Sunday, December 6, 2009

Road Trip - Perak

Sunday, December 6, 2009

pictures will be added later. stay tuned

The early bird gets the worm...

...or, the wait. On the tentative schedule we were supposed to meet up at so that we could depart at 4.30. but the night before was our registration, so I had to go home to register (as luck would have it, my internet conked out at exactly 11.50 p.m., after I forced myself to stay awake the whole night waiting for the midnight stroke. hmm) well since I was at home, the only way I could get to UIA at such a ridiculous hour was if someone drove me there, and that someone was my dad. (Thanks Abah!) And after sending me he didn't go back home (waste of gas) instead, he went straight to his office. When I got to the studio I think there were less than a handful of people there, no girls. So I went and hung out at the surau. In the end we left around 5 a.m. the weather was perfect....for sleeping. Raining and slightly chilly, perfect conditions for sleeping. Subuh and a very early breakfast at one of the rest stops.

I love Google

Everything Google. In this case, Google maps. Our car (half of the research team) decided beforehand that we needed to go to the Perak archives, so it was Google to the rescue. Got the address off the net and then went to Google maps and found the quickest and easiest route. Wrote it all down but I forgot the paper at home! Haha no worries though. I think I remembered the map pretty well. We got there in the end, that’s what matters :p

Branching out and getting lost - it’s fun and it pays off

The archives opened at 10, but we were already in Perak pretty early. So we decided to detour to Batu Gajah in search of Istana Raja Bilah or Istana Papan. Took the exit and had a fun time looking for Papan. Drove by several familiar sights, including a green church and Kellie’s castle, but we still couldn’t find Papan. So we had to stop and ask some friendly locals, one of which said pergi pusing, pastu belok kiri. Being from out of town, we had no idea pusing was a place and not an instruction :p but in the end we managed to find Papan, and it turned out to be a charming albeit dilapidated little town. Apparently, there was a movie shoot going on there as well. maybe it was this one?

From Papan we made our way to Ipoh, taking the old road instead of the highway. Much more fun and interesting, but that meant we’d be approaching from a different angle than if we were to take the highway and go according to the Google map directions I remembered. But we found the building after making several turns and went up to the archives. I think the people there were extra excited that they had customers, they were very friendly and helpful. We got some info from there, much more hands on; we scoured their resource room and everything. It was fun, in a way. But after a while I got sleepy, while waiting for our material to be photocopied. Good thing we arrived at the archives pretty early since we totally forgot it was Fridays and they had to go for Friday prayers and close up early. So we left and they locked up.
Time for lunch. Hmm. Where to eat? We drove around and ended up in front of Ipoh parade. Safe bet I suppose, so we ended up eating at marrybrown, sitting on swings^^

We then departed to Kuala Kangsar, again taking the old road and not the highway. It took longer I suppose but we saw some very interesting sights, like a beautiful Lafarge plant and an oddly conical hill. The Lafarge plant was just awesome, less like a building and more like an intricate and enormous machine. Later on our way to Taiping we passed a YTL plant but it paled in comparison.

When we finally got to KK the other groups were already heading out in search of alternate buildings to, measure so we decided to just drive around looking as well instead of checking into our lodging. As it turns out we found ourselves in Kota Lama Kiri, where we found several houses although the nicest one seemed to be already measured. I think we must’ve driven up and down the same road 20 times. After that we wanted to look for this mosque, Masjid Kg. Kuala Dal but no one knew where it was, even the locals that we asked. So then we crossed the river into Kota Lama Kanan but the houses there were sparser and less elaborate, nothing really worth measuring.

Drove back into town and drove around getting only slightly lost but that was a stroke of good fortune because we stumbled on this old mansion with a sprawling lawn (by Malaysian standards) but there was no one around to ask for any information about the house. There was a sign staying villa Gahara but we weren’t sure if that was the name of the house or the name of the housing area. The mansion was near a Christian kindergarten and Lutheran church and near to MCKK. We also passed Masjid Ridzwaniyah, which, by our own hypothesis, used to look like this but doesn’t anymore, which is a shame because it would’ve been nice to measure and document.

People. Trust your instinct?

After all that driving around (which is not as bad as walking around hehe) we finally went to our lodging to freshen up before dinner and group binding activities. Dinner was a very delicious barbecued chicken and sardine sandwiches. After dinner the group binding started, with a game called mafia wars (not the fb app) but not before a birthday surprise for Jah =P. So mafia wars. It’s a bit lengthy to explain I guess. It’s a game about trust and instinct and to a lesser extent, teamwork. Click the link for an explanation on how the game works.

In the first game I had a very strong suspicion on who the mafia was, but I didn’t listen to my instinct, for several reasons. Only just when I decided to do something, I was killed off. Nyeh. The next game I kept on nominating and voting for the same people who I seriously suspected, but few others backed me up. As it turned out though, the two people I did keep voting for were really the mafia. Heh!

Need for speeeeeed

the next day we went to the zoo ^^ I love the zoo…after a bit of a wait we hopped onto the tram and went around the zoo looking at amazing creatures Masha’Allah…then we got off the tram and did our own bit of exploring. Me and Madihah wanted to take pictures with the albino python, but our enthusiasm was certainly not shared by everyone else. In the end we managed to convince yam Mahmud and aqilah to join us. It was fun! Then we were walking around again, not really knowing where to go when suddenly a group of zoo staff walked up the hill and with them a\was a cute baby orangutan! Heehee it was very curious and friendly =D.

