FIELD TRIP FIELD TRIP!

Oct 16th-27th, I will be on my second field trip to Penang Hill, where I would collect soil/water samples around the hilltop for microbial diversity studies. We’re basically doing a Biodiversity Study up there, covering all sorts of layers from microbes, plants to animals. Field trip excites me. I did this once last year, it was tiring, berlemuih but fun. And my face of course hanguih lagi. I guess because I come from molecular background, and my working space had always been IN the lab instead of OUT, I find this kind of event thrilling.
Comparing my project to my friends’, I have it so, so, so much easier I tell you. I collect soil. I only need to walk/hike/climb and dig and store and label them coordinates. Wet lab work I might or might not be involved. I went with my friends last year, they were doing a study on mosquitoes. And THEY HAD TO USE THEMSELVES AS BAITS omg it was sooo itchy by just looking! They were so cool and steady and there I was, frowning… why on earth… why on earth would you guys do this??? Their skins were red… I left after 30 minutes, they were there for hours. They had to go out and set their traps, and went to collect them again at wee hours. We had our hot choc by the Sky Terrace, it was almost midnight when we went back to our hotel when we saw the Bat group leaving with their traps. Oh, such glamour. I went to deliver some field stuff yesterday, and there were at least 40 cages for rats….. Rats…. I would run away at the sight of its tail, and one of the groups is going to conduct a study on rat’s population up there. I was very bad with mosquitoes, caused so much hassles hahaha. I am thankful for my friends who didn’t shuh me away. They even accompanied me to collect my samples too. If they were doing on rats back then, I would have just bid them goodbye and go straight to the room. 
Field trip is fun, but of course it’s work, and it’s not free and easy. You have to collect and process your samples, make a report and the wet lab work will proceed soon. But there are lots of pros so I am going to enjoy myself. I get free train passes and free access to places others have to spend money on, I get to explore. There will be collaborators from foreign countries, I will get to learn new things as well. I used to get scared a lot from having to do things out of my comfort zone, but aah, exciting things always happen outside of your zone anyway. I won’t be having a group, I’ll be on my own. But Kiah is always fine on her own, InsyaAllah. (Might or might not menyelit group orang lain for fun. They’re going to catch all sorts of animals and identify plants! Saya penakut tapi saya mahu join). And the best thing of all in this trip is when I see this one short sentence in the tentative;
 
LUNCH AND REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED AT THE COMMAND CENTRE.
#priorities
Here are some of the photos I took from last year’s trip, some from the hilltop areas and most were from The Habitat. The place was still under constructions last year. It breaks my heart then because it was so loud and I was sad for the animals..) It’s amazingly beautiful now, they even have a viewing deck! (Haven’t gone in, saw photos only). So lucky I don’t have to pay the entrance fees ngehehe. This year’s trip will cover a much bigger sampling area though. Can’t wait! Spent so much money on buying clothes, socks, sunblock, rubber shoes are cheap so it’s okay, because heck I didn’t bring suitable clothes for outdoor, this was adhoc decision anyway. But I received allowances so still fine phew. Will share new pics when I get there next week, InsyaAllah. Looking forward for this year’s trip yayyy. #cannotsleepin #thestruggleisreal
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The most important question now is..

dekat mana I campak beg galas tuuuuu. Beg I sekarang tidak field trip friendly!

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THE TRUTH IS

I haven’t gotten over my father’s death.

I haven’t watched P. Ramlee’s movies because they remind me of abah. I can’t watch Kungfu Panda because then I would remember how much he loved this one too. I can’t look at things he used to love when he was here without breaking a little first, and a lot at night.

I don’t know when, or will I ever,

but I do hope there will come a day when at the memory of my abah, I would have stopped hurting so much.

The blue sky was so beautiful today, boh. And I pray, wherever you are now, you are in a greater place. 

 

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?

kiahs
August 2014

So I showed Siang Yu my old photos. And he was in complete shock. Like genuine, unpretentious shock, which made me feel even worse honestly haha.

When was this photo taken?’

You look more lively back then.’

Now you are darker. And your face look dull.’

-____-‘

I just told him when I started my master everything just went downhill. I met a senior when I was putting Siang Yu’s culture in the incubator shaker.

You look pale.’

Your lips especially look pale.’

You look sick.’

-___________-‘

Phew. Take a deep breath, take a deep breath. Pale doesn’t necessarily mean bad, it could mean my tone has brightened up a bit. WHO.AM.I.KIDDING.

Okay.

I wasn’t very fair back then, then here means 3 years ago, see attached pic for reference bahaha. But my skin was at least better. It was even. Now I am so dark, and suddenly my long gone white spots made their comeback. I always knew they never really went away. They just stayed dormant until I am exposed to the sun again or when I wasn’t feeling well, then they’d pop!

Eyh, what happened to your face? Whoaaa! Your white spots are so significant!’

