Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Warning, lamentations ahead

Things aren’t going along perfectly…

I bought three books in Cambridge before going back for summer. Now, I’ve finished one and almost completed reading the second.

And it’s only just the fourth day of summer holidays.

A character that I like in the second book died two-third of the way, and he’s one of the main characters, so I’m shocked. Can’t say I feel really cheery at the moment.

I don’t want to read the third one now. It’s Something Happened by Joseph Heller. First encountered it in AC’s library. A really good book; that’s why I bought my own copy. The story’s really tragic, though, so reading it now will do nothing to lift my mood (I think I cried the first time I read it).

Almost out of reading materials. Did a price check today. Discovered that I can get it cheaper from Amazon, but then again, I can’t use Amazon in this country. Drat!

Have to return to my rural abode next week. Heard that the phone line there had been malfunctioning, so that means no internet. Shucks!

I feel like I’m being wasted (as in the ‘not potentially optimized’ wasted). Feel like I’m sort of useless.

And it’s only just the fourth day of summer holidays.

I’m starting to miss Cambridge. I think I’m getting universitysick (as opposed to homesick). I suppose for people it’s typically the other way around. Is this weird? Am I normal? Is it okay to want the next term to start as soon as possible?

It’s going to be a long summer.

And it’s only just the fourth day of summer holidays.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I’m back 2

Am in Malaysia right now. Arrived yesterday morning after a 13 hour flight and now I’m writing this darn entry at five a.m. since my body is still not used to the time difference.

I guess I have to get used to dial-up. Either that, or get broadband which I probably have to pay for myself. Don’t know if it’s worth it since I will only be here till October.

I had a fabulous time in Hungary. We went to Budapest, to be exact. It’s pronounced BU-DA-PESH-T since Hungarians pronounced “s” as “sh” except when it’s “sz” where then it’ll be a normal “s” sound. Didn’t have to worry about accommodation since we’re staying at a friend’s house for the duration of the trip (one of the perks of being in an international school).

Igor's cherry tree

Cherries! That’s the first thing that caught our eyes when we arrived at Igor’s house. It’s like, a tree, with ripe juicy succulent cherries on them! Once he gave the thumbs-up sign, we wasted no time in sampling them. It’s a good thing that he only hosted us for five days, otherwise the tree can’t bear fruit fast enough to feed four ravenous Malaysians.

Igor’s father cooked for us on the first day. Even though we can’t sample most of the Hungarian dishes since our diet is constricted to vegetarian, it was still really good. Had one of the best potato soups I’ve ever tasted, with not so spicy curry and pasta. If only my vegetarian hall food is this good. Sigh…

Pasta and some curry thingy

Went to watch a film that evening (notice I say film. Is that an indicator of my British- ness?). After that Igor brought us to Gellert Hill. It’s a little daunting climbing a hill at night but he said that it’s probably too hot in the day to do it. There was this Hungarian statue of liberty on top, and the view from the top is nice too, except that my nightly camera skills isn’t developed yet so I couldn’t take good pictures.

The statue of liberty on Gellert Hill

Urtah, Zaki, Igor and Nadia (Igor had a sling on his hand coz he was involved in a bike accident a few days before we came)

We spent the second and third day visiting places like the Synagogue, museums and the bridges across the river Danube (or Duna, as the Hungarians call it), Castle Hill and an open air music concert.

The synagogue

National Museum

Bush came to visit Hungary on the third day. We tried to avoid him.

We went hiking up a hill north of Budapest on the fourth day with Igor and Balazs, who is another Hungarian ex-AC student (Balazs is a really common name, I know three Hungarians with the name) and some other ex-UWC students. We climbed up to this watch tower and gazed at the river Duna which curves up to the Slovakian border.

UWC hikers

The last day’s a shopping day! We went to the central market and bought t-shirts, fridge magnets, gifts for PETRONAS office, and secret jewellery boxes amongst other things. We left Hungary with cans of cherries courtesy of Igor.

That’s about it for my trip. Had a really good time, food, pictures and different kinds of tea (you should have seen Igor’s collection).

A good thing about being in Europe is that it’s really easy and cheap enough to travel around. So, I’m sort of thinking of my next one. Suggestions, anyone?


