Monday, 26 June 2017

#ustazahSheera : Eid Edition



On the eve of Eid, a war of feels erupted within me. There was melancholy and a longing to be home, with my family & relatives, to experience the familiar pandemonium & chaos that I've gone through year in year out for 20+ years already.

But the prospect of celebrating Eid away from home for the first time in my life carried a sense of novelty that I haven't felt in awhile, which was refreshing. I'm all about embracing new Firsts in my life so a part of me was psyched for it!

And then there's also the boring, skema voice in me that kept pestering me with the fact that my final exams are coming soon (like soon SOON) and that raya comes every year, but grades are forever (cue bunyi guruh).

In summary, I didn't know what to feel.

I felt bad for feeling excited about celebrating Eid abroad because that's like knife-through-the-chest kind of treachery towards everyone back home. I mean, I love my family & relatives with every fibre of my being but for once,

no scrambling to use the toilet on the morning of Eid!

No ironing the clothes for the whole family!

No helping my fussy little brother to put on his sampin!

No cheeky "Ni form berapa ni?" tease!

These are plausible reasons to be excited right?? Hahha. At least that's how I convinced myself so.

Anyway, morning of Eid!

#ustazahSheera arose early, did a little bit of workout, had a kiwi & a banana to start the day. Nothing can ruin today, I told myself.

Alas, my worst nightmare happened: my hijab was like haha cute but naah, girl, no way jose.





I legit spent 30 minutes in front of the mirror trying to fix my hijab so that it looks decent but my hijab was not. Having. It.

There was no way I could leave the house looking like that.

But alhamdulillah my hijab finally cooperated!!! By then I was running late for the first jemaah (8.30 a.m.) for solat raya at Malaysian Hall in Queensway so heels on my feet bag on my shoulder hijab on my head, I dashed out the door.

No more than 5 steps had I taken out the front door of my flat building before the English winds blew in my face and undid my 30 minutes of hard work!!!







Only managed some internalised catharsis, couldn't even afford to react appropriately outwardly to the misfortune because I was late. Got to the tube station and then the sweet voice of a lady came out the speaker, telling me that



the Central line was suspended.







That left me with only one viable option to get to Malaysian Hall: the combination of District line and.... (shudders) Circle line, which is as useless as Hammersmith & City line (it shouldn't come as a surprise that I absolutely hate Hammersmith & City line, I wrote about it coupla times).

Needless to say I didn't make it to the 8.30 a.m. jemaah for solat raya, so I joined the 9.30 a.m. one.

Got to see some of my old mates - my SKRM friend, MRSM friends, KY friends, even my cousin Luq came back to London to celebrate Eid with me - so that was really nice. I'd like to think that was God's way of rewarding #ustazahSheera for being patient with the morning's series of unfortunate events hehe.

I Facetimed my family & relatives, only to get 1) a pixelated view of them, so low res that I felt like I was watching porn (not that I have ever...), at some point I couldn't even make out the face of who I was talking to hahaha,

One of the rare times that I could actually recognise the faces on the screen! 


(Side note: Maxis, 3G at my kampung, please, I'm begging you. IT'S ABOUT TIME!)



2) a screen that perpetually taunted Poor Connection in my face,





3) "Hello? Hello?! DENGAR TAK?!",


followed by 4) abruptly ended video calls.

The wind kept testing my hijab's resilience and my hijab faltered, of course. LEMAH SUNGGUH. If there's a scoreboard it'd be London wind 100 - 0 Sheera's hijab, thus necessitating my going back to my flat at noon to change my hijab haha.

And then I went to visit my foster family and friends who hosted some makan-makan all over London, the furthest was in Zone 4. No bigger motivation to commute that far than free food man.

So yeah, coming to the issues of my feelings, I did feel homesick but it was nothing too overwhelming, like, not to the point of tears yknow. I had a great day stuffing my face with lots of good food (and possibly regaining the 5kg that I lost over Ramadan) and I got to see friends who I haven't seen in a fair while. I kept thinking about revision even though I didn't actually do any but hey it's the thought that counts??

Turns out celebrating Eid abroad isn't all that bad, actually. (Malaysia is still the best muah love you Malaysia) Now I'm typing this at the end of the day, completely knackered as I would be if I were in Malaysia. It's that old friend: 1st Syawal fatigue.

Anyway, Eid mubarak & selamat hari raya to everyone who's reading this, whether you're a long time reader or a new visitor who happens to stumble upon my blog! Maaf zahir & batin! I apologise for all my wrongdoings be it intentional or otherwise, and I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me.

But if you don't, then...


Kita settle kat padang mahsyar court je lah k.








Bawak shuttlecock sendiri.

Hehehe gurau.


Here are some photos:

Queueing for the second jemaah of solat raya

With my cousin Luq

At Fauzan's place

Facetimed my best friend Atika

Facetimed my best friend Almira

My bitter little brother hahaha

Omg is this how I look like whenever I facetime people?!?! THIS BIG?!