After the zoo we went to Maxwell hill. I didn’t know what to expect, but that was fortunate because it was amazing! The ride up was like a very twisty roller coaster ride, 93 turns in all, winding steeply uphill with a sheer drop beside the road. Thank god the driver was experienced. He was driving with just one hand..! When we reached the top some of us got a bit sick so we sat around while waiting for the other jeep to arrive. Maxwell hill is very greeeeeeen and damp. Moss everywhere, lichen on trees and vegetation galore. It’s also very foggy because of the humidity. Very surreal to be standing in a cloud. After a tiring hike uphill it was very nice to just sit on top of the hill and chill for about an hour, just enjoying the different weather and environment, and the quiet nature. The ride down was less scary than I thought it would be, even though rain was coming in. it was quite comfortable. I even fell asleep haha!

After a quick meal of mihun sup we departed back to KL. At first I was so tired, so sleepy. But after the first stop we made at sungai Perak my sleepiness evaporated. After sungai Perak we decided that since we all knew where we were going there was no need to remain in strict convoy mode so we broke out and drove at a more comfortable speed. Even though it was much faster than when we were in convoy it also felt much safer. And without realizing it we overtook the cars, one by one. I guess the others felt challenged or something. But even when they overtook us again we managed to cut them again, without that much of an effort. Except ajim. 180km/h is just a bit too fast for comfort :p. It was fun anyway, and thankfully no one was extremely bullish to be careless and extra aggressive on the road. Everyone made it back safely after an exhilarating and very short ride home :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Let go

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Emotions - how much are you supposed to show, how much are supposed to hide?
Strength - when lashing out shows weakness, and mistrust breeds contempt
Time - how long is too long, how short is too short
Freedom - how do you define it and what are you ever free from
Thoughts - they change so do you blurt out all your rash thoughts or keep them brewing
Space - when too close for comfort is too big a space for some
Mood - can you detect it, can you ignore it
Simplicity - wouldn't you want to uncomplicate your relationships? wouldn't you want to be happy?
Burden - does anyone want to be one? do you consciously remind yourself not to be?
Talk - most times its better to say nothing at all. a lot of times, its all lost in translation.


Drink up, baby down
Mmm, are you in or are you out
Leave your things behind
'cause it's all going off without you
Excuse me, too busy you're writing your tragedy
These mishaps
You bubble wrap
When you've no idea what you're like

So let go, jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So let go, just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

It gains the more it gives
And then it rises with the fall
So hand me that remote
Can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow

Such boundless pleasure
We've no time for later now
You can't await your own arrival
You've 20 seconds to comply

So let go, jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So let go, just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

So let go, jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So let go, just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's alright
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown

Monday, November 16, 2009


Monday, November 16, 2009

The holidays are finally here, after a grueling semester that for some has not even finished yet. This semester, I’ve gone out on the proverbial limb and trusted people for the first time in a very long time. I suppose it started from the second semester in my 2nd year, where I settled into the studio groove more (due, in part, to working drawing), or maybe during the short semester, where I had multi-disciplinary project with my juniors. It out me in a new situation where I didn’t know anyone but I didn’t feel intimidated by them as much as I felt intimidated by my own batch back when I was a freshie. I don’t know where this new found ability to trust came from. Maybe it was the long hours we spent cooped up in the same space, maybe it was the long conversations, the observations, being comfortable in their presence. Maybe, architecture students just tend to do that more. I don’t know. But it seems logical. After all, we see the best and the worst in people here, in all stages of their daily life, from looking like hell to looking sharp, moody to elation, etc etc. we’re there morning, day, and night, hours and hours on end, through thick and thin. Maybe that’s where trust stems from. I would never have imagined ever telling anybody anything remotely private. Noncommittal ambiguity was my modus operandi. But people are curious beings, and people look for comfort in others. And I can see the difference, or rather, I can feel the difference. I was quite uptight in my first year, scared, cautious, distanced, and really quite alone. Now I think I’m a lot more relaxed. But I don’t know if that’s an entirely good thing. After all, limits are limits and trust is easily destroyed. It’s hard for me to trust people just because I’m afraid they’d break my trust. I don’t know. I just hope I’ve trusted the right people. Wallahualam.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hello. Goodbye.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hello, you

Its been a long time since we’ve talked, how have you been? I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting you, but actually it couldn’t be helped. You're not exactly the kind of person I think people would like. I don’t understand you. You’re a mix of contradictions. You’re a walking oxymoron, and you don’t even know what you want.

Okay, I don’t want to turn this into a accusatory letter but you expect other people to understand your wildly seclusive ways when you don’t even understand yourself. And you say you can take criticism but oh, you have no idea what criticism really is. You make up all these delusions and you’re stricken when they don’t come true, when you really have no right to be upset. After all, what did you do to make your dreams come true other that sit around waiting, wishing?

You told me once about your paranioa issues, and I know, I understand. But you told me that you had it settled, you knew how to control it. But now I see you and you’re the epitome of paranoia. Maybe you could be right but your assumptions are almost always baseless.

