Sunday, 31 July 2016

Open House



Aktiviti musim panas : Open house, open house, and more open houses!

Remember I told you that Eid celebration in Malaysia stretches for the entire month? There's no lie in that statement. So many open houses to go to that I had to (sadly) forgo some invitations due to time & transport restrictions :(
















On an unrelated note, I can't get this Terakhir song out of my head!!



No, you need to understand why this is a huge deal, I don't listen to a lot of Malay songs anymore because a) KPop is love, KPop is life hahaha and b) Malay songs nowadays are just not up my alley. My favourite Malay songs all belong to the Oldie But Goodie category, so when a gem of a song like Terakhir pops out of nowhere in this age, I can't help but to belt out to the tune! Haha. The last time I went through similar obsessive phase was back in my KY days years ago, with this song, which shows that it's a rare occurrence that I sing recent Malay songs. Therefore, my obsession is warranted hehe. Now if you'll excuse me,

CUBA PERTAHANKAN SEPARUH JIWAKU HILANG IKUT TERBANG BERSAMAMU ~

Nasi Lemak




I have every intention & plan to write but you know what they say, kita manusia hanya mampu merancang. Hahaha. No but seriously, I often find myself drafting a blogpost in my head - mentally constructing sentences and inserting photos and adjusting paragraphs - but it stays there in my head, never actually coming to fruition. Not even a real draft post, let alone a published one.

Sometimes it's because I think the material I'm writing on isn't worth blogging about. Other times it's because I can't find the right words to articulate my thoughts. But most of the time, though, it boils down to my own laziness.

There, I said it, I'm lazy.

So anyway, what have I been up to as of late?

Aktiviti musim panas : Nasi lemak adventure.

I have found a rekindled love in nasi lemak, guys. And I'm glad that I have Amie by my side to experience it all with me. We've tried 3 different nasi lemaks from 3 different restaurants and they're all so, so good!!!

The sambal is the cardinal feature of nasi lemak for me, regardless of how tasty the ayam goreng berempah is or how aesthetically perfect the sunny side up egg is or how crunchy the anchovies are. If the sambal is a blunder then the entire plate of nasi lemak is a flop, I rest my case. How some people can eat nasi lemak sans the sambal is beyond me. Like, how?? Why?? The sambal is syarat sah of nasi lemak!!

It's not nasi lemak without the sambal!!




Amie & I, we're still on the hunt for good nasi lemak. Any recommendations? :)









Thursday, 21 July 2016

19 VS 22




In case you missed it, which you shouldn't have, I turned 22 the other day!

As promised, here's a showdown of my musings on my 19th and 22nd birthdays. It's a long post, so sit back and bear with me.

When I turned 19, I wrote this :

"I have been unlucky in my affection. Sure, the pain of being unrequited is nothing to compare to the poverty and famine and warfare that are happening in some parts of the world but comparing the degree of my pain to theirs doesn't make it any better kan? Pain is still pain. And who are we trying to gauge pain? Is there a specific tool for it, especially for emotional distress pain? Takde kan? You can't use a physical tool to determine the amount of pain of something invisible, dimensionless, beyond the five human senses.

But I take an enormous amount of comfort in acknowledging that "When Allah puts you through His ordeals and tribulations, that means He misses your voice praying to him, He misses listening to your plea". Because God, I need You more than anything else now.

And what's the best gift you can give to someone? Your prayer.

I wish I can say something, anything. I wish by reaching the age of nineteen I have at least grown bolder in terms of expressing myself. I wish by this age I have at least mastered the art of articulating my feelings - be it envy or wrath or love or disappointment or dissatisfaction or whatever. I wish I can tell people not to step on my head. I wish I can tell people it's not okay to leave me hanging. I wish I can tell people it really hurts when they don't reply to text messages. I wish I can tell people that I'm angry at them. I wish I can tell people how much I miss them. I wish I can tell people not to yell at me. I wish I can yell at them. I wish I can tell people to trust me, have faith in me. I wish I can tell people that I've completely lost faith in them. I wish.

