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Category: Event

The Apple of My Eye

Before I write this post any further, I first have a confession to make: I knew and worshipped Jonathan Ive before Steve Jobs. I thought he was the shiznit, not Mr. Jobs. My first encounter of Jony was when I read an article about him in Icon magazine during my student years. If my dad has had spoiled me and doesn’t teach me the value of money, I would’ve been a Mac user longer than I actually am. Before I converted myself from PC to Mac, I yearned for an Apple product . Just as I drooled and craved for the Clamshell iBook G3 that I saw in Sex and the City.

“Its also like a purse!” Aidan said.

And I also wanted the iMac G4 when I saw the advert:

At that time, to me nothing else of an everyday-use product looked as good. Of course, I was still a student then. I could only settle for PC and also given the fact that Autocad, 3D Studio Max and other architectural softwares at that time were not available in version of Mac. And then in late 2006, I landed my first job in UK and iMac was at its most beautiful ever. In white and very Apple-esque. Even then it still cost almost a whopping £800. Most girls spend their first pay at designer bags or shoes, I had nothing else in mind but an iMac. I remember I spent hours in PCWorld that day, wondering if I was making the right decision. Technology outdates quickly and I was about to spend a lot of money converting myself to a whole new system that was alien to me. But then I bought it anyway, and I even keep the box ’til today. It was almost like an old dream finally came true, a crave satisfied and a yearn fulfilled.

Since then I also got the latest iMac for my use at the office (although it looks very Dell-like and doesn’t come in white), because I snobbishly just wouldn’t settle for anything less than an Apple. I even successfully converted Fakhrul and Amer when they needed a laptop. I told them that they got to have it – at least for the design. As architects, they owe to that!

I remember one fateful day when I was switching rooms with my parents. My so called ‘leaning’ table failed to properly lean and slided off the wall, bringing down my beautiful white iMac and my heavy old DSLR crashing on top of the screen. It cracked, even then it was still working – I could see it from the part of the screen where the pixels were still ‘alive’. I remember I cried like a maniac, then staring at the ceiling for hours, calling Apple Care centres, harassing their operators and gutted that it’ll cost me over RM3000 to get the screen replaced. A nice guy at the centre offered to keep my iMac until I get a compatible second hand part which will cost much less, it was very unlikely but I kept my faith. I was without it for over 5 months when I received a good news and replaced the screen for RM1000. I could’ve gotten a new laptop, but nothing compares to your first Apple. And nothing compares to that beautiful white thing, you see.

Sitting pretty, you white thingy

With Steve’s now gone and although his successors remain, I am now holding tighter than ever to all of my Apples, because God knows when masterpieces like these will ever be invented again. The lost are felt to many, even to PC users, I’m sure. Steve’s world has spun, but for now, here’s to the crazy ones:

Syawal 2011

Salam Aidilfitri, maaf zahir & batin.

Shaliza, Daisy & Fakhrul.

Excerpt From Dream

I guess the news was already spreading when I was on my journey to Sungai Petani for the weekend. As soon as we stopped our car in front of my mother-in-law’s gate, Ewa ranged me. She sounded serious which was very unlike her. She was the one who delivered the news about the tsunami in Japan. I wasn’t terribly shocked at first as I thought it might not be as serious as the Boxing Day 2004, until I login to the BBC and saw videos. One of the video showed some buildings in Shibuya swaying for few minutes as if they were made out of papers being blown by the wind. It was truly a horrific sight. And honestly, as much as my heart goes for the people, I hope all those beautiful buildings I saw are not affected too.

The more I read about the news, the more I couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened if our trip was planned only two weeks after. I mean, geez, I was with my baby, we don’t speak the language, we were staying in an converted old house that ages at least one hundred years old, etc. Things could’ve blown out to the proportions I don’t even want to imagine. I couldn’t thank Allah enough for saving me, my family and my friends. The thought of I was just there two weeks ago gives me chills. Just look at this blog, it is as if I still haven’t even finished writing about it. Almost every latest entries associated to that trip.