Sometimes, I pity you. You put up a front which people mistake for being brave, but really its just a façade of blankness covering up your doubts. Buck up, you. Or your life will never be anything fulfilling, just a bland journey with a meager conclusion.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's hard to please everybody but its even harder to please yourself, especially when you don't know who you are, what you want, and where you're going.

I want to find peace when i'm confused
I want to have hope when i'm let down

I want to clean up the mess I made
And tie up any loose ends. But where do I begin? And how?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Saturday, September 26, 2009


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Malaysian Open at Mandarin Oriental
(Just a warning: this is a departure from my rather abstract posts of late)

Just by luck I was shifted from the info n booth department (blah) to the Hotel and hospitality department \(^.^)/

It’s not that tiring, we get quite a few perks. Comfortable environment (second home remember :P) and the opportunity to observe how the tennis players interact and stuff. Some of the things they do are just hilarious. hard to explain why, but they just are. It’s a good hard look behind the scenes. There weren’t that many fans, only one fan actually stayed the whole day in the lobby. But MO are really nice about it so far, anyway he's not causing any trouble and is a very quiet Japanese (I think) man. We assumed he was a Hewitt fan since he was wearing the same necklace as Hewitt, so whenever i pass him i ask if he's gotten anyone's autograph. I think today he managed to get quite a few. Most of the players are nice enough; at least none are rude or really unfriendly.

My colleagues are also quite nice. My supervisor Janet from Hong Kong is very organized and understanding. Her assistant Shirley is also very organized but a little bit strict. The two other volunteers, Zalikha and Ellie, are very cute and total opposites, Ellie is calm and quiet while Zalikha is bubbly and a little bit hyper. But they’re fun to be around, and we have fun talking and discussing things. Things, as in, players and people haha.

Veronica is our transport liaison par excellence, always on top of everything.

The only downside to being near the players is you realize how painfully short you are. Huhu

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Drug Buddy

Monday, September 21, 2009

Drink it in, that bitter pill
You’re running short on drugs
The grey is lonely, the black is still
And Murphy cries for hugs

A game of chicken between us both
Who’ll be the first to blink?
You always win, most of the time
But that’s just what you think

I’ll corner you and ask you why
I’ll burn you with these sweets
And though you try and try and try
You’ll end up in defeat

The battle wages, forth and on
It carves in me a hole
But both our silence fills the void
That grows within our souls

One day we’ll tire, or else give up
Then each to their own way
And in regret we’ll think of when
Our drug could save the day

Blur by ~girlnotpretty

Friday, September 18, 2009

Awake in Dreaming

Friday, September 18, 2009

I awake, into my dream
I climb out into the nostalgic sunlight, golden and warm on my skin
This is a hidden memory, one from the future
The red walls, serene and academic
The faint chatter of hungry minds in the faraway distance
I know this place, yet I’ve never been here
This is yours, your past and I am intruding, but its not my choice
And as everyone flows around me, I walk in a daze
Two teams are playing, a ball bouncing up and down and up,
Impossibly, on a hill, and one team is in blue, I remember
I wander on into a parking lot, empty and bare and suddenly I am afraid, alone
I find my way out, rushing back to the warm sun, the chatter, the crowd
And separated by a screen, I touch your fingers and whisper
I tell you what plagues my mind
I apologise
I know people are watching but I also know,
with regret, that this is just a dream
and you smile, nod, and understand
and as I’m pulled against my will away from my reverie
we are walking side by side into a dim future
and I awake, into the dullness of reality

Holding hands by ~homarte

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Desert Wish

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is there anything more beautiful that a star spangled sky on a cool cloudless night?
A longing for the open emptiness that a Desert posesses
The freedom from the ropes and ties of mundane life
Purity of minds and thought, concentration on what is essential
Focus of energy to building up your soul
Connection with yourself, with Nature, and with The Almighty
To hear your heart, as loud and clear as a hidden stream
To be in tune with the land, the creatures, the air, wind and sun
To submit yourself wholly to God
Is there a dream more wonderful than this
or one less a struggle?

written July 1, 2008 by mh

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Its the eyes that call you in,
But no matter how hard you try,
You can never remember the color that they show,
Only the hold
of their penetrating gaze

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Semester

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New semester is supposed to bring new hope, the brightness of your whole future ahead of you, a fresh page and a new leaf. Determination to make today better than yesterday, this semester, better than the last. But panic seizes up inside of me. I realize I'm now a third year student, a final year student, one that will, insha'Allah, be a graduate by this time next year. I'm not ready for this. After all, what do I know? I'm suddenly a senior that needs to dish out advice to my juniors if they come asking. I'm supposed to have a degree of surety in whatever i have been taught. University life seems so short. I have not accomplished anything worth shouting about, and I’m definitely not armed for the reality of the outside world. My life, as always has been the protected, sheltered one. One that, you could say, was on the easy rote. Family always never more than a few minutes away. Environment, familiar, as were the faces.

I'm hoping it might just be new semester jitters, but I’ve been in an abysmal mood since the first day.


