Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello London, my name is Ikmal

(To be read along with the previous post)

The flight, surprisingly, felt short. We touched down at Heathrow at 0505 hours (wow, nice number, haven't noticed it until now. And you know those scary stories people tell about UK immigration, like how they'd rip your guts open and eat your heart alive if you didn't bring X-rays,etc.? They're not true. For me at least. They just took a look at my passport and letter and stamped, *BOOM*. In fact, if it wasn't for the accent the officers spoke with, i'd have thought that i was in Malaysia.

So then i waited for baggage, which i thought was a soooooooo unique because it was bright red. But then there was a lot of other red bags T_T But the biggest surprise was seeing a senior waiting as soon as i went out of the arrival terminal. WOW. :)

They picked us up in a 15-seater van, which they drove by themselves. If you're wondering why im putting 'they' instead of their names, its to give them an air of mystery and authority, hahah.

It was like 4 C outside, so when i breathed it was like a dragon breathing out smoke, you see. Except it wasn't smoke, it was condensed water vapour. And they drove us to Finsbury Park, home of The Seniors. Its also the home of Arsenal, which is a football club less significant compared to The Seniors. And we had a breakfast of fried rice in tray (nasi goreng dalam dulang) which was delicious as we were all pretty *grumbling tummy*, and that explains everything. We just got here, but they were already treating us like brothers, which really made me feel 'waaaaaaa'...

And then in the afternoon i had lunch at Harput Kebab, which so far seems to be the best kebab joint on earth. I couldn't finish it, and i'm like Cookie Monster at home, which shows just how generous the Harput man is. And then in the evening i went to Butlers Wharf to register for accommodation. If you happen to come by Tower Bridge, and I'm sure you'll do if you're a tourist, be sure to visit me yeah :) Its a really nice place, nearby the River Thames and all, plus its victorianly dodgy and yet modern at the same time (victorianly dodgy at the halls, modern on the other side of the river).

If i have the mood i'll post some pictures and talk some more about London. I love it here, for now :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Its a darn cold plane

This blog post is brought to you from aboard flight MH002 heading for Heathrow Airport. Em, not really, but at least i wrote this posting on the plane =)

So now i’m freezing and my nose is running like a broken water tap. My lips are cracked from the dry air. every hour im going to the toilet to take huge bundles of toilet towels so that i won’t have to smear snot all over my seat. This allergy is killing me. You wanna know the real reason i’m switching on this laptop? So i could warm some parties up.

But hey, riding on a plane is not all snotty and stuff. We have like 60+ channels on the in-flight TV. And chicken kurma. And free-flowing guava juice. Blast this air-cond.

But one thing intrigues me. Before take-off, they have this short film on the TV, what to do under emergency situations. Everyone in that clip was smiling and happy. Who the hell just sits calmly and smiles when the plane is diving into water???? People wont be saying ‘Son, please sit still while mummy puts on this lifejacket for you.’ They’d be like ‘Wear this on la!!!! Bising2, mak tampar karang!’ But of course, its an instructional video, so i shouldn’t be emotional bout it.

p/s : Thank you family and friends who sent me off at the airport. Really appreciate it =)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

if only we could see who views our profile

Beware ye olde Facebook.

Its turning me into a stalker. Admit it, its turning you into a stalker too.

But its not really my fault, honest. If FB throws every little update and wall and quiz and Black Sheep at your home page, you have to be ridiculously innocent not to at least follow one 'see wall-to-wall' and stalk. And the fact that almost EVERYONE shouts out every little thing/feeling they do/feel is an almost open invitation, isn't it?

I don't know about you, but I feel a little jump of joy every time someone likes my status. I'd be on the moon if someone comments. I'm knocked unconscious if lots of people like it.

So yeah, that means that you actually want that attention. Following Isa's train of thought, if you say you aren't that means you're a hypocrite. Hahah, i seem to love this simple logic, where everyone is vain. That's why people adore facebook in the first place, it allows them to be known. (or is it to make friends?) Judging by the amount of self-explanatory and intimately revealing quizzes on FB ( like what does your underwear say about you), i'd bet on the former.