P.s. I planned to put some pictures in but I'm on dial up now and it took me more than two hours from logging into the net and posting this. Gosh, I am sooo frustrated! Hate dial-up, hate dial-up! I feel like banging my head on the wall or something.

Edit: I've managed to put pictures in, albeit not painlessly. Sooner or later this will drive me crazy. Please pray for my mental health.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I’m back

Hi there. I’m in Cambridge right now, having returned back from my five-day trip from Hungary. I really wanted to write about the trip, but for now I’m busy with packing, which has been a pain. Have to put all my things into boxes, which I got from Sainsbury’s, and carry them into this secret subterranean storage room.

Not all my things fit, though, so I left some stuffs with a friend who is staying here for the summer, working. I don’t want to carry loads of stuffs to the airport, since last year we had to dump suitcases of clothes at Heathrow since Gulf Air (the airline we’re using at that time) had a strict weight restriction. Either that, or pay £1000 carriage fee.

Yup, that’s a thousand pounds.

I’m sticking with Malaysia Airlines for now. Not to mention it has better in-flight entertaintment.

Going back to Malaysia tomorrow. Say goodbye to the superfast broadband connection and hello to the heinously slow world of dial up.

Oh, and today’s my birthday.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Off to Hungary!!

Yay, my summer trip!

I’m off to Hungary tonight and will be there until the 23rd. Not sure about the internet connection there, though, so I can’t say when I’ll blog again.

Still, should be a fun holiday.



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Maybe I shouldn’t wear black

Phew, it was my shopping day today and right now I’m really exhausted. Went out and bought some Cambridge t-shirts to wear back home. Okay, I admit, it was partly to show off (well, mostly) but still, not like I don’t deserve it, heh heh. Also bought a cap and a key chain for my little sister. Souvenir t-shirts, check. Key chain, check.

My order of books from Amazon also arrived today so summer reading materials, check!

To top it all, I also bought a new handphone. Okay, okay, I know that sounds a bit luxurious but I received this free upgrade offer from O2 and I just couldn’t let it pass, even though it sounds too good to be true. I usually tend to be wary of ‘too good to be true’ things coz they usually are, but hey, this is O2 and not some shady company. Planned to give the phone to my mom, sure she’ll like it.

Talking about phones, when I was at the bridge today there’s this bloke from the punting company who saw me with my N70 and he approached me and started a conversation about the benefits of having an N70 phone, all those things about 2 mp cameras and 800% zoom and all that. And I thought, gee, this is random. Do people usually go to strangers and started talking about phones all of a sudden? Hmmm, maybe he’s just being friendly… or maybe he was just bored.

“Excuse me, do you know how much this is?” an old lady asked me in a shop. I was like, do I look like a shop assistant, lady? That happened not once, but twice today in two different shops! Is it my t-shirt? I know I should stop wearing black that often.

Funny thing is the workers don’t actually have black t-shirts as their uniform.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Finally over!!

My exam ended yesterday. All in all, it went fine, I guess. Maths was a female dog, but then again, everybody complained about it, so it’s not just me who found it difficult. Still, I don’t see the point of them making the exam so hard that you won’t be able to finish all the required 6 questions even if you revised thoroughly. I finished 3 in the first paper and 4 out of 6 in the second paper. Actually, that does sound bad; just a bit more than a half. Maths is sooo not my favourite subject right now. Hate maths!! Hate maths!!

Now that exam is over and all, I actually feel bored. No more lectures, supervisions or revision to occupy my time. Gee, how sad is that? Oh well, at least I won’t be bored come Monday, coz I’ll be going to Hungary for the summer, before I go back home. The trip’s arranged by a few of my friends in London, and I actually felt a bit guilty for not contributing anything, but, oh well. Not sure about the accommodation arrangements yet, but we’ll probably stay at Igor’s (a friend of ours) place, which is not bad, since he is a good cook. And I mean, a really, really good cook. We tasted his Hungarian jam scones that he brought to our physics class in AC last year, and they were awesome.