One of my seniors said, as an architect, you can’t just wait around for things to happen. You have to be ahead of the crowd, you have to know your strengths and not be shy about telling people what you’re good at. I don’t think I could ever do that. The thing I hate most to do is to be an imposition on anyone. I don’t want to be putting anyone on the spot. Which is why I don’t ask the questions that really bug me, even if they eat me up inside. But I digress.

Cheer up, Maryam! C’mon…

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Food for thought

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Today I joined my friends Nadiah and Ilham as volunteer tour guides for Masjid Negara, under the Islamic Outreach program. It was my first time and I was really just supposed to observe how my friend did it and what she said. But as it turned out, Masjid Negara was swarmed with tourists that day and there weren’t enough volunteers around. So Ilham and I decided to give it a shot, even though at first you could tell from our faces we were terrified! The first couple we approached was this Indian couple, who weren’t Muslims, but they still sat down in front of the main prayer hall and bowed their heads, I assume paying their respects like they would at a temple. But they were in a hurry so we didn’t get out our full arsenal of information, just the parts that we remembered. But it was enough to get us warmed up, get our juices flowing.

I talked to some American ladies afterwards, a grandmother, her daughter, and her cute baby grandson. Her daughter’s husband works in KL so she was visiting them and her grandson. It was really fun explaining to them about Masjid Negara, it was like I was putting all that stuff I learnt in architecture to good use. And they were really very nice and friendly, and interested in what I was telling them they even asked some questions about prayer, hijab, etc. they even wanted to take a picture of me! :P

Later on we were asked to give guided tours of the mosque so at first all three of us showed two Australian ladies around, but later we broke up into 3 groups, Nadiah taking the Aussies, Ilham had a French guy and an Indian lady, and I took an Italian couple from rome. They didn’t seem too engaged though, maybe because of my own lack of enthusiasm and maybe because they weren’t that well versed in English. But the lady asked some questions, but knowing that I had done a less than satisfactory job I handed them over to a senior uncle who took over. But what was weird was that the uncle seemed a little unsatisfied that we were allowed to give tours since we weren’t properly trained yet. He seemed really peeved. *shrug*

It was a really enlightening experience, and good for me because it meant I had to think on my feet and sharpen up on my knowledge about not only Masjid Negara, but about Islam and Malaysia as well. Time to get studying...Hoping I can continue doing this throughout the semester and beyond, but we’ll have to be properly trained first. Anyone interested can contact me for more details. Training will be sometime in early August.

Later on we prayed Maghrib at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru. I haven’t been there in the longest time, and it was nice to see all the familiar small lanes and alleys that I used to visit as a child. We then ate at this really nice thai place called… okay cant remember the name but it started with an “S” and ended with a “vit” food was good and decently priced, ambience was commendable and service was quick. Only thing that ruined our dinner was this creepy guy who asked us for money. Really freaked us out that we left. o_O

I love my friends. Whenever we get together we always talk about really interesting topics. Okay, they talk, and I listen while offering my thoughts here and there. But its always fun nonetheless.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What I’ve been up to lately

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Well, most recently I went on a long overdue family vacation, but not anywhere far away. We were planning on going to either Penang or Terengganu, but the hotels in Penang were fully booked and the one in Terengganu was not available. So in the end we drove a little bit down south, to port Dickson. It should’ve taken an hour and a half but my dad took a really weird route through PJ/Kelana Kaya/KL making a huge loop before eventually joining the highway. Our hotel was nice, if you can call it that. I mean, the room part was nice, but the bathroom was really strange. The room space planning was a total fail! Imagine opening the door and seeing a huge bathtub on one side and a sink on the other side of the entrance. Entirely odd.

The surrounding area was industrial, we had a Sime Darby Energy plant or something in front of us and a coal burning station a few kilometers away (it was beautiful! Seriously, ask my sister. I was oooh-ing and aaah-ing all the way)

We also headed a bit further south to Melaka for a daytrip, where we did all the normal touristy stuff plus a spot of bowling ngehehe;p We only went to the beach right before leaving PD, for about 45 minutes or so. Not even enough to get sufficiently tanned, not that I need any help with that!


Further back, a reflection of my 3rd semester. I only took Arabic and Integrated MultiDisciplinary Project, both, as it turned out, entirely enjoyable subjects. Arabic was tedious but my classmates were really cool and friendly, and our teacher who always looked sleepy in class was also funny, in his own weird way.

Now integrated MultiDisciplinary Project – I had to explain to my non-kaed friends time and time again about the whole “office” thing. Basically, all the different Majors in Kaed (except URP, so that means its architecture, Applied Arts, Landscape, and Quantity Surveying) join up and we’re divided into groups, and we set up “architecture firms” or rather, “design firms” with the team comprising of all four disciplines (thus the course name) We’re given classrooms that serve as our office for the whole semester, and even though officially the course is Mondays and Fridays the whole day, we end up spending almost every waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours there as well.

My group , Basis Consultants, was based in TR10, where, according to my friends, had a great history of producing winning teams. Oh yeah – another aspect I forgot to mention, the firms are given projects (1 for each section) and we compete to be the winners of the project. Something lilke that. So anyways, our project was to design a book café, and we took it by the horns and churned out a design that eventually allowed us to take first place. Yeah!! (See previous post)

Made a lot of new friends last semester, friends that I will definitely miss, or rather, am already missing.