Which brings us to the initial question. I'm not really stalking if facebookers actually crave people like me. tee hee. Or maybe it is considered stalking, and facebook is teaching us that its alright to stalk as long as someone implicitly allows it. Brrrr.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Yay! McCurry won against McDonald's, which is a triumph for curries and vindaloos and dhals everywhere. Or a triumph for restaurants with no Scottish lineages planning to use Mc in their name (Maybe that Indian guy is half Scottish, you never know these days) Or maybe its not. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, kindly point your mousies here.

Why they wanted to use Mc in the first place, beats me. It would have saved a lot of legal costs for McDonald's, who could use the money to improve.....okay, maybe they should have wasted the money on legal costs.

The Federal Court ruling means that other businesses can use Mc too, as long as they distinguish their product from McD's. So maybe now we'll see new restaurants.. McKandar..McCanai.. Restoran MaMac.. McLemak..wheeehee, the possibilities are endless :)

What if we put Mc names for Malaysians? Would there be a horde of Scots comin doon here to shove bagpipes oop yer arse? If not, that would be a cool thing. Just imagine. Mohamad McAli. McMoorthy. McChong. Now im starting to think that name originated in Malaysia.

Enough of my rambling. It's 11 already and if you're hungry go to McD or your nearest McMamak. Shooh shooh.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So maybe if i posted this movie review in other countries i would be the most 'kuno' person on the planet. I'm talking about Disney/Pixar's 'Up', which premiered in Malaysia just under 2 weeks ago.

Appropriately, i watched this family movie with (who else?) my family. But first, a lesson in smuggling food which is more value-for-money than popcorn and diabetes-inducing Coke:

1) Go to Cold Storage (or any other grocery store) and buy some snacks and drinks
2) Once you have paid, insert food into every available pocket. Yes, if you're out of pockets you can put it in your pants. Sheesh
3) Just walk by Mr.Ticket Man with suave
4) Enter the cinema hall
5) Unload

Or alternatively, you could queue and buy popcorn.

Yes yes, i'm getting to the movie already. At first sight, the main character couldn't be more unattractive: Carl Fredricksen, a cranky balloon salesman in his 80s, with only his house for company. But things weren't always grim for Carl. As a child, his dream was to follow in the footsteps of his hero, explorer Charles Muntz. By some fortunate twist of fate, he meets a girl named Ellie, who shares his passion for adventure and later, becomes his wife.

The couples' life journey is then encapsulated in a montage without dialogue, the sweetest, most touching montage you'll ever see. I almost cried watching it. Carl becomes a balloon salesman at a zoo, Ellie the zoo ranger. They save money for an adventurous trip to Paradise Falls. Real life happens and they lose money to repairs. Finally, Ellie passes away, and they never have their trip. It makes you think of your own dreams, which may never come to fruition.

Their house, post-Ellie, is situated in the middle of a construction site, with Carl's house the only obstacle for development. But no, he doesn't want to bring it down, the house is the only link between him and Ellie. So he brings it up, attaching 10,000 balloons and flying off to Paradise Falls. But here we are introduced to Russell, an 8-year old scout who is the complete opposite of Carl: optimistic, bubbly and carefree. Where you see sadness in Carl's demeanour and square-jawed face, you feel happiness in hearing the innocent, childlike voice of Russell and his round 'mok mok' physique. Such is the detail Pixar puts into tugging our emotions.

Finally they reach Paradise Falls, and it is WOW-standard beautiful. What happens in Paradise Falls, you just have to see for yourself to appreciate the genius of Pixar's storytelling.

It was good, really good. Children will laugh at the physical comedy and cartoonish characters, adults will appreciate all that plus the detail, the dialogue, and the deep message : in the end, all that we love will be carried away.

My review doesn't do justice to Pixar's most heartfelt movie yet. Just go and see it. This is one movie where I'd want to buy an original VCD.