Wednesday, November 23, 2016

365 Days, 365 Mistakes

This will be my first post while I am in Japan being in a student exchange programme. I'm having a lot of fun here, although I kinda miss my life in university back in Malaysia. I miss being able to talk and be crazy with some of my bunch of friends. I do talk and be crazy with my newly found friends here too, but it is a different kind of feeling. I guess human are just shitty all the time, they always want something different when the best has already been presented right in front of their eyes. 

It has been a little bit more than two months now in Osaka. Starting to get used to people here. Actually grew fond of a few people that I find comfort with. People that know me should know that I am a slow goer when it comes to people. I don't get attached to people real quick. But when I do, I feel more comfortable talking and making jokes with them. Well but again, not everyone would understand my jokes.

I am very bad in Japanese. I am not sure why I didn't want to speak more often with people in Japanese. Maybe it is that look that I get when I try very hard to understand what they are talking but I tend to look like a super retard deciphering their message. Maybe it is my own ego, stopping myself from looking like a fool when trying to learn a new language. Ugh. 

Sometimes I give up entirely and just say わからない, which means I don't understand, hoping that they would then speak English with me. It sucks. However, my reading and writing are slightly better than my speaking ability. But that wouldn't help me to commute my way in Japan effectively. Which sucks again. 

Seeing and knowing so many people here, all across the world made me feel that there is so much to the world than the people I know my entire life. There are so much of kindness and love that I don't see displayed before. There are so many cultures and contexts that I do not understand but am trying to. It is constantly a trial and error with some of my friends here. Sometimes I get what they mean, some other times I don't. But I do try my best to get along.

While I am still here in Japan, I hope to give my very best to the people here and add value to their life as well. It is important to leave a deep, lasting memory for them as those are the priceless valuables. The drinking parties that we have, the parties RA organized, the movies we watched, the skating crews, the curry nights and studying nights. It all means a lot to me and I hope that I will remember them forever. 

I do sincerely hope that I will continue to enjoy and appreciate every second I have left here and with my friends. Maybe the title don't fit the overall context of this blog, but it doesn't matter because it is what I want to say. That we make mistakes every day but it is okay. Probably till the day we die that we will still continue to make mistakes. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Comparing and Competing

As an Asian, we take pride in being good in a lot of things. One good example is how good we are in Mathematics and Science. Asians grabbed the five first place of the global ranking in Mathematics in which China is the first, followed by Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Korea in 2013. The Westerns don't call us Asians for nothing. [Source]

While that is true, it's inevitable to see that the competition among ourselves is strong. Gruesome, even. Parents compare our grades with our peers and more often than not, they compare our talents as well. Oh, your son can play the piano? My son can too! What grade is he in? Aw, isn't he a little tad slow compared to mine. There goes more pressure for the kids. 

Since we were small, we were told that we must be number 1 in class. Don't know why, but must get number 1. We thought that that means we can get some form of rewards from our parents (maybe some cool electronics?). We study day and night, concentrate in class, go for extra classes and tuition, spend our supposedly past time to do homework and not to forget our extracurricular activities because you know, they want to make you an all-rounder. 

Nobody cares what you want. Because you're not supposed to know them. 

And because you're Asian, so you do what your Asian parents told you to. 

So the habit of comparing ourselves with our peers and compete to become the best unnoticeably embedded in our minds and souls. Whenever there is some form of interaction, there shall be some form of competition. Taking the same tests? Starts comparing our scores. Handing in exercises? Who got the highest marks? 

I'm not trying to discourage competition. Competition is good. It ensures the species survives. Over-complacent will only retard the advancement of a certain species and/or person. Competition is also good because it drives prices down. But when people starts comparing every single form of assessment or even lives, it gets downright annoying. 

Wake up. No one is supposed to be good at everything. The purpose of school is to discover what you are good at, not how good you can at everything. We are giving the schools a wrong definition. If you're good at Literature, you should study them and create poetry to inspire and be the next Shakespeare. If you're good at Biology, you should study them and be a meticulous surgeon to save lives. Don't just be good at everything, find something you truly have an interest in.

Maybe because we are wired this way, where being good at everything means you have a better chance of surviving thus being able to pass down your genes. Nature got to be blamed on this. Thousands of years and evolution and this somehow unavoidably printed in our DNAs already. 