Now it’s the holidays, and I’m thinking of what to do. Chores, of course, but what else? I need to get my license, but junky decided he doesn’t want to start so I cant practice on him, and since it’s the semester break I don’t know if there are still people who rent out their cars on campus. Anyone know?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pumpkin pie, anyone?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Imagine you have a small, and I mean really small, piece of your favourite pie. And you have so many people to share it with. First there’s your family, after all, blood runs thicker than water right? And you have an obligation to your family that you sometimes ignore but it exists nonetheless. they made the pie, so they should get the biggest piece, right?

Then there’s your longtime friends, yeah, the ones who have been with you through the years through thick and thin and understand each other’s limitations, faults and weaknesses and accept you for who you are. You see them rarely, but when you do, you have the finest of times. If anyone, you’d want to share that pie with them the most.

Not forgetting, of course, the friends you met along the way. You rarely see them too, but you value their different point of view, their exuberance, and their general joie de vivre. In the haze that surrounds you, they are like a breath of much needed fresh air. A piece of your pie surely belongs to them, too.

Then you have your other friends, the people who’ve been through all that you’ve been through and even if you weren’t closest buddies, you’re still pretty tight, after all, you see each other almost every day. They deserve a bit of the pie too, don’t you think?

And then imagine, you have not just these four sets of people in your life. Oh no. you’ve moved around so much and gathered so many friends and acquaintances that you can’t walk 100 meters without bumping into someone you know, who usually, also wants a piece of your pie.

Now imagine that pie is yourself. And in your effort to share, everyone just gets crumbs, and you crumble in the process.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Basis of a good semester is..

Saturday, June 20, 2009

23 awesome group mates, happy times, selamba dan rileks, TR10 the isolated little room away from the hectic-ness of the elevator alley, constant flow of visitors due to our open door policy and superb printing services, determination, hard work, a degree of oblivion, a super messy office floor, a rainbow of personalities..

All add up to a winning team! Go Basis!!

Thanks for the great memories! Missing all of you already huhu..

Basis - The Journey

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Team building, Basis Consultants

Feist - Secret Heart

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fragments of a distracted mind

Friday, May 15, 2009

multi disciplinary project this semester.
yeah, i remember the other reasons I wanted to take AQS1301 now and not then.

Maybe its the warmer climate
Tell me if I'm going crazy
But everything you said amazed me
Seems to easy on the ear to
Be something I should adhere to

played squash again today. wasn't as tiring as the first time. another item to add to my long wishlist - a squash racquet.

plucking flowers. plucking flower petals.
Up, down, higher higher, and falling, faster, deeper, and landing harder
a cat chasing its tail, while pawing at a mouse
that secret, bubbling and boiling, bursting and finding its way out
glorious in its invisibility, yet torturous in its supression
speculations and doubts, casting those fishing lines, numerous, and each one baited with a piece of yourself
until there's not much left for everyone else


Read The Life of Pi, and loved it. Especially Chapter 56.
(The Life of Pi by Yann Martel is available in the light reading area of IIUM Library)


I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.

Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear.

Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you.

The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

am i standing still
beneath the darkening sky
or am i standing still
with the scenery flying by
or am i standing still
and at the corner of my eye
was that you
passing me by
sweet sorrow is the call tomorrow

my allusions are deeper than what i publish, for some reason, its the things i don't say that mean more and are what i really want to say. hmm.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

When is a hint really a HINT?

Disregard the date I wrote/drew this, because it applies all the time, no?

Friday, May 1, 2009


Friday, May 1, 2009

My previous post wasn’t entirely accurate. Some things just can’t be put into words, or at least, I don’t know how. And I realized that happiness is much harder to describe than sadness! I want to wax lyrical about something but it would never be enough, never perfectly capture what I’m feeling. And that’s why this blog has been relatively barren, except for the odd poetry here n there.
That’s another thing. When structured words and paragraphs won’t do, I resort to abstracting my emotions through a jumble of amateur verses. Because in poetry, the meaning of what I’m saying is not finite, you can understand it the million subtle ways I intend you to, or make up your own mind. It gives quantifiable words to what I’m feeling without limiting their scope of inclusion. but at the same time, I'm not sure how long the happiness will last, because its not guaranteed that the happiness is really yours to keep, and because after a high you can only fall down low right? And now I am rambling again.

The holidays are fast coming to a close and the new daunting semester awaits. So lets do a quick recap on last sem and the holidays, shall we?

Things that made me happy
- making new friends – inside and outside campus
- traveling, near and far, road trips, visits, and car rides in general :)
- finding my voice :D
- conversations
- food!
- Nature – water, land, and most of all, the sky and its beautiful alluring contents
- Discovering connections and similarities, accepting differences
- Outings, outings and more outings with friends, friends and more friends
- Increased confidence and social-ness (that isnt a word, is it?)
- Kitty!
- Music, everywhere

Things that weren’t so happy
- workload = stress
- the absurd number of sleepless nights
- my grades
- my increased dependence on others for so many things, emotional, spiritual, mental, financial, educational, you name it.
- losing touch with some of my old friends
- my lowered standards especially in academics. Hate myself for that
- less time spent at home
- the things in me I still haven’t changed

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

Monday, April 27, 2009

You wake up in the morning, or at whatever time you do,
And stumble out of bed wondering what the day will bring to you.