I wish I can trust my instincts. But previous experience has taught me not to trust my instincts, not one bit. Haih. I pray I won't lose sight of what matters, of what's real and what's not. I pray I won't misjudge. I pray I'll always be kind and do good and speak of nice things. I pray to grow wiser, nicer, stronger, better. I pray not to be bitter and edgy."

Did I really write that?!

Why, 19-year-old Shahirah, why?



Emonyaaaaa 19-year-old Shahirah, haha.

2014 was a difficult year for me because a war erupted between my brain and my heart. Which one was the de facto leader? I was in that grey area of purgatory between building walls and building bridges, between having had enough and giving another chance, between cutting down on my ego and using my ego as a method of defence. There were times I felt like a doormat that people freely stepped on, or a disposable stuff that people can discard into obsoleteness once they've made use of my function. I had trouble expressing my emotions lest I hurt other people's hearts, so the end fate of my emotions was to be repressed in a capped bottle and unpublished blogposts. I put on a happy veil. A facade that belied all the emotions. Who I was in real life was a completely different person than who I was on my blog. I felt like my real life personality was limited & constrained, and that there was an extension of me that I didn't think people would want to see.

It's interesting to see how my writing style from that year differs a great lot from my writing style now, I think I sound a lot happier, less bitter, and less edgy in my writings now?? Do I sound happy to you guys?? Sure I make self-deprecating jokes on my blog half of the time, but it's all meant to be in the spirit of good fun. You all think I'm happy, right? Good. Because I am.

Maybe it's because I've learnt to adopt reciprocity as a way of life and start appreciating people who appreciate me & not care about those who don't give two hoots about me. An eye for an eye, as simple as that. I've chosen to look at the bright side of things instead of dwelling on the other, to find the silver linings in tragedies & misfortunes. I also told myself to spend a little bit more on money and time and attention for the people who matter, because that makes them happy, and their happiness is my source of happiness as well so what is there to lose? Zilch.

In terms of expressing my emotions - especially resentments and dissatisfaction and anger - I'm no better at it now than I was 3 years ago, unfortunately. Haha.

I guess that's just the drawback that comes with living by the An Eye For An Eye principle - I do good to people who do good to me, and do bad/do nothing to people who treat me badly, in lieu of confronting them about the mistreatment & being outright honest about my not feeling okay about it.

Nouman Ali Khan said, "Sabr is not remaining quiet and allowing anger to build up inside you. Sabr is to talk about what's bothering you without losing control of your emotions.", and here comes the problem : it's me. My emotions are in the form of a humongous capped bottle, which either stays pregnant forever (thus resulting in LGA) or gives birth to a nasty, macrosomic catharsis. It's 0 or 100, no in between. The problem is that I don't know how to control my emotions so as not to overcast my judgement. 

I'm just bad at confrontation okay?! Hahaha. Who knows, maybe a 25-year-old Shahirah will be a professional at this whole Sabr (patience) department in a confrontation.

AKAN TETAPI

at least I've found some ways to neutralise some of the negative emotions, so that pregnant bottle has no LGA so fuh selamat. I write. I watch my KDramas. I cut the dramas open and scrutinise them (sometimes I overanalyse, because I can never take things at face value hewhew). I take photos. I sing. I read other people's blogs. I go out. I take photos some more. I play cards. I read books. I try to be funny to make myself (and others, hopefully) laugh. I recite the Quran. I read books. I call my parents & best friends often. I smile at strangers and try to initiate conversations with them (those who don't creep me out). I learn Korean. I spend time with people who are willing to engage in both nonsensical and in depth discussions with me & can tolerate my verbal idiosyncrasies (breaking into a song midsentence, cracking jokes while talking about serious issues, etc.). I spend time with people who remind me of God. Basically I focus my energy on things that make me happy & nurture my own growth, spiritually & emotionally.

Also, I've gone to study abroad, so a lot of my perspectives have changed in those 3 years. Especially in my second year, where I was the one in charge to deal with billing matters of KHouse, from electricity, to gas, to water, to wifi bill. My meals are under my own responsibility, I no longer have the privilege of just walking into the DH at KY and simply eating the food prepared that I had when I was 19. And then there's my own finance that I have to manage. All these adult things sometimes give me headache, but they take up a fraction of my time, leaving less time to fill up my emotional bottle. 

