Monday, August 30, 2010

Dirty Picture

I'm back in my bedroom in Miri now, after leaving for Seremban a few days ago. It's becoming a monthly routine already, to fly out of Miri on Friday evening, and then back here via the last flight on Sunday and then letting insomniac taking charge of myself, leaving me dysfunctional and melancholic for the working Monday that soon beckons. And they're all because of the idea-sucking two hours flight.

It's just all so dramatic, considering I didn't cross any time zones, and there wasn't any jet lag involved.

The good news is however, is that I came back to Miri with my Country Road tote bag filled up with new stuff, of which they were all carefully folded and laid as to avoid any crease of new clothings or deformation of any semi solid items. My family had been generous enough to purchase me many quality goods while they were in the Europe, and all of them has a place in my life; I can now don fabrics that I am not yet sick of for future casual outings, and some fine items to be displayed at strategic corners of my future home(s).

Another good news is that I've successfully sorted out some of my old items (the previous post was partially written on how hard it is for me to say farewell to my old possessions, but I pulled through this round), and placed them all in many boxes to be given away. Clearing your stuff is sort of like clearing your mind. The less you hoard, the less space is consumed on your mind. Literally and figuratively.

Another yet good news is, Yamud is now back in Malaysia for good! (hip hip hooray!). Now my phone calls to him won't be as pocket-draining as before, we are now just literally a short flight away from each other. I reckon he will venture through the same outburst like I did when I first arrived here for good, and I hope his journey of acquainting himself with the country, especially KL will be a smooth one. And fast. Don't worry bro, I totally hear you. Yes, drivers don't hit the brakes to let the pedestrians cross the road here, and some oftenly-frequented roads are ridiculously filled with lopak air (like how Cambodia is blessed with the many landmines). But just think of all the nice array of foods that are available here at cheap prices, and how all of your life friends are also back in the country, and how we have over-zealously confident people entering Malaysian Idol (only to make a fool out of themselves), and the Sunday Pancaindera really does tell you on who is dating someone else's husband. Just don't include the public toilets in the mental passage bro, it will ruin everything else I've mentioned.

I've been using my Macbook Pro for almost a year now. And I still find new amazing stuff I can do with it. This is exactly why I've always believed in expensive gadgets. They're just too insanely packed of creative features and full of surprises (of course the first surprise onboard hit my wallet about 11 months ago, when I was bringing it out to pay for a lightweight item that costed me almost 2 months of my salary).

Don't you ever, I mean, EVER, try to separate me from my Macbook Pro. We're meant for each other, and I have been congratulating myself every waking hours since the day I bought it. And my Macbook Pro has a name, I call her... (yes, you guessed right)... Sydney. A pretty name for a pretty creation.

By the way, I constantly find myself having taik mata on my eyes these past few days. At all times of the day. So weird. Or maybe I should stop overdosing myself with sleep?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Steel Magnolias

Tomorrow will be my final day having to go offshore within this few strings of weeks. At the risk of stating the obvious, tomorrow will also be the final day of my torturous and full of struggle 'mind over mattress' battle, and yet another horrendous 2 hours boat ride just so I can reach an offshore installation that is only 48 kms from shore. And if everything turns out right, tomorrow will also hold a glorious ending, insya Allah.

And on Friday I'll be giddy the whole day waiting for my evening flight back to Seremban to meet my mother and the younger siblings after more than a year of not meeting them. And Steel Magnolias is now the movie of which daily 30 minutes dose of it is critically needed to keep me sane. The lines are all hilarious and I never knew that there are ways to actually stay glamorous, sarcastic and witty and surrounded by friends when you have reached that post-menopause chapters in life.

I've always wanted to be really apt or skillful in photography. I actually browsed through the internet to read strangers' photography blogs and another dozens of strangers' facebook profiles for those precise and fresh moments that they successfully captured.

Once all this mounting workload from office is over, I planned to spend my last 10 days of Ramadhan spring cleaning my room. I swear every corners in this room seem to hold a decent amount of dust that I'm fairly worried that it might fly into my nasal passageways and choke me to death while I am asleep. And the room layout is dull and uninteresting and sometimes they just reminded me that the only thing worse in this world is the lame Senario daily sitcom (I was never a fan of such bollocks and seriously, how really bad were they?).

I'm set for yet another room with postcards all over and maps of places that I've gathered since yesteryears. And behold, I'm starting to identify all the stuff that I no longer need, and I shall toss them or donate them away. I just need to carefully justify all the emotional attachments I have towards them, before getting ready to part permanently with them.

It's good to be dry, or to have very little sense of attachments to your belongings. I for one, am guilty as charged when it comes to feeling difficult in saying goodbyes to my possessions. I am still a hoarder, but it was way out of control back then. I even collected my cigarettes packs and arrange them in a vertical structure in my bedroom 3 years ago, simply because I couldn't toss them away!

But there's no way you can keep up with such habit. As you grow older, you bring in more stuff into life, and you have to decide which is being replaced and bid farewell to them. I have reached this stage where I feel that it's always easy to travel through life light.