”I will survive!” you sing aloud, as you check up on your peers,
The snippets of their life used to muffle all your fears

You've nothing better to do so you wait around all day,
But "I can't expect everyone to be as pathetic as me," you say

You try not to be a burden, and try your best to let them be,
But all those things unspoken just heighten your anxiety

Your paranoia gets the best of you, "of course they're running away!"
"But I do wish they would stay a while" you whisper in dismay

You'd be glad if you could voice it out, though you doubt you ever could,
"But if it means that much to you, yeah, its a risk but you still should!"

I ask, “what makes YOU happy? and you, and you, and you?
Because what makes ME happy is when YOU are happy too!”

Friday, April 17, 2009

Too little, too much

Friday, April 17, 2009

I haven't written anything in here for a really long time. I try to blame busyness, but that’s just an excuse. Its not that I don't have anything to say, it’s that, I have too much to say and I don’t know where to start and what to write.

Sometimes, I feel like, what's the point in me writing all this? This isn't an educational blog; people who actually read it don't go away holding a precious piece of knowledge of some new found understanding of life. I told this to a friend, and he asked me what was the reason I wrote in the first place.

That got me thinking, why do I write? well before, it was because I was such an introvert, shy beyond words, so this was the place where my thoughts were voiced out (thus the title of the blog) and he had a really interesting angle on why I don't write as much anymore, which was because now, I actually have a voice, and people who are willing (I hope) to listen to my nonsensical crap. So to all my friends, that means, you, you, you, and not forgetting of course, YOU, Thanks for listening! And I’ll try to write more. I still have a lot to say here...

Friday, April 10, 2009


Friday, April 10, 2009

is holding back something personal you've never told anyone considered a lie?even if you're not sure?

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Sunday, March 29, 2009

By the very talented Meon,

love needs no reason,
love needs no rhyme
what love really needs,
is to be shown all the time

though patience may just be passion tamed
don’t let your passion be held or restrained
cos passion hidden is passion withdrawned
let passion be free lest passion’d scorned

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Saturday, March 21, 2009

A haiku, by Naz

Vibrating and throbbing
Goosebumps and thrills
Oh, an SMS

haiku's are such fun...

Monday, March 16, 2009

'Tis, indeed

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's a world of laughter, a world or tears
its a world of hopes, its a world of fear
theres so much that we share
that its time we're aware
its a small world after all

its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small, small world

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small small world

(Doing my cultural assignment about Paris Disneyland)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Laundry Lament

Saturday, March 14, 2009

(Sung to the tune of BJ Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head")

Raindrops keep falling on my clothes
They were about to dry but now they’re all just soaking wet
Nothing seems to dry
Raindrops keep falling on my clothes
They keep falling

So I just wait for the sun, a day that’s fine
But every time it comes I’m in my studio drawing lines
Asiah’s too far
Raindrops keep fallin on my clothes
They keep falling

There’s just one thing I know
The dryer in Amina, costs two ringgits
It won’t be long till bankruptcy comes up to meet me

Raindrops keep falling on my clothes
The wind blows them 'round and they fall down onto the floor
I wash them all once more
raindrops are falling on my clothes
they keep falling

Coz I'm busy
stuff is worrying me


Yeah, I'm happy,
For me and for you
But that's why I'm sad
So sad
Wish i could be just as true as you,
Just like you

*when words fail me, fragments are all that come out*

Monday, March 9, 2009


Monday, March 9, 2009

Imagine this. You’re showering and glance up at the high windows in the shower cubicle and see a head poking through, watching you. Well, that’s what happened to a resident of the ground floor of Block E in Asiah. The girl screamed her lungs out and the ******* scampered away, escaped, and is still at loose. When they checked outside the window, a crate was placed there for him to climb on. This happened during the day, this morning.

So to all female residents of all mahallahs, please beware and take caution when showering, and even in your rooms. Shower on the upper floors, lock your doors and close your windows, please. Have the security on speed dial.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wake Up Call

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sometimes, the only thing that will wake you up from a sleepy building services class is a phone call telling you that your hostel is on fire because it got struck by lightning. Which is exactly what happened to me today. But for some reason I found it funny. Worried, of course, because I was told to go and save my belongings, but funny because I was thinking, I don’t really have anything valuable in my room, and I couldn't really believe that my hostel would be in flames, as it was raining cats and dogs at the time. But anyways I rushed out of my class, thankfully Qil could drive me back as it turns out, there were 2 bolts of lightning (followed by a huge thunder boom which woke everyone up in class) which struck the water tank which then burst into flames. Weird also, because it’s a water tank, filled with water. Made sure everything was okay, then went back to studio. But then got another phone call telling me I had until 7 to get whatever stuff I needed from my room because our block would be under quarantine. Rush back and gathered my stuff. Thanks again to my Qil and Jah for letting me bunk in their room…A break from the dullness of daily repetitive life, also a chance to mingle with my block mates.