Despite all that, I strongly feel that Japan will get back on its feet in no time. They’ll clean the place and rebuild it shiny and new as if it has never happened. And even in a chaos like this, there will be an order that only Japanese can execute. Let me share an interesting link with you, that made my amazement for Japan continues. Please take your time to read it, and you’ll see why there is no stopping in being astound over a country called Japan and all the people inhabiting it. And why instead of highlighting the lessons Japan could’ve learned over this catastrophe, we are the ones that must learn from them first. Quoting my favourite tweets:

BBC Reports

The words of BBC’s reports are so moving they make me cry.  They were praising us with words of admiration!  “One of the worst earthquakes in recorded history has hit the world’s most well-prepared, well-trained nations.  The strength of its government and its people are put to the test.  While there have been casualties, in no other country could the government and the people have worked together in such an accurate and coordinated way in the face of such tragedy.  The Japanese people have shown their cultural ability to remain calm in the face of adversity.”

Japan is a wonderful nation! 

Both the government and the people, everyone is helping one another today.  There are truck drivers helping evacuees move.  I even heard that the “yakuza” (gangsters, organized crime groups) are helping to direct traffic in the Tohoku region!  There have been many recent developments that have made me lose my sense of pride in my country, but not anymore.  Japan is an amazing place!  I’m just simply touched.  Go Japan!

A strong voice

Yesterday, I was impressed and touched by the actions of my neighbor’s 13-year-old-boy.  He was home alone when the earthquake hit.  But instead of hiding, as soon as the earthquake quieted down, he jumped on his bicycle and road around the block repeatedly shouting at the top of his voice, “Is everyone alright?  Is everyone okay?”  At the time, there were only women and children and the elderly in the homes.  I cannot describe how comforting it was just to hear a strong voice asking if I was okay.  Thank you!

Rest here!

Last night, I decided, rather than stay at the office, I should try walking home.  So I slowly made my way west on Koshu freeway on foot.  It was around 9PM when I saw an office building that had a sign that said “Please use our office’s bathrooms! Please rest here!”  The employees of the office were loudly shouting out the same to all the people trying to walk home.  I was so touch I felt like crying.  Well, I guess I was too tense yesterday to cry, but now the tension is wearing off and am very much in tears. 

I just have a bike

I’m so touched!  My colleague at my part time job, wanting to help even just one extra person, wrote a sign saying “I just have a bike, but if you don’t mind hop on!”, rode out on his motorbike, picked up a stranded construction worker and took him all the way to Tokorozawa!  Respect!  I have never felt so strongly that I want to do something helpful for others. 

Gotenba traffic

Japan is really something!  Yesterday, not a single traffic light was functioning in Gotenba City.  But drivers knew to take turns at intersections and give way to others when needed.  Local people were using flags to direct traffic at intersections.  I drove for 9 hours but never saw a single car trying to get in front of another.  Every single driver on the road contributed to the traffic situation and as a result there was no confusion at all. 

Japanese people don’t shove

I’m looking at Yurakucho station from above.  I see people standing in line, not pushing or shoving to get onto the Yamanote Line (probably the busiest line in central Tokyo), even at a time like this! 

A big, kind voice

I’ve been walking for many hours now.  I’m touched at how everywhere I turn, there are shops open with people shouting “Please use our bathroom!” or “Please rest here!” There were also office buildings where people with access to information were voluntarily shouting out helpful tips, like “**** line is now operational!”  Seeing things like this after walking for hours and hours made me feel like weeping with gratitude.  Seriously, there is still hope for this country!


Japan, you could’ve been a nightmare but didn’t. Instead you became a dream I didn’t want to wake up from.

Twenty Nine

It feels like only few days ago I wrote Twenty Eight.

