lunch and dinner with is the top student in Cambridge in my year for maths. Huwooooo!!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Welcome to my (new) life

As of today, I’m hereby declaring myself a brand new chemical engineering student. Actually it was really yesterday, but officially term starts today. I don’t quite yet know how this chapter of my life is going to turn out to be, after breaking away from a 5 year routine of physics, chemistry and maths. Not that it’ll be totally different, but it won’t be quite the same either. Guess I’m just a bit sentimental when it comes to these things.

We had an introductory lecture yesterday, in which there was an Exxonmobil talk, sort of, and they gave us freebies like pens, some databooks and a Frisbee. In the evening I attended a party (again, sort of) sponsored by Exxonmobil and we had free pizzas and drinks and just generally mingled around. I felt a bit guilty going to these sort of things because I’m really from a competing company, he he. But, oh well…

The Fresher’s Fair was held yesterday as well. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s where societies set up stall so people can join and sign up. I was spotted by the Malaysian Society people and ended up having to register with them after getting away for a year. No more escaping work for me then.

There was a Trampoline Club but unlike a certain person *ahem* I’m not that desperate to join yet. Highlight of my day was when I noticed the Volleyball Club counter. Yay! Have been searching for this for ages. Finally, a sport that I can play.

On a random note, so far, my neighbour, my lab partners and all but one of my supervision partners are not white. Has this place become more internationalised than I like to think?


Monday, October 02, 2006

I caught a shiny!!

After living with barely minimal necessities for four days, I finally gathered enough willpower to stop slouching around and start transferring my stuffs from the storage room into my new abode. I recruited the help of a friend (thanks, Ubaid!) and a trolley, which is still no easy feat since we had to carry more than half a dozen boxes practically across the college, crossing a few roads and ramps. It didn’t help matters when our trolley almost hit a visitor along the way. Still, we finished our task, unpacked, and now I don’t know what to do with the empty boxes strewn in my room.

Just because I miss it so much (and really, who says you need a reason to), I’m putting some pictures of Cambridge that I took around my place.

My room, the one on the first floor

Isn’t it beautiful? Heh heh.

I caught a shiny shuppet yesterday, woot woot!! Just thought to put that in.