I make it a habit to always count my blessings, and every single time, I lose count. I am grateful, so very grateful, about many many things. This is why I sound happy on my blog most of the time, I write about things & people that make me happy. I often refrain myself from penning my thoughts about a certain thing until I have something positive to say about it.

The pain of knowing the worth of something only when it's been taken away from me was an invaluable lesson, it taught me to not take anything & anyone for granted and to appreciate them while they're still around. It's not enough to appreciate & love them, they have to be made cognizant that they are indeed appreciated & loved. Any of these blessings can be taken away from me at any point of time, so I try to always keep the mental note of Appreciate Everything right in front of my mind.

But, of course, I'm just a normal homo sapien who is predisposed to bouts of momentary lapse in judgement, during which times I lose track of the blessings, but God is great, he makes sure to send His reminders to get me back on track every time. Sometimes in the form of spontaneous Oovoo calls with the gang, or eating out at my favourite place, or this lovely blogpost that Izzy wrote. Her writings are always something to admire, by the way.

So let me ask myself, am I happy with the change I've seen in myself? Have I changed for the better or for the worse? Wait let me think kejap. Sabar.

Jap.

Ummm.

Alhamdulillah, in the span of 3 years, the things that I've gone through have bent and sculpted and twisted and morphed me, but all into a better, happier shape.

What do you mean you don't believe I'm happy?!

I put on my hijab for you, my reader(s?). I pulled together a mismatched outfit of light turqoise cardigan and dark brown hijab and pink tshirt for you. I posed my Asian pose for you. This is how desperate I am to show you I'm happy.





Still don't believe me?


I just complimented myself, which is a direct indication of my happiness




Now I can safely say that the Shahirah on this blog and in the real world are 80% similar. The 20%? Oh I'm 20% more fun & histrionic & hilarious in real life, my family & best friends can vouch for this.

The things that I wished for & desired when I was 19 remain, and I wish for more because I'm tamak haloba hewhew.

I wish to finally be able to make peace with my emotions and be deft at handling them, one day insyaAllah. I pray that Allah grants me the Sabr (patience) that Nouman Ali Khan described. I wish to improve on my writing, because if there's one thing that I think has deteriorated from when I was 19, it's my writing. I hope I can keep writing on this blog for a longgg time. I wish to have the audacity to step out of my comfort zone & challenge myself to do greater things. I pray that God protects me from complacency, arrogance, riak, selfishness. I wish to get closer to the Creator. I pray that my current camaraderie with the people that I love will last till jannah. I wish I can reestablish estranged bonds & loose ties with people who've somehow departed from my life, and as for those who've yet to arrive, I wish to create healthy, positive relationships with them.

Like today I was just talking to Keyla on Facetime and suddenly Izzy was also there in the same house!! Our first (virtual) meeting!!! What a small world, hehe.

(courtesy of Izzy's instagram hehe)



God and His magical ways of aligning paths & crossing them on top of each other. Isn't it wonderful?!

I'm sorry for this super lengthy post, but I hope you enjoyed reading about how I perceive my growth. Anyone else cringes when they read their old writings?? No? Just me then.




Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Badminton



Aktiviti musim panas : badminton with the gang,

which really translates into constant exchange of profession of (non-existent) self proclaimed mastery & insults across the court, followed by mamak session to replenish the calories we burned earlier.

God has decreed that the quota of sporting abilities in my family is to be monopolised by my little brother & my dad, so I never excelled at any kinds of sport. I'm not completely useless though, I mean, I can play a bit of this and that, but I'm not particularly good at anything. To put it simply, your team won't win in PJK if I'm in it, sorry. Hahah.










Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Annoying



Aktiviti musim panas : run an errand with my little brother at Tesco.







My brother has this habit of leaving the front door ajar every time he comes in or goes out, and that irks me because it triggers the paranoia in me of being kidnapped.

"Kalau ada penculik datang, kakak cakap je kat dia yang kakak dah takde buah pinggang. Confirm dia tak jadi culik."