-_______________________-‘

I even have pimples now! T.T And they freaking formed scars that took forever to fade! And my blackheads have hit a new milestone. They are all so,so rude for popping on my nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. Not to forget the small, little pop-ups of extra meat. Completely no idea what they’re called, but people always say it’s because my cholesterol is high. Never really check. Good idea to go soon. My lips are darker now as well T.T They look as dark as my skin T___________T

Your eyes are always like that.’

Always like this? It’s always puffy?’

‘Yes. They are always like that.’ Make a circle under his eyes to point out how huge my dark circles and puffiness are. This Siang Yu is so honest I almost regretted showing him my old photos.

Sigh.

I lost 1000g wow that sounds a lot in gram bahaha. 1 kg. That’s all I’ve lost so far. Just sixteen more to go hahaha *nervous laugh*. I STILL HAVE SIXTEEN KGs TO GO TO REACH MY IDEAL WEIGHT OMG OMG OMG.

I agree. All of Siang Yu’s point–I agree. My skin is bad today. And it’s so sensitive! I have very prominent white spots that turn red when I walk under the sun. I would look so dark and oily and with red-white spots some more… I don’t look very nice hahaha. The itchiness on my hands got very bad sometimes, I unconsciously scratch them until they sting. I don’t know how or why but there are times when my hands will get a sudden itchiness and you can see dots on them.

Sigh again.

I do believe that everything that your skin projected has a lot to do with what you put inside your body, less likely what you apply on them–for me it is. I don’t really use products with strong chemicals. I don’t wear make ups. Okay. My make ups equal putting on the sunscreen and compact powder.[I think I got the wrong In2it shade for my compact because I look grey now -__-] And NYX lip cream matte because they’re so niceee. I’ve suffered irritations before and it is freaking not funny. I told you guysss, all the bad reactions I have now only start to appear when my weight started to increase exponentially over the years.

As soon as I land a job, I would sign up for membership at a local gym.

Bonne nuit!

And no, I am not being ungrateful. I have working legs, arms, eyes etc and I am grateful for them because a working body is a blessing. But I do believe that taking care of your body and realising the changes/damages you have done is one of the ways to be grateful too. In Islam, our body is an amanah, a trust. To look after one self is compulsory. I am writing this because I know my body, and I remember how it used to work. Realisation is the first step to making change. And I would love to change for the better, not just in spiritual change but in terms of health and look too.

Let’s live healthily for a loooong time InsyaAllah.

HEAL

al and me

Life is surely unpredictable. It is fast paced and always changing. You will meet so many people, significant or not. Their presence might or might not have any impact on your life. But I do believe that the friends we choose to keep have different range of colours that help to paint our life. Alone, we can be very dull sometimes. We might argue from time to time, but at the end of the day when we have to say our temporary good bye before seeing each other again, we should always say it with our hearts content. Without this person, without this friendship, your life might be different. We scold each other, but it is never with the intention to hurt. We would ask for forgiveness, and bid each other with smiles on our faces. We plan, and Allah plans. And He is the best of planner.

I pray only for goodness to come your way, Al. May He lift the sickness off from you, and may you come back stronger, healthier and much, much better. You didn’t plan for this because you’re already so close to finishing, but there’s a beauty in this too. Most probably, God is sending you home for a while because He knows, deep down, you really miss your family and they miss you too.

And when I am ill, it is [God] who cures me.”
(Ash-Shu’ara (The Poets: 26:80) (A supplication of Prophet Abraham)

[link here]

 

 

FROM SIX YEARS AGO

So this is the memory FB think I would like to remember..

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Who would have thought, six years later I had to witness my dad taking his last breath. I was there, I was there when he collapsed on his hospital bed. I arrived with the medicated oil he requested over the phone just 30 minutes ago. He closed his eyes the moment I entered his room, and he never opens them again. I wiped the sweats on his forehead, I called out his name many, many times. I just wanted him to look at me one last time. I just wanted him to know I was there, I brought his oil, why isn’t he responding anymore.

God.

And FB memory always comes up with all the conversations I had with aboh which I put as my statuses, there are many of them. It makes me miss him more, but it also brings a sense of comfort knowing when my dad was alive, I did take note of the things he’s said and done. We made a lot of phone calls to each other. I always hug him when I’m home. I always end the calls with I love youuu and would demand an ‘I love you too’ before he hangs up. I gave kisses on his cheeks three times every time I had to leave home again, and he counted them.

Today one kiss only? Usually three?’, and I would laugh before giving two more.

I couldn’t even look at jackfruit these days, because that was the fruit my dad always bought for me.

I bought your favourite fruit! In the fridge!,‘ and there were two packs of nangka.

‘I bought your favourite kuih!,’ and there were penerams on the table.

Kiah, for your birthday let’s go to chicken rice. I want to treat you nasi ayam this year!,’ and we went to TCRS in Aeon Big.

And every time I see durian crepe, I’d stare at it before walking away, not buying. Durian crepe (specifically at KLCC there, near Maybank) was his fav.

My dad was very garang, and I love him very, very much. See you on the other side, Boh!