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perhaps they heard me; thanks for the chance

6 May


i was e-mailed by yayasan sime darby on monday, informing that i am invited to attend their pre-u scholarship assessment. the assessment was held today, at sime darby convention centre. coincidentally, i was in the same session (2pm – 5.30pm) with a great buddy of mine, firdaus (gee i’ve been mentioning him a lot in my posts). and ilman my schoolmate was invited too. he was in the morning session.

to be offered such invitation, was very surprising for me. if you have been reading my blog, you should probably know that i have never gotten any scholarship calls. and suddenly out of the blue, it came. is there by any chance that someone from sime read my babblings and rants on this blog? whatever it was, i am very grateful.

came this morning i texted ilman and wished him luck. at 11ish, he called and wished me luck. me, donned in a white shirt and black formal pants (read: waiter), started my journey to SDCC with abah. he dropped me at the entrance, and wished me luck. it was nice of the bell boy to open the door for me. firdaus waited for me at the lobby. i was a bit nervous, but post chatting and laughing before registration, the knots in my stomach starts loosening. and when i went for registration, (it was 1.15ish) i learnt that we were the first of the afternoon session to register. (technically i was the first to register, firdaus 2nd. – still so kiasu, haha)

we were told that the assessment was to be held at 2. so naturally we went around the building, seeing around the convention centre. it was pretty. two restaurants on the upper floor. it’s nice.

1.3oish, we head to the musolla. firdaus did jama’. 10 minutes, and we went to the toilet beside to fix whatever’s there to be fixed, when suddenly a private number was seen on the screen of my nokia. i answered.

“amiruddin, kita dah nak mula ni. kamu kat mana ya? cepat sikit. datang dengan firdaus sekali. kita nak start briefing.”

good thing that the toilet was close to the room. rafflesia room to be exact. we went in. looks kinda full to me. i saw an empty seat. i sat. i saw someone i knew from debate. but she didn’t seem to notice me. firdaus went to the back of the room and sat there ‘coz there were no more chairs left in the front. a girl notified me, to go to the front and write my name on a masking tape, before tearing it to be put on my shirt pocket. i went back to sit, but this time i went to the back to my friend.

a lady came in and started briefing. from her voice, i noticed that she was the one who called me then. and before she went further,

“amiruddin? firdaus? are you in the room?”

inevitably we raised our hand. everyone looked. yeah. our ten seconds of fame. thanks for the grand introduction.

she went on with the briefing on what’s going to happen, what should we do and not do, and again,

“amiruddin, firdaus, kelvin, lim chip dong (note – he want’s to be called LCD), hui mum, and evonne, you are in the first group. please come with me.”

so firdaus and i are in the same group. and four others, total of four males, two females, two malays and four chinese. three applied for medicine (kelvin, evonne and hui mum), one ICT (LCD – yes, pun very much intended), one accounting (firdaus) and one economics (me). we head our way to a smaller room, and the assessor is waiting there. the assessor asked us to sit according to the name list. i sat beside firdaus, opposite mum. but i hate it when i realized that the assessor can’t see my face. if my face was facing twelve o’clock, she would be at 3++. will this affect judgment?

we were given a business case study and ten minutes to analyse it. it was more of an essay – 4 pages long, with two questions. and there’s lots of details in the passage, and combing through the words and coming out with answers in ten minutes was no easy feat. post ten minutes, we were asked to start a thirty minutes discussion. we started by introducing our names. and i began. it all went all okay; i won’t say it was exceptional. at one point the discussion, we kept on beating around the bush, rephrasing the same issue, over and over. nonetheless, i think i played my part.

i tried to control the situation by being the first to talk. i asked questions, to be answered by others. i gave analysis of their answers, and of course i gave my opinions as well. i tried to remain in control of the situation, without being bossy. i decide on what we are talking about. and when they were explaining, they were looking at me. as if it was they were explaining to me. or so i think. i don’t know if i managed to pull it off. i’m keeping my fingers crossed.

the assessor announced the end of our discussion. we thanked the assessor, and went out. we went up one level, and sat at what seems to be a banquet setup. there’s some parents waiting there. we sat and chatted along, exchanging e-mails.

we talked about plans, school and stuff. it’s fun meeting new people. new people don’t judge you, or shall i say, they judge you less. we don’t know each other, so that made everything so neutral. they don’t know whatever negative things about you, and vice versa.

we talked about scholarship interviews. some attended two, some attended five. i told them that sime was my first. they were shocked. (of course firdaus wasn’t surprised lah – he knew all along.) then they said something. something that i wish would really be true.