No seriously, THIS BIG?!?! Pipi je dah makan 5GB

I felt/looked like a schoolgirl!! Rasa mcm nak pegi prep pakai tudung putih and baju kurung haha

Because one photo of me is not enough hehehe





Hope you had a jolly good time wherever you are whomever you're with!!

Take care.

Garnier.


Okay okay I stop now maaf zahir batin 2.0 haha.

Oh and before I leave this virtual space once again to commence a period of lockdown in preparation for my finals, can I ask you a favour? I'd be very grateful if you could please keep me in your prayers so that I go through my exams with ease (and with style, no less) and obtain flying colours. Thanks so much :)



Friday, 9 June 2017

#ustazahSheera




In case you're not following me on Instagram or missed my instastories.....

Prince Charles came to pay a visit to the victims of the London Bridge attack


If you're Malaysian and you don't know who Amalina Che Bakri is, then shame on you really....


Okay I didn't follow her in the sense that I followed her like a stalker without her knowing.... She invited me to her office and I only accepted the extended offer like the tak tahu malu person that I am hahaha












ABOUT ONE HOUR LATER














COPD is a respiratory condition that commonly affects smokers


That's basically the entirety of my Chinese lexis. Hahaha













I'm still over the moon about meeting Dr Amalina Che Bakri in person!!!! I can only hope I get to achieve half of her success. One day inshaAllah.




Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Waves



First there was the heatwave that swept across London and gave its inhabitants that characteristic udang bakar look, raising my suspicion if everyone indeed has mitral stenosis.

PANAS. GILA. NAK. MAMPUIH.






The weather app told me that it was 24 degrees the other day. I took a screenshot of it, adorned it with a fire emoji, and posted it on my Instagram story to share my woes with the rest of my followers. A reply came from a friend in Malaysia, insinuating that my use of the fire emoji was not justified because it was just 24 degrees.

Well...

I can see where he was coming from. Put that 24 degrees in juxtaposition to Malaysia's 30-something degrees, London may seem like mehhh. Fair enough. But here's the thing, 24 degrees... without an aircond or a fan!!! (Being a hardcore EXO fan doesn't count)

Do you know that feeling that you get when you hop into a car right after you've parked it out in the sun for a few hours and you turn the aircond on full blast only to have your face roasted by a jet stream of warm air? Yeah it's a bit like that. 

Good God, I was livid.

Not at the heat per se, but the fact that the heat was in London.

I mean, if this was Malaysia, I'd complain and whine like a baby but at the end of the day I would simply come to terms with it because it is Malaysia. I know it's hot and humid all year round. Wet armpits? Congratulations, welcome to Malaysia!

But this sort of sweltering heat here?? In London??? EXCUSE ME?



I'm sorry it's just not something I associate London with. London to me is always a gloomy city with bundles of layers and freezing winds. Like, being hot is something for Malaysia to do, not London. So when London decided to raise its temperature up a notch, I felt... Betrayed, if that makes sense. Like bumping into an old friend in a completely new, unfamiliar place. Not a nice feeling.

Maybe it's not you, London. Maybe it's me. Maybe the problem is my habit of over-stratification - putting things into boxes and labels - because it's my own systematic heuristic. It's easy. It's simplified. It allows quick recognition. The downside to that is, of course, a lot of things in this world don't belong to just one label.

Not only did the heat get on my nerves, it also made my face really oily.

Like really oily you can almost deep fry a chicken drumstick on my face.

It was further exacerbated by this physical/mineral sunscreen that I was trying out, because my trusty Biore sunscreen has run out. I don't know if the problem is physical sunscreens in general, or just this sunscreen in particular, but my skin hates it. It just sits on top of my skin without properly sinking in, giving me this tacky shiny look and this heavy feel, as though I've got a sheetmask on at all times. No amount of waiting time can push the stubborn sunscreen to sink in properly. And it makes my face feel really hot too for some weird reason. I won't toss it into the bin just yet, I suspect it'll come in handy come winter time.

But for now, I'm a damsel in distress waiting for my knight in shiny armour to come to the rescue the Amazon guy to ring my doorbell with a Biore sunscreen parcel in hand.


Apart from the heatwave, I also had to wave goodbye to Ulfah who's gone back to celebrate Eid in Malaysia.





Brb crying an ocean because I have no one to annoy and no one to annoy me now. I'm like T.T. Just like T.T Neomuhae, neomuhae.



Aaaaaand Ramadan waves hello, heralding its long anticipated arrival once again!! :D

Ramadan this year is vastly different because I'm not spending it with my family and relatives and best friends. There's also no bazaar Ramadan here so no otak-otak for me this year. And it's 18 hours of fasting so.....

GG


I was pretty much K.O. on the first day, but on the second day it wasn't so bad. Sure I felt sluggish and my stomach grumbled a bit, but I was not on the verge of passing out or anything like that. I aim to khatam the Quran during this holy month inshaAllah, but I know my period is looming around the corner so I'm trying to read as much as I can before it comes haha. And given the convenience of long daylight hours + the lack of options of good food, I really hope to shed some weight this Ramadan.


