Sunday, 17 June 2012

Another smooth weekend passed by

It's Sunday evening. And that marks another smooth weekend passed by. Well not smooth as in I did not do anything at all. I did a few things worth doing, but not notable enough to earn an entry on its own.

First of all there was a power outage yesterday around my neighbourhood. Not just a short one which can be ignored of course. It started around 10 am and lasted till after lunch. By that time our house was starting to turn into one big steaming hot oven! Annoyed by the lack of notice being given by the the power provider TNB, my housemate and me decided to give their helpline a call. As usual the call was greeted by a robot, and after a short while I got to speak to an officer. I told her what's wrong (still keeping my composure), and she got back saying that supposedly there is a scheduled maintenance being carried out from 10 am to 7 pm. What??! A maintenance that long and we were not even given a sentence of advanced notice! They have got to be kidding me. Fortunately, the officer seems well trained, and her professionalism shines when apologising for the lack of notice (or in fact she said there was, but it got lost somewhere in the cascade). And I thought there was no use shouting at her, calmed down, and started thinking how to spend the day with the sun starting to shine brightly outside...  It is worth mentioning that the weather is somewhat very hot and sunny these few days. I am not a big fan of heat, but I always enjoy sunshine. It gives me some kind of energy to get through the day. And that proves that I am a true Malaysian! Other than that, Saturday went by uneventful.

I also spent the weekend reading, and on my current reading list is a thick book (by my standard, three books in one in fact) by Haruki Murakami. I first heard his name from one of my former colleagues when I was in London. I did not pay too much attention to this author at that time. And not too long after that, I glanced through an article on BBC News website mentioning a latest book by Murakami, and how it is a much-awaited book by many people. Again, I did not pay much attention. Might just be another Japanese author I thought. But only recently, when I was paying a visit to a Kinokuniya bookstore with A, that suddenly his name came up in mind, and I decided to try to buy and read his latest book titled 1Q84. And guess what, I can say this is the best book that I have ever read! It is very difficult to describe my feeling when I first started reading it. At some point I thought that this book is sooo weird that I should stop reading it. But it keeps on calling me, and now I am halfway through. Sometimes I just can't put it down, I have to really convince myself that I have something else to do. Definitely I will be looking for more Murakamis after this. But before that, I need to find out what's going to happen to Tengo and Aomame and Fuka-Eri and the Little People first!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Post lecture period

Yesterday was my last lecture for the semester. Relieved to have done my duty to the students, but worried at the same time of leaving them to study by themselves for the final exam at the end of the month. Well I just hope they are doing their best with whatever I have given them.

A quick follow-up to the previous post on the civil servant induction exam. I heard everyone passes, though the official result did not state that explicitly. If that is the only result, then it just said I have successfully completed the induction programme (that's all after all the 'hard work'?). Anyway, time to move on :D

Early last month (yes that's May), I had the chance to attend my graduation ceremony in London. The timing was not so convenient though, as it was in the middle of the semester. Meaning I had to cancel lectures. Not something that I like to do. But my mum had been looking forward to this since I was still studying, plus it was going to be her only trip to the UK, I made the effort to re-schedule lectures for that whole one week. As always, the flying part was not the most enjoyable one. Fortunately, as I requested wheelchair assistance for my mum, it became the smoothest and the best trip I have ever had to the UK, and back. This is in terms of boarding the flight and going through the immigration (everyone knows how it is at Heathrow!). Not to mention the ultra-super-duper-helpful Malaysia Airlines crew members, and the KLIA ground crew. They deserve a biggg appreciation from me! In the end, the graduation ceremony went well, took my mum sightseeing here and there, I hope she was happy. I considered that as my Mother's Day treat for her :)

Watching movies on the in-flight entertainment system is nothing like in the cinema, not even close, even far from watching DVDs on the Mac. But without a doubt MAS has quite a selection of good and latest movies. Over the long journey, I managed to watch, err maybe more than five movies. From what I can remember: The Grey, Albert Nobbs, Chronicle, Just for Laughs episodes... But what has made the most impact on me is the movie Extremely Loud & Incredibly Noisy, starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock among others. Watching it kept taking me back to the book by Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime! The style of the story being unfold is very similar, especially both main characters in the movie and the book are kids. 

Watching drama-type movie on the plane is not easy, given the loud humming sound of the plane's engines. And the headphone supplied is not the 'noise-cancelling' type (which I reckon is gonna be very expensive!). So I had to push the phones harder closer to my ears in order to listen to the conversations. Probably about time MAS to include English subtitles as well (pleasee....). But surprisingly I was able to follow the movie and understand the story. This time I am not going to write much about the movie itself. Enough said that I really love it, and this is among the few drama-type movies that I like. Usually I need a push to make me watch this genre, as most of the times I prefer loads of CGIs and special effects. I guess boredom is the factor this time ;)