*there’s nothing related to the assessment past this point, so if you’re not interested in wasting your time reading about my personal life, please head straight to end of post for conclusion. ty.

after some time, we parted our ways. firdaus’ flight would be at 9.45pm. much free time. so we decided to go to klcc to have a drink, plus he haven’t took his lunch. (don’t know why?)

we asked a lady – the receptionist at the lobby to call and get us a cab. yes she called. and after a few seconds, she told us that there’s no cab to kl sentral. i was like, uh, no cab? not a single one? come on, please. you were saying that, when you called the taxi hotline, that practically linked by radio to all cabs in the lembah klang area, there was NO SINGLE ONE CAB THAT WANTS TO BE PAID TO FETCH US FROM BUKIT KIARA TO KL SENTRAL? (of course i did not say it out loud.) but this is seriously beyond irrational. very, very unacceptable.

we went out from the lobby to do some ‘thinking’, i went through my phone book in hope for a taxi number. to no avail. and lucky us, we saw a guy at the receptionist counter. i pestered firdaus to go and ask him to call again. and guess what. of course there’s cab. we should have tipped the guy.

so off to kl sentral, (p.s. – you can print receipt in cabbies nowadays!) and we went to klcc by lrt. we went to secret recipe. nommed and chatted. 4ish. we went up. i (naturally) wanted to go to kinokuniya. but on the way, we saw that the galeri petronas was open (last time it was not), and decided to check it out. entrance is free, of course. it was fun! right now, they’re helding up an exhibition called ‘NOVA – the new media’ or something like that. there’s one cool exhibit, whereby we get to blow a propeller, and patterns and colors on the screen will correspond of the way we blow it! firdaus seems to like it very much. before leaving, we signed the guestbook. we head straight to kino.

i bought a fiction by stieg larsson in penang last time, the girl with the dragon tattoo. it was awesome. so i searched the store for the sequel, the girl who played with fire. i showed firdaus a book; superfreakonomics, which i think is fun. it was the sequel to freakonomics. i haven’t read the book, only browsed a few pages of it. firdaus thought it was great, but wanted to read the first book before reading the sequel. got the book. but on second thought, he didn’t want it (yet). at last, i abandoned my crime fiction for freakonomics. i could have had both, but i’m short of cash. done that, we headed down to the lrt.

we parted our ways. three times we went out in kl together, three times we went to klcc, three times we patronised kino, and three times, we said our goodbyes in the klcc lrt station. the exact, same spot. right after the elevator going down to the platform. it’s almost the same routine, every single time.

to end, i’d say that today was an experience not to be forgotten. i am very happy for the chance given to prove myself. experience is among the best things in life that you could possibly have. and of course i would want to make it to the next stage of the assessment, if i could. i tried hard, and now i’m praying for the best. they called 400. they want 20. what are the odds?


p.s – i’m not feeling well. thank God the fever and itchy throat came post assessment. couldn’t ask for more. (:


thou shalt have stiff upper lip

20 Mar

today, went to the british council education uk fair at klcc, with fify and efy. yeah lots of ang moh. the american education appeals more to me somehow. preferring the twang over the stiff upper lip. lol.

ok it's scotland but it looks pretty, using the pic anyways.

then off to klcc, bought to kill a mockingbird at kino, (love you kino!)

and met ilman who treated us coffee bean. went for the usual, caramel macchiato (though i’m more of a starbucks person, thanks ilman!) .

and tomorrow, gallavanting around Kuala Lumpur with friends! yeay yeay!

den lille pige med svovlstikkerne

23 Feb

i know, i know it’s not christmas or whatever; but today i feel like sharing a favourite short story of mine. the german title is the original name of the story; written by the gifted hans christian andersen. enjoy!

The Little Match Girl

Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening– the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast

One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.

She crept along trembling with cold and hunger–a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!

The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year’s Eve; yes, of that she thought.

In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.

Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! A match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. “Rischt!” how it blazed, how it burnt!. It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but–the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.

She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when–the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant’s house.

Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when–the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.

“Someone is just dead!” said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.

She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the lustre there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.

“Grandmother!” cried the little one. “Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!” And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety–they were with God.