Papitos is flying off to Kazakhstan tomorrow. Ho Hum.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Brimful of Rants.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Something is seriously wrong with me. I mean, who in the world falls asleep while they are writing their midterms? It happened to me twice this week already. I fall asleep in each and every class, in midterms, in cars, sitting, standing, reading, writing, drawing. Everywhere and all the time. This semester is definitely, definitely doomed. I have no idea what has been covered in class. My studio is going nowhere real slow. Working drawing is consuming every minute of my precious time. Culture report, where in the world am I going to find time to go visit an “entertainment hub”? Malay group report about the relevance of IT, not even started and I think its due on Thursday. Wednesday is Working drawing submission and Informative speech presentation. Next Friday is our final crit – all the details should be done but I’m still at my single line floor plan.

I've banged my head on walls on purpose just for fun, whacked my forehead with various books, this must be a sign of craziness right?

Coffee does nothing, internet is a distraction for only a while, studio is freezing or too hot, and me, I keep on complaining about things when I should really be working towards solving issues. Off I go, then, drawing door jambs. Oh joy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

An oblivion of choice

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Today most of my batch plus a few others went on a walkabout trip of Kuala Lumpur. The purpose was…well, I’m not entirely sure. But by the end of it, we were supposed to have produced 24 quality sketches which formed a quarter of our midterm total. Yes, a quarter, of 20% which makes those 24 quality sketches worth only 5%. Sketching is not my forte especially when I’m not really in the mood and if the building is too complicated like Masjid Jame’. All I ended up doing was ruining the beautiful architecture by my extremely flawed sketches, all lopsided and out of perspective. Unlike some people who are really good at it. This semester looks doomed for me…

Of the three places we visited, namely Badan Warisan, Masjid Jame’, and the Chinese temple near Petaling Street whose name I *think* is Kuan Lew temple but I’m not so sure, the ones I liked most were the first and third.
At Badan Warisan, we toured around the Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman, and it was gorgeous and calm and beautiful made me sad to think I never had or will never have the experience of living in a wooden kampung house. But we spent so little time there, and a lot of the time we were busy sketching.

The third place was the temple, I liked it because it was a new environment and it was also quite peaceful. The hanging spiral incense made the place smoky and the sunlight filtered through the smoke in the courtyard. It was very interesting, and it was my first time inside a Chinese temple. i loved the big red wooden doors the most. I sketched inside most but after about an hour my eyes began to sting so I had to rush out for a breather. I don’t know if I would have survived in Sri Mahamariamman since they use strong incense and strong smells make my head spin. I was already having a headache from the heat and sun, added with the incense from the Chinese temple. Thank god the hindu temple was being renovated. Instead we were asked to draw shop houses, but I was too lazy and just stood around itching to walk back to the air-conditioned bus.

The only thing I think I gained from this trip besides being exposed to the interior of Chinese temple and the history of Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman was how small and interconnected KL is. I know many parts of KL, but today I actually connected those places in my head while walking. It was quite satisfying.

Today I was apologized to twice, both by guys, both by the ones who weren’t actually the ones who should be apologizing if I had even noticed that there was anything to apologise to me for. But thanks for the sorries anyways :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Me, Myself and I

Monday, February 9, 2009

In English, addressing yourself is as easy as saying "I". In Malay, though, how are you to choose between all the different pronouns? There's aku, saya, kita, being the common ones. but everyone has their own preference, and some people take offence or look at you weird when you use the "wrong" one. My grandma told me "kita" is actually royal talk, like the king or something. But thats the one I use at home if I'm speaking Malay. And "aku" is deemed very crude to some, completely normal to others, I use this when speaking with a certain group of old friends. "Saya" seems a bit too formal. I don't really use this unless I'm talking to people I don't know.

So my flawed solution is to call myself by my name. As in, Maryam. And it still feels weird, like i'm a kid that doesn't know the first thing about grammar. So people, tell me which one i should use in your presence and I'll gladly try to rename myself.

(oh. and no funny I/you business. as in, I nak gi makan,you nak ikut? ewww...)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Sunday, February 8, 2009

there's so much work
I think i'm starting to panic, which is not good.
I've had truckloads of work before, but then I've always had the resources to be able to complete each task up o my standards. Now its just scary how those standards are dropping.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You Mayn't know this...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Today in the Kaed Musolla Zalikha told me that a lot of people say I'm unnaturally, weirdly quiet. To which, she replied "Biarlah...!" (thanks Za)

I know I'm quiet. Unnaturally? Maybe sometimes. Ok, maybe more than sometimes. But thats just one part of a million-faceted MH.

First, there are language barriers. I'm not naturally conversant, even less so when I speak Malay. Very the kekok. The number of times my name would have been up on the 'bolog' would be embarrassing. Thankfully I don't speak that much, no one notices, or even if they do, they don't put me up. not that I would care lol.

But in my Presentation skills class, I'm more talkative. Perhaps its because my very bubbly friend Sumeyra is with me, perhaps its because its presentation skills after all. Perhaps its because I know that these people don't know me, they don't have any assumptions as to how and who I am. For all they know, I could be a foul-mouthed chatterbox (hopefully i'm not) I'm in with a (relatively) clean canvas for others to paint on.