If you think I'm annoying, you should meet my little brother. And then you'll think I'm a sweetheart.


Monday, 18 July 2016

My Birthday



I don't know about you but I'm feeling

22!



Sorry, but wait no, actually, I'm not really sorry. I waited months just to use that photo because Baekhyun & Chanyeol are absurdly adorable, I can't resist.

But what I am actually sorry about is the title of this blogpost. Can I be any more skema?? I oso dono, sometimes I think my low is already the lowest but then I surprise myself. Oh mak kau.

So alhamdulillah I turned another year older, hopefully wiser and all-around better. I'll write about my thoughts & sentiments this year and put them in comparison to those of last year's birthday and see how I've changed as a person and if I'm happy with the shape that I've morphed myself into over the year, but that's one entire post on its own (subject to my rajinness). In this post, the limelight belongs to my family & friends for making me feel exceptionally happy on my birthday.

The night before my birthday, my family took me to Garden Seafood for dinner. It's one of my most favourite places to eat at, and it's a 1-hour drive away but they're well aware of how fond I am of Garden Seafood's honey sotong (one of the things I consider worldly pleasures, apart from roti canai), so I was really touched at the thoughtfulness of their willing to drive all the way there just to satiate my craving. It wasn't even my birthday yet but I was already so jovial when the waiter came & carried a plate of golden honey sotong. As the plate descended on our table I felt like there was a repertoire of Russian opera playing in the background and there's light shining on the angelic honey sotong. Over kan, I know.

Honey sotong in all its golden glory



You might puke at this but it's not just honey sotong okay. It's an emblem of my A Level days in KY. So many memories in that one plate of pure goodness. A part of me always misses KY, but that night, the rindu was intensified to a greater degree. Any KY people here? Group hug!! But anyway, the restaurant is in Tanjung Malim, and if any of you ever find yourself in that area and would like to know how heaven tastes like, this could be the closest candidate (cewah, haha) and the restaurant looks like this from the outside :

The raindrops made it even more nostalgic. Not helping at all, raindrops!! Since I'm just a born histrionic, I just had to feel like I was in a heartbreaking music video




At midnight I was no longer human, I took my other form of self which was a saggy, sappy emotional ball of mush soaked in tears. 

Because some people clearly went out of their ways just to give me the most heartfelt birthday wishes. I love writing, I love words, and I think that much you already know from my blog, but a new fact about me is that it's a whole different kind of love that I have for the words that are specially crafted for me and out of sheer sincerity. Sure, you can argue that sincerity is a question of heart and no one really knows if one is truly sincere but God, but I know my people, and there was nothing apocryphal in their birthday wishes for me.

Mina was the first one to break down my flimsy wall. She's such a darling sweetheart that girl and she even made a gif for me as a birthday gift (wow wow that wordplay)!! 

Isn't this cute?! That's a rhetorical question; of course it's cute!


And then there was Almira's wish. And then my sister's. And then Amie's. And then Atika's. And then everything was too inundating so I...

Slept.

That's the answer to everything, right? Sleep. Too tired? Sleep. Too sad? Sleep. Too sleepy as a result of oversleeping? Sleep some more, sleepyhead.

I woke up to even more birthday wishes and even fuller heart. It's like everyone was in this huge conspiracy that I didn't know about and their aims were to 1) get me to cry 10 full KDramas' worth of tears in one day and 2) make my heart swell so it shows up as cardiomegaly on xray. 

There are two types of people that I somehow got myself acquainted with :

People who made the effort to wish me in Korean, be it in romanised or Hangul writing. So touching and thoughtful!! I hope I made it clear to them that I really, really appreciate that!!! They made me feel like I'm one step closer to become a fully fledged Korean hahaha. Some of them even hope my wish of meeting Sehun & Ji Chang Wook in real life come to reality.

And then, on the other hand, there's the people whose birthday wishes were somewhere along the line of "You're 22 time to wake up & stop obsessing over Ji Chang Wook and Sehun. Tak realistik langsung" hahaha kurang asam. Thanks for the support. 

