Sunday, 30 September 2012
What Would You Take?

I figured I should add a new post before September comes to a close- feels like I've been neglecting this blog so much lately.

Anyway, does it bother you that we now have so many valuables with us? I remember, long time ago, in an episode of Charmed (yeah.. remember that series?) where they were asked who would they save in a fire- a sibling or five strangers. It always intrigued me, the thought of who, or what, we would grab in the event of a fire.

Of course, my first thought is that I wonder if I'll even wake up- I'm such a deep sleeper that I sleep through a lot of things (though I think this is improving).

My room- yes it's a little messy, I know
But recently (that means a few months ago) I came across this website that was rather interesting- it's called The Burning House. The premise of the website is simple.
If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It's a conflict between what's practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.
In it, visitors post pictures of what they would bring with them when their house is on fire. Common items that come up are of course laptops, phones and passports. And that got me thinking- what would I bring out of my house if it were on fire?

This is something that I have thought of for some time now- after all, I live alone, far away from my family, so I am forced to be independent. In the case of a fire, I would need to think about what would I  grab quickly and save.

So when thinking about what I would save, I thought about this is two different perspectives- the first being if it happened in the middle of the night and I was woken up by it, and if it happened all of a sudden without notice.

Of course, if I had to be woken up then I definitely wouldn't be in the right state of mind to be able to think properly about what I would save. But this is what I would've picked up:

My laptop and phone seems rather obvious- A lot of my memories are stored within and it would be devastating to lose them. Also, they're not cheap. And how can I forget my passport- I can't leave the country otherwise. And my wallet would allow me to still access my money. The last thing is a 'survival' book from my Mum before I left.

Next, I thought about what I would do if I were wide awake when it happened. Of course, I would be in a better position to determine what I would need.

Again, not much has changed- there five items in the previous picture still remains. But there are additions. My two external hard drives which contain lots of files that I treasure (movies, TV shows, etc). My iPod also has sentimental value- it's four years' worth of music in there, music that I listened to as a teen. And some songs themselves are sentimental. Worse, these songs are only on my iPod. And finally, there's another item of sentimental value- a photo album given to me by a friend as a parting gift.

Of course, given the chance I would save a lot more things- such as books, and a photo that was also a parting gift from friends. But these are bulky and would probably make it hard for me to transport out of the house (although I am quite close to the door, so it might work).

What would you save from your burning house?
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Sunday, 16 September 2012
Four Weeks

I'm starting the countdown. Four more weeks till the university calendar ends. About six till I get a confirmation to graduate (assuming of course that I pass all my courses). But since I've been gone for awhile I figured you'd like some updates on what's been going on in my life.

I became an eligible, but unregistered, voter
I turned 21 not too long ago. So yes, I can now register to be a voter. I can enter the casino at Genting. I am now, a full-fledged adult (but still one who depends on his parents financially). Feels weird, thinking of myself as an adult. I like being a teen.

Funnily enough, this year many birthday wishes also included 'how come it's not on Facebook?'

Cupcakes- One of the presents I was given. Uploaded on my Instagram.

I went on a road trip
Visited a lavender farm (which was kinda pathetic since it wasn't in season), a winery (wine tasting- yum!) and watched the sun set from a mountaintop. Didn't really do much, and didn't take much pictures either, for me it was more of a getaway than a vacation- I was just looking forward to unwind and relax so didn't care about finding out about the places. Maybe I'll remember enough to write about it. Maybe not.

Sunset. From my Instagram.

I enrolled in online courses
I have enrolled in three courses at Coursera so far, one (or maybe two) of which is due to begin soon. I selected courses that I am genuinely interested in like Greek Mythology and Risk Management. Boring stuff, generally.

I got busy organising an event
It's part of my course, and graduation is riding on this so I'm definitely hoping that I'll at least pass this course. I'm not expecting too much out of this due to several reasons- the tutor, the group mates, and myself.

But if you know any friends in Melbourne invite them to like The Bite Race's Facebook page.

Winery. From my Instagram.

I bought books
If you didn't already know, I adore Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy. So when this sequel trilogy came to an end, and with a sale, I obviously had to get my hands on the book (as well as a few others).

Two of the books I bought. From my Instagram.

I started watching GCB

It's a guilty pleasure- the show has quite a lot of potential, but it lacked the subplots that would have made it a fantastic show. Needless to say, it has been canceled.

I started a business
No I didn't, I just wanted to type it out to see how it sounds like. Conclusion? I like it- maybe one day I'll set up my own business after all.

And that's all I have for now!
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Saturday, 1 September 2012

So yesterday was our Independence Day. I didn't do anything fun, I just partied the night before.

But while I enjoyed myself at the party, I actually did not like the whole idea of organising a 'Merdeka party'.

Why? Because it marks the day our country gained independence, not a friend's birthday. I actually have some pet peeves about important days like this.

Organising 'Merdeka' parties
I understand if you're organising a party because you wanted to take advantage of the public holiday, but I don't see the need to have an independence day-themed party. If I force myself to, I can see the value in organising one such event overseas since it caters to overseas Malaysians and the artistes performing were Malaysians, but at the same time I'm a little iffy about this. I mean, at the end of the day, there is no other objective other than partying- it's not like people there are going to feel awfully nationalistic and proud of our country.

My biggest pet peeve of the night was the singing of Negaraku. Not only was it played in a nightclub which is definitely inappropriate to have a national anthem played, the person singing it didn't even sing it in its entirety. Think of the recently concluded Olympics. Think of the pride of athletes when they sing their national anthem at prize giving ceremonies. Now switch to it being sung in a nightclub.

Randomly wishing others 'Happy Merdeka'
This I find utterly annoying. While it is a celebration of independence and freedom from our colonial masters, the term 'Happy Merdeka' sounds to me like something you would say during a festive season, like 'Selamat Hari Raya' or 'Happy Chinese New Year'. I guess this is something that happens to all Malaysians- we see holidays as just holidays because of how many we have. But there are very different holidays. There are sombre ones, religious ones, cultural ones, and nationalistic ones. Merdeka comes in the last one- it's a commemorative day. In other countries who actually fought wars for it they also commemorate their fallen soldiers. We don't need to do that, but still, I think that there should be more to this day than just wishing people 'Happy Merdeka'. You might not understand this since it's hard to put in words, but it just annoys me to no end.

I know that it's hard to think of a better term, but isn't 'Merdeka' reason enough to be happy?

Trashtalking and politicking
Reading about the political news on this day is truly pathetic- it seems that our politicians cannot even agree on how to commemorate this special day that is supposed to be for all Malaysians regardless of political beliefs. They can't seem to take a day off, stop talking about each other (and themselves) and instead talk about why they are happy for their country, can they? Like I said- pathetic.

So there you go. What I don't like about Merdeka celebrations. Don't get me wrong, I love our country despite our shortcomings, but I also think that of all days, this should be one where we could agree on something and actually be proud and happy about it.
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