Due to improper planning on my part, I will miss the Trinity May Ball because of the trip, which is a shame, because it will be one of the grandest events in Cambridge for the year. It’s like, the May Ball that Cambridge students dream of going. Many other colleges have it once every 2 or 3 years, but we have it every year. How cool is that? Sigh… at least I have 3 more chances to attend it.

Can’t wait until Monday. Until then, I’ll probably go around Cambridge buying souvenir t-shirts to bring back home. Proud to be a Cambridge student, eh?


Sunday, June 11, 2006

When life gives you lemons...

Found this in front of my door this morning. Looked like everyone on my floor and the one below got one, with different messages on them.

But still... why frogs??

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's coming!!

My exam's tomorrow.



Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bad food and retail therapy

I got annoyed. Really annoyed.

Food. That was the reason. Bad food, to be more specific. Ever-so-crappy hall veggie food should be exact enough.

It was actually quite unlike me. I’ve technically been in boarding school for seven years. I should be used to it. I kept going to the dining hall even though I know it’s not gourmet standard and I can probably cook better food. So I don’t know what made me…snapped? That’s too strong a word. Had enough? I’ll probably still go to the hall after this. I’ll settle for annoyed. Just annoyed, in general.

Somebody said to me once that the veggie dish is like a hit or miss thing.

Me and Jan walked past the hall yesterday. He pointed that only students and their guests are allowed in. Therefore, it’ll make him feel special to be able to eat inside.

“I don’t blame you if after the meal, you still wanna go somewhere else to eat,” I warned him. He probably will.

At that moment we met Eli and Ian, another two ex-AC students. They were going in, Jan followed, and I dragged myself behind them.

After fifteen minutes…

“Eeurghh, this is just like AC food,” that was Ian. “Somehow I feel like the AC kitchen ladies will pop up from the counter any minute.”

We agreed. The food was bad. It’s not like that all the time, but the day that my ex-schoolmates came to visit is the day that it decided to show its ugly side.

Maybe I was embarrassed, because I’ve been telling Jan that Trinity is one of the biggest and richest colleges.

Jan left Cambridge this morning. I did some studying after seeing him off and went to lunch. They had some pastry with green stuffs in it as the veggie dish.

Two misses in a row. I couldn’t believe this.

I ate the food, walked straight out, went to buy a whole chicken and stopped by Sainsbury’s. I bought a packet of basmati rice, not the Sainsbury’s kind but one of those expensive one. Grabbed some sweet and sour mix and a bottle of pepsi.

Tonight I had sweet sour chicken on a bed of nice fluffy basmati rice. Deeeliciouus!!

Ahhh, the sweet taste of retribution. I like it. Take that, you morbidly horrendous hall food! I’m not eating you tonight, muahahahaha! Yaz has finally gotten his revenge.

Still, I’ll probably go to the hall again tomorrow. Can’t be bothered to cook everytime.

Will it be a hit…

…or a miss?


Thursday, June 01, 2006

All the way from Harvard


So I opened my e-mail the other day…

Hmmm, it’s from Jan. Haven’t heard from him for a while.

It began normally enough. Hi man…how are you…know of anybody from AC coming to Cambridge next year?

Then …I think I will be visiting Cambridge this Saturday.


That day was Tuesday.

My exam is on the week after the weekend.

He went on…so I think we should get together, have a chat, and even if you have to study, it could be a nice study-break for you...


Sigh… I do love people visiting my humble abode, but now? Still, Jan is actually a really nice guy and I can’t say no to him (after all, he has to go all the way from US, might be a while before he has the chance to visit again). So I dragged myself to the Trinity College accommodation office.

“You’re lucky, there’s still one more guest room that is free this weekend.”

Good. This way I can still accompany him to places and he won’t disturb me when I need the solace of my room to study.

“The price is thirteen quids per night. We’ll put it in your college bill.”

Double good. The price is the cheapest of any b&b that I know. Cambridge student’s privilege, great huh? Plus Trinity’s smack in the town centre, it’s easy to get around.

So, that’s my weekend plan. Jan’s probably right, it’ll actually be a nice study break. I’ve got meself a punting buddy. Yay!

After we finished discussing our plans, he said… Thanks a googleplex times! :)

I’m a Natural Sciences student, and after all that revision, I should know, but…

…what’s a googleplex?