Be selective, and I mean really selective, in choosing which possessions stay, and the rest shall have to go. And once you have decided to dump them out of your life, just think that you are actually making space for newer stuff.

Similar to a phrase by a stranger in his blog "Once I dumped, I don't look back".

Monday, August 16, 2010

side by side.

It has been the sixth day of Ramadhan, and so far I've spent 3 of them successfully fasting at an offshore platform installation, alhamdulillah.

Of course it was no breezy, I had to succumb to an entire different level of unusual dehydration (the first day was the worst since I missed sahur and didn't manage to gulp the 1 liter of mineral water like always) but I passed. Alhamdulillah. Tomorrow I will be in the office for a meeting that will suck probably 5-6 hours of my precious working hours, and then I will be back to the offshore platform for another 5 days of fasting. I pray to Allah for yet another 5 days of coping strategy and I must tell you that everytime nearing Maghrib, I had my eyes fixed to the skyline, anxious and impatient (but a controllable kind of impatience) to see sun disappears so that I could just immediately drain my throat with a drink that has never tasted so refreshing and rejuvenating and sweet like any other before.

It wasn't the hunger that made me look at my watch constantly, hoping for another hour to pass by. But it was the scorching sun and the immense thirst and the physical demands of walking here and there chasing people in the middle of an environmentally-damaging offshore platforms that really made me think twice of whether I should continue fasting for the day or not.

By the way, the clock moves twice slower when you are offshore. It really does.

I've spent the last two Ramadhans not fasting to the required number of days by a reasonably huge margin. So having decided to fast full time for a whole month this year surely seems like a huge leap and an unparalleled tough challenge. But you know what made me carry on? The satiated feeling at every iftar (wherever it may be at; offshore or onshore) after successfully ignoring temptations and whatnot. And also, I've ben seeing many men in their late 40s who still don't fast, and there is no way in the world that I would ever want to be like that. Hence I decided to start acquainting myself with the routine of Ramadhan this year, so that it won't seem like a total struggle anymore in future years, insya Allah.

On a lighter note, I received yet another postcard from my friends who have been traveling around Sydney! Muchas gracias to Alia, Idzani, Yamud and Anwar. And yes Alia, I am quite aware that this has been the third postcard you mailed me within the past 2 months, and insya Allah I'll return the favour soon.

I don't know why, but there is this one thing about my Sydney friends and I. We can not have enough of postcards, we collect them and paste them on walls, we definitely love receiving them, and we love sending them out. Especially while traveling. I love receiving postcards so much that I even sent them out to myself a couple of times before while I was on the road. And I pretended to be surprised whenever I received them in the mailbox after reaching home, reading them will full enthusiasm as if I had no idea what the travelled place was all about.

I am pretentious, so much so and very dangerously that I even have no problem pretending to my ownself. haha!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Welcoming Ramadhan

The Azan for Maghrib prayers about 4.5 hours ago calls for all of us Muslims out there on the beginning of yet, another Ramadhan.

For the past few days I've stumbled across many uproars wrapped in excitement and contentment; through flying emails, facebook statuses and joyful words of mouth on how people are giving their all out on embracing the arrival of this holy month. It's a month where all your good deeds, even the simplest ones, will be doubly and triply rewarded, and all the devils are chained hence leaving only behind human's lusts and temptations as our sole enemy, and how Allah generously open up all doors on forgiveness for those who repent.

I can understand then, all those maddening uproars. It's simple; instead of receiving 5% interest for every dollar you cash in, Ramadhan is the month where the interest goes rocketing high up for every dollar deposited. In case you're not following, I was laying down an analogy from a simple fiscal point of view.

On the contrary, and trust me, I feel bad for writing this down... I am scared inside, and I can feel the anxiety rampaging every corner of my mind at the thought of Ramadhan looming nearer and nearer. Why?

This one is also simple. Because I'm weak. I am so caught up by the thought of feeling thirsty at 12 noon (with another 6 hours to go before break fast), at the thought of having to be at offshore for 13 fasting days, with all the platform shutdown work, on how I can't concentrate my mind to not smoke, and how unenthusiastic I will be generally (just because I need to preserve my energy level), waking up for sahur etc etc etc. I am impatient and dandy and short-sighted and lack self-control. To sum it all up, I am just weak.

However, I pray to Allah so that He will bless me with enough courage and strength and motivation to continue with this holy fasting practice. I hope I won't miss a single fasting day. I also hope that I am able to finally be wise and take a 180 degrees turn in my tainted view; Ramadhan is not actually a month where you are deprived or are told to be thirsty and are encouraged to live with a half-empty willpower.

It is a month of character-building. Whenever I feel the urge to drink and smoke (in hidden spaces), I will remind myself of all the grace and rezeki Allah has showered me with. I will remind myself on the reward from Allah if I hold on to just another few hours. I will by the hour, and practice patience. Insya Allah.

I wish all of you a happy and blessed Ramadhan :)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Guys, Girls and Erna!

Brunei, here we come!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

all that stuff and more

Seriously, why don't you just disappear?