Then my family know me, how I'm like at home. My sister once told her friends that I'm actually very crazy.weird at home and I like to make nonsensical blurbs. They, of course, wouldn't believe it. I doubt anyone would, because no one except my family sees it. Even my family doesn't see it all. When I was a little girl my mother tells me I was always bubbling around asking questions non-stop about everything under the sun. When people asked me how come I changed, i answer "I came to Malaysia." That may sound snooty and stuff but what I mean is when I moved back here, I didn't speak Malay. So therefore I didn't speak. And truth be told - I remember that even when I was in Canada I was still shy. At least at school. I guess when I came back home i went question-berserk to make up for my keeping mum during school

So yeah - I'm weird. And before, I used to mind it terribly. After all, I was always the outcast - the weird one out. But now I don't mind. Its liberating.


I've become a studio rat (to my standards) all my free time is spent in the studio - so far its been wrking drawings, site analysis and precedent studies.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A short short

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hi, I'm still alive...!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I’ve been so so busy the past few weeks that I haven’t even had time to think – its 1.40 a.m and I just got back to my hostel room. Had to write something because my brain was saturated with fragments. There’s so much that I want to write about – my trip to Ulu Yam, our 4-day study trip to Cameron highlands and Kelantan, My crazy schedule, the SRC Elections, Studio, Friends, The semester in general, my cat, Our trip to the orphanages, Debate and presentation skills, etc.

The rest can wait, but The SRC Elections are on Thursday, and this time around, I actually know some of the candidates. The dilemma now is – who to vote for? It’s a close call, but I’ve promised100% of my support to one of them and Scorpios are apparently a loyal bunch. May the best candidate win, Insha ‘Allah.

When I find the time – hopefully during the Chinese New year holiday a.k.a our midterm break (isn’t that cheating – using public holidays as school hols? They should be separate!) I’ll be able to post some pictures and proper text commentary.

Twittering is fun – I reiterate – especially when no one cares, and I add, especially when you can twitter from your phone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama's Inagural Address

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama's Inaugural Address

"...For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist..."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sit. Write. Run

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Taking a short break from my working drawing assignment - don't even know how to proceed with that.

Finally saw the deans list pinned up behind the lift, and most of the 2nd year architecture students who were on it were in my section. Cool. This semester all those who were on it are in our section too, I think. Also cool.

Had a daytrip to Ulu Yam yesterday - very fun. Went hiking up some mountain/really tall hill there and there were about 100+ of us and the peak of the mountain was about the size of a hostel room, with steep drops all the way down. Views of the dam from up there, pictures later.

Going for a 4 day trip to Cameron Highlands/Kelantan on Thursday - no rest for the super weary! Wish I had more music to accompany me - I've only packed 1GB. Not enough for the looooong journey. Note to self - pack earplugs also. And chocolate, but that goes without saying.

Collected dontions from 2 blocks yesterday night even though I was sooo tired from the hike. Didn't even bother sitting down when I got back because I knew I'd just fall asleep. Decent collection, and interesting people. Thanks you to residents of Block E and F for your generosity!! Anyone interested in donating some money, clothes, books etc for Yayasan Kemiskinan Kelantan please contact me before Thursday morning. Ask around for my number - I'm sure its floating around somewhere.

Now back to work. Ugh.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'm not sure if I'm particularly fond of surprises. Like an 11th hour text determining that my weekend is officially and so so so frustratingly ruined.

Painted the studio today and it took a whole lot longer than expected because of repeated coatings and fickle minds maybe. The colour chosen (not by us) was dark brown and a pale beige-ish yellow. First coat - beige. 2nd coat - beige mixed with a tinge of brown producing a shade uncannily similar to that of a blushing piglet. Cute though, I guess. 3rd coat - a darker mix of the beige and brown for the projecting columns. 4th coat - feature walls in dark brown straight out of the bucket. Phew. I had to leave at 3.45. It was supposed to end at 12-ish by our estimates, but that was counting on the fact that people would turn up, and turn up on time at the stipulated 8.30 a.m. I woke up, took my own sweet time, ambled in the rain towards the studio and arrived at 8.32 only to find one person there. Tickety tock. One hour wasted.

On the way back my family introduced me to the newest member of our family, the yet to be properly named kitty.

I should have been super happy, seeing as I've been pestering my mom to let us keep a pet cat. But all I felt was unease. They said they found the cat in the middle of the road in the middle of the rain, and when they stopped to avoid hitting it, it sought shelter under our van. Its so very cute, but terrified. All the way home it was silent as a mouse, with wide frightened eyes. Somewhere in Taman Jasa the mommy cat is probably meowing pitifully :'( My mom still would not have it inside the just now at around 9 pm i heard cats fighting so i ran outside and shoed away the neighborhood bully cat from terrorising the kitty. and then I just stood there, in case it came back. the kitty then did the sweetest thing! It tiptoed slowly towards me and curled up into a scared little ball right by my feet. Awwww...!

But I'm still sad, because its still a kitty that needs its mommy and we're not going to be able to take care of it properly. I think we should give it back, but how? The last time i picked up a stray was probably 8 years ago when I found a cuuuute kitten at the LRT station and picked it up and walked home. It did quite fine until one day a motorcycle ran over it's leg and it died. Maybe thats also why I feel this way.

I find this post by my supposed UW roomie quite inspiring. Her struggles, although different, are also similar to ours, I think.

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