Keyla called me and we talked for a bit. I kept cracking jokes, she asked me to stop fooling around because I'm 22 and it's high time that I act all solemn and adult-ish. I quickly changed the topic, "So macam mana keadaan politik kat sana?", and then we both laughed before tracing our steps back to our stupid jokes. I wish she's here, though, I really miss having her around! But she's coming back soon insyaAllah so I just need to count the days leading up to her arrival!!

Atika told me that she had a catheterisation procedure to fill up her clinical logbook on that day, so she had to be at the hospital in JB. So I promised her I'll see her next week to duly celebrate our birthdays (hers was on the 15th! How cool is it that Amie's, Atika's, and my birthdays are all so close together?! COOL KAN! Come to think of it, a lot of my favourite people were born in July! Aw yes July babies stick together, come group hug). She was telling me on Whatsapp about a digital rectal examination that she performed the other day and then suddenly...

she showed up in front of my house.

How did she get from someone's anus to my house?!?!

That girl lied to me!!! She had the nerve to lie to me!!! She does this every year and I still fall for her white lies ugh. Mama cooked up a storm for lunch so we had some people over for lunch. Amie also came. We cut the cake, which had all three of our names on it hehe.






Afterwards, I drove Atika to Emil's open house, and at the very last minute decided to join the open house because Emil forced me to. Haha.



I am always thirdwheeling these two. Look at us all in grey hahaha




Atika was already leaving to JB, so I took her into one final embrace before telling her that I'll definitely see her again next weekend. 

For dinner, I was abducted.

My world was absolute pitch black darkness thanks to a blindfold, and I was put in the shotgun of a car with idk who else!! I had no idea who was driving, who was in the backseat, heck I didn't even know whose car it was. I felt all around me and the only thing I could conclude was that it was not Mama's car, nor was it Ayah's car. That was all. I can't believe I couldn't figure out anything else, what a shame to Signal, tetiba.

And then someone in the backseat played some really ghastly voice recordings right next to my ear. My reflex? I screamed lah of course, and then I wanted to recite Yasin but I don't memorise the whole surah by heart so I ended up saying Bismillah like 917357 times. I was terrified.

After gaining enough strength to mutter actual, coherent words, I tried negotiating with the driver to turn on the radio because it was too quiet and I was bored out of my mind. It worked!!! I guess I'm tactful huh. And then I took it one step further, I tried asking if it's possible to play some Korean songs to soothe my heart




but no. The driver decided to stick with the radio and there were only Eid/Raya songs on the radio. 

And then they manoeuvred me out of the car and to my seat at the restaurant and I had to wait for like 5 more minutes before the blindfold was finally taken off of my eyes

And then there they were, lo and behold, all my favourite faces!!!!!

Shaza! Yop! Amie! Almira! Aliff! Amir! Nurul Nadira! Emil!

And the biggest plot twist - Atika!!! She lied for the second time!!! She said she was leaving to JB earlier but she lied, again!! And I believed her, again!!! UGH. 

And guess where we were at?

WILLIAMS, KELANA JAYA!!!!!

Another one of my most favourite places to eat at!! I truly, really did not see it coming! At all. I wanted to cry (what else is new) but I held myself back and told myself not to ruin the night with tears. Everything was a bit awkward at first because there was my high school Gang, and then Atika my best friend from MRSM, and then Shaza my soulmate & Yop. They were all people whom I hold very close to my heart but people who aren't from the same clique so I was worried if everyone wouldn't enjoy themselves fully. I felt like I'm responsible to make sure that everyone adjusts well to each other and can borak and laugh the night away, because the only reason they were all gathered there was my birthday, so I didn't want to be held accountable if they're not having a good night out. If anything, I wanted the night to be a good memory not just for me but for everyone else. Hahaha. But my worries proved to be futile because everyone got to know each other and everyone started talking and I was soo, sooooo happy because... you know, they won't get to say "Hey remember your birthday last year? Bosan gila doh kau ingat tak?" on my birthday next year.