I kept describing getting older as “I just turned 19, again”. I’m not in denial on how old I really am, its just that whenever I age one more year, I don’t feel I am a year older. But truthfully, I am older and definitely wiser than when I was 19. Being 19 was easy and selfish and naive. I wish I had known that there are more important things in the world than dressing up, boyfriend troubles or fun in the world. Its pathetic that my biggest problem when I was 19 was feeling like nobody cared about me – when seriously, everybody actually got better things to think about than wasting time paying attention to me! The typical teenager – angry and confused.

That aside, I don’t know why but for some reason every year the celebration gets better. Every year I thought it was the best ever, but alhamdulillah, I have such wonderful friends and families that always manage to top last year’s celebration. This year I was celebrated not once, NOT twice but three times. Only when I’m in Malaysia surrounded by these beautiful people could I get such thing. It is at times like this, that made me feel like I have done something right, I have been a good friend, a good daughter or sister, or cousin, to everyone who wanted to celebrate my day.

First time celebrated, the night before as we had a family gathering at that time – with all the cousins and an uncle who shared the same birthday month.

Second time celebrated on actual birthday night with immediate family.

Le grand célébration was actually 2 days after, just so that I get the four of us together. Although wonderful, I also have such useless friends who wants to celebrate my birthday but asked me to organize it myself. But I actually prefer not to have surprises. Hence, I made the reservation and ordered the free cake and asked the girl to write Happy birthday Shaliza on it. And then she asked the bonus question, “Oh, so it’s for you?” and I bore my shameless self and said, “YES. But my friends are going to pay for it!”

Posing for postcard. My girls are so stupid, I was looking the other way just to get variety of pose but ended up they just couldn’t resist following me.

The four of us with free red noses.

Included with the dinner.

And when I barefaced myself and said to the waiter, “I’m ready for my cake now”, they came out with it and the best birthday song. Ever!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

So here’s to 29. The last of 20s.

Two Thousand Eleven

I probably had the calmest and most subtle new year’s celebration this year.

Previously I made two attempts to celebrate new year in London. One was sucessful. Although it was a spontaneous decision to hop on a bus from Oxford to London after a long day of working from our part time jobs, we got there just in time. We found a spot overlooking the London Eye where the fireworks show was going to be and had a blast. Getting back was slow with all the crowd. The second attempt which was a failure was some suicidal one. We got there late and with all the crowd pushing in we got stuck in between. Fakhrul and his brother were casted away from us and I was so scared I was going to die stampeded. But alhamdulillah I got out with my friends who cried after. Pretty traumatizing just to watch some fireworks.

This was 2006 – the successful attempt.

And then this year. You probably don’t know this (or maybe you do) but Fakhrul’s birthday is on new year. Pretty stupid to act like I forgot, so every new year is a two in one celebration for the last 9 years or so. This year we were suppose to just have dinner at the warung near our house, but Amer and I wanted something fancy so we went to my favourite Cafe Barbera in Bangsar. The Italian food there is better than the real Italian food I had in Italy, and the chocolate fondant is to die for. To my surprise, Qadir brought Nadwah, who was one of the gang back in UTM but haven’t met her in ages (last time was my wedding!) and I was sooo pleased. The first thing she said to me after all these years was “I thought we were going to warung so I’m in this t-shirt!!” After all the babbling about how overdressed I was and how underdressed she was, she finally hugged me. So typical of Nadwah.

We thought of going back after the dinner that we finished around 11++pm. But Nad suggested to go to this secret spot she knows overlooking the KL skyline. I can’t tell you where, otherwise I wouldn’t say “secret spot”. Well, it was not so secret since there were few people there as well. This time we waited in the warmth of KL’s air, instead of the chilly cold one somewhere in the UK. It was your iconic towers instead of somebody else’s ferris wheel.We waited for it. And there it was, beautifully sparked in the sky. And there were no chaos, no crowd, no fighting, no sound. Just in company of great friends in the night silence with occasional distant thumps.

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2010 is officially history. Forget about what you could not be or what you could have been. Forget about those hopes and dreams that didn’t come true and pray for the new ones this year. Happy 2011 everyone!

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