If you had noticed, my favourite quote on the right hand side of the blog is from Einstein. It is as follows:

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
Seem pretty straight forward to me. Don't compare yourself with others because you do not share the same life and talents as them. Create your own path. Shed off the mentality of comparing unnecessarily. Or try.

For anyone, stop judging people solely from what the society picks as a norm. Ubiquitous is too mainstream. Be weird, be uncanny, be enigmatic and be unpredictable. Most importantly, be yourself, because if you do not, no one else will. 

Fill in the some of the points that I did not expand with more thoughts. That way you find it more personal and be able to fit my idea somewhere inside of you. Everyone has different opinions, but it shouldn't sway from the original intended intention. 

Disclaimer: Not everyone shares the same experience that I described above. I am aware of this. And you should know too. No one in the world shares the exact same experience as anyone does. Only a certain groups does. So anything, really, is up to own's interpretation.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Three Things We Fundamentally Should Live For

I believe that all of us are here for a reason. For some of us, a reason that we yet to discover. Are we supposed to solve climate change? Are we supposed to record the best moments of human history? Are we supposed to serve people dish every night at a ghetto? While we do not know for sure, I truly think that there are three things that we fundamentally should live for. We might already do this unknowingly or do it in a different term that I name it here, but it is still what it is. 

1. Adding value to people's lives

We are here to add value to the lives around us. We help the less educated to become somewhat more educated. We donate a (little) portion of our paycheck to the needy so that they may buy what they need to survive. We held out our hands and borrow our shoulders to our family and friends whenever they need it. We go out of our comfort zone in order to make someone else's life better. All these adds values to someone's life and it does make a positive impact on them shall they do not take it for granted.

2. Creating memories with people

Gatherings are there for many reasons, to create a memory that we one day could talk about it someday in the future. It is an indicator to show that we spend some of our time to and for each other because we care one another. If you do not truly see the aim of the gathering, you might as well as be at some other place that you find fit. I guess more often than not some find gatherings to be a pain in the ass because they are required to socialize whereas socialize is the way to create memories. After all, memories are the ones that we have when we are at our dying bed. Probably too late to say "I wish I had been there with you guys" when you are minutes away from death. Of course, there are still many other ways to create memories with people!

3. Bringing positive change to the world

"They (our fathers) left the world worse than they found it. We're going to leave the world better than we found it." - Daenerys Targaryen

Pretty much sums it all. If all of us (all 7.4 billion of us) makes a little positive impact to one another, the world would be a better place. Pass the good deed on. The world is undeniably better than when our fathers were born into it if you count the consequences of globalization and technology out. We now have excellent health care, which increased the life expectancy of the human race by at least half (Wikipedia). It is expected to increase in years to come.

In most part of the world, we are able to live as a multicultural society without causing a tension that is far too great to trigger a massive massacre. On another note, slavery has ended as well. That is one of the positive change that I feel is very important for the world.

Do whatever you do that you feel that the world would be a better place if you do it. However, if it displeases a majority of people, it is best to consider the consequences and unwanted repercussions. We can't do whatever we want, however it may contradict the first sentence.

Monday, July 4, 2016


Soon everyone will have their own life, getting that job that they always wanted or needed, building new relationships, forming a tie with their other half, have babies and finally taking care of them. Along the way, we just stay together because we allow ourselves to indulge in the fact that we are friends since school. We might forget how we truly get to know each other, the feeling of saying hi the first time, how we bonded, how we work together as a team, how we learn boring subjects together, manage clubs together, spraying water and flour after party and confessing for the first time. I always hope that the reason that still keep us together in five or ten years time isn't because we are in the same Whatsapp group that everyone mute it (FYI, I do not mute it). 

At the end of the day, I value my friends more than I should even though I show like I don't care some of the time. I want to keep them together, but not everyone shares my mission. I do agree that our group is pretty selective and I apologize for what it is. Most of the times we only celebrate certain person's birthday and buys them present. I do not like this, but it happens every year. It is only logical that you feel less attached to the group that does not celebrate you. Naturally, you will find that one group that finds you interesting and shows that they appreciate you by celebrating your birthday with you (not the only way, but one of the way). Although no one explicitly said this before, but somehow it is predictable. 