1. Your ex and you: my ex is non-existent.
2. I am listening to: 1979 of Smashing Pumpkin. Am I just outdated or what?
3. Maybe I should: start taking shower and call it a day already?
4. I love: daydreaming.
5. My best friends: are not here in Miri.
6. I don’t understand: why there are so many types of bearings?
7. I lost my respect for: people who doesn't walk their talk.
8. I last ate: maggi goreng.
9. The meaning of my display name is: the praised one.
10. Someday: i'll live in London. and be happy.
11. I will always be: indecisive.
12. Love seems: not very important, for now.
13. I never ever want to lose: my family and my enthusiasm.
14. My myspace is: abandoned.
15. I get annoyed when: people are so full of themselves.
16. Parties: something i occasionally look forward to.
17. Kisses: tells how a person feels about another person.
18. Today I: will plan for a better tomorrow.
19. I wish: for a job that I can't wait to leave my bed for. but i'm grateful with my job now, alhamdulillah :)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

i need another story lah...

Today and yesterday has been good. Nothing fun/funny/sexy happened actually (notice I said 'good', and not 'great'), but everything has been good.

I've been attending my skill group training on Rotating Equipments, I finally bought an alarm clock that could possibly wake the whole town up with its imploding ringing for the sole purpose of waking me up (my ear is deafening, thank you very much), I have figured out my financial planning for the next few months (and of course thanks to the law of the universe, I somehow managed to squeeze in the new shades from Hugo and Rayban and a pair of wicked new sneakers for my next traveling) and a new contract I'm initiating at work has finally reached its final stage of cost estimation before bidding begins.

Everything has been good, alhamdulillah.

Oh, except for the fact that I, again, had to encounter possibly the 6th or 7th people within the past 7 days who doesn't have the slightest sense of gratitude and they simply do not know how to say' thank you' after being assisted with some stuff in life.

Which brings me to my next issue (but don't worry, I still think that generally the past 48 hours has been good).

If you're over 25 (and these people definitely are over 25, judging from the fairly visible thin lines on their arrogant faces), it's time for you to join the rest of us in the world and learn how to say 'thank you'. I hate to remind you this, but you are not more privileged than any of us, and this world doesn't revolve around you.

Seriously, if you really don't know when to be grateful, please put aside some 50 - 60 dollars for your miserable self and purchase a book on etiquette. The thicker, and older and more hidebound the book... the better. Failure to be grateful implies that you just don't have the littlest care and this will have bad implications on your reputations.

Please put aside your ego and understand the fact that sometimes people do go out of their way to help you. Their helpful actions are sometimes time-consuming, energy-draining and often cause them some sort of an uneasiness to a certain extend.

There's no harm with living side by side with manners. If you still think that good manners, thoughtfulness and courtesy oppress you in some ways, or is inappropriate and unnecessary (just like some 16 years old think), then from the bottom of my heart, I have 4 words for you... Grow the hell up!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

August Rush

How is it that it's August already?

I've been in my room for the entire day so far (albeit it has just entered the 13th hour of the day). I can't wait to get out of here and start looking for a cheap shoe repair shop. But Mr. Plumber seems to have everything falling apart on his way to my abode, hence I try to make the wait worth while by making the best of what I can with an apple and two tomatoes. Well, I try not to mention the 3 or 4 cigarettes that I have consumed while I'm munching on those fruits. It's just so ironic, it's like I'm trying to supply enough minerals and vitamins to my skin but at the same time I'm poisoning it again with carcinogens and rampaging its elasticity with every damned puff. But then again, it's not quite life if you don't counter any positive energy with an equal, if not more, negative ones, right?

I will quit smoking one day. Motherfucker.

Anyway, as boring as today might turn out to be, I sort of have everything planned out. I aspired to wake up at 10-11am every Sunday morning (check!). Then i can't wait for Mr. Plumber to fix that leaking drain beneath my personal bathroom (should I have RM3k now, I so would spend every penny of it for the said bathroom's renovation), and then I plan to drag my feet all around Miri Town to actually find a decent shoe repair place. I somehow pity the guy who will soon stitch up the back sole of my gym shoes; it's filthy and smelly and looks like I've been intentionally bathing it in an endless mud stream on every alternate days.

And please remind me to give my sister a call tonight. I need to carefully lay out some instructions for her as I am about to purchase a 100 pounds worth of photography equipment. Dear God, please give me the time to come back home so I can actually see her during her short trip back to Malaysia.

It feels weird sometimes. My brother used to be the only one who stayed in Malaysia, and all of us in the family would be sending bulk emails to him, letting him know of all our trips back to Malaysia. And now, that I am back in the country, it now turns out that I am the 'local' guy and all emails concerning everybody's trip back home is now addressed to me. Except that I'm not exactly 'local', I'm stashed here in Miri so i cant quite exactly clean the house or sweep the porch in my anticipation to ensure that the family house is clean for their arrival.

By the way, my brother left Middle East for good, and he is also now another 'local' guy in the family. to Abdullah, welcome home. I hope you'll be much happier here.