But then I also went ahead and cooked this with Iqin for buka puasa yesterday :


I've been jamming to the Despacito song for days now, not to the original lyrics but to this modified Malay version hahaha



And I had 2 servings. TWO.

Mari sama-sama sedekahkan Al Fatihah kepada azam Sheera untuk turunkan berat badan. Arwah dulu baik orangnya.


Hope it's not too late to wish everyone Ramadan Kareem! :)  Whether you're fasting at home with the lovely company of your family or in a foreign land with friends who've become family, I hope you treasure every moment of the experience and maximise your deeds during this holy month. Whatever your aims are for this Ramadan, I hope God grants you the strength & perseverance to achieve them.






Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Not Enough Storage




You know what they say, even the strongest people have their breaking point. I didn't know it applies to pestle as well.




I mean, who would have thought that a pestle - whose job is to smash and grind and crush things into fine particles - can actually break itself in half???

Ulfah and I were both in the kitchen doing our own thang when this guy slowly rolled over the kitchen top and landed on the floor with a loud thud. Our heads immediately jerked in the direction of the sound and we were both speechless for awhile because

da hell?! A pestle just broke!

Me : Can you imagine if the lesung jatuh atas kaki kita?! Mesti sakit nak mampus. 
Ulfah : Kalau jatuh atas kaki kita mungkin kaki tu yang retak.
Me : Tapi at least the lesung wouldn't break...
Ulfah : True.


And then we both spent the next minute crouching in laughter because our priorities are soooo messed up hahah.




The other day I found another way of procrastinating my revision : I played around with a shawl. Not a tudung bawal, but a shawl. As you'd expect, took a gajillion of selfies and sent them to my favourite girls, one of them being Amie.

Forgot to ask her ada cop Halal Jakim tak 






Another cousin of mine came to London conveying things my mum bought for me : dates (because my love life is non-existent... Hahaha no lah because I'll be spending the whole of Ramadan here in London), baju raya (because I'll be spending my first ever eid abroad!!! Without my family!!! Cue the saddest raya song in history), rendang maman, and of course, the love of my life, SERUNDING!!!!









Saturday, 20 May 2017

12. Out Of Control




Today is the day that I reminisced the past clear, non-runny nose days. I'm sorry I took you for granted!! 








Today is the day that I wished I'm not hypersensitive (type 1) to paracetamol, so that my paranoia of getting another anaphylaxis episode wouldn't stop me from downing a Clarinase tablet that Ulfah thoughtfully offered just now.

Today is the day that I looked at the mirror through itchy, watery eyes in disgust, because damn, those eye bags. Blemishes on my cheeks. Lack of glow.

Today is also the day that the Guerilla Date episode with Park Min Young was released and seeing her photos & videos all over Instagram didn't turn on my fangirl mode as it usually does, but it sent my self esteem plummeting instead.

Today is the day that I got worked up over things I have absolutely no control over - my past, my body's immunological reaction to drugs, the mirror doing its honest job, my not being Park Min Young.

It's just today, I think.

Tomorrow I'll bounce back to the happy, funny, annoying Shahirah who does not wallow in self pity and focuses more on things that I have the power to control/manipulate. To facilitate you visualise that transition, it's something like this :





Sunday, 7 May 2017

Look Who's Here!!!




MY COUSIN, LUQ!!!!

(Geddit geddit??? Look?? Luq??)


Maintaining the consistency of my top notch hosting skills, I welcomed him at the arrival hall with a banner. A humongous one, no less.


Luq had one job (which is to take a proper photo of me holding the banner up so that we can share it on the family whatsapp group of course). But there he went filming me with the banner, followed by screenshotting at the exact moment my eyes were closed -_-




Fed him home made ayam masak lemak and also took him to eat at Malaysian restaurants in London. Malaysian restaurants in the US (where he studies) are few and far in between I think, and none of them within the state he's in, so he was OVERWHELMED with ecstasy when he finally got to taste some Malaysian food. Made me realise how extremely fortunate I am to be spoiled with choices here in London.










Played tourist once again but this time around I didn't take much photos with Zorro. In fact on Luq's first day, Zorro didn't even leave the camera bag. Because Luq's into photography as well and he's waaaay more advanced than I am so I forced him to take my photos instead hehe.

He complied. Well he kind of had to. Otherwise he'd be sleeping in the streets hahaha.

But it was nice for myself to be in front of the camera for a change!


Like I said earlier, he's way more advanced in photography and he has all these fancy lenses and fancy camera bag and fancy tripod. I got to borrow some of his lenses and guys, I think I'm in love with the wide angle lens.

Like.

In. Loveeeee.

Some of the photos I took using his wide angle lens :














Now I want to buy a wide angle lens.

But I also want to buy a new camera body but I also want to buy a stabiliser but I also don't have money.


:((((


And here are some of the photos Luq took of me hehe :







We talked about everything under the sun and laughed and had a bit of an emotional breakdown when we both couldn't recognise any of the newborn babies in the family whatsapp group media gallery hahaha. Turns out I'm not the only one with the Kakak Sheera Who paranoia hewhew.