I have so much of bad deeds done in the past I couldn't forgive myself. I broke my friend's relationship. I probably changed the course of my friend's love life. To think about what would happen if I didn't do what I did makes me feel bad. I often think myself as the bad guy ever since. I don't deserve, yet the heart yearns. I don't deserve, yet the heart cannot stop wanting. Somehow somewhat I uttered and made some stupid mistakes again and stabbed each of us with a double-edged sword. Further deepening the wounds that are already there, if not forming new ones. 

There are many reasons why I don't try to form a new romantic relationship. One being afraid of hurting others again. Another being it's hard to forget. Yes, the brain and the body seemed so inclined when you see your friends are already starting to dwell themselves in the love pond. I feel like jumping onto the bandwagon too. It would be a lie if I say I don't find some attractive in my new environment, and I did make some effort but I ended it soon after. I don't really think I am ready for any of those again. Sometimes when I am alone I remind myself of what kind of person I am and reinforce the idea of keeping the double-edged sword at bay. Of course, I don't consider myself decent looking so it might be a reason why I am not in a relationship. 

Back to home and another hardship seems to surface itself. I think that part of the reason it surfaced is because of my action as well. My mom has been glue-sticked to her iPhone 6 Plus whenever she has the time. She seems to ignore what is most important to her (I can't critisize her much because this is the 21st century and I do that all the time as well). What's worse is that I feel like her relationship with my father is worsening as the days pass. Part of it I feel like it is her fault, but as a family, there is not truly one person at fault. We all share the responsibility. I ought to do something before something bad happens. I can't imagine the worse outcome of this to us. I never thought that it could happen to us, but I am beginning to think that there is a possibility that it will happen. You know what I am talking about. 

On a positive note, I am probably going to Osaka, Japan, coming September for one semester for the student exchange programme. When I say probably, I mean 90%. I am already accepted to the university as an exchange student, but currently I am looking for the confirmation for the JASSO scholarship. That is really the main reason why we applied to go. Looking to see some news from the international body in Kansai University real soon. We have to apply visa, afterall. 

Other than that, my three friends are coming back from the UK. That ought to look forward too.  I am happy to see them coming back after a year (aprox a year). Some gatherings felt lacking without them. Afterall, I went through the secondary school with them so missing them would be normal. Can't wait for our trip to Cameron. 


Friday, May 27, 2016

End of Semester 2

Today marks the last day of my lecture of my third semester for my degree. Finally there is time for sigh of relief. I have been struggling a little this semester, especially after the end of TRIUMP. When you think that you'll be free after the end of a certain event, you are wrong. I was wrong. Well, it was the end for some of the members but for the higher committees there are still paperworks and followups to be done. Wrapping up is a tedious process, especially given that you have put all your effort in the event that you don't feel like doing anything at all after the end of it. Combine that together with the responsibility for other smaller events in my organisation makes me both physically and mentally exhausted. I must admit that I cannot give my full commitment to my other member's event. I'm sorry for that. 

I was lucky to be offered an opportunity to go to Italy for a mobility programme called Erasmus+ next semeser. This opportunity came by when I was executing TRIUMP. Some said I used "connections" and I don't really deny that, but I relied on my own ability to secure that second interview. The "connection" that I used were merely used to get into the interview. Anyhow, there seems to be no news from the International Office of my university upon being announced as one of the students that will participate in this programme (there will be only two from my university). I keep my fingers crossed and hope that I may go. One is for the cultural exchange, two is that I get to meet my three friends who are studying in the UK. I'm thinking it must be fun to travel together in one of the European Countries. They are excited and so was I (though some of them seem more excited than I do). My family is happy and I hope I won't disappoint them if somehow somewhat this mobility programme got delayed or worse, cancelled. One of my friend already was given false hope as he was chosen for a mobility programme to Indonesia only to find out later that it wasn't confirmed. He already told his family and his family already getting ready to send him. Tragic, really, and sad. I hope that doesn't happen to me.