Shaza & Yop initially just wanted to stay only for a bit for drinks but they ended up staying till the very end. Atika & Emil left early because Atika had to go back to JB (for real this time, she sent me photos as evidence). We ate a lot!! I made them try my ultimate favourite from Williams which is naan cheese caramel (!!!!) (no photo of it, sorry!). I'm not sure if they loved it at least half as much as I do but they ended up ordering 6 more to take away, so hehehe.

You're probably wondering if there's any story or any significance to naan cheese caramel, like honey sotong. Actually, there's isn't any. It's just a naan cheese caramel. That's all there is to it. It's sinfully scrumptious, sooo sinful that the sin gets cancelled out and inversed; it's a sin if you have not tried it. Okay no lah I won't go as far as coining the term 'sin' but you get my point, no? If you don't get my point then we need to talk.

I felt so bad because it's such an un-fancy place so the photos turned out ugly but it's okay I hope everyone loved the food there and can agree with me that Williams' naan cheese caramel is the BEST. Hehe



The Gang

I had an episode of premature mid life crisis when Shaza showed me the Snapchat filters, because I don't use Snapchat haha


With Atika the liar before she left to JB (for real) haha

Amie & Almira, the two masterminds behind my abduction but haih love them soooo much! They've been secretly spending a lot of time together WITHOUT ME to prepare for my birthday surprise, I'm still in the limbo between being jealous and appreciated haha



They got me the loveliest presents!!!

Amie & Almira made me this really, really cute (but embarrassing) scrapbook that was laden with my photos of the MySpace era!!! Oh my God. I can't believe they logged into their MySpace just to find these photos of my zaman jahiliah! I thought I've deleted my MySpace (and therefore set all proofs of my past ugliness into oblivion) but clearly I was wrong...... Everyone, if you haven't deleted your MySpace, run. Run for your dear life because the bastards that you have as friends are probably coming after you.

Shaza got me a bunch of stuff, one of them even matches my phone cover without her knowing beforehand. I mean, what are the odds!! It's like one of the 346362826 times that the universe was telling us that we're indeed soulmates. Okay boss we got it the first time, thank you!! :B

Atika got me a medical book, she said it's to show that she supports me to pursue my dreams hahaha, but her letter inside was the one that made me cry.

Amir & Nurul Nadira gifted me chocolates (made me wonder if everyone knows that I'm a severe chocoholic? Haha).

A pair of comfy shoes from my little sister, because I've been looking for a good, reliable pair to sustain me through long hours in the hospital come clinical year.

My little brother bought a long tshirt that I immediately wore.

A bracelet from my parents!

Mina gave me yet another present, which is EXO's latest album (cue Chen's scream)!!!!

I also asked the Gang for selfies as birthday presents because I'm mengada. I thought I was getting third degree burns from the amount of tease that I suffered because of my selfie request haha but we had a good laugh about it on the group. Even though not everyone could submit to my humble little request (hmph >:( ), most of them did so I'm a happy birthday girl hehehe. I know not everyone was able to be physically present on my birthday, but I'm a selfish prick and I wanted something to assure me that they're there, somewhere, and I wanted to trick myself into believing that they're here next to me, hence the selfies. It's a cheap trick, but it works, for me at least. Hehe.












You know what they say, the world does not revolve around me, but I felt special and loved and appreciated and celebrated on my birthday, so allow me to just bask in the attention ok please kasi chan hahaha. There are just so many people to thank for the amount of love I was receiving. Above all, thank you God, for bringing these people into my life. I pray that you grant them an abundance of rewards and place them in Your paradise, because I can never repay everything they've done for me! I've said this before and I'll say this again : friends are the family you choose, and I'm happy with my choices :) Alhamdulillah.




Thursday, 14 July 2016

#AmieSolehah22



Aktiviti musim panas : gift Amie the most flabbergasting birthday celebration for her 22nd birthday.

My best friend turned 22!!!!

I had a LOT of presents for her in queue, and they were released one by one in a specific order. Although at first it didn't go in the order I had in mind, but it later on picked up the right order hehe. Some of the presents are just really personal and they're not my beans to spill, so you'll never know, unless Amie decides to write about them on her blog! Haha. So I'll just write about other stuff that are less risky for public viewing haha.