But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall–frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. “She wanted to warm herself,” people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendor in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year.

lovely, innit? 😉

and i converted

2 Feb

yesterday was hari wilayah, and my dad was not working. he’s been complaining that he had not had the chance to watch the movie avatar, so he asked me to accompany him to watch avatar 3d at tgv klcc, despite the known fact that i watched the movie twice. (oh now i realise know why avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time)

neytiri… all bare in the movie. lol.

i checked the screening time online, and we decided to go for the 5.45pm screening. so off to klcc. while lining up at the inevitable queue, i thought about not watching the movie and told my dad ’bout it. we struck a deal, of which that i would not watch the movie, and he would give me the amount of which the ticket costs (rm18 as it’s 3d). ka-ching! such ingenious way to score some extra cash right? and of course i got more than what the ticket costs. 😉

what to do with exactly 2 hours and 43 minutes? now we start talking about the thing that led to my conversion.

fact; i love reading. i love it more than maths. more than biology. more than watching the telly. and probably more than history (or probably not). i love novels, short stories, and whatever with words on it. ok i’m exaggerating, but you get the idea.

more than usually, i’ll get my stash at mph, ever since the early days of my voracious reading. probably because i don’t have other options (i hate popular; i only buy reference/exercise books there) when i was staying in penang then. and of course, perlis was no better at this.

Kane and Abel
kane and abel

i went out with firdaus last thursday, and during the outing i went to kinokuniya for a short time as my friend wanted to buy a birthday card, and inevitably (i love this word) bought a book; kane and abel – jeffrey archer. it was nothing much as i hadn’t spent so much time in the store. well, yesterday i had almost 3 hours to kill, and what better thing to do – swim in the sea of books at kino! what an experience. i love the nonchalant ambiance, compared to the more ‘formal feel’ of mph. i discovered it had two levels, and the upper level had a coffee kiosk! the shop (or book gallery, as supposed by kino) had full glass walls overlooking the klcc park, so you can actually enjoy the dancing fountain, while sipping your warm mocha with a nice, engaging novel in your hand! so cool, right? another interesting point to add, the kino had this touchscreen computer in almost every corners of their premise, that you can search up a book that you want, and you can frickin’ PRINT the map of where the book is located. like, how tech-savvier a bookstore could get?

The Pillars of the Earth
the pillars of the earth

so for almost three (short!) hours, i sat, read, watch people, eavesdrop, and (inevitably, again) bought another book; the pillars of the earth – ken follett. and i officially converted, from mph to kino. i will definitely come back. often. i can live there. haha.

anyways, post avatar 3d, my dad said the movie was awesome, with pandora and everything, except for the eye strain and dizziness from the 3d.

avatar dizzy

probably like this, haha.

saturday roundup

21 Mar

today i went to damansara to pickup my spanking new passport around 9ish in the morning. i went to apply for a new passport last monday as mine has expired, but albeit the new “siap dalam dua jam” policy, i was too lazy too wait then. so today my dad drove me to the immigration department and voila!yeah i’m ready to runaway from home; yet sadly only to perlis as the holiday has come to its end. 😦

saturday voyage doesn’t end there, my dad sent me to the national library, second trip for the week in fact, so that i can finish up my NILAM project. and that is because, err, just so you know that *ahem* i am apparently tokoh nilam negeri perlis for 2009.;)  the last time i went to the library was when i was in 3rd form, where we had to do a history folio on malaysian traditional wedding. then, it was with my cousin afzy, and this time i was all by myself. the library is okay to me, not that great, a bit messy to some other libraries went before and the library staff were not that warm.

libraries wasn’t the likely place for me to hangout on saturdays, where you’ll meet completely different clique of people compared to those you see in sungei wang or pavilion. prescription glasses are by far the eyewear of choice rather than ray bans or jackie-o’s that are ubiquitous in malls aforementioned.  simply put, smarter people. no nonsense whateverdoings. you really got my respect, bookworms. there are, a lot of them, actually.
and came night, my aunt wanted to treat me some dinner. i wanted to eat wendy’s at jusco setiawangsa but she said that it was no good. we discussed and brainstormed, and we ended up in two options, tgif or manhattan fish market. i chose manhatfish as it was closer to my house, the ampang park outlet. so we went there, with my brother and my aunt’s two-year old son. i noticed there’s a new nasi lemak antarabangsa outlet opened beside manhatfish. amusingly we were the only patron in manhatfish; the outlet was empty! nonetheless we proceeded with the menu, and we ordered some flaming prawns and platters. somehow the food wasn’t as fab as usual. this is our first visit to the ampang park outlet by the way. we asked the waiter to pack the leftovers. anyway, thanks maksu.

i’ll be returning to my mundane life tomorrow. i really do miss perlis by the way. concluded that this holidays pretty much sucks.

pray that i won’t forget this blog.