Anyway, all assignments, projects (the hell with them) and reports have been done and sent for grading, what is left now is only the final exam which is another 40% of the final equation. I'm fairly confident in two out of the four papers I am gonna sit. One of them, Mechanical Vibration is hell and I have no fucking idea how I am gonna manage that. Another paper, Fluid Mechanics 2 is not too bad, but I kinda fucked up my first test and on the verge of losing my solid A. Anyway I'll do my best, as always and hope for the best. Maybe that is the most important aspect in any endeavours. I tend to forget that but I have kept reminding myself ever since.

That has been it, a short and rather messy update. 


Monday, February 29, 2016

10 Things I Found Out In Japan

As some of you know, I went to Japan last week for a 8 days 7 night trip with couple of my friends. We landed at Haneda, Tokyo and toured around Tokyo for one day before heading off to Hiroshima, the land of the atomic bombing site. We stayed there for a day before departing towards our two days trip in Osaka, the city where Universal Studios Japan lies. After having fun at USJ we moved our asses to Kyoto where the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine with thousands of torii gates at (you should google what torii gate is). As our flight back to Kuala Lumpur also departs from Haneda, we then continued our journey back to Tokyo for another night to pick up some souvenirs and shopping. It is quite packed and there was a lot of leg work but it was all well worth it for me. 

I discovered 10 things that I learnt from Japan. Actually there's more, but these 10 are the prominent ones that some might find it peculiar enough as it isn't really found or practised in Malaysia. Without further ado, let's begin the list!

1. (Almost) Everything Is Automatic

Where's the handle?

From the standing pee bowl located in the men's lavatory to the tap water to doors. You can almost find them to be lacking our usual push/pull handle to flush the bowl. Don't fret because I was quite lost too the first time but eventually you will know that it will flush automatically once the sensor detects that you are leaving. You'll be happy to find the sensor operated tap is almost in every public toilet. We do have them here in Malaysia, but its not everywhere. Pretty cool right? Yeah,  the water was literally pretty cold too because it was winter. 

2. (Almost) Every toilet has toilet paper!

You lao sai? Use Hiroshima's toilet roll! 100% radioactive-free

No joke. The staff constantly replenish the toilets with this godly tool. You have less to worry about stomach suddenly emergency call. Besides, their Western toilet cubicle (yes, they have Western and Japanese type cubicle) have the electronic type bowl which you can press to have a jet water clean your butt hole. Honestly, it is quite weird. You can also adjust the water pressure and temperature! 

3. English is below par. 

The level of English proficiency is worrying. They might understand you but not be able to converse properly. Best to learn some proper Japanese or bring someone who knows Japanese language well along your trip. However, there will be 1 in every 10 Japanese who knows how to speak English. We met a few who can speak English quite okay. Chances of finding English-speaking Japanese is higher in international branded outlets like Nike or Tesla (hehe). 

4. Stores have artificial food displayed outside

Photo from wikipedia

They are so real you'd want to dive in and eat them straight away. Common sightings in shopping malls and food street.

5. Pretty girls everywhere

Nuff' said, the number of pretty girls I saw in Tokyo exceed the total number of pretty girls I saw in KL on any particular visit. No joke. Even though they wore makeup, they are so pretty that you would stare at them to have a gaze at those belles.

6. Amazing toilet reservoir!

First you pull the lever to flush your bowl.

Then the reservoir will be filled by the water-tap, and you can wash your hand with it! The water will flow back into the reservoir. Damn water efficient this one. BANZAI!!!

7. Politeness is no joke

We all know that Japanese are known for their politeness and how respectful they are towards others. This particular case is so extraordinary I had to write it up in this list. In my bullet train rides, once the ticketing staff walks from the back of the carriage to the front of the carriage, he would turn 180 degrees and bow to the passengers before proceeding to the carriage in front of us. Talk about being respectful! This is a whole new level!!! *I'm sorry if you can't imagine it, I didn't take a video of it because I was beaten down and slept most of the time in the bullet train*

8. Rubbish bins are segregated

Almost all of them are like this. Combustibles or non-combustibles? Plastic? They even have this in their fast-food restaurants! Talk about recycling... You have some hard time determining where your disposal should be in. Great effort, Japan.