Almira & I ambushed her when she was still in her beauty sleep. We forced her to shower, and while she did, we chose her outfit of the day. I ironed her palazzo trousers, and Almira did her make up. We wanted to blindfold her so that she wouldn't know the next destination, but we didn't want to ruin her eye make up (which was a masterpiece, by the way, thanks to Almira. Her hands do wonders), so we forced her to shut her eyes haha. Amie also had to wear an inflatable crown for the whole day. Strangers who saw her tried to suppress their smiles & laughters but we could still hear their chuckles, some even shouted Happy Birthday to Amie, making her even more embarrassed than she already was haha. Even I myself was getting secondhand embarrassment haha.We took her for lunch at Seoul Garden (because we couldn't afford flight tickets to Seoul hewhew), and then photobooth sesh (wish we had time to play at the arcade there!!!), and then for a karaoke session. Satish & I sang a duet of Kau Ilhamku (but we altered to Kau Illhamie since it was Amie's birthday haha). It was a whole day all planned out for her. Granted, she was exhausted by midday, she even napped in the car (orang suruh tutup mata dia pegi tidur terus haha) when we had to go to the next destination, but I'm so happy that she was clearly, evidently enjoying herself despite us draining every last bit of her energy hahaha.

Special thanks to Amie's mum who conspired with us and made sure that Amie had her whole day free with no plans and gave us the greenlight to carry out our surprises hehe. See, this is why you acquaint yourself with your best friends' parents & families! They come in handy on birthdays. Special thanks to Almira, Satish, and Mag for making the celebration so fun!! Special thanks to Jasmine & Nina for the birthday dinner and hilarious birthday card!!

Happy birthday again to the best friend in the whole wide world!!! I hope we gave you a memorable 22nd birthday, and may Allah help you become wiser & better with each passing day of your life. Love you, hun.

This is us prepping Amie, and a bewildered Amie who had no clue what we had in store for her throughout the day hehehe

Me helping Amie to navigate her way through the mall haha


Made her stop to take a photo also hahaha












A Good Teacher



Aktiviti musim panas : Help my little sister out with her Geografi coursework.


Can you believe how different things are now? 15-year-olds now sit for PT3 instead of PMR, and their Geografi coursework actually stands as a subject on its own for PT3. Wow. I feel like a veteran now, old and weathering....

Anyway, early midlife crisis aside, today I helped my little sister out with her Geografi coursework while folding clean, fresh laundry. Mama was reciting Quran at the side so our conversation was within her earshot. The coursework requires my sister to define sistem pengangkutan (transportation system), identify current problems pertaining to that of the vicinity of our home, and propose pragmatic solutions for the problems identified. Mama pointed out that if the scope was zoomed in to our local area, the problems that we brainstormed were relevant to the public transport system specifically, not transport system in general. So we thought it would make a lot more sense to focus her coursework on public transport.

Since we live in the age of Whatsapp, kids nowadays can just Whatsapp their teachers whenever they have any questions**, so my sister did exactly that. She asked her teacher to clarify if the coursework actually demands her to find information on transportation system in general (inclusive of private & public transportation) or public transportation alone would suffice. I know the question of the coursework is clearly worded as 'transportation system' and not public transportation, but bear in mind that this coursework is meant to be done in our local area.

What her teacher did was brilliant. The teacher first asked my sister what she understood from the question.

And then the teacher gave my sister the definition of sistem pengangkutan (transportation system), ad verbatim :

"Sistem pengangkutan bermaksud cara sesuatu benda atau org perseorgan menghantar brg atau sampai ke destinasi yg diingini."

The teacher next proceeded to ask my sister, according to the definition she's just been given, does that limit her to public transportation per se or is it an umbrella term for all kinds of transportations?

I admire teachers like this, teachers who don't spoonfeed their pupils/students with answers but train them to think & analyse using the materials provided, as well as drawing relevant conclusions based on the thought process. The teacher didn't tell my sister if she was right or wrong, but the teacher gave her a piece of information as subtle guidance to help my sister decide & see for herself what the answer is. I think that's what the teaching profession is about, to educate you and teach you how to think and cultivate curiosity and expand your horizons, and not to merely tell you what's Correct and Incorrect, because a lot of things in life don't submit to the simplistic binary, a lot of things are not strictly black or white, right or wrong. Some things fall in the fifty shades of grey (hahaha) in between, and are therefore subject to personal judgement, so it's important that one is armed not just with knowledge, but with the finesse to extract information from said knowledge and form own judgement using the relevant information. 2 people looking at one same shiny diamond can argue about the different colours that they're seeing, but 1 educated person will know that that's total internal reflection doing its magic (right?? Right?? Any physicists out there? My Physics is really rusty haha, my Physics teachers would be so disappointed in me)

What makes a good teacher, in my opinion, is one who imparts knowledge that goes a long way, beyond the four walls of a classroom.

I'll leave you with a quote that I personally hold on to until now :


“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.”
-Alexandra K. Trenfor





**Lucky lot! I used to pester around my teachers and follow them all the way to Bilik Guru and beg for their attention before I could even ask them anything (most of the time, asking for another mark to help me make that B to A grade leap haha)

Monday, 11 July 2016

Goodbye?



Contrary to what most of you may think, I, Shahirah Hasbullah, am actually a girl with a heart made of steel and impervious to emotions.

Baru raya ke berapa dah menipu dah Shahirah ya Allah apa nak jadi. Ampun, maaf zahir batin 2.0 everyone.

I don't know what you think of me, especially if your sole source is my blog, but if you think I'm just about the biggest, most cengeng crybaby whose eyes pee every time the thought of Mufasa's death is invoked from the back of mind, you're right. 

Tonight I watched another good friend walk past the boarding gate of KLIA, down the escalator, across the floor, to pursue a better future insyaAllah. If my life was a drama, this was a scene that has been recycled to a certain degree. I've sent numerous friends & families in valediction, and every single time I'd spill my tears and get all emotional about their departures. So this was a scene I've starred in many times, but tonight 

was one time too many. 

I broke down while my mind jumped through years in advance to find a date when I'll see him again, and when we - the complete quorum of the gang - can all see each other again, but the only answer I got was http page 404 not found. In fact, I can't remember the last time all of us were actually present at a gathering. Someone was always in another continent, or had an errand to run, or the call of duty to answer, or a different event to attend, etc. 

But that's not it, that's not quite what pulled the trigger of my acutely responsive heart.

I've always likened us to climbing a mountain, each of us taking different roads & routes but sharing a common destination : the summit. So at one point all the roads have to be connected together. It's like, you go this way I go that way, see you at the top okay? Okay cun. And when we finally reach the pinnacle of our journey, we can rightfully groove to Started From The Bottom Now We Here and be merry and not worry about anything anymore. Well, they can groove to that, I'll stick to my kpop songs and we'll squabble over the song choice but we'll be happy. Be it 5 years from now, 10 years, 17 years even, it doesn't matter to me as long as we'll be in each other's company again.

But will we, really?

It was the uncertainty of whether or not we'll live to the day that we get to reunite and rejoice at how far we've come, that sent my eyes into pathetic waterworks. What if someone turned around & went down & chose a different mountain? What if someone never made it to the top? What if not all roads connect at the peak? What if some roads lead down the alleys of frustration and regret? What if we're actually climbing up a volcano and suddenly it erupts into a massive explosion and we all get annihilated? Sounds like a plot of a terrible thriller/action movie.

Uncertainty is both a thing of beauty and a curse, it can be both blissful ignorance and crippling anxiety that consumes every being of myself. It's like a hurricane, and maybe that's why hurricanes are named after women - they're a beautiful mess.

They say friends are the family you choose. I'm happy with my choices.

Minutes before I launched my crying fest



Was tonight an adieu? I hope not. That wasn't a Goodbye, that was See You When I See You, God willing.



I'm so sorry for the sappy post! I'm not usually like this ok, I'm usually fun & happy & hilarious & kind & beautiful & drop dead gorgeous & intriguing andddddd we're back to menipu. Maaf zahir batin 3.0 everyone. Hope you enjoyed my little Raya drama on this blog.