9. Paying bill through "board"

I don't know the particular term/word for this, but they practice this everywhere though only strictly emphasized in some shops, namely the Starbucks in Namba. They don't take the money that you hand to them directly, they will ask you to put it on a board like this one below (example only), only then they will accept it. The staff at Starbucks were very insistent on this. Not sure why though...

10. First come first sit!

We traveled a lot by train, and I saw that the culture of giving up their seat for their elders is not commonly sighted (or maybe we coincidentally didn't saw them). Most of them grabbed seats whenever they found it and sit on it. Some elders sat while some stood. Probably they are trying to train their body... but I may be wrong. 

And on Fridays and Saturdays, you'd smell the scent of alcohol in the train especially at night. They would drink after their working hours. I guess that's just one of the ways they reward themselves after a week of tiresome work. 


I was supposed to finish this before my semester starts but end up I procrastinated and left it to rot. Suddenly found the mood to finish this up so that I could share with others what I found out in Japan. Of course, there are many other trivial things that I didn't write it down... and I probably forgot some of them but Japan is really an interesting place to visit. I'll be sure to visit Japan again in the near future if my wallet allows me to. I thought of really migrating there though, but I missed Malaysian food just after a week.... Maybe next time =)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Wrapping it up 2

I never really did gave my first post a second look because its really just a rant. I was partially out of my mind while writing that post, though it is not entirely untrue. There were some typos that really can give the wrong meaning. I don't really want to correct it, so let's just leave it there.

I didn't mention that I joined my faculty club as the second vice president (yeah, SECOND) in 2015. Truthfully, there was no second vice president ever in the club before. The higher committees of the last term only did made up that post in order to keep me in the club so that I can organize the competition. The competition that I have been writing about in the last couple of posts. It's no longer national though, we only narrowed it down to selecting few universities that we want to invite rather than having it open. Lots of things happen, probably better this way. We'll aim higher next year. 

I come to know a lot of people while holding my post. Some of those I knew them before but never really did made friends with them. Others were new friends. We collaborated with another club so I get to talk to many of them. It's an incredible experience so far. I'm starting to learn what managing people looks like and how selecting good team is actually very very important. I'm no natural  leader, I admit. Personally, I would do everything by my own, but I simply can't in this case. Time is one of the constraints. But I am trying. I try hard to distribute work and make sure to follow up. However, it doesn't always ends up meeting my expectations (people postponing and stuff). I absorb everything and try to make mistakes and learn. Tbh, the most important lesson I've learned so far is to gather a group of people that you can trust and rely on. I've already seen a few that I can rely on, and possibly in my future activities, I will include them in my committee. My vision isn't just until the competition. 

Most of the time I am afraid how the competition will end up. In my mind, there is a ninety percent chance that it will flop. I can think of a million things going wrong on that day itself. That sense of fear consumes me sometimes makes me work harder, but other times it makes me procrastinate even more. It is so scary. There were times where I think back and ask myself can I take everything back? If I did, I wouldn't be in my faculty club as I am now and I wouldn't get to make friends with so many people. Because obviously I cannot reverse time, eventually the thought wears off and reality kicks in. The competition in on!

Honestly, I have big plans that I want to execute in my university. After this competition, I plan to organize an TEDx university event at my university, of course. I had the thought since last year after seeing UTP did theirs. I figure if they can do it, we can too (this thought actually led me to organize a trip to KL to attend TEDxYOUTH@KL 2015 where I brought 36+- people there). I've sent my application last week to TED and still waiting for their response. They said it will take up to 8 weeks. I still have time. The intended date is in November. 

I am actually making myself stepping into the dark abyss because obviously I have never organized such big events myself. Learning to run before walking is truly a devastating experience but since I am already running on the treadmill, might as well as keep on going. 

Uni aside. I realized how ungrateful I was saying my birthday celebration was sucky. I actually didn't mean to say that I did not have a grand celebration or something. It's just that I wished everyone was present. It is my greatest desire to see my friends gather around, having fun, chilling and just talking and laughing. Those are the days that I cherish most, and are mostly a rare sight these days. It seemed somewhat cynicism took over us. Pride took over us. Prejudice. Ego. Jealousy. Insecurity. Embarrassment. The young, clueless and naive of us just faded away, consumed and eaten by our age. 

People come and people go, and I have yet to accept the latter fact.